Thursday, 13 May 2010

Hats and Home Baking

Today is a holiday here, being the Ascension Day all the shops are closed and people are off work. And sure enough, the rainy and cold spell seems to have finally given way to a sunny, breezy weather with a real promise of summer. We spent the afternoon at the beach and in the playground park, accompanied by my cousin's nine years old daughter. The kids climbed trees, built sand-castles, raced pine cones down the stream and wondered at some slimy frogspawn. In other words, had some big-time fresh air fun. Even though the river water was still cold enough to turn your toes blue in a second. Believe me, I tried. I also tried to be good and wore 50+ SPF on every area of exposed skin, and still I think I managed to toast myself a bit too much. Haven't had much luck with the hat, you see. The pickings are seriously slim here, and the fact that I have an enormous and weirdly shaped head doesn't make the search any easier. I have been staring long and hard at the lovely hats made by Anna on Etsy, and I'm beginning to think this one just might be the answer.

Still trying to decide on the color of the flower, but I can see myself wearing this a lot in the summer.

And from hats and sun to bread and brownies. For some time I have wanted to try this brownie recipe from Not So Humble Pie blog, and even bought the mascarpone cheese that ended up languishing in the back of the fridge until this morning when I realised that it was now or never, last day to use it. So Chocolate Mascarpone Brownies it was. And they were lovely. Am going to say it again. Lovely. After all, they do say dark chocolate is healthy for you...And since I was already at it, I thought I might as well make a batch of oatmeal buns as well.


For the buns you need 50 grams of live yeast dissolved in about half a litre of water at hand temperature. Stir until the yeast has completely dissolved. Add around a teaspoon of salt, then start adding flour. When the dough is still very soft, almost liquidy, add around one desilitre of oatmeal. Add more flour until the dough is of a doughier consistency yet still very much sticking to your hands and the sides of the bowl. This dough is not supposed to become so that it no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl, but to have a more of a porridge like texture. Then melt aroung 50 grams of butter and add the melted butter in the dough. Lift the dough on a floured surface and mold into a baguette shape. You do not need to knead this dough, and as a matter of fact you shouldn't be able to, since it should be way too soft for that. Cut into bun size pieces with a knife and lift on a oven tray covered with parchment. Cover with a tea-towel and let rise for about 20 minutes. Bake at around 225 C until golden and until the bottom sounds hollow when knocked.

 So that's the bread done, here's the brownies. The making of the Chocolate Mascarpone Brownies need no further explaining since the recipe and instructions are so perfect at the Not So Humble Pie site. Here though are, naturally, pictures of my version. Nothing left to say. They tasted divine.


My cousin's daughter spent almost the entire day with us today, and in the evening she said to me that I seem to be baking 'all the time'. Well. I was baking in the evening as well since I was making home-made pizza for dinner , but I don't really bake this much every day. Really. Maybe just on, well, most days.  And I've been thinking about that. I used to think baking was so difficult. Impossible even. Cooking, I've always loved and been relatively good at but baking, no way. And now it seems to be the way of relaxing for me. Still love cooking, still love sewing and making things but the baking, that's the ticket these days. I recently read in a magazine about a high-ranking woman CEO who said that both she and her daughter bake furiously when stressed or blue, that it is almost a form of therapy to them. While I don't know if I actually feel like it's a form of therapy for me, it certainly somehow manages to be  both soothing and calming or uplifting and energising at the same time. Weird. Who would've thought some flour, a couple of eggs, a cup full of sugar and a stick of butter could do all that...


  1. Thanks for your help on my sloper. I had a look at the link and I really like the gaping neckline alteration they suggest. I might try it. And yes, these brownies certainly look like they tasted divine! Mmmhh.

  2. My goodness, just happened to stop in and there is Daisy Rose. (that's the name of the hat) She is one of my best sellers because it seems to be flattering on everyone that tries it on. I love to bake too. Somehow making a desert is a similar feeling to sewing a flower for a hat. The decadent part is the most fun. Thanks so much for the feature. Anna