Please Pass the Recipe

sharing recipes from one generation to the next

Hot Cross Buns ’17 : 100% spelt sourdough

Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns

It’s a while since I wrote about bread baking but my passion for slowly fermented 100% spelt sourdough bread continues to grow. My bread is essentially flour and salt mixed with water so is it any wonder I am amazed by the fabulous freshly baked loaves I take from the oven.

My daily loaf recipe has evolved in the passed 12 months simply from pushing boundaries. I’ve learned sourdough made with a mature, active starter is very accommodating so I no longer worry about sticking to a time driven regime. Because of the busyness of daily life some dough has spent 2 days in the fridge before being shaped and baked, while occasionally shaped loaves have spent another 2 days patiently waiting for me to have the time to heat the oven and bake. None of these loaves have suffered and once or twice I suspect I’ve even detected a subtle improvement.

Time driven kneading of the dough is now a thing of the past for me too. My hands suffer from the ravages of a lifetime of dexterous work and some days the joints are so painful, it’s an effort to clutch a spoon, but my super relaxed bread dough doesn’t care, just as long as I don’t forget to give it a few turns and stretch it to the max before relegating it to the fridge for a day or two of rest.

All of this makes me feel as if my previous sourdough experiences, the ones that failed, happened in a different time and dimension. I’ve witnessed the transition of my young starter from a vulnerable weakling to a robust living thing eager to turn flour and water into bread, and this in turn has simplified my bread making routine. Having relaxed into the processes, my loaves, while rustic to the eye, make fabulous eating.

I haven’t made sweet buns for quite a while. In preparation for Easter and the imminent visit of my grand daughters from Melbourne it’s time to dust the flour off my Hot Cross Bun recipe from 2016 and see if 12 months down the track, my changes in basic bread preparation makes any improvement to the end result. I tweaked the recipe just a little too, I can’t help myself.

VERDICT: They were wonderful, try them for yourself…

A note for Fodmappers: Each bun has less than 10g of currants. One hot cross bun should not trigger symptoms as 13 grams is the recommended safe maximum sized serve of currants. All other ingredients are OK.

Sourdough Spelt Hot Cross Buns

140g currants

300mls strong chai made with 2 chai teabags

60g melted butter, cooled

100mls milk  at room temperature( I used lactose free)

2 large eggs, whisked lightly

300g activated spelt sourdough starter

570g organic white spelt flour

1 teaspoon sea salt

100g brown sugar

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground allspice

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

60g roughly chopped pecans

Pour the hot tea over the dried fruit and leave until cool. Drain the fruit and reserve the tea.

Put the milk and melted butter into a measuring cup and make the volume up to 250mls with reserved chai. Discard the remainder of the tea.

Lightly whisk the eggs to break up the yolks then whisk into the other liquids to combine.

Whisk the flour, salt, sugar and spices together in to thoroughly combine.

Weigh the active starter into a large mixing bowl, add the dry ingredients, the fruit and nuts then the liquid ingredients and mix into a shaggy dough.

Set aside for 20 minutes.

Lightly flour the bench, tip the dough onto the bench then knead only until smooth.

Put the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic (I use a plastic shower cap)  and set aside for 40 minutes.

Stretch the dough it into a large oblong on the bench. Fold the edges to the middle over and over until you have a tight boule.

Return the dough to the oiled bowl, cover the bowl with plastic then rest the dough overnight in the fridge. My dough had 15 hours.

The next morning, divide the dough into 16 X 100g-ish pieces.

Line an oven tray 30cm X 30cm with baking paper.

Shape the buns by stretching each piece then folding the edges into the centre until the outside surface is taut and most of the fruit is inside.

Place the shaped buns on the paper lined tray 1cm apart, then cover them with a sheet of baking paper and a clean tea towel.  Allow to rest at room temperature for 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 220C

Crosses:  Make a thick slurry with 1 heaped tablespoon gluten free flour, 1 heaped tablespoon spelt flour, pinch of baking powder and 4 tablespoons cold water. Add a little more water if necessary to make a creamy consistency.

Pipe the crosses onto the buns then put them immediately into the hot oven.

Bake the buns for 10 minutes at 220C then reduce the heat to 200C and bake for a further 20 minutes.

Glaze: In a small pan heat 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water stirring constantly until the sugar has melted. Bring to the boil, simmer for 30 seconds then turn off the heat.

Immediately after you remove the buns from the oven, brush generously with the glaze, then set the buns aside to cool on wire rack.


About ladyredspecs

I live in sunny Brisbane, Australia. My love of good food drives me as a cook, a reader, a traveller, an artist and but mostly as an eater. I cooked professionally for many years but have no formal training. Simply guided by a love of eating good food, respect for ingredients and an abhorrence of artificial additives, I cook instinctively applying the technical know how acquired by experience. I hope you enjoy what I share Sandra AKA ladyredspecs

24 comments on “Hot Cross Buns ’17 : 100% spelt sourdough

  1. Eddie
    March 10, 2021

    Easter is coming and I have truckloads of sourdough starter discard so I thought I’d give these a burl. Apart from the 4 hours or so it took for the 2nd prove (before they rose and that’s my fault for not prepping the starter) everything went according to your recipe. I substituted candied peel for the nuts and I’m pretty happy with them! Thanks for sharing this with us!


  2. alylonna
    April 8, 2020

    I don’t know what I did wrong but my dough is waaaaaay too sticky to knead. It’s just sticking to the bench even though I floured it and to my hands. I kept trying but instead of going smooth it just smeared everywhere. Any idea where I went wrong?? I definitely measured everything. Our starter is a 100% hydration rye starter so not spelt but very close.


    • ladyredspecs
      April 8, 2020

      Hi Alylonna, I’m sorry you’ve has difficulty with my HXB recipe. There are so many variables that can affect the hydration of this dough from the initial dryness of the fruit, how thoroughly you drained the fruit, even the temperature of the flour. Spelt is notoriously fickle


      • alylonna
        April 10, 2020

        The second shaping went much better, the one after 40 minutes – I think maybe it was just that the initial 20 minute hydrolysis wasn’t long enough for my flour? In any event, I persevered and they came out beautifully. I may have eaten several already!!!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Spelt Sourdough Hot Cross Buns #3 | Please Pass the Recipe

  4. Liz Posmyk of Bizzy Lizzy's Good Things
    May 2, 2017

    Beautiful recipe, Sandra. I love working with sour dough, but yeast, flour, grains simply don’t like my tummy. Sad face. Your grandchildren are blessed to have such a lovely grandma. xx


    • ladyredspecs
      May 2, 2017

      Thanks Liz. Slow fermentation consumes the short chain carbs in wheat and spelt that make them indigestible so these are tummy friendly buns


  5. Debi @ My Kitchen Witch
    April 13, 2017

    Sandra – do you think the addition of egg makes a lighter HCB? I might give this a go with my lemony version. I also use lactose free milk (an intolerance I’ve just noticed). Love the height you achieved with these buns.


  6. The Hungry Mum
    April 10, 2017

    How utterly gorge. I tried to create a new hot cross bun recipe this year – it was an utter fail 😦 Yours look so lush.


  7. Sounds delicious!


  8. Beck @ Goldenpudding
    April 8, 2017

    They look wonderful Sandra, I haven’t actually tried my hot cross buns with sourdough, but am very happy with how sourdough fruit loaf turns out, so should give it a go. Interested to hear you leave even shaped loaves for a while in the fridge – I don’t tend to do much retarding of my dough, so that might be next 🙂


    • ladyredspecs
      April 8, 2017

      Retarding the sourdough proof ensures all the nasty sugars in the grain are gobbled up, makes the bread much easier to digest, give it a go I think you’ll like the result

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Lisa @ cheergerm
    April 7, 2017

    They look just wonderful Sandra, love the addition of the chai soaked fruit. Nice twist, enjoy your Easter family time.


  10. ladyredspecs
    April 6, 2017

    Have a wonderful Easter Kate, hope you’ve finally finished cleaning up after Debbie’s unwelcome vist. There were many Hot X Bun free Easters for me, I never even tried a GF version but these buns are yum


  11. katechiconi
    April 6, 2017

    These look lush, and I’m really, really jealous. I may have tweak my own flour-free roll recipe to make something suitably Easter-ish. Have a wonderful Easter with your family 🙂


  12. fergie51
    April 6, 2017

    I am in complete agreement with managing bread to my schedule. Those hot cross buns look gorgeous. Think I may be making a few next week.


    • ladyredspecs
      April 6, 2017

      I’m know you’re the master of all things sourdough Maree, I’m just happy putzing along with my limited repetoire and eating the delicious bread.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Chez @ Chez Moi
    April 6, 2017

    Wow, I am in awe of your sourdough skills! I’m slowly experimenting with fermenting and feel like my water kefir and kombucha are demanding enough as it is. I guess that I would go through the same kind of growing pains with a sourdough starter as you have described. It’s almost like having a child, not sure if I’m up to that(!). Your hot cross buns look incredible, congrats on nailing them!


    • ladyredspecs
      April 6, 2017

      Thanks Chez. You do go through an intense nuturing period like a nervous new Mum, but once you get your legs you can relax and just go with it. Sourdough baking is intensely rewarding


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: