It’s a shame when food allergies and intolerances restrict us from taking part in special holiday gatherings. For those with allergies and intolerances, the decision becomes to either eat the hot cross bun and feel quite ill, or not to eat it and still feel quite down in the dumps for missing out on all of the fun. The solution is to bake a batch of these delicious and belly-happy hot cross buns!
These hot cross buns are gluten (and wheat) free and yeast free. They include eggs and organic butter, but if you are dairy sensitive, I would suggest using Earth Balance vegan butter for a similar flavour. Without the gluten, these buns fall between a bun and a scone but their texture is similar to the classic hot cross bun. To keep these as similar in flavour as possible, I use a hefty dose of orange zest and spices to make up for the loss of ‘yeasty dough’ flavour. That ¼ cup of orange zest is no mistake!
I tried to make this recipe as easy as possible with limited ingredients. The one ingredient that may surprise you is psyllium husk. It is a natural plant based soluble dietary fibre that expands in liquid and takes on an incredibly gluten like texture for baking. It’s a win-win for us; it allows the bun texture to fall closer on the side of hot cross bun than muffin AND is gives us a big happy dose of fibre. It can be found in natural stores and pharmacies. Why is it found in pharmacies you may wonder? As a natural fibre supplement it is often used for “system cleansing”. Who knew a hot cross bun could have so much potential!
These rise incredibly well so they may seem small in dough form but have no worries, they will most definitely fit your fish cake!
Allergen-Friendly Hot Cross Buns
1 cup of brown rice flour
1 cup of all-purpose gluten free flour
1 cup of almond meal
1.5 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. all spice
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. sea salt
6 tablespoons coconut sugar (or brown sugar if it is what you have)
½ cup of dried currants or raisins
¼ cup orange zest (organic if possible to avoid the pesticides on the rind)
3 tablespoons organic butter (or ghee, coconut oil, dairy free Earth Balance butter)
3 tablespoons coconut oil
¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice (from the orange you zest!)
3 tablespoons of psyllium husk
1 cup of warm dairy free milk (or water)
1. Preheat oven to 400F. Add a piece of parchment paper to a baking pan and set aside. Add some water to a pan with sides and place in the oven.
2. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs. Add in the warm milk, orange juice and psyllium husk. Set aside to ‘set’.
3. In a large mixing bowl, add in all of the dry ingredients and mix.
4. Warm the butter and coconut oil over a double boiler (fats are sensitive to heat so keep at a medium low temp).
5. Add the egg and psyllium batter to the dry ingredients and stir. You will begin to get a dough like texture.
6. Add in the zest and warm butter. You can use your hands to make sure everything is incorporated. There is no need to knead this as there is no gluten to activate but it does a good job of incorporating ingredients.
7. Finally add in the raisins or currants.
8. On a surface with flour, knead into a ball or log and cut into 10 even pieces. Roll into balls and transfer to your lined baking sheet.
9. Bake at 400F for about 25 minutes but keep an eye on these.
We use a dairy free icing to create the classic cross. I chose to use a cashew icing as it holds its texture, is lighter on the icing sugar and is delicious! Soak the cashews before you go to bed as this can be whipped up in 5 minutes the next day. Alternatively, feel free to use your own icing recipe for these.
1 cup cashews, soaked for 6 hours or overnight
2 or 3 tablespoons dairy free milk / coconut cream (you may need a bit more depending on your blender)
3 tbsps. of maple syrup
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsps. lemon juice and zest
1. Strain the cashews
2. Add all of the ingredients to a high speed blender and blend until completely smooth – this may take a minute or two
3. Transfer to fridge to allow for chilling time
4. Add to a small Ziploc bag and cut the corner off to make an icing bag
(You may have extra icing- this is nothing to worry about! A generous dollop on some fresh Bermuda strawberries or your Sunday pancakes is so yum).
Best served in the sunshine at your Easter weekend gathering (and for days after!)
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