Homemade hot cross buns!! Yesss. These are my favourite thing about Easter so to be honest I don’t even mind when they come out in supermarkets the day after Christmas. There’s just nothing like a warm (hot…) one spread with some melty butter for breakfast on a cool day.
Veganising them isn’t even hard because, to be honest, most premade ones you’ll find are vegan anyway! Take a look at the ingredients list next time you find them. Usually it’s just flours, sugar, fruits, yeast, water and a couple of other things. So when other recipes tell you you have to use egg, milk and butter… nah.
You can change these up however you like. For chocolate ones, remove the fruit and spices, add a little extra sugar and mix in some cocoa powder and dairy-free choc chips. You could also replace the dried fruit with chopped apple and go heavy on the cinnamon if you want – I’d recommend upping the sugar if you don’t use dried fruit, though, or they won’t be sweet enough.
Approximate cost: $5 – $15 depending on how pre-stocked your spice pantry is
Time taken: a bit over 2 hours
Will make: 12 regular buns, or 24 mini buns
If you need help with the process for these, I’ve included how-to process shots on my Instagram highlight reel, available on the mobile app.
1 tbsp dry yeast
2/3 cup caster sugar
1 3/4 cups plant-based milk or water, warm
2 heaped tbsp non-dairy butter or margarine, melted
4 1/2 cups plain flour
3 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 1/2 cups dried fruit of choice
1/4 cup finely-grated orange rind (optional)
Extra plain flour, for dusting
1/2 cup plain flour
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup boiling water
3 tbsp caster sugar
In a small bowl, combine the warm milk or water and half the caster sugar. Stir until combined, then add yeast and give a very gentle stir. Set aside for 5 minutes or until frothy.
Sift flour into a large bowl. Add all spices, fruit, and the rest of the caster sugar. Pour in yeast mixture and melted butter and stir to combine, then continue to bring together with clean hands.
Once a dough has formed, knead on a floured benchtop for around 6-8 minutes until very smooth and a little stretchy. You want your dough to be very soft and pliable – if it’s flaky or tough, add a touch more warm water. If it’s sticking to the bench, add a small dusting more flour.
First rise: roll dough into a rough ball and place in a greased heatproof bowl, covered with a damp tea towel. Leave in a warm place (such as the oven set to about 35*) for an hour or until doubled in size.
Second rise: Remove proved dough from oven and punch down to remove gases. Divide dough evenly into 12 balls (or 24 if you’re making mini buns) and lay balls side-by-side, slightly spaced apart, in a shallow baking dish lined with parchment. Cover with your damp tea towel and leave for another 30 minutes or until risen.
Preheat oven to 200*C.
Combine flour, water and cinnamon for the crosses. Place mixture in a small zip-lock bag or piping bag and cut a small hole out of the corner. Use this bag to pipe crosses onto your buns. The size of the hole will determine the thickness of the crosses.
Once crosses are drawn on buns, place in the oven. Bake for 5 minutes until browned, then turn heat down to 185*C and bake for another 15 minutes or until cooked through and fluffy.
Combine boiling water and sugar for the glaze and brush onto freshly-baked buns, using a pastry brush, while they’re still hot.
Serve with spreads of choice and enjoy. These are best eaten the day they’re made, but can be freshened up with 20-25 seconds in the microwave on subsequent days.