Thursday, March 8, 2018

Fluffy Soft Super Moist Hot Cross Buns that will stay soft and moist even on the next day!

I love hot cross buns but hate them when they go dry and stale on the next day! Hmmm...

What to do???

I can keep the leftover buns in a freezer for up to 2 weeks so that the buns will remain soft and moist when they are freshly defrosted.

Or I can use the stale hot cross buns to bake bread and butter pudding.


Or toast the stale hot cross buns and enjoy them with butter.

Or bake my latest soft and moist hot cross buns recipe!

These hot cross buns are the fluffy soft and super moist type that can stay soft and moist even on the next day!


kiiroitori rilakkuma hot cross buns
This is how I served and enjoyed my Fluffy Soft Super Moist Hot Cross Buns!
... with Kiiroitori and Rilakkuma buns
Super delicious! Super kawaii!!! \^o^/

Prior baking these hot cross buns, I'm trying to understand why most traditional hot cross buns will go dry and stale on the next day?

I have thought of many reasons and they are:

1) The ingredients

Remember the very chocolaty chocolate hot cross buns that I have baked at here (2012)? In the chocolate hot cross post, I wrote... "These buns are very extremely delicious when they were freshly baked. For my experimental purpose, I've kept a bun to see if it will stay fresh on the next day and kept another one in the freezer as my "comparison" bun. I'm not surprised at all to know that the "freezer" bun retained its texture better than the one kept at room temperature but when both of them were lightly toasted in the oven, they were equally soft and delicious again!"

Since 2012, I reckon that I've learned a lot and can understand the concept of baking way better than before.

Clearly, the chocolate hot cross buns that I have baked at 2012 didn't stay soft on the next day of bake because they contain a very high amount of cocoa powder and un-scalded fresh milk.

Cocoa powder is hydrophobic which means that it is not good at absorbing water. Thus, it is not a good ingredient to use for bread baking or unless it is required. I'm not using cocoa powder to bake these hot cross buns and so I'm not going to say anything much about cocoa powder in this post.

Do you know that the enzymes in fresh milk and cream (un-scalded) can break down gluten and prevent the bread dough from rising? I have witnessed this effect at here. This is why I have managed to bake a much more better hot cross buns at here during 2012 using water and milk powder instead of milk.

Besides, I have learned that the addition of the whole egg can be good and bad. As a leavening agent, eggs can make most breads rise higher than usual, resulting the breads to be moister, bouncier and more delicious with a nice rich taste. However, the egg white added into the breads can also make the breads more structurally rigid. So when the breads lose their moisture, they will become dense, tough and stale even faster.

Does this mean that I can't add milk and eggs into my hot cross buns? Definitely no! I can't imagine any hot cross buns without the nice rich taste of milk and eggs. So this is why the bread recipe or the composite of the bread is very important!

2) The bread recipe / composite

I will still add milk and egg into my hot cross buns but will use water and milk powder instead of fresh milk. And I will make a dough with very high liquid:flour ratio (hydration) so that the bread can stay soft and moist longer than usual.

3) Shaping

Being an experienced bread baker, I have noticed most bread buns tend to lose their moisture or become stale faster than most sandwich breads and this is due to their larger surface area. So, even if you use the same recipe to bake sandwich breads and bread buns, you will notice that the buns won't be as soft as the sandwich breads on the next day of bake.

And it is even worse if the hot cross buns are shaped and baked as individual buns because baking the buns without the contact to each other will increase their surface area and exposure to drying very very significantly!

4) Baking temperature and duration

Most traditional hot cross buns have to be baked until the top is deep golden brown in order to contrast the white crosses better and so baking the buns well and enough is unavoidable. Thus, it is important to make sure the bread is thoroughly baked but not overly baked because over-baking will dry the breads even quicker!

5) Tang Zhong, Overnight Culture and Gelatinized Dough won't make your breads stay soft for longer.

I have noticed at here and here that the use of Tang Zhong and Gelatinized Dough method is really NOT necessary and it is probably useful because it scalds the added milk!

How about Overnight Culture? Based on my bakes, I have learned that the use of these methods can help to improve or alter the texture and taste of the breads but won't help to retain the moisture in breads any longer.

Therefore, I won't be using Tang Zhong, Overnight Culture or Gelatinized Dough to bake these hot cross buns.

With all these factors in my mind, I have managed to bake these super soft and moist hot cross buns that can stay soft and moist even on the next day. However, please consume these buns within the next day of bake because these super moist buns won't be super moist anymore on the day after!

Here's my video showing how I baked these yummy hot cross buns. So yummy that my son told me to leave five out of nine for him! Why five? The other four are for Mummy and Daddy, two each! LOL!


Thanks Bensound for the music in my video.

super soft moist hot cross buns
Proudly presenting... my Fluffy Soft Super Moist Hot Cross Buns!
super soft moist hot cross buns
See! They are very well risen!
super soft moist hot cross buns
Super fluffy! Super moist!!!
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!

Can't believe that I have blah blah blah so much in this post... but I still have a few more things to mention before proceeding to the recipe.

- IMPORTANT! Due to the fact that the bread is so moist, the dough is actually very fully loaded with moisture and will be sticky and difficult to handle! So please use a breadmaker or an electric mixer with hook attachment to knead and do not knead the dough by hand.

- Unlike most traditional recipes, my hot cross buns are not overloaded with excessive amount of sugar. So please do not omit the sugar glaze!!! The brushing of sugar glaze after baking will make these hot cross buns look very professional and nice with a glossy finish.

- Although these hot cross buns are super soft and moist, please store them in an airtight container at room temperature when they are completely cooled so that they can soft and moist even on the next day. However, please consume these buns within the next day of bake because these super moist buns won't be super moist anymore on the day after!


Update on 11 Mar 2018: HOWEVER!!! We discovered that when the breads (even on the 3rd or even 4th day of bake) are slightly heated using a microwave with high power for 10-20 secs, they will become as soft and moist when they are freshly baked!!!

- Please do not replace self-raising flour with just plain flour or even plain flour with baking powder to make the crosses. I have learned that the self-raising flour has made the crosses less tougher and can make the buns taste much more better than those that are made with plain flour.

- Like my Rilakkuma and Kiiroitori little breads? Yes that I will be sharing the recipe to make these little breads in this post and it is after this hot cross buns recipe but sorry that I don't have a video to show how I made these cute breads.

- Like my recipes? Please support and like me via my Facebook at here or my Instagram @zoebakeforhappykids. To get the latest updates, you can follow me at either my Facebook at here or here or my Instagram @zoebakeforhappykids Thank you!

Here are my recipes.

Fluffy Soft Super Moist Hot Cross Buns

WARNING: This bread dough is fully loaded with moisture and will be sticky and difficult to handle! Please use a breadmaker or an electric mixer with hook attachment for kneading and do not knead the dough by hand.

Makes 9 buns in one 20 cm (8 inches) square pan
For the bread dough:
200g water, lukewarm
50g eggs, weight without the shell, at room temperature (about 1 extra-large eggs but please use the exact weight)
300g bread flour with 12% protein
25g caster sugar
20g milk powder - Do not replace milk powder and water with milk! Please read above point 1 about ingredients
2g salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground all spice
40g unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
1 tsp instant yeast
80g (1/2 cup) raisins or sultanas - I'm using raisins.

For the cross:
30ml (2 tbsp) cold water
20g (2 tbsp) self-raising flour

For the glaze:
25g (2 tbsp) caster sugar
15ml (1 tbsp) hot boiling water

extra butter or vegetable oil spray to grease baking pan
extra bread flour for dusting and shaping
extra butter or chocolate or cute Easter decorating food to serve

For the bread dough:
If you are using a breadmaker to knead and prove the dough, add all ingredients except raisins or sultanas into the breadmaker according to this order. Use "dough" setting to mix and knead dough for 30 mins or until the dough is elastic and stretchy. At the last 3-5 mins of kneading (or some breadmakers will beep), add raisins or sultanas and continue to knead until the raisins or sultanas are well incorporated. Then, let the dough prove for 1 hr or until doubled in size.

If you are using an electric mixer with an hook attachment to knead, combine all ingredients except butter and raisins or sultanas in the mixing bowl and mix at low speed until a soft dough forms. Then, knead in the butter until incorporated. Continue to knead at low speed for at least 25 mins or until the dough is elastic. It is important that the dough has to be elastic and stretchy. Add raisins or sultanas and continue to knead until the raisins or sultanas are well incorporated. Cover the dough and allow the dough to prove in a warm and humid place for about 1 hr or until doubled in size.

Grease square pan with butter or vegetable oil spray. Using your lightly floured hands, divide dough into 9 equal portions (about 80g each) on well-floured surfaces. Pull, stretch and shape all portions into smooth balls. Arrange the dough in the greased pan. Allow the bread to rise in a warm and humid place for another 1 hr or until doubled in size.

Preheat the oven 350°F or 180°C.

For the cross:
Mix water and flour until it forms a smooth and thick paste. And it's ok to mix the mixture all in a disposable piping bag. Transfer into a piping bag if required and snip off the end to make a fine hole. Pipe a cross on top of each bread bun and bake for 15-17 mins or until golden brown and thoroughly baked inside and NOT over-baked.  Remove from the oven and transfer onto a wire rack to cool slightly to warm.

For the glaze:
Before baking the bread, mix sugar and hot boiling water until the sugar is mostly dissolved. Do not add more water if the sugar is not completely dissolved. Set aside to let the glaze to cool to room temperature.

Brush a layer of glaze on the warm buns and it's ok to apply just a layer of glaze without using all of it. Allow the buns to cool further if required. Serve warm, cold, or toasted with or without butter, chocolate or these cute Rilakumma and Kiiroitori buns.

Store any leftover in an airtight container at room temperature when they are completely cooled so that they will stay soft and moist even on the next day. However, please consume these buns within the next day of bake because these super moist buns won't be super moist anymore on the day after next!

Update on 11 Mar 2018: TIPS!!! We discovered that when the breads (even on the 4th day of bake) are slightly heated using a microwave with high power for 10-20 secs, they will become as soft and moist when they are freshly baked!!!

Mini Rilakkuma and Kiiroitori Bread Buns

For the Rilakkuma mini buns:
50g lukewarm water
7g light corn syrup
70g bread flour
3g milk powder
2g cocoa powder
1g salt
7g unsalted butter
1/4 tsp instant dry yeast

For the Kiirotori mini buns:
50g lukewarm water
about 1/4 tsp yellow food colouring - I used natural one that is made with turmeric.
7g light corn syrup
75g bread flour
3g milk powder
1g salt
7g unsalted butter
1/4 tsp instant dry yeast


For Rilakkuma's white-coloured nose area:
15ml (1 tbsp) cold water
10g (1 tbsp) self-raising flour

black and orange edible pens to decorate

For Rilakkuma and Kiirotori bread dough:
If you are using a breadmaker to knead and prove the dough, add all ingredients into the breadmaker according to this order. Use "dough" setting to mix and knead dough for 30 mins or until the dough is elastic and stretchy. Then, let the dough prove for 1 hr or until doubled in size.

If you are using an electric mixer with an hook attachment to knead, combine all ingredients except butter in the mixing bowl and mix at low speed until a soft dough forms. Then, knead in the butter until incorporated. Continue to knead at low speed for at least 25 mins or until the dough is elastic and stretchy. Cover the dough and allow the dough to prove in a warm and humid place for about 1 hr or until doubled in size.

To shape bread into about 4 Rilakkuma faces:
Divide dough into 4 x 30g for the face, 8 x 1-2g for the ears.
Shape the face dough into oval shapes and ear dough into round shapes.

To shape bread into 7 Kiirotori:
Divide dough into 7 x 20g portions and shape them into round balls.

Line baking tray with baking paper. Arrange the dough onto the prepared baking tray with adequate space in between them for expansion and without them touching each other.

Allow the dough to rise for about 1 hr or until doubled in size.


Preheat the oven to 160°C.

For Rilakkuma's faces:
Mix water and self raising flour to form a thick paste. Transfer into a piping bag and pipe a oval area to form the white-coloured area in the faces. 

Bake all buns for about 7-10 mins or until thoroughly cooked but without the top of the bread from burning. Remove from the oven and transfer onto a wire rack to cool completely.

To complete, use edible pens to draw more features on these characters.

Happy Baking and Happy Easter
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5 comments:

  1. Hi Zoe,
    baked this recipe yesterday,love this soft fluffy bread!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Zoe. When I tried this recipe, the dough turned out very sticky, too sticky to handle, even after 30 minutes of kneading with the mixer. When I added more flour,the buns turned out a bit dry and tasteless. Is the dough supposed to be so sticky?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Valerie, Sorry to hear that your buns turn out to be dry. The hot cross bun dough is supposed to be sticky and will become very stretchy after adequate kneading. Please do not add more flour while kneading it but it's ok to dust the dough with minimal amount of flour when shaping it. Cheers!

      Delete
  3. Hi Zoe, I happen to have my bread machine still around, and not being used. I do want to try these yummy Hot Cross Buns, asap! Great video and music to enjoy. Can't wait to try this recipe, so moist and delicious! Hugs,

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks Zoe for the recipe, very soft & fluffy HCB!

    ReplyDelete