Baking with gluten free flour is always tricky for me and baking bread with gluten free flour is especially tricky. I am yet to figure out the trick to it, but with each new recipe I try I do believe I am getting closer. While these may not be the prettiest buns you will see on the internet this Easter, I can tell you the texture and taste are not far from the glutenous version I was craving.
I just love home made hot cross buns. Pre-gluten free-me would make the more traditional version each year in the lead up to Easter and indulge wholeheartedly in these delicious little sweet buns. I really didn’t want this year to be any different, apart from the fact the I have this pesky sensitivity to gluten. What to do? Well, bake them without the gluten of course!
I have a stash of these in the freezer for the coming days. I am looking forward to tucking into them for breakfast on Good Friday morning, along with the kids to fuel us all up ready to hit the town to take in the sights and sounds of the Bendigo Easter Festival, starting with an Easter Egg Hunt for the little people first thing Friday morning. Can’t wait!
I used my preferred gluten free flour blend for these, but you could use a store bought one just as easily. Because I use red sorghum in my blend the colour of these hot cross buns is altered slightly and the potato starch and buckwheat flour do not lend themselves to browning the same way rice or wheat flour do. As with most gluten free flour based breads, there is less rise from the yeast once baked, however, there is still a lightness to the inside and crunch on the crust that makes these extremely tasty and easily toasted once baked.
Here’s how they came together for me;
- 250g gluten free (gf) plain flour (plus extra for dusting)
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon mixed spice
- 1 teaspoon gf baking powder
- ½ teaspoon of xanthan gum
- 1 teaspoon baking soda (bi-carb)
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- Grated rind of half an orange
- 150ml almond milk (or milk of choice)
- 1 teaspoon + 1 tablespoon unrefined or raw sugar
- 1 sachet (7g) dried yeast
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 100g sultanas
- CROSS PASTE
- 2 tablespoons GF flour
- 1-2 tablespoons cold water
- 1 teaspoon unrefined or raw sugar
- Cinnamon to taste
- Boiling water
- MAKING THE DOUGH
- In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, spices, salt, xanthan gum and orange rind, whisk until combined.
- Heat almond milk in a small saucepan until just luke warm.
- Poor half of the milk in a mug with the yeast and 1 tsp of sugar.
- Gently stir, cover and set aside for 10 minutes until it becomes frothy.
- Add coconut oil and 1 tbsp sugar to the remaining warm milk and stir until melted.
- Once yeast mix is ready, in a mug, combine baking soda & apple cider vinegar, mix well to combine - it should bubble up a little.
- Using your hands mix the yeast mixture into the flour.
- Add milk mixture, baking soda mixture, lightly beaten egg and lastly the dried fruit or chocolate, kneading with each addition.
- GF flour does not 'gel' like wheat flour, so does not require much kneading, only mix until ingredients are combined and you have a sticky dough. (Keep extra flour close at hand, as you may need this while kneading)
- Cover with glad wrap or a damp tea towel.
- Place in a warm spot to prove for 1 hour or until the dough doubles in size.
- MAKING THE BUNS
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius
- Divide the dough into 6 equal portions, roll into balls and arrange closely on a tray. Cover and allow to prove for another 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile prepare the cross paste by slowly mixing water into flour to form a smooth thick paste.
- Spoon into a snap-lock bag, snip a little hole in the corner and pipe crosses.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes.
- THE FINAL GLAZE
- Prepare the glaze by mixing ingredients together, dissolving the sugar in the boiling water. Brush the glaze over warm hot cross buns and serve.
These hot cross buns are best eaten lightly toasted once they are more than a day old / have been frozen.
So there you have it, my version of a gluten free hot cross bun – because being gluten free does not mean you should miss out on the wonders of this Easter favourite. These hot cross buns are free from gluten and full of flavour. I hope you like them as much as we do.
Serve these with lashings of your favourite butter, or nut butter. I also like mine with raspberry fruit spread. Just delicious!
Tell me, what are your plans for the Easter weekend? Are there traditions you follow in your family? How do you like your hot cross buns?
What ever it is you are up to, all of us here in the Fresh Home Cook household wish you a very Happy Easter!
Cook! Eat! Enjoy!