I have been absent for a long spell. Easter was sooo busy, what with preparations for Easter weekend. Both my husband and I sing in our church choir and we had many practices prior to the event.
As well, my mother's 84th birthday fell shortly after Easter, and then my godmother and Aunt's 90th birthday was celebrated recently. My uncle and his wife, who had come up from Nova Scotia for the party, came to stay with us for a short time. Of course, I had to treat them to some of my home-baked goodies, so I made a loaf of bread, a blueberry Bundt cake and these gorgeous cinnamon rolls.
It would be cruel of me not to share the recipe, wouldn't it?
Simple Cinnamon Spirals
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 Tbsp. sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup cold butter
1 cup milk
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed golden sugar
2 1/2 tsps. cinnamon
1/3 cup currants
Whisk together flours, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Cut in the 1/4 cup cold butter with a a pastry blender until crumbly. Make a well in the center.
Add milk and stir to make a soft dough. Add more milk as necessary if the dough is too dry.
Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead about 8-10 times. Use a rolling pin to roll out into a rectangle about 12 inches long and 1/3 inch thick. Pat sides as you go to shape the rectangle.
Cream the 1/3 cup soft butter with brown sugar and cinnamon, in a small bowl, until nice and smooth.
Spread creamed mixture carefully over the entire surface of the dough - try to get as close to the edges as possible. Sprinkle the currants over the surface.
Roll up from the bottom edge, slowly and carefully.
Using a sharp knife, mark at the halfway point. Work on each half at a time, dividing into first two sections and then three each, for a count of six rolls for each half.
Place fairly close together on a parchment-lined, or greased baking sheet.
Bake in a 400 degrees F. oven for about 23 minutes.
Cool on a wire rack, and drizzle with an icing glaze (1/2 cup icing sugar, and enough milk to make a runny glaze.)
Pour yourself a fresh cup of coffee (or tea), and
Dig in, Flynn!
|It's just so good that it goes too fast!|
I don't know what has held me back for so long, but I have at last made my own bread, and now there is no turning back!
All it involves is FOUR ingredients!
And FOUR stages!
And TEN simple steps.
Here we go:
1/4 tsp. active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water (microwave for 45 seconds)
1 - 1 1/2 tsp. salt (to your taste)
3 cups of flour ( start with 2 cups plain white flour and 1 cup whole wheat - you can experiment with flours later)
Stage One: Making the dough
In a medium-sized bowl, add the ingredients in order:
Beat with a spoon until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl. Even if it has a raggy appearance, it doesn't matter! Cover bowl with plastic wrap to seal the top, and leave on top of your fridge for EIGHT HOURS.
Stage Two: Preparing the dough
Dump the dough out onto a floured surface and roll it around to coat it. Do not KNEAD!
Place a clean cloth (a cotton tea-towel is good) in a medium bowl and sprinkle with cornmeal.
(I separated my dough into two sections by pinching in the middle and pulling it apart, then rolling them again to coat the damp patches with flour.)
Place the dough in the bowl and cover with the edges of the tea towel. Set aside for 1 1/2 hours.
Stage Three: Getting things hot
At the hour mark, preheat your oven to 475 degrees and place your pot with the lid on, into the oven. (I used two English stoneware pots, but it is popular to use a dutch oven, such as a Le Creuset, or even the inner crock of a crockpot).
Preheat the oven for one HALF hour. Remove the pot (or pots) to a protective mat - they will be VERY HOT!
Stage Four: Baking it up!
Lift the tea-towel out of the bowl and roll the dough out and into the pot. Cover with the lid and return to the oven. For one loaf, let bake for 30 minutes; remove lid, and allow to bake for a further half hour. Remove from oven and test by knocking with your knuckles on the bottom of the loaf. If you hear a hollow sound, the loaf is baked through.
I found, (to my surprise) that for my two loaves, the 30 minutes was sufficient. You will know yourself when you test it.
Now slice it up, slather on some butter and of course, "Dig in, Flynn!"
*I saw a similar recipe to this on Pinterest a while ago, but it was bennelson's Instructables video that really made me think I could do it too! Thanks, bennelson!
Buttery Walnut Shortbread Cookies
1 cup white flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup butter, softened
or use 1/2 butter and 1/2 margarine
1/2 cup icing sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts (or pecans)
Sift flours with baking powder. Cream butter and sugars until fluffy. Gradually blend in flour mixture. Stir in walnuts. Form into a disc. Cover and chill well for at least 4 hours.
Divide dough in half (you can save one half in the fridge for a week, or in the freezer for longer)
Pat down and flour the top of the dough. Use a floured rolling pin to roll out to 1/4" thickness. Cut into shapes (I use a small biscuit-cutter to get a nice evenly round shape.)
Bake on parchment-lined cookie sheets for about 20 minutes (toss in another old cookie sheet at the 15 minute mark - on the lower rack to prevent the bottoms of the shortbread from burning.)
Cool on wire rack and store in waxed-paper lined tin.
Put the kettle on, and "dig in, Flynn"!