These carrot and ginger hot cross buns are packed full of flavour – and veggies! They’re soft, fluffy and taste of gingery carrot cake. Perfect for springtime and Easter.
Move over Creme Eggs, it’s when Hot Cross Buns start to appear in the shops that it finally feels like spring is here. Granted, some shops start wheeling out the buns as soon as they pack away the mince pies and yule logs, but we ignore those shops, right?
Now, the daffodils are waving from roadsides, their jolly heads beaming into the scattered sunshine. The grape hyacinths burst into life at once in glorious purple clusters. With their sunny hue, I can even forgive the dandelions that spring up in the lawn defiantly. I get my own back with those, I turn them into dandelion cookies. Spring is here and suddenly the world is awash with colour.
I love fragrantly soft hot cross buns. Perfect for a decadent breakfast, a spiced snack, or a fruity dessert, they’re an all-day treat. I’ve changed things up a bit with mine and added crystallised ginger and grated carrot to give them a wonderful rich flavour.
It takes a little while to make hot cross buns, admittedly. But trust me, the kneading and rising are all worth it. I ‘cheated’ and did the kneading in my stand mixer, so really it was mostly just waiting for them to rise twice. But hey, there’s always something else to be getting on with in that time.
Get the recipe:
- 300ml (1 ¼ cup) full-fat milk
- 50g (¼ cup) butter
- 500g (4 ½ cups) strong bread flour
- 75g (⅓ cup) caster sugar
- 7g (1 dessert spoon) sachet fast-action dried yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 large free-range egg, beaten
- Sunflower oil, for oiling the bowl
- 2 medium-sized carrots
- 100g (⅔ cup) raisins
- 50g (⅓ cup) chopped crystallised ginger
- 100g (¾ cup) plain (all-purpose) flour
- 2 tbsp apricot jam
- In a small saucepan, scald the milk by heating it to boiling then remove from the heat, add the butter and leave it to cool slightly. Skim if necessary.
- Add the flour, sugar, yeast, salt and spices to a large bowl.
- When the milk has cooled to ‘blood temperature’ (37C/98.6 F), make a well in the centre of the flour mixture, then pour in the warm milk mixture and add the egg.
- Mix well with a wooden spoon, then use your hands to bring everything together into a sticky dough.
- On a lightly floured work surface (or in a stand mixer with a dough hook), knead the dough until it’s smooth, about 10 minutes by hand or 5-7 minutes by machine.
- Lightly oil a bowl with the sunflower oil and add the dough, then turn it to coat with the oil. Cover the bowl with oiled clingfilm and leave to rise in a warm place until doubled in size (1-1 ½ hours).
- Heat the oven to 200C/400F and line 2 baking trays with baking parchment.
- Peel and grate the carrot, then wring it out in a clean tea towel to remove excess moisture. Add it to the bowl of dough along with the raisins and crystallised ginger. Knead the dough in the bowl to evenly distribute.
- Divide the dough into 12 equal-sized pieces and shape into small round buns. Place them onto baking trays (leave space for them to expand) and cover with oiled clingfilm. Leave to rise again until doubled in size (approx 1 hour).
- In a small bowl, mix the flour for the crosses with 4 tbsp of water to make a thick paste (the consistency of toothpaste), adding further tablespoons of water sparingly if needed.
- Spoon the flour paste into a piping bag with a small nozzle and pipe a line along each row of buns, then repeat in the other direction to create crosses.
- Bake for 20 mins or until golden brown then allow to cool on a wire rack.
- Heat the apricot jam, then use a pastry brush to brush it onto the tops of the warm buns and allow to cool.
THERMAPEN DIGITAL FOOD THERMOMETER
Most recipes for hot cross buns tell you to leave the milk to cool to ‘blood temperature’. I don’t know about you, but I would have no idea how long to leave it to cool. That’s where my trusty Thermapen comes in handy.
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Disclosure: This recipe for Carrot and Ginger Hot Cross Buns was commissioned by Thermapen. Thanks for supporting the brands that make it possible for me to mess up my kitchen and write Veggie Desserts.