I have such exciting news. True it is probably more exciting to me than others but… you may also share this excitement if you like to cook or just enjoy a great story. I have a couple of well-known friends; one is Emily Ellyn Retro Rad Chef from the food network, Emilyellyn.com, Cupcake Wars, Cutthroat Kitchen, House Hunters, and also Chef Nettie (Chefnettie.com) from same and TV fame in Salt Lake City, Utah.
This story involves Nettie whom I met through Emily (they have been best friends since culinary school) Nettie was helping Emily with her presentation at a Catersource conference years ago. I was one of the Ambassadours for the conference. Some people you meet just feel like you’ve known them for years and you click. So it was with Emily and Nettie. Throughout the years I also went on to meet their families and I have crashed at Netties place on occasion on my way south.
My catering career spanned over thirty years and it encompassed my second life. My first life was spent growing up, getting married, having kids, and being an inveterate entrepreneur, included beauty school and four hair salons one in Alberta and three in Saskatoon, all owned by me. Life is full of quirks and turns though, and ending up in the food business was one of those. Needless to say, it was the adventure of a lifetime and now in the past. I am into My- Third Life .com (yes it is my website and I have to write it like that on here because it’s not facebook friendly.)
This third life of mine is the most exciting one so far and if I live another decade maybe I’ll start a fourth life.. who knows? The pandemic has brought us all to our knees and we are all coping the best we can and really that’s all we can do. I know one thing for sure, we are cooking more and eating out less. Every man and his dog is taking up cooking, even the kids are getting into it. As for me I decided to write a book, well the book was always in me but the pandemic has brought it to the forefront. I discovered in My- Third Life .com (it’s my blog and I have to get it into here somehow.. lol) that writing is my passion and seems I am a born storyteller or so my friends say. Well.. ok, one friend, but I trust her and we owned those three hair salons in Saskatoon together. Those stories won’t be in my first book but the second book could have these stories up for grabs.
There is also a writing course at UT (University of Toronto) I’m enrolled in starting next week, it will help me finish my book by Xmas, I’m hoping. Doing it virtually of course, but this is exciting for me. Ok.. onto my MOST EXCITING NEWS, I recently connected with my friend Chef Nettie after playing telephone tag for two months. After our chit-chat about the recent Catersource Conference in Miami, which had a really dismal attendance apparently, was over, we went on to discuss our own lives and what was happening. I told her about my upcoming writing course and she burst forth with a squeal of delight and said “Cherylle, I need a writer for my new cookbook!” Of course, I also let out a squeal of delight and there ensued a babel of conversation of which is all inconsequential except for ONE THING!
“How is your cookbook going to be different from all the cookbooks out there?” I asked her because in my head I knew it had to be different for me to get excited and be all in.
“Cherylle… my cookbook is going to be a one of a kind and no other cookbook on the market will compare!!!!!”
Well, there ensued the babel and the contents of the how and why and yada, yada, yada of how it was going to be different and I have to say that I am so excited for this new venture and Chef Netties ONE OF KIND cookbook. It may even include a chapter entitled “if you are too lazy to cook” and you know who you are lol, ok .. so it’s me.
Long story short, I will be driving, YESSSSSS… THE BORDER IS FINALLY OPEN ON NOVEMBER EIGTH, to Salt Lake City Utah to spend time with Chef Nettie and help her with this adventure. I truly believe when her cookbook is finished you will all want one. Even those of you too lazy to cook.. that chapter just might be in there and if you can work a can opener you will be delighted with what you did not make from scratch but tastes as you did.. just saying.
Because you have read this far I am including my recipe posted on my catering page from back in the day. It was most requested and had over a thousand hits, which is excellent for us Saskatchewanites, trust me you can make these from scratch!
Two-hour buns from start to ‘out of the oven’, virtually idiot-proof.
This is how I do it, I am not a baker and don’t aspire to be. It has to be fast and simple or I won’t bother
Seven ingredients including the water!
(ingredients are at the bottom of the page)
Count off ingredients as you use them so you don’t forget, it’s an age thing… lol
In one bowl measure seven cups of all-purpose flour and two generous tablespoons of fast-rising yeast. If yeast is old, buns won’t rise.
In another medium-sized bowl measure two cups of hot water. The recipe calls for 3 cups of really warm water but mine always turned too cool by the time I added the rest of the ingredients, so now I do two cups and add the third cup of really hot water at the end.
In your two cups of really warm water add one teaspoon of salt and six tablespoons of sugar. I like to mix it until it dissolves then add seven tablespoons of oil .. any kind works, then add two eggs and mix again. Add the third cup of hot water and mix again. (not boiling hot either.. it will kill something, don’t ask lol)
Here is the best part… I have no patience, so I dump the whole bowl of wet ingredients into the flour mixture and mix like crazy! You don’t want to dawdle but rather get all those ingredients meeting each other quickly so they can have that bonding experience!
Now hopefully you washed your hands because now we are going to play in the dough. You really need to get your hands into it and knead it in. I always sprinkle more flour on the outer edges .. sometimes a lot if I used too much water.. it happens.
Knead for a while… this is different for everyone.. you need to incorporate all the ingredients and enough flour so it is not too sticky (approx. one to three minutes tops but have at it if you have issues to resolve). Make a ball and let it rest in a warm place until it doubles in size. (you can oil the ball if you want and cover it with a cloth) Sometimes it’s really fast other times it seems to take forever.. don’t worry though it’s not rocket science. A twenty or thirty-minute nap won’t matter, one way or the other.
When double in size (or huge.. IF YOU HAD A REALLY LONG NAP) cut off pieces and make them into balls, rolls, or however you want them to look. Place on your sheet pan (oiled) or parchment paper… I prefer parchment paper. Let rise again and have another nap if you want. When they get double in size or looking really good, pop them into a 350-degree oven and set your timer for 25 minutes.
Some ovens are hotter or not as hot or whatever.. but if they are not brown enough I will bake for another five or ten minutes (I like my buns browner, just saying) ALWAYS set the timer! As we age we get distracted and we don’t want you to burn your buns or worse yet start a fire and then they will take away your stove! I now understand why that happens. Brush your buns with oil, margarine, or butter when they come out of the oven.. we all want nice-looking buns, right?
7 cups flour
2 tablespoons of fast-rising yeast
mix dry together, in another bowl mix wet together .. then add wet to the dry.
3 cups really warm water (see above notes)
1 teaspoon of salt
6 tablespoons of sugar
7 tablespoons of oil
That’s it.. happy baking, share this with your friends and family so they can have great looking buns too : )
copyright October 16th 2021