I love hot cross buns. They are definitely a favourite in our household around Easter! The only down-side to this is the struggle to find a ‘healthy’ hot cross bun. Even fresh bakery buns have a long list of ingredients including palm oil, excessive amounts of sugar (almost 4 teaspoons per bun) and a cocktail of additives and preservatives.
This home-made version is not the light fluffy style of hot cross bun you may be used to in the supermarkets made from white flour and refined sugar. It is full of fibre and the oats that give it a wonderful chewy density that marries perfectly with the cinnamon and vanilla. I’ve used a combination of sun-dried figs, cranberries and cherries with organic dark chocolate to give it that Easter touch.
220g wholemeal spelt flour or whole-wheat flour
50 g rolled oats
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon dried yeast
125 ml (1/2 cup milk) your choice of dairy, almond, rice, oat, soy
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon vanilla bean extract or 1/2 of paste
60 ml (1/4 cup) macadamia nut oil or olive oil
1 free range / organic egg, lightly beaten
80 g dried cranberries, cherries or figs (or a combination)
50 g organic dark chocolate chips (save some for the cross on the top of your buns!)
- Mix the wholemeal flour, oats, cinnamon, yeast and a pinch of salt in a mixing bowl.
- Warn the milk, vanilla and honey just a little until just slightly warm, then pour into the mixing bowl along with the egg and oil.
- Mix the dough for about 6 minutes until it is smooth and elastic. Add the dried fruits and chocolate and mix.
- Cover the bowl with a clean cloth or wrap and leave the dough to double in size in a warm place for about 1 hour.
- Tip the dough onto your working bench.
- Knead a little then shape into 10 rolls.
- Cover lightly and allow to rise for another 30 minutes or until it doubles size.
- Preheat your oven to 160 C.
- Bake for 20 minutes until golden.
- Allow to cool. Then, if you want to, make a cross from either melted white or dark chocolate on top. I use an icing pipe.
- Sprinkle with a few oat flakes before baking for a rustic effect or brush with egg mix before baking for a lovely glace finish.
- These buns are delicious when lightly toasted with a light spread of macadamia nut butter.
- These last for 3-4 days in an airtight container. Makes a delicious power snack.
What’s good about them:
Whole-meal spelt flour is often tolerated by people who have digestive issues as it has a slightly lower gluten content and higher amino acid profile then traditional wheat based flours. The beta-glucan fiber found in oats may aid the regulation of appetite and support healthy blood cholesterol. Macadamia nut and olive oils aid healthy inflammation management and are kind to the arteries. Cinnamon has shown to support insulin efficiency, which may support healthy blood sugar levels.
This makes for a fun activity to do with your little ones this Easter before enjoying the delicious reward at the end!
In good health.