Friday, 19 April 2019

Hot Cross Buns, Hot Cross Buns..............

One a penny, Two a penny, Hot Cross Buns.
 If you have no daughters, give them to your sons
One a penny, two a penny 
Hot Cross Buns!

This is the rhyme we used to say as children. Back in the days when Hot Cross Buns were only available for Easter.

This version is in this years Country Wisdom and Folklore diary. It says the rhyme is from Staffordshire and the Black Country.

 Hot cross buns, hot cross buns,
One a penny poker,
Two a penny tongues,
Three a penny shovels,
Hot cross buns

Anyone from that area reading? is it well known? I did wonder if tongues was once tongs because then it would be all the items in an old fashioned fireside companion set.

According to my book 
The English Year : by Steve Roud (2006-10-26)

the first reference to hot cross buns was found in Poor Robins Almanac from 1733

Good Friday comes this month, the old woman runs with one or two a penny hot cross buns.

Marking food with a cross used to be normal practice for bread too.
Hopefully I shall rustle up some Hot Cross Buns this morning  and they'll be a bit tastier than the bland supermarket all-year-round offerings.

Back Tomorrow


  1. I've never tried to make hot cross buns. Must see if I have a recipe somewhere. I so agree about the awful shop bought ones.

    1. There is a recipe from the River Cottage Bread book on my recipe page, that's what I'll be using

  2. I can remember the poem.
    I can remember when there was only the fishmongers and local bakers was open on Good Friday. The bakers had the old stove to make the Hot Cross Buns and were still hot
    when I took them home to have breakfast, on my how things have changed.
    Hazel c uk

    1. I guess we had hot cross buns as children - not home made - but where they cam from I have no idea

  3. I remember the first rhyme, never made Hot Cross buns and can´t eat commercial ones now as they put orange peel in them, but as a child we would have them on Good Friday, takes away some of the enjoyment having them available all year round xcx

  4. The first rhyme is the one I remember, too. Hadn't heard the second one. My mother was adamant that we have Hot Cross buns on Good Friday.

    Happy Easter, Sue.

  5. We used to say the first one lol. Ah, the good ol' days! You don't even get one extra day off here in the states. Easter eggs such as we used to have aren't done - people here treat it like another Christmas with wildly expensive gifts for their kids. We don't celebrate it at all. Just another weekend - though we are going away Sunday and Monday just because it's (supposed) to be a better weekend than last weekend (when it snowed lol)

    1. In the 70's I worked for a bank and we closed from 12-3 on Good Friday. Gave us an excuse to go out to lunch and drink. From 3-6 we were much happier at work, and it was never busy. I never had hot cross buns on Good Friday, coming from a German Lutheran tradition. Saw them at Easter Sunday brunches though.

  6. The first rhyme is the one I know. I have lived in Staffordshire all my life and never heard the second one.

  7. I hate that Hot Cross Buns are for sale virtually all year round now. Things are so special when they appear for a while and then vanish. We used to look forward to things more, now it's all instant gratification.

    Simnel Cake for Christmas anyone?

  8. We were talking about this over coffee this morning Sue. When we were children hot cross buns were only available on Good friday

  9. I get my hot cross buns at a hotel that is owned by a Jewish family. They have a fabulous bakery and 2 weekends before Easter they make Hot cross buns They are really expensive-10 pounds for a dozen but they are so good.

  10. I have heard the first rhyme - and while we occasionally see hot cross buns at other times of the year, mostly it's for Easter - especially in the bakeries.
    I am expecting 6 dozen to b delivered from a big bakery for Sunday morning's breakfast after our sunrise service at church. I have more supermarket versions in reserve for the Fellowship hour after the second service. Looking forward to at least 1 or 2.

  11. In my part of the US, you can only get hot cross buns near Easter time, so it's a treat. When I was young, we sang only "Hot cross buns, Hot cross buns, one-a-penny, two-a-penny, Hot cross buns. I first read your post earlier today and I've been singing it in my head since then!

  12. I've never seen hot cross buns here in NY. When I was a very little girl we had them only on Good Friday and learned the first rhyme. My mom would heat them a bit, so they'd be HOT cross buns. I don't see the braided cake/bread with embedded Easter eggs here either [tho Italian or Polish maybe, not English]. I always loved the idea of special holiday foods even if I didn't like the food itself [gingerbread men, lol? no.]


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