You have a masterpiece inside you, you know. One unlike any that has ever been created, or ever will be. If you go to your grave without painting your masterpiece, it will not get painted. No one else can paint it. Only you.
~ Gordon MacKenzie
*Update*: I have made a video for this bread here!
First of all, let me clarify that this bread is not a masterpiece that came out of my usual daydreams and doodles. No, I first spotted this on Eva Toneva blog and while she called it 'Holiday Bread', I decided even back then that I would rename it 'Happy Bread' because it made me light up inside just looking at it! My penchant for unusual-looking breads had me bookmarking this recipe immediately.
It wasn't until my beautiful cousin, A, tweeted from Australia yesterday announcing that she had lost her bread virginity (by successfully producing her first crusty baby) that I remembered all about my Happy Bread. The original baking instructions were in Bulgarian, so I figured I'd get it all sorted with Google Translate. What eventually came out in English read like a bad script for a dream sequence rather than a baking method. Something had gotten 'lost in translation' and for the life of me, I couldn't figure out how the dough pieces were sculpted and arranged...
But wait, this was Google Translate, listing more than half the world's languages under its service (though you'd have to be a pretty good decipherer as well to use it). I thought I'd fare a little better if I translated the recipe into Malay, my mother tongue. And I was right, it made a bit more sense. Just to make sure though, I also translated it into Bahasa Indonesia, German and then French and got a much better picture overall. Gawd, the pros and cons of technology!
So this post had me rewriting the original instructions to something I would understand for future usage. Just so you know, the original ingredients and their amounts remained the same (except for the sesame seeds topping, which was optional, anyway). All that translating effort must have killed off any every iota of creativity in me :-s.
If you can make cinnamon rolls, you can make this Happy Bread.
Despite that and the minimal effort required to actually make the bread, it turned out dashingly well and totally earned its new name. Wouldn't the sight of something this soft, this buttery and this swirly cheer you up immensely too?
Last weekend saw a continuation of our Eid celebrations, or rather gave us the excuse to continue our gatherings and incorrigible feasting. We also celebrated a birthday in the family at the same time, so the kids were given the Sunday off from wearing their colorful traditional costumes and donned their neon swimming gear instead.
We had the wet and wild corner outside....
...and the zen-n-techy corner indoors.
Anyway, I hope you're all having a great week so far. Ease off any strains you may have by listening to this lovely song by The Corrs entitled Dreams.
This post also goes to Yeastspotting!
(Adapted from Eva Toneva)
2 teaspoons dry instant yeast
1 tablespoon sugar or honey
100ml warm milk
500g all-purpose flour, plus extra for kneading and flouring
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
150 ml warm milk (extra)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon vinegar or lemon juice
100 g butter, melted and cooled
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons milk
1. Dissolve yeast and sugar in 100 ml warm milk, cover and leave in a warm place to rise 10 minutes.
2. In another bowl, sift the flour and salt together. Make a well in the middle and add beaten eggs into it, the remaining warm milk, olive oil, vinegar and yeast mixture. Knead the dough with your hands or in your mixer until it separates from the sides of the bowl. Remove dough, place on lightly floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes until it becomes a soft, pliable dough. Place in a greased bowl, cover with a towel and leave to rise in a warm place until doubled in volume - about an hour.
3. Punch risen dough and transfer on a floured surface, divide dough into 2 equal parts. Divide each of these again into 4, so you have 8 pieces of dough altogether.
4. Roll each piece of dough out into a roughly rectangular shape with a thickness of 3-5 mm. Brush cooled, melted butter over each piece. Set aside remaining butter for later.
5. Place one piece of rectangular dough over another one and start to roll into a cylinder. Do the same with the rest of the dough; you will end up with 4 cylindrical rolls altogether.
6. Cut each roll into three pieces in this way - slice at both ends of the roll about 1.5 inch long each, and put these two pieces aside. Then cut the middle part of the roll into 4 triangles.
7. Preheat oven to 180C. Grease or line a large baking tray. In the middle of the tray, arrange the cut ends of the rolls around each other to form a circle, placing the cut sides down. Arrange the cut triangles to completely surround the middle circle. Cover with towel and leave the dough to rise in a warm place for about 30-40 minutes.
8. Beat the yolk with the milk with a fork to form a glaze and brush top of the bread with the glaze. (You can sprinkle with sesame seeds or other dry toppings at this point.) Bake bread for 20-30 minutes, reducing the temperature to 160C after 10 minutes in the oven.
9. Brush bread with melted butter as soon as it comes out of the oven, cover with a towel and leave to cool for 10-15 minutes before eating.