I love Easter. It’s unpredictable, sneaks up on you (not unlike a bunny!) and it commemorates the most important part of my faith- the death and resurrection of my Christ. I know that many of our Easter traditions are rooted in pagan festivals and others are adapted from Jewish passover traditions, but I don’t think that devalues them at all. I love the symbolism of rising loaves and the empty egg- trite as they may be. If the heart and the message behind them is true and well intentioned, then what harm do they bring? I also acknowledge that many do not believe in Christ and while it saddens me that they will never know the true joy of Easter until they do, I see nothing wrong with those traditions being adopted by people from all walks of life, all creeds, all religions.
Easter is about Jesus dying to bring people to Him and save us from ourselves, our fate. Who are we to deny anyone entry into that?
On that note, these two recipes are ones which I’ve made this Easter to bless my friends and family with. They’re both significantly healthier than the ones you’ll buy at the shops, and I think, significantly yummier! I hope you enjoy them and they’ll remind you of the love Jesus had for you as he died and was risen to new life.
The first recipe I used as a base is this one from Tales From The Kitchen Shed
- Loose leaf chai (I used Hari Hai Chai and Mumbai Maple from T2)
- 3/4 cup mixed dried fruit
- 80ml unsweetened almond milk
- 245g natural yoghurt
- 1 apple – grated
- 225g wholemeal spelt flour
- 275 wholegrain rye flour
- 1 tablespoon instant yeast
- ¼ teaspoon bicarbonate soda
- 1-2 tbsp of Apple Cake Spice Mix (contains cinnamon, cardamom, rosehip, ginger, cassia, nutmeg… lots of yummy things! And no sugar.)
- 1/2 an apple, cut into match sticks
- Place the chai and water in a small saucepan, bring to the boil and simmer for about 3 or 4 minutes to reduce by about half. Add the sultanas (and mixed peel if using) and set to one side.
- Warm the buttermilk for one minute on high power in the microwave. Stir in the grated apple and, if desired, sweetener of choice.
- Add the flours, yeast, bicarb and cinnamon into a large bowl along with the buttermilk mixture and mix together to form a rough dough.
- Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. (Alternatively you can use a stand mixer to knead your dough.)
- Spread the dough out into a rectangle and sprinkle over the fruit mixture. Bring the dough back together and knead until the fruit is evenly distributed.
- Place the dough in a large greased mixing bowl, cover and leave in a warm place to rise for 1 ½ hours until doubled in size.
- Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and divide into 16 pieces, approx 75 to 80 g each. Shape into balls and place on a baking tray fairly close together and flatten each ball a little. Cover with greased cling film and prove for one hour in a warm place.
- While your Hot Cross Buns are proving, julienne your apple and place the strips on top of your buns, like a cross..
- Preheat your oven to 400°F / 200°C / Gas Mark 6
- Place in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown.
The other one I made is a GF recipe which I sourced from Gluten Free, Grain Free
- 1.5 cup almond meal
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 3/4 cups arrowroot/tapioca starch
- 3/4 cups mixed dried fruit
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 1 teaspoon bi-carb (baking soda)
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 eggs
- 3 tbsp of aquafaba
- 1/4 cup water
- Chai (see above for the mix)
- 1 apple
- Preheat oven to 175C2.
- Soak chia seeds and dried fruit in chai tea
- Combine dry ingredients together
- Add eggs, soaked chia seeds, apple cider vinegar, grated apple & soaked dried fruit.
- Combine everything well until there are no lumps (except the bits of fruit)! It will be thickish – don’t be tempted to add any more liquid
- I used a silicon muffin tray to cook these. Bake for 25 minutes until the hot cross buns are firm to the touch and bounce back when lightly pressed. The top will be lovely and golden in colour
- Remove from the oven and turn out onto a cooling rack. DEVOUR!
Hope these tickle your fancy!