When it comes to determining who can claim the title of best buns in town, it's no easy feat.
This week, I take a tour around some of Wellington’s best bakeries as they prep for the Easter madness by preparing to prove that their buns are the best of the best. I find out what Easter means to each of the capital's bakers and they dish on how they devour their Easter treats.
1. Arobake, Aro Valley
For the past 28 years, Arobake has called the quirky suburb of Aro Valley home. They like to keep things traditional here, starting the hot cross bun bake-off on Ash Wednesday, marking the first day of lent. This year, they are baking a classic spicy, fruit-full bun. This traditional recipe certainly won't disappoint – these buns are beautifully dense and hit the higher end of fruit-to-dough ratio, which just so happens to be right up my alley. If you live in any of the eastern suburbs, Arobake is a fantastic pitstop on the way to or from town – it doesn't hurt that they make a great cup of coffee here, too.
Owner: Maximilian Fuhrer
Have it your way: “I love them toasted with either butter, jam or both.”
Easter means: "Celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ – and resting after the craziness.”
2. Leeds Street Bakery, Wellington Central
Wellington's recent development of back streets and laneways around the CBD has created multiple opportunities for unique businesses to pop up. Leeds Street Bakery – tucked away on the laneway between Dixon and Ghuznee – is a perfect example of one of those businesses that has really filled a gap. This year, Leeds Street are sticking to their tried and true formula and baking a traditional hot cross bun. Again, you can’t disagree with sticking to a classic recipe, especially one that has stood the test of time. Leeds Street is something of a hidden gem, so step off the beaten track to check out their open-style cafe, where you can sit, watch and experience the busy bakers at work, through a glass wall.
Owner: Jesse Simpson
Have it your way: “Heated up with heaps of real butter”
Easter means: “Hot cross buns always remind me of being a kid and that amazing smell wafting out of the kitchen when Mum had just made a fresh batch.”
3. Gramercy, Berhampore
Located In the vibrant suburb of Berhampore along Adelaide, one of Wellington's oldest roads, sits Gramercy. Derived from the French term “grand merci”, Gramercy means “many thanks” but I feel like the people of this community will be thanking them after seeing the quality of their produce. This year, they will be offering a traditional currant-filled bun, featuring their own in-house candied peel, sourdough culture and choux pastry cross – and I can assure you, there are no half measures taken here. Next time you're heading out to Island Bay Coast, be sure to fuel up on the way through.
Owner: James Whyte
Have it your way: “Lightly toasted, slathered with Lurpak and topped off with a chaser of Cadbury Caramello Eggs."
Easter means: “Celebrating family."
Best Bun On The Run: Moore Wilson's
Easter can be a busy time with school holidays and long road trips chasing the last of summer. If you find yourself with limited time to spare and in desperate need of a quick doughy fix, I recommend heading to Wellington’s best fresh market, Moore Wilsons. Here, you'll find a full range of hot cross buns, including gluten-free varieties, chocolate flavours, mini 12-packs and even a twist on the old classic, a hot cross loaf. All of the buns on offer here are supplied fresh from a variety of artisan bakeries within the Wellington region.