3 Ways with Hot Cross Buns: GF with bread mix/gluten free from scratch/Regular from scratch

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Hot Cross Bun Loaf! Gluten Free!by Karen Swan

Upon eating the first slice of this bread, fresh and warm from the oven, I did the dance of the joy only a person denied something they love for five years can do…………………….

Gluten free Hot Cross Buns!  In a slice!  AND did you read that?  Gluten (and dairy and egg) free!  *SQUEEEEEEEEEE!

Eat your heart out boring old raisin toast; you’re history.

I have been supplied with flour and some pre-mixes from the folks at Well & Good to have a bake with.  When you’re first diagnosed as coeliac or someone in your family is, packet mixes are often the first port of call for your gluten free baking journey.  I know they were for me!

Particularly for bread.  More often than not, the recipes I would find for gluten free bread would contain a specific mix of gluten free flours, and inevitably, I’d be missing one or two of them!  I had yet to discover a GF packaged flour that would successfully work in place of regular flour, so a packet bread mix gave me the feel of gluten free bread baking and got me playing around with the results. The very first cake I baked after my diagnosis was a Well & Good All Purpose Cake Mix, so I’m thrilled to be supporting their products.

Knowing that some of you may have a GF flour blend that you have success with, I’ve also included a ‘from scratch’ version that uses plain GF flour.

For those without any gluten allergies, there is also a version here using regular flour.

*You may choose to omit the orange zest, but I implore you not too!  I loathe mixed peel in hot cross buns, but the zest gives some of the flavour, and really brings out the spices, but without the over powering nature of chunks of peel.

**I used regular milk for the drizzle, but you could use a non-dairy milk or water instead.

Hot Cross Bun Loaf! Gluten Free!03Ingredients:

1 x pack Well & Good Crusty Bread Mix (400g)

2 cups warm water

10g sachet yeast (included in the bread mix pack)

2 x T olive oil

1/4 cup sugar (I used regular white sugar granules)

3/4 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp mixed spice

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1 T orange zest

1 cup sultanas

1 tsp salt.

For the glaze:

(this is the same for ALL versions of the bread)

1 T caster sugar

1 T boiling water

For the Drizzle

(optional, but delicious!)

1/2 cup icing sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

A dash of milk to mix to a thick paste. In the image, my glaze is caramel coloured – I put it on before the cake had cooled, but I also made mine more like a glaze than a thick, hot cross bun like ‘cross’.


Pre-heat the oven to 240 degrees C (225 degrees if fan forced)

Mix the warm water, olive oil and yeast and stir to combine.

In a large bowl combine the breadmix, sugar, mixed spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and zest and stir well.

Add the sultanas and mix.

Pour the yeast liquid over the dry ingredients and gently mix to combine (use your hands or a wooden spoon).

Take care not to over mix.

Leave it to rest for about 10 minutes in the bowl.

Turn out onto a well floured surface (it will be sticky!) and knead until the dough is elastic ( a few minutes)

Brush with a little water to stop the top from cracking.

I left my dough to prove on a lightly oiled baking tray.  If you’d like to use a loaf tin, grease it well and set the dough to prove in that.

Leave the dough somewhere warm for at least 30 minutes, covered in a damp teatowel.  Mine rested for a good hour and a half as I had to race to school pick up!

Bake in the hot oven for around 25 to 30 minutes

Hot Cross Bun Loaf! Gluten Free!08

While still warm, brush with the caster sugar mix (dissolve the sugar in the boiling water).  Allow to cool completely if you’d like to do the icing sugar drizzle as well.  You could mix up a little flour and water and go for a more traditional cross pattern (in which case, omit the drizzle!)

This is best eaten on the day of baking, if you want to eat it un-toasted and cold (if it makes it to that stage; it’s delicious just out of the oven!).  It is best served warmed or toasted after 24 hours.  Lashings of butter make it even better!


Gluten Free From Scratch (not dairy and egg free). Or, regular flour from scratch.

4 T butter (or sub a non-dairy spread)

1 cup milk

1/4 cup sugar

2 x 8g pack of yeast

1 T psyllium husks (omit if not making GF)

4oog plain flour (for the GF use your favourite GF blend)

3/4 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp mixed spice

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp salt

1 T orange zest

1 cup sultanas

2 eggs

+the glaze & drizzle ingredients


Melt the butter in a small saucepan and add the milk and sugar.  Warm gently – don’t let it boil.  Remove from the heat and add the yeast and husks if using.

Let it sit for about 10 minutes.

Mix the dry ingredients, zest and sultanas in a separate bowl.

Add the yeast mix and eggs and use your hands to combine the dough.

Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic.

Place it in an oiled bowl and leave to rise, until doubled.

Punch down dough and knead again. (you could make buns at this point or continue with the loaf as I did with the gluten free batch pictured.)

Gluten Free Hot Cross Buns from scratch!1

Place the dough in a loaf tin and leave for at least 30 minutes to rise. I scored a cross on the top of each bun at this stage.  Before baking, brush with milk (or oil) and pipe on the flour (1/2 cup flour, 1/2 cup warm water, 1 tsp vanilla), mix.

Bake in a hot oven for around 30 minutes. (these buns took about 20)

2014-03-26 12.01.34 2014-03-26 12.01.56

Brush with glaze while still warm.

*It’s worth noting that the buns pictured were actually a potential disaster!  In my pre-coffee haze this morning, I somehow calculated that four cups of flour was about a KILO!  Um, it’s not.  So I had double the flour and nothing else!  I added more milk and then some extra spices at the second knead and I have to say, that the result is great!  Bready, and tomorrow they’ll be far too dry, but nothing a quick warm in the oven or toaster wont fix or, oh my goodness why didn’t I think of this before? 


Stay tuned……………………………….

Baking club mamabake




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