Baking - Breads

Smokin’ Cheese Buns

I had originally planned to write something about hot cross buns this week, with Good Friday coming up at the end of the week. But quite frankly, I don’t like hot cross buns; and I wasn’t even going to make any, I was just going to give a bit of history about them in honour of the occasion. (If you’re interested, you can click here.)

I did, however, make some smokin’ smoked cheese buns to go with soup last night for dinner, and thought that would be worthy of sharing instead! My husband and I recently visited one of our few Nova Scotian cheese producers and discovered a new favourite cheese. Most smoked cheeses we’ve tried are produced by adding liquid smoke, but the fine folks at That Dutchman’s Farm, who specialize in different types of gouda, actually smoke their cheeses in a smoker after the cheese is made. What a difference!

I usually make biscuits to go with soup because they are much quicker to make, but it’s been a while since I made buns, and I had the time so I thought that would be nice. I made a half whole wheat, half all-purpose flour roll recipe, and simply added about a cup of grated smoked old gouda cheese while mixing. The smoky flavour was noticeable in the buns but not overwhelming. They ended up being the perfect accompaniment to our creamy squash-beet soup!

Baking - Breads, Baking - Cookies, Baking - General

The Great Zucchini Challenge

My aunt and uncle recently gave us two large zucchini from their beautiful garden, a wonderful yet somewhat daunting gift. My husband suggested we make it into a challenge. We would each get one and see who could create the best food with them. Naturally my mind went straight to baking, but I didn’t want to do the usual zucchini bread or chocolate zucchini cake. So I broke out my seasonal cookbooks and found two recipes to use my zucchini.

Using 1 1/2 cups of shredded zucchini, I made some sweet zucchini biscuits. They were soft and sweet, more like a cookie than a biscuit, good for breakfast or a snack. Then I used 3 cups of shredded zucchini to make zucchini yeast rolls, a soft white dinner roll with accenting flecks of green. We had one straight from the oven when I made them, and zucchini or not, nothing beats fresh bread from the oven! They will make a great accompaniment to the squash soup we’re having for lunch (squash also compliments of my aunt and uncle).

My husband is more of a cook than a baker, so he opted to make stuffed zucchini for dinner one night. With a recipe he found online and adding his own twist, he stuffed it with a delicious combination of brown basmati rice, maple sausage, peppers, and cheese in a creamy sauce. It made my mouth very happy, and my stomach very satisfied.

I think we have to say that we were both successful in the challenge. Our strengths are in different areas, and we each create food that leaves us wanting more. So cheers to my partner in life and in food, a worthy adversary and ally!