Almost a month ago, I announced the first Relishments Bakes challenge. I intentionally designed the challenge to force me to bake things I’ve never attempted before and this month didn’t disappoint. I started off my self-imposed challenges with hot cross buns and, in a move I’m sure I won’t manage every month, I made 2 versions.
Version 1: Hot Cross Buns from Artisan Bread in 5
I made my first batch of buns in March, for a weekend when my parents were visiting. My mom mentions her appreciation for hot cross buns every Easter season and I thought it would be really fun to make them for her.
My love for Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day is no secret. So, of course, I went their first for the first recipe of Relishments Bakes. It’s hard to judge whether my issues with the recipe were on my end or problems with the actual recipe, but I wasn’t thrilled with the results. Overall, these buns were okay, but the dough seemed overly wet when I was shaping them and they spread out and lost some height as a result. The final buns were very sticky on the outside and dry on the inside. But that didn’t stop us from eating the whole batch!
Version 2: Hot Cross Buns from Bon Appetit
Since I wasn’t thrilled with the Artisan Bread in 5 results and there was still plenty of time before Easter, I decided to make another version of hot cross buns. This time, I used what seemed to be a pretty standard and straightforward recipe from Bon Appetit.
This recipe was definitely more labor intensive – requiring 2 rises – but it was worth it. Instead of using mixed fruit, I just used more currants leftover from my first recipe. The recipe says to roll the dough after adding the currants, then make balls and add them to the pan. Doing so didn’t distribute the currants as well as I would’ve liked, they were clumped together in certain spots in each roll. Overall, I liked how the buns looked after baking in the pan together. I attempted the apricot glaze, but it left the buns stickier than I would have liked. I also used the smallest amount of milk possible in my icing, in a successful attempt to create icing that didn’t run, as described in the recipe’s review. On that front, I was successful!
I will likely try this recipe again next year. If I do, I’ll try adding the currants to the dough at the end of making the dough, before the first rise. It may affect the rising some, but I think the fruit will be better distributed. Also, I will try skipping the step of creating the apricot glaze, to see if it makes a difference.
Shout out to Kelly, who in addition to helping get Relishments Bakes off the ground, participated this month. She made some awesome looking hot cross buns!
Stay tuned for the next challenge in a few days!