Hot Cross (Swirly) Buns – Science Bonus Lesson 1

Today I made Hot Cross (Swirly) Buns. My brother and I called them Hot cross Swirly Buns because I put swirls of icing on top of the x’s because I had more icing. Well, let’s start at the beginning. What you need: 500g flour, 2 tsp salt, 75g sugar, 2 tsp dried yeast, 40g unsalted butter, 2 medium eggs – beaten
120ml full fat milk, warm, 120ml cool water, 100g sultanas, 80g Cook’s Ingredients mixed peel, Zest of 2 oranges, 1 eating apple – cored and cut into small cubes, 1 pear – cored and cut into small cubes, 2 tsp ground cinnamon
For the crosses:, 75g plain flour, 75g water, 75g Apricot jam to glaze (I used different ones) and a good bit of time.  I used different ingredients,  but here’s the recipe that they say to use:

1. Tip the flour into a large mixing bowl, add the salt and sugar to one side of the bowl and the yeast to the other. Add the butter, eggs, milk and half the water. Use buns9the finger’s of one hand to mix the ingredients together.

2. Add the remaining water a little at a time until you have a soft, sticky dough and all the flour is incorporated.  You may not need all the water.

3. Oil a clean work surface. Tip the dough onto the oil and begin to knead. Continue kneading for 10 minutes. The dough will become less sticky and feel smooth and silky when ready. Put the dough into a lightly oiled bowl. Cover until the dough has doubled in size. This will take between 1 – 3 hours.buns10

4. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and scatter the sultanas, mixed peel, orange zest, apple, pear and cinnamon on top. Knead in until evenly distributed throughout the dough.  Place the dough back in the bowl and leave to rise for an hour.

buns115. Fold the dough inwards repeatedly until all the air is knocked out. Divide into 12 equal pieces and roll into balls. Place them fairly close together on one or two trays lined with parchment paper. Place each tray inside a clean plastic bag and leave to rise for one hour, or until double in size.

6. Preheat the oven to 220C, gas mark 7.  For the crosses, mix the flour and water together to form a pipable paste.buns6  Using a piping bag fitted with a fine plain nozzle, pipe crosses on the buns. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Mix the apricot jam with a little hot water, sieve and brush over the warm buns. Cool on a wire rack.

7.  Enjoy!


Science Lesson 38 & 39 – French Baguettes!

In these lessons I made a set of threeingrediants_small French Baguettes! It started using these ingredients: salt (2 1/2 tsp), water (1/4 cup for yeast to dissolve in – another 2 to make the dough), the yeast (I used a little packet of yeast), a pound of flour (about two and a half cups), and a bit extra flour to put on my hands and the cutting/rolling/folding board.  I used up a good half – day (a half-night, actually) and a bit of patience.  First I put the yeast into the 1/4 cup of water, and let that rest for about twenty minutes.  While that dissolved,  I got the flour ready, and poured in the two and a quarter teaspoons of salt.  then I waited about ten minutes more, and then put the water & yeast into it.  I then stirred it around (with the help of mom the great) and then when it became too hard to stir anymore, I reached in and got real covered in the dough from kneading mixing_small  it without the flour on my hands, and it wouldn’t come off, so I washed my hands and it came off as easy as you can say apple pie.  Then I was like, “Mom?  I think I need some flour on my hands.”  She said okay, so off I went in folding again, and this time I came prepared.   About ten minutes later, I was back in the kitchen to put it in a bowl to let it rise three times what it was at the moment (it took three hours)  and then did it again after deflating it (squishing it together again), so I ended up with a nice texture.  I then put it on a cutting board and folded it in thirds.  I let this sit for three minutes, and then rolled it into baguettes.  Then I lifted it onto a baking sheet and  slit it.  This turned bagette2_smallout nicely, and I had a nice set of baguettes that were slitted and ready for the oven.  

After I had it slitted, I put it in the oven for 45 minutes and then mom put a tray of water in the bottom of the oven, and sent me to bed.  At the time it was bagette6_smallmidnight.  Then, six hours later, I was up and on my crutches, and I went to check on the baguettes.  One failed, and was hard as a rock.  Two actually made it,  and were edible.  This was quite the learning experience!bagette8_small

(Not Really) Sweet Cinnamon Tea – Science Lesson 32

Huh….. I don’t know whether I liked it or not.  It was kind of bitter, and it had a cinnamony taste to it.. but it was bitter.  Very bitter.  It was terrible at the bottom- I spit it out, it was so disgusting!  With the original recipe, Mom called that cinnamon water, so she added to it.  What the original recipe was is to put a half cup of cinnamon chips into a strainer and place the strainer in a cup of boiling water and leave it for five minutes and then drink it.  What she added was 1 package of earl grey tea flavoring, honey (enough to cover the bottom of the cup), and a little less cinnamon (1/8 teaspoon- the ground stuff).  It turned out bitter, but I’m guessing that the original recipe would have tasted terrible, so I’m lucky that mom caught that (That would be why Daniel Dignan doesn’t taste them during the lesson!), otherwise it would be yucky.

Green Goblin Smoothie – Science Lesson 30 – Yet Another Failure

Green Goblin Smoothie – more like Bad Blue Smoothie!  I did everything correct……… what went wrong?  I don’t know.  Well, I know I need a little more practice in the smoothie section.  I was supposed to put in some raspberries, blackberries and blueberries, 1  frozen banana, one lettuce leaf, two teaspoons acai or something like acai,  two cups nut or seed milk (I used almond), and of course the blender and friend (unless it turns out like this!).  As always, stuff it all in the blender and blend it.  If it turns out like this, throw it away.  It tasted terrible!

Three Annoying Smoothies – Science lesson 29 – Another Set of Failures

The troublesome trio of smoothies – Berry Blue Smoothie, Blueberry Mint Smoothie, and Strawberry Daydream Smoothie.  In the making of each one, I made at least one mistake.  For the Berry Blue, I was supposed to put in  1 cup blueberries or purple grapes, 2 Tbsp. acai or blackcurrant powder (or blackberries), 800 ml (27 fl. oz.) of nut or seed milk (example: almond milk), 1-2 Tbsp. maple syrup (optional), 2 semi-frozen bananas, 1/2 avocado, and the seeds of one vanilla pod.  I accidentally put in too much blackberries and it turned out too blackberry-tasting, and I then didn’t like it, so our guests drank it, and they liked it.  For the Blueberry Mint smoothie I put in too much mint, and I was supposed to put in 1 cup frozen blueberries, 1 frozen banana (peeled before frozen), 1 cup spinach, 1 cup apple juice, ½ cup pineapple chunks, and ¼ cup fresh mint.  That one was too minty, and again, our guests liked and drank them.  When I made the Strawberry Daydream, they were not there (thank goodness they weren’t!), and I accidentally forgot to cap the strawberries, simply dropped the strawberries in the blender, and blended the ingredients, which were  2 cups strawberries, 2 nectarines, 1 mango, 1 banana, ½ cup fresh lemon balm or basil, and 1 cup water.  While I did that, mom asked me if I’d capped the strawberries, and I said, “Whoops.  I forgot to do that.”  It was then that I noticed that I’d forgotten the caps.  And mom started laughing so hard she was crying, and I nearly burst into tears because I thought that she was laughing at me.  Later on, however, she said that she thought that I was cute when I said the line. She said that she understood that since we had been putting so many leaves in that I forgot about the strawberry leaves (when it happened I was actually thinking about the spinach leaves that I had put in the Blueberry Mint Smoothie the day before) and put them in.  These three smoothies were super annoying!

Slow Roasted Garlic Tomatoes – Science Lesson 15 – My First Failure

Eeaugh!!  Yuck!”   That’s what I said when I tried these.  They were disgusting!  Why?  I had put in WAY too much garlic!  The point of the recipe?  I don’t know.  I do know I am NOT putting that much garlic in again.  The problem was that I didn’t know how much a clove is, since I had a big can of pre-minced garlic.  The original recipe was to use some tomatoes, a matching amount of  garlic cloves, and some thyme and olive oil, and simply hallow out the tomatoes, drop one clove of garlic, one  teaspoon of thyme in, and put the top of the tomato back on, put them in the oven for an hour and a half, and serve.  

I learned a lesson that day.  Do not put in too much garlic ……… in anything!  Maybe I’ll try again sometime in the future, but that was quite the failure.