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.
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.
Take a look at the variations (below the main recipe) for suggestions to alter the recipe to suit many specific dietary requirements.
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Because I'm too lazy to wait for buns to prove (plus yeast makes me feel awful) I made these 'buffins' - a cross between a bun and a muffin for Easter. They are SO much nicer than any bun I think and a whole lot healthier too.
- 200 grams (1 ½ cups) wholemeal spelt flour(white spelt will give a more commercial result)
- 125 mls (½ cup) milk
- 85 grams (¼ cup) sweetener of your choice (maple syrup or rice malt syrup)
- 60 grams (¼ cup) butter, melted
- 1 free-range or organic egg
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 1 teaspoon acid (lemon juice or apple cider vinegar)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
- 1 teaspoon mixed spice
- ½ teaspoon vanilla powder, extract or essence
- 80 grams (½ cup) currants, sultanas or raisins (or a mixture), and preferably preservative and vegetable oil free.
- Mix ½ teaspoon of cinnamon with 1 tablespoon of sweetener and 1 teaspoon of water
- 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 tastes better too). Your call!
Preheat your oven to 160℃.
- Place your flour in a big bowl and make a well in the middle.
In a blender or food processor, mix your milk, sweetener, butter, egg, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, acid, cinnamon, mixed spice and vanilla for about a minute until well combined and a little frothy (Thermomix melt your butter, 1 minute, temp 80, speed 4, then add the milk, sweetener, egg, rising agents, spices and mix 1 min, speed 5).
Gently mix in your dried fruit (Thermomix reverse blade, 10 seconds, speed 2).
- Add this to the flour and fold through gently until just combined. Don’t over mix it.
- Spoon into the muffin cases and place your cross.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until cooked through (firm to touch in the middle). Brush over the glaze whilst hot.
- Enjoy hot out of the oven or toasted in a sandwich press.
- Can be frozen in an airtight bag or container.
Gluten and grain-free
Substitute the flour with 130 grams of buckwheat (or sprouted buckwheat) flour and 70 grams of almond meal. They may need an additional 5-10 minutes in the oven too.
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).
Choose rice malt syrup as your sweetener and omit the dried fruit or replace with cacao nibs.
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.
Would love your feedback so please post a comment below (or even better rate this recipe).
"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
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