Politics, work, food, love, every topic is a potential reason to have heated debates, push each others' buttons, getting angry from time to time. The thrill of conflict, the passion of reconciliation make us feel alive. (Lunatics? us? Noooo)
On the other hand, British people are known for avoiding conflict, being diplomatic, phlegmatic, calm, rational and polite.
When we punch, we scream, we strike (ok, maybe we are lunatics), they listen, they nod and they apologise whilst disagreeing.
Although I'm delighted to live in a country where it's unlikely my boss will start screaming at me when I make a huuuge mistake, and although I immensely enjoy my peaceful life with understanding and non-screaming people, I'm afraid some days that's not good enough.
Sometimes it itches me to get angry, and I wish I could find someone who would accept to fight back a little.
I wish I could get angry and have an argument with my landlord when he tells me that a 80 litre flood in my kitchen is not an emergency.
Or with the supplier who talks to me like I'm a 5 year old.
Or even with my boyfriend, who doesn't even get the concept (and the benefits?) of getting upset from time to time.
Well, maybe there is a support group for conflict-frustrated Frenchies somewhere... ;-)
Chelsea BunsI was light handed on the topping on these buns, when they could easily have much more topping in the swirls and a stickier top.
So, don't heistate to follow your instinct and your taste, or even improvise with the topping ingredients!
Ingredients for the dough:
450g strong white flour , plus extra for dusting
2 x 7g sachets easy-blend yeast
50g caster sugar
150ml warm milk
1 egg , beaten
50g unsalted butter , melted, plus extra for greasing
oil , for greasing
Ingredients for the topping:
25g melted butter, plus extra for greasing
85g coarsely crunched almonds, plus a few extra to decorate
25g light muscovado sugar
2 tbsp apricot jam mixed with a lump of honey
option: sultanas, ground cinnamon, ground ginger
Make the buns:
Make the buns:
1/ Put the flour, yeast, caster sugar and 1 tsp salt into a large mixing bowl and mix well. Make a well in the centre and pour in the warm milk, 50ml warm water, the beaten egg and the melted butter.
2/ Mix everything together to form a dough - start with a wooden spoon and finish with your hands. If the dough is too dry, add a little more warm water; if it's too wet, add more flour.
3/ Knead in the bowl or on a floured surface until the dough becomes smooth and springy.
4/ Transfer to a clean, lightly greased bowl and cover loosely with a clean, damp tea towel. Leave in a warm place to rise until roughly doubled in size - this will take about 1 hr depending on how warm the room is.
5/ Heat oven to 200deg C and grease a deep 23cm cake tin. Tip the risen dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for a few secs.
6/ Roll out the dough to a rough 20 x 30cm rectangle.
7/ In a small bowl, mix the butter with sugar, spices (if used) and spread evenly over the dough, then sprinkle with almonds and sultanas (if using).
8/ Roll up firmly like a Swiss roll from one of the long sides - dampening the open edge to help it stick if you need to.
9/ Cut into 8 even slices with a sharp knife, shape into 8 round pinwheels, then arrange in the tin, cut-side up. Cover with a clean, damp tea towel and prove in a warm place for about 20 mins until roughly doubled in size.
10/ Bake the buns for 10 mins, then lower oven to 180deg C. Cook for 10 mins more until golden brown. Melt the jam with 1 tbsp water, brush all over the buns, then sprinkle with a few more crushed almonds.
|(That's the most upset I've seen him so far ;-) )|