Hot Cross Buns are my favourite Easter food! I honestly love them more than chocolate!! My mum used to toast them in the oven when we were kids and serve them with heaps of melted butter - that's still my favourite way to enjoy them.
Finding Hot Cross Buns that are both vegan and gluten free is no easy task! Asda do these Free From choc chip ones .. but chocolate in Hot Cross Buns? Really?
These more traditional ones look like my thing, but they're still not quite as rounded and fluffy looking as the real deal.
Sainsburys do this six pack of buns, which are egg free and vegan. However they do contain wheat, plenty of sugar and palm oil.
Since I couldn't find the perfect bun in my local supermarket, I decided to have a go at baking my own. Whilst I love cooking, baking has never been my strong point. I'm just a bit rubbish at weighing out all the ingredients and when it comes to breads, waiting for yeast to rise is definitely a patience tester! I bake so infrequently that I've got a feeling my yeast has probably been sat in the cupboard a bit too long. My buns didn't rise quite as much as I'd hoped, nevertheless they taste amazing!
50g coconut oil
300ml oat milk (or other dairy alternative)
500g flour (a gluten free bread flour like this one)
2 x 7g sachets fast action yeast
75g coconut sugar
Large pinch of salt
2 tsp ground mixed spices
2 tsp ground cinnamon
Zest of one lemon
FOR THE CROSSES
50g plain flour
Plus maple syrup to glaze
Preheat the oven to 200C
Add the milk to a saucepan and slowly warm over a gentle heat. Once warm, add the coconut oil so that it melts, stirring occasionally. Take off the heat
Add the flour, yeast, sugar, spices and salt to a large mixing bowl. Create a well in the centre and pour the cooled milk and oil in, using a wooden spoon to stir everything together into a slightly sticky dough
Flour your kitchen surface and tip the dough onto it, kneading for 5 minutes. Then place back in a clean, dry mixing bowl, pop a tea towel over it and stand in a warm place for an hour to rise
Once the dough has risen, tip out onto the work surface again. Add the raisins and lemon and knead together well. Put back in the bowl for half an hour
Finally split the dough into 9 equal size dough balls. Try to avoid having too many raisins on the outside of your dough as they can burn in the oven. Space your buns onto a baking sheet with at least a 1cm gap between each to allow room to expand. Cover with a clean tea towel for 30 mins
The final step before baking is to add a cross. Stir a spoonful of water at a time into the flour. You're wanting to create a thick, smooth paste. Transfer to an icing bag or place in the centre of a piece of clingfilm. Wrap and create a small hole in one end to act as a nozzle. Pipe a cross onto each bun
Transfer the tray to the oven and baking for 20 minutes until golden brown. Brush with maple syrup whilst hot to give them a glaze