Hot cross buns! An Easter staple that I adore and can now enjoy again 🙂
This has been a very tricky recipe to get right – the usual fluffy bread texture being the hardest part to replicate without yeast… but after many many trials, I finally have a version we LOVE. These buns are slightly denser than the shop-bought variety, but are as light as the gluten free bread-texture would allow (without it turning into cake!).
They are sweet, spicy, full of fruit, and have the most wonderful iced crosses on the top made with almond butter icing – delicious and much healthier than traditional icing! They are packed with fibre and protein and make a wonderful special breakfast or snack. I have visions of sunny breakfast tables, gingham, daffodils, steaming mugs of your favourite drink… *sigh of bliss*
- 400 ml warm water
- 1/2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice alternatives could be lime juice or apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 1/2 tbsp psyllium husk powder
- 140 grams brown rice flour or plain
- 100 grams ground almonds
- 70 grams arrowroot starch
- 1 tbsp coconut sugar
- 2 tsp mixed spice
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 70 grams sultanas These are one of my food intolerances so I use chopped prunes here
- 20 grams mixed peel Again, my body can't tolerate this so I use chopped apricots!
- 2 tbsp white almond nut butter or another whitish nut butter, eg cashew nut
- 1 tsp coconut sugar
- 1 pinch salt
- Firstly, mix together all the wet ingredients and put aside for 15 minutes. The amazing psyllium husks will absorb water during this time creating a jelly-like liquid!
- Set your oven to 170 degrees celcius (fan) and line a baking tray with baking paper.
- Measure all of the dry ingredients into a bowl (excluding the dried fruit) and mix well.
- Weigh out the dried fruit (if you're using the alternatives of prunes or apricots chop these now so they're in small pieces)
- When the 15 minutes is up, pour the wet ingredients into the dry, add the dried fruit, and mix well. This is a bit odd to mix as the 'wet' ingredients have become a jelly, but persevere and it should come together as a beautiful sticky dough 🙂
- Now is the fun part! Take a piece of your dough (about palm-sized for me) and roll it into a ball. Place on the baking paper and repeat until you have 12 roughly even-sized balls of dough (this dough is sticky so be prepared for messy hands!)
- Now brush over the glaze and pop them in the oven for 40 minutes. After this take them out and allow them to cool fully before cutting and icing them.
- Get a small piece of baking paper, roll it into a cone shape and secure it with a piece of tape.
- Mix together the 3 icing ingredients and spoon into the bottom of your piping cone. Twist the top gently down to meet the icing inside, then snip a little off the bottom of the cone to create a hole to pipe through (the more you snip off the thicker the crosses will be - you choose!)
- Put your buns together in rows (see note) next to each other and pipe a continual line along them until you reach the end, then pipe across and along all the rows until the buns are all iced - eat and enjoy!
I cut all the buns in half before icing to prevent the crosses being smudged during cutting... but feel free to leave them whole if you wish! Also, remember not to toast the iced half in the toaster, I don't think your toaster would benefit! If you wish to heat them up the next day use your oven or grill 🙂
If you wish to get the shiny look of shop-bought hot cross buns then (before icing) melt some apricot jam and brush over to glaze. Ice when this has set.
The cross does need to be iced on after baking as these buns rise while cooking in the oven. Traditional hot cross buns would have the cross piped on after rising and before cooking… I might work on a pliable alternative to this next year that won’t break as the buns rise in the oven, but for this year I’m loving the icing 🙂
I made these with my daughters on Easter morning. Fun, and very yummy!