Fruity not-cross buns
As much as I love fruity spiced breads, the thought of attempting to make some has always been a bit scary. This is coming from someone who makes their own bread, pretty much exclusively (thanks to this book). The main reason they’re so scary is that home made hot cross buns always seem to go kinda hard and dry the next day, and I simply can’t eat that much spiced fruit bread in a day, given how rich it normally is. Well, if this has plagued you too, and you can’t be bothered piping the crosses on your buns (or want a good ol recipe for spicy fruit buns for any time of year), this recipe is for you (although I’m not going to be upset if you do pipe them with crosses either).
These buns are soft the next day, toast up crunchy rather than crispy, and stay very moist the next day thanks to the applesauce (no, I haven’t used it all up yet, are you kidding me?). This recipe also doesn’t require the world’s supply of spices (just cinnamon), and the method and ingredients are also a bit flexible – if you don’t have apricot jam, use honey or golden syrup, or even just sugar. You can add sultanas or raisins if you want, or chocolate chip if you’re feeling all new-age.
The one warning worth mentioning: this was pretty experimental, and to be honest I don’t even quite remember how much flour I even put in these. Don’t let that frighten you too much though, since breadmaking is quite dependent on your microclimate anyway (also how wet your applesauce is, etc), so it should be about feel rather than blindly following a recipe. Luckily it’s Easter, so you’ve got a whole weekend to try these babies.
These also coincidentally happen to be vegan, until I slathered them with butter (have yet to try cream cheese, which would also be heavenly). Your vegan loved ones can use margarine though. A little fruity preserve and you’re away (I used apricot jam, but also have some quince paste I’m going to try with them). Enjoy in the sunshine if possible, and have a very wonderful weekend :)
Fruity not-cross buns
A guide – makes about 9 generously sized buns. Wouldn’t recommend making this into a loaf.
- 1/2 c water, just boiled
- 1c unsweetened applesauce
- 4 Tbs jam (I used apricot) or marmalade, without setting agents in*, or 2Tbs honey, sugar, golden syrup, or maple syrup
- about 1 tsp blackstrap molasses or cocoa, for colour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 Tbs neutral tasting oil
- 1 heaping tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
- 3 c plain white flour (high grade/bread flour), or 2 3/4 c plain flour + 1/4 gluten
- 1/2 c wholemeal flour (or sub with about 3/4c plain white flour), plus more for shaping
- optional: whatever other dried chopped fruit you want, spices etc
What used to be a sad little shopping centre in Christchurch has now become a serious boutique foodie destination – The Colombo is not only home to a brand new J’aime les Macarons, but a Coopers & Co. deli stocking my favourite pastries in the city, a fresh juice bar, She Chocolat, a promising looking sandwich place and one of my new favourite burger places, Burgers & Beers. There are plenty of other places around too, so if you’re ever planning to visit the city and want to visit a shopping centre that has local businesses in it, this is the place.