my fondest memories - of childhoods spent worshipping the rising Son as the day dawned over the ocean with bare feet, of elaborate egg hunts orchestrated by my dad in the bush, of youths spent doubting and wondering, of celebrating alone on a beach and leaving messages in stone on the sand, of leading reflective services by candlelight, of cradling my newborn son in the french countryside, of dyeing farm-grown eggs with three small children, of rainy autumns and sunny springs...
though we each come with different beliefs and memories... we are welcome to the table - welcome to be blessed, welcome to celebrate life, new beginnings, loving grace in Him.
and so I bake hot cross buns and fill the air with spices, pen round shapes while my child sleeps, read seasoned words like "My peace I give you, My peace I leave you", hum taize chants, decide to take a long overdue technology break to cradle warm cups of chai, knit, pack boxes, walk solitary, pray softly...
may the holiday bring much joy and tenderness to you too.
Hot Cross Buns
(unapologetically gluten free - deliciously moist and fragrant)
for the buns:
250ml warm milk
1 sachet dried yeast (7g)
3 tablespoons honey
50g melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
2 1/2 cups plain gluten free flour
(I mix my own blend with 1 cup rice flour, 1 cup potato flour and 1/2 cup arrowroot flour)
1/2 cup almond meal
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup dried raisins
1/2 cup chopped candied citrus peel
for the crosses:
1 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoons GF flour
1/4 cup water
for the glaze:
1 tablespoon honey
generous pinch ground cinnamon
Prepare the buns by mixing yeast and honey into a small bowl with the warm milk - let sit for 5 minutes. Meanwhile combine flours, almond and spice in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl whisk together egg, butter and vanilla - slowly whisk in yeasty milk mixture. Pour wet mixture into flours and stir to combine with a wooden spoon - the texture should be smooth and thick but not stiff enough to knead with your hands. Grease 12-muffin tins with melted butter. Spoon mixture out evenly into tin. cover and let rise for about 30 minutes in a warm place.
Preheat oven to 200'c. Make crosses by stirring butter, flour and water together until you have a smooth and thick paste - fill a piping bag and carefully ice crosses on the top of the risen buns. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile prepare the glaze by bringing butter, honey and cinnamon to boil in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and brush over hot buns as soon as they come out of the oven. Enjoy warm with lashings of butter of course!