As our latest baking day was going to fall on the Persian New Year (Nowruz), we made a plan the previous week that we would experiment with savoury buns inspired by the flavours of the classic Persian omelette, Kuku Sabzi. This intensely herbed spinach omelette flecked with walnuts and barberries is served as a part of the Nowruz celebration. We took those flavours and incorporated them into savoury spelt rolls. Some of our trainees took the experiment further and also incorporated little chunks of Red Leicester. The result was tasty and worth developing further…especially the addition of some proper tasty British cheese. How’s that for integrating ethnic and British flavours?
Our trainees also got more practice making swirl buns, this time filled with a savoury mix of onion, fresh coriander and green olives. They seem to particularly enjoy making this type of bun, which requires special care. Making them is both a creative process and labour of love: each bun is carefully cut and formed after filling and rolling the dough. Furthermore, the swirls lend themselves well to being made through teamwork, which is part of the fun of the Just Bread experience. It is also safe to say our trainees have a special connection with making them, because it was their date and rosewater swirl buns which wowed the attendees of the Women on the Move Awards.
In the midst of these savoury taste sensations, we also made hot cross buns. Incorporating the bits of fresh apple and sultanas was a bit of a repeat of the process learned of incorporating raisins into last week’s caraway rye loaves. Repeating and consolidating skills is essential for our trainees’ progress. Everyone had a go at adorning the buns with crosses thanks to a snipped plastic bag serving as an improvised pastry bag. Good fun. And my, oh my, how lovely they tasted and smelled!
Over lunch break, there was much chatter over a picture of a young Somali mother’s olive and tomato focaccia which she’d made over the weekend. She’d brought it to a birthday party one of her children attended. It was all gobbled up, but thankfully not before she could document its existence!
However this week’s highlight surely had to be the sight of “Ayan” running out to some park-goers passing nearby. You may have already met her in our 14 February post. Her aim? To get them to try our freshly baked goods. She brought back a young man who sampled one of our artfully decorated and beautifully seasoned hot cross buns. He loved it and left a donation. What makes this little interlude special to the JB team is that when “Ayan” first came to us, she moved a bit slowly and was reserved. Now, we see a vibrant, bright-eyed and outgoing woman who cannot just bake, but also sell with confidence. And she is not alone in her personal development. Each of our trainees is growing in confidence and ability in her own way. We are so proud of them all.