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How to Make Hot Cross Buns
Homemade Easter Hot Cross Buns
Bring Good Luck And Possess Magical And Medicinal Properties
Although Easter and springtime are traditionally times of joy and celebration, Good Friday, the day on which Hot Cross Buns are customarily eaten, is intended to be a solemn occasion:
A day of mourning for Christ’s crucifixion: However, the spiced bread from which Hot Cross Buns derive was once an important part of Anglo-Saxon pagan spring festivals and was eaten in the hope of a good year to follow.
Hot Cross Buns and their Pagan Associations
The Ancient Greeks also ate similar buns, each adorned with a horned symbol as an offering to their goddess Eostre, while the Romans ate Bonn or Bonus for the festival of Diana. These incorporated an X inside a circle as a symbol of the sun and the four seasons:
The cross on the buns has been adopted as a Christian symbol although at one time most buns carried this mark to help them rise during cooking.
During the Reformation in England and the assertion of strong puritan values, Oliver Cromwell banned the baking of Hot Cross Buns because of their pagan associations, but with the restoration of the monarchy the custom was revived.
Bethlehem, Israel. The Birth place of Jesus
Bethlehem is the birthplace of Jesus and therefore a holy site to Christians around the world. The city also is significant to Jews because it is the
Hot Cross Buns
Hot Cross Buns are deemed to possess magical and medicinal properties that bring good luck.
MAKES 30 BUNS
(Prepare a day in advance)
- 140ml water
- 40g mixed peel
- 15g cinnamon
- 15g mixed spice
- 15g ground ginger
- 50g soft brown sugar
- 85g currants
- 85g sultanas
- 450g strong white flour
- 50g caster sugar
- 50g fresh yeast
- 500ml warm milk
- 175ml warm water
- 850g strong white flour
- 175g granulated sugar
- 175g butter
- 2 eggs
- A pinch of salt
CROSS DECORATION MIXTURE
- 175g white flour
- 150ml cold milk
- 40g vegetable oil
- A pinch of baking powder
- 4 tablespoons caster sugar
- 4 tablespoons hot water
- Bring the water to boiling point in a saucepan then add the sugar and spices.
- Bring back to the boil:
- Remove from the heat and add all the dried fruit. Allow to cool, then place in an airtight container and leave overnight.
The Yeast Mixture
- Place all the ingredients together in a bowl and leave in a warm place to prove for 20 minutes.
- Mix together all the dough ingredients then blend with the yeast mixture in a bowl, to form smooth dough.
- Knead well on a floured surface. Cover the dough with a damp cloth and leave in a warm place for about an hour until it rises.
- Place the fruit mixture in a bowl and mix thoroughly by kneading the fruit into the dough.
- Once again, cover with a damp cloth and leave in a warm place to rise for about half an hour.
The Dough Mixture
- Divide the dough into 30 evenly sized pieces and mould into balls.
- Arrange them on greased baking sheets. Cover with a damp cloth and leave to rest in a warm place for 15 to 20 minutes until they have doubled in size
- Preheat the oven to 230oC (450oF, gas mark 8)
Prepare the sugar glaze
Place all the ingredients together in a bowl and stir until a smooth paste is formed. Use a piping bag to form a cross on each bun, and then bake them in a hot oven for 10 minutes or until golden brown:
- Apply a thin layer of sugar glaze over them
How to make Hot Cross Buns
Homemade Easter Biscuits As A Great Easter Gift
Easter is a time for feasting after the long period of Lent fasting. These biscuits are made from and old and enduring recipe which originates from Britain’s west Country.
MAKES 24 BISCUITS
- 270g plain white flour
- 175g butter
- 100g caster sugar
- 50g currants
- 1 egg
- A pinch of ground nutmeg
- A pinch of ground cinnamon
- A pinch of mixed spice
- Grated rind of 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
Homemade Easter Biscuits Recipe
- Preheat the oven to 190oC (375oF, gas mark 5).
- Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix together until a smooth paste is formed.
- Roll out the paste on a lightly floured surface to a thickness of 6mm and cut out 5cm rounds.
- Arrange on a greased baking sheet and bake in the oven for 10 minutes.
- Sprinkle the biscuits with caster sugar while still hot and remove to a wire rack.
Chocolate Comes From The Cacao Tree Grown inside a Pod
Chocolate which is loved worldwide comes from humble beginnings.
The cacao bean begins life inside a fruit, called a pod, on a tree in the tropics, primarily in remote areas of West Africa, Southeast Asia and Central and South America.
These delicate, flower-covered trees need much tending and, when farmed using sustainable methods, grow in harmony in tropical forests beneath other cash crops such as bananas, rubber or hardwood trees. Grown on small family farms, the beans leave cocoa farms by hand, in carts, on donkeys or rugged trucks to be sold to a local buyer and then to processors abroad.
Once in the factory, they are ground, pressed, heated and stirred to create luxurious chocolate.
The Chocolate we love so much comes from the cacao tree, which is formally known as Theobroma Cacao.
Perhaps it’s the temperament of this mother tree that gives chocolate some of its intense and exotic taste. Cacao trees flourish only in the hot, rainy tropics, in a swath 20 degrees north and south of the Equator.