Weekend Brunch Round 11: Hot Cross Buns

This weekends brunch adventures involved lots of eating but minus the cooking. Originally I was thinking of of making up some kind of eggy dish but then my friend Tanya had the genius idea of  going out for brunch. Delicious food, no work to be done and no clean up? Yeah, I think I can get on board with that! We headed on down to the Coup, which is an awesome vegetarian restaurant that serves up tonnes o’ vegan options, they’ve got the best veg brunch in Calgary as far as I’m concerned.

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Even though I’m a food blogger and it should be a given that I have a camera strapped to my body at all times, I just don’t feel comfortable lugging a big camera into a restaurant to take pictures. So you’ll have to deal with my shotty cellphone pics instead. Maybe I’m just not so talented in the cellphone picture taking department, but man it’s hard to take a decent pic of some edibles with that thing. Please guide your attention to example A:

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Messy Janes, oh how I heart you so! Much more appealing in the flesh, this is my breakfast meal of choice at the Coup. Only once did I venture away from this delicious mess and ended up being disappointed, so never again I say! What you see here dear readers, are some roasted potatoes, along with a large piece of  toasted foccacia topped with a tofu scramble, veggies and a miso tahini gravy that I’ve been trying to crack since I tasted it! Sadly, the Coup has been keeping that recipe under lock and key, and nothing I’ve tried (so far) seems to have come close. Boo.

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Tanya had the same thing but instead of sticking to coffee, like me, she fancied it up and ordered a mug of their Coconut Chai. According to her, it’s amazing. I was debating about getting in on the action but I wanted to save room for the next joint we planned on hitting up.

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A Tutti Frutti location just opened up down the street from the Coup. I’ve never heard of this place before but people all over the interwebs seemed to be going all cray cray for their goods, so it only made sense that I would see for myself what all the fuse was about.

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Endless kickass toppings

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Self serve yogurt station

After walking off a very small portion of brunch by wandering into Blame Betty and trying on supercute clothes, we headed over to get our fill of frozen yogurt. I was kind of sad that they didn’t have chocolate but the owner was super friendly and let us try out the 4 non-dairy flavors they had (lycee, green apple, plain soy and almond soy). The green apple was really good but I wanted to take advantage of the chocolate syrup and went with the almond soy. So yummy! I never knew there was such a frozen yogurt void in my life until now!

Tanya's is the left and mine is the right.

Tanya’s is the left and mine is the right.

I tried my best not to go overboard with the toppings but damn was it hard! I see me making another trip to this place in the not too distant future :) We spent the rest of the day with very full bellies, visiting business to work on promoting the upcoming bake sales. Oh, and don’t think I’m going to spend an entire post bragging about amazing eats without sharing at least something with you. I’m not that mean! Although it wasn’t made for brunch, I did manage to squeeze in one recipe before the sun went down.

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Hot cross buns! Yes, I know, I’m always late in the game when it comes to anything holiday related. But really, just because they’re traditionally made during Easter, doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t make it whenever you feel like it. They are just tasty buns after all.

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I’ve been making this recipe for a few years now and decided to tweak it a little by playing around with the spices and adding some orange zest. They turned out even better then I remember! The dough is soft and fluffy but still has a bit of a chew without being dense. They’re pretty easy to make too, it just takes a little planning as the dough takes a nap in the fridge overnight before you shape them. Plus the scent wafting from the oven as they’re baking can’t be beat! So. Freakin’. Good.
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Hot Cross Buns
Makes 12 buns

Dough Ingredients:

  • 1 cup non-dairy unsweetened soy milk
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons melted margarine or oil
  • 1/4 cup plain soy or coconut yogurt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 1/2  cups bread flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • zest of one small orange
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup currents
  • 1/2 cup cherries or cranberries
  • 3 tablespoons apricot jam (for glaze)

Paste for the crosses:

  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon powder sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water

Directions:

In a glass measuring cup, mix together the milk and apple cider vinegar, set aside to let curdle. Once curdled, heat mixture in the microwave or pour into a saucepan and heat to lukewarm, be sure to stir continually as it heats.

Once the milk is heated, pour into a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk in the sugar, orange juice, melted margarine and yogurt, set aside. In a separate bowl add 2 cups of flour, the yeast, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, cloves and orange zest. Whisk together until well combined. Add the dry ingredients to the liquid mixture and mix until smooth.

Add in another cup of flour and mix until a soft dough forms. On a lightly floured surface or with the dough hook of a stand mixer, knead dough for about 8 minutes, adding in the additional 1/2 cup of flour. Knead until the dough is smooth, it should feel firm and tacky, but not sticky. Adjust the flour and liquid as needed.

Once the dough is smooth and elastic. Knead in the raisins, currents and cherries or cranberries till they are well incorporated.

Place in an oiled bowl, turning dough to coat, cover, and place in the fridge overnight.

Cover with plastic wrap and place into the fridge overnight.

The following day, remove the dough from the fridge a few hours before baking to bring to room temp.

Line a baking sheet or 13×9 baking dish with parchment paper.

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Deflate the dough and divide into 12 equal pieces (about 100g each), and shape into a ball. Place on prepared sheet and press down to flatten. Mist with oil, cover, and let rise until about doubled (around 1.5 to 2 hours).

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F..

While the buns are  rising. Mix the ingredients for the paste to make the crosses.

Place paste into a zip lock bag and cut the tip off. Squeeze the paste on top of the buns to make the cross.

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Bake for bake 20 -25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and heat apricot jam in the microwave strain out the lumps and brush the tops of the buns.

DSC_0050Adapted from the Knead for Bread

 

5 thoughts on “Weekend Brunch Round 11: Hot Cross Buns

  1. I used to feel funny about lugging my big camera into restaurants to take photos of my meals, but I realized that most of the owners (and other patrons) really don’t mind — especially when it gives the owners free publicity!

    Your hot cross buns look amazing. I could eat at least three; I love spices and sweetness together!

    • Good point! I always just assume that I’m annoying everybody but really, I’m not bothering anyone and what’s not to like about free publicity.
      Thanks! They’re bigger then they look, I tried eating two but my stomach just wouldn’t allow it ;)

      • Yup! As long as the people at your table don’t mind, there’s nothing wrong with it. I’ve even had some of my favorite photos developed and taken them back to the restaurant owners. They’re always so surprised and appreciative!

  2. I can’t believe I only spotted this recipe after Easter! Those buns look great. I’ve been wanting to make them for ages, but always thought they’d take ages! Looks like they do, but they’re definitely worth the effort!

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