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networkn

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  #2231263 5-May-2019 19:12
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So today I made the hot cross buns ala @kiwifruta I added 3 tablespoons of Mixed Peel. We were all very pleased with them. I cooked them for 15 minutes and put a wood skewer in them and pulled it out clear so removed them. Needed another couple of minutes. 

 

 

 

Next time I'd add even more mixed spice and another tablespoon of peel.

 

My kids went bananas for them.

 

 

 


Kiwifruta
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  #2231795 6-May-2019 16:56
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Glad they worked out great for you. I think at one stage I was using a tablespoon of each of the spices. 

 

I need to make some more.


 
 
 
 


TwoSeven
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  #2231893 6-May-2019 19:29
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networkn:

Cheers the kids and I are going to have a crack this weekend.


I am not much (or actually at all) a baker, but this recipe seems pretty straight forward. I don't like the inprecision of the kneeding, as I never really know when enough is enough or too much...


 



It all depends on what you are making (pastry, pasta, sable, dough) and the hydration level of the mix.

For example, making an 75% hydration dough one might use a short knead time. For a basic low hydration dough, one might use the stretch test to check if the dough is kneaded enough.







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Kiwifruta
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  #2231952 6-May-2019 20:28
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TwoSeven:
networkn:

Cheers the kids and I are going to have a crack this weekend.


I am not much (or actually at all) a baker, but this recipe seems pretty straight forward. I don't like the inprecision of the kneeding, as I never really know when enough is enough or too much...


 



It all depends on what you are making (pastry, pasta, sable, dough) and the hydration level of the mix.

For example, making an 75% hydration dough one might use a short knead time. For a basic low hydration dough, one might use the stretch test to check if the dough is kneaded enough.





@TwoSeven could you elaborate please?

TwoSeven
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  #2232460 7-May-2019 20:55
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Kiwifruta:
TwoSeven:
networkn:

 

Cheers the kids and I are going to have a crack this weekend.

 

 

 

I am not much (or actually at all) a baker, but this recipe seems pretty straight forward. I don't like the inprecision of the kneeding, as I never really know when enough is enough or too much...

 

 

 

 

 



It all depends on what you are making (pastry, pasta, sable, dough) and the hydration level of the mix.

For example, making an 75% hydration dough one might use a short knead time. For a basic low hydration dough, one might use the stretch test to check if the dough is kneaded enough.





@TwoSeven could you elaborate please?

 

 

 

While I am not a baker here is my loose understanding of things (over simplified)..

 

 

 

If we assume that glutin is made up of two basic proteins - gliadin and glutenin.  Glutenin is hyrdophobic and non-polar, gliadin I think is the opposite. One is responsible for the stretch and the other is responsible for the rise.

 

When we mix water with flour (called hydration), the gluten gets free'd up and is unstructured, mixing it (kneading) causes it to stick together - forming a lattice structure.  If one does not want them to stick one can reduce the amount of mixing.  When making pastry, something similar is done by shorting the flour (adding fat) - which coats the flour and stops the water getting at it.

 

The yeast is a leavening agent, it releases gas when it feeds off the starch in the flour which gets trapped in the lattice. Also, the starch absorbs water which when the bread is cooked also does its bit.

 

The idea is to work out what kind of bread is being made, what its structure should be and then mix appropriately.

 

For example, a high hydration bread such as a ciabatta might not be mixed so much, it will have large holes and will not rise as well, but a low hydration bread might have a fine even set of holes (called crumb) and may rise quite a bit. It might take a lot more kneading (mixing) to get the right structure.

 

When cooking, many things are done in ratios, so it is worth learning them, a basic bread is an example, for example 5:3.

 

In terms of why you might use a starter - called a preferment (yeast and flour) otherwise called a poolish or biga (depending on the ratio), it can be used to activate the yeast and control flavour.

 

hope that is useful :)

 

 





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  #2232873 8-May-2019 12:02
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Really great explanation thanks.

networkn

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  #2232971 8-May-2019 13:35
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Not sure if anyone here has the expertise for this, however when we kneaded and then cut into the 15  buns, some of the bits were a bit uneven, so we took from one and added to another. Basically they didn't "mix" despite appearing to be. Caused the buns to "split" basically where they were joined. 

 

I think it came because the dough was too "tough".

 

Tasted ok. would have liked them a tiny bit less dense.

 

Part of our issue was it took longer for them to rise than I expected and I had 2 very hungry kids by 2pm so fed them straight out of the oven, ideally would have left them to rest and hopefully cook more in the middle. The outside was quite crusty so I couldn't really use the spring test to determine if they were cooked, so used a skewer. Didn't quite get it right. Would have liked the crust to be a little less formed.

 

 

 

 


 
 
 
 


TwoSeven
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  #2233002 8-May-2019 14:02
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What I would suggest is try the same recipe several times until one works out how to do stuff. Apart from helping one get familiar with the texture of the dough one is doing, it also gives experience.

Also, when I am cooking in general, is always do everything by weight (grams) rather than measurements - even when measuring out water.




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networkn

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  #2233009 8-May-2019 14:15
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TwoSeven: What I would suggest is try the same recipe several times until one works out how to do stuff. Apart from helping one get familiar with the texture of the dough one is doing, it also gives experience.

Also, when I am cooking in general, is always do everything by weight (grams) rather than measurements - even when measuring out water.

 

Yeah, it's one of those things though that I don't do much baking, and there are only so many times you can eat HCB's :)  The time between attempts is likely to make "joining the dots" harder. 

 

Probably won't try again for a month or so. 

 

 


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  #2233012 8-May-2019 14:20
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TwoSeven: What I would suggest is try the same recipe several times until one works out how to do stuff. Apart from helping one get familiar with the texture of the dough one is doing, it also gives experience.

Also, when I am cooking in general, is always do everything by weight (grams) rather than measurements - even when measuring out water.

 

Agree with all of the above. With experience you get a feel for what the dough should be like. The dough for this recipe shouldn't be gooey although it might stick to your hands a little. I find it's better to be on the slightly too moist side than the slightly too dry side because otherwise I'll end up with tough buns that don't rise well. Seems like your dough was too dry. (Kneading will cause the flour to absorb more water, so you may have over kneaded it, but more likely it was too dry in your case). Next time I make some I'll take photos or video so you can see the texture.

 

Also, if your yeast is taking a long time (>20 mins) to go frothy during the activation stage, then start a new one. I've never been able to get satisfactory results from a yeast mixture that took a long time to activate, no matter how long I waited. The best (most consistent) yeast and (soft and doughy) flour I've used were from Gilmours. I used to use high gluten flour for all yeast leavened products, but I found plain flour is better for soft sweet buns, like hot cross buns.


networkn

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  #2233013 8-May-2019 14:24
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Yeah the yeast didn't look too flash after more than 20 minutes. Had some froth. I am actually surprised this batch was edible. Kids LOVED them.

 

 


TwoSeven
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  #2233126 8-May-2019 16:21
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I wouldn’t think kneading the dough will make it tougher as such - it will form the lattice that holds the dough together - kind of what is meant by the stretch. It is really the starch in the flour that absorbs the water.





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  #2233205 8-May-2019 18:14
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Just an afterthought - bread and sweet buns I think are two different things, so the technique for making them is different.

Typically it might be shorted with a fat such as butter (the flour to fat ratio), or an egg (fats, proteins and water) or it may have a higher hydration ratio, a larger initial yeast amount. Sugar might be added (its hydrophilic) to add to the flavour, texture and help the yeast.





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Kiwifruta
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  #2233230 8-May-2019 19:43
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TwoSeven: Just an afterthought - bread and sweet buns I think are two different things, so the technique for making them is different.

Typically it might be shorted with a fat such as butter (the flour to fat ratio), or an egg (fats, proteins and water) or it may have a higher hydration ratio, a larger initial yeast amount. Sugar might be added (its hydrophilic) to add to the flavour, texture and help the yeast.

 

 

Where did you learn all this?

 

I've googled around and learned a few things, and have dabbled with making bread at home on and off for 25 years, so developed a bit of a feel for things without really understanding what was going on.

TwoSeven
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  #2233924 9-May-2019 18:47
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Kiwifruta:
TwoSeven: Just an afterthought - bread and sweet buns I think are two different things, so the technique for making them is different.

Typically it might be shorted with a fat such as butter (the flour to fat ratio), or an egg (fats, proteins and water) or it may have a higher hydration ratio, a larger initial yeast amount. Sugar might be added (its hydrophilic) to add to the flavour, texture and help the yeast.



Where did you learn all this?
I've googled around and learned a few things, and have dabbled with making bread at home on and off for 25 years, so developed a bit of a feel for things without really understanding what was going on.


I am a software engineer, so I like science, and understanding how things work - so why ingredients do what they do.

I am also additive free, and happen to like cooking - actually patisserie, although I am not any good at it.

I like working with single ingredients - for example, how many different dishes can be made out of a potato or a cup of flour (pasta, bun, bread, pizza, cake, roux [base of a sauce], custard, pancakes, crepe, scone, biscuits etc.)

One of my favourite breads is irish soda bread, because its just really flour and buttermilk and I usually have the latter after making ice-cream - I kind of like it when its still hot with melting butter and a slab of raspberry jam.







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