Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Hot cross buns


Hot cross buns are small festive breads traditonally eaten towards the end of the Lent fast on Good Friday in Britain. Made from white flour with spices, sugar, dried fruit and dairy produce, these were special treats when most people lived on coarse wholemeal breads.

A good hot cross bun should be round, 7 – 10cm in diameter, well-risen (not squarish and squashed) and highly glazed, with a cross on top (this is usually made with flour and water paste, although strips of marzipan or cutting a cross are alternatives). The crumb should be fairly pale, not too soft or sticky, and have a light flavour of sweet spices and/or candied peel and dried fruit.
Eat warm or split, toasted with butter for breakfast, tea or a snack, and make bread-and butter pudding with leftovers.

The rhyme “one a penny, two a penny, hot cross buns” recalls the habit of selling them warm from bakeries like the Chelsea Bun House in the 18th century. Avoid the cheap packs from supermarkets made using the Chorleywood industrial baking process.

4 comments:

Jeena said...

Lovely hot cross buns. :-)

Star said...

Your hot cross buns look perfect and I'm sure they will be very delicious. I am very good at cakes of all sorts, but find yeast cookery more of a challenge. How do you get yours to rise so splendidly? Love the pictures.
Blessings, Star

Alex said...

I wish I could eat Hot Cross buns all year round! I'm loving your blog - and would love it if you stopped by mine one day...

Martha said...

Thanks a lot! I'm also a gourmet and pastry enthusiast and this would really go to my compilation. I would also like to share. I came across a good site about European and Swiss cooking which also gives free sample family-secret recipes.