Thursday, April 28, 2011

bread of the month | hot cross buns

hot cross buns
My sole contribution to celebrating Easter this year was baking hot cross buns. No dyed eggs, no chocolate, and actually no Easter dinner - Larry heated up some soup and made us grilled cheese sandwiches which we ate while watching TV since I wasn't feeling well.

Hot cross buns are my dad's favorite. I'm generally not a fan because they contain raisins/currants/whatever type of dried-up grape you prefer - they're all nasty. So I thought I'd substitute blueberries instead. Blueberries = good. Raisins = bad.

My other concern with hot cross buns is this: not enough frosting! Seriously, why is there only that little puny cross of frosting?! I guess if they were slathered with frosting, they wouldn't be hot cross buns, but they'd sure as heck taste a lot better.

So I made the buns, let them rise twice and all that, and ta-da - they looked beautiful!
hot cross buns
Unfortunately, they looked a lot better than they tasted. They were too dry. The dried fruit (I ended up using dried mixed berries) did nothing for me. There wasn't enough cinnamon. And as I feared, there wasn't enough frosting.
hot cross buns
hot cross buns
The recipe made two batches of buns - one I cooked in a round pan as instructed by the recipe. Then I realized that was stupid and I cooked the other batch in a square pan which worked much better. I frosted half of them with vanilla frosting and the other half with the orange frosting from the recipe (I was not a fan). I ended up frosting the buns in the round pan in a spider web pattern using my trusty squeeze bottle (which is also what I use to decorate sugar cookies) in an attempt to get more frosting on each bun - it ended up looking like a coffee cake. Pretty, but still too dry. (AND STILL NOT ENOUGH FROSTING!)
hot cross buns
hot cross buns
Conclusion: Hot cross buns would be better if they were moister, more cinnamony, lacked dried-up fruit, and had more frosting. Actually, hot cross buns would be better if they were cinnamon rolls.

Next time make cinnamon rolls!
hot cross buns

2 comments:

rahareturned said...

Hot cross buns are best *not* frosted, actually. We don't have them frosted in the UK; rather the cross is a slightly different kind of dough. You cut the buns in half, toast them, and serve them slathered in butter. Best way to eat them!

Funnelcloud Rachel said...

Yeah, I've seen the dough cross version, too, though I've never tried them that way. Slathered with butter sounds right up my alley though!

It doesn't surprise me that the U.K. and U.S. versions of hot cross buns are different (sort of like how biscuits and pudding are completely different things in the U.K. than they are here) - here they are a sweet roll that you wouldn't put butter on. I just read that Australians put chocolate chips in their hot cross buns instead of dried fruit, which sounds awesome, too! Why didn't I think of that?