So Hot Cross Buns, everyone has their preference, People like with fruit, without fruit, with peel, without peel, lots of spice, not too much spice. Now there are even chocolate, chocolate chips, mocha, salted caramel and Nutella filled. Some of those are barstardisations of the humble hot cross buns, makes them sweet rolls, not hot cross buns in my opinion.
Hot Cross buns originally had no fruit and were a spiced bun… So the Top Ten Team went on a search for the best hot cross bun… with the right amount of fruit/spice balance… I must say that out search for the perfect bakery hot cross bun was a bit disappointing!
This is not an extensive list of all the bakeries on the Gold Coast, as unfortunately people tend to buy their hot cross buns at Coles, Woolworths or even Bakers Delight and Brumbies. The problem with purchasing from these large companies is that they have so many preservatives, palm oil, emulsifiers etc… these are really only in the buns, so that you can eat them for a few days and they won’t go stale.
The other issue I faced, which is very sad, is many bakers are not making hot cross buns this year as they can’t compete with the supermarket chains… 3 bakeries that I went to informed me of this. The reason is that hot cross buns normal coast between $6 – $7 a 1/2 dozen, however you can get them at the major supermarkets for as little as $3.50.
Here is a sample of the ingredients in a Traditional Hot Cross Buns from Woolworths, Coles, IGA and Aldi are exactly the same. Why would you want to eat all this when your good local bakery doesn’t use all these additives, because they expect you to eat them straight away!
It will not be a surprise to you that my hot cross buns, turned out to be the best… what can I say… I tweaked the very famous Lailah’s hot cross bun from the Thermomix Recipe Community and (I think) they have the best amount of spice to fruit ratio, but these are the sort of things you can do when you make them yourself!
The Top Ten Team went to work trying to find the best Hot Cross Bun on the Gold Coast… It isn’t an extensive list, but there are a few!
9. Baker’s Delight $7.00 for 6 or $1.50 each
Scored a combined 6/10 they lacked spice and only had a bit of fruit.
8. Biggera Waters Bakery – Biggera Waters Shopping Centre – $6.50 for 6 or $1.30 each
Scored 6/10 The hot cross bun I got was a bit disappointing 🙁 I love this bakery, but these were very underdone and doughy… I have had another since and it was much nicer… but this is what we got on the day!
7. Brumby’s $1.30 each 6 for $7 or 12 for $12
Scored a 6.5/10 They were a little better than bakers delight, but not much… if you are going to buy hot cross bun, grab a salted caramel or nutella… but really they are just sweet dough with filling 🙂
6. BC’s Bakery – Ashmore Plaza – $1.40 each 6 for $7
Scored 6.5 /10 not bad, but not fantastic either, however these hot cross buns were nice and moist
5. The Bakehouse Bakery and Cafe – Oxley Drive, Runaway Bay – $6.00 for 6 or $1.60 each
Scored 7/10 They just had that little bit of extra spice and a nice amount of fruit.
4. The Mill Bakery – Paradise Point – $1.50 each or 6 for $6
Scored 7.5/10 This was a surprising find, as when we opened the bun there was virtually no fruit, but it had a lovely spiced taste. If this bun contained more fruit it would have bene closer to the top.
3. Flour Bakery – Ferry Road Markets – $1.20 each or 6 for $7
Scored 8/10 This bun had the most fruit and I am sure they will sell a ton of these buns over Easter
2. Stenton’s Bakery – Robina – $1.30 Each or 6 for $7
Scored 8.5/10 which is the highest score of all the bakeries. It to didn’t contained a lot of fruit, but the balance of spice and fruit was very nice.
AND COMING IN THE WINNER
1. Liz’s Hot Cross Buns – Biggera Waters – 12 for $4 If you had to buy all the ingredients from scratch it would cost a lot more if you only made one batch, but then you would have enough ingredients to make heaps more!
Scored 9.5/10… They really couldn’t give me a 10/10 but I still think these are the nicest hot cross buns!
If you make them yourself, you can add more fruit, no fruit, more spice or less spice… how ever you prefer to eat your hot cross buns
I have only included a Thermomix method, but you could easily make this with a dough hook attachment on most major appliances. If you have to do it buy hand kneading, you should need it for at least 30 minutes, until you have a nice shiny silky dough!
Ingredients – Dough
40g Fresh Yeast or 5 Teaspoons Instant Dried Yeast
275g Filtered Water
550g Bakers Flour
1 Teaspoons Salt
40g Milk Powder
2 Teaspoons Bread Improver (optional it will just take much longer to prove)
3 Teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
2 Teaspoons Ground Nutmeg (freshly ground is always better)
1 Teaspoon Cloves
1 Teaspoon Allspice
60g Soft Butter
250g Sultanas or Mixed Fruit
I used a mix of my own that contained dried pear, peach, apricot, sultana, current and cranberries
Ingredients – Cross Mixture
80g Plain Flour
Make it and leave it in the fridge for a bit, it becomes more glutenous as it rests.
Ingredients – Glaze
40g Boiled Water
Please not that if you are lactose intolerant, just omit the milk powder, if you don’t have any milk powder, use half milk, half way in step 1 and add another 20g of flour
1. Place yeast, water and a teaspoon of sugar into the mixing bowl and warm, 3 minutes/37/speed 1.
2. Add all other ingredients as listed except dried fruit, combine 30 seconds/speed 3.
3. Then knead the dough 6 minutes/kneading function. Add the fruit and kneed again for 2 minutes/kneading function. Remove from bowl and let the dough rest in an oiled ThermomServer for at least 20 minutes.
This is a soft sticky dough and you will have a bit of trouble getting it out of the bowl, but make sure you try and get everything out!
4. Place dough on an oiled bench and knock it down then divide the mixture into 12 equal portions (I weigh then so each one is the same), roll and shape.
5. Place shaped bun into a greased baking dish, cover with oiled plastic wrap and allow to double in size, about 2 hours! *Please note this step can take from 2 – 4 hours depending on the humidity, temperature etc…!
6. When the buns are almost ready, pipe the cross mixture onto the top of the buns.
7. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
8. Combine glaze ingredients in a bowl and mix until sugar has been dissolved.
As soon as they come out of the oven brush over glaze over buns, et them cool a bit in the tin, then turn onto a cooling rack! EAT!
These buns freeze really well, to reheat take them out of the freezer and allow to get to room temperature. Then pop them in the oven at 180 for 5 – 10 minutes.
My favourite way to eat Hot Cross Buns is to cut them in half, put them into the oven and smoother them with real butter! I am so glad that we only had to taste a few of the buns not eat whole ones!
My hope is that you will think twice about buying hot cross bun from the big supermarkets and consider your local bakery if you don’t have the time to make your own.
Enjoy Irresponsibly and Happy Easter!
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