Best buns in Hob­sonville

Count­down stores across NZ bat­tled it out to find the best.

North Harbour News - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE -

It’s that time again: spice, fruit and the smell of warm bread.

Hot cross buns are here and Count­down Hob­sonville is lead­ing the way, hav­ing taken first place in their na­tion­wide hot cross bun com­pe­ti­tion.

Fresh food man­ager Ju­liana Mur­phy says ev­ery­one was very keen to hear the out­come, given there were so many stages to go through.

The store first won best bun for their area, then zone and fi­nally best of the coun­try - with only three other stores in the fi­nal stage. All 184 Count­down stores took part.

First prize was $1000 to share with the team, ‘‘the ku­dos of be­ing the best hot cross bun baker in the coun­try’’, a tro­phy, and even a box of con­grat­u­la­tory choco­lates from Her­shey’s - the sup­pli­ers of the choco­late for the choco­late­flavoured hot cross buns.

Buns were as­sessed on tex­ture, colour, pre­sen­ta­tion, glaze, spice and fruit spread, proof­ing or shape, and the po­si­tion and shape of the cross.

Head of the four-strong bak­ery team Kishore Badurla says he was care­ful to fol­low the recipes di­rectly and not change any­thing.

Hot cross buns started be­ing made in the last week of Jan­uary and will go un­til just af­ter Easter.

But what re­ally made the dif­fer­ence with Hob­sonville bak­ery’s buns?

It comes to down to pride, Mur­phy says.

‘‘It’s not just putting bread on the shelf. There’s a whole sci­ence to what they do out the back there, and I’m in awe of what they do.’’

Sec­ond place went to

Auck­land’s Ma­nurewa Count­down. Third and fourth places went to Avon­head and Wan­ganui re­spec­tively.

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