Aoife (pronounced EE-fah, I believe) writes in from the Emerald Isle with this about hot cross buns:
Been a reader for a while now and loved your debunking of the hot cross bun myths. As to the latest recipe you posted, I’m not sure I’ve ever had a hot cross bun where the cross was iced. Here in Ireland (or at least certainly in my mothers kitchen), the cross was never iced but always consisted of 2 strips of pastry. I’m sure there’s probably a myth or two about the origins of that as well.
I have no doubt that there is. I also wanted to mention that dough crosses on hot cross buns are as common as icing crosses here in the States, though both are still sweet. Dough-crossed buns are typically covered with a thin, sticky sugar glaze, which makes them a perfect compliment to a hot cup of coffee.