Confession: I’ve never eaten a hot cross bun made with wheat flour. But from all accounts, hot cross buns are like slightly sweet, fruit-filled dinner rolls. Traditional recipes call for raisins or currants and spices like cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.
Of course, there’s always chocolate chip buns. And blueberry hot cross buns, which I actually prefer over the the chocolate ones. Go figure.
If you do use raisins, soak them first. Pour hot water over about one cup of raisins. Let sit for an hour or so until plumped. Drain excess water, then mix raisins with additional cinnamon and sugar if you like, before stirring into dough.
Be sure to read all the instructions before you begin. Otherwise, you might do something silly, like preheat the oven or something. Just a warning – this recipe isn’t as sweet as a regular hot cross bun, so make adjustments as needed.
Here's a delicious way to make gluten free hot cross buns. Do plan ahead though - mix dough the day before you plan on baking. This is the easiest way to enhance the texture and flavor of any gluten free bread. See notes after recipe for more.
- 3 1/4 cups gluten free bread flour blend (about 1 lb.)
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
- 2 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum (or 3 teaspoons guar gum)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon each: ginger, cardamom, nutmeg (optional)
- 1 1/2 cups milk (any kind)
- 3 eggs, slightly beaten
- 4 tablespoons butter, melted
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup raisins or chocolate chips, optional
- Next day
- 1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
- Egg wash (1 egg whisked with 3 tablespoons water)
In a large bowl, combine gf flour, sugar, yeast, xanthan or guar, cinnamon, salt, and additional spices. It's important to blend dry ingredients thoroughly. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer combine: milk, eggs, butter, and vanilla extract.
Add (blended) dry ingredients to liquids in bowl. Mix on low speed, scrape bowl down, and blend more on medium speed until smooth and cohesive. Dough will have the consistency of a thick brownie batter and will be stickier than its gluten counterpart. Fold in chocolate chips or raisins.
Cover dough and refrigerate overnight. It will rise in the fridge, so allow room for that. The next day, remove dough from fridge and let sit at room temp for 20-30 minutes. Dissolve 1/4 teaspoon instant yeast into a tablespoon of water and stir into dough.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 8”x8” pans well. Using a #16 disher, drop 9 dough balls into each pan.
Use a dampened spatula to smooth top of dough, then brush with egg wash. A few minutes (10-15) in a warm room or 100 degree oven is all that’s needed before baking.
Bake for 22-24 minutes. Transfer buns to a cooling rack after about 10 minutes to avoid soggy bottoms from excess moisture.
Top with a simple glaze of 1/2 cup powdered sugar mixed with 1 tablespoon milk.
Make a sorghum flour bread blend by combining: 2 parts sorghum flour, 2 parts tapioca flour, 1 part potato starch, and 1 part almond meal. Mix flours well in a large container. Use this blend to replace wheat flour in recipes. Read more about gluten free blends here.
Grease pans well, even non-stick.
Cooled buns can be stored frozen to defrost as needed.