Sunday, 28 October 2012

So many things to do

It was an amazing firework display last night. We started with a torchlight procession down the village high street (I nearly managed to light the hair of the lady in front of me but luckily I missed) and then we lit the bonfire on the village green. Here we are at the tale end of the procession just before lighting the bonfire.....

and here is the bonfire which has just been lit.

There was a traditional funfair which dh and I actually managed to find the time to wander round (ds and dd were with their friends) and for the first time ever we made it to the beer tent.

Today I spent a bit of time in the kitchen making pizza dough and tomato sauce for tonight. For the tomato sauce, fry 1-2 chopped cloves of garlic, add a tin of chopped tomatoes, 2tsp sugar and some dried mixed herbs (I use fresh herbals from the garden during the summer - oregano, marjoram and thyme. Put the lid on the pan and turn down low. Cook for about 20 minutes. Take off the heat and then blitz. This is enough tomato sauce for 4 pizzas. There is sometimes enough leftover for a portion of pasta the following day. This is a really simple sauce but it tastes so much better than the sauces bought from the shop and I know exactly what has gone into it.

Before we went out for lunch, I maxed the dough for cinnamon buns. I this month's Waitrose kitchen magazine there is a recipe from Edd Kimber for cinnamon buns. I thought I'd give it a go as I had plenty of time for the dough to rise. This is his recipe....

Put 250ml milk and 50g unsalted butter in a saucepan and heat gently until the butter has melted. Leave to cool until lukewarm. I used pure margarine instead of the butter.

Mix all the dry ingredients together - 500g strong white flour, 30g caster sugar, 7g sachet fast action yeast and 1tsp salt (I forgot to add the salt so we'll see how it tastes) - in the food processor and then add the milk, melted butter and a beaten egg using a dough hook. You can do all of this by hand but I like to save some time. I use this time to clean the kitchen surfaces and do the watching up. We don't have a dishwasher so everything gets washed by hand.

Once the dough is smooth and elastic, put the dough into a bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave to double in size. This should take about an hour. I'm not sure how long it took as we went out for lunch today. It's been ages since we've been out to a restaurant and it was a lovely experience. Definitely something nice every once in a while.

I got home and rolled out the dough to a 40cm x 50cm rectangle. I then buttered the dough with 60g unsalted butter (or I should have done but I used the Pure margarine instead). I then covered this with a mixture of 3tbsps cinnamon and 150g light brown soft sugar. The recipe says to add currants too but not many people in my family like currants. Roll the dough up starting at the long end. Roll it up tightly then cut into 16 pieces (I managed to get 20 out of the mixture) and place into a greased deep tray. I have used a roasting tin, we'll see if it works. This is what it looked like before proving.

Once the buns have doubled in size, cook in the oven at 180 degrees centigrade for 30 minutes. Cover with foil for the last 10 minutes to prevent burning. Ed recommends brushing the buns with melted butter before baking but I missed this step out. I'll let you know if they still taste good. They now need to cool and be iced. The recipe says to make the icing using cream cheese and icing but I'm just going to make plain icing as I haven't got any cream cheese. I'm sure they'll still be great. I'll let you know once the family has sampled them.

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