What I'm about to say might be considered blasphemous, but hot cross buns don't really do it for me. If I'm going to smash the calories over Easter, I'd prefer them to be in the form of a Cadbury crème egg, or twenty.
Having said that, I went in to The Urban List's annual hot cross bun challenge with an open mind, and an open mouth, willing to do my part to help find Brisbane's best. Much to my surprise, the dry, bready Brumby's buns of my youth were nowhere to be seen and I was treated to a panoply of fruit variety, glazes, and textures that might just have changed my mind about this Easter pastry…
So, here's how the challenge went down…
1. Each member of the team brought in hot cross buns from bakeries in their area. On the tasting board were samples from Jocelyn's, Hawthorne Garage, Poppy's, Tognini's, The Austrian Bakery, and Banneton Bakery, with control samples (we take this very seriously!) from Coles and Brumby's.
2. Kate (hot cross bun adjudicator extraordinaire) delivered a taste test of each of the samples to the team, who then rated them based on fruit density and variety, glaze quality, texture, form retention, and other very serious bread-related criteria. Each bun was tasted blind, so visual appearance, or origin, couldn't sway our votes!
3. The votes were tallied and the winner announced!
Without further ado, the winner of The Urban List Annual Hot Cross Bun Challenge is…
Banneton Bakery in Ashgove!
What made these buns so special? Here's what the team thought:
'Nice mix of fruit and plenty of it!'
'Very fruity – yummy!'
'Lots of fruit, great texture!'
'By far the best. Lots of fruit and good diversity. Good glaze and sweetness.'
'Great fruit-to-dough ratio, fresh citrus taste, and great density.'
Rounding out the top four were long-time favourites, Jocelyn's along with newbies Hawthorne Garage, and Tognini's. Everyone had different opinions on what makes a hot cross bun a success, so the results were very close. Seems hot cross buns preferences are very personal, and the debate got heated!
Happy eating, everyone!
Do you agree or disagree with our ratings? Let us know in the comments below who you think does Brisbane's best hot cross bun and why.