With Easter fast approaching, my thoughts have turned towards festive baking and what could be more Easter-y than Hot Cross Buns. Every year seem to make a new variety – I was particularly pleased with the flavour combination of last years sticky toffee ones (actually i really must make some of them before the weekend!) and chocolate chip varieties of anything go down well in this household.
But by and large Easter baking means spice – hot cross buns, easter biscuits and simnel cake all have a mellow spice that is the taste of sweet easter baking (if you remove chocolate from the equation!). This hot cross buns variation leaves out the dried fruit (to please my kids) but ramps up the spice and adds the mellow sweetness of vanilla. It’s s great combination and I do recommend taking the time to make these for Easter – they’re so rewarding and fun to make.
Vanilla Spice Hot Cross Buns
(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)
550-575g strong bread flour
1 tsp dried yeast
3 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1and 1/5 tsp mixed spice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
seeds from 1/2 a vanilla pod, or 1 tsp vanilla extract
zest of 1 lemon
1 and 3/4 cups warm oat milk
2 tbsps melted dairy-free margarine
for the crosses:
2 tbsp flour
3 tbsp water
for the glaze:
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp water
- In a large bowl mix together the flour, yeast, sugar, lemon zest, salt and spices. Make a well in the centre and pour in the dairy-free milk and melted dairy-free margarine, bring together to form a dough (adding more flour if too wet, or more liquid if too dry)
- Knead for about 5 mins until the dough is smooth
- Place in a bowl and cover, leave in a warm place to double in size
- Knock back, knead again and then form into 9-12 even sized balls. Place well spaced on a baking sheet lined with grease proof paper (or as i did, nearish so they link up when baked)
- Leave to rise again for 10-20 minutes
- Mix together the water and flour to make a paste and pipe onto the top of the buns in crosses
- Bake at 190 degrees/Gas Mark 5 for 20 minutes until risen and the buns sound hollow
- Make the glaze by dissolving the sugar in the water and boiling briefly. Brush over the hot buns.
- Leave to cool on a wire rack.
- These buns are best kept loosely covered or the glaze will make them go a bit soggy.