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Hot Cross Buns (Dairy-free)

Vegan hot cross buns

Making homemade hot cross buns is one of my favourite Easter traditions. Lately I have been trying a vegan version of this old classic.

Hot cross buns take a while to make but there are lots of rewards. The process helps you to slow down and enjoy the holiday moment and later on you get to enjoy the delicious aroma of baking buns. And then there’s the eating!

Makes about 24 buns

For the buns:

5 cups white flour

3 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp fairtrade vanilla essence

2 tsp mixed spice

1 tsp nutmeg

Pinch of salt

2 cups soya, almond or other nut milk, warmed

6 tbsp fairtrade sugar

4 tsp active dry yeast or Surebake yeast

150ml sunflower (or other light) oil

2 tbsp aquafaba (liquid from a can of chickpeas)

2 cups of sultanas, raisons or other dried fruit

1 tsp lemon, lime or orange zest

2 tbsp lemon or orange juice

For the crosses:

4-5 tbsp flour

enough cold water to make a paste you can pipe

For the glaze:

5 tbsp fairtrade sugar

¼ cup water

Dairy-free butter for greasing tray and serving.

To make the dough:

Combine the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.

Warm the dairy-free milk a little (not too hot). Stir in the sugar then add the yeast. Set aside.

In another bowl combine the dried fruit, oil, juice and aquafaba.

If you have a bread maker you can put the dry ingredients mix and the yeast mix into your machine, add the remaining liquid and set it on dough setting. Towards the end of the dough cycle add the fruit. Go to: Shaping the buns.

Once the milk and yeast mixture looks a little foamy, add the three mixes together. Stir to combine. Transfer to a lightly-floured surface and knead for 5-10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic.

Return the dough to the mixing bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave somewhere warm until the dough is doubled in size. This will take about an hour.

Shaping the buns:

Once the dough has doubled in size, remove from the bowl and knead again, on a lightly floured surface, for a few minutes. Cut the dough in half. Roll each half into a log and cut into 12 even pieces. Gently shape each piece into a ball and place in a lightly greased tray or pan, allowing enough space between them for them to expand. Cover with a tea towel again and allow to rise for about 45 minutes.

While your buns are rising, make the crosses by mixing together a little flour with just enough water to make a mixture you can pipe through a piping bag or pastic bag with the corner snipped off. Brush the buns with a little almond milk and pipe the crosses on top.

Once your buns have finished rising and are nicely puffy, turn your oven on to 180°C. Place the buns in the hot oven for 20-25 minutes.

While your buns are cooking, combine the glaze ingredients together in a small pot and bring to the boil. Continue boiling the mixture, stirring it often until sticky.

Once cooked, remove your buns from the oven and brush the tops with the glaze. Allow to cool for a few minutes before enjoying. Cut buns in half and spread with a little dairy-free butter.

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