Sunday, 25 January 2015

Krentenbollen Last bake in the old oven

During the week, I was catching up with back bakes from the book of buns.  Mr S was going to have a very early start Friday leaving just around 6 am, and needed a flask and something to eat.  Leafing through the book, I read about Krentenbollen which it says is practically the national dish in The Netherlands.  As  I am also planning various routes around Amsterdam for Vicki's and my visit there later this spring, thought it would be ideal one to try.  We even talked about this, and made a note to find a bakery on our route.

With 400g of flour, and 400g of fruit they are indeed very fruity.  The fruit was soaked in sherry, and with the grated orange and lemon peel, you end up with a big sausage ready to cut up into 12 buns

The explanation and techniques for shaping are so easy to follow.

Delicious with a cup of coffee.

Today however, when I was about to bake our little pizzas for lunch, I found that my oven just would not rise beyond the simmering level of flame.  After various booklets were leafed through, panels removed from the oven, the internet explored, and  the previous experience of having been told that the cooker was discontinued in 2001, and no spares are held, the conclusion was that a new cooker is needed!

In the meantime remembering the earlier Pirozhkis, the pesto, pumpkin and mozzarella covered dough was made into parcels

and were dry fried on the top of the cooker

so we were able to have some lunch after all.  These four were the 'remainders'.

Lachenalia aloides 'Romaud'

One of the pots of Lachnalia bought a couple of weeks ago is showing its blooms beautifully.  There are so many more to open up.  I love the purple blotching on the stems.  With a delicate perfume too, and able to take the low temperatures they are an ideal plant for the conservatory, though when it threatened to go down to well below freezing, I brought them into the house for the night.  One of the leaves has rotted off, so I think I ought to water from the bottom.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015


Pirozhki is one of the January recipes from The Book of Buns by Jane Mason given out on the Facebook page.  Again I felt that nervous mental tremor when I am about to do something out of my comfort zone.  So for me, feeling the pressure to keep up with the bakes has led me to making some very delicious bakes that I would have otherwise missed out on.

Even Mr S laughed at me when I said what was in them...what two carbohydrates?  I tend to have that rule when planning meals, for example we never have chips and bread and butter.  Now I know there are people for whom fish and chips are just not right without the bread and butter, and maybe making a 'butty' at the end of the meal.   But then I guess if your total carbohydrate input does not increase, ie each portion is small that is OK.  If fact maybe I have been missing something all these years!

The dough is made up with milk and eggs, so is fairly nutritious.

The filling in this recipe is along the lines of a Polish Pirozhki, though I read with interest Jane's comments that these are found all over Eastern Europe, Central Asia and into Greece, and there must be so many types of different fillings.  My little addition to the filling recipe of onions, potatoes and dill were some extra dill seeds.  I so love the flavour of dill.

You just roll out small portions of the dough, and gather it up around the filling,  and leave to rest, seam side down.  I used a little semolina flour on the outside, as I like its grittiness. After resting again, into the frying pan.

I used just sufficient oil to stop sticking, and used two frying pans at a time.  You really need to leave room or they will stick together.  There were four pan fulls.

I felt the edges needed a little more balanced them..

I allowed some to cool ready for chilling.

 The rest were taken to the Monday evening art class, where colour was the theme of the day.  On Tuesday I reheated some to have with a big bowl of soup for lunch.  Really different and delicious.

We made our own colour wheel, and then a still life.  I chose some lovely tulips from a huge bunch, and a lovely art deco vase.  I chose to use a naive style...this allowed a little time to play...

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Classic cake for the weekend

Having made my Strawberry Jam, I went on to make a Victoria Sandwich.

 I was very careful to make it in time, so that it was cold enough to fill with jam, and be cut ready for when D got back from work.  

He says that often I say not, it has to cool, and am just a bit tease with my maybe this is one of my improvements for this year.  Lets hope it continues!

Just finished another good book by Tracy Chevalier, this one set in France: The Virgin Blue.  Quite apt at this time of religious intolerance, it really portrayed well the conflict between Calvinists and Catholics.


Another bake from one of my two new bread baking books by Jane Mason.  I loved the technique for getting the shape.  To think that you prove the buns with the slit upside down, then turn round just before the go in the oven.  The shape reminds me of pain maison from Mauritius.  I was thinking of this just as I was about to get my camera out, so found a shell I once picked up on a beach in Mauritius when I was a little girl to also star in the picture.

When I make them again, I would dissolve the yeast in the water with the malt syrup, then pour it into the middle of the flour.  Rather than add the ingredients together.