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another little filler (in more ways than one)

Completely off-topic but I had to share this one :-) It's another bread recipe - I had a day's leave before we left on this trip (I might share some photos if I can work them into a story somehow) & spent part of the morning trying out that bread book again (Ingram & Shapter, 2007). This time: Mallorcan ensaimadas...

Again, I cheated & left the breadmaker to do the dough. Although - I've learned by trial & error (see, there's some science in here!) that you get a better quality bread if you activate the yeast first. So -

- cream 2 teaspoons of Surebake yeast with 5 tablespoons of lukewarm milk, & leave it for a few minutes until frothy. While that's happening mix 2 cups of high-grade (bread) flour with 1/4 cup sugar & 1/2 teaspoon salt. And in another bowl lightly beat an egg & 2 teaspoons of oil.

When the yeast mix is all frothy, pour it & the egg/oil mix into the flour; mix well & knead for about 10 minutes till you get a nice smooth & elastic dough. (Or let the breadmaker do it for you.) Cover with gladwrap (or a damp tea towel) & leave somewhere warm until it's doubled in bulk. (With the temperatures we've been having in Hamilton lately, I find the benchtop is just fine.)

Now comes the fun part. Melt 1/4 cup of butter in a small bowl. Knock the dough back by kneading, divide it into 16 equal parts (these will look small but believe me, they fluff up very nicely), & roll one out into a 'rope' about 35cm long. (Cover the rest with a damp tea towel as otherwise they'll dry out by the time you get to the last one.) Dip the rope into the melted butter & then curl it into a spiral shape on the baking tray - tuck the end underneath the spiral so it doesn't unroll. Repeat with the rest of the dough. You'll need 2 baking trays as the buns do expand quite a lot as they rise & then bake. Cover the rolls with gladwrap & leave them somewhere warm for about  40 minutes for the rising part; they should double in size.

Heat the oven to 190oC. Before you put the rolls into the oven, brush each one with water & sprinkle with icing sugar. Cook for about 10 minutes - they'll be golden brown when ready. Enjoy - they're reminiscent of croissants, but without all the folding & rolling :-)

(I must confess, I looked at the recipe & thought: '16 buns from 2 cups of flour?? They'll be tiny!' So I doubled the recipe... Thirty-two ensaimadas is a lot. Mind you, the family wasn't complaining.)

 Christine Ingram & Jennie Shapter (2007) The cook's guide to bread. Hermes House.

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