We made this recipe from http://bitofthegoodstuff.com/ today. We’ve been trying different recipes each year and now we’ve found the one! (the recipe below includes our changes -more spice and more sultantas – but you can see the original at http://bitofthegoodstuff.com/2013/03/hot-cross-buns-dairy-free-egg-free-vegan/ )
Hands on time: 30 minutes Resting time: 1¾ hours
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Makes 15 medium or 12 large buns
– 250ml / 9 oz / 1 cup fortified soya milk (or other non dairy milk)
– 1 tsp fast action / easy bake yeast
– 2 tbsp sugar
– 2 tbsp neutral flavoured vegetable oil, such as rapeseed (canola)
– 500g / 17½ oz / 3½ cups plain (all purpose) flour
– 1 tsp salt
– 6 tsp mixed spice
– 200g / 7 oz / 1 packed cup sultanas or raisins
– 100g / 3½ oz / ½ cup Italian mixed peel
– Finely grated zest of 1 organic/unwaxed orange
-85ml / 3 fl oz / ¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice (or other fruit juice)
– 3 tbsp plain (all purpose) flour
– 2 tbsp water
– 2 tbsp sugar
– 2 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice (or other fruit juice)
Gently heat the milk until it is lukewarm. Remove from the heat and whisk in the yeast and sugar. After a couple of minutes the yeast will start to froth.
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, salt, spices. Stir in the sultanas, citrus peel and orange zest. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and stir in the oil, yeast milk mixture, and orange juice. Bring together the ingredients using your hands. The dough should be soft and sticky. Depending on the type of flour used, you may need to add a little more liquid.
Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes or so, until the dough is smooth. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with a damp tea towel or oiled cling film (plastic wrap) and leave in a warm place for an hour or so until it has doubled in size. If your house is cool (like ours), cover with oiled foil and place in the oven at 40C / 100F for an hour.
When the dough has risen, knead for a further 10 minutes then divide into 12 or 15 equal size balls. To ensure that the buns are exactly the same size and bake evenly, I weigh the dough. My dough tends to weigh about 1.125kg, so I tear off 75g for medium size buns. Roll the dough into smooth balls and evenly space out on a large baking tray (28 x 40cm / 10 x 15”) lined with non stick baking paper. Cover with the damp tea towel, oiled cling film (plastic wrap) or foil and leave in a warm place for 45 minutes or so, until they have risen.
Heat the oven to 210C (190C fan) / 410F.
To make the crosses, mix 3 tbsp plain (all purpose) flour with 2 tbsp water to form a thick paste. Spoon into an icing bag with a thin nozzle (or a plastic freezer bag and snip the corner). Slowly pipe along each row of buns, then repeat in the other direction.
Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes on the middle shelf, until golden brown.
To make the glaze, gently boil the sugar and fruit juice in a small pan for about 5 minutes until it starts to thicken into a syrup. Brush over the buns while they’re still hot. Allow to set before serving. These buns are most delicious served warm or toasted.
The buns will last 2-3 days in an airtight container. They also freeze well. I tend to slice them in half before I freeze them so that they can be toasted without the need to defrost first.