Vegan Hot Cross Buns {oil & refined sugar free}

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Hot cross buns are one of those delightful seasonal treats that I get re-addicted to year upon year, I mean, sweet, fruity, cinnamon filled bread - what's not to love?! Unfortunately, they're also one of those treats that's often not vegan friendly so, naturally, I decided to put together my own recipe for super fluffy, sweet and delicious vegan hot cross buns because being vegan definitely doesn't need to stand in the way of enjoying the best seasonal treats. This hot cross bun recipe is ideal for a cosy afternoon of baking and, let's be real, there's no better reward for an afternoon of baking than a warm, fluffy hot cross bun and a cuppa.

You Will Need:
- 500g bread flour
- 80g coconut sugar
- 1 sachet instant yeast
- 3 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 1/4 nutmeg
- a pinch of salt
- 50g cashew butter
- 250ml almond milk
- 50g raisins
- 50g dried cranberries
- juice and zest of half a lemon and half an orange
- 50g plain flour
- maple syrup to glaze

Start by adding your almond milk and cashew butter to a pan and heating gently until the cashew butter has melted, then allow the milk to cool until warm but no longer hot.

As the milk cools, combine your bread flour, yeast, coconut sugar and salt in a bowl, then once the milk has cooled enough, add to the flour mixture and stir to form a dough.

Knead the mixture for a couple of minutes until you're left with a smooth dough then place in a floured bowl, cover and leave to rise for around an hour.

As the dough rises, combine your dried fruit, orange and lemon juice and zest and spices in a bowl.

After the dough has risen for an hour, add the dried fruit mixture and knead well until the fruit is well distributed throughout the dough then re-cover to rise for another hour.

After an hour, split your dough into 12 equal pieces and roll each piece into a smooth ball, place the balls onto a tray lined with baking paper and re-cover to prove for a final 45 minutes.

As the buns rise, pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius and create the paste for your 'hot crosses' by combining your plain flour with around 5 tablespoons water until you're left with a paste that resembles a thick pancake batter.

When the buns have finished rising, it's time to add your crosses. If you're looking for neat and uniform hot cross buns, now would be a good time to pop your flour and water paste into a piping bag to pipe your crosses onto the buns with a small nozzle but, if like me, you're going for a more rustic look (aka you forgot to buy a piping bag) then using a knife to spread your crosses on does the trick just fine!

After adding crosses, place the buns in the oven to bake for 20 minutes, once baked, brush lightly with maple syrup to glaze and then you're ready to dig in.

Hot cross buns always taste best toasted, so pop a bun or two in the toaster then spread with your favourite nut butter and jam and serve alongside a cuppa for a tasty Easter treat!

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