Daily Bread’s recipe for hot cross buns this year is something quite special. So much so, they’ve taken out the top award at the 2022 Great NZ Hot Cross Bun competition, run by the Baking Industry Association of New Zealand (BIANZ). This year they’ve made them entirely out of sourdough, with a focus on making them sticky and golden on the outside, moist and fragrant on the inside.
To get the scoop, we sat down with Lorenzo Romano and Benjamin Eyres, the pastry chef masterminds from Daily Bread who created the winning hot cross buns.
Channel Magazine: What makes a good hot cross bun?
Lorenzo Romano: A good spice mix, balanced flavour, how the fruit is soaked and of course the glaze. Long fermentation plays a big part in achieving a soft crumb.
Ben Eyres: Softness and the mixture of spice for sure. It’s all about the spice mix.
CM: How do you feel about winning the ‘Best Hot Cross Bun’ award?
LR: Amazing. A great achievement and a huge team effort. Everybody played their role, and we’re pleased to have made it so far together.
BE: Mixed feelings; we’re going to be crazy busy but were so happy to be recognised for all the time we’ve put in. We’ve got a few long days ahead!
CM: What are some of your favourite ways to eat them?
LR: Straight out of the oven, I love them fresh without any spread.
BE: I’m more of a toasted with butter guy personally. I think it’s a little nostalgic for me.
CM: Are you a firm hot cross bun traditionalist or open to creative variations?
LR: Hot cross buns aren’t a tradition for my (Italian) family, so I’m happy to play with it a little.
BE: As long as you don’t put peanut butter in it.
CM: So what are some of the more unique/unusual variations you've seen?
LR: Peanut butter is certainly an odd one; custard too. That’s pushing it a little too far for me. We do our double chocolate flavour, but chocolate is a bit of a crowd pleaser.
BE: At the last bakery I worked at we made buns with a marzipan core, similar to a stollen. Those were definitely a little different!
CM: What is it about Daily Bread's hot cross buns that make them such a hit?
LR: Lievito madre, the panettone sourdough starter we use, a great aroma profile from the spice mix and a super fluffy texture due to the long fermentation process. We treat our sourdough starter like a baby; when it’s happy, I’m happy!
BE: The amount of effort and time going into them is obvious in the final product. Sweat, tears and a lot of sticky glaze!
Here at Channel, our mouths are already watering! We can't wait to dig in, so will be indulging well before Easter and beyond, that's for sure. Happy Easter, Daily Bread team, and huge congratulations on your fantastic achievement!
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