Spring and Easter Mean Hot Weather is Ahead
Speaking of hot, we found some fun information about those Hot Cross Buns available this time of year. Yummy sweet spiced buns typically made with currants, orange peels, and raisins and topped with a cross made with frosting. Throughout the world, but predominantly in the U.S., British Isles, Australia and Canada, they mark the end of Lent. It’s thought the meaning comes from the crucifixion cross, and the spices signify the embalming of Jesus for burial.
Hot Cross Bun Story and Folklore
Many Christian countries served plain buns made without dairy products during Lent, up until Palm Sunday. They were sometimes served hot or toasted.
The English word “bun” is thought to have come from the Greek ‘boun’, which referred to a ceremonial cake of circular or crescent shape made of flour and honey.
History has it that in the 18th century, announcements of hot cross buns could be heard from London streets:
Good Friday comes this month, the old woman runs. With one or two a penny hot cross buns”. From Poor Robin’s Almanack for 1733.
Historian Ivan Day states:
The buns were made in London during the 18th century. But when you start looking for records or recipes earlier than that, you hit nothing.”
There are some English folklore superstitions surrounding Hot Cross Buns. One says that buns baked and served on Good Friday won’t spoil or get moldy for a year. Another says to use these buns for medicinal purposes. Sailors are said to have eaten them to protect against shipwreck. Or you could hang them in the kitchen to prevent fires for the next year and you were guaranteed that all your baked breads would turn out perfectly.
Hot Cross Buns Today
In the U.S and United Kingdom, hot cross buns can be purchased in super markets made with the traditional recipe. In Australia and New Zealand, a chocolate or coffee flavored version is available from bakeries.
Spring and Easter Means Hot Weather Ahead
Whatever your Good Friday and Easter favorites are, we hope you enjoy this beautiful time of year and the advent of spring.
Weather experts are predicting that we may be in for an unusually hot summer, so begin to plan for your spring air-conditioning system maintenance and tune-up.
At ABEL Heating and Cooling we recommend scheduling your spring HVAC system check-up soon.
Fast Hot Cross Buns
- 1 (16-ounce) package Pillsbury hot roll mix
- 1 cup golden raisins
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon grated orange peel
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 egg
- Juice of 1 orange plus water to total 1 cup liquid
- 2 tablespoons margarine or butter, softened
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 to 2 tablespoons orange juice
In large bowl, mix flour mixture with yeast from foil packet, raisins, 2 tablespoons sugar, orange peel and cinnamon; mix well. In small saucepan, heat orange juice liquid until warm (110 to 120 F). Stir orange juice liquid, margarine and egg into flour mixture until dry particles are moistened. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface. With greased or floured hands, shape dough into a ball. Knead dough for 5 minutes or until smooth. (Follow directions on back of package for kneading.) If necessary, sprinkle flour over surface to reduce stickiness. Cover dough with large bowl; let rest 5 minutes. Grease a 13-by-9-inch pan. Divide dough into 20 equal pieces; shape into balls. Place in prepared pan. Cover completely with towel. Heat oven to 375 F. On countertop, let dough rise about 30 to 45 minutes on wire rack set over a large pan to which very hot water has been added. Dough should be light and doubled in size. Uncover dough. Bake at 375 F for 18 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan; cool on wire rack. Combine glaze ingredients; blend well. Spoon over tops of cooled buns to form a cross on each bun.
Makes 20 buns.