The Easter weekend is officially upon us! Usually this can mean quality time with your family, church services, a time of rest and, of course, hot cross buns and easter eggs. Here in the SFC, saying we love our food is an understatement. So while a weekend away with the fam will have to be put on hold, we encourage you to conjure up some creativity and give these eco-friendly easter ideas a go!
The Easter weekend is officially upon us! Usually this can mean quality time with your family, church services, a time of rest and, of course, hot cross buns and easter eggs. Unfortunately, it can also mean a lot of consumerism and waste. In midst of these unprecedented times, Easter is likely to look very different for many kiwis. Here in the SFC, saying we love our food is an understatement. So while a weekend away with the fam will have to be put on hold, we encourage you to conjure up some creativity and give these eco-friendly easter ideas a go!
Sourdough Hot Cross Buns
Missing those gourmet hot cross buns from your favourite bakery? Looking to make hot cross buns with a twist? I’ve got you sorted!
If you have a sourdough, make use of it in this recipe for hot cross buns. If you don’t have a sourdough, can raise one of your own or use a recipe using dried yeast.
Sourdough is amazing because it’s an INFINITE SUPPLY. If the supermarket is out of stock of dried yeast you don’t have to worry!
**If you would like a sustainability challenge, all the ingredients (except the vanilla) can be bought at bulk bin stores so you can make these zero-waste!**
3 cups High Grade Flour
1 cup Water (more may be needed)
½ cup Sourdough starter (fed at least 4 hrs before)
3 T Sugar
1 pinch of salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice
½ Sultanas/Raisins/Currants/Dried Cranberries
Zest of 1 lemon
For the custard icing
1 tsp vanilla
1 C non-dairy milk
2 white sugar
1 ½ T cornflour/cornstarch
Juice of 1 lemon
Time required: 15 hrs (including overnight rise)
Combine the flour, cinnamon, mixed spice, sugar, salt, dried fruit, lemon zest.
Add the water and starter into the dry mix and mix until a sticky dough is formed. More water may be required if you are in a dry environment.
Cover the dough and leave to rise for at least 12 hours/overnight on the counter.
Fold the dough into itself to release the air pockets.
Divide the dough into 12 portions, shape each into a ball type shape and place onto your baking surface, hopefully on a reusable baking mat/tray.
Place your buns into a warm place for its final proof for 2-3 hours until they get puffy. My secret trick is to place them in an oven turned off, with a tray of boiling water underneath to give my buns a nice sauna.
Take out your buns and preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. Don’t forget to take out your boiling water tray!
Bake your buns for 30 mins until they get a light brown, and a chopstick poked through it comes out clean.
While your buns cool, make your icing.
Mix the milk, sugar, lemon juice and vanilla to the boil.
Once boiling, mix in the cornflour.
Continuously mix until the mix thickens.
Once cool slightly, drizzle the icing over the buns to form the cross design (I used a spoon and it got real messy haha)
Recipe by Helena Li (UoA Young Sustainability Leaders Coordinator)
My bubbling sourdough 4 hrs after feeding
Making sure your dough gets enough water, too sticky is better than too dry
I’ve used a reusable wrap here to replace gladwrap but a couple tea towels should work too - I recommend sprinkling some water on top though to prevent drying out.
The buns before the oven
The buns after the oven
If you don’t have sourdough, try out this recipe using dried yeast or this one to make hot cross buns.
If you are just craving some delicious easter eggs, try support local New Zealand brands that are doing their bit for the environment.
Plastic Free & Vegan Easter Eggs
Forty Thieves Peanut Butter Easter Eggs are not only mouth-watering, but they are also plastic free, vegan and use organic fair trade chocolate! Check out their website to order online (thankfully an essential business continuing production during lockdown!) or see what stores you can find them at.
Easter Egg Hunt!
As Aunty Jacinda said, the Easter Bunny may be very busy and not make it to everyone’s homes this year but it doesn’t mean we can’t have an easter egg hunt! Draw, paint and construct an easter egg to pop on your window, gate or mail box to keep kids having fun this easter. Try out this print out to colour in!
If you want some more ideas about ways to be sustainable and eco-friendly this easter, check out The Good Easter Guide, made with aroha by Ecomailbox and The Eco Society.