Hot Cross Buns

Memories of Easter for me always center around making or baking something. Making treats and a special meal or two for family. It is a special time to share crafts and activities with family and friends. Usually we would do something like paint eggs when the children were small, make some cut out cookies or homemade taffy.

Then there was always the egg hunt, placing eggs down the stairway and hiding them among the furniture for eager little ones to find, or outside weather permitting.

Before going gluten free, we always bought Hot Cross Buns which were available a couple of weeks before Easter. They were good for breakfasts and even a treat for a sandwich lunch. So this year I decided to make a gluten free version of Hot Cross Buns to share with you.

These are easy to make with Astoria Mills White Bread - Mix #7 as the base. Here is the recipe and a few photographs. I made and baked some right away to take as a picnic lunch on a trail hike and also froze some un-baked which I can bake without any work at all for Easter Sunday brunch.

Make Ahead Hot Cross Buns Recipe

1. In a bowl place dry ingredients:
4 cups of Astoria Mills White Bread - Mix #7
1/3 cup soft butter (or margarine)
3 tablespoons sugar
Blend with fingers to mix together - set aside.

2. Wet ingredients:
6 eggs beaten until light and frothy
1 1/4 cup lukewarm water (or milk)

3. Beat or whisk in dry ingredients until batter is smooth. Remove about 1 1/2 cups of the dough and place in a separate bowl. This is for the crosses.

4. To the first dough mixture add the spices:
Juice and zest of 1 orange
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
( you can also add raisins and candied peel at this point, although I didn't for the ones shown)

Dough for Hot Cross Buns

5. Let both dough mixtures proof covered for about 2 hours.

6. Knead the spiced dough with a little Astoria Mills Fine Flour - Mix #3. Just add enough to make a workable dough, too much and the buns may become a bit heavier although still good.

Using a pastry brush, brush an egg wash on top of each bun. An egg wash is a mixture of egg and water)

7. Take the plain or white dough mixture and knead it gently and roll out into a round from which you can cut strips to place on the buns in the shape of an X.  Let the buns rise for another 30 minutes and either bake or freeze to bake later.

Ready to bake Hot Cross Buns

I baked 4 large ones as shown right away, and froze 4 to bake later. You could make them smaller, but I wanted large ones for hearty chicken sandwiches.

8. Bake at 350F for about 30 minutes until browned. To bake frozen buns, place buns frozen into a cold oven. Turn oven on to 350F and bake for about 40 minutes.

Hot Cross Buns - just out of the oven!

9. For an extra special touch, you can add white icing to the 'cross' or just make the cross with some white icing. Just mix together a little soft butter, icing sugar, and a little cream for the icing. Since I was using these for sandwiches, I omitted the icing.

For breakfast the next morning I toasted a bun, buttered both sides, placed together and cut it in half. So we would each get equal top and bottom :) One was enough for the two of us.

For our hike through the woods I packed a picnic lunch consisting of two Hot Cross Buns filled with chicken breast and gf mayo, a couple of oranges, bananas and bottled water. Sure tasted good after our three hour trek through beautiful Niagara Glen!

Gluten Free Lunch at Niagara Glen

The photograph above shows our Hot Cross Bun lunch perched on a part of a fence overlooking the Niagara River. It was a beautiful sunny early spring day in March and the river was visible at lots of points along the trails when it would probably have been hidden behind foliage in summer. Lunch sure tasted good!

I had to be quick to get a photograph of the sandwich inside before it got eaten.

...almost eaten sandwich

Hope you will try making some delicious gluten free Hot Cross Buns with
Astoria Mills White Bread - Mix #7 ...Yummy for sure! Good for you too, with the added vitamin and mineral formula and resistant starch already in the mix - easy on the digestion and it stays with you.

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Tea biscuits with raisins
Easy gluten free tea biscuits recipe for breakfast with eggs and coffee

There is always one of those Saturday or Sunday mornings when you get up, and think, I sure would love to have something different. Sure would like to have some biscuits. But then, you blink your eyes and say to yourself, "That is just too much work!"

Now in about ten minutes you can have these delicious little biscuits made and enjoy them with eggs and coffee.

All you do is, while the skillet is heating up to medium low, mix up the biscuit ingredients. Follow the recipe. Place on a plate. Take the same pan, cook your eggs, boil the kettle or put the coffee on and you are ready.

Easy enough to do just for yourself, pretty and tasty enough to do for the whole family or impress mom!

Stove Top - Tea Biscuits

Only minutes to make these delicious biscuits for breakfast or any time you would like a quick snack bread. The Resistant Starch and Vitamin Enrichment in Astoria Mills All Purpose Flour Mix #1 makes these even healthier.

Whisk together in a bowl:

1/2 cup cold water
1 tablespoon oil
2 eggs (or flax seed substitute)

Blend together dry ingredients:

1 cup Astoria Mills All Purpose Flour - Mix #1  (Contains vitamins, minerals and resistant starch for added nutrition)
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon Baking Powder

Mix wet and dry ingredients together. Drop spoonfuls of batter onto a pre-warmed (no oil) cast iron skillet, or non stick skillet. Flatten each with your spoon. Cover and let cook for about 3 minutes, flip and cook on the other side for about 3 or 4 minutes until slightly golden. Serve warm as shown with eggs 'over easy' and coffee. Nice biscuits to scoop up that delicious yolk with.

These are very easy to make for a quick tea time snack and taste great with butter and jam. Or for a Victorian Tea, serve with clotted cream and fruit preserves.

Tea Biscuits with Apricot Jam
Tea Biscuits with Butter and Apricot Jam

The morning I made these for hubby and me, we saved a couple and had them with tea mid afternoon.

There are times, when you just need something simple and easy.