Hot cross buns are a traditional bread for celebrating Good Friday with a rich and sweetly delicious history. Good Friday is a Christian holiday celebrated around the world with special holiday foods and sweet breads. These succulent fruit buns feature in Good Friday celebrations primarily in the UK, Ireland, Australia, South Africa, India, and Canada.
Even if you haven’t made hot cross buns recently, you might remember the rhyme, “Hot cross buns, hot cross buns. One a penny, two a penny, hot cross buns.” The rhyme is popular even today as an early flute song for new pipe learners.
The myths and history around hot cross buns is worth noting. There is no shortage of downright superstition about hot cross buns, too. The Winston Salem Journal reports on some of the origins and superstitions surrounding hot cross buns. Not only are they considered lucky, but they were known to have been kept a long time and grated into medicine.
According to BBC News, a couple in England believes they have a hot cross bun that is 200-years-old, possibly the oldest preserved hot cross bun in the world.
The history of the cross on the buns is still in dispute, as are the ingredients of the white frosting used to outline cross on the buns.
Some suggest the cross shape is a reminder of the cross type slash made in the tops crust of so many artisan breads that controls the internal temperature of the bread, allows steam to vent appropriately, and creates a finer rising of the bread.
Buckwheat Rye Bread
The ingredients of the glaze or icing used to indicate the cross on the hot cross buns vary from family to family, and country to country. Many people prefer a sweet icing and apply a sweetened glaze to the tops of the hot cross buns, and also use a sweetened white icing to create the cross. Others use a less sweet paste of flour and water to create the distinctive and contrasting white cross on the darker bun crust.
A plethora of scrumptious hot cross buns recipes abound on the internet, and a few are very worth inscribing on an index card and baking.
This video offers a fun modern take an old recipe that will delight your family. Hot cross buns and hot cross bunnies. As a special treat, these talented culinary artists show how to make home made butter quickly and easily while your hot cross buns are on the rise.
Jamie Oliver’s Food Tube offers a gluten free recipe for creating his version of the Good Friday hot cross buns.
Hot cross buns are also enjoyed every day by people around the world as a rich bread ideal for breakfast or tea time. They are also a fine dessert that compliment the flavors of any meal.
Finally, what to do with leftover hot cross buns after the Easter 2015 holidays? Happily, there are an abundance of recipes for lovely dishes created from left over hot cross buns. Try these three delectable dessert recipes for leftover hot cross buns published in the Telegraph.
[Images courtesy of speedbumpkitchen/Wikipedia/pf patheos/YouTube]