As Easter is one of those times of year when it is OK to bake bread filled with butter, sugar, fruit, and more butter, I decided to have a go at some hot cross buns. I’ve made them before, with varying degrees of success, so this time I decided to change up the recipe and use spelt flour. This in no way compensates for the amount of butter, so I won’t pretend that they are a ‘healthy’ option, but spelt does have a different flavour to regular wheat.
Unfortunately, a number of things went wrong. The buns did not rise as much as I would have hoped, resulting in fairly dense buns. I have had this problem in the past and can think of a few reasons why it might happen. For example, some of the additions to the dough, such as sugar and fat, can actually inhibit the yeast. Add to that the fact that spelt naturally tends to result in a denser loaf, and I should have probably have factored the dense-issue in before hand.
The second problem is more aesthetic. I used white spelt for the crosses and wholemeal for the buns, which looked fine until it went into the oven. The white spelt coloured almost as much as the brown, and the crosses disappeared. These not cross buns tasted fine – the butter, fruit, and sugar made sure of that – but I’ll have another crack before posting a recipe.