Bread Baking Babes (BBB): Singing Hinnies
You can’t teach an old dog new tricks…
It has been poisonously hot this month. The horrible heat broke last week. But it has geared up again – just in time for the annual Indy race that took place this weekend about 2 km south of us. It was loud here. I can’t imagine what it must have been like in the grand stands….
Because July is a traditionally hot month, this month’s recipe does not require an oven or yeast. The leavener is baking powder. This month the BBBabes are making “Singing Hinnies”.
What a delightful name this little griddle cake has. The origins of the traditional scone-like griddle cake called a Singin’ Hinny is easily identified. Hinney is the pronunciation of ” honey ” in the north east of England around Sunderland, Newcastle and through to Northumberland. It is a term of endearment used usually to and about women and children. With the singing part of the name from when the cakes are cooked in a hot flat griddle pan, as they hit the pan, the butter and lard starts to sizzle and ‘sing’. Delightful all round.
– Elaine Limm, The Spruce Eats | Traditional Singing Hinny Recipe
The use of the griddle goes back through the ages, when ovens were not part of many coal-fired ranges. […] SINGING HINNIES […] have been a favourite teacake in Northumberland for decades. The rather strange name is because the teacakes give a singing sound as they cool and the word ‘hinnie’ is a term of endearment in the north of England […] [T]he oven is not used. The griddle must be preheated well
– Marguerite Patten OBE, The Basic Basics Baking Handbook, p169
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Man. Ain’t that the life?
Yeah, it sure is.
The other night, T really pulled out all the stops to make grilled chicken (Iraqi yellow spice rub), cherry sauce (using dried tart cherries we got last fall at SuperTehran, the Iranian supermarket), oven roasted potatoes, grilled eggplant, stir-fried Swiss chard (from OUR garden!), various herbs and flowers from the garden, and Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru 1990 wine that has been in the basement since early winter 1991 or so, (continue reading )
Bread Baking Babes (BBB): Pain au Levain
Making good bread is a matter of controlling variables; there is no one magic ingredient that, on its own, will elevate your bread to sublime status. – Richard Miscovich, From the Wood-Fired Oven, p119
This month, Cathy (Bread Experience) chose Pain au Levain, from a recipe in “From The Wood-Fired Oven” by Richard Miscovich, for the BBBabes to bake. I can’t help thinking about how I would have reacted before – even a year ago – to Cathy’s announcement. My heart would have been pounding and mouth dry as I tried to think of any excuse at all not to make this month’s bread. I was like Kaitlyn Bailey:
I had no experience making sourdough, so parenthood began with a thorough scour of the internet. I quickly learned that I was […] entering a cult-like subset of the baking world, whose members spend their weekends worshiping yeast cultures and driving far and wide in search of the perfect flour mix.
One of the blogs I read insisted that sourdough couldn’t be made from a recipe, and instead suggested that a beginner start by spending time getting to know their dough and then just “follow their instincts.” Unfortunately, my dough wasn’t very chatty, and my instincts were telling me that I shouldn’t use the funky-smelling jar in my fridge for something I was going to eat.
– Kaitlyn Bailey, Sourdough starter: How I learned to love my yeast beast, Globe and Mail, 24 May 2018
But, thanks to Jane Mason’s book “All You Knead is Bread”, all that has changed. Our Mason starter, that has been valiantly bubbling since last July, is better than ever. The fear of making naturally leavened bread has gone entirely.
We LOVE our bread made with Jane Mason Starter!
I got Richard Miscovich’s book out of the library, started reading it, and began dreaming about having our own wood-fired oven….
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Until recently, people here [in Easter Carolina] never really messed around with experiments like eggplant or fancy peppers. Herbs were something we bought dried and, aside from sage, rarely used. […] [A]nd asparagus grew out of a can. – Vivian Howard, Summer Squash, Deep Run Roots, p335
Things were not unsimilar in the mostly frozen north when I was growing up. Except that in the summer, Mum would hand us some scissors for us to venture out into the garden to snip chives to put into potato salad. Potato salad that was made with just 5 ingredients: boiled potatoes, miracle whip, chives, salt, and pepper. Not too much pepper though….
How times have changed….
I don’t remember having asparagus at home when I was growing up – but it seems to me that it would have been served when we went to our great aunt’s house for dinner. And, after hearing Mum’s low voice aside to me of “Don’t be silly. Eat up” for the umpteenth time, I would have choked down the lone spear that would have been, to my horror, limply lying there, glistening grey-green, on the plate beside the potatoes and slice of roasted meat.
I still go out the garden with scissors to get chives. But they don’t go into potato salad. Oh my no. They’re for making Tartar Sauce, or garnishing hard boiled eggs, or asparagus with Hollandaise Sauce. (continue reading )