I’ve been meaning all year to properly get back into the Daring Bakers Challenge… I can’t believe it’s taken me this long! I had a few months there where I even baked the challenge but just never get around to blogging about it. I was determined for this month to be different.
And what a month to jump back in: The August Daring Bakers’ Challenge took us for a spin! Swathi of Zesty South Indian Kitchen taught us to make rolled pastries inspired by kürtőskalács, a traditional Hungarian wedding pastry. These tasty yeasted delights gave us lots to celebrate!
There’s a number of challenges I’ve fallen off the bandwagon with lately. My favourite of which is the Daring Bakers Challenge. Last month I was absolutely determined that I’d jump back in. Well, I did the challenge. But I didn’t get around to getting the blog done in time. ‘Better late than never’ has been my motto lately, so I figured I’d pop these recipes up belatedly. Cinnamon is certainly one of my favourite things on this planet, so skipping it felt like a crime.
The challenge was of course cinnamon rolls. Shelley from C Mom Cook dared us to create our own dough and fill it with any filling we wanted to craft tasty rolled treats, cinnamon not required! They are one of my favourite things on the planet. There are so many varieties it was so hard to choose any given one. So in the end I went with one very traditional, and the other not so traditional.
Now that I’m up to my 41st cook book, it’s getting harder to remember what I have and haven’t cooked from. I’m really going to need to get some check list going on before I accidentally repeat one. This battered and bruised one was definitely one I hadn’t cooked from before. It’s a more recent addition to the collection. My dad has suddenly decided that every time he sees a Woman’s Day/Woman’s Weekly book in the op shop he’s going to get it for me, regardless of quality. There’s no date on this book, but the fact it boasts being printed in colour on the cover gives you some notion of how old it is.
Unsurprisingly it’s filled with all the classics. Many of which I’d tried, or tried some variation of, when I first started learning how to bake. It was difficult to find something I hadn’t baked before, until I came across the Yeasted Breads chapter. Being rather new to bread making, there’s quite a number of things I’m yet to try. Most of those on offer were basic breads, crumpets or muffins. But I eventually settled on the croissants. They’re something I absolutely love, have always intended to make at home, but just never got around to it. The cook book challenge is always the perfect opportunity to scratch another off of my list.
Cinnamon is very not so secretly one of my favourite things to cook with. If I can find an excuse to put cinnamon in a thing, there will be cinnamon in the thing. Be it a bowl of yoghurt or just a hot chocolate, a little cinnamon turns it into the most exciting thing in the world.
So it’s no surprise that the simple cinnamon bun is high on my list of loves. Every now and then, I like to try something new with my standard recipe to change it up a little.
This method puts a whole lot of twists on the traditional cinnamon bun.
My favourite thing about Easter is hot cross buns. As soon as it starts getting close I get ridiculously excited at having an excuse to make some. Every year I promise myself I'll make more when it's not Easter, but I never do. Another year rolls by and I'll realise I haven't had them for a year.
This recipe is the favourite in my household. Most aren't keen on hot cross buns with dried fruit in them, but the choc chip alternative disappears almost as quickly as I can make the.
One ha’ penny, two ha’ penny…
The inspiration for making pretzels came from the oddest of places. I was reading the beautiful story of a young kid called Anthony Smith. He suffers from Mosaic trisomy 22 and as such has no hearing in his left ear, and only minimal hearing in his right. At 4 years of age, he refused to wear his hearing device, a blue ear, because superheroes didn't have to.
His mother contacted Marvel comics asking for help. Not only did they reply, they sent Anthony comics of Hawkeye from the 80s when he lost his hearing and had to wear a hearing aid. They then sent him a drawing of a superhero they created just for him, called Blue Ear, who uses a listening device to hear trouble. Amazing. He took the pictures to school and his school threw a superhero week for him. Anthony now uses his Blue Ear and is improving rapidly in school with its use.
I loved the story so much I started looking for videos. In one, there were a few feel-good shots of Anthony and his mother were making pretzels together. They looked so delicious instantly I had the overwhelming urge to go make some.
I'm a little weird like that.
Twisty goodness after the jump…
A few months ago I joined the Daring Kitchen, but it took until now for me to find the
time onions to participate in a challenge. I'd just been saying to my boyfriend that I wanted to try baking bread, when I logged on to check what this month's challenge was.
May’s Daring Bakers’ Challenge was pretty twisted – Ruth from The Crafts of Mommyhood challenged us to make challah! Using recipes from all over, and tips from “A Taste of Challah,” by Tamar Ansh, she encouraged us to bake beautifully braided breads.
Cause I ain’t no challah back girl…