Updated: Mar 8, 2021
Easter seems to arrive earlier each year with hot cross buns being already available at local bakeries and supermarket since early February! I love hot cross buns and it is never a bad thing to have the chance to indulge in them as early as possible but it also somehow kills the suspense of having something to look forward to. In saying that, I am not really complaining because I can have hot cross bun everyday anytime of the year. :)
The below recipe is a super quick and simple bread dough that uses the "all in" method. This recipe does not have egg in them as most traditional hot cross bun and is great for anyone that may have egg allergy. Perfect to be toasted and lathered in butter!
Makes: 8 x 130 g Large Bagel
340 g Bakers Flour
180 g Plain Flour
250 ml Water -cold
90 ml Full Cream Milk -cold
35 g Castor Sugar
40 g Unsalted Butter- cold
6 g Salt
2 tsp Cinnamon powder
1 tsp Mixed Spice
7 g Instant Yeast
100 g Good quality coverture milk chocolate
Flour paste for the cross
30 g Icing Sugar
60 g Baker's flour
60 g Water
Whisk all the ingredients together to form into a paste and transfer it into a piping bag. Cut a small hole when ready to pipe.
Omit egg wash if you are allergic to egg
50 g Whole Eggs
50 g Full Cream Milk
pinch Fine Salt
Whisk all the ingredients together and store in the fridge until ready to use.
The addition of salt helps break down the protein in the eggs which aids in dissolving some of the lumpy bits you often gets from whisked eggs.
50 g Water
80 g Castor Sugar
Boil the two together over a pot until all the sugar have dissolved. The sugar syrup can be prepared a few minutes prior to the bagel being finished baking.
1. Place all the ingredients into a stand mixer bowl fitted with a dough hook attachment ensuring that the instant yeast do not come into contact with the salt or sits with the sugar/salt for too long before mixing.
2. Start mixing over low speed for 4 minutes until all the ingredients have come together. Increase the speed to medium and continue to mix for 6 to 8 minutes or until you are able to stretch a small piece of the dough thin enough to see through. This is call the "window test".
To know when your dough is near ready, it will start to form in to a smooth ball and pulls clean away from the side of the mixer bowl.
3. Add the chocolate chips and mix until just incorporated in to the dough. Without dusting any flour on the work bench, form the dough into a ball and transfer in to a clean bowl large enough for it to increase in volume by at least double its original size.
It takes approximately 1 hour to 2 hours for the bulk fermentation to reach its peak. If you are working in a particularly cold kitchen during winter, this process can take longer and vice versa.
4. Once the dough have doubled in size, transfer the dough on to a lightly floured work bench and gently knock the excess air out from the dough. Divide the dough into 8 x 130 g equal portion and roll each portion into a tight ball.
Note: Alternatively make into smaller bagels with shorter baking time.
5. Dip your hands into some flour and pinching into the center of the ball of dough, create a hole and gently stretch the dough out to create a bagel shaped dough. Ensure that you stretch the dough enough with a large enough (at least 50 mm in diameter) hole as the dough proof and expands bigger, the dough may shrink the hole in the center.
Place each bagel onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Cover the dough with tea towel and let it final proof for 30 minutes to 1 hour or until it increases 50% in size.
Meanwhile, pre heat the oven to 170°C.
6. Once the dough have increased in size, brush each bagel with egg wash and pipe the hot cross mix over four corners to create a cross (the cross the optional).
7. Place the tray into the pre heated oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the top starts to turn into a dark golden brown in color.
Once baked, remove the baking tray from the oven and immediately brush the top of each bagel with the hot sugar syrup. The syrup adds sweetness to the bread and also help keeps seal the steam from escaping that aids in keeping the bagel soft and moist for longer.
This Hot Cross Bagel after baking lasts up to 3 days. Simply toast and consume if you are keeping them for longer. Wrap well and store at room temperature.