Monday, July 13, 2009

Recipe :: Burger Buns

I know some people for whom wheat is basically poison. Poor buggers. If you are blessed with the ability to chow down on gluten loaded fresh white bread and would like a sturdy yet soft white roll upon which to place a burger of your own division, this bun is your go-to hot bakery item.

What goes in:

600g bread flour
200ml warm water
200ml milk
2 tsp instant yeast
2 tsp sugar
4 TBS vegetable oil
1-2 tsp salt*
1/4 tsp baking powder

What you do with it:

OK. If you have a mixer with a dough hook, start with the mixer bowl. If you don't, just grab a big bowl. Whack in the flour and make a well in the center. Into the well, add your yeast, sugar and warm water. Wait five minutes or so until the yeast starts to foam.

I guess this step isn't necessary with instant yeast but I like to make sure right at the start that the yeast is working.

When the foam is off and running, add in the salt, baking powder, oil and milk and start to mix your dough. If you're using a mixer, start with the paddle until it comes together and then switch to the dough hook. If you're working by hand, well aren't you just awesome?

Once the dough has come together, you want to work it until it's smooth and elastic. It seems like a vague instruction but there is a point where you can just feel it's done. Try it. You'll see. It's about ten minutes of vigorous hand kneading, less with a mixer.

This mix might seem a bit wet to you, as it did to me. I had to add in about 1/2 cup more flour while kneading so that it wasn't overly sticky.

Once your kneading is done, stick it in a clean, oiled bowl and yeah, leave it in a warm area for an hour or so (more if it's cooooold) until it's doubled in size. Your house will smell amazing. It smells a bit like doughnuts. You will get hungry before the bread is ready. Plan ahead, have snacks.

Once the dough has risen you have to deflate all that hard work and start again. Squish out all the air, knead it a little and divide into 8 equal portions. Baker nerds will weigh each ball to make sure everything is even. You don't have to. S'okay. Roll those suckers into balls and then flatten into a disc. Pop them onto a greased baking tray and let them rest again an hour or until doubled. Yeah. Again. Give the tops a little brush with milk and sprinkle with poppy, sesame or even nigella seed or nothing at all, whatever takes your fancy.

Then pop them into a pre-heated oven. A hot one. It's supposed to be 200c/400f but my oven dial is so old, the markings have worn off so I just wing it. It was fine. Don't ask about the lamb roast though. Your buns should be brown and lovely after 12 minutes or so. Your BREAD buns.

You will want to eat them straight away but leave them for 20 minutes at least to cool down before you split those suckers open and stuff them with fillings.

Fillings like this maybe? I made lamb patties with garlic and oregano and a minted yoghurt with fried red onions, tomato and spinach. They were good. Really good.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Recipe :: Plum and Rosewater Jam


1kg plums, diced and stone removed
I used Tegan Blues for this batch.
1 1/2 to 2 cups sugar
I like tart jams so I err on the lesser side.
2 TBS of rosewater

So yes. The method. Have you made jam before? You just bung everything together and cook it away, stirring every so often, removing scum and waiting until it looks like jam. And then it's done. Tricky? Not very.

Excellent with fresh scones, crumpets and of course, PB&J.

Makes about 3 cups.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Inspiration :: Obscura Coffee

Obscura Coffee import fair trade coffee from Laos and make coffee in their spot at the Kensington train station in Melbourne. I can't recall how I came across their website but I found something about them quite captivating and ended up ordering a couple of bags of their coffee to try. What really convince me to place an order was the beautiful artwork by Eveline Tarundadjaja adorning the bags. She's a wonderful artist and I liked the idea of having an everyday item be a vehicle for art.

I was excited to get the package yesterday. Lovely brown paper coffee bags and I believe they use a Print Gocco machine to print them. They also send me a re-useable fabric take-away coffee cup cuff*. Score!

I made myself a double shot latte this morning with the Bruno variety. It's a nice, gutsy tasting coffee but I prefer my regular stuff, Rubra's organic mexican beans. In any case, thank you Obscura, for adding some beauty to my morning routine.