With Easter fast approaching, I decided to give another one of my old favourites a make over! I have been wanting to experiment with spelt flour for a little while now, but have hesitated because it contains gluten, so I was worried it might cause my IBS symptoms to flare up. After talking with my dietitian, who explained to me that spelt is known to be easier to digest and can be suitable for a sensitive gut like mine, I decided to just give it a whirl. I am so glad I did, will you look at these gorgeous chunks of fluffy wonder!
I have to admit I have been feeling a little pouty about Easter this year. This will be the first year I am actually acknowledging that there are foods I am truly better off without as they cause me all sorts of painful and completely avoidable issues. Previously I have ignored what I knew, ate it anyway and suffered to consequences – headaches, stomach aches, painful pooping, extreme fatigue, insomnia, brain fog, weight gain etc., etc., – the list is long. While I know I have the will power and resolve to do what it best, there are still times when I just feel like I am missing out and it makes me want to stamp my feet, act petulant and have a little tanty.
Easter has always been a time of indulgence and abandon for me, but I wanted this year to be different. Initially I was fine, you know, all righteous and undeterred, but then I started to see all the chocolate and baked goodness everywhere I looked and suddenly I felt cheated and sad and well, pathetic really. I kept thinking I was going to miss out and how much I hate missing out. I was suddenly regressing and could hear my inner voice whining over and over, “but I waaaaaannnnnnt it”, just like my almost 3 year old. I was so focused on what I identified as “can’t haves”, I completely lost sight of what is actually important, like my health and well being. Old habits really do die hard don’t they?
Anyway, after eventually getting over myself, I decided to focus on what I could do and have. I realised there is no reason not to try new ways of making my favourite Easter treats, after all time spent in my kitchen always soothes me, so why not indulge in that! Plus, if I can make them using ingredients I know don’t irritate me, then I am going to love them just as much, if not more!
So I scoured the interwebs for different recipes and was once again blown away by the sheer volume of bloggers and websites out there who have similar food issues to me and have already paved a very tasty path to better gut health for themselves and, thankfully, now me!
I finally settled on this combination for the recipe, it is a mish-mash of a few, plus my own ideas and it works an absolute treat. Here’s how it goes;
- 250g organic spelt flour
- Pinch sea salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon mixed spice
- Grated rind of half an orange
- ⅔ cup almond milk (or milk of choice)
- 1 teaspoon + 1 tablespoon unrefined or raw sugar
- 1 sachet dried yeast
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 100g sultanas
- CROSS PASTE
- 2 tbsp spelt or gluten free flour
- 1-2 tbsp cold water
- 1 tsp unrefined or raw sugar
- Boiling water
- MAKING THE DOUGH
- In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, spices, salt and orange rind.
- Heat milk in a small saucepan until luke warm.
- Poor half of the milk in a mug with the yeast and 1 tsp of sugar.
- Gently stir, cover and allow the yeast to activate until it becomes frothy - about 10 minutes.
- Add coconut oil and 1 tbsp sugar to the remaining warm milk and stir until melted.
- Add the yeast mixture to the flour mix, the using your hands, mix the yeast mixture in until just combined.
- Add milk mixture, lightly beaten egg and then sultanas, kneading gently after each addition. Spelt does not require much kneading, so only mix until ingredients are combined and you have a sticky dough.
- Cover the dough with glad wrap or a damp tea towel.
- Place in a warm spot to prove until the dough doubles in size - about 1 hour.
- THE BUNS
- Line a large baking tray with baking paper.
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
- Divide the dough into 6 portions.
- Gently knead them into balls and arrange closely on the tray.
- Cover and allow to prove for another 20 minutes.
- CROSS PASTE
- In a mug or small bowl, mix water into flour to form a smooth thick paste.
- Spoon paste into a snap-lock bag, snip a little hole in the corner and pipe crosses.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes.
- THE GLAZE
- Mix hot water with sugar and a dash of cinnamon.
- Stir until sugar is dissolved.
- Using a pastry brush, paint the the glaze over warm buns.
- Serve with butter or your favourite nut butter or spread.
So there you have it, my version of a Spelt Hot Cross Bun. I hope you like these as much as we do.
Oh, as it turns out I am tolerant to spelt, which is a huge win – I could not contain my joy after eating my first one of these and feeling just dandy, thank you very much! You can expect to see some more creations using it down the track. The only thing is that my kids loved these as much as me, so keep asking for them over the usual store bought ones. I may, or may not have indicated they are all gone even though there may or may not still be a couple in the freezer waiting for Easter Sunday. (Please don’t judge me – I just know I won’t get time to make any more before Easter and, like I said, I hate missing out!)
Oh and I may have decided to have a go at gluten free hot cross buns too, just in case the spelt ones didn’t agree with me. They worked out pretty well too, that recipe will follow very soon.
So tell me, have you ever glazed over the truth to save a treat for yourself? Tell me I am not the only one!
Cook! Eat! Enjoy!