Have you noticed how buying hot cross buns can be a mine field of preservatives, sugar and wheat? I admit, I and my kids have a weakness for this Easter treat so I was determined to ‘make over’ the delicious humble bun without too much effort and create superfood hot cross buns!
However, I did not want to produce a gluten free rock cake, so it was important to still use a grain with gluten and yeast to obtain a light texture in this superfood hot cross bun. I swapped refined wheat flour for wholemeal spelt flour and substituted 1/4 with buckwheat flour – the one I used was a very dark organic brand hence the dark colour of my superfood hot cross buns. Tho I used yeast, I did not want to take 3+ hours to make them so I skipped a ‘second rise’ and added baking powder as a backup to ensure the buns had plenty of lift. If you don’t have buckwheat you can use a ground nuts or 100% spelt for these superfood hot cross buns.
Traditionally buns contain sultana’s and candied peel, again I made some changes and opted to use antioxidant and vitamin rich goji berries, apples and cacao nibs. I still added some sugar to the dough and made a syrup to glaze. The quantity of sugar was far less than commercial bought buns. I also enriched the recipe with a little butter and an egg.
These superfood hot cross buns certainly tasted different to traditional Easter buns, and their texture was a little ‘shorter, not so doughy but oh they were yummy, especially toasted with lashings of butter and a drizzle of raw honey! Happy Easter!
BEAUTY FOOD BENEFITS
Apple: Quercetin fights off free radicals that attack the skin cells and damage collagen and elastin. These 2 key skin proteins stop wrinkles and skin from ‘sagging’ preserving a youthful complexion. Their high fibre content helps your body to remove toxins and aids digestion. Blueberries or Goji Berries Bursting with antioxidants, both these berries have one of the highest antioxidant counts. They fight wrinkle formation by neutralising free radicals to keep skin smooth, warding off a dull appearance. Cacao nibs: Naturally reduce the amount of stress hormones released – phenylethylamide is a natural mood enhancer – keeping your mind and thoughts positive! Citrus: The perfect vitamin C boost your body needs! Not only working to keep collagen strong and skin smooth, it also aids your immune system to keep you in top shape.
SUPERFOOD HOT CROSS BUNS RECIPE
2 hrs from wo to go. Makes 15
Superfood Hot cross buns
3 cups wholemeal spelt flour (+ extra for kneading + 1/4 cup for cross)
1 cup organic buckwheat flour (or ground nuts such as almonds or hazelnuts)
1/2 cup goji or blue berries
1/2 cup dried apple, diced (sulphur free)
1/4 cup organic cacao nibs or dark chocolate diced (>70% Cacoa)
2 sachets dried yeast
3 tspn ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup rapadura sugar
rind of 1 lemon and/or 1 orange, finely grated
1 cup milk
3 tblspns rapadura sugar
juice of half a lemon
1 cinnamon quill
3/4 cup water
1/2 tspn cinnamon (or 1 egg to wash buns before baking if you don’t want to sugar glaze the buns)
1. In a large bowl, combine spelt & buckwheat flours, apple, berries, yeast, baking powder, cinnamon, cacao nibs or dark chocolate, lemon and/or orange rind and sugar. Mix together thoroughly and make a well in the center.
2. Combine milk and butter in a small saucepan over low heat (or 1.5 minutes in m/w on high), stir to ensure butter melts. Mixture should be warm (not too hot ie keep below 40C so you don’t kill the yeast). Whisk egg with butter and milk mixture and add to flour mix, stirring / ‘slice through’ to form a soft dough.
3. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic (10 minutes). You may need to add up to 1/2 cup more of spelt flour depending on its protein content (the stronger / higher the level, the more liquid it will need).
4. Now lets cheat! Rather than letting the dough rise in the bowl…..
5. Divide dough into 15 even pieces and knead each into a smooth ball. Place balls on a baking tray lined with baking paper, (3 x 5) making sure each ball is roughly 1cm apart. Cover and stand until doubled in size (30-40 minutes) in a warm place. I used the oven turned onto 50C with the door open. I also cover with glad wrap to keep the moisture in by making a tent with tooth pics. I should have used a damp cloth to ensure I was not exposing the dough to plastic but I was focused on making sure the yeast was in a warm, damp environment to rise properly!
6. Preheat oven to 220 degrees.
7. If you are not using a sugar glaze to finish off when baked then whisk the egg with a little water or milk and brush the buns carefully (ie not rough or you will knock the air out)
8. Mix remaining 1/4 cup flour and 1/3 cup water in a bowl, whisking to create a smooth paste. Adjust if too thick or thin – it needs to remain in place when piped. Spoon into a piping bag and pipe a cross onto each bun. (pipe the length of each row then cross over)
9. Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce oven to 200 degrees and bake until golden (8-10 minutes).
10. Whilst baking make the glaze. In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, water and lemon juice. Stir over medium to high heat until sugar dissolves. Add cinnamon quill and reduce heat to medium, bringing to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes or so until the water is evaporated off and sticky syrup results. Remove cinnamon quill, add cinnamon powder. Brush thickly over your hot cross buns and transfer to a wire rack to cool. Note you only use a tablespoon or so of the syrup.
TIPS AND TRICKS
Follow these pics for a step by step guide…