News, recipes, information and helpful tips for living gluten free

News, recipes, information and helpful tips for living gluten free

  • Category Archives: Gluten Free Breads

  • My best gluten free banana bread

    Until recently we always had dark brown over-ripe bananas dripping from our fruit bowl. Perfect for banana bread. But recently one daughter who had refused to eat bananas since toddler-hood, (now a teen) decided the nutritious fruit tastes ok after all. And there goes my supply of cooking bananas. This banana bread is the best I’ve made. It can be enjoyed for breakfast with maple syrup, fruit and yoghurt, sliced and spread with a little butter, or served warm with toasted walnuts, caramel syrup and ice-cream for dessert. Now that’s what I call versatile.

    140g butter, softened
    180g brown sugar
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    2 large eggs, lightly beaten
    2 very ripe bananas (approx. 350g), mashed
    2 tablespoons sour cream
    200g gluten free plain flour
    1 tsp xanthan gum
    1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
    2 tsp baking powder
    1 tsp cinnamon
    1 tsp mixed spice
    Pinch salt
    1 cup walnuts

    Preheat oven to 180℃. Grease a 10cm x 25cm loaf tin and line with baking paper. Mash bananas or puree in a blender then whisk in the sour cream. Set aside. Cream butter and sugar until pale.  Add eggs a little at a time and beat until well combined. Stir in vanilla and bananas with sour cream. Sift dry ingredients together and gently fold in to batter. Transfer to loaf tin and sprinkle with walnuts if desired. Bake for 1 hour, or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the loaf comes out clean.


  • Gluten Free Hot Cross Buns

    These gluten free hot cross buns flavoured with orange and cranberries are definitely a labour of love.  Don’t be put off by the list of ingredients, or the fact that you will need time to let your dough rise. With a little planning your efforts will be rewarded with delicious light textured buns that you will want to eat straight from the oven. Successful bread baking depends on getting the percentages of ingredients just right, so a good set of digital kitchen scales will help. If you’re not keen on mixed peel, add sultanas instead. Good luck and Happy Easter.

    Hot Cross Buns
    350g gluten free plain flour (See GF Flour mix recipe below)
    5g xanthan gum
    3g salt
    35g caster sugar
    10g milk powder
    15g CMC* (or gluten substitute, see below)
    14g instant dry yeast
    2g nutmeg, ground
    3g cinnamon, ground
    50g butter, softened
    1 egg, room temperature
    225ml tepid water (37C)
    75g dried cranberries
    35g currants
    20g mixed peel
    Rind of 1 orange

    Rinse currants and cranberries in warm water, drain and combine in a bowl with mixed peel and orange rind. In a separate bowl, whisk egg with half the water (approx. 115ml). Set aside.

    Sift all dry ingredients except yeast, into a large mixing bowl and stir to combine. Add sugar and then yeast to dry ingredients and stir with a spoon. Add softened butter and the egg and water mix. 

    Add fruit mix and remaining water – enough to bring the mixture into a dough.  The dough should be smooth, not sticky. More water can be added if needed (up to 275ml). If you find the dough too sticky, spray your hands with a little oil to make it easier to handle, rather than using a lot of extra flour. Fruit should be evenly distributed through the dough. 

    Cover the bowl and leave in a draft-free area for 10 minutes to let dough recover. Cut off and weigh balls of dough, approx. 60-70 grams. Place the dough balls a few centimetres apart on a bench or plate covered with plastic wrap. Cover dough balls with another piece of plastic wrap and let recover for 20 minutes. 

    Roll the balls back into shape if they have started to rise, and place in a lightly greased cake or slice pan with sides. (I use a 24cm round quiche tray). Tightly pack the buns so they rise higher rather than spread out, they must touch. A muffin tin with papers also works, with each each ball placed in a lightly sprayed muffin paper. 

    The buns need time to rise or proof, so they almost double in size. This may take up to 2 hours in a warm, draught-free place. A great place to let dough rise is in a warming oven if you have one. You can use your regular oven by turning on the light which generates some heat, but don’t let the temperature rise above 30°C or you will dry out the crust and the buns won’t rise. A sunny position, with your tray enclosed in a plastic bag is another suggestion.

    Preheat oven to 220°C.
    Pipe a cross onto the top of each bun using a disposable piping bag, or a plastic snap-lock bag with the corner snipped off.  Using a pastry brush, glaze the buns with lightly beaten egg. 
    Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and glaze with bun wash.

    Gluten Free Flour mix
    150g quinoa flour
    300g glutinous rice flour (sticky rice flour, see note below)
    100g potato starch
    50g  gluten free cornflour
    50g tapioca flour
    Sift all dry ingredients to thoroughly combine and store in an airtight container. 

    Bun wash
    50g caster sugar
    100ml water
    Add sugar and water to a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Cool. Use a pastry brush to lightly spread wash over buns when removed from oven. 

    Cross paste
    50g potato starch
    50g glutinous rice flour (sticky rice flour, see note below)
    12g milk powder
    pinch GF baking powder
    pinch salt
    24g butter, softened
    140ml water
    Sift dry ingredients into a bowl. Add water and butter and mix to a smooth paste. Make sure mix is firm enough to be piped onto the buns.

  • Gluten Free Hot Cross Buns

    Easter is not far away and these hot cross buns are bound to make your GF loved ones happy bunnies! Don’t be deterred by the list of ingredients, once measured, the recipe is easy to assemble. I prefer to soak the fruit in chai tea overnight, so start a day ahead for best results. The combination of gluten free flours is a must to achieve a lighter texture that isn’t crumbly! Substituting commercial gluten free flour will not give the same result. These delicious fruit buns can be made at any time of the year – minus the cross.

    The best hot cross buns ever – Happy Easter!

    Fruit mix

    1¼ cup dried fruit (I used 3/4 cup sultanas, 1/4 raisins, 1/4 currants)
    ¾ cup Chai tea (black)
    ¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

    Dry ingredients

    ½ teaspoon each of nutmeg, allspice, ground ginger
    1½ teaspoons cinnamon
    ⅓ cup caster sugar
    ½ cup each of gluten free besan (chick pea flour), rice flour, tapioca flour & cornflour
    ¼ cup buckwheat flour
    2 tablespoons dry milk powder
    1 teaspoon xanthan gum (see note)
    ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
    Pinch of salt

    Wet mix

    1½ teaspoons dried yeast
    1 teaspoon sugar
    150 ml warm water
    1 egg, lightly beaten
    1 tablespoon oil
    ½ teaspoon white vinegar, or apple cider vinegar

    Flour paste

    2 tablespoons gluten free plain flour
    ⅓ cup water


    ⅓ cup water
    2 tablespoons caster sugar

    Step 1. Place dried fruit into a small heatproof bowl. Make Chai tea by adding 3/4 cup boiling water to teabag or tea leaves. Allow tea to infuse for a few minutes, then pour over fruit and allow to soak for a few hours, or overnight.

    Step 2. Dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water. Stir and allow to sit for several minutes.

    Step 3. Place fruit in a small saucepan and bring gently to the boil. Simmer for a few minutes so some of the liquid is absorbed. Take off the heat and add bicarbonate of soda. Set aside.

    Step 4. Sift together all the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl.

    Step 5. Whisk remaining ‘wet’ ingredients (egg, oil and vinegar) and add to the yeast mix. Add to the dry ingredients and stir well to combine. Mix in the fruit, including remaining liquid. The dough will be quite wet compared to non-gluten free dough mixes.

    Step 6. Line a tray (I used a 22cm x 22cm square flan tin) with baking paper and lightly grease. Using an oiled tablespoon, divide the mixture into nine roughly equal rounds on the tray. Allow the buns to rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.

    Step 7. Make flour paste for crosses if desired. Mix flour with water till thick consistency. Pipe flour paste over tops of buns to form crosses. Bake at 180 for 20-25 mins.

    Step 8. To make  glaze, place water and sugar in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Brush glaze over warm hot cross buns. Serve warm or slice in half and toast.

    Note: Xanthan gum is used to replace gluten in baked goods. It is available in a powder form from health food shops and some specialty supermarkets. It provides elasticity to gluten free breads and other baked goods. Generally one teaspoon is used per cup of gluten free flours. Some gluten free flours are available at supermarkets, others in speciality health stores or Asian grocers.


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