Get ready to taste some of the BEST Hot Cross Buns you have ever tasted!
These fortified sweet Hot Cross Buns are light and soft and deliciously spicy!
They have a flaky,layered pastry cross that is the “icing on the cake!”
When I first became Vegan, I had to learn how to start making fortified breads and pastries from scratch, and without animal products, and I eventually came up with this mix which we have been using for years.
I used to use Orgran No Egg in the mix, but this batch was made with AQUA FABA as the egg replacer instead of Orgran No Egg (The liquid from a can of beans) and it worked just as well, so this recipe has both options available to you- you can choose which option suits you better.
Just look at the flaky layers on that cross! mmmm!!!!
Picking it off layer by layer..Yum!
For those who are not sure what a Hard white baking fat, (such as Crisp and dry, in the UK) looks like, it comes in a stick form and is a hard saturated fat.
You can use a stiff ,hard shortening that is available to you, along with a yellow baking margarine as shown below,for the short crust pastry.
Folding in the Dried fruit, so it is evenly distributed….
Hot Cross Buns are great fun to make!
Give them a go!
Below is the recipe and instructions.
I have written a full comprehensive, step by step guide, including loads of pictures showing you how to do each thing, so if you are unfamilar with bread making,or would like access to the full guide, go to the recipe page here: http://opensaucevegan.com/recipe/hot-cross-buns and please feel free to ask questions in the comments or on the facebook group if you need to!
I am happy to help!
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Hot Cross Buns (with Spelt Flour)
150 gm Spelt Flour (1 cup)
600gm Strong White Bread Flour (3 cups)
1/2 tsp Salt (2.5 g)
7 gm Dried Yeast Powder
375 ml Soy milk (heated to 37c ONLY) (1 1/2 cups)
90 gm Table Margarine (6 tbsp)
1/2 tsp Nutmeg (1.5 gm)
1 tsp Cinnamon (3 gm)
1 tsp Allspice (3 gm)
110 gm Dried Raisins (2/3 cup)
85 gm Dried Currants (1/2 cup)
55 gm Dried Mixed Peel(1/3 cup)
50 gm Light Brown Sugar (1/3 cup)
30 ml Aquafaba OR 30 ml water + one tsp Orgran No Egg
Shortcrust Flaky Pastry
75g self raising flour
15g castor sugar
25g hard white margarine (I use Crisp and dry – it’s basically a veg-based lard alternative)
25g yellow baking margarine (butter substitute)
35ml soya milk
¼ tsp vinegar
For brushing before placing in the oven:
35ml soya milk
¼ tsp vinegar
OR Melted Margarine
For Glazing once out of the oven:
60 ml Golden Syrup OR Maple, Agave,rice syrup etc.
- Measure 90 grams of Table Margarine and rub it into the flour until it disappears.
- Measure out your flour and salt into a bowl. This recipe includes some spelt flour but you can use all Strong white flour if you prefer.
(If you use ALL WHITE FLOUR , because it doesn’t have the fibre in it, it will absorb less water so you will need to be more sparing with your soy milk!)
- Heat your milk to no more than 37c before you add the yeast.DO NOT heat it any hotter or you will kill the yeast and ruin your rise.
- Add the yeast to the milk and set aside for 10 mins.
When ready, it will look foamy like in the pictures.
- Measure out your Light Brown Sugar, Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Allspice and mix thoroughly into the flour mixture.
- Whisk the Aqua Faba until foamy in a separate bowl
- When the yeast is ready to use, make a deep well in the flour to add the Aquafaba liquid and the yeast mix into the well and stir to combine.
(If you are using Orgran No Egg instead of Aquafaba, whisk the powder with 30 ml of liquid until foamy and add that now)
- When bread making, texture will often vary depending on the type of flour etc you are using and how accurately you measure.
The mixture may seem a little dry, but once you start really mixing with your hands, the margarine also mixes into it and moistens it up.
It is better to be slightly too wet, than slightly too dry.As you can see in the pics, mine looked quite sticky at first.
Don’t worry about that- if it really is too sticky, a tiny bit of flour dusted onto the bench and kneaded in, will sort that out.
If it is WAY too dry, then add a tiny bit more soy milk at a time which is a real a real pain in the butt to do.
You can refer to the pics to see what the dough is supposed to look like, so aim for that.
- You will need to knead the dough for 10 full minutes! (Don’t cheat!)
When the dough is well kneaded, it will feel like wonderful, soft fat on a belly! 🙂
- Set the dough aside in a warm place , in a bowl to rise, til doubled in size.*You DO NOT want it to over rise though as the gluten bonds will develop too much and ruin your bread! It will need to be covered loosely with plastic wrap , but you will need to grease the plastic wrap with some margarine wiped over it, so it doesn’t stick to the dough and ruin it!
Short Crust Pastry
- The pastry crosses on these buns are to die for. For best results, start making your pastry as soon as your bread dough is rising (first rise)…
- Put the self raising flour in a mixing bowl. If you don’t have self raising flour, just add 3/4 tsp (4g) to 70g of plain flour of baking powder. Mix to it the other dry ingredients and add the margarines.
- With a knife (or I use a pastry blender as it’s much quicker) cut the margarines into the flour mix. Don’t cut the margarine too much (ie. don’t bread-crumb it). It needs to be rough and reasonably chunky.
- Mix the vinegar and soya milk until it splits (this only takes a few seconds). Slowly add the curdled soya milk into the pastry and cut it in with a knife. It’s very important not to overwork the mix as you don’t want to develop the gluten bonds. You may not need all the milk so as soon as you can bring the mix together you dont’ need to add any more. Place it in the fridge for half an hour or so if your margarine has lost some of it’s firmness.
- It’s important while you’re working with the pastry dough to keep it dusted with flour so it doesn’t stick. It’s a delicate pastry and will rip if it sticks and you don’t want that.
Making the buns:
- Once the dough has doubled in size, take it back out and give it a light whack to collapse it.
- Tip the dough out onto the bench and spread it out as seen in the pics, flattening gently into a big round shape -yeah, kind of like a pizza!
- Measure out your dried fruit, then sprinkle your dried fruit evenly over the surface of your dough.
- The next steps are important to evenly distribute the fruit throughout the buns!
- Flatten the fruit into the dough..give it a good push.
- Take one side and fold the edge into the centre of the round and press down.
- Repeat with each remaining side, pushing down firmly each time to sink the fruit into the dough.
- Once you have completed that, roll it up into a big ball and knead it through again until the fruit starts “popping” out of the dough. (refer to pics if you need to).
- Once it is ready, its time to cut and weigh out pieces, of approx 100 gms each to turn into buns.
- Once you have divided it into approx 16 buns of 100 gms each, take a section and flatten it out.
- Fold each edge into the centre and press down and keep repeating then turn it over.
Using your hands to “cup” the ball of dough, kind of karate chop the bottom edges right under as you rotate it, forming a nice neat ball.
- All the edges you folded in previously are now on the underside, so we get a nice smooth top.
- Set each bun on a tray with parchment paper as shown, leaving a gap between each.
Then proceed with the pastry crosses.
- Place the dough onto a floured surface and form it roughly into a rectangle. Dust the top with a little flour and begin to roll it out with your rolling pin. It’s much better to roll it out bit by bit and not try to get it too thin in one go. You’re aiming for a lovely uniform piece of dough every time. Roll it away from yourself to a thickness of about 1 cm. It should be a long rectangle (about three times longer than it is wide).
- Now fold the third that’s closer to you over into the middle. Fold the third that’s furthest away from you over that. Now it should be roughly square and three layers thick.
- Turn it 90°, and roll it out again. Once you have the long rectangle again, fold the bottom and top thirds into the middle as before. Try to be really pedantic about getting this right. Keep it uniform in thickness and shape as much as possible.
- Repeat this roll and fold process four times in total. What this does is sandwiches the rough chunks of fat in between 12 layers of pastry. This is where it gets it’s lovely, flaky, layered texture. This is where all the magic is!
- Once you’ve done your final fold, roll the dough out to a length of about 35-40cm. Then roll it width-ways until it’s about 3-4mm thick.
- Mix up the second lot of soya milk and vinegar. Lightly brush the pastry with the curdled milk. Cut your pastry into shoelace-strips longways. The strips should be about 5mm wide. When you place the strips onto the buns, they need to be face-down (ie. the sticky side that you brushed with the soya milk mix should be in contact with the buns – it helps them to stick.)
Assembling the buns
- Place the buns approx 1cm each on the tray, leaving room in between for them to rise and spread.
- Take a strip of shortcrust pastry and with the wet side down and apply to the buns.
I do this in one big length across the whole row, leaving some slack in between them, which will be covered as the buns spread in the oven.
- Do this in the other direction also.
- Use a little soy milk on a finger to push down in the middle of a cross and seal each part together.
- Once they’ve all been pressed down, they need to be brushed with either the curdled soy milk mixture, or melted margarine, before being placed in a pre heated oven.
We have a fan forced oven, and 150c in our oven works perfectly.
If you don’t have a fan forced oven, approx 180c is about right.
- The buns will need to bake for approx 18 mins.
Make sure they are nicely browned before removing them as there is nothing worse than an insipid looking Hot Cross Bun!
- Be gentle with them as you remove them as they will still be delicate until they have cooled a little!
- Have some Golden syrup (prewarmed or it’s too thick to brush with) or Maple or Agave / brown rice syrup etc to brush them with as SOON as they come out.
I used Golden syrup as it gives a wonderful taste and finish!
- Set aside to cool.