It’s a storm day. An interruption. An everything I’ve planned going out of the window day.
It’s not unwelcome though. Pretty soon after waking up, checking school is indeed cancelled for my daughter, reading my Bible, finishing a book, I’m thinking about what jobs-I never-have-time-for I can get done in the house, but first, what I can bake.
A storm day (snow and freezing rain) calls for comfort food and plenty of cups of tea. Just like at Christmas, calories can be cancelled out by a session on Wii fit or Zumba. Plus I can’t waste a day when there’s actually time to rise dough. Although I don’t eat a lot of bread I love making yeasted recipes. Less show stopper, more homey. My thoughts went straight to a bun recipe I rarely have a chance to make – and bread.
While we were staying with my sister and her family last time we visited the UK, a few years ago now, she baked a delicious malted chocolate cake and some cinnamon buns taken from The Hummingbird Bakery’s book Home Sweet Home. I owned a couple of their books already, and didn’t know about this newer one at the time. On a trip to Meadowhall Shopping centre in Sheffield, I dashed into WH Smith and found it on sale for £7. Bargain.
Now baking from it reminds me of those few days of summer fun in Sheffield and the Peak District with my family. Good memories. Cousins having fun together. A visit to Chatsworth. Walks in the peaks. Drinking ale and chatting with my sisters in a country pub. Driving down very narrow roads and holding my breath when I passed cars coming towards me in the other direction (obviously not after drinking ale)…
Back to baking. My sister, Lu, warned me to halve the amount of frosting called for in each recipe in Home Sweet Home. It’s true, the amounts are so generous I even have leftovers when I make half, and I kick myself if I forget and make the whole amount. They’re excessive.
I’ve well exceeded the average three recipes when it comes to this book, though most of the time I bypass all the cupcake recipes which Hummingbird is actually famous for, and go for the cookies or the large cakes and bakes. Their recipe for Pumpkin Roulade has become our annual Thanksgiving dessert, and we love the Banana Boston Cream cake among many others.
Today it was Chocolate Hazelnut buns though. Issie couldn’t remember me ever making them before, but I have, so nothing new this week. I’m glad I remembered to halve the icing otherwise the buns would be swamped.
If I had a bakery I’d make different flavour buns every day, just because I could. I think they are my favourite kind of bake – to make and to eat.
Just as well storm days don’t happen every day. Buns, bread…
…and now Issie is making pretzels.