Dan's Buns – Dairy Free Version

For once I have very little to say on a post, I’m glad since my head is full, have been studying hard and don’t think I could fit another thought.

These are too good to only make them as hot-cross buns, in my household we have fruit buns all year round toasted as above.  I have memories of stopping at the Little Chef and having a toasted tea cake!  I’ve made these following Dan’s recipe in the Guardian here where he uses cider.  I’ve made them twice now, doubling the recipe, both times dairy-free.

The first batch did’t use cider, I didn’t have any and used water, the second time I used pear cider just because I could.  No one commented on differences, I think with the spices and fruit I would be pushed to tell them apart unless perhaps they were eaten side by side.

For personal preference I cut down on the dried fruit quantity by a third and even then it was generous, I’m obviously use to the stint of shop bought buns.

I saw my friend Debs making some chocolate chip version on her blog here, I would like to try that idea using this recipe.  I also cut back on the spices by a third, and along with the mixed spice I added ground allspice.

I replaced the double cream with Oatly cream to make them dairy-free.

Why Sweet Doughs Need Attention

A word of caution when making sweet or rich yeast doughs – you can not ignore/neglect/forget them.  They are far less tolerant to a plain dough..I should know..I like to neglect things.   I’ve mentioned some of this in my post here on yeast doughs.

The longer you leave your dough to rise the more moisture will evaporate.

Don’t over-prove them.  Don’t over-bake them.  That’s if you don’t want to end up with a dry…on the way to being a dehydrated bun…at the end.

sugar is hygroscopic – a little is fine but higher quantities will cause problems especially if taking dough to its limits.

Eggs and fat inhibit gluten development – by stopping the gluten proteins coming into contact with water, they coat flour particles, they act as tenderisers.  (egg whites slightly different)

An easy way to tell if the buns have increased in size on last proving is to leave a small gap in-between them and when they start to kiss you can tell they have risen.

I had to make these much flatter in the second batch in order to fit nicely into our toaster.


What I do with any dough like this if I’m freezing is to cut the buns into half first and then freeze them, means I can toast from frozen.  As you can see in the background I also do this with my bagels.