Vegan hot cross buns
Vegan hot cross buns
When I used to live in the UK, I never had time to make my own hot cross buns. I used to rely on the ones that you used to get in a packet of six at the supermarket which were overly sweet and tasted of stale flour and preservatives. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that a bread product that keeps for at least a week isn’t going to be particularly delicious to eat, and it put me off hot cross buns in general. For a while at least…
This Easter I decided to set this right and bake some vegan hot cross buns that were fresh AND delicious. Traditionally, hot cross buns will contain eggs, milk and butter, so I replaced the egg with some applesauce (which makes them taste light and fragrant), the milk with almond milk and the butter with a little extra olive oil. The results were fantastic and there is no way that a non-vegan would ever know that these beauties contained no dairy products.
I decided to break from the tradition of putting a cross on the buns, even though I realised a cross is a lot easier than many other shapes, as you can just drag the piping bag across a whole row at once. Doing a ‘V’ (to stand for vegan) required a little bit more time and individual care. I thought that this would be a useful decoration if you were bringing your hot cross buns to an Easter party and wanted it to be clear which ones were the vegan ones. Or you could just say “the ones that are really, really fluffy and delicious” 😉 .
- 250g / 2 cups strong / bread flour
- 250g / 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1½ tsp salt
- 7 g / 2¼ tsp instant dried yeast
- 50 g / 2 oz caster sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon, mixed spice or allspice
- 100 g / 3.5 oz raisins / sultanas
- 50 g / 2 oz of applesauce
- zest of 1 orange
- 125 ml / ½ cup + 1 tsp plant milk (we used homemade almond milk)
- 125 ml / ½ cup + 1 tsp lukewarm water
- 30 ml / 2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for coating
HOT CROSS BUN ‘CROSS’
- 45 g / 3 tbsp all purpose flour
- 60 ml / ¼ cup water
- 1 tbsp of apricot jam or orange marmalade
- 1 tbsp of water
- Mix the flour, salt, yeast, sugar, cinnamon or allspice, raisins, applesauce and orange zest in a large mixing bowl.
- Pour in the lukewarm (not cold!) water and plant milk and stir everything together with a wooden spoon. Then add the olive oil and combine.
- When the mixture has mostly stuck together turn the mixture out on to a work surface. Knead the mixture by holding one end of the dough in one hand and stretching it out with the other hand. Reform the dough, turn it 90 degrees and start again. Repeat this for 10 minutes. See this recipe for photos on how to knead if you’re unsure.
- When the dough is shiny and smooth, put it in a large mixing bowl, coat in a thin layer of olive oil and cover the bowl with a tea towel. Leave it in a warm place (but not too warm – ie not next to an open fire!) for between one and two hours (until it has doubled in size).
- Empty the dough out on to a work surface and push the air out with your fingertips.
- Split the dough into twelve equal parts – best to use kitchen scales here.
- I tend to shape my rolls by spinning the roll in a circle and tucking dough underneath until you are left with a smooth sphere of dough with the dough bunched up underneath.
- Pre-heat the oven to 200° C / 390° F. Lay the dough balls out on an olive oil-greased baking tray in a 3×4 grid so that they just touch each other (they will merge with each other as they expand during proving). Cover with cling film and leave for 30-60 minutes or until they have doubled in size.
HOT CROSS BUN ‘CROSS’
- Mix the all purpose flour and water in a small bowl until you have a mixture that is claggy and gluey.
- Put the flour / water mixture in a piping bag (or plastic bag with the corner cut off) and pipe crosses (or whatever letters or designs you like!) on each of the buns.
- Place the buns in the oven for 15-20 minutes until the buns are golden.
- While the buns are cooking mix the water with the jam in a small saucepan on low heat until the jam is diluted ready for glazing.
- Glaze the buns as soon as they are out of the oven until they are lovely and shiny then place them on a wire rack to cool.
The amount will be slightly more, most sources say add 25% more so it will be approximately 2¾ tsp in this case. The main difference is that you will need to activate it in the portion of the liquid allocated for this recipe first - which I am sure you are aware of but just in case. Hope this helps! Ania
Thanks!! Happy Easter
Yes, absolutely you can, they will simply be a bit softer, more cake-like, but still delicious. I actually came to prefer making them with all purpose flour myself. Good luck, I hope you and your family will enjoy them! x Ania
Both mixed spice and allspice can be used. Mixed spice contains large amount of allspice actually. Feel free to use whichever combination you find most appealing. Good luck! Ania
Sure, I don't see why not. Hope you'll enjoy them! x Ania
I highly recommend this recipe.
Last year, however, I had more time to dedicate to baking. Is there a maximum time we should allow for proving? i.e. could I leave the dough to rise in the fridge or on the counter overnight, and then bake them in the morning? If so, would you recommend fridge or counter? Hoping to make these for Good Friday. Thanks in advance!
Apples, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Water, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C).
Thats why I was surprised you'd suggest this brand. Other than that I understand! Convenience is fab!
Love these so much THANK YOU for all your delicious recipes, I often recommend your page to guests and pupils but have meant to say in the past why buy the Applesauce (I note the one you link to has HFCS in it..really NOT healthy!) and Applesauce is so so soo easy to make! Maybe you could amend and link to a homemade applesauce <3 (Just a suggestion)
Thanks again! (I have just shared with a pupil who wanted a good recipe for her newly vegan sister <3 )
I agree with you and I also prefer to make my own apple sauce, but we try to make the recipes as accessible as possible and a lot of people prefer to simply buy a jar of it on their way back from work, for example. I double-checked and the apple sauce this recipe links out to is 100% unsweetened apple sauce from organic apples so I don't see any issue here. Hope that clarifies! Cheers! Ania
I am sorry but I'm not confident that these would work just as well with a gluten-free flour. Gluten is needed in bread and rolls to give them texture and chewiness. I think you might be better off finding a specific recipe that calls for gluten-free flour. Ania
Yes, they will, no problem! You can always substitute them for dried cranberries or even chocolate chips :) Hope that helps! Ania
It says preparation time 20 minutes yet it needs to sit for like 2 hours. Currently making them and this is taking a lot longer than initially anticipated. Beginner at baking.
We only count non-passive preparation time in our timings. As proving is time when the bread is just lying there (and you can get on with other things) we don't include it in the preparation time. This is consistent with what most food websites do. BTW Whenever you are baking you are almost always going to have to prove the dough at least twice for a period of 30-60 minutes each time. This applies whether you are making white rolls, sourdough, hot cross buns, foccaccia or bagels. I never attempt baking unless I have a good clear 3 hours ahead of me. And generally try and make sure there is some cricket on to watch while the dough is proving.
Hope that helps!
I was wondering what is blooming on the hillsides in Greece right now and your little bouquet answered a few questions. The mallow is just charming. There is a wonderful soup that the beduin used to feed us made from fresh foraged mallow leaves and dried goat cheese.
Enjoy your Easter -Hanne