I have come to learn that you get two kinds of people in this life...Those who LOVE hot cross buns and those who don't. I know...wisdom right!?
Personally, my family never liked commercial hot cross buns, but these they LOVE! I know...confusing, but I will simply bank it as one of those special and rare Mom-win moments and explain the recipe to all the rest of you lovely low carb converts who would love to give it a try.
Let me just also get a bit of frustration off of my chest and tell you that I have seen low carb versions of hot cross buns using two cups of raisins...REALLY!!!?? Eish... nothing low carb there, I tell you! Two cups of raisins will add a whopping 240g of carbs, divided by 12 would be 20g of carbs already added per bun. So the challenge with such a legendary seasonal comfort food is always to keep the taste and nostalgia and chuck the bulk of the carbs.
The recipe I am about to share tics most of those boxes with an added bonus of it being gluten - free, egg - free, nut - free and it can even be dairy - free.
I used my sweetheart dough from my cookbook, Low Carb is Lekker Two, as the base. You could also use Dough 3 (and make your recipe with almond flour), or even Dough 5 (made in muffin cups) simply add the flavour profile ingredients to the above dough bases and Koos will be your cousin. ;-)
[VERY IMPORTANT!! - IF YOU WANT TO MAKE THIS RECIPE USING YOUR OWN HOME-MADE SUNFLOWER FLOUR, PLEASE SEE THE ADJUSTMENT RECIPE SECTION AFTER THE RECIPE DESCRIPTION BELOW]
Where to buy my favourite SUNFLOWER FLOUR? Click HERE.
3/4 cup water
60 g butter or coconut oil
2 cups sunflower flour BANTING BASICS
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp xylitol
1 Tbsp psyllium husk powder
50 g cooked pumpkin cubes, puréed
50 g cooked, peeled apple cubes, puréed
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup sunflower flour for sprinkling and handling dough
Hot Cross bun flavour profile ingredients:
2 Tbsp xylitol
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp mixed spice
2 Tbsp chopped and candied Naartjie peel (Orange peel should work too)
2 Tbsp dried blueberries
For the cross:
1 Tbsp coconut flour
1 med egg
4 tbsp Milk or coconut milk
Candied Naartjie Peel:
Even if you omit the dried blueberries, adding this candied peel really adds a ton to this flavour profile with a fraction of the carbs that raisins would add and not to mention how healthy citrus peels actually are.
Simply peel and finely chop the peel of 1 naartjie and add 2 Tbsp xylitol and about 3 - 4 Tbsp water to a pot and heat on medium to high. Allow the water syrup to reduce entirely, leaving only glossy bits of peel behind in the pot. This takes about 3 - 4 minutes.
Simply place about a cup of fresh or frozen blueberries on a baking paper lined oven tray and allow the berries to dry out at a very low temp.
I dry mine from frozen and make enough to add to cereals etc. while I'm at it. I dry mine at about 160C for about 40 - 45 minutes.
HANDY DOUGH VIDEO TUTORIAL:
For the dough recipe please watch THIS link of my dough 3 demo - If you want to use dough three and have no issues with eggs, go ahead and use eggs. If you make DOUGH 8 - please replace the eggs with the purees.
In a medium-sized, heavy-bottomed saucepan, warm the water and butter together on medium heat. You don't want the water to boil before the butter has melted properly, so take things nice and slow.
Mix the 2 cups flour, salt, xylitol and psyllium husk powder together in a separate bowl, making sure the psyllium is mixed in evenly.
As soon as the butter has melted and the water starts to boil, add the dry ingredients to the saucepan and stir until the mixture forms a ball of dough. Turn the heat to the lowest setting and cook the dough ball while moving it around in the saucepan for about 1 minute. You want the dough ball to have an elastic but firm-to-the-touch consistency.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and place the dough ball in a mixing bowl. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.
Now, add the purées and the vanilla into the mixing bowl with the dough ball and mix with an electric beater for about 1 minute.
Add your candied peel and dried blueberries.
With a spatula scrape the dough into a ball again. Sprinkle with a bit of extra sunflower flour and on a clean surface, roll into a sausage shape and cut into six equal parts. Shape each chunk of dough gently into a bun and place on a baking paper lined cookie pan.
Bake for 20 minutes at 180C. In the meanwhile, mix the "cross" ingredients together and allow to thicken while the buns bake. Use a piping bag and pipe the "cross paste" onto the partially baked buns. Bake for another 20 - 25 minutes. Cool on a wired rack.
You can brush a bit of xylitol syrup over the buns. (optional) Or you can make a light syrup using a tiny bit of honey and a tablespoon of boiling water. This is if you allow honey to be part of your protocol. I do not in general, but used about 1/2 a TBSP in this recipe which I panted over 12 buns. (I made a double batch)
ADJUSTMENT RECIPE SECTION
If you want to use home- made sunflower flour, please adjust the following ratios:
1. Use half the butter the recipe calls for.
2. Add 2 - 3 Tbsp coconut flour to your ground flour.
3. Use only half the amount of puree or eggs if making dough 3.
4. Note that your batter will be darker in colour.
You could always make this recipe with almond flour if you prefer. Pecan flour does not work well. If at any time your dough ball is too sticky add a Tbsp of coconut flour to dry it out a bit.