Sourdough rises again

Posted by on Mar 31, 2013 in Cooking, Food, Fun stuff | No Comments
Sourdough rises again

The sourdough has got me a little bit addicted at the moment (some Googling will show you I’m not the only one), and since it’s Easter I’ve been experimenting with sourdough hot cross bun recipes. And after a couple of tries, this is what I ended up with.

I thought I’d share the recipe (thank you to someone called rossnroller on The Fresh Loaf website – your recipe hits the spot). in case anyone else fancied having a go. Of course since this is a sourdough recipe, you will need some sourdough ‘starter’ or ‘mother’ to make the buns, so here’s how, on the website It’ll take a week or two as far as I can tell – I didn’t do it, was given mine by E5 Bakehouse. Or hit me up for a jar, I’m happy to share.

I made apple hot cross buns because a) peel is not the easiest thing to find in the shops and b) I like apple much better than peel.

The recipe calls for a starter at 80% hydration. I’m not sure how important this is, and I suspect that it would still work if you were a bit off, but basically as far as I can tell the lower the percentage, the dryer your starter, ie you add more flour than water to feed it before you use it. The explanation that worked best for my numerically challenged brain is here.

A video on how to do the ‘hourly stretch and folds’ in the recipe here. He takes his sweet time about it, but you get the idea.

You’ll need to start, with the making of the leaven, two days before you actually want to be able to eat the buns.

Oh and here’s a video about showing your mother a bit of love, just because I found it quite helpful.

Happy baking.

Sourdough hot cross buns


Sourdough Hot Cross Buns (makes 8 buns)


300gm leaven

150g organic baker’s flour

20g wholewheat organic flour

1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)

40g white sugar

5g milk powder

40 g melted butter


1 tsp allspice

1/2 tsp ginger powder

1/4 tsp fresh grated nutmeg

1.5 tsp cinnamon


75g soaked sultanas

25g Bramley apple, chopped into peel-sized pieces


Mix up 75g of white sourdough starter (80% hydration) + 87g organic baker’s flour + 137g milk. Leave overnight to ripen – 8 hours was sufficient for mine.

Pour boiling water over fruit, cover and leave overnight

Next morning, add 10g ripe white starter (80% hydration) to leaven, or whatever is required to bring its useable weight to 300g.


Mix dry ingredients, except fruit. Add melted butter, mix in, then add leaven.

Knead briefly in bowl twice, 10 minutes apart. Fold in fruit.

Bulk proof 3.5 hours (adjust according to your ambient temperature), with hourly stretch and folds.

Divide into 8. Shape into balls, flatten slightly, and arrange on a greased baking tray. The buns should be close together but not quite touching each other or the sides of the baking tray. Cover well, and put in fridge overnight.

Next morning, preheat oven to 200C/390F (no fan, no steam). While preheating, make mix for crosses (can do this the previous night if preferred; store covered in fridge).

Cross mix (combine and mix well)

35g flour

10g sunflower oil

25g water

1 heaped teaspoon cinnamon sugar

This mix can be piped on to the buns, or you can lay it out on a lightly oiled bench, roll it out thinly, and lay the crosses on the buns by hand.


Bake buns @ 200C/390F for about 20-25 minutes

While buns are baking, make:

Sugar syrup glaze

15gm caster sugar

15gm water

Bring to boil, stir until sugar dissolved.

When bake is complete, remove buns and with pastry brush apply hot glaze (reheat if necessary) to tops of buns. As soon as possible, get buns off baking tray and on to cooling rack.

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