So this has been a strange week with gathering doom and gloom online and on the news, combined with largely business-as-usual so far in what passes for the real world (working from home in an isolated house up a hill it would actually be quite hard to tell if I was social distancing or not). I’m guessing this is the calm before the storm, and I have the same worries of older parents and friends with underlying health issues as many, but so far the main impact on us has been a couple of cancelled events, a shortage of pasta shells, and rather too much – possibly garbled – information about epidemiology and virus transmission than I really feel I can do anything sensible with other than take steps to clean my phone (a soapy damp cloth, apparently, for those of you still catching up).
A couple of weeks ago I was added to a Facebook group of people who bake to alleviate anxiety which mainly just added to my anxiety that I might not be making the most of my anxieties by doing anything as productive as baking. However, it did serve to nudge me into attempting sourdough cinnamon buns this weekend. Unfortunately our panic buying/sensible stocking up policy (delete as appropriate) had failed to include enough eggs to attempt this recipe from a friend’s blog, but I did manage to adapt my usual Chelsea bun recipe using sourdough starter instead of commercial yeast, and with a butter and cinnamon filling instead of the normal currants.
I don’t know that it did anything to relieve my anxiety, but at least it gave me the excuse to post something on social media that wasn’t about coronavirus, hopefully leavening other people’s timelines briefly from a diet of drawn-out tweet threads from experts in something or other explaining at some length why, actually, we probably should consider panicking now.*
They were also rather delicious whether you’re in the throes of a gathering pandemic or not, if perhaps a little worthier than the non-sourdough version (mainly because my starter has a fair bit of wholemeal flour in it). We’re still working on the icing – these are glazed with lemon juice and icing sugar which was nice, but tended to just disappear when poured over the warm buns. Still, it looks like we might have time on our hands over the coming weeks to perfect the recipe.
Indeed I might even manage to catch up with myself in the garden … I wonder if there’s a Facebook group for that?
* Unless you only follow cyclists, in which case you may not be aware that there’s anything going on at all: