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History of Hot Cross Buns with #Recipe!

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With Easter approaching, many are working on the menu to be served. Many foods we eat for the Easter celebration are rich in symbolism and history. One of those items of food is the Hot Cross Bun, more than a Nursery Rhyme.

Traditionally baked for Lent, the 40 days leading up to Easter, these sweet bread buns are served to commemorate Christ’s suffering on the cross though it is better known as the Good Friday Bun. Dating back to the 12th Century when an Anglican monk was sent to have placed the sign of the cross on the buns to honor Good Friday.

These rolls are delicious and can be eaten as they are sliced, toasted buttered or as the old rhyme states, “half for you and a half for me, between us two, good lucky shall be.”

While the eating of these small buns during the Spring celebration dates back to the ancient Greeks, the current custom of eating Hot Cross Buns on Good Friday may have started in Tudor times, when a London bylaw was introduced forbidding the sale of buns, except on Good Friday, at Christmas and at burials.

The history of these buns dates back to pre-Medieval times, serving as a visible sign that the bread was “blessed” and could ward off evil spirits. The cross incised with a knife through the bread was thought to help the bread rise.

Here’s a recipe in case you want to add these to your celebration this year.

Hot Cross Buns

Buns:

¼ cup Apple Juice

½ cup mixed dried fruit

½ cup dried currants

1 ¼ cups milk

3 large eggs, 1 separated

6 tablespoons butter

2 teaspoons instant yeast

¼ cup light brown sugar, packed

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon allspice

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 ¾ teaspoons salt

1 tablespoon baking powder

4 ½ cups unbleached flour

Topping:

1 large egg white (reserved from above)

1 tablespoon milk

 Icing:

1 cup and 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

4 teaspoons milk

 Lightly grease a 10” square pan. Mix the apple juice with the dried fruit and currants, cover with plastic wrap and microwave briefly, until the fruit and liquid are very warm. Set aside to cool to room temperature. When the fruit is cool, mix together all bun ingredients except the fruit. Knead, using an electric mixer or bread machine until dough is soft and elastic. Mix in the fruit.

 Let the dough rise for one hour, covered. It should become puffy, though may not double in bulk. Divide the dough into billiard ball-sized pieces, approximately 12 to 14 buns. Round them into balls and arrange them in the prepared pan. Cover the pan and let buns rise for another hour, or until they’ve puffed up and are touching one another. While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

 Whisk together the reserved egg white and milk, and brush mixture over the buns. Bake the buns for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and transfer to a rack to cool.

 Mix together the icing ingredients, and when the buns are completely cool, pipe it in a cross shape atop each bun.

History of Hot Cross Buns with #Recipe!
Author: Julee
Ingredients
  • Buns:
  • ¼ cup Apple Juice
  • ½ cup mixed dried fruit
  • ½ cup dried currants
  • 1 ¼ cups milk
  • 3 large eggs, 1 separated
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 ¾ teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 4 ½ cups unbleached flour
  • Topping:
  • 1 large egg white (reserved from above)
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • Icing:
  • 1 cup and 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4 teaspoons milk
Instructions
  1. Lightly grease a 10” square pan. Mix the apple juice with the dried fruit and currants, cover with plastic wrap and microwave briefly, until the fruit and liquid are very warm. Set aside to cool to room temperature. When the fruit is cool, mix together all bun ingredients except the fruit. Knead, using an electric mixer or bread machine until dough is soft and elastic. Mix in the fruit.
  2. Let the dough rise for one hour, covered. It should become puffy, though may not double in bulk. Divide the dough into billiard ball-sized pieces, approximately 12 to 14 buns. Round them into balls and arrange them in the prepared pan. Cover the pan and let buns rise for another hour, or until they’ve puffed up and are touching one another. While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  3. Whisk together the reserved egg white and milk, and brush mixture over the buns. Bake the buns for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and transfer to a rack to cool.
  4. Mix together the icing ingredients, and when the buns are completely cool, pipe it in a cross shape atop each bun.

 

 

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