Hot Cross Bun Review
Nourish Melbourne Hot Cross Bun Review: the wheat, gluten free and just darn good.
Easter, just like other special dates on the calendar, usually mean being brought together by a foods, which signify that special date. For your birthday, you might treat yourself to birthday cake and perhaps a special meal. For Christmas, there's the traditional Christmas pudding. And now that it's Easter, we can't escape the beauty of the hot cross bun and of course, chocolate.
At Nourish Melbourne we put some of Melbourne's best and widely reviewed hot cross bun's to the test. We not only looked at the gluten and wheat free, but also those which are made locally, from local and pure ingredients, on site in a small scale Melbourne bakehouse, and that quite frankly, taste darn good. Those ingredients might include wheat flour but we want to make this clear. Just like your birthday cake and Christmas pudding, hot cross buns are a treat. If you can tolerate gluten and wheat, we highly suggest you just look to those buns below, which are made with nourishing love, rather than trying to fish out the gluten free because you might think it's better for you.
Just last week Bridget Pennington of Be Gluten Free, wrote an article about understanding what means to live 'gluten free', and what how to get the most out of your gluten free diet. We suggest you read that if you haven't already. Why? Because when we were out looking at many of the gluten free hot cross bun options, we just couldn't bring ourselves to even present them here, because they were loaded with preservatives and additives, flavours, colours, gums and otherwise.
If you are coeliac, gluten intolerant or wheat intolerant, the best we can recommend are listed below. Or if you want to really be sure about what you're eating, please see a wonderful Gluten Free Hot Cross Bun Recipe by Amy Crawford of The Holistic Ingredient, here.
Unless specified, the hot cross buns reviewed below are not gluten, wheat free or otherwise. We've assessed these buns on the quantity/type of fruit included, spice level, texture and overall taste. Those which aren't numbered are not pictured above.
The Nourish Melbourne hot cross bun winner? Woodfrog Bakery.
P.S. We highly recommend calling ahead to the bakeries/locations listed below to order your buns.
1. Tivoli Road Bakery
3 Tivoli Road South Yarra VIC 3141, (03) 9041 4345
Price: $3.50 each
Fruit: Moderate amount of fruit, with citrus fruits more dominant.
Spice: Moderate amount of spice, not too much or little.
Texture: Sticky glaze to touch which is a little too messy for our liking. Soft, fresh and not too 'doughy'.
Verdict? A good all rounder, but you must like citrus fruits and the sticky glaze.
2. Alison's Handmade Bread
180 Commercial Road Prahran (entrance via Izett Street), (03) 9521 2020
Price: $2.50 each
Fruit: Moderate amount of fruit, mostly raisins.
Spice: Light on spice.
Texture: Light in weight and texture as well as colour.
Verdict? Perfect for the 'fuss-pot' who doesn't like too much spice, but not for those who love the spice and dense textures.
Yeast free. Vegan. Vegetarian. Egg free.
Price: $9.95 (pack of 6)
Fruit: Extremely light on, hardly a raisin to be seen.
Spice: Again, light on.
Texture: Extremely light and 'airy'. Almost like a mini loaf of bread.
Verdict? Not very pleasing but once toasted and buttered/coconut oiled (to keep vegan) up, we think they would be ok.
4. Ancient Grains
Wheat free (spelt flour). Vegan. Egg-free. Yeast free.
We tried the traditional bun, but Ancient Grains also make a fruitless bun, a choc chip bun, and an apricot bun. Check with the stores below to see which ones they stock.
Fruit: Moderate with a good variety of different fruits.
Spice: Overall, a very nice amount of spice, with the clove spice being a little more dominant.
Texture: Moderately dense - not too airy or 'brick like' density.
Verdict? The best wheat free, clean version of a bun we could find according to the ingredients used and still pleasing to eat!
5. Baker D Chirico
149 Fitzroy Street St. Kilda VIC 3182, (03) 9534 3777
178 Faraday Street Carlton VIC 3053, (03) 9349 3345
You can also purchase Baker D Chirico hot cross buns from:
Ripe Organics, Prahran Market
Price: $3.30 each, $3.80 at Ripe Organics
Fruit: Dense on fruit, with all types getting a feature.
Spice: Stunning smell of spice and amount of spice included.
Texture: Moist and dense.
Verdict? The Baker D Chirico hot cross bun is popular for a reason. It may be small, but it wins on so many levels and is perfect for the person looking for the fruit and spice to meet them straight up. There's no mucking around with this bun, and we bloody love it.
6. Woodfrog Bakery
108 Barkly Street St. Kilda VIC 3182, (03) 9077 5440
(The bottom bun in the above picture).
You can also purchase Woodfrog Bakery hot cross buns from:
Paddlewheel, Prahran Market
Aunt Maggies, 270-272 Carlisle Street Balaclava VIC 3182, (03) 9534 6588
Price: $2.70 at the Woodfrog Bakery
Fruit: Not too much citrus but otherwise the perfect amount of all fruit and amount of fruit.
Spice: A nice moderate amount of spice, but won't meet you straight up like the Baker D Chirico bun.
Texture: Soft and light with a slight glaze on the top, but not enough to distract us.
Verdict? This would have to be, the overall winner when assessed on all bases. It's the bun you'd buy for someone who you weren't sure whether they were a 'fruit fan' or 'spice lover'. It toasted beautifully and was just overall, so pleasing. A must try and we must say, a surprise contender.
Gluten free. Grain free. Wheat free. Vegan. Egg-free. Fructose friendly.
The Staple Store
Terra Madre, 103-105 High Street Northcote VIC 3070, (03) 9489 5824
Sunnybrook Health Store, 553A North Road Ormond VIC 3204, (03) 9578 6400
Price: $9.95 for a pack of four (Staple Store)
Fruit: Good measure of fruit and types of fruit, not overloaded.
Spice: No spice at all. More like a 'fruit bun' than hot cross bun.
Texture: Very heavy and dense.
Verdict? One of these is more like a meal than a hot cross bun. Although there is no spice, these are delicious toasted. They would even be scrumptious topped with fresh ricotta, and a drizzle of organic maple syrup or raw honey. The best option for the coeliacs and gluten intolerant's out there with no time to make their own.
8. Crumbs Organic Bakehouse
180 Union Road Ascot Vale VIC 3032, (03) 9375 4777
Price: $3.50 each
Fruit: Moderate balance of all fruits.
Spice: Also moderate level of spice and not overbearing.
Texture: Sourdough bun, so it's quite filling and dense.
Verdict? Overall this delicious sourdough hot cross bun tastes great and is not to overbearing on spice. Delicious and satisfying.