Hot Cross Buns

Sugar, spice and all things nice, hot cross buns are one of my favourite treats. But, finding gluten free versions can be tricky. So I've got experimenting, and here's my take on an Easter favourite.

Ingredients 300ml milk 1/4 cup caster sugar 2 x 7g dried yeast sachets 4 cups gluten free self-raising flour 40g butter 1 tablespoon gluten free baking powder 1 heaped teaspoon each of cinnamon, mixed spice, nutmeg 1/3 cup each of currants, sultanas, cranberries OR 3/4 cup chopped chocolate melts 2 eggs, lightly whisked extra virgin olive oil spray 1/4 cup gluten free plain flour 4 tablespoons of water 4 tablespoons caster sugar

Method Heat milk in the microwave for 30 seconds, or until lukewarm.

Combine warm milk, sugar and yeast in a bowl. Cover and leave in a warm place for 15 minutes to activate. The mixture should be slightly foamy once complete.

Next, pour the flour into a large bowl. Rub the butter into the flour with your fingers, then add the baking powder, spices and fruit. Mix well.

Form a well in the centre of the bowl. Pour the egg, and the milk mixture, into it. Stir gently to combine.

Use your hands to bring the dough together into a ball, then place the dough aside.

Rinse the bowl, then spray it lightly with olive oil.

Return the dough to the oiled bowl, cover and leave to rise for 1 hour in a warm place.

Roll the dough into eight even-sized balls. Place on a lightly-oiled tray and cover for another 45 minutes to rise.

Preheat the oven to 170C.

Meanwhile, prepare the cross mixture.

Combine two tablespoons of water with 1/4 cup of gluten free plain flour and one tablespoon of sugar.

Cut the corner off a ziplock bag, fill with the mixture, and pipe across the buns in two lines, forming a cross shape.

Bake for 25 minutes. In the meantime, prepare the glaze.

Combine 3 tablespoons of sugar with 2 tablespoons of water in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil, then cook over a low heat for 3 minutes. Once the buns have been baking for 20 minutes, open the oven door and brush the buns with half of the glaze.

Return to the oven for an extra five minutes, then remove and brush with the remaining glaze.

Serve toasted with butter. For best results, microwave for 20 seconds, then halve and toast.