Honey Bun & The Secret Agent

She rose, she fell, she rose, she fell, three times in fact poor honey bun!

I couldn’t understand it when I opened my oven last night and the honey buns had all flopped.  This had never happened before.  True I had opened the oven halfway through cooking to turn the buns around (12 year old fan oven which no longer puffs the hot air around as it should) but I’ve often done this with no disastrous results.  I tried again this morning without opening the door and again disaster.  I then went back to the recipe which I knew had worked for me before and realised that I had used plain instead of self-raising flour.  Third time round things were better but still a little flat.  This evening I made another attempt and re-reading the recipe realised that I was missing a second egg.  Finally she emerged in all her golden glory and faith in the baker was restored.  Once cooled I secreted the perfect batch away to the back of the freezer as while the others may not be risen they’re still perfectly edible and I’m not one for waste:) 

The whole debacle had got me wondering at one point whether I had been using the correct rasing agent or too little of it and so I decided to do a little research and educate myself on the use of Baking Powder Vs Bicarbonate of Soda (also known as Bread Soda or Baking Soda).  This turned out to be a bit of a chemistry lesson but the most succint definition came from ‘The Australian Women’s Weekly’.  The following is a direct quote:

Bicarbonate of soda is a pure leavening agent. It needs to be mixed with moisture and an acidic ingredient for the necessary chemical reaction to take place to make food rise. Because it needs an acid to create the rising quality, it is often used in recipes where there is already an acidic ingredient present, such as lemon juice, chocolate, buttermilk or honey.

Baking powder, which contains bicarbonate of soda, comes pre-mixed with the acidic ingredient for you – so all you need to add is the moisture.”

I have only been using bicarbonate of soda when making brown bread and using baking powder for everything else and this turns out to be about right.

And the winner is…….

(No I’m no longer referring to raising agents).  The mission last week was to revisit The Tayto Sandwich and compare it to the Chip Butty.  While I was at it I also investigated whether my brother Niall’s substitution of Olive Oil for butter warranted a mention.  Well I’ll mention it alright but sorry Niall I wouldn’t rate it against a slap of Dairygold.  My verdict is of  course a major yum for both The Tayto Sandwich and The Chip Butty with the former being preferred for lunch and the latter for tea.  But to pick an overall winner I would have to say The Chip Butty, if you get the chips into the buttered white bread while piping hot the butter will melt and ooze and combined with a large mug of tea would be my favourite.

(Left was butter, right olive oil)

Recently I’ve been cooking Lemony Chicken with Chickpeas, Lamb Curry, Steak Baguette, Breakfast Muffins, Fruit Crumble and 4 batches of honey buns!  Till next time, Sheila

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