kruizing with kikukat

Monday, April 15, 2019

Hot Cross Buns

I didn't grow up in a house which baked a lot.  And when Kikukat Mom baked, she definitely didn't bake bread.  She blames it on a bad experience with manapua (char siu bao) which turned her off from using yeast.  All of my experience with bread baking has been self-taught, meaning I read it somewhere, be it in a cookbook, magazine, or on a blog.

The foundation for my hot cross buns recipe comes from Mika's blog, The 350 Degree Oven.  Like Mika, I admired "Japanese milk bread".  There was/is nowhere in Hilo which makes Japanese milk bread.  I first had this kind of bread from Panya in Honolulu.  The pillowy softness is what separates it from other local breads (Portuguese sweet bread, shokupan, etc.).

In spite of this blog and the plethora of recipes I've amassed over the years, I don't consider myself a good cook.  I think I've been successful because I can follow a recipe, ingredient-wise, and I am able to take calculated risks when I need to deviate.  Of course, the best laid plans of mice and men have been known to go awry. 

I must've inadvertently copied the recipe incorrectly.  Only when I went back to Mika's blog to check on something did I realize what I had done differently.  This was AFTER I had made both a loaf of hybrid whole wheat milk bread and a batch of hot cross buns!  In spite of my oversight, both turned out great, and I'm posting the full recipe (the ingredients differ slightly from Mika's version).

Hot Cross Buns

     1/2 recipe of tangzhong (see below)
     1/2 c milk
     1 egg
     3 tbsp butter
     2 c bread flour
     1/2 c whole wheat flour
     4 tbsp sugar
     1/2 tsp salt
     2 tsp yeast
     2/3 c dried fruits (fruitcake mix, cranberries, etc.)
     2 tsp flour

Place all ingredients, except for dried fruits and 2 tsp flour, in bread machine pan, following the manufacturer's ingredient order.  Start dough cycle.  Stir dried fruit with 2 tsp flour in a small bowl.  Add to dough at "fruit and nut beep".  Grease a large pan.  When dough is done, divide into 16 pieces and shape into round rolls.  Place on prepared pan.  Let rise for 40 minutes.  Bake at 375 degrees for 13 minutes.  Remove to wire rack to cool.  Cool completely before glazing.

Hot Cross Bun Glaze

     1/2 c + 2 tbsp powdered sugar
     2 tsp milk
     1/8 tsp lemon juice, vanilla extract, or lemon extract

Whisk all ingredients together until smooth.  Place in plastic bag, cut a small hole in corner of bag, and pipe crosses on buns.


     1/3 c flour (original recipe called for bread flour)
     3/4 c water (original recipe called for 1 cup)

Heat flour and water in a small saucepan, whisking constantly, until thickened to a paste.  Set aside to cool or refrigerate if not using immediately.