Did you know: hot cross buns are traditionally eaten around Easter and each year, COBS Bread only makes their hot cross buns (from scratch, fresh daily) from January through to March 30?
Also that they are the name of a very popular kids’ song that I think many will remember learning how to play on the recorder in elementary school! Ha.
COBS wanted to bring a bit more attention to their very popular Hot Cross Buns, and give me an opportunity to run a fun bread + Easter giveaway for readers!
Read on for a recap of my visit to COBS Bread Crestwood, and head to the bottom of the post to enter to win COBS Bread For a Year (voucher for one white or whole wheat loaf per week for 52 weeks) + an Easter Bread Prize Package (one 6-pack of Hot Cross Buns, 4 scones, and one sourdough loaf)
During my morning visit to COBS, I learned that while there are 700 COBS Bread bakeries across Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, each individual bakery bakes everything in-house, fresh daily. That means their team of bakers come in throughout the wee hours of the morning making scones, rolls, buns, and all kinds of bread.
Something very important to COBS as well is that they donate all leftover bread to local charities at the end of the day. Crestwood manager and head baker Scott Holmes tells me that in Edmonton, they donate leftovers to Hope Mission, the Breakfast Club program with schools, the Edmonton Food Bank, and senior’s homes. Tracking wastage or items that don’t get sold in a day is important to them.
For Hot Cross Buns season, COBS bakes three varieties: traditional fruit buns, chocolate chip buns, and cranberry orange buns. Each day they make about 270 traditional, 180 cranberry orange, and between 120-150 chocolate chips.
During the three months of the year they sell the buns, they’re basically selling out every day. (Side note: each chocolate chip bun is packed with 100 chocolate chips per bun. Deadly, but delicious).
The traditional fruit buns are filled with raisins and currants, and the dried cranberries and orange is soaked for two hours to achieve ultimate moistness before being mixed in with the bun dough.
— Linda Hoang (@lindork) February 21, 2016
All the ingredients are weighted by hand, but COBS does have this awesome machine that helps cut out the rolls:
After they’re cut into rolls, a baker places them (as straight as possible) on a tray and into an industrial proofer for rising (this would be the equivalent of covering your bread with cloth at home to help it rise).
The buns are placed as straight as possible before resting and rising, so it’s easier for the next baker to add the ‘cross’ topping later on.
To add the ‘cross’ in hot cross buns, COBS uses three different types of mixtures – some with hints of cinnamon, some with a spice.
COBS only sells hot cross buns January through March – one of a few items they only bake seasonally. Scott says it builds up quite a demand and gets people looking forward to the season each year.
— Linda Hoang (@lindork) February 21, 2016
After coming out of the oven, the buns are glazed – which adds to the flavour but also helps keep them moist. Then they’re presented in the front of the bakery!
You can buy in packs of 6 for $6.95 (mix and match your favourite varieties) or get them individually for $1.35 each.
I had such a great visit to COBS Crestwood and am really craving hot cross buns!
My visit also inspired my friend Chris to make his own hot cross buns – yum!
— EatingIsTheHardPart (@shorelinegold) February 21, 2016
If you’re not as confident in your home baking skills, or just want to pick up some buns conveniently – head to your nearest COBS!
Meanwhile, I am so excited that COBS has given me the opportunity to give away bread to readers!
Enter my giveaway for Bread For a Year (voucher for one white or whole wheat loaf per week for 52 weeks) + an Easter Bread Prize Package (one 6-pack of Hot Cross Buns, 4 scones, and one sourdough loaf) below:
** GIVEAWAY ** (now closed)
ENTER TO WIN COBS BREAD FOR A YEAR + AN EASTER BREAD PRIZE PACKAGE!
(Valued at $216)
Here are the different ways you can enter this contest (please check off what you’ve done through the Rafflecopter widget below to qualify!)
- Leave a comment on this blog post telling me which variety of COBS Hot Cross Buns you’d most like to try!
Note: You MUST leave a comment in order to be eligible for the prize!
- Tweet this message: It’s #HotCrossBuns season at @COBSBread! I’d love to try some & win @lindork’s bread giveaway! http://bit.ly/21hFFZa #yegfood #yeg
- Follow me @lindork on Twitter
- Follow @COBSBread on Twitter
- Like my Facebook Page – Lindork – Linda Hoang
- Like COBSBread on Facebook – COBSBread
I’ll randomly select one winner after the contest closes on March 4, 2016.
* Note: Comments are moderated so if they don’t appear right away, don’t worry!
Thanks to COBS Bread for arranging this giveaway with me!
Disclaimer: I will always provide my 100% honest opinion on this blog. COBS Bread invited me to learn about their hot cross buns and do a giveaway for readers. This has no impact on opinions stated in this post.