One a penny. Two a penny. Hot cross buns. The childhood rhyme resonates today, even though the sweet rolls cost about 70 cents each now. The Lenten bread, which dates to Pagan times before being adopted by Christian missionaries, is especially popular the week before Easter [March 23 this year]. "I like tradition," says George Simon, 75, a third-generation baker who turns out the candied-fruit-studded buns with the icing cross at Simon's Bakery in Cockeysville. It's a once-a-year ritual, peaking on Good Friday. The icing cross signifies the crucifixion. Woodlea Bakery in Gardenville also features the yeast buns during Lent, starting on Ash Wednesday. "It's something different," says Charlie Hergenroeder, 43, who is continuing the family's 100-year baking history. "You don't get them the rest of the year." The buns also offer a sweet break during a time of penance. As Hergenroeder says, "People enjoy a taste treat during Lent."
Hot cross buns add sweet tradition to Lenten season.
Issue date: March, 2008