Phew. This one has certainly been a long time in the making. Six times in the making, to be precise. I initially thought I was onto a cracking idea when I walked past a Bakers delight, envious of how simple it was for the gluten eaters to obtain this festive treat. Alas, my path to victory and or deliciousness was not to be quite as simple.
However, thanks to a few friendly folk in the world of Instagram, I finally cracked the code of the gluten free hot cross bun. More or less. I feel that even more apple could be added to create the perfect, moist (blerg) bun. You don't even taste or detect an apple texture, but it helps to keep the buns moist. Lol moist buns.
2 cups of gluten free self raising flour
60g green apple, skin removed and grated
1/2 cup milk
7g yeast (1 sachet)
100g butter, melted
4 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 teaspoons psyllium husk
1 tablespoon olive oil
5 tablespoons cacao or cocoa
2 teaspoons mixed spice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. This step depends on whether you are in the world. I used the oven to create a warm environment for my little buns to do their thang. If you are in a hot climate, this is probably not necessary.
2. Put the milk in a tea cup and microwave it for 30 seconds. Add the yeast and 1 teaspoon of sugar to the milk and stir to combine. Leave in a warm spot for around 10 minutes or until frothy.
3. In a large bowl, combine the flour, cacao, grated apple, cinnamon and mixed spice. Melt the butter, and then add the yeasty milk (hot damn) and the butter to the flour. Before mixing, add the 4-5 tablespoons of maple syrup, and then go nuts with mixing. Eventually, the mixture should come together in a nice, slightly greasy but smooth ball. Cover it, leave it in a warm spot and let it rise for an hour. (note: it won't double in size like regular dough - in fact the rise of it is negligible, but I feel the yeasty flavour is 100% necessary)
4. After the hour is up, spoon a tablespoon of olive oil onto the mixture, and add the chocolate chips. Knead the dough slightly to combine and to disperse the chocolate chips evenly.
5. Divide the dough into six even sized balls and place them side by side in a baking pan. Cover them and leave for an extra half hour.
6. For the crosses: Combine 2 tablespoons of gluten free flour and two teaspoons of water. Cut a corner off a small sandwich bag and turn it inside out. Then smoosh the cross paste onto the bag, and revert it. Saves time crying over paste that has gone everywhere in the piping bag except where it needs to be.
7. After the half hour is up, pop the buns into the oven for ten minutes. If the hot cross buns are just for you and not for any sort of 'show them off' scenario, I recommend leaving off the cross. Lesbe honest, they are just superfluous to something like a double choc hot cross bun. Nobody wants to eat flour paste. A handy note: in my many tests of these buns I discovered different brands of gluten free flour react differently to being cooked in cross form. One brand puffed up significantly. Another cracked heavily. Luck of the draw.
8. If you are doing crosses, take the buns out after ten minutes, and get crafty with your makeshift piping bag. Then pop them back in the oven for 5 or so minutes. If you said no to the cross, leave them in for the entire 15. Voila! Best eaten while warm. They tend to get a bit of the crumbles when cooled down, so heat them before eating. Added bonus: melty chocolate central. Isn't that what Easter is all about?