Hot Cross Buns. Because it’s Easter.
And I’m not going to deny myself the pleasure of spreading jam on a warm fresh hot cross bun just because I’m vegan now. Nope. I’m making vegan hot cross buns because it’s Easter gosh darnit and Easter demands hot cross buns!
I don’t know Easter without hot cross buns. I just don’t. It’s unheard of in my society. It’s unheard of in my family. It’s unheard of in my heart. Yeah I know a lot people out there are all about chocolate during Easter time what with all the Lindt golden bunnies and what not but my household and I, not being the hugest fans of plain chocolate, never really got with the worlds obsession with chocolate at Easter. I always thought Easter was about hot cross buns and painted eggs and Easter egg hunts and this bunny rabbit animal that carries around a basket full of multi coloured eggs which, if you think about it, makes no sense at all but whatever. That was what I associated with Easter. Of course Easter is really about the death of Jesus to pay for everybody’s sins so that we can all have eternal life and party it up with Jesus in heaven one day because God really loves us. But also the rabbit and the eggs.
But then where do the hot cross buns fit? There’s a part that was left out in the bible where at the last supper when Jesus breaks the bread, which is also his body, the bread is actually a hot cross bun. I’m not so sure why the people who compiled the bible forgot to put that in but that is in fact what actually happened. I think that was a really important part they left out which is a real pity because that explains why hot cross buns are eaten during Easter.
Okay, so maybe that story isn’t true. But imagine if it was. It would make sense and also, it would be pretty dope. I don’t actually know why people eat hot cross buns at Easter time and why if you bake them specifically on Good Friday you’ll have good luck and win a billion dollars and your kitchen and family will be blessed by the bun gods but it just is. I don’t think we should question it too much lest we forget what’s really important here and that is the fact that hot cross buns are a thing that only appear this time of year and we should take advantage of it because they’re freaking delicious. Therefore, we should eat as many of them as we possibly can before Easter is over because chocolate will always be there but hot cross buns won’t.
Until now, because now you have a recipe so you can eat them all year round! It’s my Easter gift to you because I love you and I love hot cross buns and I think you should love them too because they’re sweet, spicy, fruity little buns that make you feel all warm and gooey inside.
I wish all of you a lovely Easter and the best of luck when this holiday is over and you have to go back to work or school.
Hot Cross Buns (V)
- 100g sultanas
- 100g cranberries
- Juice and zest of one orange
- juice and zest of one lemon
- 1 cup 205ml dairy free milk + 50ml water (I used rice milk)
- 5 cloves and 5 cardamom pods crushed
- 3 tbsp canola oil (any neutral flavoured vegetable oil)
- 2x7g sachets of instant yeast
- 455g strong white bread flour
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 75g white sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- 1 tbsp smooth apricot jam
- Place the sultanas and cranberries in a bowl with the juices of the lemon and the orange and allow to soak for at least an hour.
- In a small saucepan place bring the milk and water to a boil with the crushed cloves and cardamom. Once it begins to boil remove from heat and let the spices steep in the milk for about 30 minutes until the milk is at room temperature. Add the oil.
- In a large bowl mix in the flour, yeast, salt, spices, lemon and orange zest and sugar and mix well. Make a well in the centre. Pass the milk through a sieve to catch and get rid of the pods and seeds and pour it into the centre. Add the soaked fruit with the juices and begin mixing with a fork. Once its gotten to hard to mix with a fork tip the dough onto a floured surface and knead for about 10-15 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. Alternatively you could use a stand mixer with a dough hook to knead the dough if you don’t want to do it by hand.
- Once the dough is well kneaded place it in a large lightly oiled bowl and cover with a damp tea towel and allow to rest for about 45-60 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size. Or you can leave it in the fridge overnight to rise. The longer you allow the dough to rise the more the flavours are enhanced.
- Line a baking tray with baking paper. Take the risen dough and divide it into ten equal pieces. If you want to be completely exact you can measure each piece of dough to make sure they’re the same. Roll the pieces into balls and place it on the baking tray. Cover with a damp tea towel and allow to rest for another 30-45 minutes until slightly risen and puffy.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C (390°F). In a small bowl combine 2 tbsp plain flour with just enough water to make a thick paste. place the paste in a piping bag and pipe crosses along each bun. Then bake the buns for about 15-20 minutes until golden and when you knock on a bun it sounds hollow.
- Heat the jam for about 20 seconds in a microwave then brush each bun with a bit of jam as soon as they come out of the oven. Allow to cool before breaking apart and eating.
- Serve warm with jam or butter and a cup of tea.
makes 10 buns
Freeze any leftovers and defrost in the microwave whenever you want a fresh hot cross bun.