Saturday 29 March 2014

Spelt, walnut and cranberry hot cross buns

After many requests, I give you my recipe for spelt, walnut and cranberry hot cross buns. Now given that I mostly cook by eye or feel I had to guesstimate some of my measurements. For example, I use two largish handfuls of walnuts and I sort of sprinkle my cinnamon and all spice until it looks right. So you may need to fiddle with the measurements a bit until you get the right amount for you.

My arms of patheticness mean that I can no longer kneed dough or chop things. Instead I use a Kitchenaid to mix my dough and a food processor to chop my fruit and nuts. I also use a square silicon cake tin as nothing sticks and I don't need to paper or butter the tin. And a trusty plastic re-sealable sandwich bag makes a fantastic stand in for a piping bag. They freeze really well and I will often put half in the freezer for later use so they don't go off.

Making these usual uses up a full day of spoons. But they really are worth the effort.


700gm plain spelt flour ( I use an organic white spelt)
80gm castor sugar
2 sachets dry yeast
2 teaspoon cinnamon 
1 teaspoon all spice
180gm dried cranberries
200gm walnuts
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
100gm butter
300ml milk (I use a lactose-free milk by Zymil)
1 egg

2 heaped tablespoons spelt extra

1/4 cup castor sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon


To make buns.
1. Mix flour, sugar, salt, yeast, cinnamon, and all spice, in a bowl.
2. Chop up walnuts and cranberries (I do this in my food processor as my hands are too weak to cut them) and stir through flour mix.
3. Place butter and milk in a saucepan over low heat. Remove as soon as butter is melted.
4. Make a well in the centre of the flour, fruit and nut mix and pour in warm butter/milk liquids. Mix through.
5. In a separate bowl beat egg and vanilla together. Add to dough.
6. Kneed mixture for 10 mins by hand. (I use my Kitchenaid with it's dough hook as I can no longer mix by hand. It is a rather heavy dough so if using a machine to kneed dough, do it in 3 batches for 5 mins.)
7. Place dough in a oiled bowl and cover with Gladwrap. Set aside in a warm spot for 40mins.
8. After 40 mins cut the dough into 16 equal pieces. Lightly kneed each piece and form into a ball. Place all 16 pieces into a square cake pan.
9. Cover with Gladwrap and set aside for another 40mins.
10. At the 30min mark pre-heat oven to 200C.

To make crosses.
11. Mix 2 heaped tablespoons of spelt flour with enough water to make a thickish paste.
12. Place mixture into a plastic sandwich bag.
13. Snip a corner off the bag.
14. Pipe mixture over risen buns to make crosses.

15. Place now crossed buns in oven for 20 mins. (I tend to turn mine 180 degrees at the 10 min mark to ensure equal browning.)

To make glaze.
16. Place sugar and extra cinnamon in heavy based saucepan.
17. Add a small amount of water to cover sugar.
18. Bring to boil and leave for 1-2mins and take off heat.

19. Take finished buns out of oven.
20. Whilst still in tin, brush glaze over hot buns.
21. Leave 10mins in tin before transferring to a wire rack to cool.
22. Toast and slather with butter. Enjoy!


And a good song to listen to whilst you chomp down on your fresh hot cross buns.

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