After going to see the inspiring Chris Ofili exhibition at the Tate Britian I popped over to my favourite cafe Sacred, just off Carnaby Street to have a Chai Latte and to meet up with a good friend. The intensely sweet and spicy chai inspired me to make a tray of Chelsea Buns, sticky and gooey, perfect food for this wet and snowy weather. Very similar to it’s American counterpart, the cinnamon roll, the Chelsea Bun lies its origins in the 18th century London Borough of the same name.
What You Need: 15g of yeast, 15 tablespoons of sugar, 1 tablespoon of salt, 2x 400g plain flour, 2 eggs, 5 tablespoons of oil, 3 tablespoon of mixed spice, 1 banana, 50g sultanas, 50g dried morello cherries.
Firstly in a mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast and 7 tablespoons of sugar in warm water. Then add the salt and half of the flour, mix until well combined. After with a wooden spoon beat in the eggs and oil. Slowly add the remaining flour, until completely combined turning into a dough. On a floured surface knead until you have a smooth pliable dough. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl and roll the dough around to coat in the oil. Cover with a damp cloth and prove in a warm place until it has expanded in size, around 35/40 minutes. Now prepare the filling, with the rest of the sugar, mix together with mixed spice (cinnamon, dried coriander seed, allspice, cloves and nutmeg). I have chosen to make three kinds, one with sultanas, the second with dried morello cherries and the third with banana.
Once the dough has proved, divide into twelve rolls/balls. With each individual ball roll into a oblong shape and sprinkle the sugar/spice mixture over. Add the dried fruit or banana and then roll up into a pinwheel and place into a greased baking tin. Make sure each one is around 1 inch apart from each other and leave to prove again for a further 35 minutes. Once the size has increased again (They will have joined) place into the oven and bake for 30 minutes. When done prepare a syrup of 3 tablespoon golden syrup and 50ml of water in a pan, pour the hot syrup over the buns in the tray and leave to cool. Pile onto a plate and eat, preferably with tea. (^-^)
Today before work i decided to do a little bread baking. Not sure where this sudden energy came from, but maybe I was paying for later whilst I was cycling to work. I also have a new obsession for rosemary and this bread smells so lovely!
What You Need:
250g White Bread Flour, 7g Dried Yeast, 7 sun dried tomatoes chopped, 50g parmesan cheese, 7 sprigs of rosemary, 200ml of warm water.
Preheat the oven to 230C.
Mix the flour, yeast and water in a bowl with a spoon to form a ball. Leave for 5 minutes to rest. Then take the dough to a floured surface and kneed for around 10-15 minutes until smooth. With the ball of dough roll out into a long rectangle shape. Sprinkle all the ingredients evenly over the dough, as if you are putting the toppings on a pizza. Then roll the dough up into a large sausage shape. Cut the sausage into six and arrange in a greased loaf tin, with the inside swirl facing up. Cover and leave in a warm place to prove for 40 minutes. Pop into the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Once done cool and then eat! (^-^)
There is nothing more yummy than a house full with the smell of freshly baked bread. The best thing about your own bread is that you have created it yourself, you know what’s in it and a feeling of accomplishment. Bread is one of my biggest vices, I remember when I was a student in Manchester there was a really great German bakery nearby and I would go there a buy a different type of bread each time and make a big chunky soup. However the bread was so delicious on many occasions I would seem to eat the whole loaf in one sitting (^-^)
What You need:
15g yeast, 570g wholemeal flour, 600ml warm water, 2 tablespoons of sea salt, 1 tablespoon of caster sugar.
First place your flour in a container in the oven on a low heat for 5 minutes and let it warm up. Prepare your yeast if it is a dried yeast at this time. Now take the warm flour and add it to a mixing bowl, stir in the sugar and the salt evenly and then the yeast, followed by the water. Mix with a wooden spoon until combined well and transfer onto a floured surface. Spread the dough into a rectangle and then fold one side into the centre and the other side over. Now in a lightly oiled loaf tin place the dough inside and press down around the edges and then dust with flour. Cover over the loaf with a damp tea towel and leave in a warm place for 40mins.
Preheat the oven to 200c.
Once the dough has risen, place the loaf tin on the middle tray of the oven and bake for 40mins. Then turn out the bread and place back into the oven for 5 minutes upside down to crisp up the bottom and the sides. Cool on a rack and the serve.
Lashings of butter.