what? bread?

a blog about making bread at home

Archive for the category “buns”

Scandinavian cinnamon buns – Guardian recipe

Tired of mince pies? Can’t face another bit of stollen? Don’t want to eat your Christmas cake yet? Need a bit of something sweet and bready? Today’s Cook supplement in the Guardian had a lovely front page picture of cinnamon buns and the recipe couldn’t be easier. I did give the dough a couple of quick Dan Lepard style 10 second kneads while it was resting. I used some spelt flour because I had some, and I didn’t have any demerara sugar so it got topped with some soft brown sugar. My tin is also a bit smaller than required, so I added a few extra minutes baking time. Here’s some pictures while I wait for it to finish cooling.

after mixing

after mixing

a quick knead after 10 mins

a quick knead after 10 mins

another quick knead

another quick knead

dough patted out to size

dough patted out to size

filling spread across

filling spread across

rolled up into a sausage

rolled up into a sausage

popped in the pan

popped in the pan

after 30 mins rising

after 30 mins rising

with egg and sugar before baking

with egg and sugar before baking

baked, but in the tin

baked, but in the tin

out of the tin in one go

out of the tin in one go

Great British Bake Off Pretzels

Had a slightly crappy night/morning/lunchtime so need some dough-based therapy to cheer me up a bit. Only time to try half a batch today, but if a recipes goes well when done in half it will go well when the whole batch is made.

Recipe on the GBBO Good Food website over here.

Nothing particularly interesting in there, but another use for the malt from the malt loaf recipe. I’m using fresh yeast as usual.

Mixing the malt with cold milk from the fridge meant that the malt didn’t dissolve and just sort of twined itself around the fork and looked a bit sulky. I wonder if the milk should be at ambient or warmer? So I swished it about a bit and then poured it all in and stirred it up. I did leave it for a Dan Lepard 10 minute rest before going in and giving it quite a good knead. It is quite a stiff dough, very different to the soft pizza dough I’m also making at the same time for tonight’s dinner.

I don’t think I have a pan that will take 7 litres of boiling water as suggested in the recipe. My biggest pan is……goes off to find out…. about 3 litres. I do have a bigger preserving pan, but I’m not using that. I wonder why we need 7 litres of boiling water when the pretzels are only going in for 5 seconds each? Anyway I think I will be doing them in about 2 litres of water in the big pan, so will be reducing the bicarbonate of soda appropriately.

Ok, shaping them went OK, with a bit of twiddling to get the loops right. Then they went for a quick swim. When I put the first one in the pan it sank, so I left it to rise to the surface, which took 10 seconds. Then the others went in one at a time. After the bath I sprinkled Maldon salt and sesame seeds onto each one before putting the next into the pan. Then all straight into the oven. Time went OK, about 23 minutes all told, and they were hard when I tapped them. Soft and dense on the inside. Not quite sure what good they are to man or beast as they are not rolls or buns but I see on Wikipedia that the Germans fill them with cheese and ham. Is there anything they don’t fill with cheese and ham?

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Great British Bake Off Apricot Couronne

It was sweet bread week on GBBO last Tuesday. There’s not much I like more than sweet, fruity buns and breads so this was one of my favourite programmes in the series so far.

The technical challenge was a Paul Hollywood recipe – the apricot couronne, which just means ‘crown’ in French apparently. The recipe can be found on the BBC Food website here.

Regular readers will know that I don’t much like all the salt that Paul Hollywood puts in his breads, so the first change I’ve made is to reduce the salt by half, just a half a teaspoon of salt flakes for me please, ground in my pestle and mortar.

I also use fresh yeast, so that’s 14g of that, and this time I’ve mixed it with the milk and egg before adding to the dry goods.

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I’ve also not got in there and got sticky, I’ve gone the Dan Lepard way, so it was mixed,

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left for 10 mins, kneaded briefly

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and then left another 10 minutes, kneaded briefly,

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left and, then in a change from the normal Dan way, kneaded until smooth while I listened to the Archers,

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before putting back in the bowl for the rise.

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I’ve also used the milk and egg straight out of the fridge so it was pretty chilly and I hope the extra handling at the third knead has put some warmth into the dough. Next time, I’m going to try and remember to use the milk and egg from ambient as we’re heading into winter and my kitchen is not the warmest.

The filling consists of butter, sugar, apricots, plain flour, raisins, walnuts and orange zest. I have tried the recipe before and forgot to put in the flour because I was in a bit of a rush, the result was edible but a lot of the butter ‘fell’ out of the crown while it was baking and made a gooey mess on the baking paper with some of the sugar, which burned. So lesson learned, I measured out all the ingredients while the dough was resting, remembered the flour and I hope the butter doesn’t fall out this time. It is unusual to see flour in the filling paste, usually there’s some spices but this recipe doesn’t seem to have any.

In another diversion from the recommended ingredients I have slightly reduced the apricots because the bags of pre-soaked apricots contain 200g, so I’ve used half a bag of those, 100g instead of the listed 120g. I didn’t have quite enough raisins either, so I’ve made up the quantity of fruit with dried cherries. There’s another recipe on the BBC site that also contains marzipan, that could be nice nearer Christmas I think.

I needn’t have worried about the temperature, the first rise went off quite nicely. Then I spread the dough by hand,

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filled it, rolled it up, cut it down the middle

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and then did the twisting.

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Paul Hollywood liked the ones on the show that were open and where you could see the filling, so I tried to get the layers open. Getting the beast on the tray is a bit of a wrestle, as it is all quite soft. The second rise in the plastic bag was for about half an hour or so, then it went into the top oven as I was roasting chicken in the big one.

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30 minutes later and there we are,

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a few burnt bits of fruit round the edge, but the butter and sugar pretty much all stayed in, then on to the cooling rack, some apricot jam and icing drizzled on it, topped off with nuts. I can’t wait ’til tea time.

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The quest for chelsea buns goes on

As I wrote over here I have been trying out chelsea bun recipes. A week or so ago I tried the Paul Hollywood recipe in the latest Great British Bake Off showstoppers book, and due to lack of attention managed to remind myself that heating milk to too high a temperature is a very bad thing when buns are involved and I may have managed to kill off the yeast so the dough didn’t rise much and was a bit tough – so no picture here and lesson learned.

This afternoon I had the chance to try again and used the technique I have for heating water to the correct temperature which was to heat one third of the milk to boiling point and then add the remainder as cold milk. There may be those that say that all milk should be scalded before baking becuase it changes the proteins and doesn’t denature the gluten. A quick glance at wikipedia reveals that pasturised milk has already been at over 70 deg C, albeit for a short time. Who knows what effect that has on the proteins and what not. Anyway, today the recipe worked and I made a batch of 12 from the recipe which suggests it does 10, and they came out pretty much as one would wish.

So what have we got here – a soft, rich dough made with milk and an egg, and a filling that includes melted butter, orange zest, light brown sugar, chopped apricots, sultanas and cranberries. They are topped off with a glaze of apricot jam and then splashed with glace icing, and here I diverged from the recipe and used some orange juice instead of water and orange zest (so there PH!). So not traditional, but very tasty and I commend them to the house.

Chelsea buns

A Mellow Bakers suggested bake – Chelsea buns from Dan Lepard’s Handmade Loaf – these are Chelsea buns Jim, but not necessarily as we know them. I’d like to offer some buns on LakesBakes but I’ve not found the perfect recipe yet, and this probably isn’t it…. yet.

Filling is sugar, butter lemon and nutmeg, not the expected cinnamon, but  only a tiny bit, so the flavour didn’t really come across strongly. I think I prefer more spice in mine. The dough rose nicely, it has golden syrup in and two eggs, so is quite rich. My kitchen is quite cold really but they were cuddled up on the hob with the saucepan that was boiling my Christmas pud, so kept the suggested 21 to 25 deg there while they needed it.

They also baked quite hard and the outsides are a bit crunchy, maybe they’ll mellow a bit if they get the time. I didn’t finish them with the sugar glaze as suggested, because some of the filling had leaked and caramelised on the bottom of the pan and things were sticky enough already. Tip to fellow Mellows – do use paper or it will weld itself to the pan. I had to use my roasting tin as I don’t have a 12 inch cake pan.

I will be attempting Paul Hollywood’s version from the latest Great British Bake Off book at some point – and writing that blog about Christmas puds.

Here’s the pics.

raisin and cinnamon loaf and some Jubilee nostalgia

A blog with two themes.

Here’s my Mellow Baker’s raisin and cinnamon loaf, from Dan Lepard’s The Handmade Loaf, the first of our June bakes.

Ingredients: strong white flour, rye flour (I used light), wholewheat flour, salt, cinnamon, rye leaven (mine was going a bit crusty so I used half and half white and rye), water, olive oil, yeast, honey and raisins.

Nothing tricky about the instructions, typical Dan Lepard kneading for 10 secs and leave it, three times. Leave to rise for an hour, shape and leave to rise for 2 hours and then slash, spray and bake. I found the suggested baking time would be too long – the book says 50 minutes, mine had just over 30 in the oven and was very dark brown, almost burned. The crumb is thus a little moister than perhaps the book would suggest. However, I think all of this will get eaten.

Pictures:

While the loaf was rising I watched the coverage of Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations in London on the TV. I was pregnant when the Golden Jubilee happened and couldn’t tell you a thing that was done to celebrate 10 years ago, but I do have memories of the Silver Jubilee in 1977.

Silver Jubilee nostalgia…. being an oldish person now, I was at the end of ‘Middle School’ in 1977. I went to Coston’s Middle School in the London Boroough of Ealing, I actually won the local council’s Jubilee painting competition. I painted a picture of how I imagined the crowd looked on Coronation Day 1953, but it was a pity nobody told me it rained buckets that day. The prize was some vouchers to spend in Ealing and a party at Greenford Hall. I remember I spent the vouchers on a tennis racket (which I still have) , a casette of the Muppets (ma na ma na anyone?) and a book of music from the music shop on New Broadway (as I had pretensions of being musical, despite having a ‘flat ear’). This old photo has a music shop in it I think, maybe it was that one.

Not my memories but you can see how the town I live in now celebrated Coronation Day 1953 on YouTube here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4oskw2AtJwE&feature=relmfu and  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IEgjr3FQw4s&feature=relmfu .

skillingsbollar – or I wish I lived in Norway

As viewers of the Hairy Bikers Bakeation will know, the first programme in the series was set in Norway. And for me so far, has provided the most useful recipes in the accompanying book. The book has more recipes in than they show in the series, which is good, but the recipe that it doesn’t have for Norway was the one that looked the most interesting to me when I watched the programme, skillingsbollar baked by Morten Schakenda at his bakery in Lom. On the TV show you can see the amazing view the bakers have out of a picture window over the river and the wood fired ovens they use. Today we had pouring rain so it was a bit like that here (not really!) but I don’t have a wood fired oven.

So to find a recipe I trawled the ‘net and found this recipe by an American lady called Marion who lives in Norway and who seems to know her buns! Morten’s book seems only to be available in Norwegian but this recipe has all you need to know.

So – ingredients are flour, milk, sugar,yeast, salt, cardamom, egg, butter, cinnamon and sugar mixed up. The cardamom goes into the dough – a secret Norwegian ingredient. And I’ve added some sultanas. And there’s an eggy wash on the top.

Unlike everything I’ve made by Dan, this recipe required real kneading – two lots of 15 minutes each! I’ve not had time to keep taking photos, so I’m afraid you’ll have to make do with these:

Just as well the bikers have announced a series about dieting!

I’ve been out supporting runners in the Milton Keynes marathon this morning, and I think I deserve a treat now! Nearly as much as the competitors did. And after I’ve done with all this, perhaps I go for a little run myself, if it ever stops raining, every time I look out, it’s at it again.

Flaky butter buns

This is my third Mellow Bakers bake for April.From Dan Lepard’s The Handmade Loaf page 146.

Ingredients are simply flour, salt, milk, yeast and butter. After last weekend’s excessive white bun creation I only made a half quantity, but I have to say right now I wish I’d made a whole one. Husband and child went out while I was baking and the buns had just finished a few minutes before they got back and they both came in saying “mmmm croissants”. Went down very nicely with a bit of last year’s raspberry jam.  I would definitely do these again and now have more confidence about trying real croissants.

So here’s the pictures:

Hot Cross Buns and some nostalgia

When I was young (back in the stone age of the late 60s and early 70s!) you had to go to a bakery and buy fresh hot cross buns on Good Friday. The baker’s was possibly the only shop open on that day. Then we’d rush home and eat them, and hopefully they might still be warm. The bakery may have been List’s Bakery  in Greenford Broadway, far left in that old picture and sadly no longer in existence, the shop unit was empty when I looked on Google streetview (between Hallmark and a charity shop) and that lovely old Art Deco almost Dutch style brickwork at the top has also gone. That was the only time of the year we did bought those buns. 

Of course things have changed and we can buy hot cross buns pretty much all year round in packets from supermarkets in the UK. I’ve made loads of buns over the years and that’s been fine, but this year I wanted to recreate the fresh in the morning smell and softness of buns baked on the day. The buns I have made in the evening have typically ended up a bit harder by the next morning. So I have been practising on my family and workmates and come up with this recipe and procedure which starts in the afternoon one day and finishes in the morning that I want the buns. It is  adapted from both Dan Lepard and BBC Good Food.

330ml milk, 50g butter, 500g strong white bread flour, 1 tsp salt, 75g caster sugar, oil for kneading or oiling bowl, 15g fresh yeast ( or 7g fast-action added to the flour), 1 egg, 300g mixed dried fruit, 4 tsp mixed spice. Cross ingredients are optional – 75g plain flour mixed with water and some sunflower oil), glaze is sugar in water with some mixed spice.

  • Bring the milk to boiling point, remove from heat, add the butter and leave to melt and cool to ambient.
  • Meanwhile weigh out and mix dry ingredients – flour, sugar, salt, spice
  • When milk is cool add yeast and egg and add to dry ingredients.
  • Knead for 5 mins, leave in oiled bowl for about 2 hours until doubled in size
  • Knead in the fruit, leave in the bowl for further 2 hours or so
  • Just before bedtime, weigh into 15 pieces (approx 85g each), and form into buns, leave on baking tray, cover with oiled cling film until morning
  • In the morning, oven on to 220 C, pipe on the crosses if liked, and bake buns for about 20 mins until golden
  • While baking mix 20g caster sugar and half a teaspoon of mixed spice with 20ml water, bring to boil in a pan to ensure sugar is dissolved. When buns are baked brush sugar onto them while still warm
  • Eat!

The spice seems to slow down the speed of the yeast’s rising so everything just takes its own time.

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The next day

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I’ll be tucking in shortly as I’m off out for a run.

Sunday baking loaves and buns and cookies

Here’s what I have been doing this afternoon – starting with two loaves for Monday and Tuesday’s breakfasts and lunches. This is based on Dan Lepard’s wholemeal loaf, but with some white flour to lighten the loaf. The ingredients are: water, yeast, sugar, salt, wholemeal and white flours, and some sunflower oil.

While I was doing that I also made Dan’s hot cross buns  from this week’s Guardian magazine. I made 15 rather than the advertised 12, and didn’t put the crosses on. Very yummy!

And after that I put in a batch of Hairy Biker’s Norwegian cardamom and lemon cookies. Only the final result for them, you can watch how to do it on the BBC website.

Norwegian cardamom and lemon cookies

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