Complete your celebration with these vegan Hot Cross Buns. Featuring almond milk from your Almond Cow! These buns are fluffy, slightly sweet, and perfectly spiced.
In a small bowl, combine the active dry yeast, maple syrup, almond milk, and salt. Mix and allow to sit for at least 5 minutes or until it begins to froth and become cloudy (AKA blooming).
In a separate, large mixing bowl, add the oil, orange zest, raisins and spices. When the yeast blooms, give another stir and pour into the bowl. Add 3 cups of the flour and stir until it dampens the flour, then gradually add more flour to form a shaggy dough. (It will feel sticky at first but trust the process!)
Transfer the dough to a large, floured surface, and use extra flour if needed to bring the dough together. Knead for about 9-12 minutes or until the dough becomes smooth and elastic and does not break as easily when stretching and working it. It should be able to stick to itself while still being a little tacky. (This is how you strengthen the gluten development. You will feel the difference and transformation as you go. Alternatively, you can use a stand mixer with a dough hook.)
Afterwards, use oil to grease a large mixing bowl. (The bowl should be large enough to account for the dough doubling in size.)
Place the dough into the bowl, cover and allow to rise for 2 hours, or until it doubles, even triples in size.
Next, punch down the dough to redistribute the gluten and use a scale to portion into 2oz. pieces.
With each piece, flatten to gently knead, then fold the edges inwards to the center to make a ball, and pinch. Place the pinched side down to the surface and place your hand on top to gently press and roll until it tightens into a sphere. Repeat with all and place into a greased 9”x12” baking dish (preferably metal).
Cover loosely and allow to rise for another 1.5 hours.
In the meantime, prepare the flour cross by whisking the flour and almond milk together until a thick paste forms (that can be piped easily). Transfer the mixture to a piping bag and snip the corner to size preference.
When the dough is risen, preheat the oven to 450°F, uncover the dough, then pipe a cross over each bun, and transfer to the oven to bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
While the rolls are baking, prepare the glaze by whisking the confectioner’s sugar, maple syrup, and orange juice together.
Afterward, remove the tray from the oven and brush with the glaze, then allow to cool for a few minutes. The steam will continue the baking process (this will soften the insides while the steam releases itself, giving you wonderfully fluffy buns!)
When ready, serve alongside vegan butter, and enjoy!