Monthly Archives: February 2019

Delving into the Archives: Brussels Sprouts and Fiery Red Chilies

summary: Brussels Sprouts with Fermented Black Beans and Chillies; Hot!!; reading ‘Deep Run Roots’ by Vivian Howard aloud; brief review of “Burma: Rivers of Flavor” by Naomi Duguid;

[W]hen summer became September and the local produce staring at me was eggplant, muscadines, peppers, and okra, I had to go work – Vivian Howard, Chapter 18: Okra, p.399

Brussels sprouts

This past summer, when we were blissfully sitting outside on the porch, listening to the leaves rustle and reading Vivian Howard’s excellent memoir/cookbook, “Deep Run Roots”, when we got to the recipes for ‘Grape-Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Sausage’ and ‘Brussels Sprouts, Apples, and Pomegranate with Blue Cheese Honey Vinaigrette’, we knew that as soon as Brussels sprouts started to arrive at the vegetable store, we HAD to try them. (continue reading )

Shape Shifting (BBB February 2019)

go directly to the recipe

BBB: Let's Keep Baking summary: recipe for BBB Chelsea Buns (sort of); brief history of Chelsea Buns; shape/recipe shifting; BBB’s 11th anniversary; information about Bread Baking Babes; Let’s Keep Baking!

Bread Baking Babes (BBB): 11th Anniversary Chelsea Buns

[It’s] the best of all buns, on account of their melting buttery sweetness, and the fun of uncoiling them as you eat them. – Jane Grigson, English Food

BBB Chelsea Buns

Ha! There’s nothing like looking something up after it’s made, to find out its origins….

In the days before roller-milling, when all breads were wholemeal to varying degrees of fineness, and the finest flour was probably off-white or a pale fawn, the baker’s delicacies for the English gentry were the buns that bore the name of a town or district. London had the Chelsea bun and the London bun, while the city of Bath produced the mighty Bath bun, full of dried fruit and sprinkled with crushed sugar.
– Adrian Bailey, ‘Cousins Under the Crust’, The Blessings of Bread, p133
The Chelsea Bun is closely related to the Currant bun. In 1824 Duncan Higgins adapted Wigley’s currant bun recipe to create the classic Chelsea bun at his bakery close to the fashionable Chelsea district in London. It is rolled up like a cinnamon bun.
-Pamela Foster, Abbey Cooks Entertain, p.50
According to legend, on the first day that [the bun] was introduced by the Old Chelsea Bun House, 50,000 people queued up to buy one. […] [T]his spiced fruit bun, which was once an Easter speciality, spawned dozens of imitations. […] Related to the long-established fruit and cinnamon buns from which it’s inspired, this sweet, sticky treat is a square-ish form of currant bun first created [around 1700] at the Chelsea Bun House on the Chelsea/Pimlico borders. It’s a rare example of a food item associated with just one place.
– Sejal Sukhadwala, The Londonist | London Food History: Chelsea Buns
They’re the British version of a Danish pastry and were first invented in the Old Chelsea Bun House in London some time during the 1700s. This Chelsea bun recipe is enriched and often flavoured with lemon or spices; the classic filling is butter, brown sugar and dried vine fruits, and once baked, they’re glazed to make glistening spirals of light bread dough drenched in toffee-ish flavours or icing.
– Rachael Funnell, Emma Mitchell’s Apple and caramel Chelsea Bun recipe
‘It is singular’, wrote sir Richard Phillips, an addict of the original Chelsea buns, ‘that their delicate flavour, lightness and richness, have never been successfully imitated […]
   Sugary, spicy, sticky, square and coiled like a Swiss roll, the Chelsea bun as we now know is a pretty hefty proposition. […] [I]t is worth knowing the principle on which Chelsea buns are made. Recipes vary considerably in details, but the basic bun dough is fairly constant.
   First prepare a simple bun dough, as for the Bath buns on p.480
– Elizabeth David, English Bread and Yeast Cookery, p483

(continue reading )

It’s cold out there… (BBBuddies January 2019)

summary: January 2019 BBBuddies; BBB Elbow-lick Sandwich Bread gallery

This stuff is special-chewy with deep flavor and a dark crust. – Vivian Howard, Deep Run Roots, p.321

Bread Baking Buddies January 2019Bread Baking Buddies (BBB): Elbow-lick Sandwich Bread

In spite of its tantalizing name, not all the BBBabes made elbow-lick sandwich bread. I think maybe they got scared by the slack slack slack dough. But those of us who did bake the bread liked it a lot.

I thought it was going to be an easy bread to make. Something perfect to rest with after all of December’s complex festive baking. Bzzzzzzt! W.R.O.N.G. – me, (blog from OUR kitchen)
To say we loved this bread is an understatement. […] Yes, you want to bake this bread! – Tanna (My Kitchen in Half Cups)
The bread was dense and moist but not heavy. Honestly, I originally thought I would not make it again, but then I tried it with Boursin […] the perfect complement to the toasted bread. Much more so than butter. And it made a delicious cucumber sandwich for breakfast. – Kelly (A Messy Kitchen)
This sweet potato bread was pretty much the most challenging doughs I’ve ever worked with. […] This Sweet Potato and Caramelized Onion Bread is so totally delicious toasted and slathered with butter. Yes, the bread is already super moist from loads of onions, but a little bit of butter just seems to bring a little something extra. – Karen K (Karen’s Kitchen Stories)
Sliced, toasted, and buttered: it is delicious despite its appearance. – Judy (Judy’s Gross Eats)
The crumb is moist and the flavor is strong but good. – Pat, aka Elle (Feeding My Enthusiasms)
The loaf looked great when I removed it from the oven, but to my dismay, it had a gummy line at the bottom when I sliced it. […] Even though it had a gummy line at the bottom, I still enjoyed this bread – Cathy (Bread Experience)
[T]hey didn’t lick their elbows but they all said they wanted to…. Elbow-Lick Sandwich Bread has to be one of the more curious breads the Babes have grappled with. […] [T]he bread is great with butter, cheese, toasted or not. – Katie (Thyme For Cooking)

I know I shouldn’t be surprised in these waning days of blogging, but I received zero notices about any BBBuddies baking Elbow-lick bread. Not to mention that it’s cold and snowy out there. But I did learn of two people posting about it on FB. I asked permission to display their photos…. (continue reading )