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Spelt Sourdough Hot Cross Buns #3

Spelt sourdough hot cross buns #3

Spelt sourdough hot cross buns #3

I’m of the opinion that Hot Cross Buns should only eaten to be at Easter time despite the supermarket sales campaigns that generally begin soon after Christmas, so, each year in the lead up to Easter, I begin experimenting with perfecting 100% Spelt Sourdough Hot Cross Buns for my family.

There was nothing wrong with the recipe I shared in 2017 or 2016 but I’m continually seeking improvement so the first taste of each batch of buns is subjected to critical appraisal. The adjustments I made to those recipes were based on notes I jotted in the margin of my recipe development notebook, “add more spice, try alternative to sugar, reduce starter proportion, make smaller.”

I seek to make buns that are dense and moist, buns that have a delicious balance of warm spicy sweetness, buns that are studded with soft vine fruits, buns that so delicious that you find it hard to say no to more than one. My sourdough Hot Cross Buns also need to be gut friendly so a long fermentation is necessary and in this case it was 20 hours. These buns are lactose free, cane sugar free and the amount of currants used is deliberately controlled to make them low Fodmap.

For me Easter is not complete without buns for breakfast and I’m not missing out.

Spelt Sourdough Hot Cross Buns #3

200g currants

250g strong chai tea

275g active sourdough starter

1kg white spelt flour

10g sea salt

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon ground cardamom

100g roughly chopped pecans

3 eggs, at room temperature, lightly whisked

90g coconut oil

150g rice malt syrup

about 100mls warm milk

Begin by activating your sourdough starter. Mine takes about 6 hours to boogie.

Pour the hot chai over the currants and set aside to cool.

Gently heat the milk to remove the fridge chill.

Into a large non reactive bowl measures the starter, flour, salt, spices and nuts.

Drain the currants and set aside the tea.

Measure the rice malt syrup and coconut oil in a large measuring jug.

Add the eggs and tea, then enough milk to make the volume 650 mis.

Put the currants into the mixing bowl then pour over the liquids.

Mix to a shaggy dough then cover and set the dough aside for 20 minutes.

Dust the bench with a little spelt flour, tip the dough onto the bench and knead it only until smooth and elastic.

Wash the bowl and lightly oil the inside with coconut oil.

Return the dough to the bowl, turn the dough over so it’s coated in oil then cover and set aside for 45 minutes.

Tip the dough onto the bench again then gently stretch the dough as thinly as you can before it tears.

Fold the dough into a boule, return it to the bowl, cover and set aside until doubled in bulk.

Gently release the gases from the dough, cover the bowl and place in the fridge overnight.

The next day, about three hours before you intend to bake, remove the dough from the fridge and gently tip it onto the bench.

Divide the dough into 30 X 80g pieces.

Line a flat oven tray with baking paper.

Shape each piece of dough into a ball by folding it in on itself until the outside surface shows no exposed fruit.

Place the shaped buns on the baking tray so they are only just touching.

Cover the buns with a piece of greased baking paper and a tea towel and allow to rest in a warm place for 1 -1 1/2 hours or until slightly risen.

Preheat the oven to 220C.

Crosses:  Make a thick slurry with 2 heaped tablespoons of gluten free flour, pinch of baking powder and 3 tablespoons water.

Pipe the crosses onto the buns then put them immediately into the hot oven and bake for 10 minutes at 220C.

Reduce the heat to 200C and bake for a further 15 minutes.

Glaze: In a small pan heat 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water until the sugar has melted. Increase the heat and simmer the syrup for 1 minute.

When the baking time is complete remove the buns from the oven and brush the tops generously with the glaze. Return the buns to the oven for 1 minute.

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

17 comments on “Spelt Sourdough Hot Cross Buns #3

  1. Pinks
    March 6, 2021

    Hi could this recipe be made using Wholemeal Spelt flour ?


    • ladyredspecs
      March 11, 2021

      Yes it’s possible but I think you would end up with very dense buns


  2. Gather and Graze
    March 24, 2018

    The Chai Tea sounds like a fabulous addition Sandra… along with the extra spices, these buns must be packed full of flavour! Can imagine how good your kitchen must have smelled while they were in the oven.


  3. Sherry
    March 23, 2018

    yep definitely only for easter! these sound wonderful. x


    • ladyredspecs
      March 25, 2018

      Thanks Sherry, most are in the freezer waiting for Easter…


  4. Jan
    March 23, 2018

    Hot Cross Buns have become, for me, almost as anxiety producing as the Christmas turkey and pudding! I will give these a go Sandra because they look wonderful and the recipe sounds so delicious.


    • ladyredspecs
      March 23, 2018

      Oh no, it shouldn’t be that way. There is nothing challenging about this recipe, just the normal sort of bread making routine. Good luck..


  5. Francesca
    March 23, 2018

    They look great Sandra, I think you’ve nailed it.


  6. Debi @ An Evolving Life
    March 23, 2018

    I do so agree with you that HCBs are only for Easter time. They would lose their special appeal if they become too common all year round. I was thinking about getting my HCB recipe out to make some for our students here in Greece. Orthodox Easter is a bit further away, so I have time. Yours rise nicely and I love the idea of a long rise time. I must also try to put mine closer together. Tweaking never stops.


  7. Conor Bofin
    March 22, 2018

    If I can also add my twopence worth….

    Divine. I would be happy with ’16, ’17 or ’18.

    Great works.


  8. These look really good. I agree, hot X buns should only be eaten at Easter. A treat worth waiting for 🙂


    • ladyredspecs
      March 23, 2018

      Sadly the significance of traditions is usually lost to consumerism. These are worth waiting for


  9. creativeshare
    March 22, 2018

    I have an opinion too, any Hot Cross buns that look as delicious as yours should be eaten ASAP. This cycle should then be repeated as often as possible. They look awesome, Sandra!


    • ladyredspecs
      March 23, 2018

      I think the house fairies here had the same opinion. A baker’s work is never done…


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