Thursday, 28 March 2013

Happy Easter! Gluten Free Hot Cross Bun Review

I have to admit that hot cross buns are not something I have truly missed since being gluten free, as we never really ate them at Easter when I was growing up. But this Easter, I was determined to be like everyone else and enjoy this part of our Easter celebrations.

So this all started when I visited Three Ducks Guten Free Gourmet (read my previous blog post about them here). They had tastings for Jane's gluten free hot cross buns. They were amazing! So I ordered half a dozen to try at home and share with a gluten free colleague.

My next source for hot cross buns was from Just Yummy, a gluten free bakery in Chirnside Park (45 mins from Melbourne). Another colleague offered to pick me some up because she lives right by there, so of course I gratefully accepted!

And of course I had to try and bake some hot cross buns. I picked up a recipe from Three Ducks using the Springhill GF bread packet mix.

1. Jane's Bread Hot Cross Buns

So yummy with soy cream cheese!
Jane's hot cross buns are darker in colour than most, probably because they are so full of flavour, and the colour is from all the spices. The stand out flavour was cinnamon, while most buns usually just have mixed spice, so I loved this difference. When heated in the oven and toasted, all of the flavours are intensified and I really love the aroma they bring!

The amount of fruit is not overbearing which is nice, however they are very dense, and still resemble a cake like bun. In saying this though, they are so moorish due to the flavour combination Jane has created that I wish they were available all year round!

These are only available in store from Jane's Bread at Three Ducks Gluten Free Gourmet Food in Richmond. Get in quick!!!

2. Just Yummy Hot Cross Buns

Just like 'normal'

In contrast to Jane's, these hot cross buns are light and fluffy, and I can't believe how big they are! They look just like a normal hot cross bun, and their taste and texture is also pretty similar; so as far as a replicated gluten free hot cross bun, they get top marks! However, they are like a standard hot cross bun in taste, rather than a gourmet version. Just Yummy also do chocolate and fruit free versions, so those with fructose intolerance can also enjoy these too.

Just Yummy is located in Chirnside Park, about 45 mins from Melbourne, but they are definitely worth the drive. They also do a number of breads, and their bread rolls are famous- they sell hundreds every day they are open!

3. Home Made- Springhill Hot Cross Bun Recipe

The finished product

I have heard great things about the Springhill bread mix, but am yet to try it as a loaf. I picked up the recipe for the hot cross buns using their packet mix at Three Ducks, but you can also find the recipe on their website here.

It was pretty easy- just combine all of the ingredients and mix with a dough hook for 10 mins, roll into balls, let them rise and then cook them.

A few things I would do differently if I had my time again!
1. Less fruit! This recipe asks for 3 cups of fruit which I felt like was way too much. I would cut this back to 1.5-2 cups
2. Mix the warm water with yeast separately, and mix all the dry ingredients together first before adding the water.
3. Add an extra teaspoon of cinnamon (I loved Jane's cinnamon taste but this might not be for everyone).

Anyway I wasn't 100% happy with the finished product. The buns failed to rise for some reason, so they were really dense and hard, but they were still delish! Again, there was far too much fruit, but this might be what other enjoy, but it wasn't for me.

As for all gluten free bread products, the hot cross buns are best eaten fresh, or otherwise if frozen, defrosted at room temp (not in the microwave) and then toasted in the oven.

I think hot cross buns are quickly becoming my favourite thing about Easter (especially since I can't enjoy chocolate as freely as I used to!) Yum!

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