Hot Cross Buns (Englantilaiset pääsiäispullat)
Easter is fast approaching and in the UK we mark the end of Lent by bringing out our buns. Hot cross buns are sweet spiced soft buns, made with currants or raisins. The cross on the top represents the crucifixion of Jesus and the spices signify the spices used in his burial. They are usually served toasted, with jam and butter/ margarine. They are relatively easy to make, just allow yourself enough time for the double proving. They also freeze incredibly well. It is fairly usual to buy hot cross buns from any supermarket, however making your own really is worth the effort, they taste so much better and your kitchen will be filled with the a beautiful spiced scent.
You can also check out my Vegan Easter Simnel cake for another traditional veganised UK Easter classic.
Vegan Hot Cross Buns – makes 12 buns
2 tsp mixed spice (or use 1/2 tsp ground cloves, 1/2 tsp ground ginger, 1/2 tsp ground mace, 1/2 tsp all spice)
1 tsp cinnamon
a really good grating of fresh nutmeg
pinch of salt
50g vegan margarine
100g sultanas or raisins
50g mixed citrus peel
7g dried yeast
250ml warm water
For the crosses:
4 tbsp flour
3 tbsp water
For the glaze:
4 tbsp of plant based milk
2 tbsp sugar
Mix the flour, spices, salt and sugar in a large bowl. Rub in the margarine until you have fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the dried fruit and mixed peel.
Stir the yeast into the warm water (it should be around 42 degrees or roughly body temperature). Leave the yeast for 5 – 10 minutes to begin to activate.
Create a well in the centre of the flour mixture and pour in the yeast. Slowly bring in the flour, bit by bit, until you have a dough. Add a little extra water if too dry.
Knead the dough on a floured surface for 10 minutes, until elastic and shiny (alternatively use a food mixer with a dough hook on the lowest speed for around 5 minutes).
Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and leave to prove in a warm place for 45 minutes (I use my oven at 45 degrees c.)
Remove the dough from the bowl, divide into 12 balls and place well apart on lined baking sheets, squashing down slightly. Cover with a large plastic bag, or oiled clingfilm and prove again for another 45 minutes.
Meanwhile make the paste for the crosses. Mix the 4 tbsps of flour with the water to create a thick smooth paste. Add a little extra water if too thick. Spoon into a piping bag.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees c.
Once the buns have proved, remove the bag/ cling film and pipe crosses across each bun
Bake in the oven for 15 minutes until a good golden brown colour. Whilst in the oven, prepare the glaze. Pour the milk and sugar into a small saucepan and heat until the sugar has dissolved. Boil for 1 minute and remove from the heat.
As soon as the buns are out of the oven, brush the top with the glaze and allow to cool a little.