Vegan Hot Cross Bun Loaf
Kinda bored of hot cross buns but also kinda not? I’m not sure about you, but I always look forward to a fruit-filled sweet doughy bun at this time of year but after I’ve had one or two I find myself hankering for something a little bit different. Well this year I have the solution! This hot cross bun loaf is the perfect marriage of the classic hot cross bun with your favourite soft, squidgy loaf-o-bread and it’s absolutely killer cut into slices, toasted and slathered in vegan butter. Honestly, Easter breakfast just got the ultimate upgrade. AND I haven’t tried it yet, but I have a sneaking suspicion that French-toasting a few slices of this Easter hunk might be the best thing ever to happen.
This recipe has multiple stages so is great for a slow Easter weekend when you’re rattling round the house and want a dough-based project to keep you occupied and in the Easter spirit. Also, what’s more satisfying than checking on you’re dough-baby after an hours proving and it having doubled in size?! Just me? OK.
Vegan Hot Cross Bun Loaf
For the dough:
500g plain flour
50g caster sugar
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp cloves
½ tsp salt
170ml lukewarm soya milk
7g active dry yeast
2 tbsp. ground flaxseed
80g butter, at room temperature
50g raisins or sultanas
50g dried apricots
50g pecans, roughly chopped
Butter for greasing the loaf tin
For the crosses:
25g plain flour
1 tsp. olive oil
1-2 tbsp. water
For the glaze:
2 tbsp. marmalade, apricot jam or citrus syrup
- Add the ground flaxseed to a small bowl and mix with 4 tbsp water to form a ‘flax-egg’. Set aside.
- Add the flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt to a large bowl and mix until well combined.
- Make a small well in the middle of the flour mixture and pour in the lukewarm milk. Sprinkle the yeast on top and mix into the milk with a wooden spoon until well combined. Allow the yeast milk bubble for about 5 minutes.
- Add the flax egg and butter into the bowl. Use a wooden spoon to bring the mixture together and then knead in the bowl for approx.10 minutes until it forms a smooth dough. It may seem a little dry at first, don’t be tempted to add more milk or water, it will become smoother as you knead.
- Cover the bowl (I use an old plastic bag, but a damp tea towel will do the job too) and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 1/2 – 2 hours, or until the dough has doubled in size.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Flatten the dough a bit with your hands and sprinkle over the raisins, dried apricots and chopped pecans. Fold and knead them into the dough until evenly incorporated.
- Return the dough to the bowl and allow to rise for another 45-60 minutes.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface again and divide into 8 equal pieces – you might want to weigh them out to ensure they are all the same size (mine were about 130g per piece).
- Shape each piece into a fat sausage – they should be about the height of your loaf tin when stood up on end – and place the sausages upright next to each other in a greased 9 x 5 inch loaf tin. Cover and allow to rise another 30-45 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C while you prepare the flour mixture for the crosses. Mix the flour with oil and gradually add the water to get a thick, smooth paste. You can play around with the amount of flour/water until you get a stiff, pipe-able consistency.
- Add the mixture to a small piping bag and pipe a cross on top of each bun.
- Bake the loaf for 30-35 minutes until golden brown.
- Take out of the oven and turn out of the baking tin. Place on a wire rack. While the loaf is still hot, whisk the marmalade/apricot jam with a dash of boiling water to form a glaze and brush over the top of the loaf. If you’re using a citrus syrup you can pour a few tsp straight over and brush to cover the whole loaf.
- Allow to cool before slicing. Best served sliced and toasted with a good helping of vegan butter!