06 February 2008

Hot cross buns


I took a bread making class over the weekend at Cooks of Crocus Hill on Grand Avenue. The Christmas before last, I got the book "The Secrets of Jesuit Breadmaking," and had hoped to learn how to make bread then. But, things don't run like clock-work when you have kids and the class had to wait until this year.

I was glad I took the class to learn the things you don't get from just reading a recipe or even a book on how to make bread. There is some finesse involved and I wanted to know all the little "secrets" on how to tell if the dough is right, how to know if it is kneaded enough, and to not be intimidated by yeast. During the class we made some super tasty herb dinner rolls, a loaf of white bread to take home to bake and two soups we ate with our rolls at the end of class.

Yesterday, I made stew for dinner and wanted to make the same dinner rolls. Unfortunately, I think my year-old yeast was a goner. It didn't do anything and the water was the correct temperature. Bummer. So, I got some new yeast today and wanted to make some hot crossed buns for Lent, but didn't have any currants and apricots. So, at the moment I have two loaves of oatmeal bread raising. Keeping my hot fingers crossed that they turn out.

The Jesuit Breadbaking book I got last Christmas is full of little spiritual and informational tidbits. I also appreciate some of the Jesuit "militaristic spirituality" it contains, like cleaning as you work, which I HAVE to do for my own sanity. My kitchen is a disaster if my husband merely makes a peanut butter sandwich, so maybe I should introduce him to Brother Curry's philosophy. The downside of the book is that I wanted it to learn how to make boules and other "artisan" breads and this book has more loaf-type breads. Still a good book, but now I know what my husband can get me for Valentine's Day.

4 comments:

Vincenzo said...

"During the class we made some super tasty herb dinner rolls, a loaf of white bread to take home to bake and two soups we ate with our rolls at the end of class"

That sounds good. I used to make a lot of bread from scratch (mostly pizza crusts). I'm making chili right now. I'm starving!

Melody said...

Another really, really, good bread book is Dolores Casella's "A World of Breads". It is unfortunately out of print, but I have never had a recipe fail from that book.

swissmiss said...

V:
Chili and cheesecake? Or was the cheesecake a few days ago?

Melody:
Thanks for the suggestion. I'll have to keep an eye out for it at the used bookstores and look on-line to see if they have it. I'm still just learning how to make the stuff, so am not too fancy.

Vincenzo said...

"Or was the cheesecake a few days ago?"

Yeah, the 4th. I want to make a lime cheesecake next.