Earlier this month, a panel of bakery experts assembled at Nada Bakery in Wellington to judge the 2017 Hot Cross Bun Competition. The judging panel was led by Chief Judge Michael Gray of Nada Bakery in Wellington. Over 180 Hot Cross buns from all over New Zealand were submitted to be judged on visual appearance, technical skills, innovation and of course taste. This year the judges found some very adventurous flavours: white chocolate, fig & walnut, and cranberry, cherry & sultana were among the innovative recipes.
This year’s winner was Tongmin Li of Hillpark Bakery in Manurewa with his cinnamon, mixed spice, all spice, raisins, currants and mixed peel Hot Cross Bun, made with a butter and egg-enriched dough. Second place went to Angie Robertson from Hastings City New World with her Tropical fruit Hot Cross Bun, consisting of papaya, mango, starfruit and rock melon with toasted coconut.
Third place went to Deborah Bruce of Ubake in Timaru for her Traditional Hot Cross Bun containing mixed spices, orange-soaked sultanas, using a long fermentation period to develop the flavours and as the final touch an apricot, orange and clove-infused sweet glaze.
The winners will receive a pallet of flour from Farmers Mill, marketing material for the business and the BIANZ Executive trophy for Hot Cross Buns.
The judges were impressed with the standard of entries and Chief Judge Gray said: “It is great to see so many high-quality buns on the table. It shows that the baking industry in New Zealand has very high quality bakeries all over the country. The innovation of ingredients is great to see and helps to keep baking and exciting industry to be involved in.”
“The competition is open for all bakeries to enter, whether they are a BIANZ member or not, but this year’s winners happen to be members, which shows the value that BIANZ helps to add to bakeries,” said a BIANZ spokesperson.