Healthy Hot Cross Buns (with Chocolate & Collagen)
There is truly nothing better than the smell of hot cross buns baking in the oven on an autumn day.. it would have to be right up there with the smell of freshly brewed coffee and fresh laundry for me!
I am always trying to figure out ways to make popular recipes healthier and more nourishing. Some recipes are difficult to make entirely healthy as they lose the essence of what they are all about (like today's recipe - Healthy Hot Cross Buns).
These are not that dissimilar from the original recipe but I believe they may be even better (but I'll let you be the judge of that! ;)
Why do I think they're better?
Well, firstly because they use wholemeal spelt flour rather than white flour (often bleached) which makes them a much better (and digestible) option.
Ok, So Why is Spelt Flour Better than Regular Wheat Flour?
That is an awesome question and I'm glad you asked! Spelt is considered an "ancient grain" because it was popular in more ancient times before modern wheat was introduced. It is a rellie (relative) of regular wheat and it remains unchanged for the most part even over the past few centuries, while big changes occurred to regular wheat.
Wheat took over from spelt and other grains (that are considered ancient) because wheat was thought to produce a higher yield.
Wheat has changed over the years too and this is due to a few reasons...
- DIFFERENT PROCESS: It's not processed in the same way it used to be. Basically it comes down to money (doesn't it always?) You see, in the late 19th century new processing techniques made it feasible to create much larger quantities of refined wheat for a much lower cost.
- LESS NUTRITION: Because of the way wheat is now produced (processed) the nutrition that once was is no longer there. This is due to the nutritious components of the grain (wheat bran and wheat germ) being separated from the endosperm, where you find the starchy carbs.
- PREPARATION: For the most part, these days we prepare our grains much differently! In the good "old days" (when we had more time), we would sprout and ferment our grains - thus giving them more health benefits and easier on the digestion.
If you have eaten plain flour in the past, you may have noticed the way it makes you feel? Ofte it makes a person feel bloated and can cause gas and wind pain but it can also cause more serious issues like IBS and other digestive diseases. I know myself, I have suffered with IBS in the past and regular flour it can be inflammatory. I am certainly not perfect though and on the rare occasion I will cave and have a pizza made with regular flour. This is purely emotional for me as it's often when I am looking for some instant gratification and comfort food (I never feel good after eating this kind of pizza?)
So where ever possible, I do try to find ways to avoid plain flour in my recipes and today I am excited to share this healthy hot cross bun recipe with you!
Not only is is made with wholemeal spelt flour but it also contains sugar-free chocolate, hydrolyzed collagen powder and rapadura sugar instead of caster sugar. Rapadura is still sugar but it a much healthier option than regular white sugar.
I have used organic eggs, organic butter and organic milk as well and there is definitely controversy in eating dairy, I am well aware of that but I feel that if you are not intolerant to dairy a little but here and there cannot hurt? I am sure I will get some pushback on this and that is ok, everyone is entitled to their own beliefs :)
To eat dairy or not to eat dairy? this is a very personal question that only you can answer for yourself by the way your body reacts and same goes for gluten! I personally find if my gut health is good and I am not stressed and I don't overdo these foods I can have and enjoy them occasionally.
You could make these buns with coconut flour too but they would be very dense and I don't know how yeast goes with coconut flour as I have never tried to combine the two?
So now to the fun part of this blog.. the actual recipe! :)
Healthy Hot Cross Buns (with Chocolate & Collagen)
- 4 cups wholemeal spelt flour
- 2 sachets of dried yeast (7g)
- 1/4 rapadura sugar
- 1 x 90g bar of Sugar-free chocolate*
- 2 scoops Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen powder
- Himalayan Salt (just a pinch)
- 2 organic eggs (beaten lightly)
- 50g organic butter
Ingredients (flour paste for crosses):
- 1/2 wholemeal spelt flour
- 6-7 tbsp water
Ingredients for Glaze:
- 1/2 cup Rapadura sugar
- 1/3 cup water
Optional to serve is butter and this is the only way to go in my opinion :)
*NOTE: You can get Well Naturally Dark chocolate bar at woolies online or in store.
- Chop up your chocolate into small bits and set aside
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, yeast, collagen, chocolate and salt.
- Melt butter on medium heat and then add the milk but only heat until lukewarm so you don't scramble your eggs when you add the milk mix to the beaten eggs
- Once you have slightly heated your milk and butter mixture then add this to your beaten eggs in a separate bowl, whisk well
- Add this mix to the dry ingredients and combine well with a wooden spoon
- Tip this mix onto a clean, lightly-floured bench top and knead this dough for about 10 mins (I usually set a timer on my phone and listen to a podcast or audiobook while I am doing this as it makes the time go faster! ;)
- When you have kneaded the dough for this amount of time, take a clean bowl (I find Pyrex bowls work well) and using a piece of paper towel add a little oil and grease the bowl then pop in the dough, cover with cling film (biodegradable I might add!) and pop this into a dry place for 1 hour and 30 mins where there is no draft (I find the pantry to be a good place for this).
- When you return you will see the dough has doubled in size and it's time for the next step.
- With clean dry hands, punch down on the dough (therapeutic) until it is half the size again (sounds counterintuitive right but you'll see). Then take the dough onto your lightly-floured bench again and knead it for about 30 seconds
- Roll the dough into a snake and cut into 4 bits and then cut these cut each of these 4 into 3 even-sizes pieces
- Now you have your 12 pies, it's time to roll them into balls
- When you have nice hot x bun balls place them onto a lined baking tray and try to keep about 1cm of space in between them then cover with cling wrap and a tea towel and place them somewhere warm, out of any draft
- After 25 mins of them expanding again, pre-heat your oven to 190c or 170c if it's fan-forced
- Make the flour paste for the crosses by combining the flour and water using a whisk until smooth and then fill up a small zip-lock bag with the mixture and then cut one of the edges off (I cut it a bit too big and therefore made large crosses but if you want small just cut a small but and test it out as you can always make it bigger! :)
- Squeeze the bag and run the paste down vertically along each bun and then across, it is fun and simple to do and it doesn't have to be perfect either, just have fun!
- Pop them into your pre-heated oven for 20-25 mins (I would check them at 20 and if they bounce then they're probably ready? I think I left mine in a few minutes too long?
- Make the glaze by adding the water and sugar to your pan and whisk then leave alone to boil for 3-4 mins (be sure not to get distracted or you'll have burnt glaze like I did the first round LOL!)
- Using a pastry brush, dip the brush into the glaze and go for it!
- Eat immediately with lashings of butter (it is Easter after all and we can surely allow ourselves a splurge every once in awhile yeah?)
- If you don't devour these right away you can store them for about a day in the cupboard in an airtight container or simply freeze the rest.
I hope you enjoyed today's recipe blog and please share this blog with your loved ones and friends and feel free to leave us a comment, we love hearing from you and we will respond via email.
Love Tam x