Hot Cross Buns are a traditional Good Friday treat! These slightly sweet yeast-leavened buns are spiced with cinnamon and speckled with currants, citron, and orange zest.
Have you ever made hot cross buns?
They’re an Easter tradition, a soft, slightly sweet, spiced yeast roll speckled with currants and often candied citron.
The buns are marked with a cross on top (hence the name), signifying a crucifix, and are typically served on Good Friday, the Friday before Easter Sunday.
A Traditional English Treat
Hot cross buns are a rather old English tradition, dating back to the Saxons who marked buns with a cross in honor of the goddess Eostre, the goddess of light, whose day of celebration eventually became Easter.
Inspired by a nursery rhyme, Garrett McCord and I got together over the course of several weeks to try to come up with the best hot cross buns recipe we could make. Our first attempts were surprisingly bad—dry, hard, and tough.
After several iterations (many eaten, many thrown out), and consultation with chefs, websites, and cookbooks (thank you Elizabeth David, Shirley Corriher, and Bernard Clayton), we finally hit gold with this one.
The trick was actually to reduce the amount of sugar and fat in the dough. I’m used to thinking that adding sugar or fat will make a baked product more moist, but when it comes to yeast doughs, both sugar and fat can have the opposite effect, making the resulting bread tough.
So if you limit the sugar and fat, which we are doing in this recipe, the bun turns out tender and lovely.
Looking for More Easter Treats?
- Carrot Cake
- Hummingbird Cake
- Parker House Rolls
- Lemon Meringue Pie
- Coconut Macaroons
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