Recently I visited the ultra lovely folk of The Thoughtful Bread Company at their pop-up cafè in Bath. I love these guys, their attitude, their bread (and cakes!) and now their book too. “Bread Revolution – Rise Up & Bake” has been in my possession for less than 48 hours now and I am already smitten. It was my fella’s birthday yesterday and I felt bad that the only package that the postie delivered was my copy of Bread Revolution so I told him to pick out absolutely any recipe he liked and I would make it for his birthday (I’m nice like that see).
Now, I don’t really do baking. I’m not one for weighing and measuring anything and much prefer to rely on my instinct. I’m a bit odd, I see tastes in terms of shapes and colours (recently I found out it has a name and is called Synesthesia), it’s totally normal for me and I grew up thinking everyone was the same – it actually came as a real shock to find out that other people weren’t manipulating triangles when cooking! Anyway, Glen picked out their recipe for Cinnamon Swirls which was really handy as I already had all the ingredients in the pantry. I’ve never made a sweet dough before and wasn’t entirely sure about whether I should keep flouring the worktop as I was kneading the dough (it was really sticky), but I did, and probably shouldn’t have as the dough was a bit tight as I went, but I carried on anyway.
I decided to try their Sugared Raisin version. I’m not a huge fan of raisins in any food (heaven forbid I find a raisin in a pot of curry sauce) but I had some jumbo sultanas and raisins set aside for making more smoked tea booze concoctions so I used them and threw in a load of flaked almonds too for good measure.
So I rolled up my dough creation, and after some Twitter reassurance from Thoughtful Bread that a water sprayer wasn’t essential (massive relief as mine were all still full of last year’s Black Fly beating mix of washing up liquid and water), I sliced it and left them to prove for about 90 minutes. My intention was to pop most of them in the fridge overnight but I could only fit one tray of 4 in there (damn) so I had to cook the rest, all 12 of them (double damn!).
Just 15 short minutes later and the first batch of 6 were ready. I decided to add a good dose of cinnamon to the sugar glaze that was bubbling away on the hob (I love cinnamon), glazed them then waited for them to cool before scattering a few more flaked almonds on them and drizzling with icing.
I can honestly say I was pretty shocked by the result, they tasted even better than I imagined, in fact they tasted amazing! The dough was so soft and light, the buns sticky and sweet, and the filling was just wonderfully sweet/soft/cinnamony/crunchy. I have a new addiction. The buns that went into the fridge overnight were brought to room temp today and baked off – they turned out to be even better. I think the overnight cold prove helped the dough become even lighter and if I can manage to resist eating them all on the same day I will from now on always do it that way.
I have completely fallen in love with this recipe and for the first time ever I am actually really excited about working my way around a baking cook book. Bread Revolution’s sweet dough has been quite the bread revelation (sorry) for me and I can’t wait to experiment more. I don’t own a food mixer, which they recommend in order to make their brioche, so it looks as if it may be their Bacon Fougasse next, or their Nettle and Chive Flowerpot Breads, or doughnuts, or rye crackers – there are just SO many I want to crack on with, but seeing as though I have eaten nothing but cinnamon swirls today perhaps a bit of a foraging walk first for ingredients…..