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Healthy Hot Cross Buns

Now is the perfect time for making these delicious hot cross buns made from wholemeal spelt, rye, plump raisins, honey, cinnamon and vanilla. Start the recipe the day before you need them. Make a double batch because these won’t last long! These tasty buns are not very difficult to make, actually the dough is very simple. After combining the ingredients the most important part is to allow the buns to rest and develop in the fridge overnight – at least 12 hours. Serve warm and enjoy on Easter morning! 

What’s great about them

Whole-meal spelt are rye are often tolerated with people who have digestive issues as it has a slightly lower gluten content and higher amino acid profile then traditional wheat based flours. Olive oil is anti-inflammatory to the body and marries perfectly with the Mediterranean style flavours of orange, vanilla and cinnamon. Cinnamon improves insulin’s efficiency, which help to regulate blood sugar levels.

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ingredients (Makes 24 buns)

Start this recipe the day before

320 g whole meal spelt flour
50 g rye flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon sea salt
grated zest of 1 orange
10 g fresh yeast or 1 sachet 5 g dried yeast (I used fresh yeast bought from my local bakery)
250 ml milk (your choice)
2 tablespoons raw honey
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
150 ml extra virgin olive oil
2 organic eggs
300 g raisins or golden sultanas
100 g dried chopped apricots
melted dark or white chocolate for crosses


Day 1

  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 then turn off your mixer and remove the bowl.
  5. Cover your bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rest at room temperature for about 1 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 ok, 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.

Day 2

  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 and they should at least double in size.
  3. Preheat oven to 180 C.
  4. Make an egg wash using 1 whole egg and 2 tablespoons of milk.
  5. Brush tops of the buns with egg wash.
  6. Bake for 35 – 40 minutes or until golden and baked through.
  7. Cool slightly.
  8. Melt chocolate then pipe over the buns before serving. Enjoy.
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