A whole wheat loaf version of the Easter classic - hot cross buns.
Course Breakfast, Brunch, Snack
Prep Time 25 minutesminutes
Cook Time 40 minutesminutes
Total Time 2 hourshours45 minutesminutes
Servings 22 Lb Loaves
450gUnbleached Flour 4C (See Notes)
450gWhole Wheat Flour 4C
440gMilk1 3/4 C + 2 Tsp Divided use
70gSugar 5 1/2Tbsp
110gButter 1/2 C or 1 Stick
14gActive Dry Yeast 2 pkts or 1 1/2Tbsp
15gSalt 2 3/4 Tsp
300gRaisins About 2 C (See Notes )
Spice Mix (See Notes)
Activate the yeast
Warm 1/2C milk (120g) to about 110°F or just warm to touch. Stir in 1 1/2 Tbsp sugar. Sprinkle the yeast on top and set aside for 5 minutes for it to bloom.
Make the Dough - Using Stand Mixer
Fit the stand mixer with the kneading hook. Pour the activated yeast into the bowl followed by flour , spices, zest and salt. Set the machine to the lowest setting and mix for 30 seconds t o 1 minute till everything is mixed well the and the mix looks crumbly.
Turn off the mixer. Beat the eggs and add to the bowl along with the remaining milk. Start on low and knead for one minute, scrape the sides and knead for 2 to 3 minutes until all the flour is absorbed into one wet mass. Turn off the machine and add the softened butter and sugar. Knead for an additional 4 to 5 minutes. During the first minute the butter gets splattered all over the inside, creating what looks like a sloppy mess. It slowly gets absorbed in and you end with a soft shiny dough.
Make the Dough - By hand
In a large mixing bowl mix the flours , spices , salt and the orange zest. Make a well in the center and add the activated yeast along with the beaten eggs and half the remaining milk . Use a wooden spoon to slowly mix the flour into the wet mix adding as much of the remaining milk as necessary. When almost all the flour is mixed in cover the bowl with a plastic wrap or wet towel set aside for 10 minutes. Uncover and knead the dough for 5 minutes until it forms into one large uniform mass. Add the sugar and softened butter. Continue kneading making sure to include the butter and sugar. The dough becomes visibly soft and very pliable - about 5 to 10 minutes. Form into a ball.
Lightly grease a large bowl and place the dough ball in it . Turn to coat all sides of the ball with oil. Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap or moist kitchen towel and set aside in a warm place to double - about 1 hour.
Shape and second rise
Add the dried fruits to the risen dough and knead it in . It takes about 1 minute of kneading by hand to distribute the fruits evenly. You can do this on a lightly floured work surface or in the bowl itself if it large enough.
Divide the dough into 2 equal parts. Divide each into 6 equal portions. Form each portion into smooth balls, trying not to have the dry fruit sticking out on top. Lightly grease two 9" X 5" loaf tins and arrange 6 balls on each loaf tin. Cover with a plastic wrap or moist kitchen towel and set aside to rise - 20 to 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375°F (190 °C).
If making the cross , mix the ingredients for the cross into a thick paste. Pour the paste into a plastic bag (icing bag) and snip the bottom to create a 5 mm circular opening. Pipe the crosses on top of the loaf just before placing the bread in the oven.
Place the pans in the oven, reduce the temperature to 350°F (180°C) and bake for 20 minutes. Check the bread and if the tops are already browning cover with a foil and rotate the pans if necessary . Bake for another 15 to 20 minutes until the bread is done.
When cooked through the internal temperature should register at 190°F . Another way to check is to tap on the bottom of the loaf. It should sound hollow when cooked through.
While the bread is half way through baking , squeeze the orange and reserve 1/4 C of the juice. Take it in a small sauce pan and add 2 Tbsp of honey to it. Warm the mix stirring often till it comes to a boil. Let it simmer until it reaches sticky syrupy consistency . Turn off the heat and keep warm .
Take the bread out of the oven. Let it cool in the pan for 5 to 10 minutes and transfer to a cooling rack. Brush the glaze over the bread while it is still warm.
Let it cool completely before slicing. The bread can be frozen up to 3 months. Slice and portion , wrap each portion and place in freezer bags and freeze. When needed remove from the freezer and toast before serving.
Use All Purpose flour with high protein content or bread flour.
I prefer unbleached and un-bromated flour, preferably organic.
The traditional favorite for dry fruits are currants but use cranberries, blue berries, currants , raisins or a mix of these.
Of the given spices use a combination that you prefer. Mix the spices to make up 2 tsp for this recipe, keeping nutmeg and cloves to 1/4 tsp or less.
For detailed instructions go to https://oventales.com/hot-cross-buns-loaf/ .