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Sourdough Surprises: Hot cross buns

Sunday, April 20, 2014

These buns were made in the USA with starter made in Malaysia. I am visiting my sister and her family in California over the Easter holidays and since I knew I would only be making these sourdough buns for the Sourdough Surprises challenge while I was here, some of the starter had to fly over with me. It behaved very well, and has produced these dual-nationality hot cross buns.

If I had made these in Malaysia, they would probably have contained some stout, a variety of spices and fillings. But my sister said to keep it child-friendly for her little girls, so it only has raisins and a light cardamom flavour.

I didn't follow a precise recipe. What I did was feed my starter twice. There was just over a cup of it after the second feeding to which I added an egg yolk, less than a half cup of brown sugar, ground up cardamom seeds, salt, and enough flour to mix to a soft dough. Then in went some softened butter and two cups of plumped up raisins. The dough was left to rise overnight, then I shaped nine buns, baked them without (I forgot!) an eggwash and later brushed on some jam to give them shiny tops. I would have preferred baked-in flour crosses, but my sister said to use icing instead.

I know I would have been more precise with weights and scheduling back home, but the buns turned out edible so I'm okay with them.
Happy Easter!


  1. They look great! Love that you brought your starter over on the plane (haha, I can just imagine you trying to explain that in customs, LOL). I love that you spiced them with cardamom.

  2. I love so much about this post and your hot cross buns - that you traveled with your starter, that you free-formed the recipe and method, that you were able to share them with your family... everything is awesome about these. Great job!

  3. Made in the USA with a Malaysian starter. How cool is that! You definitely get the prize for being flexible and adaptable. They look great!

  4. Traveling with starter - now that's dedication to the challenge! Did you dry it out and reconstitute it or just carry it wet?

    1. I carried the starter wet. It was in my luggage for over 24 hours and I wasn't sure what was going to happen at the end of it, but I'm so glad it was alive and kicking after a good feed!


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