I love Easter and everything that comes with it. The family celebrations, the food, watching the kids squeal with excitement as they run through our backyard searching for small treats the Easter bunny left.
Making my own hot cross buns is not something I used to bother with until Alex couldn’t eat the regular ones. To be honest I don’t think he has ever eaten one – he’s too fussy to try one but I make them every year just in case. What he will eat is the choc chip recipe I’m going to share with you made into a loaf of bread rather than hot cross buns.
Sometimes with these fussy kids it’s all about what you call it. He likes bread so chocolate chip bread seems to be a winner. I make it as an occasional afternoon tea treat when the cousins come over for a play.
Now if you read my bread post a few weeks ago you’ll recognise the recipe. I basically just use the fruit bread recipe to make regular hot cross buns, I switch out the sultanas for choc chips for the regular choc chip version and then for double choc I just add some cacao. Simple.
If you didn’t read that blog post you might like to go back and have a look to get a few extra bread making tips here.
I started with a gluten free bread recipe by The Gluten Free Goddess – you can see the original recipe here and it also includes instructions to make the bread mix by hand which would also work for hot cross buns. I use an old bread maker to make my dough. I baked mine in a square cupcake tin to get the nice square shape. Don’t go out and buy one if you don’t have one – I just picked that tin up one day on a clearance table and it’s been quite handy. If you don’t have one just use a regular large cupcake pan. Just lightly grease the pan so they don’t stick or use some If You Care Large Baking Cups. I used an old fashioned ice cream scoop to make them all the same size and easy to measure out. The mix make 12 buns.
Gluten free, wheat free, dairy free, soy free, rice free, nut free.
Pop the ingredients into your bread maker in this order:
280mls filtered water
45g olive oil
2 tbsp of honey (50g)
½ tsp lemon juice
2 eggs (or egg replacer of choice – see tips below)
1 ¼ tsp quality salt
125g potato starch (you can use arrowroot but I think potato starch works better)
190g sorghum flour
80g oat flour (oats are not gluten free so if not safe for you substitute with millet or rice flour)
2 tsp xanthan gum
1 tbsp chia seeds
2 ¼ tsp yeast
1 tablespoon Nutra Organics Superfoods for Kidz Berry Choc Chunk (optional – if you have it)
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice
To add later - 1 cup mixed fruit or sultanas (I only use organic sultanas to avoid sulphites)
Start the bread maker to make a dough. When complete, put dough into the tin and into a cold oven and set temperature at 180° C. Cook for approx. 25 minutes or until ready.
Make sure you add the mixed fruit or sultanas towards the end of kneading so it’s not all mashed up during kneading. My cycle is 45 minutes long and I put the timer on to add with only 20 minutes left. If you’re lucky enough to have a fruit dispenser on your machine that makes it easy. Measure out the fruit in a cup ready to add and sit it beside the machine at the start (or you’ll be in a panic like I’ve done a few times to try and get organised in time).
CROSSES: I mix a small amount of sorghum and filtered water to a paste and pop in a piping bag. I pipe it on just before I put the buns in the oven.
EGG FREE TIPS: To make egg free use chia ‘eggs’. Grind up 2 tablespoons of chia seeds and add to it 6 tablespoons (120mls) water. Set it aside to gel. After a few minutes when it’s like a gel use it in place of the eggs. You can also use Organ No Egg. Use 1 tablespoon on No Egg and whisk it with 60mls warm water until frothy. Add it as normal.
GLAZE: I mix 1 tablespoon of honey with 1 tablespoon of hot water. Brush on the hot buns with a pastry brush.
CHOCOLATE CHIP HOT CROSS BUNS: Replace the mixed fruit or sultanas with 150g chocolate chips. We use Enjoy Life Mini Chips because they are dairy, gluten, soy and nut free – plus they’re yummy! Remember to add the chocolate chips just before the dough finishes mixing or they’ll all melt (yep, I’ve done that too).
DOUBLE CHOC CHIP HOT CROSS BUNS: Replace the mixed fruit or sultanas with 150g chocolate chips and add 2 tablespoons of cacao or cocoa with the flour when you start.
I freeze any left over buns and to reheat them I wrap defrosted buns in foil and warm in the oven. The buns taste better fresh out of the oven or warmed up. We eat them on Good Friday morning for breakfast. My mum always served them then when we were kids. We were never allowed to have hot cross buns before then so we thoroughly enjoyed them because it was such a treat. Of course we did manage to sneak a few more in before the weekend was over!