Just because you are eating healthy and staying away from processed foods, it doesn't mean you have to miss out on Easter traditions. I have an awesome recipe for Paleo Hot Cross buns, it can be made in two varieties, traditional with sultanas and yummy chocolate. (For a printable version of Paleo Hot Cross Buns click here).
When I told my hubby I was going to make hot cross buns, he said, maybe you shouldn't! Me: why? Hubby: Last year they were like rocks. I had to agree that if not eaten on the same day they would become like little rocks. Even though they were really tasty, my family would prefer them to look and taste like the commercial ones. I've gotten used to replacing unhealthy food with healthier options, that don't always look the same, I also understand that the rest of the family don't always think the same as I do.
If you know me you will know I don't give up easily, so I set out to prove my hubby wrong. I'm delighted to tell you I PROVED MY HUBBY WRONG!
I experimented with the ingredients to make a better texture, they are softer and rise nicely now. Last year I made the texture firmer so I could roll them into buns but that made them a bit dry. Making the dough softer by adding a banana and adjusting the ratio of almond meal and arrowroot, produced a much better consistency. Due to a softer dough, I needed to use muffin tins to bake them. Then I compared using cup cake paper liners/patty pans and cafe style paper cup liners, to see what made the hot cross buns look the best. I decided on the cafe style as the patty pans made them look like cup cakes.
It's not always best to prove your hubby wrong but in this case it helped me bring you a gluten/grain free, dairy free, refined sugar free, paleo Hot Cross Bun recipe for you to enjoy this Easter. (You will find the variation for Chocolate Hot Cross Buns at the bottom of the recipe directions).
Preheat oven to 170c. Line a large 12 hole muffin tin with paper cup liners (patty pans).
To a food processor add, eggs, banana, macadamia oil and honey. Process for 15 - 20 seconds, scrape down the bowl with a spatula if needed.
Add to wet ingredients, arrowroot flour, almond meal, zest, dates, spices, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Process for 5 seconds to mix, then scrape down bowl and process for a further 15 seconds.
Remove blade and mix sultanas through by hand.
Spoon mixture into the 12 lined muffin holes making sure to fill evenly and smooth top.
For the crosses, you need to make a thick paste. Add to a small bowl the arrowroot and coconut flours. Add 1 tablespoon of water, mix well, then add the remaining water 1 teaspoon at a time. If you need more water just add 1 drop at a time, it can go from a thick paste to a runny mess very quickly. (If mixture is too runny it will mix into the dough while cooking, add a further teaspoon of arrowroot if too runny). Spoon into a pipping bag or use a snap lock bag and snip a little hole in corner. Pipe a cross on top.
Bake for 20 minutes or until just starting to brown and a skewer inserted comes out clean.
While buns are baking, make glaze. To a small saucepan add orange juice, honey, water and cinnamon. Bring to a slow simmer, stir often and simmer for 3 - 4 minutes. Set aside.
Allow hot cross buns to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, remove from paper liners and place on a wire cooling rack, place some paper or a tray under rack to catch drips. Use a pastry brush to coat the top of the buns.
Can be served warm or at room temperature, delicious with some ghee or organic butter if tolerated. Suitable to freeze.
CHOCOLATE HOT CROSS BUN VERSION:
Follow the above recipe with these variations. Reduce mixed spice to 1 1/2 teaspoons and add 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla powder. Replace sultanas with 60gms of 70 - 85% dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces. Add chocolate pieces at end and mix through by hand. Prepare and cook as above.
By Susan Joy