Thursday 24 March 2016


We have made these hot cross buns a few times over the years but I realised today that I hadn't posted the recipe here. 

So if you're feeling inspired to make your own hot cross buns, I'd recommend this Donna Hay recipe. And given that I was walking past a grocery store the other day and it had a photo of hot cross buns with the label "palm oil free" I was even more determined not to buy mass-produced buns. It's only now they are claiming they don't contain palm oil - but what else is inside? And what will they be proclaiming next year?

Hot cross buns - amongst a host of other foods - have become a huge money-generating exercise for business, especially supermarkets. These Easter foods have been on sale since just after Christmas and the other day there were mounds of them on display. I have always enjoyed hot cross buns, and never read the ingredients too closely, but when I saw the sign it made me angry. As consumers, we have to check every label. We have to be conscious of what foods we buy. We have to be food warriors against the chase for profits, which results in cheap ingredients that degrade our health and environment.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy this wholefood version.

1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 1/2 cups lukewarm milk
4 1/4 cups plain flour
2 teaspoons mixed spice
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
50g butter, melted
1 egg
1 1/2 cups sultanas
1/2 cup plain flour, extra
1/3 cup water

Glaze - I didn't use this - but if you want to add, here are the details: Place 1/2 sugar and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Remove any sugar crystals on the side with a pastry brush dipped in water. Add 2 teaspoons powdered gelatine sprinkled over 1 tablespoon water and cook for 1 minute. Set aside to cool. Brush over buns. Refrigerate to set.

1. Place yeast, 2 teaspoons of sugar and all of milk in a bowl and set aside for 5 minutes. The mixture will start to foam, indicating the yeast is active.
2. Add the flour, mixed spice, cinnamon, butter, egg, sultanas and remaining sugar to the yeast mixture and mix using a butter knife until a sticky dough forms. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for 8 minutes or until it feels elastic. Place in an oiled bowl, cover with a tea towel and allow to stand in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size. Divide the dough into 12 pieces and roll into balls.
3. Grease a 23cm (9 in) square cake tin and line with non-stick baking paper. Place the dough balls in the tin, cover with a clean tea towel and set aside in a warm place for 30 minutes or until they rise. Preheat the oven to 200-degrees-C (400-F). Combine the extra flour and water, place a piping bag or a plastic bag with one corner snipped off, and pipe crosses on the buns. 
4. Bake for 35 minutes or until well browned and springy to touch. Brush with the warm glaze while the buns are hot. Serve warm with butter. Makes 12.

images the indigo crew

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