a quick note and then the recipe for Feather Buns MMmmmmm . . .

Hello, my friends in  this Virtual Village . . . if you have emailed me and not seen a reply, don’t worry; I’ll be getting to them by later next week at the latest . . .

In the meantime: by popular request, here is the recipe for Feather Buns (and/or bread, of course). There’s nothing much more frugal and deliciously so, than baking your own bread. This is good enough to make me want an outdoor oven so I can enjoy it in summer, too . . . And if you have kids, let them help with the punching down (helps to oil the hands first, then make a fist and punch right in the middle. Great fun!). They can be given a bun-sized piece of dough to form, making a roll for themselves to enjoy later on. They might even want to shape one for Dad (or Mum) to have with their supper or tea. That’s how I learned . . . by the time I was making bread alone (about age 12), I’d been changing diapers for a couple of years, so I knew exactly what a baby’s bottom felt like. LOL That’s the best guide to achieving perfect texture and resiliency in bread dough. 😉

Our wee tins are a great size for a child to make a loaf of their own, too.

My older son was at a YMCA summer camp one year when he was about 10 years old and came back all enthused about having made bannock (a quickbread dough wrapped around green willow sticks and then baked over the coals from a campfire). So I asked if he’d like to learn to make bread. A hearty ‘yes!’, so I taught him, just as I was taught, and he made all our bread for a couple of years, ’til we moved back to the city.

I have this recipe courtesy of my friend Debbie (AKA Mrs. Crafty) and she got it from her mother, Shirley H., who passed away last year. (in case, like me, you put notes about provenance on your recipe cards for later when your memory is a bit sketchy) 🙂

I’ll put the ingredients at the end without the notes to make it easier to read. The notes on ingredients and procedure are mine, of course.

Feather Buns

IMG_5829 IMG_5828

In a large heavy bowl (like our bread bowls, if possible, but use what you have) put

2 c. lukewarm water (I like to fill the bowl with hot water beforehand for a couple of minutes; it seems to help the yeast grow a bit quicker; especially if your room is a little cool.

add 4 tsp. sugar and mix,
then sprinkle 4 Tblsp. Yeast over it and let stand for 10 minutes.

Next, add:

2 2/3 cups warm water
12 Tblsp. sugar
2 Tblsp. salt
¾ cup melted margarine (or use butter or your preferred oil)
3 eggs, beaten well

Mix thoroughly (I used our heavy wooden spoon for this).

Start adding 8 cups of flour (this recipe calls for white; I used about 4 cups whole wheat and the rest white, mostly ’cause I ran out of WW; if I’d had any wheat germ, I’d have thrown some of that in, too; ditto nutritional yeast. LOL);

Mix thoroughly to make a soft dough.

Then: fold in flour until the dough isn’t sticky. If you’re a Mum, it should feel like a baby’s bottom. If you’re not, use your best judgement and imagination . . . 🙂  )

Cover (I used a teatowel wetted thoroughly with hot water, then wrung out. The extra warmth is good, and the steam keeps the top of the dough from getting ‘crusty’.

Let rise in a warm place until the dough doubles in size. Make sure your bowl is a large one, or else halve the recipe. Seriously . . .

IMG_5823

Punch the dough down and make loaves or buns (or both). Grease your pans before putting the dough in. I used margarine (cheaper than butter), but you can use oil or whatever works for you.

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When I made this, I had a dozen good-sized buns, three large loaves and two tiny ones which could have made an extra large loaf. I was guided by how many bread pans we have and also what would fit in the oven in two loads.

IMG_5830 IMG_5832

Let rise in pans ’til double and then bake at 375° F (about 190.5° C) ’til done. Loaves should sound ‘hollow’ when you rap the top with your knuckle.

IMG_5827

As mine wouldn’t all fit in the oven at once, I turned the oven on low just before I punched down the dough in the bowl. I put the buns (in our large rectangular casserole dish) and the two tiny loaves into the warmed oven to rise as above (I’d turned off the oven, of course, once it was warm, but not hot). I left the three large loaves on the counter where it was cooler and covered them with the teatowel, this time wetted with cold water and wrung out. This was to slow the rising of the second lot.

IMG_5826 IMG_5835

Once the first batch were done, they were left on a rack to rest for a minute and the second lot were popped in to bake. Then I greased the tops of the first set with Mum’s pastry brush and margarine (again, use what you like or even leave plain for a crustier finish), then turned them out to cool.

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When the second lot were baked, same thing: let rest a few minutes, then butter (or oil) and turn out of the pan to cool. If you leave them in the pans, they tend to ‘sweat’ a bit and this can lead to them moulding earlier than usual. Not nice . . .

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Ok, here’s the straight ingredient list, in order of adding:

2 cups lukewarm water
4 tsp. sugar
4 Tblsp. yeast
Let sit for 10 minutes (the yeast should be foamy)

________________

2 2/3 cups warm water
12 Tblsp. sugar
2 Tblsp. salt
¾ cups melted margarine
3 eggs, well beaten

Mix thoroughly, then add:

___________________________

8 cups flour. Mix well, then
add more flour to make a non-sticky dough.
Cover and let rise to double in size.

Pre-heat oven to 375° F or 190° C.

Grease pans.
Punch down dough.
Form rolls and/or loaves.
Let rise in pans.

Bake  ’til done. Loaves should sound ‘hollow’ when you rap the top with your knuckle.

IMG_5839

Make your favourite hot drink. Tea is especially nice with this, though.

Ignore the old wives’ tales about not eating hot bread (designed to keep kids out of the fresh bread so there would be some for dinner 😉  ); punch a hole in the side of a bun or slice off a good bit of heel from one of the loaves. Slather with butter and then home-made jam (store-bought if you must . . .).

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Enjoy.  I insist!  🙂

And here’s a great bolshie song by a wonderful bolshie song-writer and singer, Malvina Reynolds. Have a listen while you enjoy the fruits of your labours . . . I don’t think Malvina wrote this one, though. That’s Jack Elliott and Pete Seeger on Pete’s tv show, ‘Rainbow Quest’ singing and playing along with her . . .

The Little Red Hen

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13 thoughts on “a quick note and then the recipe for Feather Buns MMmmmmm . . .

  1. Oh BABY these look good and prolific…SO MUCH BREAD! I could bake and freeze and Stevie-boy would go hoarse from saying “I am just one man!” ;). Seriously though, you just made it. I just pinned this recipe. Can’t have the world not know about this amazingly easy wonderfully light bread now can we? 🙂 Butter IS always better. An article by a prominent U.K. chef rebutting a “doctor” who said that butter should be banned (strangely enough they found out that he was being funded by the margarine companies 😉 ) was most steadfast in her desire to out margarine even though her grandfather invented and patented the stuff. She said that he wouldn’t let his own family eat margarine. That is one of the most telling things about it, they knew that it was toxic when they made it. Just eat butter. If it’s a choice between the risk of a heart attack and the risk of cancer I am with the heart attack every time! 😉 If I had my druthers (or even knew what they were) narf7 would be unable to fit through doors with the amount of butter that I would slather on EVERYTHING. Butter is heavenly and something to be adored at all opportunities and like Cathy I am BIG on the butter and vegemite. We Aussies are raised tough out here 😉

    • Oh, yes, they were lovely! All gone now, of course. And the rye-whatever I made next turned out delish, just not tall . . . Yum! which is a lot more than I expected from it . . . one never knows . . . I’m with you on butter, too . . . I think the secret is using it moderately, but as I still like to eat bits with my fingers, there’s no hope for me . . . And every time I see some new ‘expert’ going on against (or for) something, I wonder who’s paid for their work . . . I hate not being able to trust people . . . makes me grumpy . . . I haven’t had Marmite or Vegemite for ages, but I do like them; both acquired tastes, I suppose . . . I got mine from my lovely English Mother in Law. Also a lifelong taste for Typhoo loose tea . . .

      Yes, heart attack (fast) over cancer (slow). But i’ll get whatever and lump it, I suspect . . . Oh well, it won’t last that long on the cosmic scale anyway.

      Yep, tough Aussies . . . with lovely big marshmallow insides . . . 🙂

    • Well, you may find yourself able to eat bread in future; one never knows. Depending on how much willpower you have, you could make these to give away; at least then you could savour the aromas . . . ~ Linne

    • Hmmmm . . . Cathy, I’d say with ANYTHING and lots of butter! Love vegemite and marmite, though haven’t had them for some time. I do use nutritional yeast, which has some of the same flavour. I also like this recipe ’cause it doesn’t take as long to make. ~ Linne

      • I like that, Cathy! Just so long as you are not a woman after my own waistline . . .
        Butter’s not always better, but I have a hard time resisting . . . I need a woodpile and an axe, I think . . . or a big dog and a pony or two . . .

      • Yep, butter on top of butter makes even that more enjoyable. Like Narfie, I’d rather go with a heart attack anyway . . . Cathy, you have me thinking about Marmite and Vegemite; will have to see if I can source some here. A lovely distinctive taste with such good associations for me . . . ~ Linne

Thanks for stopping by my blog! I look forward to reading your comments. ~ Linne

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