During my phone call with Ryan last night he exclaimed "Oh no! I forgot to buy some Hot Cross Buns to have for breakfast tomorrow!" to which I replied "I can always bake you some?". Ryan was on his way home from church and was hungry, while I was tempting him to pop by my house for a visit telling him about all the food available in our fridge I prompted the exclamation from him about the Hot Cross Buns. I thought that if I just quickly put the dough together I could let it sit and proof overnight ready to be baked in the morning. I also realised that it was slightly cold last night so thought I would cheat using one of mum's techniques, sitting the dough next to a jug of boiling hot water in a styrofoam box with a lid thus creating a warm environment for the dough to proof in. It seemed to have worked okay but I was a little rushed so didn't let it rise to it's full potential. I also didn't knead the dough as much as I should have and did the whole cross pattern on the buns last night too so that Ryan could take them home. All he needed to do was bake them in the morning.
I was a little sad that I didn't get any photos being so late last night and the fact that these buns would be baking at Ryan's house. I wasn't sure if I wanted to be doing any baking today but woke up this morning determined to have some of my own freshly baked buns too. I used this recipe for both batches from the Taste website as the base for my buns - it seemed the simplest of recipes last night and I used the food processer to blitz the flour and butter together. I had to substitute choc chips for the raisens as mine were being attacked by bugs and choc chips were all that I had in the cupboard and I only had a little bit of cinnamon left so used all of that (no mixed spice mixture available). As I was looking for some more cinnamon I came across some chilli powder and thought "Hey Chilli Chocolate!". I've only had a few experiences with chilli/spiced chocolate but I was warming to the idea and upon coming across my jar of chilli powder I remembered the spicey chocolate dip I made for my churros a couple of months ago. The chocolate sauce had chilli powder and cinnamon too! Unfortunately the batch of buns I made this morning had no cinnamon as I used the last of it last night. I also used the food processor to do most of the mixing this morning which made it easier to knead the dough for the first stage.
Just as my dough was done at the first proofing stage Ryan called and I asked how the buns were. He hadn't quiet baked them yet and informed me that all the white cross piping had gone everywhere and all the buns looked slightly messy/ugly. I said that he could redo the cross pattern 'cos all it was, was a bit of plain flour, sugar and water. He was thinking that he would just reroll the dough and make a loaf out of it. As a test run he put a few of the buns in the oven and said that they tasted pretty awesome but were also "pretty ugly" =D. His brother and dad also liked them so that was good =). He informed me that he was going to turn the rest of the buns into a big loaf and brushed it with a little butter which gave it an extra crispy skin. (I got him to take some photos so hopefully I'll be able to add them to this post).
My buns ready to go in the oven with the crosses on them. The flour mixture was a little thick last night but as a result of making it thinner this morning they didn't really turn up after baking.
When cooking time was up I pulled the tray out and was about to rotate it around so that some of the lighter buns could brown up a bit more. Somehow I managed to drop the tray and all the buns landed face down on the oven door. I gave up and just took them all out of the oven as they were. Instead of using the gelatine glaze as the recipe says I just did a sugar syrup glaze. If you look closely at the picture you can kind of see my crosses. I knew that I should have probably brushed them with a bit of milk before piping the crosses and baking which would have given them a bit of a softer exterior. Rolling them a bit more in my hands probably would have given a smoother surface too. I know hot cross buns traditionally are not crunchy on the outside (the ones I've bought anyway) but I loved mine as they were! It was awesome taking a bite through the crispy shell and then discovering the soft dough inside. You then had the sweetness of the chocolate chips and then a hint of spicyness lingering in your mouth. (My batch was half milk half dark by the way as I had run out of milk choc chips.) It was absolutely devine eating these straight out of the oven!