Despite many good intentions, that almost certainly means mothballing the blog again, but before I go, here is my final GBBO bake along of the year.
I enjoyed the final - the right person won, the nation was in tears and we ate a lot of cheese while it happened.
As in previous years, though, I was a bit surprised by the comparative simplicity of the tasks - the millefeuilles seemed fairly straightforward (though allegedly were chosen because all three finalists had had pastry problems in the past), though were reasonably cheering from my lots-of-leftover-rough-puff-in-the-fridge perspective and the showstopper specification seemed vague enough just to be saying "bake a nice cake" (which is not unreasonable).
Once again, though, my real interest was in the signature bake. Iced buns! Noone could fail to be cheered by an iced bun!
The TV ones had to be filled, but I felt like that was a little unnecessary for my purposes (though it would be easy enough to fill with cream and jam as desired, obviously) and would make them less portable. Well - maybe one. Just to see how it tasted.
I used a bun dough recipe from Darina Allen's Forgotten Skills of Cooking (a genuinely brilliant book that I honestly don't look at or use enough), which is a fairly standard, slightly sweet, yeasted dough enriched with butter and eggs (though, interestingly, not milk).
It's actually a really good dough - I've used it in the past for everything from chelsea buns to doughnuts and they've all been delightful.
As an aside, I fairly recently discovered that it was possible to buy fresh yeast from Morrisons, so now I make everything with (usually frozen) fresh instead of dried or instant. I don't know why I should be surprised by this, but it is MUCH MUCH better. Everyone needs to get back into fresh yeast! Given that it freezes so easily, it's really no more trouble than the dried kind and your bread will be far superior!
I opted for the traditional finger shape (I'm not remotely precious about them being batch cooked, stuck together and torn apart - I actually rather like the effect) with white royal icing on top, but they'd be equally good round with cherries and or happy faces.
I also left mine plain, as I prefer them that way, but they lend themselves pretty well to having dried fruit added at the final shaping stage if you're that way inclined.
So that's it - I am all baked along for another year and will now be grabbing hold of the opportunity to stop eating for a few weeks. Thanks for reading!