Hot Cross Buns
|Additional historical information
Hot Cross Buns are traditionally served on Good Friday and the cross marked on each one is symbolic of the Crucifixion. Nowadays the cross is usually made using piped pastry.
Law's Grocer's Manual for 1895 suggested that the use of a cross on bread during Holy Week owed its origins to the strict fasting that was customary in mediaeval times: 'Only a certain amount of bread could be eaten, and that was duly marked off in the dough by two lines to show its length and breadth. These loaves were sold in some churches, and were carried from place to place by pilgrims.'
It was said that bread baked on Good Friday never grew mouldy;
the same belief extended to Hot Cross Buns, one writer suggesting that the spice preserved
them. Sainsbury's Archives, however, recommend eating your virtual Hot Cross Buns warm on
the day they are baked. Delicious!
Hot Cross Buns
Dough: 500g plain flour, 5ml spoon salt, 5ml spoon mixed spice, 2x5ml spoons ground cinnamon, 50g soft brown sugar, 50g butter or margarine, 25g yeast, 175ml warm milk, 1 large egg, 75g currants, 25g mixed peel.
Paste: 3x15ml spoons plain flour, 2x15ml spoons milk, 5ml spoon oil. Glaze: 2x15ml spoons milk, 2x15 ml spoons sugar.
Sift the flour, salt, spices and sugar into a mixing
bowl and rub in the fat. Cream the yeast with a little of the milk and leave until frothy.
Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients, pour in the yeast, add the egg, fruit and
remaining milk and mix to make a smooth dough.