Searching for the Perfect Hot Cross Bun
As much as I appreciate their delicious and festive properties, I wouldn't call myself a bona fide Hot Cross Bun lover. When I was younger I used to devour many a bun around Easter time, but they don't tickle my fancy as much these days. I am not sure exactly why this is the case. I do enjoy them, yet I am not mad for them, as I know many others are. This does not mean, however, that I do not enjoy a good bun every now and then. Seeing so many delightful homemade Hot Cross Buns across the blogosphere this Easter gave me great inspiration to make my own buns come next year. But for this year, 2011, I resolved to buy my buns. In doing so I was naturally encouraged to compare my purchases, and henceforth set off on search for the perfect Hot Cross Bun.
Ahhh but perfection is such a difficult title to bestow. Taste is very individual, and I am aware of many strong opinions when it comes to how a Hot Cross Bun should be.
Personally, I like a fluffy bun that is generously spiced (oh how I love cinnamon) yet contains only a small amount of fruit peel. And I like my buns to have a decent amount of dried fruit in them - juicy sultanas or raisins are a must, and less conventional fruit, such as figs, are also very welcome.
When it comes to eating Hot Cross Buns, I like to toast mine in the oven and serve them with light dairy spread. Preferably with a side of fruit and/or yoghurt, and a hot cup of tea or coffee.
This year, I tried three Hot Cross Buns (it sounds pitiful, doesn't it. I'll do better next year). Here they are...
Tartine Gourmet Foods and Catering - super light and fluffy, these buns were really delicious, despite not being particularly strong on the spices. I bought Ben and I one bun each, after visiting the High Street Armadale store. I wish I bought more...
Levito Organic Bakery - this bread is much loved by my family (along with their hot cross buns), but to me it tastes a little stale... and they were fresh. Personal taste, I suppose. I did appreciate the good amount of fruit, and the sultanas were delightfully juicy.
Baker D. Chirico - these buns were dense (almost too dense for my liking) and heavily spiced. Baker D. Chirico's Hot Cross Buns are well-revered, and I can see why, they were really lovely. I picked mine up at Prahran Market. Alas, I am yet to visit Baker D. Chirico myself. I am very eager to do so, as I have heard countless rave reviews of their breads, pies and tarts.
My favourite would be the Tartine Hot Cross Bun, yet I would have liked it to contain more spice. It appears I am still searching for my personal Hot Cross Bun perfection, and therefore any recommendations are very welcome. I am already hungry for next Easter, and it has only just past. What is new?...