Hot Cross Buns

Over the next couple weeks Britain will be indulging in a fair amount of sugar and chocolate festive food. This can cause lots of anxiety. Kids just love chocolate Easter bunnies and eggs... and hot cross buns. I'm still working on my bunny moulds and the perfect sugar free chocolate with a sparkly biodegradable wrapper that can can protect the egg while it sits within the grass around the trees (or even a muddy patch) in a treasure hunt - but in regards to hot cross buns, what if your celebration can be healthy and the treats guilt free?

These gluten free and sugar free hot cross buns are rich, spicy, sweet and as indulgent as your ‘normal’ ones. You could almost call them healthy, so what’s not to love.

It took me a while to get these right, mainly because I didn’t understand what the texture needed to be. I thought that they should to be doughy, firm and kneadable – just like bread. But oh no, these buns need to go in the oven soft and sticky and the best way to handle and shape them is by getting your hands greasy and wet. The rest is easy.

(makes 7 buns)

270g gluten free flour (I am using Doves Farm self raising)
40g coconut sugar
1TSP of dried yeast
200ml coconut milk (I am using Koko coconut milk)
40g butter (or coconut butter) plus some for greasing
Cup of raisins
1TPS mixed spice
1 TSP cinnamon
Zest of 1 orange
1TBSP of gluten free flour for crosses
TBSP of apricot jam to glaze with

Mix the flour, sugar and yeast in a bowl. Warm the milk with butter until it melts, then leave to cool down to a warmish temperature (so that your finger doesn’t feel too hot when dipped in). Pour the milk and butter over the dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon. Transfer to a greased up bowl, cover with cling film and leave somewhere warm for the yeast to work though.

After the mixture has doubled, add the raisins, spices and the zest to it.  Also add a tablespoon of melted butter or coconut oil. Mix all together and leave for another hour to double in size.

When your buns are ready to go in the oven, with your greased up hands, roll them into balls and arrange over a lightly oiled baking tray. Mix 1TBSP of gluten free flour (not self raising) with some water into a thick paste and decorate the buns using a piper. If you don’t have a piper put the paste in a small bag, make a small cut in the corner of it and squeeze the paste out into cross shapes.
Bake for 20minutes at 190 degrees. 

Warm the apricot jam and brush over the hot buns.

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