For many, Easter nowadays tends to revolve around going on Easter egg hunts (or organising them, depending upon your age) and consuming large amounts of chocolate in shapes ranging from eggs to rabbits. However, in plenty of places around the world Easter wouldn’t be Easter without treats and foods of a different kind altogether.
For example, Italians will enjoy an Easter pie, the Polish will break Easter bread (babka), and the Spanish will eat rosquillas, whilst in the UK, USA and many other historically Christian countries, Hot Cross buns are traditionally eaten on Easter Good Friday, with the cross standing as a symbol of the crucifixion.
Many of these recipes can easily be made suitable for vegans too. So, this year, as well as enjoying your vegan easter eggs, why not try one of these other traditional Easter recipes as well?
Rosquillas of the Holy Week
225g/8oz all-purpose flour
85g/3oz granulated sugar
Egg replacer equivalent to 1 egg
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. dairy-free margarine
110g/4oz icing sugar
Sift the flour into a bowl. Combine with the granulated sugar, egg replacer, baking powder, vanilla, and margarine. Mix until a dough forms. Set aside and let it rise.
Once risen, shape into 18 to 20 cookies.
Heat the oil on medium-high and fry the cookies for 4 minutes, or until golden brown. Sprinkle with icing sugar.
Makes 18 to 20 cookies.
450g/1 lb. all-purpose flour
225g/8oz dairy-free margarine
1/4 tsp. sugar
1 1/4 tsp. salt
450g/1 lb. vegetarian sausage, crumbled
900g/2 lbs. firm tofu, crumbled
55g/2oz soya “Parmesan” style cheese
55g/2oz minced fresh parsley
1/2 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. ground fennel seeds
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. In a food processor, combine the flour, margarine, sugar, and 1/4 tsp. of salt. With the machine still running, add the water to form a dough ball. Divide the dough into two balls and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the vegetarian sausage, tofu, soya cheese, parsley, remaining salt, pepper, cayenne, paprika, and fennel seeds.
Roll out the dough into two 11-inch circles. Place one circle in a 10-inch pie plate and spread the filling mixture over it. Cover with the other dough, pinch the edges, and prick the centre with a fork. Bake for 1 hour, or until golden brown.
Makes 8 servings.
Babka (Easter Bread)
1 pkt. dry yeast 120ml/4floz soya milk, lukewarm
450g/1 lb. all-purpose flour
Egg replacer equivalent of 3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 tsp. grated lemon rind
1 Tbsp. margarine
110g/4oz icing sugar
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in the soya milk. Combine with 110g/4oz sugar and 225g/8oz flour and set aside for 30 minutes. Add the remaining sugar, remaining flour, egg replacer, vanilla, almond extract, grated lemon, and margarine. Mix gently. Add the raisins while continuing to mix.
Grease a loaf pan and dust with flour. Place the dough in the pan, cover with a clean cloth and set aside in a warm place for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from heat and, when cool, remove from the pan.
In a bowl, mix the icing sugar and lemon juice to make icing. Drizzle over the babka.
Makes 6 to 8 servings.
1 large baking potato
1/2 medium onion
Egg replacer equivalent of 1 egg
1 Tbsp. chopped parsley
1 Tbsp. flour
1 Tbsp. breadcrumbs
1/4 tsp. thyme
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper, to taste
In a food processor, grate the potato and onion. Squeeze out the excess liquid and place the dry potato-onion mixture in a bowl. Combine with the egg substitute, parsley, flour, breadcrumbs, thyme, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Mix together.
Warm 120ml/4floz/8 Tbsps. of oil on high heat in a frying pan. Add 110g/4oz of the potato mixture to the oil and flatten into a thick pancake. Turn the heat down to medium. Cook for 5 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Do the same with the rest of the potato mixture. Top with the applesauce.
Spicy Vegan Hot Cross Buns
350g/12oz strong plain flour
5ml/1 tsp. ground mixed spice
5ml/1 tsp. ground cinnamon
5ml/1 tsp. grated nutmeg
1 sachet easy-blend yeast
25g/1oz caster sugar
25g/1oz mixed peel, chopped
Finely grated rind of one lemon
75g/3oz vegan margarine, melted
175ml/6floz (approx) soya milk, warmed
50g/2oz plain flour
25g vegan margarine
In a large bowl mix the flour, spices, yeast, sugar, currants, mixed peel and lemon rind. Make a well in the centre and add the melted margarine and some of the warmed milk.
Mix until a soft dough is formed, adding more milk if necessary. Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes. Place in an greased bowl, cover with cling film and leave in a warm place until doubled in size. (1-2 hours).
Meanwhile, to make the crosses, rub the margarine into the flour and add enough water to bind. Roll out the pastry quite thinly then cut into thin strips.
Once the dough has doubled in size, knock it down and knead for 5 minutes. Divide into 12 pieces, roll each piece into a ball and leave on a greased baking tray. Leave to rise again for about 30 mins.
To make the glaze, heat the water and sugar in a pan until the sugar dissolves. Leave to cool.
Glaze each bun and top with pastry crosses.
Bake at 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4 for about 20 minutes or until golden.
Makes 12 buns.
Credits: All recipes used with the kind permission of PETA (except Spicy Vegan Hot Cross Buns – courtesy of the Vegetarian Society)