I read somewhere once that things are only scary if you are told they are. For instance, many people find pastry making scary – but if you grow up believing its simple then you are oblivious to the fear. It’s the same with making a sponge or meringue – feared processes, but if you tell yourself they are simple then they are likely to be much easier. My baking fear is yeast.
About a year ago, I attempted hot cross buns. They didn’t work, and there was much wasted dough – not fun times. Since that, I occasionally saw a recipe I liked, considered making it, saw it involved yeast, and put straight back down. The kneading, the knocking back, the rising, the “tepid” water, the whole shebang scared me. But then time and time again on Tastespotting, Foodgawker and on so many blogs I would see cinnamon rolls. And they looked so very good. SO very good. So I gave in, and yeast was once again introduced to my mixing bowl.
These aren’t actually cinnamon rolls – they are mincemeat rolls. After Christmas there are always a few jars left over and whilst mincemeat lasts, its nice to use it up a bit. A free day was found and the baking begun. And it worked! This recipe was from the Waitrose magazine, so from the beginning I felt in safe “hands”. The dough came together nicely, wasn’t too sticky, rose when it was meant to – it was on its best behaviour! And happily, I managed to cut 10 rather than 8 rolls out of the dough.These may be one of the best-smelling things you could bake. They fill your house with their rich, fruity “aromas” and the softly baking dough. As you pull them apart, they open stickily and icing cracks and falls (I cut a final corner by making glace rather than cream cheese icing), your fingers immersed in each bite. Such a treat. They are perfect on a Sunday night in front of the television and our family demolished as many as we could fast. I’m happy to say this has set me back on the yeasty-route and massively helped with my confidence. Do not be surprised to see Hot Cross Bun Attempt 2 in this space at Easter time! You can find the fruit scroll recipe here. Enjoy!