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Apr 4, 2012

Get yo’ hot cross buns for Easter

The baking of cross buns has become a part of the Belizean tradition at Easter time. In homes across the country, the aroma from the buns will be permeating the air on Thursday. While some people make cross buns for a living, others do it to bring the family together; the Belize Red Cross takes the opportunity to raise funds for their annual charity projects. News Five’s Andrea Polanco stopped by the Red Cross kitchen to learn the basics on cross buns and found volunteers deep in the dough.


Andrea Polanco, Reporting

With Easter just around the corner, the kitchen at the Red Cross was bustling with activities. Day one of a two day Cross Bun making project started today. Director General, Lilly Bowman of the Belize Red Cross says that if you order cross buns from the Red Cross, you are helping them raise much needed monies:


Lily Bowman, Director General, Belize Red Cross

Lily Bowman

“Since last year we decided to start making cross buns. It started with the need for raising some funds. But of course, as we go around just before Easter, advising everybody, advising the public about safety; about first-aid and you know, just being safe over the Easter, we also want to add a little bit of spice to their Easter and you so providing Cross Buns, as we know it’s a big tradition in Belize for the Easter Holidays. And so it came about, providing them with Cross Buns and providing us with a little income to pay some bills.”


Today volunteers at the Belize Red Cross, under the supervision of Jessie Young of the Red Cross, started the first batch Cross Buns. With ingredients and sufficient labour, the making home-made style buns got underway:


Jessie Young, Belize Red Cross

“First, you have to have all your ingredients ready and set aside and then if you are doing a large amount, you have to have everything ready as well. If you are only doing two pounds, then it’s two pounds of flour, half a pound of sugar, like two table spoons of shortening and then a table spoon of yeast; then you add your nutmeg, your vanilla, your all spice, your whatever and a little love in it and all of that so, you need to put that in; your raisin ant then you mix it all up. It’s better if you mix it up in a bowl and then you could put it on a counter top and then you could start kneading it and then it’s well mixed and everything. You let it sit for like ten minutes after kneading and you knead it again and you roll it off into buns like those and you let it sit for approximately twenty-twenty five minutes and then it’s ready to bake.”



Young’s recipe is as traditional as Easter as you can get; it takes work to get to the finished product:


Jessie Young

“To make sure that it’s ready to bake, you roll a small piece of the dough and you put it in glass of water and whenever that dough rise to the top, it tells you that it’s ready to bake.”


Andrea Polanco

“So Ms. Jess, in terms of the kneading, how long it takes? Approximately how many minutes? Does it depend on the amount of flour that you’re using?”


Jessie Young

Jessie Young

“Yes, it depends. If it’s only like five or two pounds of flour that you’re using, it can take you only like ten minutes to mix it all up; but it if it’s like fifteen pounds like we are doing now, it takes you like fifteen minutes to mix the whole thing up.”


Andrea Polanco

“And of course, you have to have strong arms to be able…?”


Jessie Young

“Oh yes, because you have to knead; it’s very heavy once everything is in it you put them in the oven. So yes, you need to have strong arms.”


Andrea Polanco

“Awrite. So when you put them in the oven, how long do they stay in?”


Jessie Young

“It takes like twenty minutes, twenty to twenty five minutes to be baked and then after that when it’s out of the oven we put a little sugar on the top; we mix the sugar like a little syrup, we paste the top and let it cool.”


And after the golden brown cross buns are cooled, they make a delicious treat:


Jessie Young

“Well, it’s best to eat them Friday morning with fry fish; you can either use, sea fish, river fish of or whatever fish, but that’s the best way to eat your cross buns.”


Andrea Polanco

“I know some people like cheese as well?”


Jessie Young

“Yes, you can use cheese or ham if you want but it’s better with the fish.”


Andrea Polanco

“So, Ms. Jess, I know some people have the recipes handed down from generation to generation; where is your recipe from?”


Jessie Young

“Well this is from the Belize River Valley, it’s home-made and the best that there is out there.”


The buns are going for two dollars each. Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.


Call 227-3319 or 2273617 to place your cross bun orders for Thursday.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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1 Response for “Get yo’ hot cross buns for Easter”

  1. jay says:

    That looks so good right now. I wish I can just have one, fresh out the oven, with some dutch cheese.

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