Meet the baker who puts all the crosses on hot cross buns at Asda in Gosport

HOT cross buns are one of the best parts of the Easter season.

Friday, 19th April 2019, 12:04 pm
Carl Bartlett, is the man who puts the crosses on all the hot cross buns at the Asda in Gosport. Picture: Robin Jones

Along with chocolate eggs, they are one of the nation’s favourite treats for this time of the year.

Luckily for Gosport residents they will be able to enjoy a delicious hot cross bun this Easter thanks to the cross making skills of Carl Bartlett.

The bakery team at the Asda in the town will bake and precision cross up to 2,500 hot cross bun per week this Easter – as demand for the nation’s favourite baked seasonal treat remains higher than ever.

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Carl has eight-years experience putting the crosses on hot cross buns. Picture: Robin Jones

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With 8 years experience in the role, Carl has perfected the art of bun crossing, which means no off-centre crosses on the sultana-filled seasonal buns.

Carl, who is a baker at Asda in Gosport, said: ‘Hot cross buns continue to be a seasonal favourite with our customers and are a very traditional item, so it’s important to have an eye for detail – we don’t want a wonky cross on top of the bun!

‘We take great pride in ensuring the same level of quality and attention is paid to the thousandth bun, as we do the first.

‘The ideal Hot Cross Bun should be well risen and light, it should have plump and juicy fruit, a hint of spice and, of course, a perfectly central cross.

‘I’ve perfected my cross-spotting technique and love seeing them fly off the shelves.

‘For me, the best way to serve is to split it, toast it until it is golden brown and spread with a slightly salted butter on the top- the perfect flavour combination!

‘They are versatile too and make a great breakfast or light snack with a cup of tea or even as a snack for the kids.’

Where do hot cross buns come from?

During Lent, Christians historically were forbidden from eating dairy products. So plain buns were commonly eaten during this 40 day period.

One of the origin stories for hot cross buns is that they originate from St Albans in Hertfordshire.

According to that theory, a monk by the name of Brother Thomas Rodcliffe at Albans Abbey, developed a recipe for spice buns with crosses on them in 1361 and distributed them to the poor on Good Friday.