This morning saw me up with the lark so rather than go back to sleep I got up and pottered about in the kitchen and made these breakfast buns for the beloved’s breakfast…most weekends he has a plate of melt in your mouth buttery pastries from The Norwich Providore but as we weren’t in town on Friday to pick anything up he’s missed out rather, so as it’s a long weekend I thought I’d spoil him a little with these….the recipe is Finnish in origin and it’s one of those unbelievably simple bready cake recipes where it starts off looking all gloopy and nothing much to write home about, but then you open the oven door and have a tray of these lovely wee poppets to wake everyone up with…..they’re really easy to make, especially at weekends where you can dawdle rather than rush…from start to finish they take less than 1 1/2 hours, and you can always go back to bed with a cup of tea while the dough is rising.
100g unsalted butter
2 teaspoons dry yeast (I like Allinsons which comes in a tin)
2 eggs (large organic)…use one in the dough and the other is beaten as an egg wash.
80 g of granulated sugar (I like to use half soft brown and half white) you’ll also need a little extra to sprinkle over the buns before baking them.
350 g of plain flour (I used 250 g of plain and then 100 g of spelt) plus a bit extra for rolling and shaping.
350 ml milk (full fat does work best but a dessert spoon of cream stirred into some semi skimmed seems to do the trick nicely too)
pinch of salt
handful of raisins
Warm the milk, if you’re using cardamons then pop a couple of green pods into the milk and allow them to infuse while the milk heats through and then remove them.
Melt the butter.
In a large bowl measure out about 200g of the flour, add the warm milk and mix in the yeast and the sugar. Beat one egg and stir in. Add the raisins, if you didn’t use cardamon now add a teaspoon of cinnamon and a pinch of slat, stir, add 150g more of the flour and the melted butter…..you may need to add more flour, the mixture will be pretty sticky but you want it to be able to come away from the sides of the bowl.
Cover the dough with a large cloth and leave somewhere warm for about 45 minutes.
Turn the oven on to gas 6, and line a large tray with baking parchment….
Dust a work surface with flour and empty out the dough. You may need a little bit more flour at this stage as the dough is somewhat sticky. Divide the dough into 2 and then 2 again….roll out the dough into fat sausages and cut each sausage into 6 pieces, roll and shape into buns, dusting with flour if the mix gets sticky in your hands. Place on the baking tray.
Beat the remaining egg and egg wash over the buns…sprinkle a little sugar on top of the buns and then bake in the oven for about 10 minutes so they are nice and golden….
Serve warm with jam or butter.
Along with knitting a shawl for The Caithness Craft Collective un-kal division 2 I’ve also un-ravelled a scarf for division 3 that I wasn’t wearing half as much as I thought I would when I made it…because I didn’t have a lot of yarn I made it about half the width that he pattern had suggested, which was too skinny really as it just kept on rolling up…it was an absolute devil to rip out…I’d washed and blocked it twice and in the process some of the yarn felted a bit together…however I’ve got just over 80 g to now knit up into something else…..the yarn (Shilasdair Luxury 4 ply) was some I’d bought a few years ago on a day-trip to London, it was a real luxury soft yarn of angora, merino lambswool, camel and cashmere and as you can imagine was such a pleasure to crochet….there’s a couple of patterns I’ve seen I’d quite like to use it for but I think I’ve now got to skein it up and soak it so it unkinkifies….
I’ve started on my Ramona cardigan….this is the first time I’ve knitted a cardigan or a jumper so it’s equal parts exciting, a bit nerve wracking…mostly incredibly gratifying and feeling jolly proud of myself to see this slowly grow. I had a few false starts where I thought my maths was out (it wasn’t, I just don’t always have the sense I was born with) and then I was making increases to the left when I should have been knitting to the right…it ended up looking like I’d done the hokey cokey with my knitting in the other hand…I’m slowly learning that if it’s knitting I’m familiar with then I’m fine to chat and to have background noise but when it’s something new where I need to really concentrate….then it’s best put away until the house is quiet. But now there’s enough knitting on my needles to pretend I’ve got a tiny capelet…
Anyway every cloud has a silver lining and by ripping out and re-kniting so many times I’ve finally got my head around what it is I’m actually doing when I’m making the increases, it’s the same stitches I was working when I made the Open Sky shawl, I was also confusing my left and rights, I thought the direction was based on the knitted sections but its all about the stitch markers, and the increases are guided by where they are. I can almost picture my dad shaking his head and saying to my mum “the girl fair’s sah sorft Sandra” ……like I say, now I understand what I’m doing it’s coming along fine…I love the colour of the yarn, that brown with those grey/blue flecks….it’s a bit of a murky puddle water colour as much as a North Sea hue, and I’m hoping it won’t show up cat fur too much as his nibs has already been rubbing round it the past day or so when he clambers up on to my lap.
The stitch markers I’m using are the ones I made during the Christmas holidays…the glass beads are from a tin that was found half hidden in a lovely little box of vintage haberdasheries which the beloved bought me a few years ago… I needed some small markers and where possible I like to try my hand at making things first, not everything turns out quite right, but the doo-dahs and what nots I’ve made from handed down fabrics, or bits and pieces that have a history (or herstory) about them, always become the things that give me the most pleasure to then use. This way of choosing snippets and notions from here, there, everywhere, influences so much the way I work whether I’m making things for me and the home, or whether it’s commissions and pieces to sell.
Each time I knit up to one of the small glass beads I’m thinking of my sweetie but also the lady who’d originally owned the sewing box and little Ian who’d wrote the note we found inside (which I treasure so much).