I adore Hot Cross Buns! The shops are full of them at the moment signifying that the time of the year when I eat way too much chocolate is almost upon us. This year, I have decided not to buy shop brought buns but to make my own. Although, shop brought Hot Cross Buns are generally quite good, you just can’t quite beat home made. These particular buns are from a traditional recipe, they are lightly spiced and contain mixed chopped peel and sultanas. I am planning to experiment over the next couple of weeks with some different flavors but am sticking with a traditional spiced bun for this post.
Hot Cross Buns are English sweet buns which are traditionally eaten on Good Friday. They are made with a rich yeast dough and are lightly flavored with spices such as cinnamon, mixed spice or nutmeg. Traditionally the buns contain dried fruit such as currants or sultanas and mixed peel and they are marked on the top with a cross prior to baking. The buns are best served warm, sliced in half and spread with butter. A variation of the Hot Cross Bun was made in Ancient Greece. However, spiced buns first became really popular in Tudor times. During this time they were only allowed to be made to be sold on special occasions, such as at Christmas or Good Friday. If retailers were found to be selling spiced buns outside of these times, their buns were confiscated and were given to the poor. Nowadays, Hot Cross Buns start appearing in the shops weeks before Easter and although most are still a variation of a spiced bun (with the cross adornment) more and more variations in flavors are being sold.
These buns are best eaten on the day that they are made but if you can’t manage that they are fantastic toasted the following day. They also freeze really well. I just take a few out of the freezer the day that I want them, I let them defrost and then pop them in the over for 5 mins to warm through – delicious.
I hope that you enjoy!