Chocolate Chip Hot Cross Buns with an incredible ‘can’t believe it’s gluten free’ texture. These Buns are seriously in a class of their own… Soft, perfectly doughy, deliciously dappled with dark chocolate chips… They are Choc Cross Bun nirvana.
DON’T LOSE THIS RECIPE… PIN IT FOR LATER…
BEST EVER Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Hot Cross Buns – An updated and improved recipe
My original recipe for Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Hot Cross Buns was posted way back in 2016. At the time, I was really thrilled that I had managed to make them. But since then, my gluten free baking knowledge has grown so much. And with that, I have re-developed my Choc Cross Buns into a new recipe which has surpassed even my own expectations.
In utter celebration, the whole post has been updated. And… the new recipe has been popped onto an easy to use, printable recipe card.
What makes these gluten free Choc Cross Buns better than the last recipe?
Although most of the ingredients for my new Chocolate Chip Hot Cross Buns recipe are the same as the old one, the re-working has resulted in a texture that is as close as I have ever had to ‘normal’ wheat Hot Cross Buns. Seriously. No-one would EVER know these buns are gluten free. They are soft and fluffy… Light yet doughy… Perfectly risen and beautifully rounded… And taste just like a yeasted bun should do (whether gluten free or not…).
To make this recipe even more accessible, I have also removed the almonds that were in the previous recipe… So now, if you are nut free, you can enjoy them too. I’ve even given extra flour options for anyone who can’t tolerate oats!
Are these Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Hot Cross Buns Easy to Make?
I think so yes! Sure, they are a little time consuming because they have two ‘proofings’… But that would be the case whether you were making gluten free Chocolate Chip Hot Cross Buns or normal wheat ones. And yes… There are a couple of extra stages beyond a ‘one-bowl’ recipe, but it’s the detail in process that helps make these buns work… And puts Gluten Free Alchemist Choc Cross Buns truly in a class of their own.
But whether you are an experienced baker or a novice at bun making, I promise they really are not difficult. To help you get it right, I have laid out the recipe as clearly as possible in stages. But be sure to follow the recipe and all its stages closely to ensure Hot Cross Bun nirvana.
Need extra confidence? Here’s the link to a photo step-by-step guide to making traditional Fruit Hot Cross Buns. The process and what you can expect is exactly the same, except the fruit is left out… And the chocolate chips are added AFTER the first prove.
Can I make these Hot Cross Buns using gluten free packet flour in place of the recommended flour mix?
No… The success of this particular gluten free Chocolate Chip Hot Cross Bun recipe is based not only in the process, but also in the carefully crafted flour blends used. The choice and particular qualities of the starch flours and how they have been balanced with flours that bring structure is not just a ‘fluke’. They have been crafted and tested and tweaked to get the best possible texture and the longest lasting crumb.
In my experience (and I know because I’ve tried the ‘competition’), gluten free Hot Cross Bun recipes that use a basic bag of flour, simply don’t come close to the quality of texture and the eating experience you’ll get from this recipe… They may taste okay within an hour of leaving the oven… But give them 2 or 3 and they will be hard as rocks and fit only for toasting (or the bin)… I choose quality of food over using flour that won’t work every time.
Of course, I accept that some will say ‘life’s too short for mixing up flour blends’… But life’s also way too short for food that is dry and unpleasant. Ultimately the choice is yours. But seriously, the extra few minutes effort is more than worth it.
Chocolate Chip Hot Cross Buns because we deserve them too…
For those who are Coeliac or enforced gluten-avoiders, the choice of food can sometimes be demoralising. Although there are now some pretty good gluten free Hot Cross Buns available in the shops, the flavour options still remain pretty much limited to fruit or chocolate (with a chocolate dough). Is it just me who walks through glutenous bread aisles in the run up to Easter feeling green with envy at the sheer variety of Hot Cross Buns? It seems there’s everything from traditional fruit, through to toffee, apple and chocolate…. Even date, cranberry, salted caramel and ginger….
So… these incredible Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Buns have been created simply because WE deserve them too. And with a base recipe this good… the options are potentially infinite…
How long do these Chocolate Chip Hot Cross Buns last and how should I store them?
The recipe for these Chocolate Chip Hot Cross Buns has been carefully developed to stay fresh for longer than most other homemade gluten free Easter buns. Of course, they won’t stay soft for as long as shop-bought ones (which have lots of added preservatives and humectants), but they should still be soft enough to eat untoasted after 1 to 2 days. Or alternatively, toast them just because that’s the way you like them best.
To help ensure the best shelf-life, be sure to wrap your Choc Cross Buns tightly in clingfilm (or a plastic bag with the air sucked out of it). And store at room temperature (not in the fridge).
Can I Freeze gluten free Choc Cross buns?
Yes. You have two options for freezing these Choc Cross Buns:
Freezing after baking
Freeze the buns as soon as possible after they have cooled. Wrap tightly and keep for up to a couple of months.
Then… defrost either at room temperature, or pop them in the microwave for a few seconds (or foil-wrapped in the oven for a few minutes) to have fresh steaming hot buns.
Freezing the dough
Gluten Free Choc Chip Hot Cross Buns can also be frozen as dough balls ready for their second prove. Simply knock back the dough, add the chocolate chips and roll into balls. Arrange on a baking tray and freeze uncovered, before storing fully frozen in an airtight container.
When ready to bake and eat… Allow the buns to defrost (separated), before placing somewhere warm to rise. The rise may take a little longer (depending on how cold the buns are when you start), but once risen, they can be egg washed and ‘crossed’ before baking as per recipe.
Here’s my updated Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Hot Cross Buns Recipe
So… Here’s my updated and totally delicious chocolate chip Hot Cross Buns recipe. I really hope you like it. Let me know if you make them and don’t forget to tag me in to your social media posts (and use the hashtag #glutenfreealchemist) with photos of how they turned out.
For something a little different, there’s also a Marzipan Hot Cross Bun recipe with hidden marzipan surprise!
And please! Rate the recipe if you love it… It’s one of the best ways to be sure Google lets other people know about it too.
Other Easter Recipes on Gluten Free Alchemist
Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Hot Cross Buns
- Kitchen scales
- measuring spoons
- Mixing bowls
- spoon and fork
- electric whisk
- mixing spoon/spatula
- Small saucepan
- wooden/silicone spoon
- cling film
- large baking sheet
- baking paper
- oven-proof bowl
- pastry brush
- disposable piping bag/squeezy cooks bottle with fine round tip
- wire rack
Dry Flour Mix
- 160 g tapioca starch
- 145 g potato starch
- 85 g oat flour For no oat version sub with sorghum flour
- 70 g sorghum flour or buckwheat flour For no oat version sub with brown rice flour or buckwheat flour
- 5 g fine sea salt = 1 level teaspoon
- 3 g xanthan gum = 1 level teaspoon
- 20 g Dried ACTIVE YEAST The type that needs activating (I use Allinson's)
- 2 to 3 tsp honey (for preference – or golden caster sugar)
- 60 g hand warm water
Psyllium Husk Hydration
- 3 large eggs UK large (Canadian ‘Extra Large’; Australian ‘Jumbo’; and US ‘Extra or Very Large’)
- 28 g ground psyllium husk
- 100 g full fat milk
- 1½ tsp vanilla extract
- 60 g golden caster sugar
- 50 g unsalted butter
- 200 g full fat milk
- 1 tbsp sunflower oil
- 120 g dark chocolate chips
- 1 egg + a dash of milk
- 30 g potato starch
- 20 g sorghum flour or buckwheat flour
- 40 g milk approx
- 1 tbsp soft light brown sugar
- 2 tbsp water
Dry Flour Mix
- Mix together the 4 flours, salt and xanthan gum until thoroughly blended. Set aside. TIP: Weigh into an airtight container and shake vigorously.
- Weigh the yeast, honey (or sugar) and hand warm water into a small bowl. Make sure the water is tepid only, as if it is too hot, it will kill the yeast.
- Beat together with a fork or whisk briefly to mix thoroughly and enable the yeast granules to dissolve.
- Set aside for 5 to 10 minutes while the yeast activates. Yeast that has activated will appear frothy and may even bubble slightly.
Psyllium Husk Hydration
- Beat the eggs in a large bowl with an electric whisk until they are just starting to thicken.
- Add the psyllium husk to the eggs and beat again. The mixture should become thick enough to start holding shape.
- Scrape down the bowl and re-whisk to ensure the psylium husk and eggs are well blended. Keep beating until the psyllium and egg become a thick, airy batter consistency.
- Next add the 100g measure of milk and the vanilla extract and beat again to combine.
- Set aside for about 10 minutes to allow the psyllium husk to fully hydrate.
- While the psyllium husk is hydrating, weigh the caster sugar, butter, 200g measure of milk and sunflower oil into a small saucepan.
- Gently heat on the hob over a medium setting, stirring frequently until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved.
- Remove from the heat and allow to cool a little. To cool more quickly, either transfer from the hot pan to a cool jug, or keep stirring in the pan to help the steam to escape.
Mixing the ingredients together to make a dough
- When the hot milk has cooled a little (you should be able to touch it without burning), add it little by little to the hydrated psyllium mixture in the bowl, whisking thoroughly between each addition.
- Next add the activated yeast mixture and beat again to blend evenly.
- Once fully blended, add the flour mix to the bowl.
- Beat the flour into the wet ingredients with either a wooden spoon or electric beaters with a dough hook. Start slowly (to avoid the flour spraying out of the bowl).
- Keep beating for several minutes to ensure the mixture becomes a very thick, even (but sticky) dough-batter.
Proof the Dough
- Scoop the dough into a single heap and rest a sheet of clingfilm over the bowl (not touching the dough).
- Set the bowl in a warm place to proof (rise) for about an hour. I set my bowl over another bowl with a little steaming water in the bottom (changing the water to refresh the warmth regularly).
Knocking back the dough
- Once the dough has risen to about double the size, 'knock it back' by stirring and turning with a solid wooden/silicone spoon.
Add the chocolate chips
- Once the air has been knocked out of the dough, add the chocolate chips and mix through evenly.
Rolling the dough into buns
- Base line a large baking sheet with baking paper.
- With lightly oiled hands (I wear tight-fitting vinyl food gloves and rub a dribble of oil into them), pull off pieces of the dough and roll into balls in the hand, to make about 13 even-sized dough-buns. The balls should be 5 to 6 cm in diameter.
- Arrange the dough balls in rows on the lined baking sheet with a gap of about 1½ cm between them.
- Gently rest a piece of clingfilm over the top of the dough-buns (they mustn't be restricted) and set aside in a warm place to rise for 45 minutes to an hour (depending on the warmth of the room. The buns will more or less double in size.
Preparing the mixture for the crosses and the egg-wash
- While the buns are rising, make the mixture for piping the crosses. – In a small cup or bowl, mix together the flours and water until smooth.
- In a separate small bowl, beat an egg with a dash of milk ready to egg-wash the buns.
- Place a heat-proof dish or pan at the bottom of the oven and then pre-heat the oven to 180 C/350 F/Gas 4.
- Boil a kettle of water ready to pour into the heat-proof dish in the oven.
Baking the buns
- When the dough-buns are risen – very gently, but thoroughly brush the tops all over with egg wash.
- Transfer the mixture for the crosses into either a small piping bag with a fine piping tip/tiny snip off the end, or a plastic squeezable piping/icing bottle. If the mixture has stiffened too much add a tiny drop of water and stir through, BEFORE TRANSFERRING. The mixture needs to be just pipeable and not too runny.
- Pipe a line of cross-mixture down the centre of each row of dough-buns and then turn the tray and repeat the process at right-angles, so that all the buns are topped with a cross.
- Half-fill the tray/dish placed in the base of the oven with boiled steaming water.
- Bake the buns for 13 to 15 minutes until the golden and firm on the tops.
- While the buns are baking, prepare the sugar-glaze by heating and dissolving the brown sugar with the water either in a tiny dish in a microwave for a few seconds, or in a small pan on the stove.
- When baked, remove the buns from the oven and cool for about 5 minutes on the tray, before transferring to a wire rack to continue cooling.
- While still hot, brush the tops of the buns with brown-sugar glaze.
Eating and Storing
- These Hot Cross Buns can be enjoyed either warm or cold. Best slathered with butter. They will stay soft for a good 24 hours, although will eventually start to dry a little. Toast them or not as you prefer.
- To store after they have cooled, make sure the buns are tightly wrapped in clingfilm or a bag to ensure maximum freshness. (I place a little additional baking paper between them to prevent sticking).
- To Freeze: Freeze on the day of making and as soon as possible after cooling, tightly wrapped for maximum freshness.
© 2019-2021 Kate Dowse All Rights Reserved – Do not copy or re-publish this recipe or any part of this recipe on any other blog, on social media or in a publication without the express permission of Gluten Free Alchemist
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