Apple & Cinnamon Hot Cross Buns

Recently my son bought some wheat based Apple & Cinnamon Hot Cross Buns from a bakery chain. His verdict was that I needed to try them. Well he didn't really say that - he actually said "Can you get me another packet please". I bought 2 packets, one for Mr Hollow Legs to have & the other for the rest of the family. They were delicious & definitely needed to be made gluten free. 

Like the other hot cross bun recipes available on this website I designed this recipe so that the buns can be eaten hot. Unlike a lot of the other bread recipes made with Bakers' Magic Gluten free flour you can cut into this bread when it is hot, steaming in fact. This is how it should be served - don't let it cool down too much. The buns are at their best when they are hot/warm. If the Hot Cross buns have cooled down, wrap them in foil & reheat them in the oven for ~20 mins at 160 C. 

Ingredients

Bun mix

375 g Bakers' Magic Gluten free flour

100 g Maize starch

14 g Psyllium powder

2 tsp Yeast

40 g Caster sugar

 1 tsp Cinnamon

1/2 tsp Allspice

1/2 tsp Mixed spice

1.5 - 2 tsp Salt

100 g Pink Lady Apple (diced)

125 g Cinnamon chips

500 g Warm water

1 Egg (at room temperature)

65 g Butter(melted)

Extra Oil

 The butter can be substituted with oil (50 g). The salt may need to be increased to 12 g.

Cinnamon chips - apparently they are hard to come by in Australia. I made my own that worked reasonably well using

 

150 g White chocolate (compound would be best)

10 g Cinnamon

 Stripe

25 g Bakers' Magic Gluten free flour

10 g Maize starch

10 g Caster sugar

50 - 60 g Water

 

Glaze

20 g Caster sugar

20 g Boiling water

 

Method

Cinnamon Chips 

I googled the ingredients & essentially they contain sugar, fat & cinnamon (& colours, emulsifiers etc). I tried making a version with butter but they didn't quite work out as such I thought the easiest way to make them would be to flavour white chocolate. Most of the chips I made melted in the buns - still tasted good :). The chocolate I used was couverture but in this recipe I think a compound chocolate would be better. 

Gently melt the chocolate & stir in the cinnamon (to taste). 

Either transfer chocolate to a piping bag & pipe little dollops on a lined baking tray for chips (photo above) or spread chocolate out on a lined baking tray to use as shards. Transfer to the fridge until you are ready to use them. 

Dough

Warm water is ~1/4 to 1/3 of boiling water with the remaining cold water (tap). Whether you use 1/4 or 1/3 will depend on how cold your tap water is. If the water is too hot it will kill the yeast.

Pre-incubate the yeast at room temperature for approximately 5 - 8 mins in the warm water containing 10 g of sugar. Stir the mixture to dissolve the sugar & disperse the yeast. This gives the yeast a readily available food source & they can "revive" in a relatively undisturbed environment. After the allocated time the surface of the yeast mixture should be slightly frothy. This indicates the yeast are viable. 

If the yeast mixture has a frothy top or you can see bubbles proceed with bread making.

Are you going to proof the dough in your oven or in another warm spot? If proofing in your oven turn oven to ~50 C for approximately 10 mins then turn it off again.

Depending on how you will bake the buns, oil the tin(s), muffin tray, slice tray etc.

Place all ingredients (excluding the apple & cinnamon chips) into the mixing bowl (including pre-incubated yeast) of a stand mixer. 

Combine ingredients using the flat beater until a uniform consistency is achieved. You may need to stop the mixer and scrap down the sides. This make take longer than 5 mins. When the dough is smooth mix in the apple & cinnamon chips.

The dough is ready for proofing & putting on the stripe.

Transfer dough to a slightly oiled work surface (I use non-stick paper or my kitchen bench). Put a bit of the extra oil on your hands - it helps to keep the dough from sticking to you when you are dividing & shaping it. Divide the dough into 15 equal portions - they will be ~90 g each. I wanted the buns to be approximately the same size (photographic reasons) so I oiled a bowl & weighed out the individual buns. I shaped the dough into buns by transferring it quickly from oiled hand to oiled hand & then put it onto a greased roasting dish (Base dimensions 28 x 18 cm) in a 3 x 5 configuration. 

Mix together the ingredients for the stripe. I use a stab blender (Bamix). Transfer mixture to a small plastic bag or piping bag fitted with a fine nozzle. If the mixture is in a plastic bag push the mixture down to one corner. Snip off a little of the corner so that the mixture can be pushed out in a thin stream.

Put stripes along the buns lengthwise & then across each pair of buns.

Let the dough proof for approximately 30 mins in a warm moist environment. Turn your oven on to 200 C.

If you are proofing in your oven put on the timer for ~20 mins. When the time is up take the proofing dough out of the oven and turn the oven up to 200 C. The 20 mins is an estimate, it will depend on how long it takes your oven to reach 200 C.

Bake at 200 C for ~30 mins. If your oven has a hot spot turn the bread halfway through baking.

Prepare the glaze by dissolving the sugar in boiling water. It may need to be stirred a little. 

Take the buns out of the oven, remove them from the tin & put them on a cooling rack. Use a pastry brush to coat the tops of the buns/loaf with the glaze. 

Get the butter & knife ready. Simply enjoy!