“The Hot Cross Bun is the most famous, and probably the oldest, of the many English buns. Unlike today, when it is to be found throughout Lent, the Hot Cross Bun was originally eaten only on Good Friday. According to tradition, Father Rocliff, a monk and the cook of St. Alban’s Abbey, in Hertfordshire, on Good Friday in 1361 gave to each poor person who came to the abbey one of these spiced buns marked with the sign of the cross, along with the usual bowl of soup. The custom was continued and soon spread throughout the country – though no other buns could compare, it was said, with Father Rocliff’s. Hot Cross Buns became enormously popular in England in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Street cries were commonly heard on Good Friday:”
Hot Cross buns, Hot Cross buns,
One a penny, two a penny,
Hot Cross buns!
If your daughters won’t eat them,
Give them to your sons;
But if you have none of those little elves,
Then you must eat them all yourselves!
(From A Continual Feast by Evelyn Birge Vitz, page 190)
My cookbook does have the recipe for making Hot Cross Buns… However, I was pretty exhausted after all my Spring/Easter Cleaning, and I wasn’t feeling quite up to baking. Plus, I never made it into town–our little local town didn’t have any–Soooo, THANK YOU to a few of my sweet siblings for picking some up for us yesterday!!