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hot cross buns

Hot Cross Bun Origins and Myths

Hot cross buns are a very humble and unassuming baked product, but they also carry a lot of mystery. They are an inseparable part of Easter and are sold in bakeries across Australia, right round the year as well. Over the centuries a number of myths and stories have developed about the powers and origins of hot cross buns.

Good quality hot cross buns that you find at artisan bakeries are handcrafted with very high-grade Katana wheat; they have good quality spices, sour cherries, orange rind and ginger. Today, you may find that cream or chocolate icing is used to make the cross on the buns. However, traditionally, a knife imprint or simple dough was used to make the cross.


The Origins

While all these ingredients seem basic enough, one can’t deny there is something distinctly mystical about hot cross buns. The buns have stood their ground firmly through the ages and have proved to be an undying tradition. The very first hot cross bun can be traced back to 1316. This was when Father Thomas Rocliffe, a monk made an attempt to bake a very small spiced cake that had the mark of the cross on its surface. These cakes were then distributed to the needy and poor on Good Friday.


Some Myths

#1 They Will Help You Strengthen Your Relationship With Your Friends

If you feel that some of your friendships could do with some nurturing – share hot cross buns with them. The story goes that sharing these buns with friends will help cement your friendship with them, right through the year. An old rhyme also captures this particular lore very aptly – “Half for you and half for me, between us two, good luck shall be.” The best away to check whether this is a myth or the truth; would be to actually try it out.

#2 They Are The Inspiration Behind a Confusing Nursery Rhyme

We all have heard or sung the rhyme that says – “one a penny, two a penny hot cross buns” – The confusion arises from the fact that if someone were to get 2 buns for a penny, why would they buy just one?

#3 They Stay Fresh For An Entire Year

Legend has it that if you hang hot cross buns from your kitchen rafters, it will stay mould-free and fresh right through the year. This story borrows from the story in the Bible which states that Christ’s body didn’t show any signs of deterioration post his crucifixion and before his resurrection. The bun has to be replaced each year. In olden times, people used to crumble these buns, mix them with water and use them as a medicine to cure ailments.

#4 They Expel Evil Spirits

When you hang these buns in the kitchen, the cross on top is supposed to protect you and your home from evil spirits – now that’s one myth that remains to be tested!!

#5 Protection From Kitchen Fires

The other myth is that hanging the buns from the rafters ensures that all the breads that are baked that year will be perfect and delicious and that no fires will break out in your kitchen.

#6 Prevents Shipwrecks

Legend has it that carrying hot cross buns on a sea voyage helps protect the ship from capsizing or getting wrecked.

There are a number of stories and myths surrounding hot cross buns and these are just some of them.

At Ganache Patisserie you will find fantastic breads and delicious croissants, cakes for chocoholics, pastries and other baked goods for everyday consumption as well as for special occasions. Come; explore our scrumptious world of goodies.

Thanks for reading,
Ganache Patisserie
(02) 9967 2882