I often think that if my favourite thing to do was go jogging, do cross-fit or similar – I’d be less fearful at the thought of buying a new pair of swimmers for our upcoming September break.
But actually my favourite thing to do is make sweet yeasted buns, loaves and brioche.
There’s something hugely satisfying about kneading that super soft, golden dough (thank you butter), then rolling and braiding it into pretty shapes. And of course, dusting the finished product with icing sugar and putting it down on the kitchen bench with a pot of coffee and maybe some blood orange curd and marmalade for everyone to pull a part and enjoy. Yep. It’s not exactly skinny-making, but that’s what I like to do.
If you enjoy making things like this too, then here below is the recipe for a blood orange and rhubarb wreath I made for last Friday’s My Open Kitchen Workshop with stylist and photographer Fliss Dodd at the lovely Old Convent in Borenore. We brought 17 creative small businesses people together for a full day creating content, learning hot to take, edit, caption and share awesome photos with their i-phones and how to put together flat lays that really tell a story (thank you Fliss!). It really was a cracker of a workshop and Fliss and I are already organising a follow up so watch this space!
Blood orange and rhubarb wreath
3 tsp dried yeast
1/2 cup warm milk
3 tbsp sugar
Zest of two oranges and one lemon
100g butter, melted and cooled a little
3/4 cup water
2 egg yolks
3 cups plain flour
1 cup blood orange curd (or lemon curd)
4 stalks of rhubarb, trimmed and cut into small dice. Icing sugar, to dust
Combine yeast, warm milk and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer with dough hook attachment*. Whisk and set aside for 10 minutes or until frothy. Add the remaining ingredients and knead for 6-8 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and give it a final knead by hand for a couple of minutes. Place n a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for 2 hours or until doubled in size. You can also put dough in the fridge at this point to rise slowly overnight.
Preheat oven to 180C. Roll dough out on a lightly floured bench until you have a large rectangle shape, about 30cm x 40cm or thereabouts. Spread the curd over the dough and sprinkle with the rhubarb pieces. Gently, but as tightly as you can, roll the dough (from the longest edge) into one long sausage. Now, get yourself a serrated knife (those nifty little Vittorinox tomato knives are great for this) and gently slice the sausage of dough into two halves – lengthways. So you have two long half-cylinders. Place them next to each other then braid together, forming a wreath as you go. It sounds a bit tricky but really it’s not, just press the ends together and place one piece of dough over the other (cut side up always) then the other piece over the top and so on. This might take a bit of practice but don’t worry it it doesn’t look perfect first time – it will still taste delicious!
Gently transfer your wreath to a baking sheet lined with paper and place in the oven to bake for about 25 minutes or until risen and golden. Dust with icing sugar and serve warm with extra blood orange curd and a pot of marmalade.
Blood orange curd
200 mls blood orange juice
Zest of three blood oranges
50mls lemon juice
225 gms unsalted butter
10 egg yolks
200 gms caster sugar
Combine juices, zest and butter in heatproof bowl over simmering pot of water and stir until the butter melts. Whisk yolks and sugar to combine and pour over the juice/butter mixture. Whisk continuously until mixture coats the back of a spoon. Strain through a fine sieve and decant into sterilised jars. Makes about 2 cups.
Image above by Lina Hayes.
In other news
- I’d love you to check out the image gallery one of our clever workshop participants Lina Hayes of Wild at Heart Photography (the photo immediately above is one of hers) has just put together. Her photos are gorgeous and she’s captured the making of our wreath just beautifully.
- If you aren’t a friend of My Open Kitchen yet (don’t worry – I’m not that offended…) you may not have heard that we are cooking up a really special event here in Orange next May. More details over on the My Open Kitchen blog.
- And on that note, regos are open now for the October round of the My Open Kitchen e-course….more here