Hot Cross Buns
Many people love to eat these on Good Friday (22nd April 2011), and sharing them with a friend is supposed to ensure friendship over the coming year. The term ‘Hot Cross Bun’ was first recorded in 1783. The cross is a symbol of the crucifiction. Hot Cross Buns are wonderful eaten straight from the oven or toasted with butter. You can either stick to an original Hot Cross Bun recipe (which would contain spices, currants, raisins or candied citrus peel) or try one of the many variations e.g.
Passover Bread is an unleavended bread which is traditionally eaten over the Passover holiday. Unleavened bread is eaten to commorate the Exodus story, when the israelite slaves were freed. This year Passover starts on 19th April 2011 and ends on 25th April 2011.
The Dove is a symbol of peace and a symbol of Christ. The Easter Dove, a traditional Italian bread, will certainly be a topic of conversation at any Easter gathering. If you want to create lots of smaller Easter Doves, try this Easter Dove Recipe.
Lazarus Bread (Lazarakia)
This spicy bread is traditionally eaten on Lazarus Saturday (which was on the 16th April 2011) to commemorate the miracle of Jesus raising Lazarus. If you haven’t come across this before you have to check it out. The bread is actually shaped like a man (Lazarus). Go over to Adventures of an Orthodox Mum to see the Lazarus bread recipe. If you turn up with this as A gift I’m sure you’ll be forgiven if it’s well past Lazarus Saturday!
Paska (Polish Easter Bread)
If you’re looking for something light and sweet, try this Polish Paska Bread. Again there are different types of Paska and the different breads symbolise aspects of Easter. Paska with a yellow and white swirl inside can represent Christ and the Holy Spirit, while marachino cherries may represent jewels honoring of the resurrection of Christ.
Again there are different versions of this sweet, yeasty cake. Take a look at the Jewish Babka which contains chocolate and cinnamon. This is traditionally eaten over passover instead of the usual types of bread.
Historically these spicy, frut cakes were made as a gift from a daughter to her mother on Mothering Sunday. If it kept moist until easter is was taken as proof of the daughters good baking skills. The cake became associated with Easter during World War I. Check out this Simnel Cake recipe. Mmmmmmm Marzipan!
Did you know that knot shaped, sweet and savoury Pretzels are thought to have Medieval Christian origins? They were probably invented by monks to reward children for remembering their prayers. Again there are many varieties, all are baked. Try these Soft Cheddar Pretzels or these Sweet Cinnamon Raisin Pretzels.
Easter Biscuits are thought to originate in Britain and they were traditionally given as gifts on Easter Sunday. The biscuits are similar to Garibaldi biscuits; they are fruity and topped with sugar. There are variations; some are spicy, some use lemon zest. Why not use the basic recipe given and adapt it to your own tastes.
Easter Egg Nests
If you really can’t be bothered with all that flour, eggs and sugar, then keep the kids happy by making some Easter Egg Nests. Even I can do this one off the top of my head. You only need three ingredients and some bun cases. Sugar coated chocolate mini eggs, chocolate and cereal (rice crispies or cornflakes work well but I’m sure you can get away with the children’s favourite cereals).
I hope you find time to try out some of the Easter recipes. If you’re partying over Easter, don’t go empty handed.
Have a great Easter.