Children #25 A Traditional Lenten Treat

Hot Cross Buns, One a Penny, Two a Penny…

Homemade Hot Cross Buns are a not-too-sweet dessert that feature a cross made of dough or icing.  This English tradition of a Lenten treat substitute with symbolic imagery is similar to the German pretzel.

Hot Cross Buns are a seasonal yeast bread traditionally served on Good Friday. These sweet buns are nicely spiced with ground cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves, and are studded with currants and candied fruit. What makes them instantly recognizable is that the tops of the buns are marked with a ‘cross’ which symbolically represents the Cross of Christ and the Crucifixion.

The origin of the Hot Cross Bun is ambiguous with several plausible stories.  There are many stories as to when the first Hot Cross Buns were made, one is from Alan Davidson’s “The Oxford Companion to Food”. He tells us they were first made in honor of their goddess of Spring, Eostre, from whom the name Easter is derived. Today they are traditionally served at Easter and there is a superstition that Hot Cross Buns baked on Good Friday never became moldy and it was good luck to save one bun until the next year’s buns were made.

We will enjoy baking these with the kids this week as a family baking activity.  Children can help form dough balls and drizzle icing while singing the Lenten song. Click here for song  Hot Cross Buns!

Hope you join in on the fun! Here is the recipe– enjoy!