Monday, March 28, 2016

Gluten and Dairy Free Hot Cross Buns

Do you follow the tradition of eating hot cross buns at Easter? The spicy, fruit packed yeast rolls are a favourite of my dad's and were a staple in our kitchen from the beginning of March all the way through April, when they disappeared for another year. I liked the spicy flavours and the raisins, but never got onto the "candied fruit" bandwagon, so I just stopped bothering to buy and eat them as an adult!

Now, the original recipe is obviously rich, decadent, and made with wheat flour - since this past week saw be being tested for Celiac (and since I've had numerous issues even working with wheat flour), I decided I'd take our "recipe box" formula and try out a gluten free, dairy free variation and see how it went.

All things considered, I think these are pretty darn delicious - packed with raisins, currants, Craisins (and even the prerequisite candied fruit) that all marry with sweet, warming spice is kind of hard to go wrong with! My flour blend for these also included the sweet richness of chestnut flour and my current favourite sweetener jaggery, which added an "old style" flavour to the mixture. The traditional flour-water cross overtop got a touch of sugar and almond extract for extra oomph, and the whole shebang was glazed with chestnut honey right out of the oven. The honey also helped to keep everything moist for a while, since these gluten-free rolls generally don’t stay moist for too long (about 2 days, tops). That said, leftovers (and even fresh buns) are excellent split, toasted and topped with honey or vegan butter!

Gluten Free Hot Cross Buns

Now, forewarning: these buns took a long time to proof - and I'm still not sure they poofed all the way - but the two 2-hour waits were beyond worth it for me.  I can't even begin to explain how DELICIOUS these are! Candied fruit and all!

Shared with Gluten Free Fridays

Gluten and Dairy Free Hot Cross Buns
Makes 10

Fruit Mixture:
½ cup raisins
¼ cup currants
¼ cup Craisins
Juice and zest of 1 orange
¼ cup hot water
1 tbsp vanilla

Buns:
½ tbsp instant yeast
1 tbsp baking powder
1 ¼ cups sorghum flour
1 cup rice flour
¼ cup chickpea flour
¼ cup chestnut flour
½ cup tapioca starch
1 tsp  guar gum
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 cup jaggery or coconut sugar
¼ cup diced candied fruit (optional)
1 tsp sea salt
¼ cup canola oil
1 egg, beaten

Cross:
1/3 cup rice flour
1 tsp sugar
1/4 cup water
2 drops almond extract (optional)

Glaze:
3 tbsp chestnut honey, warmed until runny (you could use amber honey too)
  1. Combine raisins, currants, craisins, orange juice, orange zest, water and vanilla. Let soak at least 20 minutes.
  2. Combine yeast, baking powder, flours, starch, guar gum, spices, jaggery, candied fruit and salt in a stand mixer.
  3. Add the fruit mixture (along with any soaking liquid), oil and egg.
  4. Mix for 5 minutes dough will be stiff but slightly sticky.
  5. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot for 2 hours, until puffy but not necessarily doubled in size.
  6. Grease a 9x13” baking dish.
  7. Divide dough into 10 pieces and roll into balls with lightly oiled hands.
  8. Place them in baking dish, re-cover and set aside in a warm place for 2 hours, until risen.
  9. Heat the oven to 400F.
  10. Whisk together the “cross” ingredients to form a smooth paste.
  11. Scrape into a small zip-top bag and snip the corner.
  12. Pipe the paste in a cross over the center of each bun.
  13. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until they sound hollow when tapped.
  14. Remove from the oven and immediately drizzle with honey.
  15. Return to the oven for 2 minutes.
  16. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then move to a wire rack.
  17. These don’t stay moist for too long, but leftovers are excellent toasted with honey or vegan butter!
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 328.9
Total Fat: 7.2 g
Cholesterol: 18.6 mg
Sodium: 245.0 mg
Total Carbs: 58.9 g
Dietary Fiber: 4.0 g
Protein: 4.9 g