Hot cross buns are a favourite Easter treat in England. However they are sold all year round, but often made from refined ingredients and palm oil, sold in plastic packaging. It’s pretty simple to make your own, and we’ll also look at a few better brands to buy in shops.
Simply put, hot cross buns are small sweet cakes, flavoured with spice and decorated with a cross, usually served toasted with palm-oil-free vegan butter. But we all know that Jesus Christ would not approve of buns eaten in his name, made with factory-farmed ingredients and wrapped in plastic.
Keep hot cross buns away from pets due to toxic ingredients like dried fruit, nutmeg, chocolate and fresh dough (it can expand in the stomach).
the history of hot cross buns
You likely already know that hot cross buns were created to replicate the ‘cross’ of Christ’s crucification. Or were they? In fact, they go way back to Pagan times when people would worship the goddess Eastore, and they were banned for a while, when England became a Christian country.
They returned to common use, when monk Father Thomas of St Albans (Hertfordshire) would give them to people on Good Friday. This became the tradition that continued until quite recently, when they were only eaten on one day of the year. After the Reformation (when Henry VIII banned the Catholic Church), Protestants banned people from baking and eating them, fearful that parishioners would turn them into wafers for Catholic Mass!
simple recipes for vegan hot cross buns
Vegan Brioche Hot Cross Buns (Rainbow Nourishments) are fluffy and buttery, an Easter bread that only needs one bowl and simple pantry ingredients.
Baker Paul Hollywood says to try adding some fresh fruit (which used to be originally used in placed of dried). He suggests a mix of apples, oranges, lemon zest and cinnamon). He also suggests using leftovers to bake in a bread and butter pudding, or make a variant on summer pudding.
Double Chocolate Chip Hot Cross Buns (Rainbow Nourishments) are not just simple to make, but you can freeze leftovers. Use an airtight container to avoid bread absorbing odours from other foods.