The Art of Darkness

Hell Cross Buns

October 24th, 2011 by Cobwebs

Hell Cross BunHell Pizza in New Zealand has a reputation for being somewhat…irreverent…in their advertising. Last spring they had a promotion for “Hell Cross Buns,” with the image at left, as part of their Easter campaign.

It struck me at the time that the cute little pentacle buns would be fun to do at home, but since my first effort didn’t turn out properly (because I am stupid; see below), and I haven’t gotten around to a second attempt, and I’m really sick of looking at this thing in my drafts folder, I’m just going to toss it out here and let you guys run with it.

My problem was with the pentacle. From a quick glance at the ad photo, I assumed that the design was slashed into the top of the risen dough with a bread lame. However, hot cross bun dough doesn’t score cleanly, and the results could euphemistically be called “lopsided.”

Now that I’m looking at the picture again, though, I’m thinking that the design was just drawn on with flour paste, which is how the cross on traditional buns are made. Way to outsmart myself.

Anyway, hot cross buns are a good introduction to bread-baking because the dough is easy to handle and is pretty forgiving (if you don’t like the recipe linked above, The Google has plenty more). The pentacles can be drawn on with flour paste before baking or with icing after they cool.

If you like the idea of an incised design, try using a dough that slashes more cleanly (such as sourdough) and make one large loaf instead of messing around with a zillion little buns.

Either way, these would be a fun addition to a Halloween party spread, or just to slip in the breadbasket to mess with the in-laws.

Posted in Doom It Yourself | 3 Comments »