Friday, April 6, 2012

Gluten Free Hot Cross Buns

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Okay, so there was a bit of a bun fight on my Facebook page over which recipe I should post first - this one for gluten free hot cross buns, or my decadent dairy free double chocolate truffle ice cream... The buns won. (As buns tend to in bun fights. Ha ha!) But don't worry, the ice cream won't be far behind!

My kids were really happy with these, especially hot out of the oven. They were soft and held together nicely, not crumbly at all, thanks to the xanthum and guar gums. If you don't have both, the most important one is the xanthum gum. If you don't have any of that, see the *Variations* below the recipe. There's also ideas there for varying the flours, milk and sweeteners; and suggestions for those who are egg free or yeast free.

This is just a basic recipe - if you don't like peel and sultanas, change it to whatever additions you like... chocolate chips, currants, dried cranberries, dried blueberries... I think someone mentioned raspberries and chocolate too - mmmm... I actually love orange peel and dark chocolate chips. Also, for an even better flavour, grind up your own spices - use a whole nutmeg, a whole cinnamon stick, and a few cloves, and grind on speed 9 for a minute in a dry bowl, then add the orange zest and grind.

As with all gluten free breads, these are best made on the day you want to eat them, or they'll get a bit too dry. Enjoy!

Gluten Free Hot Cross Buns

1. Make sure your Thermomix bowl is nice and dry, and grind on speed 9 for 1 1/2 minutes:
- 150g brown rice, raw
- 100g basmati rice, raw

2. Add orange zest and grind on speed 9 for 10 seconds or so:
- zest of 1 orange, preferably organic (peel off with potato peeler)

3. Add remaining dry ingredients and mix on speed 6 for 10 seconds, until combined:
- 100g glutinous rice flour (or fine white rice flour)
- 160g tapioca flour (starch) *
- 2 tsp xanthum gum *
- 1 tsp guar gum
- 2 tsp instant yeast *
- 20g Rapadura or 10g xylitol *
- 1/2 tsp green stevia powder *
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves

4. Set aside dry mixture in a bowl. Place milk, water, vinegar and oil into Thermomix bowl and cook at 37 degrees for 2 minutes, speed 2, or until liquids reach 37 degrees:
- 200g coconut milk or cream *
- 200g water
- 1 Tblspn apple cider vinegar
- 50g macadamia oil (or butter)

5. Add eggs and whisk for a few seconds on speed 5 until combined:
- 2 eggs

6. Add dry ingredients and sultanas and/or currants (or other additions) into the liquids in the bowl and mix on reverse speed 3 until well combined:
- 100g sultanas
- 100g currants

7. Spoon heaped, rounded tablespoons of dough into muffin cups, or drop them close together in rows in a lined baking dish, and leave to rise in a warm spot for 30 minutes.You can wet your hands and gently smooth the buns so they look round if you like. I did that with the ones below in the dish, but not with the ones in the muffin tins. Set the oven to 200 degrees C to heat up while they rise. (They won't rise as much as regular bread.)

[Note: you can make the crosses just as you would on regular hot cross buns - just mix together a little rice flour and water to make a thick paste, and pipe onto buns with a piping bag. I didn't as I was running out of time!]

8. Bake in 200 degree C oven for about 30 minutes, or until golden on top and bottom. A knife inserted should come out clean.

Icing crosses: You can pipe on crosses with white icing if you like, which is what I did. Well, kind of. In my rush I forgot to use egg whites and used water instead, and the icing melted all over the still warm buns! Oh well, you get the idea. Here's the recipe for the icing - I just use a ziploc bag for a piping bag:

Royal icing made with xylitol:

1. Grind on speed 9, scraping down now and then, until very fine:
- 100g xylitol
- 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
- 2 tblspns cornflour

2. Insert butterfly and add egg white, mixing on speed 4 for about 4 or 5 minutes, until thick:
- 1 egg white

3. Sit a zip-loc sandwich bag in a glass and drape the edges over the sides. Pour the icing into the bag, squeeze the air out, and seal. Snip a TINY hole in one corner of the bag and pipe the crosses onto the cooled buns! :)

* Variations:

-  If you don't have any xanthum gum, try grinding up 2 tablespoons of chia seeds or linseeds, cover with a little water and leave for a few minutes until it forms a gel, then pop that in instead.

- If you can't have eggs, you could try egg replacer, and add some chia seed gel too - but I haven't tested that, so not sure how well it would go.

- If you can't have yeast, try making these with 2 teaspoons of baking powder instead of the yeast, plus another egg. Again, I haven't tested it on this recipe yet (although I have with similar gf breads and it worked); so if you try it, let me know how it goes!

- Instead of tapioca flour/starch, you can use arrowroot or cornflour starches. Potato starch may not work so well, as it's quite moist. If you don't have glutinous rice flour or fine white rice flour, you could grind your own, but do it separately to the other rice as you should only grind 250g at a time so you don't overload the blades. And you'll need to grind it for at least a minute and a half to get it really fine. Add some of the tapioca flour in with it and then grind, as that will help it to grind finer.

- Instead of Rapadura or xylitol, and stevia, you can use whatever sweetener you prefer. I have made these with all stevia - just use a whole teaspoon. Or all Rapadura - use 50g. All xylitol I'd use about 30g. Of course you can use 50g raw sugar if that's all you have.

- Instead of coconut milk or cream, you can use any milk you prefer.
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