Is there anyone who doesn’t enjoy a hot, toasted and buttered Hot Cross Bun, in the run up to Easter? While my previous post shows you how to make the regular version I wanted to make a wholemeal version. Because some people, for various reasons, can only eat 100% wholemeal bread. Since they shouldn’t have to miss out on all the Easter food fun I developed this recipe for 100% Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns.
Almost everyone can enjoy these Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns, eaten as they are or split and toasted with a light spread of butter. While, the added beauty of these buns is the spicy, cinnamon aroma, filling the house as they bake and then again when they are toasted. Also these buns are packed full of fibre. So, they are tasty and good for you!
While I toasted a hot cross bun, there was a knock on the front door. Our postman had a parcel to deliver and as I stood there signing for the parcel, he revealed the smell of a toasted bun was making him hungry!
Most importantly, making Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns is as straightforward and easy as for the regular ones. While switching the flour from strong white bread flour, to 100% wholemeal flour, not bread flour, I also upped the yeast content and with a few more tweaks, these gorgeous buns were made.
Why The Cross On Top Of The Bun?
The cross on top of the bun, is there to symbolise and remind us of The Cross on which Jesus died. Two days later His tomb was empty, He had risen from the dead, surprising many people, including some of His own disciples. So, the small symbol of a cross on a bun, reminds us that Jesus came for a reason. To love the unloved, to heal the sick, to befriend those that society cast out. And remember, within His followers, one was a tax collector and the other a prostitute!
So, amidst all the chocolate and bunnies, lovely though they are, take a moment to remember you are loved.
In the bible the book of John chapter 3 verse 16 says:
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, so that who so ever believes in Him shall not be lost (perish), but have everlasting life.”
One small verse packs quite a powerful punch. You and I are the who so ever. Whether you believe or not, know that you are loved. Regardless of your circumstances and the life you have lived, you are loved more than you could ever imagine.
If you would like to know more, please read Important Stuff.
Now, time to show your body some love by making these Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns.
Recipe: Makes 12 Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns
For the bun dough
500g/1lb 2oz Wholemeal Flour (not bread flour) – I use Duchy Organic from Waitrose
160ml/scant 6fl oz Whole Milk – slightly warmed (body temp)
120ml/4.5fl oz Water – slightly warmed (body temp)
2 Large Eggs – I use free range
1tbsp Honey – I use runny honey
14g/ 2 Sachets Fast Acting Dried Yeast – I use Allinsons
10g/ approx 1.5tsp Salt – I use Maldon
50g/2oz Unsalted Butter at room temp. – plus extra for greasing the baking tray.
150g/5oz Sultanas or Raisins
For the crosses:
50g/2oz Wholemeal flour
60ml/2.5fl oz Water
Apricot jam or honey to glaze approx 2tbsp
Method: This method is for use with a bread maker or stand mixer. Alternatively you can make these Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns by hand.
The ‘bowl’ refers to the bowl of a stand mixer or the mixing compartment of a bread maker.
Making The Wholemeal Bun Dough
- First of all, add both the milk and water to the bowl.
- Next add both eggs, the honey and yeast.
- Swish about with clean fingers to mix.
- Now add the flour on top of the liquid mixture.
- Place the salt and butter on top of the flour.
For a bread maker, set the cycle to dough and press start. When prompted by the machine, or 5 minutes before mixing stops, add the cinnamon and Sultanas. Allow the bread maker to complete the dough cycle.
As soon as the bread maker has completed the dough cycle, ensure the dough has doubled in size, if not wait until it has. Then re start the dough cycle for 2 minutes, this will ‘knock back’ the dough for you.
For a stand mixer attach the dough hook. Start mixing on a low speed. Once the contents of the bowl resemble dough continue to mix on medium/slow speed for 5 minutes. Stop the mixer. Scrape all the dough, from the hook, into the bowl. Add the cinnamon and Sultanas. Lower the dough hook and mix on medium speed for a further 5 minutes.
After the 5 minutes mixing is complete, stop the mixer. Scrape all the dough back into the bowl, it will be very sticky, don’t worry. Cover with a damp cloth and leave in a draught free place until doubled in size – 1 – 1 1/2 hours. As soon as the dough has doubled in size it can be tipped out and shaped.
Shaping The Buns
- Grease a large baking tray (40cm x 28cm x 2.5 cm) with butter.
- Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.
- Shape the dough into a ball and weigh. Divide the weight by 12 and this will give you the weight of dough needed for each individual bun.
- Alternatively, cut the dough in half and then cut each half into 6 even portions.
- Cut the dough in half using a large knife or metal dough scraper.
- Roll each portion into a ball. Tucking the seam at the bottom.
- Cover with a damp cloth and place in a draught free place until doubled in size – approx. 1 hour.
- While the buns are proving make the paste for the crosses. Mix the flour and water together in a small bowl and then spoon into a small piping bag or plastic sandwich bag.
- As soon as the buns have doubled in size, snip the end off of the piping bag (corner of a sandwich bag) to leave a small hole.
- 10 minutes before the buns are ready to bake preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan gas mark 7, 425F.
- Pipe crosses on to the buns.
Baking The Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns
- Place the buns into the middle of the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
- The Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns are baked when they are a deep golden brown and sound hollow when rapped on the base with your knuckle.
- As soon as the buns are baked remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack.
- Place the apricot jam into a heatproof bowl and microwave for 20-30 seconds to melt.
- Brush the warm buns with apricot jam using a pastry brush.
- Leave to cool completely.
Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns ready to be shared with loved ones!
Split in half, toast and spread with butter or eat as they are.
Store in an airtight tin for up to 3 days. Freeze in an airtight container for up to one month.
If you have the capacity, why not bake a double batch of these delicious Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns and give some away?
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Easter is a time when our family comes together and celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ our Saviour. And sitting together, around the table, giving thanks before a meal is important. Giving thanks for the food we share and the provisions we have however is not only for Easter. Rather, it is an important daily practise in our lives. So is sharing the love that Jesus shows us. Whether it be through words, or more practically. And that is why I am so passionate about sharing food outside of our normal circle on this blog.
So whatever you are making, baking and creating in your kitchens, have fun preparing and sharing your feast.
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