It’s that time of year again…spring has sprung! The snow drops have gone, the croci are just about over and the daffodils are in full bloom. In a couple of weeks my tulips will be out, and it will be Easter. Whether or not you celebrate that holiday, you can still enjoy these delicious hot cross buns. These were typically served on Good Friday to symbolize the end of Lent, but hot cross buns are not only a Christian tradition–They are devoured year round (especially in England) by people who come from all walks of life. Baking them at home however can be left for a special occasion, since it takes quite a while!
Traditionally hot cross buns are made with candied fruit, raisins, orange peel, etc., but I decided to make a bun I’d actually want to eat more than once, and bananas and chocolate immediately came to mind.
You will need around 4 cups of gluten free flour. I used:
1 cup of oat flour
1 cup of white rice flour
1 1/2 cup of superfine brown rice flour
1/4 cup of tapioca flour
1/4 cup of maize flour
I know, it is annoying working with yeast isn’t it? But it’s an important ingredient for these buns.
3 teaspoons of rapid rise yeast
2 teaspoons of granulated sugar
1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon of baking powder
1/2 cup of rice milk
5 tablespoons of vegetable shortening
1 tablespoon of cinnamon
3 teaspoons of ground ginger
3 mashed bananas
1 cup of dark chocolate pieces or vegan milk chocolate pieces
3/4 cup of unrefined light brown sugar
2 teaspoons of maple syrup
splash of boiling water
1/2 cup of rice flour
1 teaspoon of brown sugar
1 tablespoon of vegan spread
enough water to turn to a paste (approximately 2 tablespoons), keep adding splashes of water until it is the right consistency to pipe.
You will need a main mixing bowl (I use the big one that comes with my Kenwood Mixer) and then a second bowl.
In your main mixing bowl combine all of the flours, vegetable shortening, cinnamon, ginger, chocolate and 3/4 cup of sugar.
In a measuring cup measure out the rice milk and warm to 110 degrees F (45 degrees C) and mix in the yeast and 2 teaspoons of granulated sugar.
Leave the measuring cup to sit for 10 minutes so the yeast can foam. If the milk is too hot your yeast will not foam.
In your second bowl mash the 3 bananas and then add the milk yeast foam and faux egg. Whisk together.
Add the contents of the second bowl to the main bowl and mix together until it forms a dough.
Switch to the dough hook of your mixer and knead on a low setting for 5 minutes.
Sprinkle some rice flour onto a piece of parchment paper and flip out your dough onto it.
Flatten the dough with your hands (see video) .
Cut the dough into 16 pieces.
Roll each piece in between the palms of your hands until it is round.
Place all 16 pieces onto a non-stick baking tray and cover with a light towel.
Put in a draft free and warm area, and leave to rise for 2 hours.
While they are rising make your cross mixture, and also this is a good time to preheat your oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
Mix the the flour with the vegan spread and add in the water very carefully until you get the right consistency.
Fill a piping bag with the cross mixture, and once the buns have risen pipe a cross on each of them.
Bake in oven for 20 to 25 minutes.
While baking make your glaze by mixing the syrup with the boiling water. You can glaze the buns half way through the baking time and then again after they are fully baked.
Serve while hot with vegan spread or jam or both! You can always store for a later time and toast these. They make a great breakfast! Happy Spring!