Vegan November 2020: Sweet and Simple Buns

As November is traditionally Vegan MonthΒ I thought a traditional recipe from Bavaria might go down well. These are simple buns, made with a yeast dough, sweetened slightly and served dusted with sugar/icing sugar.

They have various names here, depending on where you live, but my Man of Many Talents knows them as ‘Rohrnudeln’ – oven noodles! His Grandmother used to make them and they were a filling treat for hungry boys.

Here is my vegan recipe for them.

Sweet Buns

  • 300g strong flour (2 1/2 cups)
  • 100g plain flour (3/4 cup). (or all plain)
  • 50 g (raw cane) sugar (1/5 cup)
  • 1 packet instant yeast (7g or 2 1/4 tsps)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 150 ml lukewarm water (5 oz)
  • 150 ml lukewarm soya (or other non-dairy) milk (5 oz)
  • A little soya milk or cream and melted vegan butter/margarine for brushing
  • Extra sugar (caster sugar or icing sugar) for sprinkling

Sift the flour, salt and sugar into a bowl and add the yeast. Stir in the water and soya milk. Mix and then knead briefly until it is a soft ball of dough. Place in a clean bowl, brush all over with a little vegetable oil, cover and leave in a warm place to rise for about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 190Β°C (375Β°F)

Punch down the dough and roll out into a long sausage shape. Cut into twelve equal pieces and roll each piece into a ball. Place close together into a greased ovenproof dish (my dish is about 24 x 20 cm … 9×8 inches?) and leave to rest another 15 minutes. Then brush with milk/melted butter or margarine and bake for 25 – 30 minutes.

When golden brown, remove from the oven and brush with milk and butter again, and immediately sprinkle caster sugar over them. Leave to cool a little before serving, dusted with more sugar/icing sugar as desired.

They remind me a bit of doughnuts. πŸ˜ƒ They are best eaten fresh, and taste very good with custard, but on the next day try slicing them and spreading jam over them! πŸ˜‰

Enjoy! πŸ˜ƒ

In a Vase on Monday: Harvest Festival πŸŽπŸŒ»πŸ

We harvested our first ever apples on Saturday.

πŸ˜ƒπŸŽπŸ˜ƒ

Some of the trees in our orchards are yet to bear fruit, but we were nonetheless able to harvest all this…

Four different kinds of apple and two pears.

Unfortunately, when the gardeners were planting the trees the labels all got removed! So we will spend the next few years trying to match up the trees to those listed on the delivery note. πŸ˜‰

As it is Monday, I am joining Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for another Monday vase. The choice of colours for this week reflects harvest time too. We had such terribly strong wind again on Saturday that I decided to cut a few of the remaining flowers from the Sunshine Bed and Herb Bed.

Sunflower Earth Walker

Tithonia

Chrysopsis

Red Zinnia

Echinacea Flame Thrower and Yellow Zinnia

I also used some Helianthus Sheila’s Sunshine and Lemon Queen, some Antirrhinums and a few grasses.

This extra vase was stuffed with pieces of my lovely tall Aster ‘Septemberrubin’ (September Ruby) that had been broken off in the storm… I need a taller support for that aster as it grew beyond expectation to about 160cm. Wonderful!

Have you been able to harvest anything from your gardens this week?

Happy October gardening!

Zucchini (Courgette) Soup

I am waiting for the second wave.

No, not that one.

The second wave of zucchini!

Yes, it is that time of year where many gardeners find themselves inundated with zucchini. My first wave hit at the end of June. And continued until early July.

Since then a steady stream of smaller ones have made it more pleasurable and less stressful! I made large quantities of soup. Twice. With some in the freezer too. And stuffed zucchini is also a regular at the moment.

 

My soup has been a big hit. I think the key to adding flavour is plenty of garlic. I will have to try growing my own garlic one day as we consume an awful lot of it. πŸ˜‰ A good vegetable stock, a potato and some (surprising?) seasoning make it delicious. Here is the recipe. I wrote it down the first time I made it and liked it so much that I have been using it since:

Zucchini soup

  • 1.25 kg (2.75 lbs) zucchini, roughly chopped into cubes
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 potato, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • a little olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried coriander
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp dried mustard
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 500 ml vegetable stock
  • 250 ml almond milk

In a large pot, heat the olive oil and sautΓ©e the onion until soft. Add the garlic, zucchini, potato, all the herbs and spices and the stock. Bring to the boil and then simmer on a low heat until the zucchini and potato are soft. It will only take a few minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool a little. Add the almond milk and then blend until smooth and creamy. πŸ˜ƒ

(And if you like garlic as much as we do, this tastes great with garlic bread. πŸ˜‰)

Zucchini Soup

 

Oh dear, now I am hungry!

Are you enjoying vegetables from your own garden this summer?

xxx

Lovely Lemon Verbena

Herbal tea is really popular in Germany, but there is one sort I will not buy from a store or market. Lemon Verbena. Or Vervain. It simply does not have that gentle rounded flavour you get when you grow your own. So some years ago I started growing my own.

Lemon Verbena, also know as Lippia citriodora or Aloysia triphylla, is sadly not hardy enough for our climate, so I grow it in pots. In a sunny and sheltered spot, with some shade from the strong afternoon sun, it thrives. I have managed to harvest enough to last me through the winter already this year. (I drink one cup a day). So my next harvest will be for gifts, especially for my niece who also appreciates this lovely tea.

Harvesting is simple. Just snip fresh growth, shaping the shrub as you go, and taking care not to shorten it by too much as to weaken the plant. I cut mine by about a third (in autumn by about half). In spring and summer it will start producing new stems and leaves immediately.

Drying the leaves thoroughly is very important if you want to store them. I strip them from the stems, spread them out on a baking sheet and leave them in an airy place, out of direct sunlight, turning them every day. Within a few days they have withered completely and can be stored in an airtight container for up to a year. (I always add a piece of pasta to absorb any possible remaining bit of moisture).

If I have some strong healthy plants in autumn I will overwinter them in my stairwell, which is very light but not heated. I will water very very sparsely and most of the leaves will turn yellow and drop. But as soon as the plants are given some warmth and water in spring, they start regenerating. By the middle of May they can go back outside and be gently acclimatised to sunny conditions. From my experience night-time temperatures shouldn’t be below about 10Β°C. However, I always order new organic plants for the Spring in case mine donβ€˜t revive. I can never have too many! πŸ˜‰

Do you grow Lemon Verbena? Perhaps you have some tips I havenβ€˜t mentioned?

Here are a couple of links to some recipes using this herb that I have posted in the past.

Lemon Verbena/Lemon Verbena SorbetΒ (vegan)

Lemon CakeΒ (not vegan)

Or simply add a couple of leaves to an iced drink.

They smell wonderful. πŸ˜ƒ

Now, talking of iced drinks…

Stay cool! πŸ˜‰πŸ˜Žβ˜€οΈ