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Hot Cross Buns—these doughy, freshly spiced, raisin-studded palate charmers—are traditionally eaten during Lent, especially on Good Friday. Sometimes marked with an icing cross or traditionally with a cross cut on top, they’ve been an Easter holiday staple for centuries. With such a long history, legends and superstitions have abounded.
English folklore has it that Hot Cross Buns baked and served on Good Friday would never spoil throughout the following year. Another encourages keeping such a bun for medicinal purposes. A piece of it given to someone ill is said to help them recover. Some bakers believed that holding on to one Hot Cross Bun and hanging it in the rafters of the kitchen meant that all baked goods in the coming year would rise successfully and the kitchen protected from fire. (The bun is replaced every year on Good Friday) Some sailors took Hot Cross Buns on their voyages to ensure their safe passage on the seas. And friends who gift one another with Hot Cross Buns every year are said to remain friends for life.
The most famous story says the origins of the Hot Cross Bun dates to the 12th century when an English monk was said to have placed the sign of the cross on the buns to honor Good Friday.
This recipe first appeared in the Birmingham News in the late 50’s. I can’t tell you what issue or who the author was, sadly. All I can tell you is that they are delish, part of our family’s continuing Easter holiday traditions and well they’re simple. Try my family recipe. You won’t be disappointed!Print
You’re going have about 2 hours rising time for these lovelies. So be patient. A clean kitchen towel covers the bowl or pan nicely!