These whole-wheat hot cross buns are soft, fluffy and oh-so delicious.
Today is the last day for this week’s theme ‘Whole grain recipes’. So after a week long salads and other savory whole grain dishes, today I have a sweet treat. These wholewheat hot cross buns are soft, fluffy and absolutely delicious. These are sweet and rich buns that are topped with a thick cross of icing.They are traditionally made on Good Friday and in fact I made them with my daughter on Good Friday. I posted them on Easter weekend on my Instagram. But they don’t need to be limited to just one day of the year. These little sweet buns are perfect to serve with tea or coffee any time of the year.
Hot cross buns were originally made with chopped, candied citrus peel, but that can be subbed with currants or other dried fruit (cherries, apricots, cranberries and so on).When I am baking, I usually substitute up to half of the all purpose flour with wholewheat flour to add some fiber and make the bake less guilty to eat. This wholewheat hot cross bun recipe is from ‘King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking’ cookbook.The dough for these buns is soft and very easy to work with. Adding whole-wheat flour gives these buns a nice earthiness and makes them hearty. Currants (or the other dried fruit) are soaked in rum to plump them up and add some flavor. If you do not want to use alcohol, then feel free to soak in water. Make note that the currants are kneaded into the dough after the first rise.We had a few for snack with tea and some the next day (slightly warmed in the microwave) for breakfast. Don’t forget to check back on Monday to see what my final theme is going to be for this month’s ‘Explore the Flavors’ mega marathon.
Wholewheat Hot Cross Buns
For the Buns:
- ½ cup Currants or Golden Raisins
- 1 cup White Wholewheat flour
- 1¼ cups all purpose flour
- 1¼ tsp Instant Yeast
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 3 tbsp Light or Dark Brown Sugar
- 2 tbsp Nonfat Dry Milk
- ¾ tsp salt
- 1/3 cup Lukewarm Water
- 3 tbsp orange juice
- 1 tbsp Egg Replacer powder whisked with 3tbsp water (1 large Egg)
- 4 tbsp Unsalted Butter, cut into pieces
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/8 tsp Ground Nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp Ground Cinnamon
For the Icing:
- ¾ cup Confectioners Sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- 2~3 tbsp milk
Make the Buns:
- Combine currants or raisins with 1tbsp water in a small bowl. Set aside.
- In a large bowl of a bowl of a stand mixer, combine all the ingredients, except for the currants/ raisins. Mix and knead until a soft, smooth dough forms. Transfer to a lightly greased bowl, cover and set aside to rise until the dough is quite puffy, about 1~2 hours.
- Lightly grease a 9"x2" cake pan.
- Gently deflate the dough and transfer to a lightly greased work surface. Knead in the currants/ raisins into the dough. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces and roll them into round balls.
- Place the balls, smooth side up and about ¼" apart in the greased cake pan. Cover and set aside to rise for 1~1½ hours, or until they are nicely puffy and touching one another.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Uncover and bake the buns until they are light golden brown on top, about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven.
- Let the buns cool 15 minutes or so before icing. Don't wait for too long, icing won't stick to the buns.
Make the Icing:
- Combine all the ingredients for the icing in a small bowl.
- Using a pastry bag or a ziploc bag with a snipped off corner, pipe icing over slightly warm rolls in the traditional cross pattern. Let them cool and serve.