Railway buns

Railway buns

Railway buns

We’re declaring January “Mrs Beeton month,” here at The Ordinary. We’ve been poring over her Everyday Cookery (and, incidentally, pouring over it as well! Clio and I conspired to spill a whole glass of juice over the brittle pages!) We’re particularly immersed in the cakes, buns, biscuits and pastries sections – just the thing to get us through the dreary, damp, chilly, grey, drizzly, delightful winter days. There’s a comforting consistency to the recipes…page after page of nearly the exact same ingredients in nearly the exact same proportions. Flour, fat, leavening, a bit of sugar, milk, maybe an egg. Baked, steamed, dropped, girdled, glazed. And since it says “every day” cookery, we’ve been dutifully trying something new, every single day. When I saw a recipe for “railway buns,” I fell in love right away. Railway buns! What a beautiful thought. In a rare editorial comment, Mrs Beeton tells us that “These make good sandwiches for a journey.” Of course they do! Some little bit of warmth and comfort in your pocket as you set out for your adventures!!

So your Sunday collaborative playlist is on the subject of being on a journey. Not traveling songs, exactly, but songs about that moment that you realize that you’re far from home. Maybe you’re on a train or at a station or in a motel room, in between places, and it hits you like a ton of bricks just how many miles from your home you are. How strange and different everything feels. You miss home, and can’t remember why you came out here in the first place. Are you going back, or are you traveling on? Or do you sit on a bench and take a railway bun out of your pocket to take a minute and think the situation over.

railway-biscuitsI must admit that I mis-translated this recipe, but they turned out delicious anyway. I added about half the flour that I was supposed to. So that when Mrs. Beeton said I should roll out the dough and cut it into squares, I cried, “Mrs. Beeton, you’ve steered me wrong – I can’t roll out something this soft!!” Well, it turns out it was my mistake, but it worked out well. I dropped the batter onto a baking sheet, which is my preferred lazy way to go anyway. The buns were probably a little flatter than they were meant to be, but so so good. Everybody loved them. They’re quite similar to (American) biscuits, so I made them again with baking soda and baking powder instead of yeast, just as an experiment, and they turned out tasty. Softer and richer than your average biscuit, and just the thing fresh out of the oven for yet another chilly January day. And I think they, too, would make nice sandwiches for a journey.

Here’s our far from home playlist. As ever, I’ve made it collaborative so feel free to add any song you like. It’s shaping up to be a wonderful playlist for a drizzly Sunday, hunkered down with some railway biscuits in a nest of blankets!!
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