Sunday, April 25, 2010

Check out my buns!

This post was written yesterday, but blogger was giving me issues, so I'm only just posting it now.
I had another go at hot cross buns today. Well, it was a cold and rainy day and I didn't really feel like doing housework, so I did some cooking instead.

These buns worked much better. They were fluffy and yummy and everyone liked them (except maybe I'll put less mixed peel in next time).

Hot Cross Buns (2nd try) - From 21st Birthday Cookery Book of the CWA in Tasmania
30g compressed yeast (2 dry sachets)
300 milk
55g sugar
450g plain flour (I used 3 and a bit cups)
1 tsp salt
30g butter (1.5 Tablespoons)
85g sultanas (just under half a cup)
55g currants (just under 1/3 cup)
55g mixed peel (just under 1/3 cup - but I would use less next time)
1 egg
a little mixed spice (I used 1 tsp, but would probably use more next time)

Mix yeast with warm milk, about half the sugar, and 1 tsp of flour. Cover and leave in a warm place for about 15 minutes.
Sift flour and salt, rub in butter, add the rest of sugar and the fruit. Beat the egg and mix with the yeast/milk. Make a well in the dry stuff and add the wet stuff. Work in the dry ingredients from the sides until it is absorbed and you have a soft dough.
Knead well on a floured board and leave in a bowl (covered in a tea towel) for 1.5 hours while it rises.
Knead dough again and divide into balls (the recipe says 24, but I just made a heap of golf ball sized buns). Leave them covered on a warm, greased tray for another 15-20 minutes to rise a bit more.
Bake 15-20 minutes at 200 degrees. While they are hot, glaze with hot milk (mixed with a little sugar) and then sprinkle on some cinnamon.
While I was waiting for the buns to rise, I made a couple of soups (like I said, it was cold and wet).

I made vegie soup for Ollie and I, and Pea and Ham for Anthony (ever the carnivore).

Vegie Soup
Chicken stock (I used the continental fresh stuff)
Some (about a cup) of the tomato puree I made from my crop of yummy tomatoes.
3 big potatoes
2 carrots
2 onions
2 sticks celery (with leaves)
about 1/3 of a cabbage
3 small parsnips
2 zucchinis
3 cloves garlic (again from my garden)
soup mix (lentils, barley etc)
handful of chopped sweet potato (frozen stuff I'd been meaning to cook)

I cooked it pretty much all afternoon, and after I took half out to freeze I added a couple of jalapeno chillis (from my garden). It wasn't bad, but I'll probably add some herbs (or chives from my garden) and more chilli when I eat it again. Next time I might also add some spinach or something.

Anthony likes my Pea and Ham soup (none of them would probably eat soup willingly if I didn't make them, but I love soup and it's so nice and cheap to make), so I made him some of that too.

Pea and Ham Soup
4 bacon bones (I usually use about 300gm chopped ham or bacon, but thought I'd try the bones)
1 packet split green peas
1 carrot
1-2 cloves garlic
1 onion
1 stick celery
about 1/3 cup of my tomato puree

I boiled the bones a bit to see if the fat would come off a bit (some did), then bunged everything together in a pot and cooked it all afternoon. After a couple of hours I pulled lots of the meat off the bones, and then chucked the meat and the bones back in.

I usually mush up all my soups (and my bolognaise etc) with the whizz stick, as I've found it handy in disguising the many vegies I add. Not that my kids are terribly fussy, but I'm in the habit. I don't mind the texture myself.

It's funny how alike both soups looked! But we all enjoyed them, and with a loaf of crusty, warm bread, they were a nice dinner for an autumn evening.
I had a big problem with my ears/pressure on the return flight to Canberra, and have felt sick since, so I think I have some kind of sinus infection. It's weird, because up until the ear blockage thing, I had been feeling fine. A bit of a mild headache, but I had put it down to stress. The last time I had a sinus infection I got pneumonia, so I'm taking it very easy. But I guess if I'm still feeling sick on Tuesday I'd better go to the doctor.
Hopefully a good dose of vegies might help a bit.

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