Saturday, April 12, 2014

Homemade Hot Cross Buns

I always make a batch or two of hot cross buns at Easter time! This is my no fail hot cross bun recipe, I use a mixture of white and wholemeal spelt flours, rice milk and coconut oil to keep them dairy free, coconut palm sugar and honey, making them free of refined sugar, I soak the dried fruit in orange juice and spices overnight which makes the fruit really flavoursome, plump and juicy. To finish, I glaze them with an orange, honey and mixed spice syrup, making them all sticky and delicious.. Trust me, you cannot beat homemade hot cross buns!

                   Traditionally eaten on Good Friday, I encourage you to get in the kitchen and have some fun making these.

Makes 12 hot cross buns

3 cups white spelt flour
2 cups wholemeal spelt flour
1 egg, beaten
1.5 tsp salt
3 tsp dried yeast
1 tsp each of ground cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon
1/3 cup coconut palm sugar (don't skimp)
60 gram butter, coconut or olive oil (don't skimp)
1 cup rice milk or milk of your choice
Half cup of sultanas and/or raisins (soaked in juice of 1 orange, 1 tsp mixed spice, 1tsp vanilla essence and enough warm water to cover for at least two hours or overnight)
1 tbsp currants
1 tbsp finely chopped mixed peel

3 Tbsp white spelt flour
1 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
rice milk or water
1 tsp honey

1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 tsp mixed spice
2 Tbsp honey


  1. Add butter or oil to a small saucepan and bring to a medium heat, once melted add the milk and heat until just warm.
  2. Remove from heat and add yeast and beaten egg, wait until the yeast has gone bubbly then whisk in sugar. Sift together all other dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Make well in centre, add wet mixture including fruit mixture, mix to a soft dough. 
  4. Turn out onto lightly floured bench top and knead vigorously for 5-8 minutes (alternatively this step can be done in a food processor fitted with a dough blade). Very important - for a start it will be sticky and you will probably have to add a fraction more flour, but keep kneading and after five minutes or so it will begin to be less sticky and when you press the dough with your finger it will bounce back. It will be smooth and shiny. 
  5. Put the dough in greased bowl, sprinkle with a few drops of warm water and cover with cling film or damp cloth. Leave in a warm place to rise and double in size - it will take an hour or two.
  6. Knock back dough and knead for about two minutes.
  7. Divide dough into 16 equal pieces and shape into smooth balls.
  8. Place on a greased tray (or into a medium tin) quite close together and set aside to rise until double in size, about 20-30 minutes.
  9. Using a piping bag, or a plastic sandwich bag with the corner cut out, pipe crosses onto buns.
  10. Bake in preheated oven 200 degrees C for approximately 20-30 minutes until well browned.
  11. While buns are cooking, prepare glaze, mix honey with orange juice and mixed spice in a small saucepan. Bring to boil and simmer for a few minutes until syrupy.
  12. Brush glaze on buns when they come out of the oven. Cool buns on a rack or wrap in a tea towel. Enjoy with butter or just as they are!

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