dangerous diversion

Oh wow.

Tonight was supposed to be the time to write a properly theological post (or at least a timely rant on the need for inclusive language), but while looking for a good recipe for Italian Kale, I stumbled across a new twist on the sourdough theme:

One batch, no knead bread that you make once and bake bits of for weeks. And this particular recipe is for challah and sticky buns. Better hurry — Lent is only a few weeks away.

(and ‘lead us not into temptation’ is clearly not working very well when one can go hunting for a cabbage recipe and come back with stick buns. Now, what shall I do with my kale…)

update: Maybe the prayer works after all. The book isn’t released in Britain till 14 February. Spinster-festers, take note. For the more virtuous, the Kale recipe is below.

Italian Kale for one

  • wash, de-vein and chop the cavolos nero
  • Thinly slice and caramelize two small onions.
  • When they are almost done, put the chopped up cavolos nero (hereafter, ‘kale’) into boiling salted water and simmer for 3 minutes.
  • Drain the kale, but save some of the water.
  • Put onions on your plate and sauté the kale with a bit of butter, a bit of balsamic vinegar and some of the left over cooking water. Grind some pepper over the top and put it next to the onions.

That’s it. You’re done. Unless, like me, you:

  • look at it and decide it lacks texture.
  • Trust your hunch that the pine-nuts are rancid.
  • Think of Edye and reach for the raisins…

8 thoughts on “dangerous diversion

  1. those sticky buns look absolutely amazing! i can’t remember the last time i had a proper cinnamon bun. will definitely have to keep that book in mind…

  2. An even simpler recipe for plain old Chelsea buns – just as fattening.
    ½ packet (1 ½ kg packet) of cheap white flour – basics or savers or whatever)
    1 sachet of dry mix yeast
    Two tables spoons of cooking oil
    two tablespoons of brown sugar.

    Put them all together, and kneed with a little tepid water – enough to make a stiff dough. Kneed until the whole becomes elastic and stops being sticky. (for baking novices, if all the flour is not taken up, keep trickling in water, and if it stays sticky, add more flour – you can’t hurt it, it’s not like sponge cake and pastries)

    As soon as you are utterly bored with kneading it, and satisfied it is no longer sticky, put it on a floured surface, and roll it out into an oblong, as far as you can persuade it to become one – getting the dough about 1cm thick. so far, so thinning.

    Now soften some butter, by pretending to ‘defrost’ it in the microwave, and spread it thickly on the dough. How thick? How fat do you want to be? It is nicest spread thicker than you would a luxurious plate of hot buttered toast. Then sprinkle brown sugar thickly over it. Sprinkle over mixed spice, about a table spoon of it. Then sprinkle mixed fruit lavishly over that.

    Now line a baking tin, preferably an oven roasting tin, with raised sides with baking parchment. It just makes life simpler.

    Cut the oblong into half between the sides furthest apart, then cut each of the resulting oblongs into strips, standing about one and a half or two inches high. Roll each one up in turn, and stack it in the prepared tin, just touching. Fill the short side first, and don’t let it worry you that won’t totally fill the tin. Just keep making lines, and ignore the fact that they are not orderly – this is craft baking – think of the disorder as hammer marks.

    Put these buns in a warm place for a couple of hours, or until they are twice the size they were when you put them in the tin. Heat your oven to 170 c. or thereby. When hot, put the buns in. You now have what is effectively a very large loaf, and it will take at least an hour to cook – test it is cooked by pulling a piece of bun out of the centre with a fork. It it is not cooked, if the bun mix is still wet, give it longer. Over cooked beats undercooked.

    If you can wait until they are cool, you will have buns which tear apart, coated with toffee in their lower ends.

  3. I like this idea of leaving a big hunk of dough sitting in the fridge and using it piecemeal. I imagine it works with any dough, although that enriched dough is wonderful. I’m going to give it a try (after the sourdough which I started today and which is bubbling out of the bowl!)

  4. No! You didn’t! It would have been so much easier to extract the little devils out of the sticky buns. Next time, try anchovies… with the cavolo nero.

    Hm, where’s the rant on inclusive language?

  5. Edye, you’ll be glad to know that I don’t put raisins in sticky buns. (as opposed to Chelsea buns, of course.)

    The rant on inclusive language has gone back into hiding. But I’m sure the occasion will arise again soon.

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