Hot Cross Buns Your Way

There are so many ways to make Hot Cross Buns.  Some recipes are worth taking a little more effort to collect ingredients, others have few ingredients and are easy to make, some people don’t like dried fruit, others need to go gluten free.  Whichever way you like them, we have all the ingredients in the quantity you need at Wasteless Pantry.  Plus, if you give us a little notice we can even put together the ingredients for you so you can just get on with the baking!

Ingredients

  • 4 cups plain flour
  • 14g dried yeast
  • 1/4 cup caster sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons mixed spice
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups currants
  • 40g butter
  • 300ml milk
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten

Flour paste

  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons water

Glaze

  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons caster sugar
  1. Warm butter and milk, combine with eggs and dry ingredients
  2. Knead on floured surface until smooth, place into oiled bowl covered with a damp tea towel and set aside for 1-1.5 hours until dough doubles
  3. Punch down dough and knead for 30 seconds.   Divide into 12 even ball-shaped portions and place on a greased tray 1cm apart. Cover and set aside for 30 minutes to double in size. Preheat oven to 170C
  4. Make flour paste by mixing together ingredients and pipe over buns to form cross. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until cooked through
  5. Make glaze by mixing ingredients over low heat until sugar dissolves, boil for 3-4 minutes and brush warm glaze over warm hot cross buns. Enjoy!

Bread base:

500g Crusty or Wholemeal Bread Mix

7g dried yeast

250g lukewarm water

65g sultanas

65g currents

10g mixed spice

  1. Mix together bread base with dried fruit and spice until a smooth dough forms
  2. Cover with a damp tea towel and allow to proof for 10 minutes
  3. Knock down the dough and form into 6-8 buns approximately 1cm apart on a greased tray
  4. Cover with a damp tea towel and allow to proof for 40-60 minutes
  5. Make flour paste for cross by mixing 1/2 cup plain flour with 4 to 5 tablespoons of water and piping across buns
  6. Bake until golden brown for approximately 20 mins in 180-190C oven
  7. Brush with sugar glaze made by mixing 1/3 cup water with 2 tablespoons of sugar whilst buns are still warm

Enjoy!

For something a bit different, swap out the dried fruit and mixed spice from the Traditional or Easy & Vegan recipes above for…

Chocolate lovers:

25g cocoa powder

50g choc chips

* use melted chocolate for the cross

Choc Cherry:

25g cocoa powder

50g choc chips

65g glace cherries

Apricot & Almond:

125g diced apricots

125g sliced almonds

Date & Walnut:

125g chopped dates

125g walnuts

7g ground cinnamon

It is pretty easy to make your own gluten free hot cross buns.  Simply swap the Plain Flour in the Traditional recipe above for Gluten Free Plain Flour, or swap the Bread Mix for our Gluten Free Crusty Bread Mix in the Easy & Vegan recipe above!  That’s it!

Whichever recipe you choose, we hope that you enjoy them with family & friends this Easter!


Super Easy & Zero Waste Entertaining

The celebrations of the Christmas and New Year period are all about good food shared with good people.  I’m most fond of meals that are made ahead so I get more time to chat and connect; with less time hanging out in the kitchen on my own.

So here is a tried and true meal plan for anytime you need to whip together a feast!

Starters

Dukkah, olive oil and chunks of crusty bread

[Zero waste tip – BYO containers to Wasteless Pantry for the dukkah and oil as well as taking your bread bag to the bakery for your bread (or make your own)]

Soya crisps, Nordic crackers, corn chips and smashed avocado with a little lemon juice, rice cracker salad or mixed nuts

[Zero waste tip – BYO containers to Wasteless Pantry for the snacks and use a reusable produce bag for the avocado.  Serve all the snacks in wide-mouthed upcycled jars so you just put the lid back on if they don’t get finished and nothing will go stale]

Main

Brown rice salad – super easy to make in about 20 minutes and if you have extra it is great for lunches the next couple of days.  Soak rice overnight if you want to speed up the cooking time.

[Zero waste tip – BYO containers for rice, seeds, currants, oil and soy sauce.  Feel free to substitute what you have e.g. red onion for shallots, any colour capsicum, sultanas for currants, dried garlic for fresh (just halve the quantity suggested)]

Roasted vegetables

[Zero waste tip – roast up any vegetables that you have handy, even if they are a bit limp, or shop with reusable produce bags.  You don’t need to peel potato, sweet potato, carrots or mushrooms, just pop them straight onto the tray.  Try reusable baking liners or oil up your tray instead of using the disposable sheets]

Roasted meat or chicken wings

[Zero waste tip – Pick smaller cuts of meat as these will take less time to cook (and less power to run your oven) and encourage your guests to eat more vegetables since it’s healthier for everyone anyhow.  Take your own container to your butcher to avoid the plastic bag and meat tray]

Dessert

Christmas Cake – it is super easy to make this cake that lasts up to 3 months so you will always have something on hand for unexpected visitors!

Fruit platter or grilled stone fruit sprinkled with cinnamon sugar

[Zero waste tip – eat what is in season, since there is so much local variety this time of the year anyhow! Whatever doesn’t get finished can be made into a fruit salad or smoothies for another day. In my opinion cinnamon sugar goes with everything so BYO container for this from Wasteless Pantry]

Bliss balls

[Zero waste tip – these can be made ahead and frozen in small batches so that you can whip them out as needed.  Also feel free to get creative with the ingredients by swapping in what you love and have on hand – maybe you prefer macadamia nuts or sunflower seeds, or dried apricots, or try adding in maple syrup if you like it sweeter and rolling in coconut or dip in chocolate for a more decadent treat.  The main thing is to use up what you have rather than having bits and bobs going stale in your pantry]

So there you have it, simple and delicious!

Customise to appetites and guests as needed.

Photo credits

Photo by Kate Remmer on Unsplash

Photo by Best Recipe Team

Photo by Monika Grabkowska on Unsplash

Photo by +Simple on Unsplash


Practical Gift Giving Guide

The Lost Art of Not Giving Crap Presents

Do your Christmases and birthdays revolve around getting and giving plastic, over packaged trinkets and novelty gifts that are enjoyed for less than one hour and then become awkwardly pushed aside, dust collecting reminders of rushed decision making and consumerist manipulation?

Or maybe you’ve been regifted one of these little treasures?

I ask these questions not in judgement, but in awe of how easy it is to get caught up in the hype of the festive season and leave all reason behind.  As much as I love waste less living, reducing waste, talking rubbish and being thrifty and creative, this time of year I feel the pull of buying stuff.  Who doesn’t love showing how much they care by doing nice things for others?  The thing is, doing nice things for others is not the same as buying something, just to give something.  Thinking through the life of the purchase requires a little more in-depth enquiry.

Will this person find this novelty gift funny for years to come? Yes, great get it! No, then maybe just recap what you saw the next time you catch up.

Will this person have space for this gift in their home long term? Yes, fantastic! No, then is there something else consumable that might be more appreciated?

Does this item fit with who this person would like to be?  Yes, fantastic! No, show your support by not making them agonise over wanting to be grateful vs. becoming the person they want to be.

I get that picking out the right gift for someone is hard!  But I also wonder if sometimes we forget to ask, does this person even want a gift from me?  Would they rather my company, a hand with something or just a smile?

So I titled this blog post “Practical Gift Giving Guide” and whilst I think the most practical gift is often nothing at all, here are some other ideas that might relieve the need to give something good:

  • Handmade tea blends: How about pulling together your own blend of herbs and petals that would be most soothing for the person in mind?  Think a combination of lemongrass, peppermint, hibiscus, ginger & cinnamon for an uplifting blend or chamomile, lavender, rose petal, rosemary for a fragrant calming blend.
  • Fragrant bath bags: Much like an oversized tea bag for your bath.  Again, choose your own blend of loose herbal teas plus some Epsom salts and bicarb to relieve tension and soften skin.  Pop it all into a little refillable bag (like our soap nut bags) and you are good to go again and again.
  • Homemade soaps: Palm oil free soaps can be hard to come by, so stocking up for a friend who cares about this topic may be just the treat they were after.

  • Individual chocolate bars and rocky road: If you popped into Wasteless Pantry last week you would have had the opportunity to try out Christmas Bark (white chocolate topped with cranberries and pistachios).  It took me less than 15 minutes to make, was delicious and the combinations are endless!  Just melt chocolate buttons or bits of your choice and top with your friend’s favourite flavours.  Maybe they love dark chocolate topped with pepitas, hemp seeds, goji berries and slivered almonds; or perhaps white chocolate topped with trail mix and chia seeds? Delicious!
  • Reusable items: If you have a friend that is preparing for next years Plastic Free July or saw the War on Waste and wants to get themselves equip to waste less, how about supporting them.  Think BYO coffee cups, reusable shopping bags in pretty designs, produce bags, reusable baking liners, metal straws or stainless steel drink bottles.  It can be a bit of an investment to get yourself kitted out to start with so this type of thing is greatly appreciated.
  • Recipe jars: For that friend who loves the idea of cooking from scratch but finds it tedious to gather the ingredients, show your love by doing it for them (or get us to, we won’t tell on you!) and popping a recipe on the back of the container to make cooking a breeze.

Just a sample of ideas to get you started and you can always pop into Wasteless Pantry to have a chat if you have a very tricky friend to find something for.

You never know what inspiration you might find.

Photo credits:

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Photo by Lesly Juarez on Unsplash

Photo by Yoori Koo on Unsplash


Hot Cross Buns Recipe

We love Easter and especially the traditional Hot Cross Bun!

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Ingredients

  • 4 cups plain flour
  • 14g dried yeast
  • 1/4 cup caster sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons mixed spice
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups currants
  • 40g butter
  • 300ml milk
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten

Flour paste

  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons water

Glaze

  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons caster sugar
  1. Warm butter and milk, combine with dry ingredients
  2. Knead on floured surface until smooth, place into oiled bowl covered with a damp tea towel and set aside for 1-1.5 hours until dough doubles
  3. Punch down dough and knead for 30 seconds.   Divide into 12 even ball-shaped portions and place on a greased tray 1cm apart. Cover and set aside for 30 minutes to double in size. Preheat oven to 170C
  4. Make flour paste by mixing together ingredients and pipe over buns to form cross. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until cooked through
  5. Make glaze by mixing ingredients over low heat until sugar dissolves, boil for 3-4 minutes and brush warm glaze over warm hot cross buns. Enjoy!

Eco Friendly Easter Guide

Aiming toward a zero waste Easter this year?

This time of year is for celebrating and unfortunately also seems to be about generating waste.  An article by Pre-Waste on 6 April 2012 indicates:

Since their development in early 19th century France and Germany, chocolate Easter eggs have quickly become seasonal bestsellers. In Italy, 40 million eggs equalling 6.848 tons of chocolate were consumed in 2010. As the chocolate egg has since its first appearance developed from the simple type wrapped in paper to the beribboned variety wrapped in brightest foil and packed in a box or basket, it leads to vast amounts of packaging waste. Approximately 4.370 tonnes of card and 160 tonnes of foil waste are generated in the UK during the holiday every year. Most of the plastic packaging used is not recyclable yet, which means it ends up in landfills.

That’s a lot of waste and whilst there have been improvements in the recyclability of packaging since the article was written, it is fair to say that just because packaging can be recycled does not mean that it is being recycled.

With a little creativity, you can turn this Easter in a low or no waste event!

Eco Easter Gift Idea Guide

How about a refillable reusable Easter egg?

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Hollow wooden eggs such as the ones offered at Wasteless Pantry are a blank canvas waiting to be decorated!  Fill with lollies, chocolates, flavoured almonds, sweet Easter wishes or money if that’s your preference.  Blank Goods have a great inspiration page to get your creativity flowing.

 

 

 

 

Make your own felt egg shaped gift bag or what about a fabric bunny basket?

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Make your own chocolate Easter treats!

We have Easter molds and chocolate buttons (white, milk or dark depending on your preference) ready to be melted into your own handmade Easter treats.  And if you want to try your hand at making your own chocolates from scratch, we have those ingredients on hand too.

90-2130 Easter Mint Assort 90-2353 Cracked Egg

 Dark chocolate recipe:

Makes approximately 200 grams

  • 100g cacao butter (also called cocoa butter)

  • 6 tablespoons cocoa/cacao powder

  • 1-2 tablespoons icing sugar

  • 1/4 cup almonds or 1 Tbsp chia seeds (optional)

 

 

Step 1: Melt cacao butter in a double boiler

Step 2: Mix melted butter with sifted cacao powder and icing sugar, incorporating other fillings if used.  Place in mold and allow to set in the fridge. Done!  Plus it is dairy free (making it vegan) and gluten free chocolate!

 

If you want to go a bit fancier you could always give a complete Chocolate Making Kit

Perfect for making Easter and other treats all year round.

chocolate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So while all the rest are cleaning up the commercialised rubbish, you can sit back and indulge in a heart felt and personal Easter celebration befitting the spirit of this time of year.


Easy Hot Cross Buns with a Twist

Whilst we love our traditionally made Hot Cross Buns, sometimes you just don’t have the time or energy to tackle that ingredient list.

The alternative is going fancy with a basic bread mix – our crusty or soft bread mixes (try your hand with the gluten free range if you are inspired too!).

easy hot cross bun

 

Bread base:

500g bread mix

7g dried yeast

250g lukewarm water

 

Then tailor it by adding in one of the options below….

Traditional version:

65g sultanas

65g currents

10g mixed spice

 

Chocolate lovers:

25g cocoa powder

50g choc chips

* use melted chocolate for the cross

 

Choc Cherry:

25g cocoa powder

50g choc chips

65g glace cherries

 

Apricot & Almond:

125g diced apricots

125g sliced almonds

 

Date & Walnut:

125g chopped dates

125g walnuts

7g ground cinnamon

 

  1. Mix together bread base and optional ingredients until a smooth dough forms
  2. Cover with a damp tea towel and allow to proof for 10 minutes
  3. Knock down the dough and form into 6-8 buns approximately 1cm apart on a greased tray
  4. Cover with a damp tea towel and allow to proof for 40-60 minutes
  5. Make flour paste for cross by mixing 1/2 cup plain flour with 4 to 5 tablespoons of water and piping across buns
  6. Bake until golden brown for approximately 20 mins in 180-190C oven
  7. Brush with sugar glaze made by mixing 1/3 cup water with 2 tablespoons of sugar whilst buns are still warm

 

Enjoy!


Gifts in a Jar

If you are keen on doing gift jars for Christmas or other occasions (you can reuse what you have to refuse waste!) then check out these ideas we have in store…

Vanilla bath saltsVanilla Bath Salts

2 cup Epsom Salts
3 tbsp. Bicarb
1 tsp Vanilla Essence
Jar + Ingredients = $8

 

 

 

 

 

 

macadamia brownieMacadamia Choc Brownies

Contains 1 cup plain flour, ½ tsp baking powder, 1/4tsp salt, 1 ½ cup sugar, ¼ cup cocoa & ½ cup macadamias
Extra needed:
½ cup melted butter
2 eggs
½ tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 170C. Pour jar contents into bowl & add wet ingredients. Stir until well combined. Pour into greased 20 x 20cm pan and bake for 35 mins. Cool before slicing.
Jar + ingredients = $11

 

 

Choc Chip Oatmeal CookiesChoc Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Contains 1/3 cup plain flour, ¼ tsp baking powder, ¼ tsp bicarb, 1/3 cup brown sugar, ¼ cup white sugar, 1/3 cup oats, 1/3 cup milk choc chips & 1/3 white choc chips
Extra needed:
3 ½ tbsp. melted butter
1 egg
½ tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 180C. Pour jar contents into bowl and add wet ingredients. Stir until well combined. Grease baking tray and place spoonfuls of mixture onto tray. Bake 12-14 mins.
Jar + ingredients = $6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Santa cookiesSanta Cookies

1 1/3 cup plain flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp bicarb, ¼ tsp salt, 1 cup rolled oats, ¾ cup smarties, ½ cup brown sugar & ½ cup white sugar
Extra needed:
½ cup softened butter
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 180C. Beat together wet ingredients in bowl until light and fluffy. Add jar contents & mix well. Grease baking tray and place spoonful’s of mixture onto tray. Bake 10 mins.
Jar + ingredients = $9

 

Lolly jar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Or maybe these ideas might be more your cup of tea 🙂

Custom Tea Set Hot Choc Set luxury coffee set

Counter gifts