*sex and the city 2 : end credits roll*
RJ: “that was… that was THE worst film. i have EVER seen.”
RJ: “but affleck was the bomb in phantoms, yo!”
you know what this blog has been sorely lacking lately? okay, yes, yes, MANY THINGS, i hear you cry, but specifically, i was thinking: BAKING.
baking escapades. i mean, they are ALWAYS fun, right? especially when done in a 4 way competition with friends over the internet.
louise: dear fiona and sal. look at this -> cinnamon sugar pull-apart bread. shall we?
sal: oh. my. god. i have to eat that. i don’t have any cinnamon though. will curry powder work, do you think?
fi: i could post you a stick? i have 4 in a jar.
louise: well, i had thought that we could buy the actual ingredients or something? because i need to eat this so very much.
sal: the..actual ingredients?
ro: hey i want in on this too!
and so, after a lot of to-ing and fro-ing conversations about ground cinnamon versus cinnamon sticks, tiny graters, and whether or not it would be acceptable to raid the pot-pouri bowl for ingredients (turns out it’s not) we decided on a course of action. we would each send our hunter-gatherer other half’s out to hunter gather the correct ingredients for the job, and a massive 4 way bake off was planned for today.
the Slightly Retarded (But Still Awesome) Daring Bakers Ladies Institute Club was born!
so, this morning, via facebook:
fi: ok, well, i had actually started. i printed out the recipe, charged the camera batteries, located a bread tin… then i realised I CANNOT MAKE THINGS FROM RECIPES THAT DON’T HAVE PROPER MEASUREMENTS! >:( you guys, i’m not even joking. i want this bread so bad. but WTF “CUPS”. hello? who is there? ro? can you help me?
sal: dude. i am here. but you have to wait. i’m not awake yet.
fi: oh thank christ.
sal: no. don’t be thankful. i am not fully operational yet. this is all just too much for me right now.
fi: is there any “general conversion” one can use to convert CUPS into Proper?
sal: do you really not have a cup measurer?
fi: i have the white ones or the buffy ones.
sal: okay no, those are drinking cups. do not use those, they are not suitable.
fi: i’ve whisked my eggs already <- so you know i am committed.
sal: ok hang on i’m still trying to wake up, and write out the recipe, and you’re making me feel all behind, and the others aren’t even here yet!
fi: listen, i REALLY don’t have time to waste. should i come back in an hour? i’m getting in a panic.
sal: ok. come back in an hour. jesus.
fi: wait, listen – out of EVERYTHING, all i need to know is: what is equal to 2 3/4 cups of flour?
sal: um -
fi: i have a 1/3 measuring cup and i have a 1/4 measuring cup. i think i can do maths with those? i just don’t know what to do about the flour. 2 3/4? 6/8? fraction flour? oooh, does it mean, right, that i should fill my quarter cup 6 times. Y/N?
sal: why do you have a quarter cup measurer, but not a whole cup?
fi: the whole cup is for scooping daz into the washing masjien.
sal: right. ok. definitely don’t use that then.
fi: i think it is 8oz flour, and 2oz sugar. that’s where i’m up to. now, why does the recipe say: “2 1/4 teaspoons of yeast”? why not write “half a teaspoon” ?
sal: because it is 2 AND a quarter teaspoons!! not 2 quarters!!
fi: ohhhh. so i did the flour wrong?
sal: at this point, i’m not sure WHAT you have done…
ro: WOW! i didn’t know this had all kicked off! i won’t be able to make mine until tonight! fi? do you still need help? 1 cup = 250ml. maybe i can put together a Clever Spreadsheet that calculates all this for you? ( but not until the week after next as i am busy and then on holiday).
fi: oh thank m*therf***ingchrist! please, please, just tell me what 2 2/3 flour is equals to?
ro: 666.5ml. but, i just looked at the recipe, and it doesn’t call for 2 and two thirds (2/3) flour. it calls for 2 and three quarters (3/4) flour. these are two different things.
sal: ro, thank god you are here. thank god.
ro: but not for long! i have to go to gym in a minute (someone has to do our exercise for us!) will be back later to bake though..
fi: i ended up using 10oz flour in the main thing, then ..oh..god knows how much..maybe 3 scoops of the 1/4 cup.. i don’t know. it seemed “okay.”
louise: WHUT is happening here. i did not know it was bread o’clock already. i simply cannot cope with these hurly mornings! right. i’m off to print out my recipe…but…”all-purpose” flour – that usually means plain, right?
sal: oh!! i thought it meant self-raising? i used self-raising :\ and, and! i got up SUPER EARLY today because i thought you lot were all “up an at ‘em” early risers!! i wish i’d known.
louise: it IS early sal. also, i don’t think it will matter about the flour. how much did you use in the end? my converter says 1 cup = 125g.
sal: i think it was about 300g for 2 cupfuls. i’m not sure though as i am a bit dodgy at reading scales. i can’t read a tape measure either.
louise: i cannot read a tape measure either. or scales. my method of cookering is: “that looks about right.”
fi: i think you can never have 1. too much flour. or 2. too much rise. in my EXPERIENCE, anyway.
louise: if there is too much dry, you simply add more wet, right?
fi: i recalculated my flour and used 1lb. that is a lot different to 8oz.
sal: k. i am melting the butter to make ma wet. what stage are you all at?
fi: my “sticky” “dough” is in a bowl on the windowsill.
sal: oh! you have finished making your dough already! mine is currently..like…well it was like liquid egg. and i was thinking “this is WAY too much wet!” and then suddenly it just all turned into like..a cake batter, so i was much happier. THEN i realised i still had to add another cup of flour! and THEN the whole thing just turned into a big bowl of flour :(
fi: yes! a bowl of flour! but then when i turned mine onto a tray, it turned back to sticky.
sal: VERY sticky.
fi: ok now look you guys i simply don’t have TIME to wait for mine to double in size, so ima just go ahead and make the thing. i am rollering the dough now… i don’t want to use a DIY tape measure, so ima just use my knitting one… oh no! MY STRIPS WILL NOT STACK!! my kitchen is awash with escaped sugar :o
sal: jeezus, slow down, i haven’t even brownded ma butter yet!
louise: i think i need to sit down for a minute.
fi: i didn’t know how to “brown butter” so i didn’t bother.
louise: i was always taught that if butter was brown it was burnded?
sal: oh the irony. the irony of this coming from a site called “JOY” (the baker)
fi: i was just thinking that as i survey the damage.
sal: yeah… i barely had time to clear up all the fallout before the next stage >:(
louise: recipe says something about letting the mix “register about 115 to 125 degrees…” – WTF?
fi: ignore that bit.
sal: yes, just ignore that.
fi: i figured if you use just off the boil water for bread to activate yeast..then..somethingsomething..it will be fine.
sal: hey, MY DOUGH IS *NOT* DOUBLING IN SIZE, YO >:(
louise: irrit somewhere warm? you must put it somewhere warm.
sal: it is somewhere warm, covered, AND with a blanket wrapped round it. it could only be warmer if i sent it to the south of france for it’s ‘olidays and i simply don’t have the time for that.
fi: well, mine is in the oven. so, let the record reflect that: *i* am the winner on SPEED and QUICK and BRAVE and FIRST. at the very least.
louise: fiona, you are a cheat because you did not wait for us to say ready steady go.
sal: and you haven’t let it prove a second time neither! you are cheating! i hope your bread tastes heavy >:(
fi: WTF second prove, i am on my third!!
louise: my dough has doubled in size in 10 minutes. i am making frickin elephant cake bread.
fi: in all seriousness, i haven’t got time for this!! i am having a m*therf***er of a panic that i have already spent half a day on this!! i’m s’posed to be doing other jobs today. hey, where did everyone elses sugar go, by the way?
louise: maybe it’s like “the blob” and it’s just gonna grow and grow and smother the whole wide worm.
sal: well, i was wise – i set aside an entire day for this. and, to answer your question, my sugar is currently in a bowl, going into my gob. for someone who hates cinnamon as much as i do, i have discovered that i REALLY LIKE cinnamon sugar :D
fi: i put a little something extra in my dough. to make it extra special.
fi: also, my squares were not all uniform, cos my dough stretched. (which is when all the sugar came off.) (i blame the not-browned butter) so, they didn’t all fit in the bread tin nicely like on the other blog. i just stuffed mine in any old which way i could get ‘em. then i dumped all the excess sugar on top.
sal: right. well, i will use that as a heads up. currently, i am suffering from 1. not-risen dough. and 2. mental hissy-fit butter. oh… wait…. make that BLACKENED BUTTER >:(
fi: mine is nearly ready to come out of the oven…
sal: ok. no. the rolling out and stacking of the dough is RI-DIC-U-LOUS hard! and, one cup of sugar is WAY too much! waaaay too much!! i now have about three quarters of a cup sprayed across the bench, down the cupboards, in between the floorboards, crunching under my feet, in my hair, all over everything! except the dough >:(
fi: excellent. so it wasn’t just me being a retard. and where is louise? she is being awful quiet.
louise: oh, hello. my dough is now in the tin, rising again. i have definitely made elephant bread. it rolled out to 70 x 35cm which seems awful big. and my bread tin was not big enough for my elephant bread so i have stuffed the extra into a yorkshire pudding tin and will hope for the best. jeebus. after just 10 minutes rising again though, you should see it trying to escape! too much yeast maybe? i didn’t measure it. i just threw a packet in. a packet is right for 2 pizzas, and i figures 1 x cinnamon bread = 2 pizzas.
sal: is that a 7g packet of yeast, per chance? because i measured mine, and it was about half a packet. and my dough is not very elephanty at all. i would say it is “about right”, but then, there are so many other things that are wrong, it is far from “about right”.
louise: yes, i think so. that explains the elephantness. it is HUGE.
sal: right. ok, well, never mind – we’ll know for next time! :D
louise: “next time”? are you serious?
sal: OF COURSE NOT! >:(
ro: i am back from gym! i can’t wait to have a go at this tonight! i’m sorry i couldn’t be here for the whole crazy!
sal: it’s my fault, we should’ve been doing this tomorrow, but i have to go out. but next week! next week, we will definitely do a 4 way bake off for proper! but…can it be a simple something? i don’t think i can handle 4 way crazy.
ro: i’m on holiday next week… how about you guys make something easy? like, cucumber sandwiches? then the NEXT week we can do something epic!
sal: YES!! yes, cucumber sandwiches, i can manage!
louise: OR we could just continue with the easy? please? although i’m guessing that “some of us” could even cock cucumber sandwiches up.
fi: well, mine is ready, guys! i am currently eating it. through sheer STUBBORN. i will email you some pics.
sal: ok..i have your email..i see your pictures… i..did you put..nuts? or something? in yours?
fi: i added some pecan nuts. for “interest”. i am going to go and lie down now. with my diabetes and cinnamon migraine.
<moer time passes>
sal: mine is in the oven now! it’s…rising magnificently! :o
louise: well, here is my verdict: mine is not as pretty as the original blog lady’s. it has too much brown, and not enough shiny. but EE BAH GUM it’s DELISHUS!
sal: lou, how have you managed to overtake me?! mine is still cooking! :o
louise: well, i couldn’t leave mine to rise as long as it said, or i would never have fitted it in the oven. also my oven cooks with too much hot, so it cooked very quickly.
sal: ok, mine is ready…
louise: have you tasted it yet? have ya? have ya?
sal: ooOOoohhh!! OMG you guys….it’s …it’s….worth the hassle?!
louise: isn’t it? but don’t eat too much or you will feel very sick very quick.
and henceforth, shall this bread be renamed… “cinnamon hasslefaff bread.”
<an entire day passes>
ro: i bet you guys are all relaxing on your respective couches? i am starting my bread now!
louise: i’m still feeling a bit sick from this morning
fi: i feel a bit weird. like, too much sugar? i had another slice after dinner anyway. result: still feel a bit weird. also, BEGINNING THIS DAY-LONG RECIPE AT 8PM IS MADNESS! :o
sal: jaysus you are BRAVE! :o
ro: dudes! don’t worry about me! i have, after all, flown all the way to south africa and back with a toddler (twice) all by myself. i’m an endurance kind of girl!
louise: hey, did you guys see the original original recipe? it was for a lemon one. maybe we can make that NEXT :D
fi: oh no, please… PLEASE can we never do this again!
sal: …and so say all of us!
then end! …of episode one :s
and now, dear reader, if you have managed to sit through that entire blog post, may i offer you some congratulations. you deserve a medal, and a look at some pictures!
^ sal’s kitchen. pictured: baking fallout, B&Q tape measure, dough woes.
^ fi’s kitchen. pictured: dough, knitting tape measure, pecan nuts for “interest”.
^ louise’s kitchen. pictured: elephant dough, large bowl.
^louises kitchen. pictured: precision squares, brownded butter, ton of sugar.
^ sal’s kitchen. pictured: too-small squares, B&Q tape measure (must be faulty), baking fallout, ton of sugar.
^ fi’s kitchen. pictured: any old which way squares, sugar, sugar, and more sugar. plus some sugar.
^ ro’s kitchen. pictured: some fallout, good looking squares, sugar.
^ louise’s kitchen. pictured: pretty squares trying to escape bread tin, some sugar.
^ fi’s kitchen. pictured: faffbread! sugar.
^ louises kitchen. pictured: faffbread! sugar.
^ sal’s kitchen. pictured: faffbread! sugar.
^ ro’s kitchen. pictured: vertically challenged faffbread, knife. (“serious? it says “place on sunny windowsill.” where am i going to find a sunny windowsill at 09h30 at night? i will have to make this again in july.”)
^ ro’s kitchen. pictured: faffbread! sugar.
…and there we have it. what a FUN way to spend a tuesday! feel like making some cinnamon sugar pull apart bread yourself?
well, visit joy the baker and find out how!
but, just be warned. it’s not as easy as we make it look.