I just love my college, isn’t it pretty? I am so grateful for the opportunity of studying there…
I will try and do my very best not to fall behind with the posts regarding what we do in College even if I have too much on my plate at the moment (no pun intended).
The college is organizing a fundraising Afternoon Tea on the 12 November. Believe it or not, after ten years of living in London I still haven’t been to one. My friends Fernanda and Lydia have already said they would be coming along. I am really looking forward to it!
The last lesson on bread was devoted to making bun dough. This is an enriched bread dough: it has eggs and sugar. However, it is not too sweet. I did some of my buns without the fondant, glazing them instead in hot syrup. The result were buns reminiscent of the pancitos chips (chips bread rolls) we have in Argentina. Those were great with savoury fillings as I discovered later that night.
In the photo (from far left to front right): doughnuts (more on that later…), Devonshire splits, currant buns, butter buns, Swiss buns, Bath buns and cinnamon buns.
Basic bun dough – from English Food by Jane Grigson
1 lb strong flour
¼ tsp. salt
1 oz fresh yeast
2 oz caster sugar
4 oz milk
4 oz boiling water
3 oz butter
1 egg lightly beaten
Put flour and salt into a large warmed mixing bowl. Crumble the yeast into a 3-pint pudding basin, add 1 heaped teaspoonful of the sugar and ¼ lb of flour from the bowl. Pour the milk into a measuring jug, and make up 8 oz of liquid with boiling water straight from the kettle. With a wooden spoon mix this hot liquid into the yeast, flour and sugar –go slowly so as to make as smooth a batter as possible: leave it in a warm place to rise and froth up –this takes about 15 minutes, or a little longer. Meanwhile mix the rest of the sugar with the flour, and rub in the butter. Form a well in the centre, put in the egg and the frothy yeast mixture. Mix to a dough with a wooden spoon. Turn it out on to a floury surface and knead for 10 minutes, adding more flour as required, until the dough is a coherent, slightly rubbery ball, with a moderate tacky but not sticky texture. Any dough on your fingers should rub off easily.
Wash, dry and grease the large mixing bowl with a piece of butter paper. Place the dough in it. Cover it with a damp cloth, or put the whole thing inside an oiled polythene bag. Leave to rise to double its quantity. This can take from 1 to 12 hours depending on the temperature.
Now the dough can be used in various ways to make any of the buns described above.
1 quantity basic bun dough (see above)
Roll out a portion of the dough into a rectangle.
In a separate bowl mix the sugar, the cinnamon and the allspice. This is done so that all the components are mixed thoroughly and the mixture is distributed evenly on the dough.
Cover the dough with this mixture, leaving about 1 cm free around the edges. Sprinkle with sultanas.
If the dough is too dry (if it has been resting on the worktop for a while), brush the edges with eggwash so that it sticks together and doesn’t come apart when baked.
Roll it towards you and cut into portions. They should be fairly thick.
Place them on a baking tray quite close together (they should actually stick together and be fairly square in shape once baked). Bake for 15 minutes. Once baked brush with syrup while still hot. Finish by dusting with caster or nibbled sugar.
I urge you to try them. The aroma of freshly baked cinnamon buns (and specially the cinnamon and allspice) is out of this world.