Thursday, 6 December 2012

Playing a housewife on independence day

♫ Freedom Call – Hymn To The Brave

Happy independence day to my Finnish readers! Do you have any independence day traditions? I barely do these days. A few hours ago I heard some heavy rumbling – I suppose it was an independence day firework display or something. I live very close to the central marketplace where it probably was, but my windows are in the wrong direction! The sad thing is, I can see how the people in the opposite building appear near their windows as they can see fireworks from their homes.

If I had to see something positive about my unemployment, it would be the fact that I have been baking and cooking much more than I used to while I was still working. I've been baking the bread I eat by myself – and I gotta say, I've become rather deft at that! And when it comes to cooking – well, we all know that it's much cheaper to cook by yourself as much as possible rather than purchase convenience food or something like that. I have hated cooking ever since I worked in a restaurant at around 18, but now that I've been doing it more, it has become a bit less troublesome – maybe because I've discovered such recipes which are easy and tasty, and mostly very cheap too! And another important thing is that I can make a bigger portion at one go and eat the same for a few days then – I can easily do that, I don't need something different every day.

I ran out of bread yesterday when someone hungry came to empty my stocks (but it doesn't matter, it's just so nice if he finds my baked goods so tasty! :>). There are some fresh onion rolls on the left, which is the type of bread I always tend to bake – onion gives a nice flavor if you just like it to begin with. But then, since I had some extra baking energy, I decided to make some nice cinnamon buns as well.

The buns, however, are vegan. Well, I am not – there's no reason why I couldn't bake with milk and eggs, but it just isn't necessary. And in order to make vegan buns you don't really have to get soy milk or something. And now, even though this is not a food blog, I'm going to share an easy yet tasty cinnamon bun recipe with you! Enjoy!

Cinnamon buns (vegan)
½ liter of water (of course you can use milk or even cream if you want, or soy milk, whatever)
50 g yeast
2 tsp (2 x 5 ml) salt
1½–2 dl sugar
1–3 tbsp (1–3 x 15 ml) cardamom
about 12–15 dl wheat flour (OR replace 2–3 dl of flour with oatmeal / rolled oats like I do)
200 g cooking fat: choose some vegetable baking fat, fluid or solid, doesn't matter: it just should be relatively soft when added to the dough, and preferably held in room temperature for a while.
100 g cooking fat
2 dl soft brown sugar
on top:
coarse grain sugar

Take a large bowl and mix warm water and yeast (the water temperature depends on whether you use fresh or dry yeast), add salt, sugar and cardamom. (You can add some imitation vanilla too.) Add the flour (and the oats if you decide to use some) and knead roughly. Add the soft butter / cooking fat (and continue kneading). Let the dough rise in a warm place for half an hour. (If you don't know a place warm enough: put some hot water in a sink and let the bowl float there, covered with a baking cloth.)

Divide the dough in two and roll it out in the shape of a rectangle. Spread some butter / cooking fat on the dough plate, add some soft brown sugar and cinnamon. And then wrap it up! (In the direction of the short side of the rectangle, so that you have a looong roll.) Then you have to cut the roll into buns; you can cut straight slices or trapezoids, depending on what kind of buns you want to make. Then assemble them on a baking sheet and add some coarse grain sugar on top of them! If you want, you may want to spread something on them before decoration, that'll make the sugar grains stick better. The traditional way is to spread some egg (beaten) on them, it gives them a nice color too, but since this was supposed to be a vegan recipe (because I had no eggs), I merely spread some water (with a baking brush) on them. You can use various things or nothing if you please: milk, fat, soy milk, syrup, coffee, sugared water... I haven't tried any of those options by myself, though!

Finally, bake at 225°C for some 10~12 minutes. And then, omnom~!

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