What is a hot cross bun?

What is a hot cross bun

You may have noticed a hot cross bun that looks like bread rolls with a white cross being sold at supermarkets and bakeries. Are they a cake or a bread roll? Why are they being sold before Easter? So let us answer some of these questions.

History of the hot cross bun

Hot cross buns were invented by the Christians in ancient Rome and are a traditional snack eaten during Easter. They are made of sweet, spiced bread dough with raisins which then is baked. Most people eat hot cross buns either toasted or cold with loads of butter.

The Easter celebrations are the reason they are usually seen around this time of year. During Easter Christians associate crosses with the crucifixion of Jesus on Good Friday and the cross on top of the bun is used to symbolise this link.

In fact, Hot Cross Buns are so popular in UK we even have a song about them which is sung in schools.

Hot cross buns!
Hot cross buns!
One ha’ penny, two ha’ penny,
Hot cross buns!
If you have no daughters,
Give them to your sons
One ha’ penny,
Two ha’ penny,
Hot Cross Buns

There are many superstitious beliefs surrounding these buns: they protect against a shipwreck and they protect you from a fire if you hang them in your home. It is also believed that if you split a hot cross bun with a friend then the friendship will endure throughout the following year.

If you have a question for our resident Brit, drop us an email ataskabrit@greatbritishmag.co.uk.