Research for this taste test blog post has been hard work, as you can imagine! Although Mr FFL may have got slightly annoyed with the amount of hot cross buns in the house (and now freezer)!
Due to the low fodmap diet I exclude gluten from my diet but I love hot cross buns, so I made it my mission to try as many gluten free buns as I could for your reading pleasure.
I set out a judging criteria, which is based around these 10 aspects (influence from Mr FFL, to add in some ‘science’ to the testing):
- Butter Absorption
- Cross Attachment
- Shelf Life
When testing the buns, I tried two types at the same time, to make sure there was more of a comparison at each tasting test.
The Just Bakery Hot Cross Buns are definitely the most perfectly shaped buns on the market. The Just Bakery buns are also very thick which means there is a lot of bread in one mouthful.
Marks and Spencers Hot Cross Buns
The Marks and Spencers (M&S) Hot Cross Buns have a large number of dried fruits and spices in each bun which really adds to the flavour. The buns are quite thin especially compared to the Just Bakery buns. The M&S buns are very soft and toast well.
Asda Hot Cross Buns
The Asda Hot Cross Buns have a good flavour, maybe on a par as the Marks and Spencer’s buns. The Asda buns do not have a good shelf life though, and that really lets them down – I went the extra mile to find buns with a better date, I even looked in boxes at the top of shelves, to ensure this post was fair.
The look of the Asda buns weren’t as pretty as the Just Bakery buns, but their spicy flavour was definitely a winner.
The Sainsburys Hot Cross Buns had a similar look to the Asda buns. I personally felt they did not have much flavour and do not compare to the other buns I tried. Under the other categories the Sainsburys bun were pretty average and did not really stand out.
Now I am sure you are all thinking, this is a loaf not a hot cross bun, and you would be right. I wanted to include the Genius spicy fruit loaf, because a) I love it and b) it tastes just like a hot cross bun!
The look of the loaf obviously fails my criteria as it is not a bun shape. I gave Genius a 5 out 10 for ‘look’ as it could never be shaped like a bun. On the other end of the scale the loaf wins on size, as it will always be bigger than one bun. The loaf has a great flavour and the shelf life is the best of all the products i tested.
And the winner is…………………………………………
Marks and Spencer’s! The flavour really stood out and it came out very high on the toasting and butter absorption scale.