The challenge: To cook all 124 recipes from the Brave New Meal cookbook by Bad Manners in 365 days (aka one year)
15 recipes down, with 109 recipes to go. (and I’m waaaaay behind.)
Today it’s two recipes in one.
Blueberry-Thyme Marble Rolls
page 27, Brave New Meal cookbook
A whole lot of time (and thyme) and love goes into making these.
I had a few moments where I just wasn’t sure if they were worth the trouble. They took a fair few hours. But then it happened. The moment that I am sure that Bad Manners were waiting for. The moment when my eyes lit up and my mood lifted, and something about the smell of these rolls made me feel like a little child again. If taste and scent could be a feeling, then these would taste of happiness, safety, contentment. Somehow the snuggled-up-ness of childhood all rolled up into one bite.
Isn’t it crazy how food can do that for you?
First, I made the dough. I didn’t have a stand mixer so I had to do it by hand. But that’s okay, I’ve got grit. It was friggin interesting to read about how the yeast is meant to be for a yeast-newbie like me.
I live in Scandinavia and everyone over here is born knowing how to bake bread rolls. Pastries are in their blood, woven into their DNA.
I didn’t grow up over here so I never learnt that skill. I missed out on that chapter in the book of life-lessons. So this was helpful.
I kneaded the shit outta the dough, and when it looked the way it was meant to and my arm felt like it was going to fall off, I plopped it in a bowl like they said and let it rise. I thought I’d be smart and stick it in the oven after just having warmed it up and teeny tiny bit. It turns out my oven actually has a setting for that! I didn’t realise that till after though, so it did me no good at the time. Oh well, next time.
In the meantime I made the jam. I was actually meant to have made it before I made the dough, but fuck it. I used frozen blueberries instead of fresh. It was AMAZING. I could’ve eaten it with a spoon all day long – just like Joey does in ‘Friends’. I didn’t though. I’m sure my dentist would’ve LOVED it if I had, but I figured I’d better try for some self-restraint in front of my kid so he didn’t start coming home from school and heading straight for the jam. The only thing that kept me from BIG TIME digging in with a spoon, was the vision in my mind of finding him in various places in the house secretly eating jam. Like some sort of weird jam addict. Crouched in the closet, hiding under the bed, standing up in the corner of the room facing the wall like something out of the Blair Witch Project. It gave me the heebie-jeebies, so I put the spoon down.
When it was time to get the dough out, it had ballooned in size. Bad Manners (previously Thug Kitchen) said to punch the dough down to release the air, and that was quite fun. If you want to get in touch with your inner angry toddler, punch some dough.
Then it was time to roll the dough out into a rectangle, but I have to say….HOW THE FUCK ARE YOU MEANT TO DO THAT?
I was looking at it and thinking, how precise am I meant to be here? Am I meant to cut it so the rounded edges become straight? Or do we just use it as a “rounded rectangle” (no-such-thing).
I was feeling lazy – it was the weekend after all – so I just left it rounded.
This later may not have been as wise, but whatever. Life is too short to have regrets.
We did the spready-spready, foldey-foldey, and now we were ready to slice. I stared at the book. The book stared at me. Trying to figure out how I was meant to slice the thing had me perplexed. There was math involved. It was morning. I had to have more coffee in order to kick start my sleepy brain. I think I got it in the end, but if you are mathematically-challenged like me, then make sure you have coffee and calculators to hand.
Then it was time to to do the twist. This was the thing that I was most intimidated by. This looked like one of the fanciest recipes in the cookbook, that required the most skill and finesse. I had to mentally psyche myself up for this. So I put on my favourite music and danced around a little, giving myself a pep-talk. It started out like “it’s okay…how bad can it really be?”, and “so what if it ends up looking a bit mangled?”, slowly ramping up bit by bit. By the end of the song I was shouting “we’ve got this!” and “it’s go time mother fucker!” with lots of energy and an almost Spartan roar to accompany it. I’m really hoping our neighbours weren’t walking by our window at the time, because we live in a small town and people talk a lot here.
I began to roll and twist like a crazed ballerina cheerleader hybrid (of the mutated variety I might add) but by the third one, I’d got it down. It got “interesting” when I got to the not-so-square edges. But I hid the weird looking parts by tucking them under like Bad Manners had suggested. Thumbs up for hidden weirdness guys.
I let the rolls rise again and then baked the hell outta them.
When they were ready and we stuffed our faces, I was happy…relieved…full.
If you have 3 hours (with down-time to do stuff while they rise) then these are spectacular. You will thrill and dazzle people around you, being elevated in their minds from mere-mortal to hand-crafting God/dess. No one will know how easy these are to twist. The hardest part was the maths, but it’s okay you’re clever, and you’ve come armed with coffee and calculators. You’re all set. You’ve got this. And if you haven’t, just tell yourself you have while dancing around until you believe in yourself.
Don’t deny yourself these awesome Blueberry-Thyme Marble Rolls just because you listened to the voice of your inner insecure biotch. She’s not a reliable source. She’s fake news. She doesn’t fact-check. Overpower her with science, and numbers and dance, and you’ll be just fine.