When I was much younger, Good Friday (and perhaps just Easter in general) was such a sad holiday. But I remember that all changed when my sister told me that we should be happy during the Easter period because even though it is sad that Jesus died, we should be grateful for the reason why he died.
Jesus sacrificed himself and took on the sin of mankind so that we could rebuild that relationship between us and God. I don't know about you, but someone like Jesus deserves far more than just a few days of acknowledgment a year. I've gotten into the habit of bringing my thoughts to God and Christ as often as I can every day. Doing this has two effects for me: It's my fuel to get me through even the toughest of days; and when I think of God's blessings in my happiest moments, it makes everything seem so much sweeter.
My good friend Ruth, who has been in many of my posts and who you'll see in many more, shared a beautiful conversation she had with her mum today. Her text message went like this:
"The day we donated [blood], I was telling my mum about my experience and how I felt privileged that I was helping someone I'd probably never meet. She (Ruth's mum) said to me, imagine Jesus. He did the same. He willingly poured out his blood for all mankind, however, he did it in an excruciating circumstance; yet he was willing to do it without hesitation. His love for us is so great that he didn't get a reward or anything. He gave us his all; free of charge even when we did nothing to deserve it."
Oh man I love Jesus. Nuff said. Thank you for letting me share the mum wisdom Ruth!
So since going vegan, I haven't eaten any store bought hot cross buns because I wasn't sure if they had milk, eggs or butter. This year, I decided to make my own! I know a lot of people who aren't a fan of anything with dried fruit in it (i.e. raisin toast, mince pies, Christmas pudding and hot cross buns), and to be honest I didn't like it either, but my taste changed and I had a major hankering for some buns :P
I didn't have any vegan margarine so I search high and low for recipe which didn't need it. I found a few recipes (here, here and here), but decided on one from the website She Knows Vegan, but still made some changes. These turned out super delicious. After finishing one I had to battle with myself not to eat another...and another. Instead, I went for a run :)
Vegan hot cross buns
Makes 8 large hot cross buns or 16 regular sized buns
- 3/4 cup unsweetened milk
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon apple juice concentrate
- 2 tablespoons water
- 3-1/2 to 4 cups all purpose flour
- 2 packages active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup dried currants
- 1/2 mixed peel
- 3 tablespoons plain flour
- 3 tablespoons warm water
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons water
- Extra soy milk to glaze after about 15 minutes
- In a small bowl, whisk together soy milk and vinegar. Set aside for 10 minutes to make “buttermilk”.
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine buttermilk, oil, sugar, apple juice concentrate and water. Cook, stirring often, until brown sugar dissolves..
- In the bowl combine 3 cups flour, yeast, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Mix thoroughly.
- Add buttermilk mixture and mix to make a sticky dough. Add more flour a bit at a time until the dough becomes soft. Add currants and knead in.
- Place dough into a large bowl rubbed with oil, turning dough over to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm, draft-free place until it has doubled in size, about 1-1/2 hours.
- Punch dough down using your fist and dump onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough into 16 evenly sized pieces.
- Place dough balls onto a large baking sheet and cover with a lightly damp towel. Let rise for 45 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Use a sharp knife to make a shallow cross on the top of each bun.
- To make the crosses, mix together the plain flour and water until smooth.
- Fill a piping bag (or a sandwich bag with a hole cut in the corner) with the flour mixture and pipe a cross shape onto the buns.
- Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until buns are lightly browned. I glazed them with extra soy milk to help give them that brown colour.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.