Mother Earth Living

WEB EXCLUSIVE: Bay Hot Cross Buns

By Susan Belsinger
February/March 2009
Add to My MSN


Content Tools

Related Content

6 Lebanese Recipes: Fattoush

Use up your dry, leftover bread with this great recipe.

The Heartbeat of a Planet

I just got this great email from a good friend of Natural Home & Garden, Debbie Hindman.

Cooking with Bay Laurel: Rice Pudding with Bay

Sweet Bay is not just for slow-cooked, savory foods. Try it fresh in desserts and puddings for a spi...

Maple Walnut Muffins

Impart the delicious taste of maple syrup with this recipe for Maple Walnut Muffins.

Though hot cross buns are a traditional Easter and Lenten bread, these handsome buns are so good we make them several times a year. We have found that all yeast breads except batter breads benefit by an overnight rise in the refrigerator. The slow rise allows the yeast to interact well with the gluten protein in flour, which produces an evenly-spaced structure and a light crumb. In addition, a slow rise allows the gaseous by- products of yeast to escape, which results in fewer off-flavors in the bread. Breads like these buns or brioche, enriched with butter, eggs, and milk, also have the time to let the yeast/protein interactions occur completely in all of the dough mass, which lightens the baked bread. If you like a stronger wheat flavor, substitute up to 2 cups of the white flour for whole wheat flour.

Makes about 36 buns

• 1 cup milk
• 3 large bay leaves, preferably fresh
• 1/4 cup light honey
• 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
• 2/3 cup currants
• 2 1/2 cups warm water 
• 2 tablespoons active dry yeast
• About 8 cups unbleached white flour
• 2 large eggs
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 cup water
• 1 egg white
    
1. Scald the milk with 3 of the bay leaves. Remove it from the heat and dissolve the honey in it. Soak the currants in 2 cups of the warm water for 15 minutes, then drain and squeeze the excess water from them. Discard the soaking water.
    
2. Dissolve the yeast in the remaining 1/2 cup warm water. Sift 8 cups of flour into a large bowl. Beat the eggs lightly and add them, along with the salt and 1/2 cup water, to the milk and honey.
    
3. When the yeast is active, add it to the flour along with the milk mixture, melted butter, and currants. Stir the liquid with a wooden spoon to incorporate about half of the flour. Remove the dough to a smooth surface and knead in the rest of the flour. Knead for about 5 minutes after the flour has been incorporated. The dough should be smooth and soft but not sticky. Knead in more flour if necessary.

4. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in the refrigerator overnight, or for up to 24 hours. Or let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 1 to 2 hours.

5. Punch the dough down and divide it in half. Remove the bay leaves as you come across them. Roll each portion into a long cylinder about 3 inches in diameter. Cut the cylinders into 1-inch slices and roll each slice into a ball. Place the balls on lightly buttered baking sheets. Cover the balls with a tea towel and let them rise in a warm place until almost doubled in size. Preheat the oven to 375 º F.

6. Slash the top of each bun in a cross-shape with a sharp knife. Beat the egg white until frothy and brush each bun lightly with it.

7. Bake the buns for 15 to 20 minutes, until they are a rich golden brown. Remove the buns from the oven and let them cool to room temperature. Drizzle them with Simple Icing along the slash marks if desired.

Simple Icing

If the icing is too thin add a bit more sugar; if it is too thick add a little more lemon juice.

Makes about 1/2 cup of icing

• 1 tablespoon lemon juice
• 1 tablespoon water
• 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
    
1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk until smooth.  Drizzle the icing over the cooled Bay Hot Cross Buns, or other sweet rolls, or cookies.

This recipe first appeared in Gourmet Magazine in 1980, then Cooking with Herbs by Susan Belsinger and Carolyn Dille (Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1981).

Click here for the original article, 2009 Herb of the Year: Bay (Laurus Nobilis).

Previous | 1 | 2 | Next






Post a comment below.

 


MY COMMUNITY
no image
HarvestRight
8/21/2014 5:22:39 PM
no image
NatureHillsNursery
8/20/2014 10:03:07 AM
no image
NatureHillsNursery
8/20/2014 9:59:22 AM
no image
NatureHillsNursery
8/20/2014 9:30:07 AM
no image
melisastarr
8/19/2014 12:57:22 PM
no image
Peggy McMahan
8/18/2014 11:29:51 AM
no image
lorina21
8/17/2014 10:16:45 PM
no image
lorina21
8/17/2014 10:15:23 PM






Subscribe today and save 58%

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Subscribe to Mother Earth Living!

Welcome to Mother Earth Living, the authority on green lifestyle and design. Each issue of Mother Earth Living features advice to create naturally healthy and nontoxic homes for yourself and your loved ones. With Mother Earth Living by your side, you’ll discover all the best and latest information you want on choosing natural remedies and practicing preventive medicine; cooking with a nutritious and whole-food focus; creating a nontoxic home; and gardening for food, wellness and enjoyment. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living today to get inspired on the art of living wisely and living well.

Save Money & a Few Trees!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You’ll save an additional $5 and get six issues of Mother Earth Living for just $14.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $19.95.