I loosely followed this recipe from Felicity Cloake, but either I didn’t have enough of some of the ingredients or didn’t want to sacrifice an egg for painting. So I did a few replacements and alterations, detailed below.
The results are surprisingly good, given it’s the first time I made these. The flavour is spot on, exactly what I want from a cardamom bun. They are moist and buttery enough, and the slightly coarser texture from the wholemeal flour wasn’t really in the way, with all that is going on, as there are already the big cardamom seeds interrupting any pretence of smoothness in the dough.
Also, since they have whole grains rather than being 100% refined flour, they are totally healthy 😆 (just ignore the sugar, and maybe the butter, eh??) 🥦🥬🥒
As I said in my Fogassa d’Ontinyent post, I have been trying to locate the “proper” recipe for this for a few years already.
I think I started searching for a recipe in 2018, as November approached and I desperately wanted to eat a fogassa but could not visit Spain for multiple reasons. And I thought: Well, it is “only” a sweet bun, so it can’t be that hard to find a recipe for it, right?
I love skeletons and skulls and spooky things in general (think Scooby Doo and Victorian horror novels level of scariness), so I always get very excited about the idea of baking things in that theme.
The more I learn about this, the more I realise there are a lot of traditional goods that were also baked in commemoration of the loved (but dead) people. All of these things look very interesting to me but I have no time to tackle all of them at the same time.
So I decided to make a list! Maybe it gives you ideas. Show me your pictures!
I was also really determined that it had to be a plaited bread, which inevitably forces you to use a less wet dough so you can handle and shape it without losing your wits.
The result, once baked, has less definition in the plait than I’d like, but I am very pleased with the bread itself nonetheless. The crumb was quite open, and the anise flavour was there to give it the air of an special bread. I also practiced “painting” the surface with water to give it a smoother surface, and it worked! It felt a bit like biting into a brioche. Quite interesting!
While the Fallas festival in Valencia is quite well-known, the Sant Antoni (Saint Anthony)’s celebrations are less flamboyant, more inward looking. A domestic affair, say, for the locals and by the locals.
Happening around the 17th of January, it is a very unassuming celebration: there is a parade where people bring their animals to church to get a blessing, there will be a small market called “porrat” with stalls selling, amongst other yummy things, delicious nuts, figs and confectionery based on those (which are also called “porrat”), and finally one or more bonfires will burn and light up the dark January night, spreading the aroma of pine wood all around the neighbourhood.