Friday, 3 April 2015

RECIPE - Earl Grey & Orange Vegan Hot Cross Buns

Vegan Earl Grey and Orange Hot Cross Buns

As my fellow Brits will know, the weather in April can be pretty unpredictable. One week it's sunny, the next it's chucking down with hailstones.

So when faced with a combo of gale-force winds + long weekend off work, there's really only one thing to do. Bake.

Vegan Life Recipe - Hot Cross Buns

As soon as I spotted this recipe for hot cross buns in the latest edition of Vegan Life magazine I knew I had to give them a try, and whilst there is no doubt that VL's buns look far tastier than mine, we had a lot of fun making them.

We wanted to shake up the traditional hot cross bun recipe a little, and decided to make Earl Grey and orange buns. Well, Earl Grey was from the North East, so it seemed a fitting flavour for Tea on the Tyne.


350g strong bread flour
2 - 3 Earl Grey teabags
1/2 carton orange juice
Zest of one large orange
1 sachet fast action dried yeast
25g coconut sugar (you can use caster sugar if you don't have coconut)
100g currants
75g vegan margarine
175ml soya milk

For the crosses

50g plain flour
25g vegan margarine
1 - 2 tbsp water to bind

For the glaze

2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp orange juice

Vegan Earl Grey and Orange Hot Cross Buns

The first thing you want to do is soak your currants. Soak them for as long as possible. I'm talking seven hours if possible. I hate recipes that require too much prep but just measure them out, stick them in a bowl, cover them in juice and just walk away and forget about them. You're not going to have a hot cross bun for at least another ten hours so just try not to think about them for a bit, OK? It'll be worth it.

Vegan Earl Grey and Orange Hot Cross Buns
Once your currants have absorbed a whole bunch of the orange juice, you can start making the buns. Firstly, add your soya milk to a pan to gently warm. As it's warming, add two or three Earl Grey tea bags (depending upon how strong of an infusion you'd like.) We used two.

Vegan Earl Grey and Orange Hot Cross Buns

Leave the bags in there as the milk warms. Remove the bags when you have something which resembles a very milky tea.

Vegan Earl Grey and Orange Hot Cross Buns

Turn off the heat and measure out your coconut or caster sugar. We used this organic coconut sugar by Super Nutrients.

Vegan Earl Grey and Orange Hot Cross BunsAdd the sugar and the sachet of yeast to a large bowl. Pour in the milky tea concoction.

Vegan Earl Grey and Orange Hot Cross Buns

Leave for five minutes to allow the yeast to activate. Sift the flour into another bowl and make a well in the centre. Pour the yeast mixture into the well and stir. Drain the soaked currants. Melt the margarine over a low heat and add melted margarine and soaked currants to the mixture. Add the orange zest. Mix together to form a dough.

Knead the dough for ten minutes on a lightly floured surface. Place the dough ball back into the large bowl and cover the bowl with a clean, damp tea towel or cling film. Place in a warm spot for about two hours - until the dough has doubled in size.

Vegan Earl Grey and Orange Hot Cross Buns
Place the massive dough ball back on to the floured surface and knead for another five minutes.

Divide the dough into 8 - 12 equal pieces and shape into something that resembles a bun. Place one a baking sheet and cover with the tea towel or cling film again. Put them back into the warm place for 45 minutes - 1 hour.
Vegan Earl Grey and Orange Hot Cross Buns
Whilst you're waiting for the buns to rise, make the crosses. Place the margarine and flour into a bowl and rub together to form breadcrumbs.

Vegan Earl Grey and Orange Hot Cross Buns
Mix in the water a bit at a time to form a dough. Roll out the dough and cut into thin strips.

Heat the oven to 180C / 350F / Gas Mark 4. Once the buns have risen, place the crosses on top and lightly brush the top with soya milk. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes.

Vegan Earl Grey and Orange Hot Cross Buns
To make the glaze, heat the sugar and orange juice in a pan until the sugar dissolves. Brush onto the buns once baked, and serve with a nice cup of tea.

Vegan Earl Grey and Orange Hot Cross Buns

Whatever you're up to have a great Easter weekend - if you give these a try don't forget to tag me in your Instagram and Twitter pics @teaonthetyne.

This is the first Vegan Life recipe I have ever made but - even though we added a few extra ingredients - it was still super easy to follow and there weren't any crazy ingredients like in some magazines, we'll definitely be making more VL recipes in the future.

For more great Easter recipes, check out the latest edition of Vegan Life magazine or subscribe online here!

Emily x

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