It is time for the annual hot cross bun hunt.
I may have had the ultimate hot cross bun today, but it had a real edge because it was hot from the oven. It in no way matched anything I want out of a hot cross bun so I may need to rethink what the perfect bun is.
I have tried this year
Bear Claw Bakery
Hot from the oven, the fluffy biscuit like bun had a thin spread of white icing, A thick piping of custard formed the cross. The custard was warm too. There was a restrained use of fruit, a good thing.
Palo Alto Baking Company
Glaze on top and pineapple cross (points off). Nice bun. It was a dense bun filled with regular raisins, golden raisins, and finely chopped orange rind and citron which added flavor without being obnoxious. I enjoyed it very much despite the pineapple.
Yeasty bun. MUST have white icing cross. I like raisins, Im not crazy about candied fruit.
Anywhere from Sonoma to Santa Cruz. Have hot cross bun, will travel.
I have not tried the following yet. Has anyone tried these? Do you have other suggestions?
Masas, Acme, Delange, Arizmendi, Emporio Rulli, Fierellis, Gayle's Bakery.
Does Bouchon have hot cross buns?
There was a mention that June Taylor made them one year at Ferry Plaza as well as Downtown Bakery. Has anyone spotted them this year?
Last year someone mentioned:
The Village Bakery in Sebastopol in Sonoma County bakes them nicely with a yeast dough and a hint of cardamom, raisins, and a light white confectioner's icing cross on top for $2.25 each.
My favorites so far:
Boudin made the perfect hot cross bun. Last year they fooled with it and wrapped them individually in plastic. They were still good, but not AS good.
I like Virginia Bakerys version.
Rejected hot cross buns include:
The supermarket types that usually have a tasteless bun, too much cnndied fruit and not enough raisins and shudder a pineapple topping. So that covers Creighton's, Shuberts, Eppler's, and Neldham's. I dont know about Creightens since the ownership change.
Whole Foods - Dont remember why. Just didnt like them.
Liberty Cafe's version and it was just ok. The bun was a little dry. They do a non traditional custard type topping which was very good
The worst I have ever had. As often is the case with Miette, looks 10 taste zero. The were golden and plump with a deep cross cut in the top and filled with, my favorite, white icing. Dry, stale tasting and they used rye flour. The less than generous currents were tasteless. The icing was ok. Had to buy 4 at a stiff $6.Took a few bites and threw the rest away.
Im not sure about Pinoles Bear Claw Bakery. I think anything hot from the oven just has too much of an advantage. Will need to try it cold. Bear Claw has this odd thing about their pastry, it is very tasty, but it has a texture that reminds me of the Pillsbury refrigerated cinnamon rolls.
Thanks for your thoughts and suggestions.