One of the things I most resent about being gluten-intolerant is the cost. If a label states “gluten-free” you can add up to 50% on to the price. The reason, ostensibly, is that because these items are being produced for a smaller market, there are not the efficiencies of scale available to keep the prices down. I can also see that if you’re doing gluten-free products correctly, you would need to set up a separate facility or area to do this. Of course the ingredients themselves are no more expensive as you discover when you make a flour mix up at home rather than buying a much smaller amount of commercially produced flour for a significantly higher price.
Holiday times really highlight the expense issue to me. Last Christmas, I actually paid $15 for a half-dozen fruit mince pies (although that was partially for research purposes for this blog). This Easter, I was offered half a dozen hot cross buns for $12.99. Ridiculous!! So I decided to make some. I’m not known for my bread making skills (well, actually, I am, but that is using a bread maker :-)) but I was sure I could do it!
Luckily, a blog I follow had an excellent hot cross bun recipe. You can find it here, courtesy of the blog Coeliac Diagnosis – Gluten-Free OMG! So this morning, I rolled up my sleeves and made my first gluten-free hot cross buns. I made a couple of changes to the recipe (I know, I know, I really should have made it the way of the recipe first then substituted, but I didn’t have all the ingredients, so just did what I could). For the flour, I used 2 cups brown rice flour, 1 cup sorghum flour and 1 cup tapioca flour, and rather than buckwheat flour, used amaranth flour. I also added in 1 and a half tablespoons of psyllium. Because egg yolk is a problem for me, I used No Egg egg substitute.
I had lots of assistance from one of my 5-year olds, so my buns don’t look as beautiful as they might, but they taste excellent. Next time, I might add a little more cinnamon and mixed spice, but I was very pleased with these. I needed to mix them for about 25 minutes, but by then the mix had bound together well and was coming off my fingers easily – what a relief! The excitement of having the guinea pigs escape and be chased by the kittens while my hands were covered with the sticky mix was almost too much for me!