A twist on an old favourite. These Marzipan 'Simnel'-type gluten free Hot Cross Buns are rich with almond and speckled with fruity apricot and cherry. With a perfect bun texture and a hidden marzipan surprise, they take the humble Hot Cross Bun to a new level.
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Dough Proofing and Rise2hrs
Course: Bread, Breakfast, Easter, Tea Time
Cuisine: British, Gluten Free
Keyword: dried fruit, Hot Cross, marzipan, sweet bread
disposable piping bag/squeezy cooks bottle with fine round tip
150gmarzipanapprox (shop-bought or homemade - See NOTES)
Hydrated & Other Dried Fruit
80gdried apricotschopped into small pieces
70gglacé cherriescut into small pieces
30gsultanas(or substitute and split the weight between more apricots and cherries)
70ml/gorange juicefor soaking the fruit (soak fruit in the juice and then drain before adding to the mix)
1tspground cinnamonmixed into the fruit and juice
Dry Flour Mix
85goat flourFor no oat version sub with sorghum flour
70gsorghum flour or buckwheat flourFor no oat version sub with brown rice flour or buckwheat flour
5gfine sea salt= 1 level teaspoon
3gxanthan gum= 1 level teaspoon
20gDried ACTIVE YEASTThe type that needs activating (I use Allinson's)
2 to 3 tsphoney(for preference - or golden caster sugar)
60ghand warm water
Psyllium Husk Hydration
3large eggs UK large (Canadian ‘Extra Large’; Australian ‘Jumbo’; and US ‘Extra or Very Large’)
28gground psyllium husk
100gfull fat milk
60ggolden caster sugar
200gfull fat milk
1egg+ a dash of milk
20gsorghum flouror buckwheat flour
1tbspsoft light brown sugar
Hydrating the Fruit - ahead of time
Ahead of time, mix the dried fruit (apricots, cherries and sultanas) with the orange juice and the cinnamon in a bowl and leave to hydrate for 3 to 4 hours (or overnight), stirring occasionally.
Once hydrated, drain the fruit and discard the juice. Set aside
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 nice and 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 almond 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.
Lastly add the drained dried fruit and mix firmly into the dough until even.
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).
Preparing the Marzipan Balls
While the dough is proofing, take the marzipan and roll into 15 even-sized balls, each about the size of a walnut. Set aside.
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.
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 15 even-sized dough-buns. The balls should be about 5 cm in diameter.
Take each dough ball and push a marzipan ball into the centre, pulling the dough from the sides round to seal, so that the marzipan ball is completely hidden.
Give the ball a quick, gentle roll in the hand to smooth and reshape.
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, but should still hold a good rounded shape.
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 (or slightly longer depending on the oven) until 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. They will stay soft for a good 24 to 48+ hours, although may 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.
* Note: nutritional information is an estimate & may vary according to portion size/ingredient variants.The dough-balls can also be frozen after 1st prove, rolled into buns but before second rise. Freeze separated on a baking tray (preferably fast-freeze) and store in an airtight container once frozen. When ready to bake, remove from the freezer and defrost at room temperature. Place on a lined baking tray and allow to rise as normal in a warm place. Egg-wash and pipe crosses before baking as per recipe.Link for easy 4 ingredient Homemade Marzipan Recipe. International Egg Conversion Chart