As noted on Wikipedia, a hot cross bun is a spiced sweet bun made with currants or raisins and marked with a cross on the top, traditionally eaten on Good Friday in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, the Caribbean, South Africa, India, and Canada.
English folklore includes many superstitions surrounding hot cross buns. One of them says that buns baked and served on Good Friday will not spoil or grow moldy during the subsequent year. Another encourages keeping such a bun for medicinal purposes – a piece of it given to someone who is ill is said to help them recover.
Sharing a hot cross bun with another is supposed to ensure friendship throughout the coming year, particularly if “Half for you and half for me, Between us two shall goodwill be” is said at the time, so some say they should only be cooked one at a time. Because there is a cross on the buns, some say they should be kissed before being eaten.
If taken on a sea voyage, hot cross buns are said to protect against shipwreck. If hung in the kitchen, they are said to protect against fires and ensure that all breads turn out perfectly. The hanging bun is replaced each year.
Regardless of their supposed mystical virtues, they are delicious and this recipe from Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bakery is simply the best I’ve ever found for these treats.
I hope you enjoy them, Citizens – and if you are celebrating the holiday, may your Good Friday be filled with gladness!
Battle on – The Generalissimo
Hot Cross Buns For Good Friday
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