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Mar 29, 2018

Get Your Hot Cross Bun…

For many, cross buns are an important part of the Easter holidays. As tradition would have it, cross bun recipes in Belize are passed down from generation to generation. Hot cross buns, with their combination of spicy, sweet and fruity flavors, have been around for centuries.  At this time of the year, the symbolic cross on top reminds us that Jesus died on the cross. But whether you subscribe to the doctrines of Christianity or not, you’d know that cross buns make for an excellent holiday treat. Today, we stopped in at Carmen’s Takeout in Belize City to find out how these cross buns are made.

 

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

Cross-buns are a part of Belizean tradition at Easter time, whether you buy them or make them at home. There are different recipes used to make them – but one thing they all have in common is the signature cross on top. Some recipes are handed down for generations, while others are newer with twists to please even the most difficult of palates. For Cruzita Leslie, her cross buns are in demand because she keeps perfecting her recipe over the years but she maintains the traditional aspects of the cross bun.

 

Cruzita Leslie

Cruzita Leslie, Owner, Carmen’s Takeout

“In the bowl, I have flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, raisins, and now I am putting in the yeast. We have eggs here and now I am putting in the eggs. We have a milk here – this is carnation milk with coconut powder. We put in some lemon essence, some vanilla, and we add the brown sugar and we add the butter.  We add some shortening and we start to mix up.”

 

The dry ingredients are mixed by hand for few minutes. The milk is added little by little and it is mixed in to create the cross-bun dough. Then balls of dough are rolled off anda cross added on top of each bun. Leslie explains:

 

Cruzita Leslie

“So you roll it off until it is a bit smooth. It won’t be too smooth because you want it kinda heavy.   You roll them off and you flatten them and put the cross. Because cross bun is not good without the cross.”

 

Leslie has been making cross-buns for about ten years. It is not a tradition that she grew up with, but she has mastered the making of these buns by drawing from different recipes. These buns are the traditional heavy and hard Easter cross-buns.

 

Cruzita Leslie, Owner, Carmen’s Takeout

“About ten years, I’ve been making cross buns.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“And your cross buns – some people prefer the soft ones and others like the buns hard that is a bit more traditional?”

 

Cruzita Leslie

“I do it the traditional way. It is hard and the dough you knead it a little harder and you don’t let it raise too high, or raise too much. And that is it. You wait for it to raise.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“And then for long do we leave it?”

 

Cruzita Leslie

“For twenty minutes to rise and then you put them in the oven to bake for about forty five minutes.”

 

The buns are taken out of the oven once they are golden brown. And once they have cooled – they are ready to eat.

 

Cruzita Leslie

“The best way to eat it is with a fry fish, some butter, a piece of cheese or whatever cheese you like, your favorite. You can have your breakfast with it on Good Friday morning and have a Happy Easter.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

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