Borough Market Hot Cross Buns
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Borough Market in Southwark, London has operated since at least 1014 and probably earlier. Snorri Sturluson, the Icelandic poet (1179 - 1241) describes Southwark as a 'great market town' in the Icelandic King's saga 'Heimskringla' of the 12th century.
This recipe is for Hot Cross Buns. It's based on a traditional Hot Cross Bun, the history of which is covered in the BC20 recipe: https://breadclub20.blogspot.com/2021/02/hot-cross-buns-toes-y-groes.html
A few months ago I bought a hot cross bun from Borough Market. The chap selling them told me he infused the fruit in beer. That got me thinking. I've gone back to first principles to design a formula that incorporates a dark beer in which we soak the fruit and then use the excess towards the liquid in the bake. I've also added Spelt flour as an ancient grain.
Voila...The Borough Market Hot Cross Bun.
Let's bake them!
To soak the fruit
65 gms mixed peel
56 gms sultanas
65 gms currants
Enough dark beer to just cover the fruit. The remainder of the beer can be used for another recipe (see end of this posting)
For the dough
400 gms strong white bread flour
100 gms spelt flour
300 gms tepid liquid (made from the beer drained from the fruit and added water to make up to 300 gms total))
30 gms dark brown sugar (Muscovado or Demerera)
40 gms milk powder
80 gms unsalted butter
1 teaspoon crushed sea salt
1 beaten egg
3 gms active instant yeast
the chopped rind of one lemon
4 gms of mixed spice (or 1 teaspoon ground ginger / 1 teaspoon cinnamon / ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg and ¼ teaspoon ground cloves)
for the crosses
80 gms spelt flour mixed to a paste with water
2 tablespoons warm honey for glazing.
Stage 1 - soak the fruit
Place all the fruit in a bowl, cover it with just enough beer and leave for 2 hours.
Stage 2 - make the dough
Place everything except the dried fruit into a bowl and mix thoroughly. Knead for 5 minutes until you have a soft and smooth dough.
Drain and add the fruit and knead until all the fruit has been evenly distributed.
Continue to knead until you have a soft and silky dough. Tip into a lightly-oiled bowl, cover and place in a warm spot to double in volume.
Weigh the dough and divide it into 12 even portions.
Roll each piece into a ball and arrange it onto a prepared baking sheet, leaving a little room for expansion, but enabling the buns to touch once expanded.
Cover the buns with a cloth and place them somewhere warm (about 24⁰C) for about 30 minutes until they have risen and are ready for baking.
Stage 4 - preparing for the oven
Preheat the oven to 200⁰C.
Mix the 50 gms of spelt and water into a paste. Put it into a piping bag.
Pipe a line across the middle of the buns, then turn the baking sheet round and pipe a line at 90⁰ to create a cross on each.
Bake for 15 - 20 minutes at 200⁰ until golden brown
Remove from the oven and cool on a rack.
Stage 5 - glazing
Melt the honey and brush over the top of the warm buns. Leave to cool.
Happy baking....Til hamingju með bakstur...
What to do with the beer you haven't used?
Leftover Beer bread
450 gms white bread flour
300 gms liquid (the beer you have left + any necessary additional water)
25 gms unsalted butter
1 tablespoon dried milk
1 tablespoon dark sugar
1 teaspoon instant yeast
1 teaspoon crushed salt
1 tablespoon chia or similar seed
Make it into dough. Knead and then leave to rise until doubled.
Knock back, shape and leave to rise again
Bake at 180⁰C for 30 minutes.
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