The smell of hot, spicy buns wafts out of the kitchen and tingles your nostrils. You picture lashings of melting butter which drips down your chin as you bite into the treat. Yum Yum.
Easter is certainly is a time of over indulgence of all things sweet and sticky. I am forever in pursuit of healthy alternatives, so I was delighted to find this recipe and just had to share it with you.
- Zest and juice of an orange
- 75 g (½ cup) sultanas
- 25 g (2 tablespoons) mixed peel (optional)
- 325 ml (1 ⅓ cup) milk kefir. You can also use buttermilk or half yoghurt and half milk. If your kefir is very thick, you may need to dilute it.
- 1 dessert apple – grated
- 6 tablespoons raw honey
- 350 g (2 ½ cups) white plain flour
- 150 g (1 cup) whole wheat flour
- 1 tablespoon instant yeast
- ¼ teaspoon bicarbonate soda
- 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
Hot Cross Pastry:
- 6 tablespoons plain flour
- 5 to 6 tablespoons water
- Alternately it is a great idea to just melt some dark chocolate and use that as your cross.
- 2 to 3 tablespoons honey
- Place the orange juice in a small saucepan, bring to the boil and simmer for about 3 or 4 minutes to reduce by about half. Add the sultanas (and mixed peel if using) and set to one side.
- Warm the kefir and stir in the grated apple and honey.
- Add the flours, yeast, bicarb and cinnamon into a large bowl along with the kefir mixture and mix together to form a rough dough.
- Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes until smooth and elastic.
- Spread the dough out into a rectangle and sprinkle over the fruit mixture. Bring the dough back together and knead until the fruit is evenly distributed.
- Place the dough in a large greased mixing bowl, cover and leave in a warm place to rise for 1 ½ hours until doubled in size.
- Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and divide into 16 pieces, approx 75 to 80 g each. Shape into balls and place on a baking tray fairly close together and flatten each ball a little. Cover with greased cling film and prove for one hour in a warm place.
- While your Hot Cross Buns are proving, make your hot cross ‘pastry.’ In real terms, it isn’t a pastry at all and is much easier than making and rolling out pastry strips.
- Sift the flour into a jug, add the water and mix well until you have a smooth paste.
- Preheat your oven to 200°C
- When your hot cross buns are ready for the oven, pipe or use a spoon to form the crosses on your buns.
- Place in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown.
- Brush with honey and leave to cool on a wire rack.
These buns freeze really well, so make them at any time for a delicious treat.
Tuck in and enjoy!