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The History of the Hot Cross Bun

There are many traditional desserts we indulge in on Easter – from chocolate eggs to trifle there’s never a lack of sweets to devour on the holiday. But very few desserts are readily available all year round, except the hot cross bun. Whether it’s a boiling 40 degrees or a balmy 4 degrees, it’s no secret that Australia’s most beloved grocers keep the shelves fully stocked with the sugary treat, even when Easter is months away.

These treats however, are packed with much more than dried fruit and sweet spices. Riddled in history, hot cross buns originally came to fruition around Easter time, but what’s the story behind this distinctive dessert? 

Where did hot cross buns originate?

There are many stories behind the earliest origin of the hot cross bun. Some believe a 12th century monk baked the buns on Good Friday and marked them with a cross on top in honour of Easter. Quickly gaining popularity across England, a London clerk banned the sale of the buns due to superstitions they may carry medicinal or magical properties. A few years later, a law was then passed which only allowed the buns to be sold around Easter and Christmas, which was later eradicated due to the immense popularity of the treat.

Others stand by the first recorded reference in ‘Poor Robin Almanac’ in the 1700s which read: “Good Friday comes this month, the old woman runs. With one or two a penny hot cross buns”. Either way, hot cross buns have cemented themselves in English history from first bake, and have since taken off in other parts of the world including Australia, New Zealand, Asia and the US.

Adding hot cross buns to your bakery

These days, hot cross buns are a great way for bakers to appeal to the masses, and not just during the lead up to Easter. Hot Cross buns are no longer reserved for religious holidays, positioning themselves as the new jam doughnut or apple strudel, popular Supermarkets have since introduced the year round sale of hot cross buns. Woolworths reported their switch to the production of hot cross buns year round after selling a whopping 72 million buns during the 2017 Easter period – requiring the rest of the competition to follow suit.

While adding a new product offering to a small independent bakery can be intimidating, due to high labour costs and expensive ingredients, there is an easy and affordable way to add hot cross buns to your menu without breaking the bank. Suprima offers a variety of frozen bread products that can help enhance your current store’s output. 

Finding the perfect recipe is the hardest part, but with Suprima you can rest-assured knowing that you are receiving quality dough with every order. Our delicious hot cross bun recipe is a crowd-pleaser, combining traditional flavours and ingredients to create a delightfully nostalgic treat. For more information on how to add hot cross buns to your bakery’s menu, contact our team of friendly bakers or give us a call at 02 8796 9300.

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