For enriched dough products, I really enjoy a more doughy, moister, stickier texture. I like hot cross buns which are fluffy and not too springy.

I've been baking my buns from this BBC good food recipe https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/chelsea-buns. I've tried increasing the milk content by 5% and then by 10% and whilst its a little closer to what I want, the texture is still a bit dry and crumbly.

I was thinking about reducing the baking time or temperature, but I'm not sure.


Fiddling with the temperature won't help you. Reducing the baking time can help, if you are currently overbaking them, but if you are not overbaking, it will just make them underbaked. So, the question is, are you baking them right, or overbaking currently?

If you are not overbaking now, you should change the ratios, not the baking time. If you want it moist-sticky, you should increase the sugar (and maybe underbake just a tiny bit). If you want it just softer, but without getting much stickier, you should increase the fat. To reduce springiness, you should drop the strong flour and use normal flour (8-9% gluten).

  • Thank you. I'll try some of those ideas out. How do I know if I'm over under baking them? Your last suggestion is the most interesting to me as I like buns which can be deformed and don't spring back.
    – Dom
    Jan 20 at 0:38
  • @Dom I can't come up with a verbal description that can discriminate between "sticky but properly baked" and "underbaked". You are supposed to recognize the difference by taste, and some people will also have a reaction to the underbaked dough (tummyache within an hour or two). If you don't have much experience with underbaked dough, you might have to ask somebody else who knows what it feels like to try it for you, or you could test eating underbaked bread on purpose, side-by-side with baked bread, to notice what the difference feels like.
    – rumtscho
    Jan 22 at 16:56
  • From the way you describe it, its sounds as though there is a definite objective line between under baked and baked. I would have assumed that its a bit of subjective grey area. Can one person's under baked be another person's nice and doughy? Or is there something going on in the bread when you can say definitively now its moved from under baked to baked.
    – Dom
    Jan 23 at 11:33
  • There certainly is a microstructure change in starch at a given temperature (slightly different for different starches), although, if I remember my McGee correctly, the exact mechanism of the change is not known. I would hope that this is what I and other bakers taste when declaring a dough "baked", but I wouldn't put my hand in the fire for it. So, your question is fascinating, but I don't have a full answer. Pragmatically, if you get your buns to a state where you personally enjoy them, and another person declares them "underbaked", don't get into that debate - there won't be a winner.
    – rumtscho
    Jan 24 at 13:28

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.