Hot cross buns, hot cross buns. One a penny, two a penny, hot cross buns.
Years ago in England, children could be heard far and wide singing this song during the Easter season. Hot cross buns were traditionally eaten on Good Friday during Lent. Although they are still most popular during Easter, hot cross buns are now eaten all year long in England and beyond.
What are hot cross buns?
Hot cross buns are small, slightly sweet yeast buns that have a sugary filled cross mark on top. The bread itself is believed to symbolize communion bread served during a Christian/Catholic service, while the cross is thought to symbolize the cross that Jesus died on, hence why Christian’s celebrate Easter. Initially, the buns were rather plain, containing raisins and a bit of cinnamon. Over the years, savvy retailers have added such store-bought varieties as orange, toffee, cranberry, and even chocolate! They can be eaten plain or served with butter or jam, depending on your liking.
Buns, in Theory
There are many other theories surrounding these sweet little buns, including:
- Roman in origin
- A Saxon or pagan tradition (where the cross represents the 4 quarters of the moon)
- Created by a monk
- Disliked by Tudor era protestants
- Eaten for Good Friday for breakfast
- Did not go moldy and used as medicine
- Good luck charms
If you’re feeling a bit saucy this Easter season, make a batch of hot cross buns to celebrate. Check out these recipes from Taste of Home, Epicurious, Food Network, and the Joy of Baking to get you started. Now get baking!