Looking for ways to use your sourdough starter? Why not make a delicious loaf of Sourdough Hot Cross Bun Bread. So good made with all the classic ingredients just made into a loaf. Perfect for breakfast or snack, toasted or untoasted!
I have loved Hot Cross Buns since I lived in Canada and my Mom would buy them from the Bakery. I think I looked more forward to them every Easter than a chocolate Bunny, well almost!
How to make them
In the stand up mixer whisk the lukewarm milk, honey and fed sourdough starter to combine. Add the sugar, butter, vanilla, egg, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and part of the flour.
Start to knead, then add the remaining flour and continue to knead for a few minutes. Add the raisins and knead for another few minutes. The dough should be a little sticky but still pull away from the bowl.
Move to a lightly floured flat surface and form into a ball.
Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl turning the dough to coat on all sides, cover and let rise 4-6 hours or until doubled in bulk.
Gently shape the dough into a loaf shape, (do not ever punch down, sourdough, your sourdough has spent hours developing and increasing in size, punching it down will only undo all that work!)
Place the dough in a lightly greased loaf pan and let rise 2-3 hours or until puffy.
Once the dough has risen, make a triple cross on the dough and bake.
Immediately move the baked dough to a wire rack to cool. While the dough is still warm you can brush it with a jam glaze. Let cool completely before serving.
How long does it take for Sourdough Bread to rise?
It can take anywhere from 4-24 hours, it all depends on the warmth of the room, 4-6 hours for a very hot room, approximately 85F (29C), 6 -12 hours for a warm room 75F (24C) or up to 24 hours in the fridge.
I like to warm my oven for about 5 minutes at 120F (50C) add my dough and it will rise in about 4 hours. But be very careful on the temperature, it should be warm not hot! I do this because I have a fairly cool house, and I don't feel like waiting around for hours.
How to know when sourdough bread is done?
Just like any yeast dough, tap the bottom of the loaf if it sounds hollow then it is done, if not continue to bake. Or you can check by taking the internal temperature of the bread, if it reads 200-205F/93-96C it's done.
What is the liquid on the starter?
This liquid is called "hooch", you can discard it or you can stir it back into the starter mixture. I stir mine back in. Stirring it back in will give you a stronger tasting sourdough bread.
How to bake with a refrigerated starter
To start baking with your refrigerated starter, first remove the Starter from the fridge, there will probably be no activity since it is dormant, if there is liquid on top then either remove or stir it into the starter either way be sure to stir the starter, then leave 1/2 cup (120 grams) of starter in the jar, discard the remainder, add 1 cup (125 grams) of flour (all purpose unbleached or part whole wheat if you prefer, I sometimes do half and half) and 1/2 cup (125 grams) water.
Stir well, cover lightly and place at room temperature for up to 12 hours then repeat the feeding, until it has almost tripled in volume. Be sure to use the starter once it has peaked, if it falls you should feed it again.
Remove the amount you need for your recipe, the remaining starter should then be stored in the fridge until the next bake. Repeat as above whenever you wish to make fresh bread.
What to make with discarded starter
Lots of people, me included would rather not throw away food, and that goes for discarded starter, here are a few ideas that you can use with it. A fast and simple one is frying it, sprinkle with your favourite spices and fry in some oil. You could share it with friends.
Apparently it makes a delicious coating for fish or onion rings, just add some salt, pepper and onion or garlic powder. If it's too thin then add a little flour or too thick some extra water, a little baking powder might be a good idea also.
Or you could refrigerate it and keep adding the discard until you have enough for a recipe. It will last up to 2-3 months in the fridge.
2 Delicious Sourdough Discard Recipes to try
So if you are looking for something different to make with your sourdough starter I hope you give this Sourdough Hot Cross Bun Recipe a try and let me know how it goes.
Sourdough Hot Cross Bun Bread
- ½ cup + ¾ tablespoon milk (I used whole milk) (130 grams)
- 1 teaspoon honey or granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup + 2 tablespoons active sourdough starter (100 grams)
- ⅓ cup brown sugar (lightly packed) (60 grams)
- 5 tablespoons butter (softened) (70 grams)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 1 large egg (room temperature)
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon all spice
- 3 cups + 2 ½ tablespoons all purpose flour (or bread flour) (409 grams)
- ¾ cup raisins or currents* (119 grams)
*place the raisins in a small bowl and cover with boiling water, let sit 10 minutes then drain well, and dry with a paper towel.
PASTE FOR THE CROSS
- ½ cup all purpose flour (65 grams)
- ⅓ cup water (78 grams)
- 2 tablespoons apricot jam
- 1 tablespoon water
- In the stand up mixer whisk the lukewarm milk, honey and active sourdough starter to combine. Add the sugar, butter, vanilla, egg, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and 1 cup (130grams) of flour.
- Start to knead, then add the remaining flour and continue to knead for 3 minutes. Add the raisins and knead for another 3 minutes. The dough should be a little sticky but still pull away from sides of the bowl. (if the dough is too dry then add a tablespoon of lukewarm milk at a time)*.
- Move to a lightly floured flat surface and form into a ball.
- Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl turning the dough to coat on all sides, cover with plastic wrap or a clean tea towel and let rise in a warm draft free area for 4-6 hours or until doubled in bulk.
- Gently shape the dough into a loaf shape, (do not ever punch down, sourdough dough, your sourdough has spent hours developing and increasing in size, punching it down will only undo all that work!)
- Place the dough in a lightly greased loaf pan cover and let rise in a warm draft free area for 2-3 hours or until puffy.
- Pre-heat oven to 350F (180C).
- Once the dough has risen, place the paste in a piping bag with the small round tip, pipe a cross down the middle lengthwise and 3-4 lines across. Bake for approximately 35-45 minutes or until the bread is baked. If the bread is browning too much, cover with foil and continue baking.
- Immediately move the baked dough to a wire rack to cool. While the bread is still warm you can brush it with the glaze. Let cool completely before serving.
PASTE FOR THE CROSS
- Mix the flour and water until a thick paste occurs, add a little more water or flour if necessary). With a piping bag and a small whole tip, pipe a cross down the middle lengthwise and 3-4 lines across.
- In a small bowl mix together the jam and water, you can also heat it in a small pot if you wish.