It’s nearly Easter, so it’s time things got a little seasonal around here.
These little (ish) loaves are inspired by that Easter staple – the Hot Cross Bun.
Let’s see what the font of all (nearly) accurate knowledge, Wikipedia, has to say on the matter of hot cross buns:
A hot cross bun is a spiced sweet bun made with currants or raisins and marked with a cross on the top, traditionally eaten on Good Friday in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and Canada, but now popular all year round.
Now, the more eagle-eyed amongst you will have noticed that these loaves do not have a cross on the top. The cross is traditionally made from a flour and water paste and I was going to attempt a gluten-free version. But. The tops of these loaves have a tendency to crack (as they are more of a cake-bread than a bread-bread), so there was the possibility that the cross would distort (no-one wants a wonky cross). I considered making a cross out of marzipan for the top, until I discovered at the last minute that I didn’t have any marzipan lingering in the back of the cupboard.
Hey-ho. The cross is really for decoration – add it if you want – what is more important is that these little loaves taste like hot cross buns.
Before I had to stop eating gluten, I would spend quite a bit of time at Easter scouring the supermarket shelves for a hot cross bun that didn’t contain candied peel. I loath candied peel. In fact, I hate candied peel. The mere thought of it makes me shudder. If you have been with me on this blog for a while, you will recall that I declared my utter hatred for this ingredient at Christmas (because it usually poisons mince pies). Why do we have to spoil seasonal goods with the inclusion of this vile of the vilest ingredient? There is no need. No need at all.
So it will be no surprise that these mini loaves do not contain candied peel. However, I have given a nod to citrus with orange juice and zest and lemon juice and zest. A much gentler, less jaw-jamming, shuddering way to include ‘peel’.
I used a mix of raisins (flame, golden and green – ratio in the notes at the bottom of the recipe) which can be purchased from Waitrose as part of their Love Life range (please note I purchased this myself, this is not a sponsored post). If you don’t want to use such a mix or can’t get hold of it then there is nothing wrong with normal raisins. You could even throw in some currants too. If you have to, if you really, really, really have to, you could use mixed dried fruit which is readily available in all supermarkets and contains the dreaded ingredient (candied peel). Is it slightly irrational of me that I often want to punch those bags off the shelf? Maybe I should seek some kind of candied peel counseling.
Mini Easter Fruit Loaves
- 100g bag Waitrose Love Life Raisin Mix, or 100g / 1 cup ordinary raisins
- 2 oranges
- 1 lemon
- 1/2 cup sweet rice flour, aka glutinous rice flour
- 1/4 cup sorghum flour
- 1/4 cup buckwheat flour
- 1/4 cup ground almonds
- 1/4 cup fine / medium cornmeal
- 1/4 cup coconut flour, or soft light brown sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 – 2 tsp mixed ground spice
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup rapeseed oil
- 30ml unsweetened apple puree
- 30ml honey
- 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk, or milk of your choice
- 3/4 cup sultanas
- Pre-heat the oven to 175 Celsius / 155 Fan / 345 Fahrenheit. Brush the mini loaf pans with a little oil and line with non-stick baking paper. Place the mini pans on a large baking sheet to make them easier to take in and out of the oven.
- Zest one of the oranges and the lemon and then set the zest aside.
- Juice both oranges and the lemon (the liquid content should be approximately 3/4 cup).
- Place the orange and lemon juice in a small saucepan along with the raisins. Heat over a high heat until the juice just starts to boil. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix together the sweet rice flour, sorghum flour, buckwheat flour, ground almonds, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt and mixed spice.
- In a separate, smaller bowl, whisk together the egg, oil, apple sauce, honey and almond milk.
- Add the orange and lemon zest and whisk again.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix with a spatula until just combined.
- Stir in the sultanas.
- Add the raisins / juice, mix and then split the mixture between the 4 mini loaf pans.
- Bake for approximately 30 mins, or until golden and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Leave to cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then transfer onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- To store – wrap each loaf in cling-film and keep in an air-tight container. Best enjoyed within 48 hours of making, however a little zap in the microwave will revive slightly older loaves.
** Notes **
- A large 1lb loaf tin can be used instead of the four mini ones.
- The sweet rice flour, sorghum flour and buckwheat flour can be replaced with equal quantities of a GF plain (AP) flour of your choice.
- If you would like to make your own raisin mix then the ratio in the mix I used was 50g flame raisins, 30g golden raisins and 20g green raisins.