WHAT I LACK IN GLUTEN I MAKE UP IN BUTTER

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What I Lack in Gluten I Make Up in Butter
23 March 2016

About a month ago I was diagnosed with coeliac disease. Weirdly, it was the greatest news I’d received in a long time. For the last few years I had been feeling crap, depressed and generally out of sorts. Finally, after being prescribed heaps of different drugs to fix my symptoms, I reached my wits end. This wasn’t fixing the problem!

Then I met a switched on doctor who asked me a lot of REALLY embarrassing and ‘too much information’ questions. I’d never discussed my bodily functions in so much detail before. I hope to never again. I’m sure this is why a lot of people decide to not seek help for problems they’re having, don’t be scared, it could actually make your life amazing again and in some instances save it.

With gluten out of my life, I was the person I remember being a long time ago. I’m so bloody amazed by how removing that one thing from my diet has had such a profound effect on my mental and physical health. Nice one Dr Kat.

Of course there are times I lament this diagnosis.

The girls and I had an in-depth convo about all the things I couldn’t eat anymore. We pinpointed the one dish that will change out lives forever … dumplings. It was our thing. We loved visiting out cheap and kind of cheerful dumpling joint, Shanghai Village. We spent a lot of time talking rubbish, laughing at the shocking service and devouring our average, but super cheap gluten covered meat parcels. Twenty bucks and we were in happy dumpling comas.

We’re currently workshopping our new thing. I’ve put my suggestions for tacos and bimbimbap on the table.

But Easter is almost here and it’s when I love filling the house with the smell of warm spicy buns. With most cakes and lunchbox snacks I make, I just don’t eat the flour based ones, it doesn’t bother me. Hot cross buns, on the other hand, are an entirely different kettle of fish. I could not stand idly by watching my entire family gorge themselves on my ‘famous in my own home’ buns.

I set to google. I still cringe when I type in the search field “gluten free …”. After looking through a bajillion recipes I thought, “perhaps it just isn’t meant to be”, people add so much crap to GF recipes to make up for the lack of stretchy, gluteny goodness. However, I finally found a recipe, from one of my favourite bakeries, Fatto a Mano on Gertrude Street, surely it HAD to be a winner.

I got cracking made a batch, then made a batch with some tweaks, like way less sugar and a marmalade glaze. And voila! Happy Easter to all of you!

Not Only GF but the Easiest Hot Cross Buns Ever (thanks Fatto a Mano)

WHAT YOU NEED

For the buns:

  • 750g gluten free plain flour
  • 200g sugar
  • 300g mixed dried fruit
  • 630ml warm water
  • 23g dry yeast
  • 3g salt
  • 18g mixed spice

For the crosses:

  • 1/2 cup gluten free flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • milk, your choice

For the glaze:

  • marmalade

WHAT YOU NEED TO DO

  1. Preheat the oven to 240˚C / 475˚F / Gas Mark 9.
  2. Line a large baking tin with baking paper.
  3. Pop all the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl, except the yeast, and mix well.
  4. Put the yeast and warm water into another bowl, and let it activate for about 10 minutes.
  5. Pour the activated yeast mixture into the dry ingredients, and stir with a wooden spoon until combined well. The mixture won’t resemble normal dough – it will be a little runny.
  6. Pour the mixture into the lined baking tin, and smooth the top with a spoon or spatula.
  7. For the crosses, in another bowl, combine flour and sugar, and slowly add milk until you have smooth paste.
  8. Pipe crosses onto the top of the bun slab.
  9. Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until golden.
  10. While the buns are baking, heat a little marmalade in a saucepan.
  11. Once the buns are done, remove from the oven, and brush heated marmalade over the top.
  12. Once they have cooled a little, slice them up, slather in butter and eat.