I have been meaning to blog this recipe for ooh, over a year. That is bad. I know. But it just never felt like the right time. And now, it being bread week on The Great British Bake Off, well, it feels just about the perfect time.
So here she is, my lotus bread. For anyone who ever pondered the question of whether they should choose a sticky bread bun or a biscuit I’ve sorted the conundrum for you. For this, dear reader, this combines the two. For anyone who has not come across Lotus spread yet, let me explain. You know those little biscuits you often get for free with coffee in hotels and restaurants? The ones all wrapped up in plastic? Well that is a Lotus biscuit. And there is a spread of the stuff that my children would sell me for in return for being allowed to spread it on their toast every morning. (Luckily no one wants to buy me, lucky for their teeth anyway).
I was given my Lotus spread by a friend but I believe it is widely available in Tesco, Sainsbos, etc. Even Amazon. I recommend making this Lotus bread if you do buy the spread as otherwise you will stand in the kitchen and spoon the lot into your mouth as the kettle boils. I am not kidding. I don’t joke about things like this.
On an entirely separate note I am doing the Joe Wicks #leanin15 thingy. Well, I say I am doing it, I am only two days in, so really anything could happen by Friday. Anyway, the point is, I am telling you so that I commit to it in some way. My pal gave me the book and after binge reading it, well, I thought why not? I ate 4 slices of cake in one sitting last week so really, things can’t get any worse. So far on day one I was quite hungry. Day two less so. The workouts are hardcore. I didn’t think that after 15 minutes I’d be practically crying for Joe to stop and give me a break. I may have even said those very words. I feel like Joe and I are in a celibate yet intimate relationship. Maybe this is why he is so successful. He’s half Jamie O, half Russell Brand. And for my sins I have always had a bit of a soft spot for the latter. (I know, I know…)
Anyway, back to the lotus bread… A few step by step pics:
Lots of great recipes like this in my books, Recipes from a Normal Mum, (available on Amazon, at The Works, Waterstones, WHSmith, The Book Depository and many smaller outlets) and The Power of Frozen (available through Amazon).
One year ago: Lemon cupcakes with coconut buttercream, Thai spiced sweet potato, squash and coconut soup, Veggie no meatballs, Back to school rocky road and Popcorn caramel cheesecake.
Two years ago: Black forest brownies, Double orange choc chip bundt cake, Sunshine cake and Bonfire cupcakes.
Three years ago: Hazelnut cupcakes with Nutella buttercream, Red root reblochon bake and a Simple banana cake.
Four years ago: Cherry tomato frittata, Lemon brioche and Death by chocolate cake.
Five years ago: Tiramisu profiteroles, Drunken cherry brandy mincemeat and Macarons.
Six years ago: Easy cheesy pasta, Almond coated chicken and Mince pies for mince pie haters.
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 25 minutes
- 30g cold butter
- 125mls milk
- 250g strong white or wholemeal flour (may need a little more milk for wholemeal)
- 1 tsp fast action dried yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 20g muscovado sugar
- 1 large egg, at room temperature, beaten
- 300g Lotus spread
- Egg wash (1 egg beaten with a little salt)
- 2 tsp icing sugar
- Boiling water, just a tiny dot
Make the enriched dough first (for it has an egg in it and butter too – so it’s enriched and therefore rises a bit slower and is also a bit sticky) by heating the butter in a saucepan/microwave until it’s melted, then adding the milk and heating until the whole lot is the temperature of a baby’s bath – ie/ lukewarm. If it overheats this is fine – just let it cool down before you add it to the dry ingredients. Mix the flour, yeast, salt and sugar together. If the sugar has clumped up in storage then make sure you break it up finely before adding to the other dry ingredients. Use your fingers or a knife to get it back to it’s usual fine self. Then add the lukewarm butter and sugar mixture, knead together a little, then add the room temperature beaten egg. Knead by hand or in a machine until the dough is elastic, though beware it will still be sticky. Don’t add flour to aid the kneading – the bread will end up brick-like. Just go with the stickiness and remove jewellery beforehand if it really bothers you. (A scraper is very useful for kneading sticky doughs… or a machine.) Pop the dough into a large bowl and cover with clingfilm. Let it proof until a finger pushed in about 3cm leaves a firm indent. It should be about double the size and take about 1.5 hours. In that time you need to line a cake tin (approx 20cm) with greaseproof paper as these rolls go all sticky upon baking. So sticky they can get stuck in a tin. After the first proof knock the dough back and divide into four equal pieces. Use flour to roll the very sticky dough into rectangle shapes. Then carefully spread with the Lotus spread. Roll each one up like a snail's shell and place and place in your lined cake tin. Cover loosely with clingfilm and leave to prove for a second time. Mine took 2 hours to double in size. Paint with egg wash, then bake at 200C/fan 180C/gas mark 6 for about 20 – 25 minutes until golden brown on the top and looking thoroughly well-baked, with Lotus spread biscuity goodness having splurged onto the top. Mix the icing sugar with a dot of boiling water and paint the still warm rolls, for a nicely frosted when cold appearance.
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