It was bitterly cold this morning – no two ways about it – but completely glorious. Our usual Saturday morning scramble was somewhat tempered due to the Husband’s crash incident. The car is now sitting in a holding garage waiting for the repair garage to pick it up and assess. Don’t get me started about the uselessness of insurance companies. Swimming was off as result – no transport as the camper van is still snug in its barn for another couple of months, but I have to say that we didn’t try too hard to think of alternatives. Much as we acknowledge that Blue and Pink need to be able to swim, getting to the pool for 9.00 on a Saturday can be a struggle.This didn’t stop Blue waking up ridiculously early and sneaking downstairs to watch TV. I jolted to when I heard the door to the TV room being opened (we have to close it otherwise the dog sneaks in and spends the night stretched out in luxury on the sofa, to sneak back to his bed when he hears movement upstairs in the morning. I know this because I’ve heard him. And then when I go downstairs, he looks at me sheepishly and wags his tail. Because he knows I know.)
Anyway, swimming or no, I was downstairs at 7 with my morning cuppa thinking about facing the cold. The Husband appeared a little later, went out to feed the chickens and came back pronouncing that it was -8 outside. I looked at the dog. He was lying on his bed with his big spaniel eyes saying ‘take me out ppppuuuurrrrllleeeeeeeeeeese’. I decided the only thing for it was to give myself an incentive, so all thoughts of a small bowl of muesli abandoned, I started Dan Lepard’s marmalade Chelsea buns. Very conveniently when a frosty dog walk is in the offing, you mix up the dough then leave for an hour before kneading rising and baking. So I duly mixed and left then headed out into the cold. It was bitter, but no wind and the sun was coming up the sky was clear and the countryside was beautiful. The dog managed to behave himself in that he didn’t disappear off into the undergrowth heading for the river, and no birdlife was harmed. We met some of our Saturday morning dog walking regulars and exchanged appropriate inanities about our dogs and the weather, then went on our way. I love it!An hour later, back home for the kneading, rolling and rising (time for a shower) then baked. The Husband had offered me a coffee before I went out with the dog, but I declined and waited to brew some fresh as the buns were baking. Boy, was it worth it. Steaming hot, lovely coffee and a heavenly marmalade bun. I used half 2011 Nigel Slater recipe (quite dark, bitter marmalade) and half lemon and orange marmalade that I’d made out of the citrus fruit that I’d used to make elderflower cordial with previously. I also added an egg wash on the buns before baking them because Dan’s recipe didn’t include it, but having baked Nigella’s scrummy cinnamon buns, I was a little worried that they needed a glaze. Very easy though – 1 egg beaten with a splash of milk and brushed over them.
All I can say is these are delicious – not as sweet as the cinnamon buns but very moreish and definitely good breakfast fodder.
Are you tempted? Here is the recipe: