It has been quiet here for the last weeks and it is easy to explain why: I lost my baking Mojo! Seriously, I couldn’t be bothered to bake at all! Unbelievable, right? The lack of motivation to write strikes quite regularly on me and over time I found ways to get myself back into a regular schedule quite easily, but I have never had a lack of baking lust ever. Even in stressful times I squeeze in a little baking to relax and release the pressure. But the last few weeks were different, never ever has baking itself put so much pressure on me. I felt guilty, washed out and demotivated at the same time and knew whatever I was going to bake, it wouldn’t meet my standards. So I chose to relax and hope that it’ll all come back to me soon. Last weekend I had promised to bring four cakes to a family birthday party, so no more excuses, I MUST bake ’cause letting someone down is not an option for me. A Black Forest Cherry Cake, 24 Frankfurt Crown Cupcakes, a tray of Apple Streusel and a Strawberry Cake later my Mojo was finally back.
It’s good to know that you can still rely on your skills, no matter if you currently love what you do or not. It might be easier, but sometimes it is just hard work that will pay off in the end. My reward were the smiles on people’s faces and that’s all that matters to me in the end: Making people happy with baked goodies. That’s exactly why I love baking and then it all made sense again. Live has funny ways of teaching you lessons sometimes…
As I had some leftover yeast that was due, I turned it into an easy but nevertheless delicious yeast bun with rum raisins. Often it is the simple things that leave the biggest impression because such bakes tickle what I call the Granny-Memory-Nerve and make everyone feel warm and cosy.
- 500 g flour
- 200 ml milk (lukewarm)
- 1 cube fresh yeast ( 42 g)
- 60 g sugar
- 90 g butter (at room temperature)
- 1 egg
- 150 g raisins
- rum and water to soak the raisins
Place the raisins in a small bowl and cover with a 1:1 mixture of rum and water and set them aside to soak. This will help to bring out the flavour and keep the raisins from burning in the oven later. Sift the flour into a large bowl and form a hole in the center. Pour the milk into that hole and crumble in the yeast. Now feed the yeast with a teaspoon of sugar, cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and let the time rest in a warm place. That’s what my Granny called the pre-dough and the one step my mother always discarded. Let the pre-dough rest for 15 minutes and let the yeast do it’s job. Then add the rest of the ingredients except for the raisins and beat to a smooth dough. Cover your bowl again with the tea towel and let the dough rest for 60 minutes. The Germans expect their dough to “go” aka rise during this time. So be patient and let it go, let it gooooooo (congratulations to those with that song stuck in their head right now, you’re in good company and yes, you are welcome). Drain the raisins in the meantime, then knead them in after the rising time. Now it’s time to braid the bun and because I suck at braiding, I used this video to braid a beautiful bun with 4 strands, but you can also make a classic 3-strand-French-braid. Each strand should be slightly thicker than your thumb. Just fold the ends underneath the braid to stabilize and turn onto a baking tray lined with baking parchment. Let the bun rest under the tea towel while you preheat the oven to 175° C with fan. Once the oven has reached the temperature place in the middle of the oven and bake for 25 minutes. Check on your bun after 15 minutes, if it is already tanned, cover with tin foil for the rest of the baking time. Enjoy with a smile and lots of butter. Enjoy!