Plant Based Recipes

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Toffee apple hot cross buns

Toffee and apple are a match made in heaven right? Try adding that to a warm fluffy bun and you have got my attention straight away. Close your eyes and imagine sweet smells of apple cinnamon wafting through your kitchen. Salivating yet? Hot cross buns were always a hit in my house every easter mum would buy a packet to have over easter weekend and they sometimes served as a cheeky breakfast. 

When oven pride got in touch and asked for a tweaked hot cross recipe i first thought of chocolate and orange. Tried that out first and they did turn out very nice, the orange was very strong but unfortunately it was not as fluffy and light as this flavour.  Oh and these ones are refined sugar free as well, some naked toffee pieces and coconut sugar to sweeten. You get little hits of toffee then a little piece of apple bursting inside these buns, its hard to just stop at just one. 

At first i thought these buns might be missing something having no eggs in or butter, but the apple sauce acts as the egg and adds to the warming apple flavour. I think it also gives them a nice texture. I used some dairy free butter and again, you cannot tell the difference. I find that a lot with dairy free baking the butter is so easily replaced in a recipe. 

These buns are amazing hot out of the oven, and the next day are even better toasted up and smothered in some diary free butter. I don't know what it is with things left to sit overnight the flavours just get better. They also make a pretty amazing bread and butter style pudding if you have any left over, but who's going to have any of these hanging around for days am i right?

I kept the ingredients really simple so they were easy to find, also that meant  it did not require more steps and waiting around, you can easily make half a batch if your not wanting to make lots. I tried a half batch in the photos and it made 8 smaller size ones easily. This recipe dose say to prove the dough 3 times before baking. I have tried this method and I've also tried just proving them 2 times and i have to say there was not much difference except the buns came out a little larger the 3 time. 

For the buns
300ml soy milk, plus 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar 
50g dairy free butter
500g strong bread flour
1 tsp salt
70g coconut sugar
1 tbsp sunflower oil
7g sachet fast-action or easy-blend yeast
1/3 cup apple sauce
zest 1 orange
2 apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 packets of nakd toffee pieces 

For the cross:
75g plain flour and a little water, plus extra for dusting
For the glaze
1tbs maple syrup 


Bring the milk to the boil, then remove from the heat and add the butter. Leave to cool until it reaches hand temperature. Put the flour, salt, sugar and yeast into a bowl. Make a well in the centre. Pour in the warm milk and butter mixture, then add the apple sauce. Using a wooden spoon, mix well, then bring everything together with your hands until you have a sticky dough.
Tip onto a lightly floured surface and knead by holding the dough with one hand and stretching it with the heel of the other hand, then folding it back on itself. Repeat for 5 mins until smooth and elastic. Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with oiled cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hr or until doubled in size and a finger pressed into it leaves a dent.
With the dough still in the bowl, tip in the orange zest, toffee pieces, apple and cinnamon. Knead into the dough, making sure everything is well distributed. Leave to rise for 1 hr more, or until doubled in size, again covered by some well-oiled cling film to stop the dough getting a crust.
Divide the dough into 16 even pieces (about 75g per piece). Roll each piece into a smooth ball on a lightly floured work surface. Arrange the buns on one or two baking trays lined with parchment, leaving enough space for the dough to expand. Cover (but don’t wrap) with more oiled cling film, or a clean tea towel, then set aside to prove for 1 hr more.
Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Mix the flour with about 5 tbsp water to make the paste for the cross – add the water 1 tbsp at a time, so you add just enough for a thick paste. At this stage you can brush with maple syrup for a more browner bun. Spoon flour mixture into a piping bag with a small nozzle. Pipe a line along each row of buns, then repeat in the other direction to create crosses Bake for 20 mins on the middle shelf of the oven, until golden brown.
Brush with maple syrup over the top of the warm buns and leave to cool.



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