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.