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HOT CROSS BUNS (USING SPONGE DOUGH METHOD)
Source: Adapted from Chef Sam
Make: 12 buns
Group A: Sponge (to be used for the dough)
143g bread flour
107g whole wheat flour
Group B: Dough
Sponge (after fermentation in step 1 – approximately 409g)
107g bread flour
36g brown sugar
4g cinnamon powder
21g butter (soften at room temperature)
107g raisins (conditioned –refer note 1)
Group C: Egg glaze
1 no. egg
1 tbsp water
Group D: Hot cross bun paste mixture
25g cake flour
7g vegetable oil
- Place all the ingredients in Group A (for sponge) in a bowl. Fix on the dough hook. Switch on the mixer and let the machine mix the ingredients till dough is formed and the side of the bowl is clean. Transfer to a clean bowl, cover with cling wrap and rest for 2 hours to form a “sponge”. This process is called “fermentation”.
- After 2 hours, place the sponge (from step 1) together with the rest of the ingredients in Group B (except butter) in a bowl. Switch on the mixer and knead till the side of the bowl is clean.
- Add in butter and continue to knead till the dough is well developed (ie smooth and elastic). Do a “membrane” test – take out a small piece of dough, gently stretch it outwards at all the directions to form a thin layer of “membrane”. If your dough still has not reached this stage, you need to continue with the kneading and check again.
- Fold in the conditioned raisins. Make sure the raisins are fully covered by the dough.
- Round the dough, transfer to a clean bowl and cover with cling wrap. Let it rest (at floor time/ normal room temperature) for another 30 minutes.
- After resting, turn the dough bottom side up and punch down to flatten. Divide the dough into 12 portions with 60g each. Round each portion into a bun shape and place them on a greased baking pan.
- Then place the baking pan inside an oven with door close. Put a tray of hot water underneath the baking pan to increase the humidity level. Proof the buns until they are double in bulk, approximately 30-45 minutes. This process is called “proofing” (refer to note 2).
- After 30-45 minutes, remove the baking tray from the oven.
- Preheat oven to 200°C. Brush egg glaze on the surface of the buns and pipe the hot cross bun paste mixture onto the buns. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.
- How to condition the raisins – put raisins in a plastic bag, pour water inside the bag and immediately pour it out. Leave it overnight. This step is done so as to prevent the raisins from absorbing the moisture from the buns. For a variety, you can subsitute raisins with other dried fruits such as cranberries, apricots, etc.
- For proofing, relative humidity is 88%, 37°C. For my table top oven, I just put a small roasting pan filled with some hot boiling water to increase the humidity level. For built-in oven, you may need a bigger pan.
- You can also place your bun on a paper cup for a nicer presentation.
- You can refer to this post for a simplified diagram for sponge dough method.