Saturday, April 07, 2012

The 411 - Hot cross buns


Hot Cross BunsA hot cross bun is a type of sweet spiced bun made with currants and leavened with yeast. It has a cross on the top which might be made in a variety of ways: it could be pastry, made from a simple flour and water mixture, cut from rice paper and glazed onto the bun, iced, or simply cut into the bun itself.

411 In many historically Christian countries, the buns are traditionally eaten on Good Friday, with the cross standing as a symbol of the crucifixion. Their ingredients mean that people who are following lent are able to eat them as they traditionally contain no eggs or other dairy products. They are believed by some to pre-date Christianity, being allegedly used in rituals in paganism. However, there is no original evidence for this origin, and the first recorded use of the phrase is not until 1733. Another urban myth is that the Christian church in England attempted to ban them, but they were too popular, and instead Elizabeth I passed a law permitting their consumption, but only on particular religious occasions such as Easter and Christmas.

411 In Australia recently a chocolate version of the bun has become popular. They generally contain the same mixture of spices but cocoa is added to the dough and chocolate chips are used instead of currants. This is most likely due to the close association between Easter and chocolate and because many people do not like dried fruit, especially mixed peel.

411 Around Easter 2003, the Daily Telegraph among other newspapers, reported that several local authorities in England (in particular Tower Hamlets Borough Council) had banned schools serving hot cross buns on the grounds of political correctness, believing the symbol of the cross could be offensive to non-Christians. This step was widely condemned, most vocally by Ann Widdecombe. As one of the cited councils, that of the City of York, issued a statement making clear that while the buns were not being served, this was for "no particular reason", and accusing the newspaper's reporter of bad faith, the veracity of the entire report was questioned.

411 Hot Cross Buns is also a simple song for teaching basic notes for learning various instruments. It developed out of a English street cry of bakers hawking their products. (The "ha'" is pronounced "hay")

Hot cross buns,
Hot cross buns,
one ha' penny,
two a penny,
hot cross buns.
If you have no daughters,
give them to your sons,
one ha' penny,
two a penny,
Hot Cross Buns

Alternative lyrics are:

Hot cross buns,
One ha' penny buns, hot Cross Buns
One ha' penny,
Two a penny,
Hot cross buns.
Fresh, sweet buns,
Come and buy my buns,
One ha' penny,
Two a penny,
Fresh, sweet buns.
Nice, light buns,
Buy my currant buns,
Come and try them,
Then you'll buy them,
Nice, light buns
Hot cross buns,
Hot cross buns,
Everybody loves hot cross buns.

411 The Old Bunn House in Pimlico, London is mentioned by Swift in his Journal to Stella (1712). It was a favorite of both George II and George III. This house, while quite a popular establishment in the 19th century, no longer stands.

*From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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