Happy Easter everyone! I hope you have all had a lovely day. I’m having a lovely time spending time with my family. We are about to head out to Church and have a lovely Easter lunch, which I’m sure will be amazing.
I’ve been really enjoying getting involved in all of the Easter fun this weekend. I was going to make a lovely Hot Cross Bun Loaf for breakfast this morning from the Baking Mad website after being contacted to try out some of their recipes, but it turned out to be a bit of a disaster. So instead I adapted their hot cross bun recipe to make some Orange and Cranberry Hot Cross Buns, which are also dairy free for all of my vegan readers out there!
Ingredients (vegan, makes 14 buns)
325g of strong white bread flour
300g of wholemeal bread flour
7 g of yeast
75g of light brown sugar
1/2 tsp. of salt
2 tsp. of mixed spice
2 tsp. of cinnamon
50g of vegan spread (I used Pure)
250 ml of soya milk
2 tbsps. of grated orange zest
50g of dried cranberries
50g of sultanas
50g of mixed peel
To make the cross
6 tbsps. of plain flour
3 tbsps. of water
In a large bowl place the flours, salt, yeast, dried fruits, orange zest, cinnamon, mixed spice, mixed peel and sugar.
On a low heat melt the butter in the milk, until all of the butter is melted and incorporated in to the milk. Do not let the mixture boil it just needs to be slightly warm. Next add 100ml of cold water to the saucepan.
Make a well in the centre of the dry mixture and add the the liquid. Mix together well until all of the dry ingredients are coated in liquid and a soft dough forms. Pour the dough onto a floured surface and kneed the dough for approximately 10 minutes. The dough should become smooth, stretchy and elastic with air pockets.
Take small portions from the dough (around 14) and roll into small balls and place on to two separate baking trays. Flatten the round dough balls slightly and tuck the ends underneath to create neater balls.
Keep the buns covered with a clean tea towel or oiled cling film in a warm place for about an hour or more until they have risen and doubled in size. I had to improvise for the lack if an airing cupboard and put my oven on a low heat and put the buns in my grill which sits on top of my oven to create a warm space for them to rise.
Meanwhile to make the paste for the crosses just mix the flour and water together to make a paste. When the buns have risen it’s time to get drawing those crosses! The crosses can either be piped or spooned on. I used both methods as my icing bag eventually became blocked, but both methods work just as well.
Cook in a preheated oven at gas mark 5 for 20 minutes, until golden brown. I also glazed mine with a sugar glaze to give them a nice shine.
The house smelled gorgeous of baked bread, dried fruits and spices. Alfie couldn’t wait to get his hands on a slice and I couldn’t wait either. I had mine topped with blueberry and blackcurrant jam and some Pure spread with some chai tea.
I also baked theses equally delicious Red Velvet Cupcakes with Coconut Cream Frosting which are also dairy free. I will be posting the recipe soon.
Whilst doing the Easter grocery shop I spotted these cute hens that have Smarties inside. I just had to buy them for my little nieces as soon as I saw them.
Hopefully they like them as much as the kid in me does.
Although I didn’t get left out of the Easter chocolate goodies though as we have had chocolate rabbits and cream eggs at work. Admittedly, I have been on a bit of a sugar high but the indulgence is a nice treat and I enjoyed every minute of it.
For breakfasts I have been enjoying my smoothies again especially ones loaded with lots of nut butter like this banana and peanut butter smoothie made using Kara coconut milk and ice…yum!
Yesterday for breakfast I had a delicious bowl of oats with coconut milk, vanilla soya yoghurt (Alpro), strawberries, a chopped banana and sultanas.
I’ve also been enjoying my salads this week, especially this one made using mixed leaves, basil tofu, sweet corn, tomatoes and cucumber. Love that basil tofu!
As well as my food I have also been enjoying my workouts…
Monday: 20 minutes of high intensity intervals on the treadmill and cross trainer (10 minutes each), strength workout 1 and 10 minutes of intervals on the step machine
Tuesday: 15 minutes of high intensity intervals on the bike and a 1 hour of Body Pump class
Thursday: Yoga podcasts
Friday: 3.5 mile run (I think!), abs and core exercises, lunges, squats and chest presses.
Sunday: 30 Day Shred Level 1 and 2
Since my gym was closed on Good Friday I decided to move my weekend run to Friday. It was a lovely sunny morning, which always make my runs more enjoyable. I also went without my IPhone which I use to track my runs. I found it a little difficult at first to get motivated without my music, but soon found a steady pace that I was happy with and just ran until my heart was content- loved it!
What is your favourite hot cross bun flavour?
What did you get up to today?