Why hot cross buns on Good Friday?
- Plain buns are historically eaten hot or toasted at the end of Lent having been banned during Lent.
- During Elizabeth I’s reign, the London Clerk of Markets decreed a ban of sales of hot cross buns and other spiced breads, except at burials, Good Friday or at Christmas.
There are few recipes before the 18th Century though – talk to Marj for the recipe used in the pictured buns above.
Superstitions – of which there are many – include
- buns baked on Good Friday will not spoil or grow mouldy during the following year (I think a 3 star freezer is needed for this!)
- keep a hot cross bun for medicinal purposes (you might discover a new antibiotic such as penicillin…)
- take on a sea voyage to protect from shipwreck (though declare and have it confiscated on arrival)
- hang one in the kitchen to protect against fires and ensure all breads turn out perfectly – the hanging bun should be replaced each year
(NB we can probably guarantee most won’t work and many break our current food hygiene rules/laws so…..don’t!)
The traditional method for putting the cross on the bun is to use short crust pastry, nowadays it is usually a paste made of flour and water