Easter's the time to smell the cinnamon

Oatlands pastry chef Wayne Jacka’s hot cross buns are about to start selling like hot cakes.

This week, the owner operator of Cake Mania at Parramatta began his annual hot cross bun baking for the Easter period, and based on last year’s sales, he expects to sell about 4,500.

"Let's just say for Easter Thursday I'm here from about 10pm Wednesday night until about 5pm on Thursday afternoon," he said.

From start to finish, a batch of hot cross buns takes about three hours to prepare.

But that doesn't bother Wayne, a pastry chef of 29 years, who counts baking the traditional treats as a highlight of the job.

"Nothing beats the traditional," he said. "It's one of those things I enjoy doing best."

Asked what the secret is to baking the perfect hot cross buns, Mr Jacka said quality ingredients like quality yeast are key to ensure the buns rise properly, as is choosing the perfect moment to add them to the oven.

"Yeast doesn't wait. Sponges and muds you can leave a little while before baking, but you've got to be ready when a bun or bread mix is ready," he said.

"You've got to get it in there, because once it rises too far it will collapse."

Macquarie Street's Cake Mania bakes fresh hot cross buns daily. Traditional fruit buns, chocolate chip and fruit-free varieties available.

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