Sourdough hot cross buns

After googling in vain for a vegan hot cross bun recipe that used leaven, I experimented and came up with this version. Spicy and packed with fruit, these buns make a warming snack for a damp afternoon, or they can be toasted for breakfast.

Rather than fiddle with pastry crosses, I simply cut slashes in the top of each bun. The glazed surface contrasts with the paler dough inside.

Hot cross

For 16 buns

500 g (1 lb 2 oz) white bread flour
500 g (1 lb 2 oz) wholemeal bread flour
1 tsp salt
40 g (1½ oz) brown sugar
1 tbs ground ginger
1 tbs ground cinnamon
1 tbs grated nutmeg
400 g (14 oz) leaven
About 450 g (1 lb) lukewarm water
1 tbs cashew or almond spread
1-2 tbs groundnut oil
Grated zest of a lemon
Grated zest of an orange
220 g (8 oz) raisins

For the glaze

1 tbs agave syrup
1 tsp soya milk

Set aside 1 tbs of flour and add to the raisins, rubbing them together to separate them.

Mix the flours, salt, sugar and spices. Do grate the nutmeg fresh if possible; bought ground nutmeg seems to lose flavour faster than other spices.

Add the leaven with 400 g of water, and mix well with your hands. Keep adding water, a tablespoon at a time, until you have a soft, slightly sticky dough, then mix in the cashew or almond spread and 1 tbs of the oil. Cover the bowl with a cloth and leave to rest for about 20 minutes.

Turn the dough onto an oiled work surface and knead for about five minutes. It should be starting to feel elastic and less sticky. Cover with cling film and leave to rise for at least an hour, until it has doubled in size.

Work the grated zests into the dough, followed by the raisins, a few at a time. Divide the dough into 16 pieces and knead each into a round. Put them on a baking tray covered with baking parchment, cover with cling film and leave until the buns are well risen again and feel light and springy to the touch (mine took another couple of hours but they would rise faster in a warmer kitchen).

Heat the oven to 200°C (Gas 6). If you have a baking stone, put it in the oven to heat up as well.

Stir the agave syrup and soya milk together to make the glaze and brush over the tops of the buns. Then, using a very sharp knife, slash deep crosses in the top of each bun. Slide the parchment and buns onto the baking stone (or put the tray directly in the oven). Bake for 20 mins, until the buns are a rich brown.

They are good with any nut spread, or with marmalade.

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8 Responses to “Sourdough hot cross buns”

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    Hello there!

    Just wanted to say thanks for the tip on buying white chocolate chips that you left no Choc and Zucchini site…

    very nice!

    thanks so much!

  2. Pauline says:

    Thanks Sally. I’ve just ordered various types of white chocolate to do a comparative tasting… watch this space!

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