Every Easter, we stock up on chocolate eggs and jellybeans, but there’s another seasonal indulgence that deserves our attention: hot cross buns. The English tradition of buns studded with dried fruit, and topped with a cross representing the crucifixion, dates back at least to the English Renaissance when Queen Elizabeth I declared Good Friday one of only three occasions when the sale of hot cross buns was legal (the others were Christmas and for burials). Luckily, you won’t have to break any laws to find hot cross buns from Ash Wednesday through Easter at several local bakeries.
At The Kneaded Bread in Port Chester, owner Jennifer Kohn makes oversized hot cross buns filled with dried cranberries and yellow and dark raisins. The dough is based on challah. “I’m Jewish. It’s what I think of as hot cross buns,” says Kohn. While you’re there, order an artfully braided Easter bread full of plump raisins for the day itself.
Challah-like dough is also the base at Patisserie Salzburg in Rye and Scarsdale, where buns are topped with white fondant icing as they emerge hot from the oven. Alternatively, Chester Heights Bakery in Bronxville makes yeasty buns that are delightfully old-fashioned and available through the end of April. Planning ahead? Consider Bedford Village Pastry or the Sonny Orza Bread Factory in New Rochelle, where buns are available for preorder only.
This year, trade your beans for buns and turn your Easter basket into a breadbasket.
The Kneaded Bread
Chester Heights Bakery
Bedford Village Pastry
Sonny Orza Bread Factory