Friday, July 20, 2012

Don't look at my buns!

Hi everyone:

Okay, I know what you're thinking - this doesn't sound like it has anything to do with quilting (well, maybe you're not thinking this, but something totally different, but I'm not going to go in that direction!), but it really does, just bear with me. 

A few days ago I was at a friend's house and she was making cloverleaf rolls. The buns were in muffin pans set out to rise on her stove. They looked gorgeous: smooth and round and all puffed-up. Now, although I like to bake, I don't usually make buns, but I do have a bread maker which will do most of the hard work for me, so I thought why not give it a try. I was especially encouraged when I read her blog post, which included luscious pictures of her buns (no comments, please!) and her recipe. So, although it was beastly hot out, I decided to make cloverleaf rolls.

All started out well. I put all of the ingredients in the bread maker and then went out to run some errands. When I returned the dough cycle was done and the dough was puffed up to the top of the bread maker. I took out the dough and, as per Cathy's instructions, put three small dough balls in each muffin tin compartment and put them out to rise again. Which they didn't. So, I covered them with plastic wrap, set a damp towel on top of them and put them out in the sun to rise. Which they did, but... when I took off the plastic wrap, they fell again. Rats! I put them in the oven anyway, cooked them using convection (it was hot, remember?) and they did bake up okay, but were quite dense, not the light, fluffy buns that I was hoping for. I think they'll be great for breakfast biscuits with egg, cheese and bacon (which I never eat, but just saying). 
First attempt at buns
Not light and fluffy at all
Now, never one to stop at one attempt - or a glutton for punishment, as some might say - I decided to try again. This time, I decided to use margarine, rather than olive oil, and changed the quantities of a few of the ingredients (sorry, Cathy). I made the dough in the bread maker and it came out a nice, smooth ball, just like it should. 
Second attempt at buns
Dough is looking good
Dough ball out of bread maker
I then divided the dough into smaller balls to make the cloverleaf rolls and also made a small loaf. Everything was looking good so far. I used an egg wash on the buns and bread so it would be a nice golden brown when finished. 
Buns ready to go into the oven
I decided to bake the buns on the regular baking setting, rather than convection. Hallelujah! It worked! Just changing a few ingredients and the method resulted in light, fluffy, delectable buns - and an equally wonderful bread loaf.
Light and fluffy sort-of-cloverleaf roll

Baked bread - yum!
What does this have to do with quilting? Well, just as there are various recipes and techniques to bake buns, there are also many types of quilting techniques and different ways to accomplish them. And, just as in baking, you sometimes have to try a new technique a few times before you get it right. You may find that you enjoy the technique, but not the method, and need to try a few different types before you find the one that works for you. You may love to appliqué, but prefer fusible web appliqué to the needle turn method. As in baking, you may need to experiment before finding your perfect recipe.

So, don't be discouraged if your buns or quilts don't turn out the way you'd hoped for the first time, just find another recipe or method and try again. I'm certain that you'll be rewarded with fluffy, golden buns - or quilts!

By the way, Cathy's buns were more rounded than mine - she obviously has this bun baking thing down cold, er hot :)

1 comment:

Cathy (Corbin) Keevill said...

Okay, I might have forgot to mention that you spray the wax paper you cover them with to rise with cooking spray. Ooops.

For smoother tops keep folding/rolling the edges of the balls down under until the top is smooth. It is kind of a folding tucking motion.

Glad you had success at last.