“No matter our age, everyone in our household knows that cooking and eating together is where the fun is.” Corky Pollan
I have traditional methods and techniques in my skillset to make perfectly cloud-like, airy and light yeasted dough, learnt from the army of gold-handed housewifes, my mother, my aunties and my grandmothers. They are knowledgeable, practiced, effortless and immaculate, to the point where no weighing or measuring is required. This is where the trouble starts…no measuring…no weighing…no recipe!
“If god had intended us to follow recipes, He wouldn’t have given us grandmothers.” Linda Henley
Therefore, the research for good family recipes, has often turned into physical field-work: watching my mum making things, stop her every move then weigh and measure whatever she just poured, tipped, spooned or magiced into her creations…her airy yeasted dough is one of the classics, that will be still just a little inch away from hers, whenever I’m making it…
“Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.” William Wordsworth
Through her method of weighing-less, measuring-less baking, she became a real inventor, mixer, maker, simply doing magic!
“We are not creators; only combiners of the created. Invention isn’t about new ingredients, but new recipes. And innovations taste the best.” Ryan Lilly
For the muffin doughnuts
300 g flour
10 g fresh yeast
3 tbsp milk
50 g butter
20 g lard
75 g sugar
For the filling
2 apples, peeled grated mixed with 2 tsp sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp cocoa mixed with 1 tbsp sugar
Mix the milk, the sugar and yeast in a large bowl, let it froth up. Add the flour in the centre, then mix in the butter, lard, egg and 1 tbs soured cream well. If the dough seems a little stiff, add more soured cream, mix well then tip onto a lightly floured work surface and knead. Once the dough is satin-smooth, place it in a lightly oiled bowl. Leave to rise in the fridge overnight.
Slightly oil holes of a muffin tray. Knock back the dough, then divide the dough into 12 equal pieces. Flatten and spoon one of the fillings into each with one of them, shape into balls and place them into the muffin tray to prove for a further hour until doubled in size. Heat oven to 200 degrees C. Bake for 25-30 mins until golden brown and cool on a wire rack. When cooled, dust with icing sugar.
“I hate the notion of a secret recipe. Recipes are by nature derivative and meant to be shared – that is how they improve, are changed, how new ideas are formed. To stop a recipe in it’s tracks, to label it “secret” just seems mean.” Molly Wizenberg