(Thank you everyone for helping get this to FoodBuzz Top 9)
Here's to everyone ... A Very Merry Christmas and a Delicious New Year!
We get Christmas earlier than the folks further West on the globe.
We had our usual Christmas eve dinner instead of Christmas day ... Christmas day is for church and then zzzz ...
Gosh! We really need that this time round. The last couple of days were crazy with work days of nearly 15 hours each and then baking stuff for the dinner and some gifts for the old folks home nearby, etc. Tennis never gave me such cramps on my feet ... ouch.
And to top it all off, I slipped and sprained my ankle in the bath. Yup, Christmas day is zzz day.
But, crazy as it was, we had a great time, work and otherwise, meeting interesting new friends and making little ol' ladies and men happy with the baked gifts. Some of my kind hearted friends also came along and distributed some needy items. I never thought I'd be so happy to see so many gummy smiles!
Anyway, this year's turkey was roasted by mum-in-law (pic below, of the turkey, not mum inlaw), she's 80 and a bit (mum inlaw, not the turkey), very capable and when necessary, can still give a vicious "sink battleship" stare that will bring some kids she's giving private English tuition to, to tears. It's also our very first time having Australian turkey. Usually , we get the US Butterballs. No regrets. Go Oz!
It was a great dinner complete with some stuff I contributed ... breadrolls wreath (recipe below), an orange custard pudding with ice cream (unfortunately, this got gobbled up before I could take a pic). And some good wine to boot.
Needless to say, we were all stuffed (like the turkey before it got massacred) and happy, and now, I'm going to open my presents!
Happy Holidays, everyone!
* I decided to use my temperature-wonky bread maker to do the kneading for this recipe.
I have also listed the ingredients in the order they are to be added.
I have kept this recipe plain (other than the sprinklings on the outside) with no nuts, fruits or herbs so that it doesn't interfere with the flavors of the main dish. (I didn't have a clue what kinda stuffing mum inlaw was making).
250 ml milk
60 g butter, melted (I just zapped it in the microwave)
2 eggs, beaten
560 g high protein flour / bread flour
1 tsp bread improver (optional)
2 tbs caster sugar
2 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp instant yeast
egg glaze, made with 1 egg yolk + 1 tbs milk
blue poppy seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, anything you like ...
Line a baking pan with parchment.
Place ingredients into bread machine bin in the order it's listed. Set it on "Dough" setting.
When the cycle is complete (this should also include the first rising), remove and punch down to remove air bubbles.
Divide dough into half, and the halves into quarters. Keep dividing them up until you get about 16 - 18 pieces. Shape them into balls and place them in a circular shape just touching each other. Do not cramp them too close together. Leave to rise for about an hour or until doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 200˚C.
Brush tops with glaze and sprinkle topping of your choice.
Bake in preheated oven for 15 mins. Cover the top with aluminum foil (this prevents it from turning overly brown) and bake a further 10 - 15 mins.
You'll know when bread is ready when there's a hollow sound when tapped at the bottom.
Remove from pan immediately and cool on rack. Enjoy it warm or cool completely before storing.
* I'd made my wreath using just 12 balls of dough. So, I had enough leftover to make a small loaf. You can always make a bigger ring but you'll need a very wide tray.