Kanelbullar…or how to twist Cinnamon Buns

kanelbullar || cityhippyfarmgirl kanelbullar || cityhippyfarmgirl kanelbullar || cityhippyfarmgirl

My children grow like weeds.

Close your eyes briefly overnight and suddenly pants are looking a little short. Dresses have become tops and shoes look a little painful.

I accept this as what children do. However it still befuddles me as to how they can constantly be so damn hungry.

From the time of grey morning light, where eyes are yet to be prised open. I often wake to small voices saying, Mama….I’m huuuungry. This pattern continues throughout the day, right up until the dark night, where it should be a time of whispered goodnights, and I love you. Not replaced, which is lovely. Just with a little addition.

Goodnight Mama….I love you….I’m a bit hungry.

And so it goes. With us being smack bang in the middle of school holidays, those hungry choruses are equally unified, amplified, and questionably justified. I’m sure I just fed you!

So with meal times at the moment having alarming frequencies, and it nearly being the 4th of October (For new readers or regular readers who need a reminder, this means it’s Cinnamon Bun Day coming up- thank you my Nordic thinkers!) I thought it might be time to finally do something about the requests I get on how to do these twisty buns.

Are they authentically Nordic? As an Australian who is yet to set foot on any Nordic soil (this is regretful of my part) I actually don’t know.

But.

They work. They are pretty tasty, and happily, they fill up those ravenous children of mine, (albeit briefly.)

First up. The recipe can be found here from last year.

Secondly, if you don’t play with sourdough, try 2 tsp of dried yeast to replace the 1.

Thirdly, I’ve played a few times with different twists over the years. Tucking under with the end into the middle, tucking over with the middle, simple swirls or tucking the twist across the dough all seem to work fine.

Lastly, pearled sugar is what generally goes on top which can be tricky to get at times. It comes in different forms but makes it look a bit fancier, (on some here, I’ve also used Dutch coloured sugar aniseed.)

(Extra special thanks to my 10 year old camera helper.)

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Apple Tea Bread and slurps of hot chai

apple tea bread 02 || cityhippyfarmgirl

Not super sweet, uses your favourite seasonal apples and is a little different to the regular cake like Apple Tea Loaf of times before. These apple baked goodies were eaten 77 times quicker than what it took to make them (or something like that anyway.)

Baked goods have long been a regular in my kitchen (and blog pages) with a steady stream of hungry bellies constantly on the look out for something else to eat, these were made to fill that role. If only momentarily. Something slightly different to my usual retort of…well if you are hungry, go eat an apple.

Or today, eat an apple tea bread!

Now, the traditional Apple Tea Loaf is something that conjures up imagery of proper tea cups, rainy afternoons and a little polite conversation.

Never one for convention, I thought I’d shake that up a bit. With waiting mugs, slurps of hot chai, coffee and cold milk. A warm sunny morning, celebrating another birthday gone by for a loved one. Snatched noisy conversations were had between mouthfuls of Apple Tea Bread, (this is more how we roll round these parts anyway.)

apple tea bread 01 || cityhippyfarmgirl

Apple Tea Bread

300g sourdough starter (*add an extra teaspoon of dried yeast if you aren’t using sourdough)

1 tsp dried yeast

4 1/2 (675g) cups strong bakers flour

375mls water (approximate)

100g softened butter

100g (1/2 cup) raw sugar

1 tsp salt

Middle Part

about four apples thinly sliced

1 tsp cinnamon

2 tblsp raw sugar

approx 50g extra butter into 16 small cubes

Add all ingredients together except softened butter and salt- either by hand or mixer. If using a mixer, do so for about ten minutes. You want that dough really worked before adding the butter in, the gluten needs to be well-developed.

Gradually add your cubed softened butter into the dough, also adding the salt. Continue to mix for a further ten minutes. If doing by hand, work it in well.

Dough should look smooth and coming together off the sides of the bowl.

Place a damp tea towel or plastic shopping bag over the top of the bowl. This creates a gentle humid environment for your bread to rise. Leave it for an hour or so.

On to a really lightly floured surface, give your dough a brief three-way fold or knock back. Back into the bowl for another hour or so.

Divide your dough into 32 equal portions, (this recipe makes roughly 16 apple tea breads.) Rolling 16 of them into balls, which are then flattened and rolled into round discs, placing them on to your baking trays.

Divide the other 16 portions in half again, creating 32, and roll each portion into long sausage type shapes. Gently twist the two snakes around each other, in a rope like fashion placing them around the edge of the round dough disc.

Place finely sliced apple in the middle and allow to prove for roughly another hour or so, (this really depends on the season, if it’s hot, it’s quicker!)

Place a tiny cube of cold butter within the circle of the dough and sprinkle with a little extra sugar and cinnamon.* Bake at 200C for approximately 20 minutes.

* If you would like to have these for breakfast, just make them up the night before, pop them on a tray, cover them, and leave them overnight in the fridge. All ready to be baked in the morning.

apple tea bread || cityhippyfarmgirl

 

 

 

 

 

Cinnamon Bun Day rises again

kanelbullar or cinnamon buns || cityhippyfarmgirl

It’s Cinnamon Bun Day (4th of October) and I’ve been thinking. Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone made a batch of kanelbullar, organised to meet at a favourite park, took the freshly baked cinnamon buns down to said park and maybe spend a relaxed afternoon with your favourite people who make you laugh?

Keen?

I am. Now if only I’d thought of it a little earlier.

Luckily any day can be Cinnamon Bun Day, you don’t have to wait until the 4th of October to bake these cinnamon sweet bready treats.

kanelbullar or cinnamon buns || cityhippyfarmgirlkanelbullar or cinnamon buns || cityhippyfarmgirl

Have you tried them? Want to give them a crack?

Cinnamon Buns

250g  sourdough starter

1 tsp commercial yeast

675g strong bread flour

250mls milk

200mls water

100g sugar

100g softened butter

1 tsp cardamon

1 1/2 tsp salt

Cinnamon mixture

100g softened butter

100g raw sugar (or brown)

2 tsp cinnamon

Add all dough ingredients together, mix well and then knead until dough is elastic on a lightly floured surface (I use my mixer.)

Dough should be well incorporated and feeling smooth.

Pop the dough back into the mixing bowl and leave to prove for a couple of hours, with a fold or two in between, (or covered and over night.)

On a lightly floured bench, roll the dough out to a rough rectangle, add cinnamon mixture and cut into portions. Twist, roll, decorate in your favourite way then, line on a tray and bake at 190C for approximately 15-20 minutes (depending on the sizes.)

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See here for previous cityhippyfarmgirl Cinnamon Bun Days and How To Twist Them

Cinnamon Bun Day

Any day can be Cinnamon Bun Day

Assistent Original- the Grain Mill

assistent original || cityhippyfarmgirl

A couple of years ago I invested in an invaluable piece of kitchen gear. I bought this machinery of wonderfulness- an Assistent Original.

I researched and researched my options on a kitchen mixer that would hold up to my regular and large amounts of bread making. (If you are interested that research post can be found here.) I decided on the Assistent as it was the one machine that kept coming up while ticking all my requirement boxes. I then did a post on how the machine was faring six months after buying it, (which can be found here.)

I’m recapping a few details here, as it’s been nearly 2.5 years since I bought it and some people have asked do I still stand by it?

In a nutshell…YES! A big beautiful yes. I use the Assistent several times a week, I make several kilos of dough at a time (it can take up to 5 kilos) and it has never given me the slightest hiccup when it comes to bread mixing. For a baker enthusiast that isn’t at commercial levels but bakes more than the average home cook I would highly recommend it. Actually I do, for everyone!

assistent original || cityhippyfarmgirl

After sticking with the basic package, last year I decided I wanted to give a few of the other attachments a go. With the meat mincer, cookie attachment and grain mill now adorning my bench top what do I think about them?

linseed || cityhippyfarmgirl

sunflower seed || cityhippyfarmgirl

Grain Mill

Well hands down the grain mill is a winner in my book. I go through a fair chunk of grains in this household. Linseed, and sunflower seeds being used the most. I buy in bulk as it’s cheaper, that way I can make sure it’s grown locally and/or organic. By using the grain mill I can also make sure it’s kept at its freshest.

So how does it work?

The machine goes on its side, attachments on and grain or seeds in at the top. I adjust the consistency I want of the grain or seeds to be ground at, put the timer on and walk away. It looks a little odd, with the machine lying on its side, but it works beautifully, attaches easily, isn’t noisy and doesn’t make a mess.

assistent original || cityhippyfarmgirl

The cookie attachment and meat mincer I haven’t used as much to give a conclusive assessment at this stage. I would say the cookie attachment is best for larger amounts of cookie dough, (which really isn’t much of a problem in this household!) At this stage I spend more time cleaning this attachment up then benefiting from it properly- so this one will be continued. As for the meat mincer, (as she hangs head in shame, not used at all yet.)

The grain mill though? Yes! A big triumphant yes. And the Assistent Original as a machine for the home cook? 100 times yes. I love it just as much as I did when I first got it two and a half years ago, and would recommend it in a heart beat.

this weekend…is on pause

cityhippyfarmgirl cityhippyfarmgirl cityhippyfarmgirl

Easter long weekend,

and everything is slipping into ‘go slow’.

I’m not hurrying, I’m not clock watching and I may well dissolve completely into those magazine pages at some point.

Spelt hot cross buns have been made,

the beach is whispering,

and if someone offers to make me a second coffee? Well I might just say yes.

That’s how this weekend is rolling, and everything else in life?

…is on pause.

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When the Night Comes- by Favel Parrett: wonderful, wonderful book if you are looking for a new book to read.

 

The not really sourdough doughnuts

doughnuts || cityhippyfarmgirl.com

I made some grand bold statements before Christmas on making sourdough doughnuts. I really was. I was going to do it. Really and truly, cross my heart and all that.

Then I looked at a few recipes and my figurative doughnut balloon? Well it slowly deflated.

I don’t know. All that deep frying, sugar, needing of an extra special cutter or doughnut maker thingy stuff. All that extra, well everything. It just took the wind out of my doughy-nut sails. I didn’t want to buy another contraption and I didn’t want to fry them all in lots of oil. Actually when I thought about it, I didn’t really want to cover them in oodles of sugar either.

Well why on earth would I be thinking about making doughnuts then, I hear you ask?

Rather good question really. You see, it started here…I blame them entirely for turning my world upside down with the deliciousness of their baked goods. It was because of them that I had lofty dreams of making sourdough doughnuts in the first place. Having the heady smell of cinnamon and sugar wafting around my kitchen. The decadent bite down into that amazingly heady mix of sugar and fat. Yes it sounded good, and my kids well they were more than keen, (they also had tasted those doughnuts you see.)

I paused. Had a little think and a then a little reassess. Maybe I would try a slightly healthier version? Could it be done? Would it pass the family taste test?

I decided to give it a crack. The first ones were completely edible, the kids inhaled them so there was no loss there. BUT, they really and truly weren’t doughnuts. They were rolls. Plain and simple. So what did I need to do to take them up to doughnut status?

I could try to make a little hole in them perhaps? And maybe up the sugar a smidge?

doughnuts || cityhippyfarmgirl.com

Second go. Doughnuts, they shouted! As I quietly plonked them on the table in front of them.

Now to the die hard doughnut fans of this world, there will probably be a brief muttering of no, that ain’t no doughnut lady. (I’ll spare you on all the corners I cut.)

Third go. Actually third go, didn’t even warrant a picture. Edible sure, but over proved and really bordering on a little burnt around the edges. (Actually maybe I wasn’t cut out to be a baker of doughnuts after all?)

Fourth go? It nearly didn’t happen, I was a bit over them, but there seemed to be this incessant whisper, one morrrre goooo….and so I did and they were the best ones yet. Were they technically sourdough doughnuts? Well, I’m not sure about that. What I do know is that I’ve locked myself into developing this recipe a little further and in the mean time? I hear they make excellent ones in Byron Bay and Hobart, lucky for me, two of my favourite places to go and visit!

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How about you? Have you tried making sourdough doughnuts?

doughnuts || cityhippyfarmgirl.com

5 little lessons I’ve learnt from blogging

apples || cityhippyfarmgirl

This little blog is now five years old. I’ve been writing, musing, dropping kitchen crumbs, taking pictures and sitting under the name cityhippyfarmgirl for five years now. Now how did half a decade zip by while I sat next to my computer? Well to be honest, I’m not really sure. What I do know though, is that five years is a wonderful amount of time to have learnt lots of bloggy lessons…Lots of them!

If you would like to pull up a chair, grab an apple or perhaps a slice of shortcake and linger awhile, I’ll share with you five lessons I’ve learnt in that time.

1/ Always write down your thoughts or recipes as you go along.

For recipes, I will never, ever remember the quantities and cooking times of what ever I am making. For thoughts, that seem so clear and unforgettable, they seem to disappear without even an audible “poofff” (despite all the very best intentions.) Five years on, you think I would have had this one firmly embedded in my brain. Nope, it isn’t though, I still occasionally forget and think that my memory can’t honestly be that bad, and of course I will remember. (It is that bad, and I do forget.)

Note to self, don’t forget, that I…well, forget.

sourdough || cityhippyfarmgirl

2/ There is always more to learn with bread baking.

What an amazing thing bread baking can be. To be always learning from and tweaking something as simple as flour, water, salt. I still get bubbles of excitement bringing a loaf out of the oven. What will it look like, how much of a spring will it have? No loaf is ever the same. Never. Not a one.

Life gives different loaves. In ways of weather, timing, distractions, commitments, forgetfulness, ingredients, new flour- they all play a part in my sourdough being different every single time. And really, how awesome is that!

3/ Photography, another big lesson.

I look back on photos I thought were pretty much ok, and can’t help but chuckle. Cameras have been and gone, techniques have changed along with them and knowledge is still to be gained in abundance with my photography. What I do know is that I get a kick out of taking photos and I can’t imagine that changing for a long time. I don’t think this photo from my first month of blogging back in 2010 would have been pinned too often. I do know it was a delicious pie though (recipe here) and remember all of us eating it with much gusto.

cityhippyfarmgirl

1st edition Jan 2010

cityhippyfarmgirl

2nd edition Jan 2013

apple shortcake pie || cityhippyfarmgirl

3rd edition Feb 2015

4/ Which leads me to my next lesson. Remembering.

Now I’ve already established at times, I’m not so good at remembering things. This is where having a blog is truly wonderful. It does the remembering for you. It’s my online diary of a sort. It stores many more day to day things, words, pictures, memories than I would have ever thought to remember.

Not to mention my recipes. I cook and bake a lot. Before having a blog I would have countless scrappy bits of paper dotted about the place, usually being lost between other bits of paper. Now I have them all here. Sure It’s a little weird having to go to the internet for your own recipes but hey it seems to work. I usually put a lot of time and effort into my recipes, bringing a concept to life, tweaking, changing, experimenting until I’ve got it just right. Sometimes they can be months and months in the making. I still feel slightly uneasy about other people using those recipes and putting them up on their own site without any reference, words or thanks given, a recipe now it’s their very own- it seems a murky copyright world, with well pretty much everything these days. So all I can do is know that what I’m doing sits right with me, and that’s what matters right?

Another wonderful thing about having a blog to help you remember is the feelings and emotions that might have slipped between the metaphorical pages. Tiny moments captured, which in another time would have been swept away to live only in my own memory bank…or to simply slip between the cracks altogether.

community || cityhippyfarmgirl

5/ Community.

I’ve waxed lyrical about the online community many, many times before. It will never get old speaking enthusiastically of all the people who make up this always evolving digital community. It’s pretty wonderful to be a part of that. When digital names spill over to lovely long emails, or names on the backs of envelopes, plump packages from people half a world away. Or coffee and picnics with people who were once just a gravatar. That’s pretty darn wonderful.

Through the online community I’ve also discovered more and more small businesses and people who I want to support with my careful dollar. Conscious shopping the way it should be- Instead of those coins going to a blank face that means nothing to me. I will repeat these words a thousand times, as it really is incredibly important to me.

apple pie || cityhippyfarmgirl

6/ Evolve and make your own rules up.

Now wait a second, didn’t I say this was to be five? Yes, I did but this is the beauty of lesson number six. If I want to put six up I can, I can do that, I can make my own rules up here. Yes I can.

I’ve also learnt to roll with it all. If something is bugging me I’ll change it. If I don’t want to do something, I don’t. I’ve learnt over these five years that for a blog to evolve you really have to ride with it, social media is an ever evolving thing and with that, well you have to be as well.

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How about you, if you have a blog what lessons have you learnt as a blogger. Or, if you are a reader what lessons have you learnt from reading blogs?

Rosemary, Thyme and Zucchini Bread- ELC#10

rosemary, thyme and zucchini bread || cityhippyfarmgirl

rosemary, thyme and zucchini sourdough || cityhippyfarmgirl

I’d tried to keep away from the bread for this challenge, but as I’m coming to the end of my year long challenge, it seemed appropriate that a bread dish slipped in.

This bread has actually been made a few times as it seems to hit the spot and eager mouths make short work of it in this household, (which you can’t really ask for much more than that can you?)

Now a big factor in what I make is really what arrives in my vegetable box once a week. I like cooking, but that doesn’t mean I don’t get completely bogged down with the old faithful line of (and lets face it often relentless) …”what are we having for dinner?” Getting a locally sourced vegetable box, helps make that decision, as you really do just have to use what they give you!

So where did it all come from?

Flour- Demeter Mills, Gunnedah

Salt- Murray River Salt

Zucchini- Rita’s Farm, Sydney

Thyme- my window sill

Rosemary- my courtyard

Olive Oil- Lisborne Grove, Hunter Valley

rosemary || cityhippyfarmgirl

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 Interested in taking the Eat Local Challenge?

Just how local is local? Well this depends entirely on you. Only you know how you and your family eat. Raise the bar just a little from what you already do. If making sure the majority of your meal includes solely food produced in your country, than make that your challenge. If you want to make it a little trickier, go for produced in the same state…trickier still within 160km.

My aim is to really know where my food is coming from for at least one meal a month, (where I will be posting here in the last week of the month).

Eat Local Challenge #9

Eat Local Challenge #8

Eat Local Challenge #7

Eat Local Challenge #6

Eat Local Challenge #5

Eat Local Challenge #4

Eat Local Challenge #3

Eat Local Challenge #2

Eat Local Challenge #1

eat local challenge || cityhippyfarmgirl

Trickster Bread Tips #1

Trickster Bread Tips #1 || cityhippyfarmgirl

This is a fancy bread demystifying post. Got some bread dough? Got scissors?

Ok, lets make fancy pants trickster bread.

cinnamon roll dough || cityhippyfarmgirl

For this first one, I had made up a cinnamon bun dough. Easy to do and recipe can be found here.

First up, on your tray roll up the dough.  The cinnamon sugar butter mixture is rolled up within it. Now get your scissors and cut equal parts along. (Depending on what type of bread you are using, you might like to do it on baking paper so it’s easy to move around or to catch extra drippy bits like the sugar butter here).

With the scissors, cutting three quarters through the log, so the bottom is still attached.

Next, on one side cut through a little of the attached bottom. Alternate rolls, push to the side. And that’s it. Too easy right?

trickster bread tips #1 || cityhippyfarmgirl

trickster bread tips #1 || cityhippyfarmgirlTaste test at earliest availability, and then try again with the same technique in a slightly different way. It looks fancy, but really is dead easy.

Trickster Bread Tips #1 || cityhippyfarmgirl

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See here for how to make Fancy Pants Flower Bread.

 

Cinnamon Bun Day

cinnamon buns recipe || cityhippyfarmgirl This year I was organised. This year I had planned to bake, and bake oh yes I would. I would bake these delicious cinnamon bready bundles of goodness and I would know I did it on the right day. Cinnamon Bun Day, which was yesterday, the 4th of October. Not quite with me? Let me explain for those that are new to my scandi obsession. the summer book || cityhippyfarmgirl I’m a lover of anything Scandinavian. Viking history, Vikings to watch (this awesome bloody show), this beautiful book, given to me from my favourite Norwegian friend and blogger. I eat knekkebrod with gusto, mix bread with an Assistent, wear Danish boots with pride, think Figgjo retro kitchenware is the bees knees and come the 4th of October, well I’m baking buns… Cinnamon Buns. For these little bundles of Scandinavian dough goodness I used my recipe from last year. Untweaked and left alone surprisingly. Common sense told me I shouldn’t be bothering  messing about with a recipe that worked. For once I listened to myself. For more posts on all things Nordic, see here and here, where you’ll find all things knekkebrod, last years buns (which were twisted), and other Scandinavian obsessions that I may have had in recent times.

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Do you have any particular country obsessions? 

cinnamon buns || cityhippyfarmgirl

Cinnamon Buns

250g  sourdough starter

1 tsp commercial yeast

675g strong bread flour

250mls milk

200mls water

100g sugar

100g softened butter

1 tsp cardamon

1 tsp salt

Cinnamon mixture

100g softened butter

100g raw sugar

2 tsp cinnamon

Add all dough ingredients together, mix well and then knead until dough is elastic on a lightly floured surface (I use my mixer.) Dough should be well incorporated and feeling smooth. Pop the dough back into the mixing bowl and leave to prove for a couple of hours, with a fold or two in between, (or covered and over night.) On a lightly floured bench, roll the dough out to a rough rectangle, add cinnamon mixture and cut into portions. Line on a tray and bake at 200C for approximately 15-20 minutes (depending on the sizes.)