That’s what five Lodge members did on Saturday November 13th with Baker Extraordinaire Emilly MacCormick, also a Lodge member, to assure themselves of bread-making success this year. Emilly, a seasoned baker, not only guided everyone through the various steps in the recipes but gave hints along the way that clearly were keys to a good outcome!
For festive occasions, especially Christmas, Scandinavians have a long tradition of making various kinds of bread and two of the many favorites are definitely Julekake and a Swedish Lemon Ring, the latter a variation on Vetekrans, or Swedish Tea Ring. Recipes abound for these two breads (‘google’ the word Julekake or Vetekrans along with recipe and you’ll see what I mean), so it’s best to first get a handle on the basics of making these kinds of breads – so that you can vary the special ingredients (like nuts, candied fruit, etc) knowing that your basic bread making process is sound. By basics I really mean basics – like having your butter and eggs at room temperature, not adding all the flour at one time, and being sure that when you are ready to put the dough aside to ‘rise’ or ‘proof’, you have a place that is warm enough to make that happen! And then there’s the yeast… I personally didn’t know importance of yeast basics either, i.e. adding warm water at a particular temperature, nor did I know that I could find ‘Baker’s Sugar’, an ultrafine, professional-grade sugar, on the grocery shelves to use for better results. One of our Lodge ‘students’, Cherie, reminisced later about how her mother and aunt swore by Fermipan yeast, and also by Robin Hood flour because they felt it was better than our flour for baking — “something to do with Canada’s prairie and winter wheat vs. another type of wheat — or something like that”.
So I guess our next off-island Lodge excursion might be up to Canada to hunt for Robin Hood flour so that we can bake some more wonderful things. OK with me!