It's been so long! Not just on this blog but also since I baked a new recipe. I've hardly baked these past few months. The weather forbade it. And if I have baked or cooked something, it's always been a tried and tested recipe, preferably one with zilch chances of anything going wrong. And then this weekend, something changed. Must be the rains, I thought to myself to explain this change of heart. I love the rains, if you haven't already heard me shout it from the rooftops earlier. I'll get to that on another day but for now this weekend, I baked.
I wanted to bake something new, something that challenged me, that reminded me why I enjoy baking and why I have this blog in the first place. And no matter how many times I have baked bread, any recipe with yeast always has me second guessing myself. I am never sure of myself until I take the bread out of the oven, tap it on the bottom for that hollow sound, leave it to cool, have it tasted and get that an approving smile. Till that happens, I am not convinced that I can bake or for that matter that I can read a recipe straight.
The recipe for these kolaches have been bookmarked for years. Yes, procrastination is my vice. These buns are of Czech origin and with my weakness for exotic sounding recipes, they fit the brief completely with a recipe that had all the ingredients for a long, rainy day baking session. The buns are made from a milk-butter-egg yeasted dough which then holds some kind of fruit filling in the centre. I had seen these years back on Barbara's blog and liked her idea of knotting the buns for effect.
The recipe behaved as it should and Barbara's step-by-step pictorial on her blog were super helpful. The buns came out soft and golden hued with the scent of orange to round them off. I used a strawberry filling but use any fruit jam/preserve that you have at home. In hindsight, I should have knotted them tighter (they came a bit loose while baking) and maybe, should have made them a bit smaller. This is a rich dough and these buns were a bit on the bigger side, so, even one was quite a bit to get through. A smaller bun would I guess even have a better jam to bread ratio. But, these are small tweaks, washed down with a cup of coffee, these were perfect!
And, it was a rewarding baking session. I had forgotten the thrill of baking a new recipe. I was on such a roll that day, I even baked a batch of cookies while the dough was proving. Hopefully, with these kolaches having restored my faith in my ability again, maybe I could get this blog back on track.
My mother, of course, alternated between being bemused and perplexed by this sudden burst of activity by me in the kitchen. She wisely surmised, it must be the rains. I think she knows me well!