Making, baking, all the time! That's what it seems like and it all tastes good. I can't believe Easter is just a week ago it seems like ages ago. In our family we like to call it YEaster. Good Friday brought us Hot Cross Buns. My kids begged me for weeks beforehand to make some but I refused to do so until the traditional day. Hot cross buns had been in the shops since Christmas but for me, I will only eat them on Good Friday and then only the buns I have made myself (or my Mums or sisters, my sister also made chocolate ginger Hot cross Buns and a Danish marzipan wreath which was delicioso!). I'll eat a spicy fruit bun any time of year, but for me buns with crosses are significant and are eaten to remember the day Jesus Christ was crucified. Dove rolls became a tradition for me many years ago. I make these Easter Saturday.
rolls should be light and moist and fragrant.
Sweet bread Dough (I usually double the recipe for a crowd)
From this basic dough you can make a lovely variety of sweet festive breads - add fruits, spices and icings as you wish.
4 cups flour
large pinch of salt
3/4-1 cup milk
125g (4oz) butter
30g (1oz) fresh yeast (I just use dried yeast)
1/2 cup caster sugar (I put regular sugar in the blender a few bursts)
2 eggs, beaten
finely grated zest of 2 lemons
Sift the flour with the salt into a large bowl. Heat 3/4 cup milk to lukewarm, then add the butter and allow to melt. add the milk and butter mixture to the yeast, stirring until dissolved. Mix in the sugar (and zest) and eggs.
Make a well in the flour, pour in the milk and yest mixture and mix until smooth and elastic, adding more milk if necessary to make a soft dough. Place the dough in a greased bowl, turning it over in the bowl so that it is lightly greased all over. Cover with a damp cloth and leave to rise in a warm place for 45 to 50 minutes or until doubled in bulk. Knock down the dough, pull sides to centre, turn it over then cover and allow to rise again for 30 minutes or until doubled in bulk. Knock down the dough, pull sides to centre, turn it over, then cover and allow to rise again for 30 minutes before shaping and proving.
Makes 1 loaf, 6-8 large or 12 medium buns.
To make the doves, take a piece of dough and roll between the hands to make a sausage about 9" long and tie it in a knot. make sure there is enough poking up at the top for a head and a longer piece hanging out the bottom to make the tail. With the palm of your hand, squish the tail into a flat circular shape and use a knife to cut the tail feathers which can be fanned out if you wish. Pinch the head to make a beak. Push 2 cloves into the head for eyes. They need to pushed in firmly as they will come out as the dough rises. They can be popped in further after rising and before baking. Make an egg wash and use a pastry brush and glaze each dove and cover in almond flakes one at a time, so the glaze doesn't dry out which stops the almonds from sticking. The kids love to help squish the tails, poke in the eyes and stick the feathers on.
Remove the cloves before eating. They give a lovely aroma to the head dough.
On Sunday I made Olie Bollen.
Who needs chocolate?
Today my sister sent me a link to The Knead for Bread. I can highly recommend it for recipes and inspiration. It is my sons birthday today and the Lemon Monkey Bread looked like it would make a delicious birthday cake for my son who doesn't like cream cake. Everything went well until it came time to turn it out. I think there was a bit much lemon cheesecake between the layers and not all of it came out as one. It was a bit of a mess, but it still looked yummy. I just piled each little lemon roll back on top. The lemon butter sauce poured over was still a bit hot and runny too but this is the first birthday cake in a long time that was finished within half an hour of blowing out the candles. There was a lot of groaning and holding of full bellies after the party tea, but it was just too hard to resist.