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Hot Cross Yum

By: The Food Coach

Despite having been on supermarket shelves since January, for many of us hot cross buns are an Easter only treat. So now, with Easter rapidly approaching, you need to know which bun is best for you and yours - and CHOICE has kindly done the hard work for you.

After raiding supermarkets and chain bakeries in Sydney for traditional fruit buns (none of those chocolate or fruitless imposters), CHOICE home economist, Fiona Mair, applied her expert judgement, and 18 hungry staff volunteers with a penchant for spicy fruit buns applied their taste buds.

"In the end our taste testers came to a very close agreement on which buns were best. A good hot cross bun should have a thin but firm crust, with a shiny top, a firm but not doughy crumb, an even distribution of fruit and brownish dough from the top," says CHOICE spokesperson Tom Godfrey.

"There was a fair share of delicious buns, but the taster's also sampled buns that were doughy, lacking fruit, bland and in some cases, not fully cooked. Price is not necessarily an indicator of quality when looking for the perfect hot cross bun. The second highest rating bun cost only 67c from Coles," says Mr Godfrey.

The podium finishers

Baker's Delight Hot Cross Buns
$1.17 (in a pack of six), 10/10 Very good shape and size, nicely glazed, lots of fruit and a golden brown colour. Yeasty, spicy aroma, soft plump fruit - delicious!

Coles Bakery Hot Cross Buns Fruit
67c (in a pack of six) 8/10
Very nice appearance - shiny, sticky top, nice colour; nice flavour, good amount of fruit and spice.

Brumby's Bakery Hot Cross Buns
$1.22, 7/10, Not glazed, a pale golden colour; soft crumb and crust; sweet slightly spicy taste - good overall but appearance lets it down.

The rest

Bakers Life Fruit Indulgence Hot Cross Buns (Aldi)
58c (in a pack of six), 6/10
Looks home-made, slightly glazed, golden brown; soft crust, soft crumb, slightly dense and dry; good amount of plump fruit; slightly stale, best toasted.

Tip Top Café Range Hot Cross Bun
$1.00 (in a pack of six), 6/10
Good appearance, nice golden brown crust and crumb, little spice flavour and aroma, fruit limited and unevenly distributed - ok but limited in flavour

Tip Top Traditional Hot Cross Buns
88c (in a pack of six), 6/10, Good appearance, no glaze, golden brown; good texture; not much fruit or spice - OK but limited in flavour

Woolworths Fruit Bun Hot Cross
73c (in a pack of six), 6/10, No glaze, good size, golden colour; slightly dry in some areas; slightly bland flavour, limited in spices - OK overall, better heated

Bowen Island Bakery
$2.13 (in pack of six), 5/10, Looks home-made, nice shape and shine on crust; good aroma, yeasty; heavy, dense raw dough towards bottom; slightly sour. Would have rated higher but not cooked properly

My Italian Bakery
$1 (in a pack of six), 5/1o, Not glazed, too pale in colour, slightly yeasty; plump but limited fruit; soft dry crumb. OK but too pale.


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