We're excited to have this traditional Easter treat back at the market this weekend! Chances are, you've heard of hot cross buns (most likely from that inescapable childhood tune), but what exactly are they? Here's a brief history of this famous pastry.
Hot cross buns are made with a yeasted dough mixed with spices and dried fruits and marked with a cross before baking. Traditionally, hot cross buns are eaten on Good Friday in Christian communities to mark the day of Jesus' crucifixion. You can find these treats in countries around the world, including the U.K. and Canada, as far as New Zealand and India.
While today they're associated with Christianity, hot cross buns were originally part of pagan celebrations. "Cross buns" were made as part of the spring festival to celebrate Eostre, a goddess of - depending on which culture you go by - fertility or light. The four sections created by the cross on top were meant to represent the four phases of the moon, or the four seasons. In the Middle Ages, it was believed that buns baked on Good Friday wouldn't go moldy for a whole year. During this year, if a member of the family fell ill, a piece of this special bread could be broken off and fed to them to cure any disease.
At Hestia Baking Company, we put a twist on this classic. We have our own mix of flavorings in the dough and mark our cross with icing instead of baking it into the bun. We don't claim any miraculous abilities to our bread, but we do believe they're a tasty treat to add to your weekend. We'll be offering them this weekend (4/9) and Easter weekend. If you've never had a chance to try them, we invite you to stop by Memorial Villages Farmers Market to pick some up!