This week is the run up to Easter, which is definitely one of the best times of the year. It’s the start of spring; everything’s looking a lot prettier and brighter, and it’s another time for some of the best food indulgences! One of my favourites is the hot cross bun.
Supermarket buns all contain milk, and they can lack a lot of flavour. So if you have a bit of spare time before Good Friday, or even some to spare on the day, then why not try making my lactose-free hot cross buns?
They can take a bit of time to make, but it’s well worth it! I’d recommend letting them cool overnight, then slicing in half and grilling them for a couple of minutes until crisp and golden for your breakfast the next day – with a good spread of Flora Freedom. They’re delicious!
- 630g Strong white flour
- 1 tsp Salt
- 4tsp Ground mixed Spice
- 80g Sugar
- 1 Lemon
- 1 Orange
- 7g Sachet of fast-action yeast
- 2 eggs
- 280ml tepid milk – Arla Lactose-free milk
- 50g Dried apricots
- 50g Dried cranberries
- 100g Sultanas
- 2 tbsp Plain Flour
- 1 tbsp water
- Disposable Piping Bag
- 1 tbsp apricot jam
Makes 12 Buns
- Sieve the flour, salt and ground mixed spice into a large glass mixing bowl.
- Add the butter, and rub in with the tips of your fingers.
- Zest the lemon and orange using the finest side of the grater. Add the zest to the bowl, with the sugar and yeast sachet.
- Measure out the milk in a measuring jug, and place in the microwave for ~40 seconds until it’s just warm to touch. Add to the mixing bowl.
- Take one egg and beat it in a small cup. Add to the large mixing bowl.
- Start to bring all the ingredients together with a wooden spoon. When it becomes too sticky, start to use your hands to form the ingredients into a smooth dough.
- Shape the dough into a ball, and turn out onto a lightly floured surface.
- Using the palms of your hands, knead for ~30 minutes (this is a good opportunity to let out any pent up aggression!). Knead by continuously pushing the dough away from you and then pulling back.
- Wash and dry the mixing bowl. Add a tsp of oil to the bowl and spread it around using a pastry brush.
- Place the dough in the bowl. Grease one side of Clingfilm with oil, and place over the top of the bowl, forming a tight seal.
- Cover with a tea towel and leave in a warm place (e.g. an airing cupboard, or near a radiator) to rise for one hour.
- Whilst the dough is rising, line two baking trays with baking parchment, and set aside.
- Once well risen, remove the Clingfilm and turn the dough out onto a floured surface.
- Knead for 5-10 minutes.
- Spread the dough out into a large circle, and tip the dried fruit into the centre. Fold the dough over the fruit so that it is completely covered.
- Knead to spread the fruit as evenly as possible.
- Separate into 12 pieces, each approx. 100g-110g. Form these into smooth round balls. Place six balls onto each baking tray, allowing space for them to grow.
- Cover with Clingfilm and place in warm place to rise for a further 40 minutes.
- Whilst the buns rise, start making the paste for the cross. In a small bowl add the flour and water, and mix together until you form a thick pipe-able paste. Spoon the paste into the piping bag, and snip off the end of the bag.
- Preheat the oven to gas mark 6/200o/400
- Once well risen, remove the Clingfilm from the buns. Pipe large crosses across each.
- Using a fork, whisk the second egg in a small cup. Using a pastry brush, brush the egg over each bun.
- Place in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.
- Warm the apricot jam in the microwave.
- Remove the buns from the oven, and brush with apricot jam whilst still warm.
- Allow the buns to cool. Serve and EAT!