a plate of hot cross buns

Hot Cross Buns

Hot-cross buns! Hot-cross buns!

One a penny, two a penny, Hot-cross buns!

If you have no daughters, Give them to your sons;

One a penny, two a penny, Hot-cross buns!

That was a jump rope ditty that children sang as they played at Easter Time.

When I was growing up in the North of England, the only time that Hot Cross buns were available was on the morning of Good Friday. People would line up at the bakery to purchase the freshly baked buns that were traditionally eaten for breakfast that morning. Nothing else could be consumed before 12 noon when the church bells tolled to mark the time when Jesus died on the cross. These days they are in the supermarkets almost all year round and, in my opinion, that takes away the specialness of this Easter treat.

It is said that in medieval times, bakers marked all their loaves with a cross to ward off evil spirits and encourage the bread to rise. This practice was condemned as “popish” during the 17th century and the custom disappeared. Only buns baked on Good Friday could bear a cross in recognition of the Crucifixion.

The operative word in Hot Cross buns is “Hot.” The buns are meant to be eaten still warm out of the oven. Re-heating is the next best things.

The buns pictured here are from Paul Hollywood of The Great British Bakeoff fame and they were my second attempt. The first recipe I tried was rubbish. Doesn’t it make you mad when the ingredients and method are wrong in a recipe? Anyway, because I had a hankering to eat Hot Cross buns this Easter, Bill helped me make another batch. They were worth all the work.

This is the link to the recipe: www.bbc.co.uk/foodrecipes/hot_cross_buns_74750

Recommended teas to accompany Hot Cross buns are: Cinnamon Apple, Irish Breakfast, Orange and Spice, Assam plus the oolongs, Shi Hsein and Ti Kuan Yin

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