It was about a month and a half ago when I saw some Hot Cross Buns w/ Dried Strawberry and Candied Orange for sale at Panera Bread and I was intrigued. I had never heard of hot cross buns before. I began looking up recipes online and then discovered via The Fresh Loaf that Hamelman had a recipe for these in his book Bread. Well, that settled it for me, I was going to try Hamelman's version of these. I saw just this morning that the Mellow Bakers group baked these together back in March 2010, as their very first assignment together, so I'm just a tad late, but I'm glad I made these so that now I know what hot cross buns taste like! Here are my hot cross buns I made yesterday:
The other fun part of this project came from the experience of making my very own candied orange peel. I followed this recipe for the candied orange peel. I had never tasted candied orange peel before and thought it was quite good when I tasted it. My husband said it tasted like the candy orange slices you can buy. I have some slices left over, so their going to be dipped in dark chocolate this week for a little treat!
Here are my orange slices drying after their long simmer.
I'm so glad I tried these buns as they were quite fun to make despite the little difficulties and they tasted way better than plain old dinner rolls. They were very fruity, incredibly moist and just a little spicy from all the fresh ground allspice that went into the dough.
The only change I would make is that next time I will pipe on my crosses after the buns bake and just use powdered sugar, milk, a tad of vanilla and a drop or two of Fiori Di Sicilia. I think the buns have much better visual appeal with a white cross on top.