I grew up on the nursery rhyme “Hot Cross Buns” as a kid. The song we sang was ‘one a penny, two a penny, hot cross buns’ The song must have been written a long long time ago, because even I can’t even remember anything that costs a penny, let alone a wonderful, fruity, sweet, spicy bun with a cross on top.
The superstitions run deep. Sharing a bun with someone ensures a long friendship. Kissing the bun, this must come from Ireland, where they kiss everything (Kiss me I’m Irish, kissing the Blarney Stone) and now kissing hot cross buns. Belief is that kissing the hot cross bun offers protection from poor health, fires, crop infestation and shipwrecks. The myth is if they are hung in the kitchen, that they will protect against fires and that all bread will turn out perfectly. (I’ll be sure to hang some up at the Bakery this year!). Oh, and that they stay fresh for a whole year. What’s not to love?
And the history of hot cross buns. Everything from finding crossed buns under volcanic ash since 79 C.E, to the Ancient Greeks, to the Saxxons who finely grated the buns into medicine, although I’m not sure what disease that medicine would be used to treat. Even the Pagans (who are credited for naming Easter after the Goddess Eostre) who believed that the buns gave them fertility. And we won’t forget the Christians (the resurrection of Christ at Easter).
With all of this wonderful history and folklore, we at A Bread Affair didn’t want to mess with all of this and re-design the bun. So we go traditional here, a wonderful small spiced bun full of candied fruit, candied citrus and spices with just a hint of orange. We even kept the original English crossing paste on our buns. Ours are baked fresh every day, glazed with a simply syrup. Come and taste the stories, folklore and history.