if only i had buns of steel as good as these buns of spelt. (although i’m pretty sure that if i didn’t eat so many buns of spelt, i would have a chance at having buns of steel).
obviously easter calls for hot cross buns. they are one of my all time favourite festive foods. soft and deliciously sticky. traditionally they are a glorious marriage of spices and currants, however I think they are robust enough to take a small amount of tweaking. i’m definitely not a chocolate chip addition fan, however a little extra something to your liking is a must.
these hot cross buns are baked with spelt flour, rather than traditional plain white. spelt contains a broad spectrum of nutrients, and is highly water soluble, making these nutrients more easily absorbed by the body. spelt is also a good source of fibre and has a low gluten content, all of which lends itself to being easily digested. the result means that these are perhaps not quite as light and fluffy as a standard hot cross bun- but who wants standard anyway? importantly, the almost nutty flavour of the spelt marries the spices and dried fruit in these warm little bundles of easter joy.
spelt hot cross buns
4 cups organic spelt flour
2 x 7g sachet dried yeast
1/4 cup caster sugar
1 1/2 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups currants
1 cup sun dried apricots
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup plain flour
4-5 tbs water
1/3 cup water
2 tbs caster sugar
3 tbs poppy seeds
combine flour, yeast, sugar, mixed spice, salt and currants in a large bowl. melt butter in a small saucepan over a medium heat. add milk and heat for 1 minute, or until milk is lukewarm. add milk mixture and eggs to the flour mixture. mix until dough almost comes together and then finishing mixing with your hands to form a soft dough.
turn dough onto a (spelt) floured surface and knead lovingly for 10 minutes. at this point the dough should be smooth. place dough in a bowl which has been lightly oiled, cover with a tea towel or glad wrap and place in a warm place for 1 1/2 hours. by this time the dough should have doubled in size.
line a large baking tray with baking paper. punch (literally) dough down to its original size, and knead on a lightly floured surface until smooth. divide dough into 12 equal portions and shape each into a ball. place balls onto lined tray and cover again, placing in a warm place for 30 mins. the buns should double in size. preheat oven to 190C.
while waiting, make flour paste (for crosses) by mixing flour and water together in a small bowl until smooth. add a little extra water if the paste is too thick. place into small piping bag, (or snap lock bag and snip corner off. continuously pipe paste onto tops of buns to form crosses. bake for 20 mins, or until buns are cooked through.
to make glaze, place water and sugar into a small saucepan over low heat and stir until sugar dissolves. bring to the boil and allow to boil for 5 mins without stirring. remove from heat, and add poppy seeds. brush warm glaze over warm hot cross buns liberally.
enjoy however you like- warm, toasted, room temperature, but most definitely with butter.