Many thanks to Karniecoops for this great recipe http://sourdough.com/recipes/one-penny-two-penny. This is my third batch. The second was made at my daughter's, and I've also helped one of my co-workers over the phone - she baked her own with my starter. She was concerned that the starter would get 'car sick' on the way back to her place - thankfully, my starter is a very healthy specimen!
My neighbours dropped in this afternoon and devoured a couple - the hot cross buns are the best I've ever tasted.
So here are my photos:
Hi Peregrine, these look great - you just know they would taste as good as they look!
Were these the version with the yeast sponge, or the second recipe in that thread, the all-sourdough version?
I tried the all-sourdough version which Sour Dom refined over a number of years here sourdough.com/recipes/sourdough-hot-cross-buns, admittedly being a little apprehensive that they might be on the heavy side, but they were beautifully light and moist. I incorporated some of the suggestions there, and included some apple for moisture, plus Merrid's suggestion of a dash of Marsala to soak the fruit (I actually used Muscat), and I also used a suggestion from a fruit loaf recipe - some Earl Grey tea, plus orange blossom water (or rose water in one batch). Sounds like a lot, but the result was subtle and delicious.
I ended up making six dozen, and they all disappeared very quickly with the help of family, friends and neighbours! I like the seasonality of HCBs, though I'm also thinking fruit loaf recipes are quite close, so maybe I can enjoy this all year round.
It's the first recipe on that page - the one in the table with all the ingredients listed with their weights (there's 5g of yeast as part of the first four ingredients which are set aside to make a sponge for an hour). I love the idea of soaking the fruit in Muscat - but I think I'll use that idea for a fruit loaf - I agree the Earl Grey tea is worth a try too. I've recently changed bread flours to Kialla unbleached, organic and I'm finding I have to hold back at least 10% of the liquid in every recipe I make now. This HCBun recipe is the first I've come across where I can use the amount of liquid as given in the recipe without having to alter it.
SIX dozen! - You must have been busy - congratulations!