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Gluten free, FODMAP friendly, nut free
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  • 250 g pumpkin chopped into fine cubes preferably Japanese or Kent
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup red wine see notes
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon clove


    For the preferment:

    • 200 g starter, active bubbly and fed 2-3 hours prior
    • 60 g sorghum flour
    • 150 g water

    Dry ingredients for the buns:

    • 1 cup (130g) white rice flour
    • 1 cup (100g) sorghum flour
    • 1/2 cup (50g) tapioca flour
    • 1/2 cup 60g potato starch
    • 1 teaspoon zantham gum
    • 2 tablespoons (12g) psyllium husk
    • 150 g cup light brown sugar
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
    • 2 1/2 teaspoons nutmeg
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground clove
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    • Pinch of salt

    Wet ingredients for the buns:

    • 4 extra large eggs
    • 75g full fat plain yoghurt lactose free if necessary (or plant milk, see substitutions)
    • 1/2 tablespoon oil (I use olive)
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
    • 100 g softened butter cubed

    To finish:

    • 1 egg for eggwash
    • Maple syrup for glazing
    • 75 g dark cooking chocolate if you want chocolate crosses
    • OR
    • 2 tablespoons tapioca flour
    • 1 tablespoon rice flour
    • 1 teaspoon plain tasting oil I used olive
    • 1 tablespoon + water JUST to make a paste



    • The afternoon before, combine all the ingredients in a non-reactive bowl. Stir, cover and leave on the bench or in the fridge overnight. Stick to the fridge if you’re in a warm climate
    • The next day, cook the fruit mixture in a large pan over a low heat. Over the course of about 30 minutes, the liquid should reduce down and become a syrupy glaze. When there’s only about 1-2 tablespoons of syrup, remove the mince from the heat and decant into a lightly oiled bowl. Set aside to cool.


      To make the preferment:

      • The afternoon before (same time as you make the fruit mince) combine the ingredients for the preferment in a large, non reactive bowl. Cover with cling film (I save the pieces of plastic that my pumpkin comes wrapped in) and place in a warm spot for 2-3 hours. I like to put mine in oven with just the light turned on because we’re coming into winter here in Australia. This won’t be necessary if you’re in a warm climate.
      • The preferment is ready when it has a bubbly, slightly domed surface (as a yeast mixture would).

      To make the buns:

      • Combine all the dry ingredients for the buns in a large bowl, and stir to combine. Place the dry mixture into the bowl of your kitchen stand mixer. Add the preferment and all the wet ingredients except for the butter into the mixer, and use the paddle attachment to combine on a low speed. Add a few chunks of butter at a time and wait until they’re incorporated before adding the next lot. Repeat until all the butter has been added. The mixture will look quite wet (like a thick cake batter) and be very sticky. Don’t panic.
      • Lightly oil a non-reactive bowl and use a spatula to transfer the mixture into the oiled bowl. Lightly oil the top of the dough and cover with the plastic you used earlier. Pop in the fridge overnight.

      To finish the buns (the next morning):

      • Line a xx xx baking dish with scrunched up baking paper. Scrunching helps it adhere to the tin nicely so your buns will fit snugly.
      • Bring the dough out of the fridge. Pour the fruit mince into the dough and use your hands to distribute it evenly through the dough. It should be sticky but quite firm. Lightly oil your hands and divide the bun mixture into 12-15 small buns. Fit them tightly into the baking dish – it will encourage them to rise up, not out. It will also keep them nice and moist.
      • Cover with the same plastic as last night, lightly oiled if it’s touching the buns. Leave the buns in a warm, draft free spot to rise for anywhere from 3-6 hours. Time = sourdough flavour development.
      • The buns won’t rise as dramatically as yeasted or regular ones, but there should be a tangible difference. They should look increasingly snug in the dish, and feel light and airy when (gently) prodded.
      • When they’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 220C and fill a small oven proof dish with water. Brush the buns liberally with egg wash, before piping on your cross of choice (chocolate or traditional).
      • Place the buns in the oven next to the small dish of water. The steam from the water will help give the buns lift.
      • Cook for 20-25 minutes before turning the function to grill and browning the tops to your liking. If you use the traditional crosses, you can go over the buns with extra egg-wash every 10 or so minutes to keep them shiny and moist.
      • Once the buns are cooked to your liking, remove them from the oven and brush them liberally with the melted butter. This provides one final hit of moisture.
      • Finish by brushing them with the maple syrup until they’re sufficiently shiny. The buns are best served warm and fresh out of the oven or reheated on subsequent days. I use a sandwich press for mine, but a microwave works equally well. Serve them with a big hunk of good quality butter.
      Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!