Hot Cross Buns with a Healthy Twist

With reduced sugar, ramped up fiber and added protein, these tasty treats offer a healthy twist on a favorite Easter tradition.

With reduced sugar, ramped up fiber and added protein, these tasty treats offer a healthy twist on a favorite Easter tradition.

Hot Cross Buns

1 cup dried currants (or raisins)
½ cup dried apricots, diced
½ cup warm orange juice
1 ¼ cups warm fat-free milk
4 cups all-purpose flour, plus ¼ cup extra for kneading
2 cups light wheat flour, plus ¼ cup extra for kneading
1 package quick-rise yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1 teaspoon grated orange rind
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
6-ounce container vanilla Greek yogurt
1/4 cup honey or agave nectar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten (or equivalent amount egg substitute)

Glaze:

1 cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons skim milk or fat-free half-and-half
2 teaspoons lemon juice, preferably fresh

Put flour, yeast, salt and spices in a large bowl. Add the currants and chopped apricots to the dry items. Combine and form a well in the middle.

Combine the juice and milk and warm to just below scalding. Pour the liquid into the well in the dry ingredients. Stir egg or egg substitute and yogurt together, and add them to the bowl.

Stir mixture well with a large wooden spoon or mixer with dough hooks until a soft, almost wet dough forms.

Mix together the extra flours for kneading on a board or counter top. Turn dough out on the flour and knead about 5 minutes. Shape into a ball and transfer into an oiled bowl. (This can be same mixing bowl, just clean out and oil).

Cover with a damp tea towel and leave in a warm place for about an hour, until it has doubled in size.

Knead briefly to knock some of the air out of the risen dough, then pat out and lightly shape into a rectangle. Cut the rectangle into 36 equal pieces. Roll or shape each piece into a slightly flattened bun (don’t overwork dough).

Place buns on baking sheet sprayed lightly with cooking spray, or on a pan lined with parchment paper. Place buns in a warm place for around 30 minutes to rise. Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Place risen buns in oven and bake 20 to 22 minutes. They should be lightly browned and feel slightly soft to the touch.

Let buns cool slightly as you mix the glaze ingredients together until very smooth. Put the glaze in a sandwich bag; snip off one corner and pipe crosses onto each bun.


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