HCB Comparo

I’ve spent a while tasting various hot cross buns this year, and then I was pipped at the post by the article in smh’s goodfood, here for the Melbourne version. Le Sigh.

Let’s do it anyway!

This time last year I was baking up a storm, making pagan fruit buns. This year I haven’t yet had a chance to do so, but I have been buying up a storm:

Le Chocoreve, $3.50 each:

Le Chocoreve

I remember these as having a very sticky complex flavored glaze and one of my favourites last year. This year, the armoa was still heavenly, but there was less complexity in the glaze. The flavour of the bun was very bitter: I think this came from too much orange peel, my sister reckons it came from the cardamom.

street: 16 Douglas Street, Stanmore NSW.
ph: (02) 9569 5644
web: http://www.lechocoreve.com.au/

Black Star Pasty, $4.50 each:

I forgot to take notes. I just ate it.

277 Australia Street, Newtown.
ph:(02) 9557 8656.
web: http://blackstarpastry.com.au

Infinity Sourdough: $1.30 each:

No glaze made this baby looked naked and unfinished. It had a very light spice flavour, that disappeared almost as soon as you had swallowed your mouthful. Aroma was brown paper bag like. Fruit spotted : rasins only. Cheap, but also unmemorable.

street: 225 Victoria St, Darlinghurst, NSW 2010.
ph. 9380 4320
web: http://www.infinitysourdough.com.au/

Flour and Stone, $3.50 each:

Aroma is sweet and yeasty. The marking on top was thick, like it had been rolled and applied by hand rather than piped. Fruit spotted: sultans and juicy looking fresh orange peel. The cross itself was crispy and caramelised and added another layer of interest. The flavour lingered in the mouth several minutes after eating: a light tingly citrus flavour without being unpleasant. My favourite so far.

street: 53 Riley St Woolloomooloo NSW 2011.
ph: (02) 8068 8818
web: http://flourandstone.com.au/

Organic Bread Bar, $3.50 each:

Organic Bread Bar HCB

The organic bread bar’s stalwart sticky fruit bun has been replaced for a short time by the hot cross bun.

I may be slightly biased in favour of this offering, because they were still warm from the oven. No crispy quinoa topping, but filled to the brim with fruit. In the centre is a gooey dried apricot which I am sure was soaked prior to including into the mixture.

Sorry, flour and stone, but I think I’ve found a new favourite.

street: 356 South Dowling Street,Paddington, NSW 2021.
ph: (02) 9357 4448
web: http://www.organicbreadbar.com.au/

Bowan Island Bakery, $9.30 for six:

Bowan Island Bakery HCB
The packet is marketed as ‘artisan hot cross buns’. Spelt flour and chocolate ones are also available.

The bun is marked by a skinny cross that has to have been piped on. The bun is gummy in texture and borderline on the cooked side. There are raisins, sultanas and a thick piece of mixed peel. The after taste is slightly bitter, like citrus pith.
street: 183 Victoria Road, Drummoyne.
ph: (02) 9181 3524
web: bowanislandbakery.com.au

Adriano Zumbo, $3.50 each

Zumbo HCB

Unfortunately on the day I visit, there is one chocolate HCB left.

The bun is a dark dark brown, almost black in colour. The cross is also brown. The flavour is dark cocoa and very gingery. Like a chocolate ginger snap.

Central Baking Depot, $2.20 each ($12 for six):

CBD HCB

The bun is marked with an oozy big cross that looks like it has melted upon baking. Tastes very buttery. Slightly gritty, as if the cinnamon has been hand grated. No lingering aftertaste. Fruit potted: sultanas and orange peel.

Pasticceria Papa

Pasticceria Papa HCB

Oh my. If you buy a tray of six, it looks like you receive a glossy looking tray of hot cross buns. If you ask for one with your coffee because you’re on your pushbike… it looks like you get yesterday’s stock. It was rock hard. There was no cross marking. It tasted like white bread with sultanas in it. Only sultanas.

street: 145 Ramsay St, Haberfield NSW 2045.
ph: (02) 9798 6894
web: http://ppapa.com.au

Where do you find your favourite hot cross buns? Have you tried baking them yourself?

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