Somehow it just doesn't feel like Easter without a good Hot Cross Bun. It kind of annoys me that they make their first appearance in supermarkets 3 months before Easter...it removes the 'specialness' from the experience somehow. Yesterday I made my first batch and we thouroughly enjoyed eating them for breakfast this morning. That'll probably be it for now, until Easter itself...and we will savour every morsel while we eat with thankfulness for what the Cross represents.
This version is, of course, gluten and dairy free and only uses a little rapadura sugar for sweetener. I know it initially looks like a long list of ingredients, but if you regularly bake gluten free you probably already have them all. The glutinous rice flour may stump you- it doesn't actually contain gluten. It has a more sticky quality than regular rice flour and helps to bind. I also use it in my Shortcrust Pastry. You can buy it from Asian specialty grocers.
This recipe was emailed to me a long time ago without a source, but its method uses a thermomix, so it may well have come from a thermomix cookbook. I've made a couple of my own changes, but it's fairly true to the original recipe and I've altered the method for those of us not using a thermomix! I made up the recipe for the paste for the crosses myself...wanted it to be sugar free but not taste like plain flour when you eat it! Adding maple syrup makes the crosses quite edible!
Why not make a double batch - enjoy some straight away and put some in the freezer for Good Friday?
- 1/2 teaspoon each of ground cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves OR 1 1/2 teaspoons mixed spice
- 1 vanilla bean, beans scraped out of pod and pod discarded OR 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or paste
- 70g millet flour
- 50g almond flour
- 150g tapioca starch OR potato starch
- 35 g glutinous rice flour
- Pinch of sea salt
- 2 eggs
- 130 g sparkling mineral water at room temperature
- 1 sachet of yeast (7 grams)
- 170 g sultanas, dried cranberries or other dried fruit of choice
For the crosses:
- 2 Tablespoons gluten free flour
- 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
- 4 teaspoons water
- Take the bowl of you kitchenaid/ mixmaster and place it on your scales. Measure all ingredients by weight into the bowl.
- Using the paddle mixer or a dough hook on your mixer, combine all ingredients until they all come together in a dough ball.
- Use an ice cream scoop to measure out consistant-sized balls of dough into greased muffin tins or onto a greased or lined baking tray. This quantity makes 10-12 buns.
- Leave to rise for at least an hour, covered with a tea towel in a warm spot.
- While the dough rises, make the flour paste for the crosses. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and stir vigorously till combined into a smooth paste.
- When dough is risen, brush the top of each bun with an egg-wash if desired (lightly beat an egg with a fork and brush over the top surface).
- Put the flour paste in a piping bag or a small zip-lock bag and cut the corner off the bag to pipe the paste out of. Make the shape of a cross with the paste on top of each bun.
- Bake for 15-20 mins at 160 degrees (fan forced) until they are browned and crusty on top and a skewer poked through the middle comes out clean.
- Serve warm, cut in half and spread with a sugar free (fruit juice sweetened) jam, or honey.
- You can keep these for a couple of days and reheat them in the oven, covered in foil, at 180 degrees for about 12 minutes. You can also freeze them for later, defrost and reheat when ready to use.