Gluten Free Hot Cross Buns are a dream come true for me. Now I can have my hot cross buns and cheese on Good Friday and not feel sick immediately after eating. If you are Guyanese and gluten free like me, this recipe is for you. Happy Easter!
Blooming your yeast
For this recipe I highly recommend dry active yeast versus instant or rapid rising yeast. I got better results when I allowed the yeast to bloom for 10 or more minutes or until it had a thick head as seen in the picture below. For the perfect bloom I used warm water that was 110°F along with 1 tablespoon of sugar and 1 tablespoon of dry active yeast. I mixed everything together well and then covered it with a kitchen towel until the yeast was activated and began to bloom. Then I uncovered it and allowed the blooming to form a thick head (see photo below). To learn more about how to bloom yeast click here.
The Dry Ingredients for the gluten free cross buns:
- All Purpose Gluten Free Flour: I used Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 All Purpose Gluten Free Flour for this recipe. Although there is xanthan gum already added to this all purpose flour blend I added some psyllium husk to give the buns a doughy taste and texture.
- Psyllium Husk: This helps to bind the molecules in the gluten free all purpose flour, similar to what gluten does for wheat. Therefore making this dough easier to work with.
- Ground Cinnamon: The cinnamon gives these buns the traditional hot cross buns or spiced bun taste and is not an optional ingredient.
- Freshly Grated Nutmeg: For this recipe I highly recommended using freshly grated nutmeg. It gives these gluten free hot cross buns a deeper spiced taste.
The Wet Ingredients:
- Milk: I tested this recipe with regular milk, evaporated milk and evaporated coconut milk and there were no differences in the results
- Melted Butter versus coconut oil: I tested this recipe with melted butter and melted coconut oil and just as in the case of the milk the results were exactly the same.
- Egg: This recipe contains one egg. I tried it without the egg and the Hot Cross Buns were a bit denser. I prefer it with the egg but if you can’t do eggs, the recipe works without it.
- Bloomed yeast: As mentioned above I let the yeast get a full bloom before adding it to the other liquids.
The batter dough
The dough for these Gluten Free Hot Cross Buns is much like a batter than a dough, but if you are familiar with gluten free baking, then you know that this is what you need for the softest baked goods. During the first proofing the dough/batter will get light and fully. Simply mix together with your spatula before shaping into the buns.
Having a soft dough batter like this makes it tricky to shape rolls or buns, so for this recipe I used my 1/2 cup dry measuring cup, to scoop the batter and place it on a greased baking sheet. Then I used my rubber spatula to smooth the top of the dough. You can also used damped finger tips to smooth the dough out a bit. After the dough rested for about an hour after shaping, it flattened out a bit. This is perfectly normal and you can just bake this as is, but for the blog photos and the video, I pushed them back up a bit to give them some height. Again this is completely unnecessary. Then just before baking, I used the spatula to press a cross into the top of the buns. I have a full video on how I did this on my Instagram. Click here to watch.
Baking the Gluten Free Hot Cross Buns in a loaf pan
If you don’t a have a preference for bun or loaf you can pour the dough/batter into a greased and lined loaf tin after the first proofing. Then let it proof gain for an hour, then bake it into a delicious loaf. It tasted exactly like the traditionally shape hot cross buns but with less work.
The Printable Gluten Free Cross Buns Recipe Card:
- 1 tablespoon of Dry Active Yeast
- ¼ cup of brown sugar
- ¼ cup of warm water
- 2¾ cups of All Purpose Gluten Free Flour
- ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon of grated nutmeg
- 3 teaspoons of psyllium husk
- A pinch of salt
- 1 cup of warm evaporated milk
- 2 tablespoons of melted butter
- 1 egg
- 1-2 teaspoons of oil
- 8 prunes, pitted
- ¼ cup of raisins, rinsed
- ¼ cup of pineapple juice
- ½ cup of water
- ¼ cup of granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
- Mix together 1 tablespoon of brown sugar with ¼ cup of warm water until the sugar dissolves, then add the dry active yeast and mix together
- Then cover the yeast and allow it to bloom. This may take up to 10 minutes
- Next in a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, ground cinnamon, grated nutmeg and salt.
- Next mix together well with a whisk and set aside
- Then add the raisins, prunes and pineapple juice to a blender and blend until a smooth paste forms and set aside
- Then combine the warm evaporated milk, melted butter, egg and remaining sugar together and mix together well until the sugar dissolves
- Next add the bloomed yeast to the milk mixture and mix together well
- Then make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the milk mixture and the blended fruits and mix together to form a very soft dough (I typically start the mixing off with a whisk, then when it gets to a pancake batter stage, I use my rubber spatula to bring the dough together)
- Just before letting the dough res, rub 1-2 teaspoons of oil over the top of the dough. This prevents the dough from crusting while proofing
- Next let the dough rest for about 45 minutes to 1 hour
- Then use your spatula to mix the dough for a minute or two (this is the equivalent of punching dough regular dough)
- Use a ½ cup dry measuring cup to scoop the soft dough and place it on a greased baking sheet
- After all shaping all of the buns, you may smooth the top of each bun with your rubber spatula or by damping you finger tips with warm water and rubbing the top of the buns
- Allow the buns to proof for another 45 minutes to 1 hour before baking
- Then just before baking use your rubber spatula to press crosses into the top of the dough
- To make a loaf instead of buns, pour the soft dough into a greased and parchment lined loaf pan
- Then allow the loaf to proof for 1 hour before baking
- When you are ready to bake preheat your oven to 350 °F
- Then place the cross buns uncovered into the oven and bake for 30 minutes
- If you are baking a loaf, bake uncovered in the oven for 50 minutes to 1 hour or until a tooth pick inserted into the loaf comes out clean
- While the cross buns are baking, make the glaze topping by combining ½ cup water, ¼ cup granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence in a small saucepan on medium heat
- Stir until the sugar crystals dissolve, then bring the solution to a boil
- Continue to boil until the solution reduces to ½ the amount. This should take about 5 minutes
- Then remove from the heat and set aside.
- Remove the cross buns from the oven after 30 minutes. The cross buns may not get golden brown like the regular buns, so be careful not to overcook them in search of that color
- Allow the cross buns to cool for 5 to 10 minutes
- Then brush the top of the cross buns with the glaze
- Enjoy your cross buns warm, preferably with a slice of cheese
When making the loaf, be sure to line your loaf pan with parchment paper so that it lifts out easy after baking. Click here to learn how to line loaf pans.
To make this recipe dairy free you may use evaporated coconut milk and coconut oil, in place of oil and butter.
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