Hands up who needs a gluten free hot cross bun in their belly this time of year? I remember the first time I made gluten free HCB. They were devoured quickly by the non coeliacs in our family and I just "had" to make a second batch. Only this time, I’ve tweaked the recipe a little and my goodness, was it worth it!
Very similar to my Christmas pudding recipe, in this recipe you have a bit of artistic licence with the fruit variations you use in these buns. I am not a fan of candied peel at all so you will have noticed it did not make an appearance in my version. Blurgh to the peel I say.
Now this the point where I ask you not to go judgy wudgy on me (insert a sheepish grin here). Because in this recipe, I do have fresh orange zest. It gives such a lovely lift in the flavours and compliments the spices so beautifully.
You can easily switch out the total weight of fruit with your own preference and create a bun that suits your tastes. Just use a total weight of 150 grams and mix it up a little. For my buns I prefer a ratio of 100 grams of sultanas with 50 grams of currants. This is because I loooove currants and again, because... well... blurgh to the peel.
These buns are made with the FG Roberts Traditional Bread mix and the crosses are made with their gluten free plain flour as well. Please keep in mind different gluten free flours will have different results so if not using FG flours, you will need to adjust the recipe.
Remember to pre-soak your dried fruit to plump them up before baking, so that they do not steal the moisture from your dough. Not only will this yield you a lovely soft crumb, it will also help with maximum lift in the buns when they first go into the oven. When not presoaked, dried fruit will steal moisture from the dough resulting in less of a lift and a denser crumb.
I soak mine with a couple of tablespoons of warm water for at least 30 minutes. Before baking, I then drain and pat the fruit dry with some paper towel so they are not soggy. Soggy fruit will affect your dough, making it too wet.
Hot Cross Buns
For the dough:
330 grams F.G. Roberts Traditional Bread Mix
80 grams soft brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
zest of an orange
400 grams warm full cream milk
6 grams instant dry yeast
5 grams white vinegar
30 grams flavourless vegetable oil (my go to is rice bran oil)
a pinch of salt flakes
150 grams of mixed fruit, pre-soaked, drained and patted dry with paper towel
1 egg, room temperature and beaten
For the crosses:
6 tablespoons of plain gluten free flour combined with just enough water so that can be piped onto the buns.
For the glaze:
50g grams water
50 grams soft brown sugar
Preheat the oven to 210 degrees celsius and line a baking tray with paper.
Warm the milk and one tablespoon of the sugar to 40-45 degrees celsius
Add the yeast and gently mix in to the milk mix
Cover and leave until the yeast starts to bloom. It should look like a layer of cream on top of the milk when ready.
While the yeast blooms, weigh the bread flour, salt and spices into a large bowl. Mix to combine and set aside.
Once the yeast blooms, add the vinegar, oil, egg, and remaining sugar and gently mix to combine.
Make a well in the dry mixture and add the wet mixture.
Gradually work the dry into the wet mixture with a sturdy spoon, until the flour is incorporated and the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. **If using a stand mixer, knead for about 5 minutes using a dough hook.
The dough will be quite sticky at this stage, so keep working the dough until it is no longer shaggy and binding well.
Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead the dough until it’s smooth and elastic. **Alternatively, use a stand mixer for at least 3 minutes with a dough hook attachment.
Flatten out the dough to a rough rectangle shape approximately 30 x 20 centimetres **Skip this step if using a stand mixer
Sprinkle the fruit over the dough, then fold the dough over a third, then a third again, to enclose like an envelope. ** If using a stand mixer, add the fruit to the dough and knead 2-3 minutes.
Knead gently to incorporate the fruit.
Divide the dough into 8 equal portions
With lightly oiled hands, shape the portions into bun shapes and place almost touching onto the prepared tray
Cover with oiled cling film and allow the dough to rise in a warm spot until double in size.
When the buns are ready to bake, mix the flour and water together to make a thick paste. The mix should be a piping consistency of thick cream.
Use a piping bag or a zip lock plastic bag with a small section cut out of one corner, pipe a cross onto the top of each bun
Mist the buns lightly with water and place into the pre-heated oven
Once in the oven, turn the temperature down to 200 celsius and bake an initial 5 minutes
TIP Place a small oven-proof dish of water on the base of the oven to produce moisture while baking
After 5 minutes, lower the temperature again to 175 celsius and bake for a further 35-40 minutes. Time will vary depending on your oven.
A few minutes before the buns are ready, make the glaze. Heat the glaze ingredients in a microwave safe bowl for a minute to two, until the sugar is dissolved and the glaze bubbles. **be very careful it is HOT**
Lift the baked buns onto a cooling rack ready to glaze while hot
Gently brush the glaze over the buns with a pastry brush while the buns are still hot
Super important: Please allow the buns to cool before splitting open. If you split them while still hot they will appear to be doughy. Be patient and wait for them to cool and you will be well rewarded.
These are delicious when they have just reached room temperature or enjoy the next day lightly toasted. Store in an airtight container at room temperature - do not refrigerate as this will dry out the buns.
Oh yes indeedy! These can be made in advance and frozen too.