Saturday, 21 February 2009

Hot Cross Buns

vegan hot cross buns

** 2012 - Edit: Easter is fast approaching and I will be trying these again soon without the egg replacer as I no longer bake with it and I'm sure these will work just fine without :-) Stay tuned!

Success! For a new variation without egg replacer I've now made Apple and Cinnamon Pull Apart Hot Cross Buns with Maple Icing!

Now I know you can buy what appear to be vegan hot cross buns in the grocery stores but I'm very picky about mine. I hate peel. Can't stand the stuff in my baked goods, and I much prefer icing piped into the cross over dough strips. So, after being tempted by all the hot cross buns in the shops decided to make my own. I used, as my mom does, the recipe from the brilliant Purity Foods Cookbook, a 1960's Canadian cookbook with fantastic bread and baking recipes in it. It did call for 1 egg which I used egg replacer but I really don't think it would be missed in this. The recipe was supposed to make 18 but I made 12 underestimating how much bigger they would get during the second rise and baking. So I made rather huge hot cross buns, but worse things have happened! They are delicious too, only have raisins and spiced with cinnamon and cloves with just a hint of sweet icing on top. I further borrowed an idea elsewhere to get the nice shiny glaze on them by brushing them with warmed, sieved apricot jam - worked brilliantly as they did come out much duller than what you see.

Makes 18 (normal sized buns)
3/4 cup (180ml) dairy free milk, I used rice
1 Tbsp and 1 tsp sugar
1/2 cup warm water
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup vegan margarine (55g)
1/2 cup sugar (118g)
20g egg replacer (this is probably omitable)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 cup raisins (80g)
2 - 2 1/4 cups more flour
apricot jam
3/4 cup icing sugar
1 - 2 Tbsp oat cream or soy
1/4 tsp vanilla

Heat the milk until just about simmering, pour into a large bowl and add 1 Tbsp sugar, stir till dissolved and set aside to cool to lukewarm. Meanwhile dissolve 1 tsp sugar in 1/2 cup warm water and sprinkle over the yeast. Let stand for 10 minutes, it should get nice and bubbly. Add this to the milk mixture and stir. Add 1 1/2 cups of flour and whisk until very smooth (also add the egg replacer at this stage if using). Cover and let rise until light and bubbly in a warm place, about 45 minutes.

Cream together the margarine and sugar and add to the mixture with the salt, cinnamon, cloves, raisins and if using egg replacer about 50ml water. Then add another 2 - 2 1/4 cups flour working the last of it in with your hands. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes or until nice and elastic, adding more flour if needed. Shape into a smooth ball and place into a greased bowl. Cover with cling film and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour in a warm place.

Punch down the dough and turn onto a lightly floured surface, cut into 2 equal pieces and shape into smooth balls. Cover and let rest 10 minutes. Divide each ball of dough into 9 equal pieces and shape each into a slightly flattened bun. Arrange on lined baking sheets 2" apart. Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes. These last 2 risings do not have to be somewhere warm. Preheat the oven to 200C / 400F. Brush each bun with diary free milk then slash the tops with a cross. Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden and sound hollow when tapped.

Let cool on wire racks then whisk together the icing sugar, oat cream and vanilla. Place into piping bag and pipe over the crevices. Leave to set, although you can still ice and eat these when they are warm, the icing doesn't melt too much!


  1. Your hot cross buns look perfect! I wonder if they would work with gluten free flour, I might have to try it and find out :)

  2. What should the oven temperature be set at for these?

    1. Hi, thanks for the heads up, can't believe I forgot that! It's 200C / 400F (and will update!)


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