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Hot Cross Bacon Baps



One of the things I love most about the Easter Season of eating is . . .  Hot Cross Buns!  Although they are generally available all year round now it seems, WE, in this house, only ever eat them at Easter.  I think when something becomes an every day thing it loses its specialness, so that is why, like Strawberries, we only ever eat Hot Cross Buns at Easter time.


The tradition of marking buns with a cross on the top goes back a very long way. Pagon Saxons baked cross buns at this time of year to mark the beginning of Spring, in honor of their god Eostre. The cross was representative of the four seasons along with the four quarters of the moon, the wheel of life and a rebirth of the earth after the long Winter.

  
Christians adapted the cross when an Angilcan monk baked the buns and marked them with a cross in honor of Good Friday.  It wasn't really until Tudor times, under the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1,  that the London clerk of markets issued a decree forbidding the sale of spiced buns at any time other than funerals, Christmas and Good Friday/Easter.


As a child I used to sing this ditty, which was actually the cry of common street-vendors, back in the day . . . 

 ‘Hot cross buns, hot cross buns!
One ha’penny, two ha’penny, hot cross buns!
If you have no daughters, give them to your sons,
One ha’penny, two ha’penny, hot cross buns!’

The buns are usually served on Good Friday, marking the end of Lent and the spices are said to represent the spices used to embalm the Saviour after His crucifixion.


Whatever your take on their significance, one cannot deny that hot cross buns are a delicious Easter flavour and a tradition that helps to mark the joys and promise of this Spring holiday, much needed by many after having gotten through a long cold Winter.


I will admit that I am a Hot Cross Bun purist.  I like  a traditional one, a bun without all the tweaks and chocolate bits, sticky caramel bits, whatever.  Plain, spiced and studded with mixed vine fruits being my chosen poison. Not all are created equal.  I like a well fruited one, so I never opt for the cheapie brands, which more often than not are sadly lacking in both spice and flavour.  I would never settle for a few sad raisins me.  I want an abundance of fruit!


Todd rankles at me buying them even two weeks before Easter.  He reckons they shouldn't come out until Good Friday, and he has a point.  However  . . . he did not turn down my offer this morning of a Hot Cross Bacon Bap!


Unconventional  . . .  perhaps, but so delicious, served toasted and buttered, with a spread of bitter marmalade on the bottoms and a spritz of brown sauce gilding the top of that tasty bacon.  Every mouthful was pure delight.  Don't knock it til you try it!


*Hot Cross Bun Bacon Baps*
Serves 4
 

This does sound an unusual combination but it probably one of the most delicious Bacon sandwiches you will ever eat. 

4 fruited hot cross buns
12 rashers non-smoked back bacon
softened butter to spread
bitter marmalade to finish along with brown sauce if desired




Heat the oven grill  to high.  Slash the fatty edge of the bacon at 1/3 inch intervalls all along the edge.  Grill the bacon beneath the hot grill until  your desired crispness, flipping it over and grilling on both sides.  Set aside and keep warm.  Slice the hot cross buns in half horizontally.  Pop under the grill and toast on the cut sides only.  Once toasted spread with softened butter.  Spread a portion of marmalde onto the toasted bottoms of each bun.  Lay three rashers of bacon, folded to fit, on top of the marmalade.  Drizzle with brown sauce (if using) place the toasted top buns on top and serve. 


Note - Brown sauce is what we brits call HP sauce. 




I confess I was also tempted to add a layer of cheese, but I restrained myself.  Needless to say these were fabulously tasty, so much so . . .  that I might make us another one for lunch.  Bon Appetit! 




QuickEdit
Marie Rayner
19 Comments
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19 comments:

  1. Is bacon even allowed in Lent? Your recipe certainly is an interesting take on Hot Cross Buns. I grew up with these in the South and now bake them myself for the Rectory, as well as for Hubby and me, to break the Good Friday fast at tea time.

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    1. I have no idea Jo, because, as Mormons, we don't observe Lent in this house. I do think Lent ends on Good Friday, which is why Hot Cross Buns are a traditional Good Friday thing. I am presenting this recipe a bit earlier, so that people can get perhaps consider it as a Breakfast option for the Easter weekend. I can promise you, they really were delicious. xo

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  2. I have not practiced lent since..well over 40 yrs for certain so I have no clue..These look good! Need to try the BBC's HotCross Bun muffins:)

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    1. I baked some Hot Cross Muffins one year. You can find that recipe here Monique: https://theenglishkitchen.blogspot.co.uk/2011/03/hot-cross-muffins.html They were quite good, but more like cupcakes than a muffin. I will have to check out the BBC ones! xo

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    2. Ohh, it is this recipe: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/3081/hot-cross-muffin-buns

      They look good!

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  3. Lent ends on Maunday Thursday, the day before Good Friday. This year that would be March 29.

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    1. Thanks for that additional information Happy Crocheter! Happy Easter!

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  4. I've never even heard of a bap but what's not to love with bacon!

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    1. Its just another word for a bun Jeanie. The British have lots of cute little names for things. Bap, bun, hot cross or plain, a Bacon Bap makes for good eating any time! xo

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  5. Very sad to say, I've never had a good hot cross bun. It seems there may be a few raisins, but no spices or other dried fruits. n

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    1. Hi Carol, they are quite good at making Hot Cross Buns over here and if you buy a quality brand (in most cases) they will be more than adequate. They get into all kinds of stupid flavours though, with caramel bits, and apples, etc. I like the good old fashioned ones with mixed fruit and peel. I did publish a recipe that you could make your own here: https://theenglishkitchen.blogspot.co.uk/2011/04/hot-cross-buns-with-spiced-fruited.html
      Maybe you could give those a go! xo

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  6. Oh my, Marie. You buy your hot cross buns? I am shocked! It's one thing for me to buy them, and moan about how generally awfull they are, but I'd have thought for sure you'd bake your own. I'll have to check out the bakeries and see if I can find better ones. I wonder if they could be mixed up in a bread machine? I remember my mother baking them.
    I also wanted to say thank you for the smaller recipes you post. I expect a lot of your readers are two person families and you posted some very nice ones lately.

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    1. I do bake my own closer to the day Esther, but for this purpose I did use storebought ones. I do have a recipe here: https://theenglishkitchen.blogspot.co.uk/2011/04/hot-cross-buns-with-spiced-fruited.html

      They are not as soft as the store bought ones, but quite nice. Thanks for your nice comment re my recent posts! I cook for two people most of the time, so they work for me! xo

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  7. Hi Marie, I really enjoy your Blog and have saved, printed and posted on Pinterest many of them. This Bacon Bap sounds wonderful for Easter! Thank you for your cultural and historical info too! I am in the USA (Southampton, Mass, have been a confirmed Anglophile since I was a kid so I was very happy to find your blog. I can get HP Brown Sauce and Bitter Orange Marmalade on Amazon, however I have a question about the bacon which is not like traditional American bacon. Would sliced Canadian Bacon be similar to Non-Smoke Back Bacon? Thank you for your reply, and thanks for your hard work in producing these great posts, Mary

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    1. Welcome Mary, and thanks so much for your your lovely comment. I think sliced Canadian Bacon is about as close as you are going to get to the bacon I used for this! I hope you try it and That you enjoy it! I have been to Mass. many times. We had family in Saugus! Xo

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  8. Wow! You replied so fast, I'm honored! Thanks for the input on the bacon, I also downloaded and shared your recipe for Nigel's Hot Cross Buns which sound amazing. I'm afraid I'll cave and buy something at the bakery though this year.:( Maybe... or next year! Thrilled to hear you like Massachusetts! This is a funny state in that the Eastern & Western sides of the state are sooo different. Such a small place geographically and yet two dif. cultures, topography and economic bases. Hope sometime when you're visiting your family in Saugus, you'll take a day trip out west and see the rest of our state, lakes, Quabbin Reservoir, Berkshires, etc... if you do, let me know and we'll go somewhere good for lunch! Anyway, thank you Marie and I sincerely wish you & yours a very Happy Easter and Spring season!

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    1. Those are great hot cross buns Mary, do make the butter even if you end up not making the buns. The butter is fabulous! A very Happy Easter and Spring to you also!
      PS will take your advice next time I am in Mass! xo

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  9. I'll have to try this. Looks lovely x

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    1. Thanks Charlene, you are going to love them! xo

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