With Easter approaching, this is my recipe for a healthy hot cross bun or ‘buffin’ (according to my creative recipe tester). I have purposely chosen to move away from traditional yeast leaven buns and create a buffin for two reasons.
Firstly, I have found that yeast burdens the gut of lots of people. Many wheat or gluten intolerant patients I have consulted with over the years have discovered that it actually isn’t the grain so much, as it’s the yeast that adversely affects their gut. I consider myself to have a cast iron gut, but yeast does not make me feel good at all. That is why I always choose a sourdough bread if I’m going to eat it and why these are yeast free.
Secondly, I personally just don’t have the time or motivation to wait for my dough to prove. I like a throw it all in approach and that’s what I’ve done here.
A note..whilst I think these taste on the mark, these aren’t and never will be the soft doughy, shelf life of many weeks style of hot cross bun gracing our supermarket and bakery shelves in the months leading up to Easter. They are best eaten out of the oven or toasted. Although my husband enjoyed them the next day as is (maybe he is just accustomed to my sometimes shoddy baking though)!
Why are they so healthy?
It really is a struggle not only to find a ‘healthy,’ whole food only hot cross bun but one that isn’t actually damaging to you and especially your kids health. Even ‘fresh’ bakery buns have a long list of ingredients (I counted 29 in a ‘traditional’ supermarket baked bun). Common ingredients include dangerous vegetable oils, excessive amounts of sugar (almost 4 teaspoons per bun), and a cocktail of additives and preservatives. To make matters worse, ALL supermarket brands contain Palm Oil (why you need to avoid Palm Oil here).
If you value your families health, please don’t buy these buns. I have made it as easy as possible for you to make your own with ‘real’ ingredients that your body can identify and thrive with.
Makes 6-7 buffins
Note – delicious grain, gluten, dairy-free and low fructose versions below the main recipe.
200g (1 ½ cups) wholemeal spelt flour(white spelt will give a more commercial result)
125mls (½ cup) milk
85g (¼ cup) sweetener of your choice (maple syrup or rice malt syrup)
60g (¼ cup) butter, melted
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon acid (lemon juice or apple cider vinegar)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon of mixed spice
½ teaspoon of vanilla powder, extract or essence
80 grams (½ cup) currants, sultanas or raisins (or a mixture), and preferably preservative and vegetable oil free.
For the glaze (optional)
Mix ½ teaspoon of cinnamon with 1 tablespoon of sweetener and 1 teaspoon of water
For the cross (also optional)
Mix 2 tablespoons of flour with enough water to form a dough. Roll it into little sausages to lay over the buns in a cross. This is a great job for the kids.
Personally, I’m too lazy for crosses and they don’t improve the flavour at all. My recipe testers mum suggested cutting strips of apple for the crosses which are an idea I love (and it would taste better too). Your call!
Substitute the butter with melted ghee or macadamia nut oil. Replace the milk with an unsweetened nut milk or coconut milk (I have only recipe tested the coconut milk and macadamia nut oil at this stage).
Chocolate hot cross buns
Add 1 tablespoon of cacao powder to the wet mix and replace the dried fruit with approximately 50g of cacao nibs. If you tolerate fructose, you might like to replace the fruit with chocolate chips.
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“They are just wonderful. The apple cross worked fabulously! I was only reading the ingredients of the supermarket ones the other day and was overwhelmed by all the nasty stuff in them!” Sally
This is the fructose free chocolate spelt version – yum!