Homemade hot cross buns. Photo courtesy
Hot Bread Kitchen.
With Easter a week away, you can start baking the seasonal treat, hot cross buns.
The first recorded use of the term “hot cross bun” appears in 1733. A sweet yeast bun made with raisins or currants, the cross on top was originally made with knife cuts in the dough. Over time, icing was piped over the cuts.
The cross symbolizes the crucifixion, and the buns are traditionally eaten on Good Friday. Actually, they are believed to predate Christianity: Similar buns were eaten by Saxons in to honor Eostre, the goddess of spring.
In their ancient pagan culture, the cross is believed to have symbolized the four quarters of the moon. Eostre is probably the origin of “Easter.” Many pagan holidays were ported into Christianity in its early days, to encourage pagans to convert to the new faith.
You don’t have to wait for Good Friday to enjoy hot cross buns. They’re too delicious to save for one day of the year. While Good Friday—this year, April 3rd—is National Hot Cross Bun Day, we’re giving you the heads up.
If you don’t celebrate Easter, go back to the roots of this recipe and celebrate spring!
This recipe, from the California Raisin Marketing Board, adds a twist to the traditional recipe: The icing is flavored with lemon, adding a tart counterpoint to the straight sweetness.
RECIPE: HOT CROSS BUNS
Ingredients For 18 Buns