Spiced Currant Sourdough Buns make a perfect teatime treat.
We recently spent a day at the Juniper & Rose Kitchen Garden School, learning more about baking sourdough. Since then, we’ve been on a quest to obtain more equipment to improve our bread. We were sent a couple of items from BakeryBits recently; going through the website, it quickly becomes evident that there are a number of things that we didn’t know we needed, but that would actually significantly improve our baking and breadmaking.
Two items in particular have shown themselves to be especially useful: a La Cloche Baking Dome (£47.99) and a Danish dough whisk (£7). The baking dome means that my bread is cooking in a contained environment that isn’t vented to the outside air. The dome is much more efficient at creating a steamy atmosphere than a dish of boiling water in the bottom of the oven. The result is a much softer and thinner crust; further experiments are necessary, but I’m finding that removing the lid for the final ten minutes of cooking is giving the best results.
The other technique is to bake in a Dutch oven, but I just know that trying to turn out the banneton into a hot cast iron pot with deep sides is likely disaster. The sides of the bottom part of the cloche are quite low, so it’s far less nerve-racking.
The dough whisk has quickly earned its place in the batterie de cuisine. It’s lightning fast at bringing together the dough, and the young dough doesn’t really stick to it. I’m also find it very good at incorporating salt water after autolysis.
I’m sure there are plenty of other utensils that Bakery Bits sell that are equally useful. My dream would be their wood-fired oven for a true artisan bread. Until then, I’m happy trying to improve my technique loaf by loaf. My latest effort are these spiced currant sourdough buns. Lovely when halved and toasted, and dripping with butter and jam.
Recipe: Spiced Currant Sourdough Buns
- 125 g soaked mixed dried fruit
- 200 g milk at room temperature
- 200 g ripe leaven – 100% hydration
- 60 g butter (melted)
- 500 g strong white bread flour
- 80 g soft brown sugar
- 4 g salt
- 1 tsp powdered cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg – grated
- 1/4 tsp Steenbergs koekkruidden spice mix
- 1/2 tsp ground allspice
- Mix the milk, reserving 30ml, leaven and melted butter. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, sugar, spices and dried fruit, and then add this to to the milk mixture. Bring together into a dough. Dissolve the salt into the reserved milk.
- Bulk raise it for about 4 hours, turning and folding every hour or so, adding the remainder of the milk and the salt after an hour, then divided up into rolls for proving. (I made 9 largish rolls, so the mixture would stretch easily to 12 smaller ones); Prove for 6 hours, then bake them in the cloche at gas mark 6/200 degrees for 15 minutes.
- Use up leftover leaven in our leftover sourdough leaven loaf
Next time, I’m going to try a mixture of dried fruit and mixed peel, maybe with some orange zest added. I’m going to see what happens with a couple of eggs added to the wet mixture. I might also try slightly more milk. I could also turn them into hot cross buns by adding a cross made with a water and dough paste, and glazing the buns with warmed apricot jam.
This post is a recipe development commission for Bakery Bits.
these look great – I love the idea of making spiced fruit buns all year round because they really are crossless hot cross buns – never heard of the cloche baking dome – it looks like you would need quite a bit of room in your oven for the tall lid.
Absolutely they are crossless hot cross buns. The dome sits on the lowest shelf with plenty to spare above it.
Lovely! We had great fun baking hot cross buns this year and a sourdough course at Juniper and Rose is firmly on the to-do list!
You will not regret the course with Vanessa, time very well spent.
Mmmm bet they were really nice. Loving that baking dome!
Delicious. We adore the cloche!
Sarah, Maison Cupcake
They look lovely! I like the idea of a bread cloche although I’m wondering whether a) would it make my wide oven’s shelf bow and b) is my oven tall enough??
I’ll weigh my cloche for you Sarah so you can test with something weighing a similar amount.
These buns look delicious Ed, I can just imagine slathering them in butter and home made raspberry jam with a nice hot cuppa. It’s great that you’re getting so into sourdough – it’s one of those things that you need to get really geeky about isn’t it. Maybe when the boys are older and I have more time I’ll get a bit braver and explore it further myself…
The day we spent with Vanessa made such a difference. I think that sourdough is something you need to be taught as well as learning from books.
I’ve lost my sourdough mojo of late so I might reignite it with these as they look so delicious. Can you pop some round?
I am sure I can ask Ed to deliver!
Michelle @ Greedy Gourmet
At the risk of sounding like an idiot, here goes. Is there a difference in taste between standard bread and sourdough? I’ve never had the opportunity to try them side by side…
Sourdough generally has lots more flavour, and interestingly is ore easily tolerated by those who find that normal bread does not agree with them.