St Albans Abbey bun takes on hot-cross rivals this Easter

ST Albans Abbey has triggered a bunfight by setting its own traditional product against the conventional annual hot cross bun sales this Easter. The Alban bun is said to originate in St Albans where Father Thomas Rockcliffe, a 14th-century monk, developed

ST Albans Abbey has triggered a bunfight by setting its own traditional product against the conventional annual hot cross bun sales this Easter.

The Alban bun is said to originate in St Albans where Father Thomas Rockcliffe, a 14th-century monk, developed the original recipe and distributed the bun to the local poor on Good Friday, starting in 1361.

Supplies of the Alban Bun have been limited in the past and sold solely through the Abbey's Chapter House caf� but this year the Abbey Bun will also be available at the local Sainsbury's store.

The original secret recipe for the bun is still used at the Abbey and the caf� serves the buns to mark Easter each year. The cross is cut into the bun rather than piped on and the bun has a more variable shape. The Abbey hopes eventually to install the Alban Bun as the culinary symbol of Holy Week.


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The Dean of St Albans, the Very Rev Jeffrey John, said: "These days it's possible to buy hot cross buns throughout the year. While any reminder of the importance of Easter is welcomed, we've come to the conclusion that the Alban Bun might be a way of reaffirming the significance of the bun as a symbol of Christ's death and resurrection."

A special stall in reception at the Sainsbury's store, manned by Abbey volunteers, will offer the buns to shoppers in exchange for a charitable donation, with all proceeds going to the Abbey.

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Maintaining a link with the 14th-century tradition, the Abbey will make a donation from the proceeds to Open Door, the local charity that supports the homeless.

Sainsbury's supplier will bake the buns to the authentic recipe and then deliver on Maundy Thursday. Buns will also be available at the Abbey in exchange for a charitable donation.

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