I made another batch of brioche cinnamon rolls yesterday, but decided to turn them into Nutella buns instead! With an added sprinkle of cinnamon and a drizzle of buttery vanilla icing on top. 😛
I can’t even begin to tell you how good these were! Ever since I figured out how to make good gluten free brioche, I have to admit I’m obsessed lol… I hope you’re not getting bored of it yet? You’d think I would be by now, but I’m not even a little bit tired of it. I’m already plotting what to make with it next. 😉
P.S.: My advice to all of you who really want to try all these bready recipes, but are put off by how long they take due their yeast risen nature: make your dough the day before. In reality it doesn’t require that much effort at all. It’s just that all the time spent sitting around waiting for the dough to be ready can feel like it’s taking over your day, but it doesn’t have to. By splitting the process over two days you only spend 45 mins waiting for it to proof the first day, then you forget it in the fridge until you’re ready to bake the next day. 🙂
NOTES // TIPS:
Use bread flour / strong flour / pizza dough flour
This type of flour blend is higher in protein and ideal for baking bread. I used Freee Foods (Doves Farm) as this is what’s available to me here in the UK (and it’s fantastic!). If you don’t have access to a gluten free strong flour blend where you live, have a look online for recipes that teach how to make it yourself from scratch. It’s well worth it. Otherwise you can try using an all purpose flour blend, but the texture won’t be as good. Also, different flour blends require different amounts of liquid which can affect the consistency of the dough and make it harder to handle.
Don’t skip the tapioca starch
It has a uniquely elastic texture that is essential in this recipe. I know people hate having to source a bunch of ‘exotic’ flours, but believe me you won’t regret it! It’s the secret to great gluten free baked goods! You sometimes can find it in supermarkets here in the UK, but your best bet is Asian/Chinese shops which always stock it. Otherwise you can also order it online from sites like Sous Chef UK.
How to bake them
You can place them all together in the same pan (here I used a springform cake tin) or bake them individually in a muffin tray.
This is a small batch / multiply the recipe as needed! 🙂
Just a disclaimer: this recipe yields about 6 small gluten free Nutella buns. Multiply the recipe if needed!
- 65g whole milk
- 15g sugar (granulated or caster)
- ½ tsp dry active yeast (I used Allinson)
- 85g gluten free bread flour blend (I used Freee Foods/Doves Farm)
- 15g tapioca starch/flour (also known as cassava)
- ½ tsp xanthan gum
- 1 tsp baking powder (I use Dr. Oetker)
- 1 egg (50g)
- 25g butter (add ¼ tsp salt if using unsalted)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
- Nutella (or any chocolate spread of your choice)
- Ground cinnamon (optional)
- Olive oil (second round of proofing)
- Milk or beaten egg (before baking)
- 1 Tbsp butter
- ½ cup icing sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla
- A few teaspoons of milk
- Food colouring (optional)
- Plain cream cheese
- Granulated sugar (to taste)
BAKING TIME: 20 to 25 mins
* This is a relatively small batch, feel free to multiply the recipe as needed.
* Reheat leftovers in the microwave to soften them up again
ACTIVATE YOUR YEAST:
- Stir the milk and sugar together and heat it up in the microwave (in 10 seconds increments) or in a saucepan on low heat. Check the temperature by dipping your finger in; ideally you want it to be somewhere between lukewarm and hot (if it’s boiling hot or too cold, the yeast won’t work). Alternatively, you can use a food thermometer and aim for 40C (104F).
- Then stir in the yeast and let it rest in a warm place for a few minutes, until it dissolves and bubbles up. Note: don’t leave out the sugar. This is what the yeast reacts with to bubble up and this is how you know that it’s working. If nothing happens, your yeast may be too old or the milk isn’t warm enough.
On a warm sunny day, I place the bowl on a window sill directly in the sun. But on cold winter days, you can place it near a heater/radiator or switch your oven on to the lowest setting and place your bowl on or near the opened door.
PREPARE YOUR DOUGH:
- In a large bowl, add the bread flour, tapioca, baking powder and xanthan gum (as well as some salt if using unsalted butter) and mix well.
- Then add all of your wet ingredients: the butter (melted in the microwave first), the frothy yeast mixture, vanilla and the egg and mix with a whisk or spatula until smooth.
LET YOUR DOUGH REST / FIRST ROUND OF PROOFING:
- Wrap your bowl with cling film and put it back in a warm place for 30 minutes to an hour to allow the dough to rise. Note: don’t skip this step as it’s essential for the yeast to act. Otherwise the recipe won’t work.
REFRIGERATE THE DOUGH:
- Once risen, put your bowl in the fridge for a few hours (or overnight) to rest some more. This will also make it more solid and easier to handle.
MAKE YOUR NUTELLA BUNS:
- Lay a sheet of baking paper on your work surface and sprinkle a generous amount of extra bread flour all over (to prevent sticking while flattening and rolling).
- Tip your dough onto it and sprinkle some more flour on top.
- Then carefully flatten it with your hands in a rectangular shape (until it’s about 0.5 to 1 cm thick), sprinkling extra flour if necessary (on any bits that are too sticky).
- Run a spatula underneath, on and off throughout this process, to make sure it’s not sticking to the baking paper and push some extra flour under if needed.
- Melt a few tablespoons of Nutella in the microwave (in 10 second increments) to make it runny and drizzle it all over, leaving a bit of space around the edges. Note: you can’t simply spread it (as I learned the hard way lol) as it just sticks to the loose flour and doesn’t stay in place. So drizzling it on top works best.
- Add a dusting of ground cinnamon on top.
- Roll the dough, using the baking paper to help you. Sprinkle some extra flour on your rolled dough if there are sticky bits lacking flour and/or brush off any excess with your fingers.
- Slice your Nutella buns and either place them side by side in a oven dish (or as individual portions in a muffin tray) greased with butter or cooking spray. Tip: wipe the knife clean in between each slice to make the process less messy and be careful as you transfer them into the oven dish or muffin tray. It’s quite a sticky dough, which is unfortunately necessary to have a good texture. 😛
LET THEM REST AGAIN / SECOND ROUND OF PROOFING:
- Pour a tablespoon or so of olive oil in a small pot and brush a thin coating on top of your Nutella buns.
- Cover the dish with a damp cloth (make sure it’s resting on the buns) and let them rest in a warm place for another 45 minutes to an hour.
- Meanwhile, pre-heat your oven to 180C (356F). Note: what I do on a cold day is place the tray/oven dish on a chair near the pre-heating oven.
BAKE YOUR GLUTEN FREE NUTELLA BUNS:
- Brush a bit of milk or or a thin layer of beaten egg all over your buns.
- Bake in a pre-heated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until they have reached a nice golden brown colour. Note: if they start browning too early, cover them with foil and keep going.
- Take them out of the oven and let them cool down for 10 minutes or so in the dish, then take them out and let them cool some more upside down (to avoid the bottom getting soggy).
- Add any icing or frosting of your choice. 🙂
- Re-heat any leftovers in the microwave for 10-15 seconds to soften them up again.
MAKE THE ICING:
- Melt the butter in the microwave.
- Add the vanilla and icing sugar and mix well.
- Add milk, half a teaspoon at a time until you reach the desired consistency.