Hot cross buns...or in another sense, cross buns, in one sense, bread baked to display, and too wonderful to eat, but to revere as the ultimate earthly bread of the Eucharist, in another, the delectable only permissible food of the Easter fast, blessed by the Franciscans in the 12th century.

That any baking happens at all on Good Friday is, in some senses, a transgression. Yet, bakers must bake, and the ovens kept warm, and the food that is on ordinary days, just ordinary, should be done. But, what if (I'm thinking a late Medieval baker here) one day a year you could bake the kind of bread on which no one could judge you? What if no one could (legally) eat it? You'd put dried fruit into it, and sugar from the jeweler's and every good thing...knowing that you (and only a few other bakery-geeks) would appreciate the product...This is hot cross buns.