Orange, Cinnamon and Raisin Hot Cross Buns

Sunday, 29 March 2015

As Easter fast approaches I wanted to make some gluten and dairy free treats to enjoy! These hot cross buns are really easy to make, made from healthy wholesome ingredients and most importantly taste like the real deal. In my experience, with some gluten free baking it feels like something is missing but these actually taste like hot cross buns!

to make 14 buns

450g Gluten free bread flour (I use Doves Farm white bread flour)
2 tsp Xanthan gum
Zest of an orange
1 tbsp quick yeast
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground nutmeg
100g raisins
100g currants
200ml plant milk ( I used almond)
150ml water
50g maple syrup
40g coconut oil
2 eggs
50g brown rice flour for the cross
Rice malt syrup and orange juice to glaze

  1. Mix together the gluten free bread flour, yeast, xanthan gum, orange zest, salt and spices in a large bowl. You can also give it all a quick blitz in a food processor if you prefer. 
  2. Add the eggs, almond milk, water, melted coconut oil and maple syrup into the bowl of dry ingredients. mix well. 
  3. Stir in the raisins and currants. 
  4. Cover the mixture with some greased cling film and leave to rise. Mine was in the airing cupboard for 2 hours. 
  5. Preheat the oven to 180'c. Line a large baking tray and grease with coconut oil (or similar) spoon out the mixture into hot cross bun shapes, cover and leave to rise again for around 30 mins. 
  6. To make the crosses mix the brown rice flour with 50 ml of cold water. put the mixture into a sandwich bag and cut a 1 cm hole in the corner - use this to pipe on the crosses. 
  7. Bake in the oven for 20 mins.
  8. To make the glaze heat equal parts rice malt syrup and orange juice until reduced slightly, brush the sticky mixture onto the hot cross buns as soon as they come out of the oven.  

The hot cross buns are best served warm and eaten on the day although they will keep for a day or so in a air tight container. If you do this I'd pop them in a warm oven for a few minutes to heat them through.

I started daydreaming about all the variations I could make... if you give any of these a go please get in touch and tell me how they taste!

  • Cacao and orange
  • Apple and cinnamon
  • Date and pecan 
  • Pistachio and cranberry
These are super easy to make vegan if you are that way inclined - just swap the eggs for some apple puree or other egg replacer. 


False starts

Thursday, 12 March 2015

I optimistically announced I was starting a blog just under a month ago. I'd had a run of 'good' ME days and managed to get my foggy brain around the basics of Blogger as well as having lots of ideas for future posts. I was really excited as this was the first project I'd been able to get my teeth into since becoming ill and felt a small sense of normality return.

Inconveniently the monster that is ME got in the way. With the wonders of heindsight I did far too much too soon, but it never feels that way at the time. With every physical or mental activity there comes the associated 'payback' and I was completely floored for a week or so. Nervous about recreating the situation I've been holding off until I felt I was in a good enough place to try again. 

This is the side of the illness I find the hardest to come to terms with. I like to plan ahead and ME leaves this an impossible task with fluctuations in symptoms on a daily, evenly hourly basis. I'm getting better at working out how I'll feel the next day from signs the day before but it is still a guessing game most of the time! I'm trying my hardest to avoid bouncing between good and bad days in a boom and bust cycle but it's easier said than done! On a good day who wouldn't want to go outside or pick up a book because for the first time in weeks you can? 

I realise now I approached this blog with my pre-illness head on. I had an outline of my first posts, when I was going to write them, the frequency I would post at etc. I felt the pressure (completely self inflicted!) to keep up with this and became a bit disheartened. Fast forward to now and you'll be pleased to hear I've completely reassessed. I started this blog as an outlet to talk about my illness so that's what I am going to do. Simple. When I have the spare energy to post I will, no big plan of action for the future, no expectations or pressure.

False starts and set backs might be disappointing at the time, but on reflection it's really promising that I feel like I have the energy to give something new a go. Progress is progress no matter how small!

J x

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