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VPR Cafe: Hot Cross Buns

Glenn Russell
Burlington Free Press
Freshly-baked hot cross buns at Red Hen Bakery in Middlesex.

Hot cross buns are made from a rich, yeast-raised dough with spices like nutmeg and cinnamon. They also usually contain currants, candied citrus peel and have a cross of the top which is traditionally made from a flour paste, though most hot cross buns made in America use a sweet icing.

While hot cross buns are commonly thought of as a Catholic Easter tradition, it is thought they originally began with pagans.

"It's likely they relate to the Saxons, which would have been pre-7th century," said Melissa Pasanen, a contributor to the Savorvore Section of The Burlington Free Press. "[They] ate a certain type of a bun marked with a cross in honor of the goddess of light which is related to Easter. As that pagan celebration evolved into a Christian celebration, the buns came along with the name."

You can learn more about hot cross buns in Pasanen's piece "Sweet Easter Tradition: Hot Cross Buns."

The VPR Café is made possible by Otter Creek Kitchenware in downtown Middlebury, offering over 70 lines of kitchenware.   

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