Photo credit: The Healthy Chef
Whether you’re a seasoned chef or just dipping a toe (or finger?) into baking, now is the perfect time to make Easter treats you can enjoy at home. And what’s better than the smell of hot cross buns straight from the oven?
If you’re looking for a healthy, lower-gluten alternative that won’t leave you with a bloated belly come Easter Sunday, we’ve got the answer. Hold the caster sugar, flour and butter, because these buns are made from wholemeal spelt, rye, raisins, honey, cinnamon and vanilla.
‘Wholemeal spelt and rye are often tolerated by people who have digestive issues as they have a slightly lower gluten content and higher amino acid profile than traditional wheat-based flours,’ says Chef, Nutritionist, Personal Trainer and Founder of The Healthy Chef Teresa Cutter.
‘What’s more, cinnamon improves insulin’s efficiency, which helps to regulate blood sugar levels.’
Cutter’s simple recipe
Try this healthy hot cross bun recipe, packed with goodness. It’s fairly simple (even for the less pro bakers) and tastes a treat.
Note: You’ll need to start prepping the day before you want to eat/serve your warm buns.
320g (2 3/4 cups) wholemeal spelt flour
50g (1/2 cup) rye flour
10g fresh yeast or 1 sachet 5g dried yeast
2 tbsp raw honey
250ml (1 cup) milk of your choice
2 organic eggs
Grated zest of 1 orange
1 tsp vanilla paste
½ tsp sea salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
150ml extra virgin olive oil
300g (2 cups) raisins or golden sultanas
100g dried chopped apricots
100g good quality 70 per cent dark eating chocolate, melted
1 organic egg
2 tbsp of milk
1. Combine the flours, yeast, honey, milk, eggs, orange zest, vanilla and salt into the bowl of your bench top mixer.
2. Mix with a dough hook at low speed until combined then increase the speed to medium and mix for about 8 minutes or until smooth.
3. Add the oil slowly, a little at a time until it is all incorporated into the dough. Take your time and don’t add too much at once.
4. Add the raisins and apricots and mix gently until just mixed in. Turn off your mixer and remove the bowl.
5. Cover your bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rest at room temperature for about one hour.
6. Place the dough into the fridge overnight to rest and develop for a further 12 hours. This dough is quite sturdy, so if you go over 12 hours, that’s okay as long as you cook the dough the following day. Resting also loosens the dough so you end up with a light and fluffy hot cross bun.
1. Divide dough into 24 even size portions.
2. Leave to *prove in a warm place for about 2 hours. This depends on the warmth of your kitchen. I usually turn the oven on just to warm the kitchen and help them prove. The portions should at least double in size.
3. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius.
4. Make an egg wash using 1 whole egg and 2 tablespoons of milk.
5. Brush the tops of the buns with the egg wash.
6. Bake for 35–40 minutes or until golden and baked through.
7. Cool slightly.
8. Melt the chocolate, then pipe it over the buns before serving. Enjoy!
*Proving refers to the process of allowing the dough to rest and rise a final time before baking.
You’ll find more healthy recipes in our April/May edition of the magazine, including gluten-free fritters, matcha granola and more. Plus, for this very special edition, you only pay what you can afford! Happy reading.