21 April 2011

Hot Cross Buns

dairy free egg free nut free vegan

About this time last year, I made at least two attempts at hot cross buns. I tried a version where the butter is melted, and another where it is rubbed into the flour. One made for a very dense bun, almost scone-like. Did I say scones? More like bricks. The other was a vast improvement though the recipe required four proving times. Four! 
I only let the dough rise twice because I figured I'd mastered enough yeast cookery to know when to cut corners.

All was going pretty well until I left them in the oven 3 minutes too long. Wahhh. 
very hot, very cross buns
Later, I wondered why I didn't just make buns out of the Stollen recipe I had tried at Christmas. After sitting in my hall of shame for a full year, I'm ready to tackle them again this Easter weekend (despite the calamity that was the gluten-free experiment a few weeks ago, but I'll spare you the horror for now.)

So here's the adapted Stollen recipe for perfect hot cross buns, just in time for Good Friday.

3 cups plain flour
2 tbsp caster sugar

1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice
7g sachet dried yeast
1 1/2 cup dried mixed fruit
grated zest of 1 orange
150ml soy or rice milk, warmed
100gm dairy-free margarine (Nuttelex), melted
1 egg replacer

50g plain flour
1/4 cup water

2 tablespoons apricot jam

Place flour, sugar, spices, yeast, dried fruits, citrus zest and a pinch of salt in a large bowl, stirring well to combine. Whisk milk, Nuttelex and egg replacer together, then stir into flour mixture to form a soft dough. Knead dough on a floured surface for 5 minutes until smooth, dusting with more flour if too sticky.

Place dough in lightly oiled bowl, turning to grease on all sides. Cover and set aside in a warm place to rise for at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 200 C and grease a baking tray or line with baking paper.

Punch down dough, turn out onto a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes until smooth. Divide the dough into approximately 12 pieces and knead each piece into even-sized balls. Place in rows on the tray, cover with a tea towel and stand in a warm place for about half an hour until risen slightly. 

Combine flour and water for the crosses and stir to a smooth paste. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a fine nozzle (or a plastic bag with corner snipped off). Pipe lines down each row to form crosses. Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until golden.

Cool on tray for a few minutes while you dilute the jam with a teaspoon of boiling water, then brush over warm buns.

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