April 20, 2011

Hot Cross Buns

this is my first venture into the world of gluten free yeast breads! phew... a little scary. and honestly, it took me 5 tries to get it right. yes, 5. fueled in me by one part committed recipe tester, one part curious food scientist, and one part "stubborn as a mule". i've grown to at least appreciate the power of gluten, in a whole new way, and how the lack of it in a baked good can change everything.

and what better baked goods to labor over than hot cross buns?! a tender, yeasty bread. fragrant cinnamon, raisins and a hint of orange. and of course, the sweet cross of icing to top it all off. 

now, sing it with me... 
hot cross buns, hot cross buns, one a penny, two a penny, hot cross buns.

 happy easter!


Hot Cross Buns

4             teaspoons ground flax
8             teaspoons very hot water

2             tablespoons active dry yeast
1              tablespoon sugar
3/4          cup milk, heated to 110`

210          grams superfine brown rice flour (about 1 1/2 cups)
100          grams tapioca starch (about 3/4 cup)
80           grams potato starch (about 3/4 cup) 
63           grams powdered milk (1/2 cup)
70           grams sugar (1/3 cup)
2             teaspoons pectin (sure-jell)
1 1/2        teaspoons ground cinnamon
1             teaspoon salt
3            ounces butter (6 tablespoons), chilled and cut into small pieces
3            large eggs
1             large egg yolk
2            teaspoons vanilla
1/2          cup currants
1             tablespoon finely grated orange rind
Cooking spray

1             large egg, beaten
1             teaspoon water

1 1/2         cups powdered sugar
2             tablespoons milk
1/2           teaspoon vanilla

1. Combine the ground flax and hot water. Whisk, quickly, until the seeds have formed a thick, viscous slurry. Set aside to cool.

2. Whisk together the yeast, sugar, and heated milk. Set aside until mixture has doubled in volume, about 20 minutes.

3. Combine flour and starches in a bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl); whisk gently to incorporate air. Add powdered milk, sugar, pectin, ground cinnamon and salt; whisk to combine well. (If using stand mixer, stir on low to prevent dusting your kitchen with flours.) Cut in butter with a pastry cutter or two knives until mixture resembles coarse meal.

4. Combine eggs, egg yolk and vanilla in a small bowl with a wire whisk. Add egg mixture to flour mixture; add flax slurry and yeast mixture. Mix well for 5 minutes. Stir in currants and orange peel.

5. Scrape dough into a bowl coated with cooking spray and let rise in a warm place for 90 minutes or until doubled in size. Lightly spray muffin tin (or paper baking cups) with cooking spray. Scoop dough with an ice cream scoop into muffin tin (or baking cups on a baking sheet) until half filled. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 20 minutes.

6. Preheat oven to 375`. Combine egg and water; brush dough with egg mixture. Bake at 375` for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool.

7. Combine powdered sugar, milk and vanilla. Drizzle icing over buns in the shape of a cross.
Yield: 15 buns.


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