Monday, March 25, 2013

Hot Cross Bun Secrets

Earlier today, I ran a promo out to a Christian college.

The college that used to be run be the Jesuit Priests.

The college that ended up being sold to "Born Again's" who dubbed this place nondenominational, even though it was filled with 90 some percent Baptists.

The college that Danny Klecko spent his one and only quarter of non vocational training at.

It was weird crossing that campus.

I hadn't been back in 30 some years, but you know all kinda looked the same, but fresh...maintained.

As I pulled into the parking lot of the cafeteria, I remember how I was assessed demerits and monetary fines for taking a lunch tray outside and using it to snowboard down an icy sidewalk.

Yeah....even then, Klecko was Klecko.

So now i make my way into the kitchen.....

Sit down........

And then I start up a conversation about bread with the Sous Chef.

This guy is sharp, he covets bread, and pretty much everything that runs through his kitchen.

Sometimes in institutional kitchens, the Sous is actually the top-dog of production, because the Executive Chef's are actually more of a purchasing person.

My contact had to be between 25-28ish, and I had to smile knowing that every bit of body fuel that enters every person on this campus......all of those items were selected by this one guy.

As our brief meeting came to a close, my new friends asked me a question ask I made my way for the door...

"Hey Klecko, We have Easter in less than a week, and you do a brother a solid and give me some Hot-Cross Bun secrets?"

Well...............first things firsts.

Klecko has no secrets.....just observations.

Whenever I bake a holiday loaf, I realize I will never satisfy everybody, so I just try to make something that will pacify the majority.

Often times people who bake seasonal can mess things up, because they find themselves preparing something that they are only making once a year.....

I've made Hot Cross for decades.

The first problem, the biggest problem that bakers make is that they use the wrong type of bread.

Most Hot Cross recipes are formulated from white breads or enriched breads......these choices are counter productive.

Let's discuss what we need to put into a Hot Cross bun.

In Klecko Land...........



Lemon Zest

Orange Zest

The End -

In the old school.....bakers use citron or that nasty nuclear fruit.....Ewwww and Ish.

I like the balance of the raisins with the frosted X that will go on top of the bun.

You get such better "mouth feel" from raisins than you do citron.

In the past, I have mixed Golden Raisins with Craisins, but some of my peeps found that combo just a tad to tart.

The "key" ingredient in this recipe is the zest.

If you zest in a bread with a thick interior......the flavor and aroma will get stonewalled.

You want that smell of citrus to punch you in the jaw while you are chewing.

Oranges and lemons should clog your Post-Passover nostril's.

To do that, the bakers needs a bun dough....not a bread dough.

And-And-And.......................when you look for that bun dough....try to get one that uses oil for fat instead of shortening, once again.....this will free up and liberate your flavors.

I'm pretty sure most "Hawaiian Bub Dough" recipes would meet your needs.


As the day goes on.........

As my life goes on...........

Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if I entered the ministry instead of the kitchen.

One thing for sure.....I'm willing to bet my carb intake would have been less, and who knows......

Was a skinny Klecko ever an option?

I love most of you L.A.B. Rat's -

Happy Easter.


  1. Now, I call that a teaser! First you make my mouth water and then - nothing! Where is the friggin' recipe?

  2. Hanseata.....sometimes methods are more help than recipes. The key here.....bun dough and zest.