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Hot Cross Bun Challenge

Poundbakery take on Greggs in the almighty battle of the buns

Written by . Published on April 5th 2012.

Hot Cross Bun Challenge

BEFORE the big egg roll and gorge on Easter Sunday, you might like to treat your taste buds to hot cross buns - the traditional spiced, sticky glazed fruit buns marked with edible crosses that represent the Crucifixion, for some.

The big debate immediately bouncing around the office was with regards to peel. Does it have a place within the fluffy, sticky dough of a hot cross bun?

Traditionally eaten on Good Friday, they’re best served toasted with lashings of salty butter. Extremely moreish, we couldn’t turn down the opportunity to taste test hot cross bun offerings from Poundbakery and Greggs. It was a tale of two buns...

The big debate immediately bouncing around the office was with regards to peel. Does it have a place within the fluffy, sticky dough of a hot cross bun?

“I just don’t get the enjoyment of eating peel,” said accounts manager Georgina Hague, pointing angrily at the little golden flecks visible in the Greggs hot cross buns. “You peel an orange and put the peel in the bin right?”

Greggs Hot Cros Buns 6 For £1.30Greggs Hot Cros Buns 6 For £1.30

Over in the sales department, Chris Grimes was adamant that the fruit maketh the bun: “Greggs’ hot cross bun is more fluffy and has more fruit.”

Editor-in-chief Jonathan Schofield begged to differ, sidetracking the peel debate and instead opting for a height comparison (see pic below) where the bouncy Poundbakery bun came out victorious against the rather limp looking Greggs offering. He did of course choose to eat them untoasted and unbuttered, simply because he couldn’t be bothered to wait for Confidential’s admin assistant, Adam Braithwaite, to go and buy butter.

(L-R) Greggs and Pound Bakery Hot Cross Buns, Untoasted(L-R) Greggs and Pound Bakery Hot Cross Buns, Untoasted

Adam on the other hand, was straight to the toaster upon his return with the saltiest of butter. Jonathan wished he’d waited when the smell of toasted cinnamon hit the air.

Adam was immediately critical of the amount of peel in the Greggs bun (not that again - yawn) but, preferring not to take sides, he instead recommended we all try the supermarkets own versions because “they’re baked freshly on-site and tend to have lots of currants or raisins and hardly any peel with a sticky glaze on top. I know that’s totally going off the point of this challenge but I just thought I would say.”

Thanks for that Adam.

Pound Bakery Hot Cross Buns 8 For £1Poundbakery Hot Cross Buns 8 For £1

A mixed bag of opinion on the buns thus far, we decided to turn to the King of Confidential for the final verdict – publisher, food critic and hot cross bun scoffer Gordo.  

His PA, Rachel dashed excitedly to the kitchen to toast both varieties in a fair way. She slapped some butter on and placed them anonymously onto a plate before presenting them to the awaiting bun monster. After a quick inspection, Gordo returned them to the kitchen for more butter. Get it right Rachel.

In probably the shortest food review of his life, the winner came down to one thing and one thing only for the big man.

He bit into the Poundbakery bun. No response.

And then Greggs...

“Cinnamon,” hollered Gordo, with a mouthful of Greggs.

“Cinnamon makes it more authentic, so that’s the winner.”

Cinnamon in key, says GordoCinnamon is key, says Gordo
All in all, it was a pretty even battle to be fair, which largely depends on whether your preference is for peel or plain. Either way, this Bank Holiday weekend is all about naughty, sweet foods, so get yourself down to your nearest Greggs or Poundbakery (or supermarket if you're Adam Braithwaite) for these cheap and cheerful seasonal treats.

Greggs Hot Cross Buns cost £1.30 for six or two packs for £2.

Poundbakery Hot Cross Buns cost £1 for eight.

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