Saturday, 31 March 2018

Gluten Free Luxury Hot Cross Buns

Why not have a go at making your own gluten free hot cross buns?

It's actually not that difficult - and even easier making gluten free ones than making 'normal' wheat flour buns as there's no kneading involved. I adapted the ingredients from my sourdough hot cross buns recipe to get the same flavours from a gluten free mix this year and they're pretty tasty gluten free too!

I've included plenty of tips in the method to help you get the best (and least messy!) results, but feel free to do things like proving the buns your own way, if you'd rather cover them in oiled clingfilm and stick them in the airing cupboard, or whatever! 

The spices give the option to use the lower amount for more subtle spicing, or vice versa if you like a nicely spiced hot cross bun full of flavour. I hope you enjoy making and eating these buns - please leave me a comment below and let me know what you think!

Makes 8


  • 195ml whole milk (lactose free is fine)
  • 25g butter (or lactose free alternative)
  • Zest of 1 orange (juice used in glaze)
  • 300g gluten free white bread flour mix (I used Dove's Farm)
  • 50g sultanas
  • 50g raisins
  • 40g mixed candied peel
  • 50g caster sugar (golden if possible)
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp xantham gum
  • 1 - 2 tsp ground cinnamon (to taste)
  • 0.5 - 1 tsp ground mixed spice (to taste)
  • Grating of nutmeg
  • 2 level tsp fast action yeast (gluten free)
  • 1 medium egg (about 58g), beaten

For the paste

  • 25g plain gluten free flour
  • 40-50ml water

For the glaze

  • Juice of 1 orange
  • 40g caster sugar


  • Apricot jam

Useful equipment
  • Foodsafe gloves for handling the dough (optional), piping bag/syringe or small food bag with corner cut off, greaseproof baking paper, thermometer to measure temperature of milk (optional), pastry brush

1. Gently warm the milk, sliced butter and orange zest in a small pan until the butter is starting to melt. Turn off the heat and leave the butter to fully melt while you mix together the dry ingredients. Line a tray with greaseproof paper.

2. In a large bowl, weigh in the flour, raisins, sultanas and mixed peel, and mix together to make sure all the fruit is seperated and covered in flour. Add the sugar, salt, xantham gum and spices and mix together thoroughly. Make a well/dent in the middle, and tip the dried yeast into the well.

3. Check the butter has all melted, stir in, and check the milk is warm but not too hot (about 38-40C if you have a thermometer). Whisk in the egg, then pour into the well in the flour where the yeast is, and start stirring it in, bringing the flour in from the edges until you have a relatively stiff dough.

Use wet hands to get them smooth
4. I find it easiest to wear foodsafe gloves for this part, as then the dough won't stick to you, and slightly wet them under a drizzling tap between forming each bun. Divide the dough into 8 equal portions - I use scales to help me do this, with a small plate covered in clingfilm balanced on top - then nothing sticks! If you're using scales, weigh out 95g of dough for each portion. With wet hands, form into a bun shape (try not to have any raisins sticking out, or they'll burn) and space out on the lined baking tray about 1.5 inches apart.

After about 45 minutes...
5. Prove the buns until doubled in size - I find the best way to do this is to pop them into a cold oven, on a higher shelf, and put a casserole dish or pan in the bottom of the oven, and pour a full kettle of boiled water into it then shut the door. This creates a nice warm environment and the steam means the buns don't dry out. It will take about 45 minutes to an hour. You can replace the hot water after 30 minutes if you like, to keep it warm and steamy!

6. Once the buns have proved, put them aside, pre-heat the oven to Gas Mark 7 / 220C / 200C Fan Oven. Make the flour paste for the crosses. Add the water to the flour until you have quite a thick paste (a bit like thick custard / whipped cream) which is pipe-able. When you're ready to pipe your buns, put in a piping bag with a small round nozzle, or into a plastic food bag and snip off the very tip. Pipe slowly in one direction, close to the bun, going right from one side to the other over all of the buns, repeat on each row, then turn your tray around 90 degrees, and pipe slowly again from one side to the other to make a nice cross on each bun.

7. Place an old metal tray or dish in the lower part or bottom of the oven, add some boiling water to create steam and immediately place your buns into the middle of the oven. Cook the buns for around 20 minutes until the tops are golden brown, but the crosses still white, and the buns are risen and cooked through. You may need to carefully turn them after around 15 minutes if your oven is hotter on one side than the other.

8. Meanwhile make the glaze. Put the orange juice and sugar into a small pan and bring to the boil. Keep bubbling for a couple of minutes to make a light syrup. Alternatively you can warm through the apricot jam until melted and runny for a thicker, stickier glaze (sieve out, or avoid any large lumps, add a little hot water if you need to thin it out). 

9. Remove the buns from the oven when cooked, and transfer to a wire rack. While they are still warm, brush over the glaze with a pastry brush, and leave to cool. Once completely cool, store in an airtight container (separate layers with greaseproof paper), or freeze. Serve toasted with lashings of butter! 

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