Hot cross buns are the bomb. Their entire raison d’etre is to provide a warm bed for butter – the greatest substance in the world – to melt upon. Sure, toast offers the same treat, but toast is quotidian and un-special. Hot cross buns, on the other hand, are fleeting and very special. (Okay, sometimes they stick around longer than they should.) I find the sense of anticipation in the lead-up to the HCB window bolsters its status as King of the Buns.
As a huge fan, I thought I’d already experienced them the best way you possibly can: halved and slathered in butter. That was until the other day, when my mates Annie Piper and Will Porter showed up in my Instagram story reel with a startling bun hack. Their account Getting Cooked With Annie and Will collates recipes, useful tips (like what to do with all that leftover tarragon you had to buy for a single recipe), and generally hilarious kitchen antics. But this trick was revolutionary.
“We’re coming at you this morning with a kitchen hack,” said Piper. “Take a hot cross bun, but instead of cutting it into two … cut it into three.”
Never in all my years of eating hot cross buns had it occurred to me to increase the surface area for butter without eating more buns (not that I’d be entirely opposed to doing that either).
“Double-cut hot cross buns are completely logical. Halving the bun usually leaves the bun too thick, burnt on the corners, and your hands sticky from trying to push the fat pieces into the toaster. When you double-cut it, you feel as though you’re getting more bang for your buck. It makes the toasting process quicker, and there’s more space to spread glorious butter on,” says Piper.
“Let’s be real, one bun is never enough,” she adds. “You’re going to have two, so instead of having four pieces, why not have six? I’ve been doing it since I was a kid. Some people disapprove but they’re wrong.”
Want to read more about hot cross buns?
Two Broadsheet writers on the age-old debate: are they better microwaved or toasted?
If you want to make them at home, try this recipe.
But if that’s too fiddly, buy one of the finest in Melbourne, Sydney or Perth.
And the perfect butter for your HCB is made just south of Sydney.