The storms are heading my way again. The rain has started. So before our power is once again disrupted, I think it best to finish up this little experiment and share.
The So Simple Einkorn bread has been rummaging around the back of my mind for a few days now, along with the knowledge that we are in Hot Cross bun season.
One of the things that I so like about making bread with Einkorn flour is that there is no need for 5 – 6 loaves at a time so experimenting with small batches is easy. The better nutrition, minimal gluten and no kneading required are bonuses. We are a small household and the simplicity of the recipe makes freshly baking bread a simple quick thing in small batches. The trick is to mix up the few ingredients needed the night before and finish it off the following morning.
To make Hot Cross buns you will need:
1/3 cup raisins
3 Tbsp. chopped fruit peel. ( I used citron as it was in the cupboard but orange, mixed or currants will work as well and in a pinch just use 1/2 cup raisins )
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
2 Tbsp. honey
1/4 cup icing sugar
I made half this recipe as it was, as mentioned, a bit of an experiment.
I found that the dough this time, for some reason, was not as sticky as usual and added an extra tablespoon of warm water to my half recipe. Keep an eye on the mixture, you might need to adjust as well.
Once the batter has been mixed continue the directions and allow the dough to sit covered for 12 – 14 hours in a dark location.
Pre heat the oven to 500 degrees and place in the oven the pieces of equipment you will be using to bake the buns.
I used a 4 x 4 inch square glass casserole on a baking sheet and added a glass bowl to cover the casserole. You can see the lid I was using for size in a picture below. I also used a 3 inch ramekin with a smaller glass bowl to cover it. Whatever your choices, this is one time where I would use oven mitts over oven squares. The baking temperature is higher than one would normally bake and the air underneath the bowls will be very hot and can easily burn.
My reason for chosing two shapes was that I learned at some point that original hot cross buns were round and that the square ones happened when commercial bakers choose to make large numbers on large sheets. The doughballs would press together as they rose, making the buns square and the sides soft.
The orginal shape was round with the quarter days marked out by a cross of icing or lighter dough. The buns would be baked on the morning of the equinox and gifted to friends and neighbours. The reason they were called “hot” was that they were also a spicy bun, so if the idea of adding extra spices or a pinch of pepper is intriguing, give it a try. An homage to the sun would not be remiss.
My suggestion for a full recipe would be to roll the dough into 9 balls and bake them in an 8 x 8 pan. Of course that will only work if you have a top that can cover the pan completely so the steam will stay in.
Take a look at your kitchen equipment and determine what combination works best for you if you want the crunchy tops. It is by all means possible to bake these buns at a lower temperature with out the extra lids. (Somewhere in the neighbourhood of 350 – 375 for 15 – 20 minutes. Keep a good eye on them to see how things are going. )
Another option is to mark the cross by precutting the buns. Darina Allen of Ballymaloe calls it “letting the fairies out.”
Once the oven is hot enough, take the equipment out, reduce the temperature to 450 degrees and close the door. Place the dough in their containers. Put the tops on and return everything to the oven for baking. These took 17 minutes but if you made the full batch and put them in that 8 x 8 pan, it will be closer to 30 minutes before they are baked.
Cool fully and add the crosses by mixing the icing sugar with just enough water, milk, lemon or orange juice to make a thick paste. Piping works best and if there are no piping bags handy, use a plastic bag with the corner cut off or a rolled up triangle of wax or parchment paper.
The casserole buns are the perfect size for fairies and munchkin treats and the ramekins made lovely round regular size buns.
Einkorn Hot Cross Buns from My Kitchen Wand.