"One a Penny, Two a Penny Hot Cross Buns!"
This post is a little late, however if you are like me, you will surely love to have these delicious buns whenever you feel like it. And this post is for those who dare to bake Hot Cross Buns whenever they want! As far back as I can remember Hot Cross Buns have been part of our Lenten schedule and the highlight of our lives was the innumerable Hot Cross Buns made available to all the children (and parents) who attended the Children’s Service at St. Mark’s. The plummy buns were delicious, the aroma enticed every one and there was no one to count how many each ate and how many we took home.
Hot cross buns, are served on Good Friday to celebrate the resurrection following crucifixion on the cross., date back to the pre-Christian era and were first introduced to England by the Romans. They began being associated with Lent when in 1361, on Good Friday, a monk gave them to the poor people of St. Albans in Hertfordshire. He altered the traditional recipe by putting a cross made of dough mixture on the top of the bun. Hot cross buns came to be served on Good Friday and one would be saved as a good luck charm till next year.
Every year, we looked forward to this tradition and we must have our Hot Cross Buns, come what may.
4 cups wholemeal wheat flour; 8 tsp baking powder; salt to taste; 8 tbsp cold butter; 4 tbsp honey;2 tsp mixed spice; 1 cup black raisins; 2/3 cup milk; 2/3 cup sour buttermilk.
ICING: 1 cup icing sugar; 2 tbsp butter; 1/2 tsp vanilla icing. Mix to a smooth consistency and reserve for use later.
Mix wheat flour, salt and baking powder in a mixing bowl. Cut in the butter as for pastry with a fork until the mixture looks like coarse breadcrumbs. Gently add in honey, mixed spice and raisins. Make a well in the centre and add the milk and buttermilk. Stir quickly to form a ball in centre of the mixing bowl. Divide into 24 round portions. Flatten and using a knife scour a deep cross on each. Place on greased baking sheet two inches apart and bake at 210 C for 20 minutes or till done. When cool pipe reserved icing on the deep cross. Serve at once. Great for breakfast too. Warm in oven before use.