New delicacies………….

The best bit about travelling is all the new delicacies you are introduced to. On our holiday we went to see our French garden intern’s – Laura Weil – garden on the ramparts of Chateau-Thierry. It was just as fantastic as we imagined having seen the photos she sent from the official opening. It was incredibly hot and on the morning we were leaving; Laura met us with a picnic breakfast. One of the delicacies she brought were rolls made from an enriched bread dough with melted white chocolate in the middle. Well, I could Angels sing when I bit into mine………..

Buns

Last weekend the Dream Team did their charity walk from Belfast to Portrush and I thought I’d baked some, as we’d decided – looking at the weather – that Sunday morning they probably needed a little lift. All I did was to take about 600 grams of strong white flour (not plain, but bread flour) add a teaspoon of salt and a packet of easy yeast. I now added 2 tablespoons of sugar, two egg yolks and then turned on the mixer. I have a specific bread dough mixer because I’m old and decrepit! I add cold water till it’s a pliable dough, it can be done by hand, it just takes longer. Once it is a dough it should be kneaded for 10-15 minutes. It is a very good way of working out your aggressions, if you have any. Leave it with a cover over and when it has doubled in size you knock all the air out of it and divide the dough into equal portions. Try not to add more flour at this point, if the dough sticks to your fingers use oil. I am a bit fussy, you see I usually weigh the lumps of dough, mainly because it looks so much better when your rolls are equal in size. So now for the exciting bit! Take each lump of dough and stretch it into a round and put as many white chocolate buttons into the middle as possible and close the dough around the chocolate. Put them all on a greased and floured baking sheet with the join facing down onto the baking sheet. You don’t want the chocolate to ooze out from the join. The portion will make around 12 rolls and you’ll need around 150 grams of white chocolate buttons of the cooking variety. Score the top of each roll to give it leave to rise, as it says in the historical cookery books, but don’t cut too deep because you don’t want to expose the chocolate inside either. When they have swollen up beautifully – it’ll take about 30-40 minutes – you bake them on 220C for about 12 minutes, but check as all ovens are different. While they bake take 50 ml water, 50 ml milk and 2 tablespoons of sugar. Put all ingredients in a sauce pan and allow the sugar to melt, then boil the mixture till it is reduced to a thickish glaze. When the buns come out of the oven, brush them with this glaze and leave them to cool on a rack. The glaze makes them very sticky. Good luck!

BD and I had one each for breakfast with his newly made plum jam and lots of coffee. We don’t actually know what this Champagne delicacy is called, so we renamed it Dream Team Buns!

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