Friday, 29 March 2013


“At the cross God wrapped his heart in flesh and blood and let it be nailed to the cross for our redemption.” - E. Stanley Jones

Good Friday is the most solemn and sorrowful day in the Christian calendar.  Traditionally, no work was done on this day of prayer and reflection. All Christians go to church to hear the recounting of Christ’s passion and mourn for His death on the cross.  Tools made of iron are not to be handled and especially so hammers and nails. This is so that one does not act out the crucifixion of Christ anew.  Even clothes are not to be washed on this day, because if they are, a member of the family will die. If clothes are hung out to dry they will be spotted with blood.  This belief is from the apocryphal story that relates of a washerwoman mockingly throwing dirty washing water on Christ on his way to Calvary. Parsley seed can be planted on this day, provided a wooden spade is used. Parsley was associated with death and funerals since the days of the ancient Greeks.

Hot Cross Buns are baked on this day in memory of the kindly woman who gave Christ some bread on His way to Calvary.  It is said that no bread or buns baked on this day will grow mouldy.
            Good Friday comes this month, the old woman runs

            With one-a-penny, two-a-penny, Hot Cross Buns
            Whose virtue if you’ll believe what’s said
            They’ll not grow mouldy like ordinary bread.


Hot Cross Buns protect sailors from shipwreck and houses from fire. Good Friday bread should be dried and kept for if is soaked in milk and consumed will cure all sorts of stomach ailments.  On the other hand, Russian tradition and religious observance forbid baking on Good Friday. Here is a recipe for hot cross buns:

Hot Cross Buns


2 tsp dried instant yeast
500 g plain four
90 g sugar
300 mL milk
1tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ground allspice
¼ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp fresh grated nutmeg
60 g butter
1 large egg
140 g sultanas
30 g mixed peel 

For the Crosses
2 tbsp self raising flour
2 tbsp cold water 

4 tbsp sugar
¼ tsp cinnamon
150 ml boiling water

Sift together flour, spices, salt and the add the yeast, stirring through to evenly distribute.
Warm the milk in a microwave and melt the butter into it.
In a separate bowl beat the egg.
Add the milk and butter mixture to the flour and mix thoroughly. Add the egg and mix well to form a dough.
Work in the dried fruit and peel.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until it feels smooth and is no longer sticky (approx 10 mins).
Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot to rise.
Leave for an hour or until doubled in size.
Punch the dough down and then separate it into 12 equal portions.
Place the buns close together on a lightly greased baking tray.
Cover and allow to prove until doubled in size and very light (about another hour).
For the crosses: Mix the flour and water thoroughly to form a thick paste. Spoon into a plastic bag, cut a little hole out of the corner of the bag and use it to pipe the mixture in crosses on top of the buns.
Bake the topped buns at 220°C for 15–20mins.
For the glaze: Mix together all ingredients, dissolving the sugar in the boiling water. Brush over the buns lightly while still hot.
This post is part of the Food Friday meme,
and also part of the Food Trip Friday meme.

1 comment:

  1. oh, i didn't know that! i am familiar with the children's song "Hot Cross Buns", though. :)
    soooo delicious!

    thank you so much for taking the time to share and link over at Food Friday, Nick