Now that it’s been more than a month since I’ve posted…I’d say it’s time for another recipe from my cold little basement on the wet west coast (bonus though, it comes with herons in the yard and can be quite cozy when you turn on the oven). As far as life goes, it is busy, as always. A self-propagating list of assignments, reading, midterms, quizzes, and a dash of nonsense has taken residence in the forefront of my brain. I have been following a basic study system that seems mostly based around tea. It goes as follows:
1) Always have a boiled kettle at the ready. I fill mine the night before and turn it on as I stumble to the icebox AKA bathroom in the morning. This will ensure that you can have a mug of black tea in your first two classes during the day, which helps you from losing control over your eyelids.
2) Carry tea bags in your backpack. This way you will save the price of a tea bag ($1 at your average coffee stop) and simply collect hot water throughout the day for free. Keep a variety so you will feel like exciting things are happening throughout the day. In my backpack, I always have earl grey, plain green, something minty, something fruity, something gingery, and something with flowers. This sounds excessive, but believe me, after five hours in the library this will be the spice of your life.
3) Plan all study breaks around going to the bathroom and collecting hot water. This way you will always have something hot to sip, you won’t feel quite as much need to eat lots of chocolate, and you will have to go to the bathroom on the hour due to the huge amount of liquid you are consuming. This will stop your from getting varicose veins and strokes from sitting too long (potentially).
4) Make mind maps all the time, especially on Friday nights, so that you feel like you are having a fun, connected learning experience not just a million words over a million pages explaining millions of things you need to have in your brain.
5) Try to put on the contents of a course on one page . This is very satisfying.
Anyways, here is a recipe for lovely little garlicky dinner buns. Perfect for soup or sliders (as you’ll see in an upcoming recipe), these have a little sweetness to them from the addition of molasses. They are also crazy easy to make, and can put a little of that all-purpose pork rub to work, as it is delicious sprinkled on the top of these guys after the second rise.
Lovely Little Garlicky Dinner Buns
Recipe adapted from a recipe inspired by the Little Owl restaurant. Long story?
3/4 cups warm water
1 tablespoons molasses
1/8 ounce fresh yeast or 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast*
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 whole bulb garlic
1-2 tsp all purpose pork rub (seasoning from last post! Also, optional, feel free to sub in S&P instead)
1) Roast the whole bulb of garlic (see my previous recipe. Or just turn on the oven to 350 degrees F, wrap the head in tin foil, and bake for 45 minutes or until soft, gloopy, and delicious smelling). Pull out of foil and let cool. When cool, chop finely and set aside.
2) In a small dish, combine the hot water, yeast, and molasses, then set it aside for 20 minutes to bubble away**. Combine all ingredients but the optional pork seasoning in a bowl. Stir up with a wooden spoon until it starts to come together. Add the yeast mixture and fold into the mixture. It will still be sticky, so turn out onto a well floured surface. Knead a few times until it comes together in a nice ball. Place into a clean bowl, and oil the top. Cover with a moist towel, and put in a warm place to rise until doubled in size. The time will vary depending on all kinds of conditions (temperature, age of yeast, etc), so plan on 30 minutes-60 minutes.
**IF THERE IS NO BUBBLING: don’t keep going, your yeast is not happy. Try again with a fresh batch. If that one doesn’t work, your yeast may all be dead, so unfortunately you will have to buy some more.
3) When you have a nice doubled ball of dough, turn it back out onto a floured surface. Knead in your well chopped roasted garlic. Portion the dough into 1 inch balls, and put onto a lined baking sheet for its second rise. Cover them with a wet towel for 20 minutes.
4) Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Sprinkle buns with pork seasoning or just season with salt and pepper. Toss them in the oven for about 20 minutes, until just browning and the bottoms sounds hollow when tapped. Enjoy!