This is slightly long post, but hang on, there are just good and delicious things here!
First, I have an announcement to make.
I am beyond happy and grateful to announce that My Daily Sourdough Bread blog is featured in newly published book called Beyond the Plate - Top Food Blogs from around the World published by Prestel Publishing.
Prestel publishing is one of the world's leading illustrated book publishers with a stunning list of beautifully crafted books on all aspects of art, photography and design.
Accompanied by amazing creatives who are my greatest inspiration like Local Milk, Hortus Cuisine, Lab Noon, Krautkopf etc. I am very grateful for the opportunity to share my love for sourdough baking and photography. Being so diverse in recipes and stories by each blogger from around the world, the book is a perfect gift for everyday cooking. The book is now available worldwide.
Aaaaand: To celebrate this publishing occasion, Prestel publishing and My daily sourdough bread are giving one copy of the book to one lucky winner.
EDITED - the giveaway is now closed.
To enter the giveaway, leave a comment below and tell me what type of bread from around the world would you like to try or bake?
Giveaway is open until next Wednesday. Good luck!
The winner will be randomly selected and notified via e-mail.
So, the second thing is: I can't believe I didn't know how good the hot cross buns are!! It's like I was living in a cave for the past 30 years. The reason I even thought of making hot cross buns was the jar of rum macerated raisins I'd prepared three weeks ago.
I didn't have any goals of using these raisins, I just like the flavors and smell when rum is combined with lemon and orange peel and vanilla powder. You should definitely try this at home.
As the raisins kept soaking and with the Easter approaching, I thought I'd try something new this year. In Slovenia, potica (a walnut roll) is usually eaten for Easter. But this year I crave freshness, textures and different flavors with a bang.
Hot cross buns are traditionally eaten in New Zealand, Australia, Caribbean, Great Britain and Canada at Great Friday just before the Easter.
For me, they are definitely a year round keeper. Being very soft, they are perfect for breakfast, for lunch dessert or as a simple snack.
Scrumptious sourdough hot cross buns
Yields: 12 buns
The dough for these hot cross buns was mixed in the late afternoon, left to rise for 2 hours at room temperature, put in the fridge overnight, shaped in the morning, left to rise for couple of hours and baked in the afternoon of that day.
Note: Baker's percentages are put in brackets if you would like to scale up or down the formula.
80 g white wheat flour (bread flour)
20 g brown sugar
25 g active mother sourdough starter
35 g water
350 g white wheat flour (bread flour) (100%)
all of the above starter (appr. 160g) (42%)
2 eggs (appr. 100 g) (28%)
50 g brown sugar (12%)
85 g unsalted softened butter (24%)
7 g salt (2%)
110 g milk (31%) **
90 g raisins, soaked in rum (25%) ***
lemon zest of one lemon
orange zest of one orange
pinch of ground cloves
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
** NOTE: Please feel free to add more liquid (steps of 10 g), if you feel the dough is too stiff and all the flour is difficult to incorporate. Don't be tempted to add a lot of liquid as you add butter in the second stage of dough mixing which softens the dough.
*** I used rum macerated raisins. This means I mixed rum, raisins, vanilla powder, lemon and orange peel and left the mixture to soak for about three weeks to get the heavenly taste and flavors. If you don't have raisins prepared in this way, just soak the raisins in rum at about same time you prepare the starter for the dough. Soaked raisins will add moisture to the dough and extra flavor dimension compared to dry ones.
Hot cross paste
70 g flour (I used the same flour as in the dough)
20 g oil (I used sunflower oil)
60 g water
Vanilla sugar glaze
1 tbs brown sugar
1 tbs boiling hot water
pinch of vanilla powder
1. In the morning, prepare your sourdough starter. The starter will be stiff, more like a dough. Leave it to ferment until doubled in volume. This may take from 4-12 hours, depending on the environment temperature and strength of your mother starter. If your starter doubled very fast but you are not ready to make the dough, put the jar in the fridge.
2. In the late afternoon mix the dough. /NOTE: I used mixer to knead the dough. / In a large mixing bowl put milk, starter, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, eggs, flour and salt. Mix everything together. If the dough feels dry, don't be tempted to add too much of additional liquid - mixing in the butter in the following phase will soften the dough (experiment with the softness of the dough) - but do add the liquid if you can't incorporate all the flour. Knead the dough for 3-4 minutes and then leave it to rest for 15-20 minutes.
3. Next, knead in half of the butter quantity. Once completely integrated, add and knead in the other half. Knead the dough for 8-10 minutes (it is advisable to use mixer) until smooth and elastic - check how transparent can the dough be if you stretch it. Leave the dough to rest for 5 minutes, then knead in the raisins, orange and lemon peel. Shape the dough into ball and place it into clean bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and leave to ferment at the room temperature for 2 hours, then put the bowl into the fridge overnight.
4. In the morning, take the dough out of the fridge and divide it into 12 pieces, each weighing around 73-74 g. Shape each piece into a ball and place it on slightly floured tray lined with parchement paper. When done, cover the tray with clingfilm - this will prevent the dough from drying out. Leave the balls to rise until passing the poking test (appr. doubled in volume) - make an indent - if the indent comes back quickly, leave them to ferment a little bit more. Final rise may take 4-7 hours, it's temperature depending.
5. When the balls are almost risen, preheat the oven to 220°C/428°F. Just before putting the pan into oven spread the hot cross paste across the buns. Put in the oven and bake for 10 minutes at 220°C/428°F, then decrease to 200°C/392°C and bake for another 20 minutes or until golden brown.
6. When you take the pan out of the oven, immediately brush the buns with sugar glaze. Leave the buns to cool down a little bit. These buns are the best when eaten slightly warm :)
Softness at its best.
Don't forget to share the experience if you try them - tag me with @mydailysourdoughbread on Instagram or let me know in the comment below ;)