Happy Easter! Hot Cross Buns

In 1798, Christmas Box, in London published the earliest rhyme associated with this delectable treat

“Good Friday comes this month, the old woman runs. With one or two a penny hot cross buns”

Growing up, I used to read a lot and the poem that always came to mind is:

Hot Cross Buns!

Hot Cross Buns!

On ha’ penny, two ha’ penny

Hot Cross Buns!

If you have no daughters,

Give them to your sons

On ha’ penny

two ha’penny

Hot Cross Buns!

Would you believe, I have never had one? I have sung this song so many times. Every time Easter comes along, I see this buns sold in stores and bakeries. Never, have I purchased one. I have no idea why. This year, I sought to change that. A hot cross bun is a sweet, yeasted and spiced bun that is made with currants or raisins. It’s most prominent feature is a “cross” marked on top. It is traditionally eating at Easter.  Some historians believe that these buns pre-date Christianity, but the term “hot cross bun” was not recorded until 1733. It is believe that the Saxons ate these treats, in honor of the Goddess Eostre (the cross is thought to symbolize the four quarters of the moon.) Eostre, it is thought, is the probable origin for Easter.

There are many superstitions surrounding Hot Crossed buns. My personal favorite and why I decided to wake early in the morning, to make these hot and fresh, is that sharing hot cross buns with another, is supposed to ensure friendship, throughout the coming year. Especially if “Half for you and half for me, Between us two shall goodwill be.” Today, I made a large batch so that half of the buns can be shared with our good friends and their daughter (our Goddaughter). They are very important people in our lives and are true friends and I wanted to share the joy of Easter and the sharing of Hot Cross Buns, with them.

Hot Cross Buns!

Ingredients For Buns:

1 tablespoon rapid-active dry yeast

1/2 cup of powdered sugar

4 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon of allspice

1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg

2 teaspoons of cinnamon

1 egg

1 cup raisins

1 1/2 cups milk

4 tablespoons of butter, sliced

Ingredients For Crosses:

6 tablespoons all-purpose flour

5 tablespoons water

Ingredients For Glaze:

4 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons water

Directions:

  1. In a microwave safe bowl, combine milk with butter slices and heat for 1 minute. Allow milk/butter mixture to cool to warm.
  2. Combine all ingredients for buns and knead until dough is smooth and elastic.
  3. Place dough in a greased bowl and turn dough over (so all sides are covered in oil). Cover and let it rise for 1 hour.
  4. Place parchment paper at the bottoms of two square pans (or one large baking pan)
  5. Divide the dough into 18 equal portions
  6. Form each piece into a round ball and place it in the pans
  7. Allow dough to rest, covered for an additional hour.
  8. Preheat oven to 400 F
  9. Combine ingredients for the crosses to make a paste  and place it in a piping bag (or plastic bag with corner cut off).
  10. Form a straight line of Cross paste, starting on one edge and piping a straight line to the other edge of the pan.  Repeat this the opposite direction until you have a vertical and a horizontal line forming crosses.
  11. Bake buns at 400 F for 25-35 minutes.
  12. During the last 5 minutes of baking, in a small sauce pot, combine ingredients for glaze and heat until all the sugar is dissolved and the glaze thickens.
  13. When buns are removed from the oven, glaze the tops of the buns.
  14. Allow the buns to cool and enjoy!

One ha'penny, two ha'penny Hot Cross Buns!

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10 Comments

Filed under Breads, Sweet

10 responses to “Happy Easter! Hot Cross Buns

  1. crustabakes

    i didnt know that part about splitting your hot cross buns with someone. Had i known that, i would make lots and lots and lots of them and share them with the world. LOL. your buns are gorgeous!

  2. Never made those my self as its dominant here in Supermarkets during this Easter season, I guess that must smell really nice once freshly baked.
    Happy Easter!

    • I see these only around Easter time, where I live. The smell of the cinnamon and raisins baking with fresh bread was amazing. It is a great start to Easter morning. Happy Easter to you too!

  3. these buns look perfect! and i remember that poem….good old days 😛

    have an awesome easter 🙂

  4. They look fantastic! Have a happy Easter.

  5. Sohana

    I had one when I went to London. Yum! Yours look exactly the same and even better!

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