What is the go with the supermarkets putting hot cross buns on the shelves from Boxing Day? I refuse to have a hot cross bun in the house until the week leading up to, and at Easter time. They can try all they like to tempt me, but it will have no effect on me... other than to make me hot and cross.
Lightly-Fruited Orange-Scented Hot Cross Buns -Vegan
adapted from here
For the Buns:
1 Earl Grey tea bag
200ml boiling water
370ml lukewarm water1 tablespoon caster sugar
1 (7g) sachet dry yeast
600g baker's flour, plus extra for dusting2 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
For the Glaze:
100g caster sugar
2 tablespoons water
Juice of 1 orange
For the Paste for the Crosses:
50g baker's flour
1/2 tablespoon caster sugar
Make the Buns:
Line a large baking tray with baking paper and set aside.
Put the sultanas and currants into a bowl along with the tea bag. Pour the 200ml of boiling water over the lot and soak for 2 hours. Remove the tea bag and drain the fruit well, discarding the liquid. Set aside.
Put the 370ml of lukewarm water and the tablespoon of caster sugar into a bowl and sprinkle the yeast over. Mix with a fork and set aside for 10 minutes, until foamy.
Put the flour, salt, spices and orange zest into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook and mix to blend evenly. Add the yeast mixture and the soaked fruit and mix on low speed until thoroughly blended and kneaded, about 10 minutes. By mixing the fruit in with the dough hook, the softened fruit will break up a bit which I like, but if you prefer the fruit more intact, mix the dough with the hook first, then add the soaked fruit and mix it in by hand until evenly distributed in the dough.
Put the dough into an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Leave in a warm spot to double in size which will take 1 1/2 - 2 hours depending on how warm your kitchen is.
Dump the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for about 1 minute. Divide the dough into twelve even portions (about 110g each). Roll each portion into a ball and place them close together on the prepared tray. Cover loosely with oiled plastic wrap and set aside for about 30 minutes in a warm spot to rise and become puffy.
Make the Glaze:
Put the sugar and water into a small saucepan. Heat on high heat and do not stir. Leave to boil until it starts to go golden. Remove from the heat, add the strained orange juice (it will bubble and spit so be careful), stir and set aside to cool a little.
Make the Paste for the Crosses:
Whisk the flour, sugar and water together until smooth. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a small, plain piping tip. Set aside.
Pipe the Crosses and Bake:
Once the buns have risen, pipe crosses onto the buns.
Preheat the oven to 220C.
Bake the buns for 10 minutes, then reduce to oven temperature to 200C and bake for a further 10 - 15 minutes, until the tops start to turn golden. Remove from the oven and immediately slide them onto a wire rack and brush with the glaze while still hot. Leave to cool slightly and then cut them in half and spread with lashings of vegan butter (or Nuttelex).