VEGAN HOT CROSS BUNS
Hot cross buns are one of my favourite things at Spring time, and they’re easily made vegan!
prep time 2-3 hours total time 3 hours serves 12
50g vegan butter
300ml plant milk (room temperature)
75g caster sugar
7g sachet fast-action or easy-blend yeast
500g strong bread flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp mixed spice
50g mixed peel
Zest of an orange
for the cross
50g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
4 tbsp water
for the glaze
Melt the butter in a pan. Remove from the heat and add the room temperature milk*, sugar and yeast and stir together to mix. Leave the yeast to do its thing for 10 minutes or until you see bubbles forming.
In a bowl mix the flour, salt and mixed spice.
If using a mixer, add the milk mixture to the mixing bowl with 1 cup of the flour mixture together at a time, mixing on high. Knead for 4 minutes in the mixer, until the dough is beaten and no longer sticky but elastic and smooth.
If not using a mixer, in a large mixing bowl add in the flour. Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour in the milk mixture. Stir everything together with a wooden spoon and then bring it together into a sticky dough with your hands. Lightly flour a surface and knead the bread on the surface with your hands for 5 minutes. To do this stretch the dough with one hand while you knead with the heel of your other hand, then folding it back on itself. Do this until it forms an elastic dough.
Add the dough into a bowl and cover with a damp tea towel and leave to rise in a warm spot for an hour to an hour and a half, or until doubled in size.
When the dough has risen, add in the sultanas, mixed peel and zest of an orange and knock back by mixing in your mixer for 1 minute. If not using a mixer, do this with your hands by kneading everything together in the bowl until distributed evenly.
Divide the dough into 12, and roll into buns. Pull the dough to the base of each bun so that the seal is on the bottom nice and neatly.
Place in a lined baking tray around 1 inch apart. Cover again and leave to rise for another hour.
Preheat your oven to 200C/400F.
Mix together your cross decoration flour mixture. Be careful not to add too much water as it should be a thick rather than dripping consistency. Add this to a piping bag with a small nozzle* and pipe along each row of buns in both directions to create the cross decoration.
Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown. You may need to turn in between to make sure they’re evenly baked.
Remove from the oven when perfectly golden brown, cool for 5 minutes and then glaze with maple syrup for that glossy shine. Serve toasted with some vegan butter, and maybe some jam!
*If you don’t have a piping bag, you can make your own from a triangular piece of parchment paper (Watch this video to see how).
*If the milk isn’t room temperature yet, just heat this up with the butter to get it to the right temperature. It needs to be this temperature so that the yeast can activate.