A woman from Rye apparently said that these were the best buns she had ever eaten. Which is nice. They know their buns in Rye.
I was asked to bake for the Great Dixter Autumn Fair cake stall, where various extremely good bakers donate cakes in aid of these wonderful gardens. I thought I would put together all I knew about buns into one deluxe bake: the dough was a sourdough with the addtion of grated apple marinated in cider; ricotta cheese; butter; a little sugar; and an egg. The fruit in the middle was more grated apple and small pieces of dried apple, sultanas, currants and crystalised ginger, all marinated in sweetened cider with the addition of freshly ground cinnamon and cloves. For the rolling of the buns, a thread of marzipan was added to the centre, to give a nice little surprise and additional sweetness.
A stick of marzipan for the middle of the Spiced Apple and Cider Sourdough Buns
The last two buns go to a good home
So that went well. But, as my wife pointed out, the unit cost of each bun was over £5, if you include my time for preparation and the baking. Maybe I will try something less ambitious, next time?
Great Dixter in Northiam is a wonderful house and gardens, well worth a visit. The house was developed from its 15th century origins by Lutyens; the gardens have become a marvel under Christopher Lloyd and his successor, the incredible Fergus Garrett.
I’ve baked loaves for their events in the past and they have been very appreciative and encouraging. So much so that they have asked me to run some of my baking classes for them.
I am going to be doing bread demonstration classes on three Saturdays in November, 2013: 2nd November: Better Bread – Key Steps in a Tiny Kitchen
Understanding the key ingredients; adding flavour; processing dough; preparing for the bake; oven spring and brown crusts; common problems and their solutions. 9 November: Sourdough – Baking Bread for Flavour
Managing your starter; understanding flavour; problems using sourdough; building a better loaf; holes and crusts; tips and tricks. 16 November: Flatbreads – Endless Variety
Simple flatbreads; yeasted flatbreads; adding flavours; adding toppings; adding stuffings; sodabreads; create your own recipes.
Each event starts at 11am and runs until lunch, which is included (soup and, er, well, bread, obviously). The cost is only £50 per session or £120 for all three.
You can book your place by sending a cheque to Great Dixter Charitable Trust, Northiam, Rye, TN31 6PH
Or pay by credit card with Linda Jones, 01797 254048. More information from: firstname.lastname@example.org