My holiday is more or less over - it's back to work at 9am tomorrow morning (which I'm quite excited about as we've had the go-ahead to make some layout changes to the shop that I've wanted to get stuck into for ages). It's been a really brilliant week, we saw a lot of art and architecture, I stood on an actual Roman road, we caught up with a good chunk of family, ate some great food, and I saw porpoises in the Gare Loch along with Eider ducks as we drove home - a parting gift from Scotland to remind me of what I'm missing living in the Midlands. It was also hotter and sunnier around Glasgow than it is in the Midlands and whilst I know that's a temporary thing...
As a last hurrah, I decided today would be the day that I finally made the Nonnevotten buns from Regula Ysewijn's 'Dark Rye and Honey Cake', something I've been meaning to do since February. I made them - they're fabulous. Traditionally they're baked for Shrove Tuesday in Dutch Limburg, but they're going to be an excellent thing for any time it's not too hot to stand around deep fat frying something. They're an inspired crossover between a doughnut and a cinnamon bun - more bready than a doughnut and lighter than both options. I froze half my knots because I assumed we couldn't possibly eat 14 of them in an afternoon, it's as well I did, but more because the issue would have been how to make ourselves stop eating them. They're that good.
The recipe is simple - 500g of strong white bread flour, 60g of caster sugar, 2 packets of dried instant yeast 60g of unsalted soft butter, 240ml of water, and 5g of salt - mix the flour, sugar, yeast, and butter in a bowl - preferably a food mixer with a dough hook. Add half the water and mix until absorbed, add the rest of the water and knead for 5 minutes. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes and then add the salt, knead for another 10 minutes - the dough should be smooth and elastic and neither too dry nor wet.
Cover the bowl and set aside for an hour or until the dough has doubled in size, then briefly knead it again before cutting it into 14 equal bits. Slightly flatten each piece of dough then roll it into a roughly 45 cm length, tie it in a loose knot, and place on a baking tray. Put the tray inside a clean plastic bag and set aside for 15 minutes.
Mix 100g of caster sugar with a tablespoon of ground cinnamon in a bowl ready for dipping the Nonnevotten in and pour 2 litres of oil into a heavy-based pan (or get a deep fryer ready if you have one). the oil should be heated to about 180C - I don't have a thermometer that goes to this temp, but when a cube of thread goes a good golden brown in 60 seconds you're about there.
Cook the buns in batches - fry them until they're golden, turning once, then lay them on kitchen paper to soak up excess oil. Coat them in the cinnamon sugar (keep some of the extra for dipping purposes) and eat them whilst they're still warm if you can. I'm tempted to add a little bit of vanilla salt to the cinnamon mix next time too.