baking/ gluten free/ lunchbox/ some for now + some for later/ traditions and rituals

Gluten Free Hot Cross Buns or Spiced Fruit Buns

Gluten Free Hot Cross Buns Fruit Buns Sweetpea Darlingheart-11

These are ‘hot cross buns’.

After a little healthy discussion, or what some may call a heated debate (between a 7 and 9 year old) about what we should call these little fruit filled, cinnamon scented gems, it was decided that we could probably get away with calling them hot cross buns, as long as we did air quotation marks (” “) while calling them such, or said it with a little tilt of the head or wink of the eye.

You see, these do contain all of the ingredients of a hot cross bun (a delicious, yeasty, gluten free version) however, I chose to bake them in a muffin tin.

Gluten Free Hot Cross Buns Fruit Buns Sweetpea Darlingheart-2I did this for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it saves time in the baking. And yes, the dough does prove overnight in the fridge, so while they’re not particularly speedy from the very beginning to actually sitting down and eating, saving a little time in the oven sometimes makes all the difference – like if you want to knock out a batch first thing in the morning (hello Easter morning!) and don’t want to get up 40 minutes before everyone else, but you could probably manage a nifty 18 minutes. Just enough time to have a lovely cup of tea, and maybe read the paper. Or in the afternoon, when eating a fresh bun straight out of the oven would be just the thing. I’d rather sit down and eat that little bit quicker!

They also bake to a pretty perfect size for a snack, kid’s hand or a lunchbox (have you seen how massive hot cross buns can be?!?). It also takes away any stress of the buns rising ‘out’ instead of ‘up’, and I am always keen on reducing any stress in the kitchen.

Plus, most people have a muffin tin! Are you convinced yet?!

Gluten Free Hot Cross Buns Fruit Buns Sweetpea Darlingheart-4

Gluten Free Hot Cross Buns Fruit Buns Sweetpea Darlingheart-5Gluten Free Hot Cross Buns Fruit Buns Sweetpea Darlingheart-9

It was duly noted during the debate that baking them in a muffin tin perhaps ruled them out from ‘technically’ being called ‘buns’ at all; the word ‘cross’ was also queried, as generous artistic liberty was taken in the making of the cross too. ‘Hot’, we all agreed, may apply – as long as you ate them soon out of the oven, of course.

Indeed, these do have the soul of a hot cross bun or a glorious sticky fruit bun, which I think is the most important thing – no matter how they were made or what actually got them to where they are today, their intention surely is to fill you with warmth and ‘hot cross’ yumminess.

So, with a little smile or perhaps an ironic grin, serve these to your loves and call them whatever you wish. Hot Cross Buns, Fruit Buns, Sticky Buns, Hot Cross Buffins (!) – bake them at Easter time or just whenever that deep call comes from within for something warm, slightly sweet and bready, with a hint of orange and cinnamon, and a little fruit.

Gluten Free Hot Cross Buns Fruit Buns Sweetpea Darlingheart-13Gluten Free Hot Cross Buns, Muffins, Buffins….

studded with currants, raisins and a little orange zest.

At this time of year when there are hot cross buns at every turn, soft pillowy numbers that smell like heaven but don’t do much for you in the nutrition stakes, I thought I would have a go at making something sweet and cinnamon-y, but with a little more behind it; tasty and preserving that hot cross bun nostalgia, but that will keep you going without the blood sugar rush.

As far as yeasted baked goods go, these are surprisingly easy and hands off. Because you are using gluten free flours, there is no need to knead! Just stir all the ingredients in one bowl and off you go. The dough proves slowly in the fridge overnight, which actually feels like it reduces the waiting time; the following day you just stir through a little more yeast before using an ice-cream scoop to portion out the mixture. The total hands on time is probably under 10 minutes!

Baking these in a muffin tin also reduces the time for the dough to come up to room temperature before you put it in the oven; just pop the dough in the muffin holes and stick the pans on top of the oven while it is preheating – this should be enough warmth to wake up the dough and get a great bread texture.

If you’re a chocolate chip hot cross bun lover, you could add in ¼-⅓ cup cacao nibs or dark chocolate chips in with the other dry ingredients. And if you’re feeling fancy, and don’t mind sticky fingers, then you can glaze the top of the buns with just a few tablespoons of warmed jam.

I used flaked almonds to make ‘crosses’ on top, this of course is completely optional.

Gluten Free Hot Cross Buns Fruit Buns Sweetpea Darlingheart-17

Gluten Free Hot Cross Buns / Spiced Fruit Buns

••• Makes 18 •••
Active time : 10 minutes  + overnight proving + 25 minutes the following day

• Gluten free • Dairy free option •

Adapted from Free Range Cookies

These buns are delicious warm or at room temperature on the day they are baked. Like all hot cross buns, they start to feel a little stale by the second day, so I suggest you cut in half any buns you don’t eat on the first day and pop them in an airtight container in the freezer – you can then carefully toast the buns in the toaster on low until warm and a little crispy round the edges. Mmmmmm, so good!

My batch made 18 buns, but this may differ depending on the size of your muffin tin and the ice-cream scoop you use. If you don’t have an ice-cream scoop don’t worry, just use a tablespoon to fill the holes up to around ¾ full.

My oven preheats quite quickly, in around 5 or 10 minutes. If yours takes longer, pop it on to preheat before you remove the batter from the fridge.

If you would like to make them dairy free, use your favourite dairy free milk and butter alternatives.


120g (1 cup) sorghum flour
60g (½ cup) arrowroot flour
70g (½ cup) buckwheat flour
85g (½ cup) potato starch
50g (½ cup) almond meal
50g (4 tablespoons) coconut sugar
10g (3 tablespoons) flax meal
2 ¼ teaspoons instant yeast
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon fine salt
1 teaspoon mixed spice

1 ½ cups your choice of milk
3 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla paste
85g (6 tablespoons) butter, melted

90g (½ cup) sultanas
80g (½ cup) currants
zest of 1 orange

¼ teaspoon instant yeast
1 tablespoon warm water

softened butter for greasing the muffin tins

flaked almonds for crosses, optional
a few tablespoons of apricot jam for glazing, optional


In a large bowl, thoroughly mix all the dry ingredients using a whisk. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients, and add in the milk, eggs and vanilla – give it a little whisk to mix the milk and eggs together before incorporating it into the rest of the mixture. Pour in the melted butter and whisk until well combined. The batter should resemble a muffin batter rather than a dough at this stage.

Stir through the dried fruit and orange zest, then cover and put in the fridge to prove overnight.

The following day when you are ready to bake preheat the oven to 200°C and remove the bowl from the fridge.

Dissolve the extra yeast in a tablespoon of warm water and stir it through the batter.

Grease the holes of two muffin tins generously with softened butter. Use an ice-cream scoop to scoop the batter into the holes, filling them around ¾ full. My batter divided evenly into 18 muffin holes.

Place the muffin tins on top of the oven to warm up for around 5 minutes. While the dough is warming up, boil the kettle and fill a little oven-proof dish with the hot water – pop it into the bottom of the oven to create a little steam.

Once the oven is at temperature, place the buns in the oven and bake for around 18 minutes, or until browned on top and risen – you may like to turn the trays around after 15 minutes to ensure they bake evenly if your oven is a little uneven (as mine is!).

If you would like to glaze your buns, in the last few minutes of their baking, warm a few tablespoons of jam gently in a small saucepan over low heat, just until the jam becomes runny.

Remove the buns from the oven and turn out onto a wire rack. Use a pastry brush to brush a little jam on top and enjoy warm, with salted butter.

Gluten Free Hot Cross 'Buns' or Spiced Fruit Buns

Print Recipe
Serves: makes 18 Cooking Time: 10 mins active time + overnight proving + 25 minutes the following day

Ingredients

  • 120g (1 cup) sorghum flour
  • 60g (½ cup) arrowroot flour
  • 70g (½ cup) buckwheat flour
  • 85g (½ cup) potato starch
  • 50g (½ cup) almond meal
  • 50g (4 tablespoons) coconut sugar
  • 10g (3 tablespoons) flax meal
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 1 ½ cups your choice of milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla paste
  • 85g (6 tablespoons) butter, melted
  • 90g (½ cup) sultanas
  • 80g (½ cup) currants
  • zest of 1 orange
  • ¼ teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1 tablespoon warm water
  • softened butter for greasing the muffin tins
  • flaked almonds for crosses, optional
  • a few tablespoons of apricot jam for glazing, optional

Instructions

1

In a large bowl, thoroughly mix all the dry ingredients using a whisk. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients, and add in the milk, eggs and vanilla - give it a little whisk to mix the milk and eggs together before incorporating it into the rest of the mixture. Pour in the melted butter and whisk until well combined. The batter should resemble a muffin batter rather than a dough at this stage.

2

Stir through the dried fruit and orange zest, then cover and put in the fridge to prove overnight.

3

The following day when you are ready to bake preheat the oven to 200°C and remove the bowl from the fridge.

4

Dissolve the extra yeast in a tablespoon of warm water and stir it through the batter.

5

Grease the holes of two muffin tins generously with softened butter. Use an ice-cream scoop to scoop the batter into the holes, filling them around ¾ full. My batter divided evenly into 18 muffin holes.

6

Place the muffin tins on top of the oven to warm up for around 5 minutes. While the dough is warming up, boil the kettle and fill a little oven-proof dish with the hot water - pop it into the bottom of the oven to create a little steam.

7

Once the oven is at temperature, place the buns in the oven and bake for around 18 minutes, or until browned on top and risen - you may like to turn the trays around after 15 minutes to ensure they bake evenly if your oven is a little uneven (as mine is!).

8

If you would like to glaze your buns, in the last few minutes of their baking, warm a few tablespoons of jam gently in a small saucepan over low heat, just until the jam becomes runny.

9

Remove the buns from the oven and turn out onto a wire rack. Use a pastry brush to brush a little jam on top and enjoy warm, with salted butter.

Notes

• gluten free • dairy free option •

 

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