Why Hot Cross Buns Are A Must-Have On Good Friday?
Image Credit: Hot Cross Buns | Image Credit: Google.com

"Hot Cross Buns! Hot Cross Buns!  

One and penny, two a penny, Hot Cross Buns!  

If you haven’t got a daughter, give them to your sons.  

One a penny, two a penny Hot Cross Buns!"  

The rich tradition of having hot cross buns on Good Friday extends to almost all countries in the world. This sweet and spicy treat is more than just a delicious pastry, it holds a significant meaning for Christians all around the world. So, let's get started and learn why hot cross buns are a must-have on Good Friday. 

Introduction to the tradition of hot cross buns on Good Friday 

Hot cross buns are a traditional pastry that is popular in many countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. It is a sweet and spiced bun that is made with raisins, currants, and candied fruit. What makes it unique is the cross on top of the bun, which is made of either icing or pastry. This pastry is consumed on Good Friday, which is the Friday before Easter Sunday, and it has been a tradition for centuries. 

The history and symbolism of hot cross buns 

The history of hot cross buns dates back to the 12th century. It is said that a monk in St. Albans, England, created the first hot cross bun. The bun was created to represent the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, and the cross on top of the bun symbolized the crucifixion. The bun was also believed to have healing powers and was given to the sick and needy. 

This practice became popular over time, and people started adding fruits and spices to the buns to symbolize prosperity and good health. However, the use of spiced buns was prohibited after the English broke their ties with the Catholic Church in the 16th century.  

Then, in 1592, Queen Elizabeth I allowed commercial bakers to produce these buns for Christmas, Easter, and funerals. Bakers believed that cutting a cross into the bun helped it rise better in the oven. Farmers even started using hot cross buns to distract pests in their stored grain.  

By the early 19th century, the Bun House of Chelsea had become famous for producing Chelsea buns and hot cross buns and had remained the largest producer for over a century. Over time, the popularity of hot cross buns spread throughout England, and it became a tradition to eat them on Good Friday. It was believed that if you shared a hot cross bun with someone, you would have a strong friendship. If you kept a hot cross bun in your house, it would protect your home from fire and bad luck. 

The significance of the cross on top of the bun

The cross on top of the bun symbolizes the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. It is also believed to bring good fortune and protection to the home. The cross is made with either icing or pastry, and it is an essential part of the hot cross bun. 

The ingredients and recipe for hot cross buns

The ingredients used to make hot cross buns are simple and easy to find. You will need flour, sugar, yeast, milk, butter, raisins, currants, candied fruit, cinnamon, nutmeg, and eggs. To make the cross on top of the bun, you will need flour, water, and icing sugar. 

To make the dough, you will need to mix the flour, sugar, yeast, and spices in a bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the milk, butter, and eggs. Combine the two mixtures and knead the dough until it is smooth. Add the dried fruit and candied fruit to the dough and knead it again. Let the dough rise for an hour. Once the dough has risen, divide it into equal portions and shape them into buns. Let the buns rest for another 30 minutes. Mix the flour, water, and icing sugar to make the paste for the cross. Pipe the paste onto the buns to make the cross. Bake the buns in the oven for 20–25 minutes. 

How to enjoy a hot cross bun on Good Friday

Hot cross buns are enjoyed in many different ways around the world on Good Friday. In the United Kingdom, it is common to have hot cross buns with butter and jam. In Australia and New Zealand, hot cross buns are often toasted and served with butter. In Canada, hot cross buns are served with cheese. In South Africa, hot cross buns are served with pickled fish. 

Where to buy or bake your own hot cross buns for Good Friday

Hot cross buns are readily available in supermarkets and bakeries during the Easter season. However, if you want to make your own hot cross buns, there are many recipes available online. Making your own hot cross buns can be a fun activity for the whole family, and you can customize the recipe to your liking. 

Variations of hot cross buns

There are many variations of hot cross buns, and they can be customized to your liking. Some popular variations include chocolate hot cross buns, apple and cinnamon hot cross buns, and gluten-free hot cross buns. You can also add different types of fruit and spices to the dough to create your own unique variation.