Ten O'Clock Cookie Cafe Bakery has regained the crown as bakers of the best hot cross buns in New Zealand.
The Masterton bakery has been named the 2014 winner of the National Champion Hot Cross Bun Competition after a golden run as back-to-back national champions for three years up to 2009.
Nathanael Cressey, bakery manager, said he was more than pleased the bakery had again seized the mantle for the best hot cross buns in New Zealand even though victory was always hard-fought and never guaranteed.
"We knew we had the right recipe but it's just a matter of pulling off the premium product on the day. You're never quite sure how it's going to turn out."
Mr Cressey, who has worked at the bakery for eight years, said only the best buns are made and selected for the contest and bakery customers and about 5000 six-bun packets will be baked over the six weeks leading up to Easter.
There was no secret recipe for the champion buns, he said. "It's really all about how you treat the dough and giving it enough time.
"It's not about what you put in it, it's all about the technique and knowing how to work the dough. It's all well timed and everything is measured every day," he said.
"You need a good appearance - a good shaped bun and the cross has to be in the very middle, and you need even fruit dispersion throughout the bun as well, which is very important," he added. Mr Cressey said the national champion buns are available to buy at Ten O'Clock Cookie Cafe bakery and at Moore Wilson's in Masterton and in Wellington.