Hot cross buns are sweet yeast buns made with raisins or currants and decorated with a cross. The cross was originally made with knife cuts in the dough; today it’s piped or spooned on with icing.
The cross symbolizes the Crucifixion, and the buns are traditionally eaten on Good Friday. The first recorded use of the term “hot cross bun” appears in 1733.
However, the buns have much earlier roots. As with some other Christian traditions, this one is believed to predate Christianity. Similar buns were eaten by Saxons to honor Eostre, the goddess of spring, whose name is probably the origin of “Easter.” In pre-Christian times, the cross is believed to have symbolized the four quarters of the moon.
Celebrate Easter—or celebrate spring if you don’t celebrate Easter—by baking a batch of delicious hot cross buns with this recipe.
The recipe is courtesy Amy’s Bread Revised and Updated, by Amy Scherber and Toy Kim Dupree.
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