Gluten-Free Hot Cross Buns
These buns use the tangzhong technique, a Japanese method for increasing the softness and shelf life of yeast rolls. In gluten-free baking, this method also serves another purpose -- it helps give the dough more stretch and flexibility. Tangzhong is a simple technique involving a roux "starter" that is briefly cooked on the stove. The roux is then mixed into the final dough.
- 325 grams 1:1 gluten-free flour blend*
- 100 grams mochiko (glutinous rice flour)
- 230 grams water
- 30 grams unsalted butter
- 60 grams sugar
- 11 grams salt
- 175 grams low-fat Greek yogurt
- 2 eggs
- 9 grams instant (rapid-rise) yeast
- 6 grams konjac (or 20 grams psyllium husk)
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon allspice
- 1 teaspoon cardamom
- 150 grams raisins
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon milk (or water)
- 130 grams confectioners' sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 4 teaspoons milk (or plant milk or water or enough to make a thick, pipeable icing)
Grease a 9x13-inch or 10-inch square metal pan, and set aside.
Place the flour blend and mochiko in a bowl, and whisk well to evenly combine.
Remove 130 grams of the flour mixture, and place it in a sauté pan or saucier pan.
Add the 230 grams of water to the flour in the sauté pan, and whisk until smooth. Put the saucepan over medium-high heat, and cook the mixture, whisking constantly, for 1½ to 2 minutes, until it forms a thick paste. It may get lumpy at first, so keep whisking until it is thick and smooth. Transfer the cooked mixture to the bowl of your stand mixer, and let it cool for 5-8 minutes until lukewarm.
Add the butter, sugar and salt to the cooked flour mixture. Using the paddle/beater attachment, start mixing on medium-low speed. Scrape down the bowl as needed, and mix until well combined.
Add the yogurt, and mix until well combined, scraping down the bowl as needed.
Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition.
Add the yeast, konjac, baking soda, baking powder, allspice and cardomom to the flour left in the bowl, and whisk well to combine.
With mixer on low, add the remaining dry ingredients. Once the flour is fully incorporated, turn the mixer up to medium-high speed, and mix for an additional 2 minutes to fully combine and evenly distribute everything.
Lightly spray or wipe your work surface with oil, turn out your dough and knead a few times to smooth it out.
Divide evenly into 14-16 pieces. Use lightly oiled hands to roll the dough into smooth balls.
Evenly place them in the prepared pan, and lightly spray the tops with oil. Cover with plastic wrap to proof.
Let the buns rise for an hour or until they've puffed up and are touching one another. While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Whisk the egg and milk together, and brush it over the buns after they have risen.
Bake the buns for 20 -25 minutes, until they are golden brown and the internal temperature is at least 200 degrees. When they are done, remove from the oven, carefully turn the buns out of the pan and transfer them to a rack to cool.
Mix together the confectioners sugar, vanilla and milk. When the buns are completely cool, pipe icing in a cross shape on each bun.
These are best served the day they are made. If eating a day or two after baking, they are best reheated before serving.
*This recipe will work with any 1:1 gluten-free flour blend, but I had the best results with Better Batter Original, Cup4Cup, Caputo and my #2 homemade blend.
If you use Caputo or Better Batter Artisan blend, leave out the konjac/psyllium.