This is the first time I’ve baked in about 2 months and the first recipe I’ve tried in my healthier lower fat sugar challenge/experiment. I had to use some substitutions as I didn’t quite have all the correct ingredients in the cupboard but this didn’t impact negatively in any way.
What you need:
For the buns
375g strong white flour (bread flour)
25g caster sugar
1/2 tsp salt
7g dried baking yeast (1 sachet)
1 medium egg, whisked lightly
220 ml tepid skimmed milk
2 level tsp ground mixed spice
60g low fat spread melted
6 sprays calorie controlled cooking spray
For the crosses
100g currants (I used sultanas)
35g plain white flour
1g baking powder
1 tsp honey warm, to glaze (I used golden syrup)
What you do:
- In a large bowl, sift the flour with the sugar, yeast, salt and mixed spice. Make a well in the centre then pour in the milk, egg and spread. With a wooden spoon, mix to form a dough.
Use your hands to bring the dough together, then knead the dough for at least 10 mins until smooth and elastic. I used the dough hook on my freestanding mixer.
- Put the dough in a clean bowl misted with the cooking spray. Place a clean tea cloth over the dough and leave in a warm place to rise for at least 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
- Preheat your oven to 180°c.
- Knock back the dough by kneading for another 2 minutes, adding the currants/sultanas. Shape the dough into 12 small round buns, making a cross shape on each one using a knife. This, I found, virtually impossible, as the dough just gets dragged on the knife so I didn’t bother after a couple.
- Mist a baking tray with cooking spray and place the buns on it in a rectangle close together. Cover with a tea cloth and leave for another 30 mins to prove.
- Make the crosses by mixing the flour with the baking powder and 3 tbsp water to form a thick paste. Spoon the paste into a piping bag and carefully pipe a cross onto each bun.
- Place in the preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes or until golden. Carefully tap the bottom of the buns – if they are light and sound hollow then they are done.
- Once cooked, leave to cool slightly on a wire rack and then brush with the honey/syrup to glaze.
I was really pleased with my first ever batch of hot cross buns and especially with the doubling in size of the dough (rarely happens for me).
As this was a Weight Watchers recipe, for those of you who are unfamiliar with how the WW plan works, each food and drink is given a points value and you have a daily and weekly points allowance calculated upon weight and gender etc to spend. My daily allowance is 30 with a weekly allowance of 42 for extras and treats.
These hot cross buns have a value of 6 points. For comparison, Aldi Hot Cross Buns have a point value of 7, Sainsbury’s 8, Marks & Spencer luxury 9. However, the Co-Op’s are 6, same as the WW recipe – interesting!
All in all, the homemade buns are very nice and I didn’t feel as I’d been short changed in any way by using some lower calorie alternatives. However, given the length of time they take to make, I’d probably nip down the Co-Op if I wanted some more! 😉
Until next time…Happy Baking!