I have this habit of baking way more than our household can consume. I can't help myself, once I start there's no stopping me. I get all antsy and have to start experimenting with new combinations, new recipes, new ingredients etc. I'm inspired by new finds and flavours. I'm one of those freaks who enjoys grocery shopping. I really really like it.
I'm often dreaming up new concoctions whilst I'm baking something else. Like Hot Cross Buns. You can never have enough Hot Cross Buns.... that is until your sick of them, or you have no where to store them all.
I've been itching to try out organic cacao powder and spelt flour, and thankfully they performed just as I expected. The cacao is a really great replacement for regular cocoa, the difference being cacao is 'raw' and thusly packed with way more antioxidants then cocoa, which in some blends can be altered with sugars and thickeners. I found a 1:1 ratio works perfectly when interchanging between the two.
The same goes for the organic spelt flour. It's a little lighter then regular flour, and it has more protein and less wheat, but does contain gluten. It's an ancient grain, and has become increasingly popular for dietary replacements.
Chocolate, Spelt & Date Hot Cross Buns with Raspberry Glaze 600g Organic Spelt Flour 5 teaspoons of instant yeast 100g of brown sugar 350mL of milk 1 teaspoon of ground rock salt 2 vanilla beans 1 free range egg, beaten 80g of coconut oil 40g of desiccated coconut 150g of sliced pitted dates 70g of organic cacao powder 3 tablespoons of chia seeds (mixed)
Crosses 30g of raspberries (frozen are fine) 100mL water 150g of flour
Raspberry glaze 30g of raspberries (frozen are fine) 100mL boiling way 4 tablespoons of brown sugar
- Heat your milk until luke-warm. Add in your instant yeast and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes.
- In a large mixing bowl sift your spelt (reserve about 1/3 of a cup for dusting) and add in your sugar, salt, vanilla bean, desiccated coconut, raw cacao and chai seeds. Mix thoroughly.
- Make a well in your dry ingredients and pour in your yeast milk. Pour in your coconut oil, you need to make sure it's runny and clear. (It may need to be nuked for a sec in the microwave.)
- With a wooden spoon gently mix your ingredients from the middle out. When your about half way, add in your beaten egg and pitted dates.
- Continue mixing, the dough should be sticky. Turn it out on a lightly dusted surface and knead for about 10 minutes. The dough should be very sticky to start with. If it isn't, it might not rise as the coconut is sponging up all the liquid. You may need to add a little more milk. The dough will become smoother as you work it.
- Leave your dough to rise in an oiled bowl until doubled in size. The time will vary depending on your room temperature, but I've found it takes about 3-4 hours. Yep, it's a slow riser. Damn coconut.
- Once the dough has doubled in size, punch it down, then roll it out like a sausage and divide into 12 large buns.
- Place your buns close together on a greased and lined baking tray. Allow the buns to rise further. I left mine overnight and they were lovely and light. I think another 2-3 hours would be sufficient.
- Combined all your cross ingredients, you'll need to break up or mash your raspberries. Pipe the mixture into crosses on your risen buns.
- Bake your buns at 220 degrees Celsius for 10-15 minutes. Allow to cool slightly.
- Combine all your glaze ingredients. You can reduce the amount of water if you want a stickier glaze. Brush onto your still warm buns. You may want to reapply a few times.
- Cool the buns a little further in the tin before moving them to a cooling rack. Then enjoy!
I've found these buns toast really well. You could add more sugar if you want a sweeter chocolate flavour, omit the desiccated coconut or replace the oil with butter.
Next time I bake these I'm aiming for entirely organic. I'm currently on the hunt for organic fair trade sugars, yeast and dates! Yum!