Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns

This take on the Lenten classic adapts a King Arthur Flour recipe, changing it to gluten-free with flavors unlocked by a sourdough starter. Although the recipe calls for millet sourdough starter, you could also use brown rice or quinoa. The flavors will be slightly different but still very good.

Yield: a dozen 1 1/2 ounce buns.

Time to make: 45 minutes mixing and prep; 3 1/2 hours proof; 20 minutes oven dwell

Equipment needed: Stand mixer with paddle blade. Kitchen towel. Small microwave-proof bowl, Plastic wrap. Small saucepan. Whisk. Quarter-size sheet pan. Small bowl. Silicone spatula. Piping bag and narrow spout.


1 1/2 Tablespoons oat flour
1/4 cup milk
270 grams Corona Blend (see note)
7 Tablespoons (100 grams) plain, whole-milk yoghurt
5 teaspoons (25 grams) millet sourdough starter
1 large egg and 1 large egg yolk (reserve white)
3 Tablespoons (43 grams) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1/8 cup (26 grams) light brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cloves, pounded or ground to powder
1/8 teaspoon fresh-grated nutmeg
7/8 teaspoon (5 1/2 grams) salt
1 1/2 teaspoon (7 grams) xanthan gum
1 teaspoon instant yeast
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 cup (29 grams) apple juice
1/4 cup (37 grams) mixed dried fruits (such as sour cherry, cranberry, etc)
1 4 cup (37 grams) raisins (preferably golden)
1/4 cup whole milk
2 Tablespoons milk for glaze
Butter and oat flour for preparing sheet pan.


Click HERE for instructions to make Corona Blend.

Ingredients for frosting

64 grams confectioners sugar
scant 1/4 teaspoon vamilla extract
tiny pinch salt
2 teaspoons salt


1) Place, in a small saucepan, the 1/4 cup milk. Add the oat flour and whisk to full incorporate. Place over medium heat. Stir continuously with the whisk until the mixture begins to thicken. When the whisk leaves visible tracks across the bottom of the saucepan, remove from heat. Continue to stir a minute longer while mixture congeals. Set aside.

2) Place, in the bowl of a stand mixer, the corona blend, the yoghurt and the sourdough starter. Stir on medium speed until all ingredients are incorporated. Dough will not form. Cover bowl with kitchen towel and set aside for 2 hours, or up to 5 hours.

3) Meanwhile, in a small microwave-proof bowl, mix the dried fruits and the raisins with the apple juice. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and microwave on medium until condensation appears on the plastic wrap - about 45 seconds. Remove and set aside.

4) When ready to continue mixing and baking, prepare a quarter-size sheet pan by thoroughly greasing with butter and dusting lightly with oar flour. Heat oven to 375. Add the following to the stand mixer: instant yeast, xanthan gum, brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, salt, baking powder. Stir on medium until ingredients are incorporated. Add the egg and yolk, 1/4 cup milk, and butter. Stir on medium-high until well incorporated. Add the soaking fruits and their juices. Stir on medium low until thoroughly mixed.

5) Wearing rubber gloves and well-greasing them, or with greased hands, remove 12 balls of dough from the mixer, roll into smooth balls and place on the prepared sheet pan, spacing about 1/2 inch apart. (Hint: to divide dough evenly, set the mixer on a scale, zero-out the scale, then remove dough in 56 gram scoops. You should get 12 equal sized scoops plus one that is either larger or smaller than 65 grams.) Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise 1 1/2 hours at room temperature, or until dough balls touch.

6) Mix reserved egg white and milk in a small bowl, then brush onto each bun just before baking. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes, or until tops are nut-brown and sides are dark tan. Remove to a cooling rack. After 10 minutes, remove buns from sheet pan and allow to cool, on the rack, to room temperature before frosting.

7) To frost, mix confectioners sugar, vanilla, milk and salt in a small bowl. Stir well, adjusting sugar or milk to reach desired thickness. Place frosting in a piping bag fitted with a narrow spout. Squeeze crosses on buns, hopefully being neater than I could muster.

Buns should be eaten within 24 hours - they stale quickly. A slightly stale bun can be revived by wrapping in wax paper and microwaving for 15 seconds on high. Frosting will melt, however.