Hot Cross Buns have to be one of the all time BEST Easter treats. The options and variations are endless, no longer are we limited to the classic traditional hot cross bun. These beauties are Vegan Chocolate Chip Hot Cross Buns.
Made from a yeasted dough they require a little bit of patience and dedication. However, putting in a bit of time and effort you will be so so happy with how delicious they are. Plus, homemade goodies are always better than the store bought alternatives.
1. Preheat the oven to 220°C.
2. Mix 1 tsp of the Rice Malt Syrup with 150ml tepid water in a jug. Add the sachet of yeast and gently stir, leave to the side until mixture becomes frothy. Meanwhile, sift the flour, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl then add the chocolate chips.
3. In a saucepan, on a low-medium heat, warm the milk with the 50ml of Rice Malt Syrup.
4. Make a well in the middle of the flour and pour in the yeast mixture, the apple sauce, oil and warmed milk & rice malt mixture. Using a fork or wooden spoon, stir in a circular motion until it forms a dough. Feel free to add a little more milk if the dough is too dry and not coming together properly. (It's important to be patient though because it can take a little while for the dough to come together - and if you add more moisture too early, the dough could end up being too wet!)
5. Place the dough on a clean surface lightly dusted with flour. Knead until smooth and glossy, about 5 mins. Once kneaded, place the dough in a large mixing bowl and cover with a clean, damp tea towel. Leave in a warm place to prove until it has doubled in size, about 1 hour, then knock it back and knead again to its original size.
6. Divide the dough into 10 evenly sized pieces and shape into round buns. Place on a lightly greased baking tray. Cover with a damp tea towel place back in the warm place and leave to rise again until doubled in size, another 35-40 mins.
7. For the cross decoration, mix the flour and water together to form a dough. Break small amounts of the dough off and roll between your hands to form a thin sausage like shape. You will need 20 strips in total, two for each bun.
8. Brush the risen buns with some milk and lay the dough strips on top in the shape of a cross. Brush the cross with the milk.
9. Bake the buns for 15 minutes, or until golden. If you're unsure if the buns are cooked through, tap the bottom of one, and if it sounds hollow, it's ready.
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