I made this practice mini loaf the other day as an experiment born out of an experiment: I had made a coca with a focaccia dough made with my beer starter (and a couple of cans of Camden Hells lager instead of water), and I had set some dough aside to practice shaping it into a baguette, as I don’t have lots of experience with that type of shaping.
Then I was gathering ingredients to make an omelette, when I noticed there were two sausages in the fridge, and that gave me an even better idea:
Once we arrived back from Narai, we walked towards one of the potential coffee house candidates I had bookmarked, to continue our “kaffee und kuchen” tradition whenever we’re on holidays (and even more so when jetlagged!).
This is a sweet cake that is produced around Easter time in the Valencian region, and it’s also one of my favourites!
In fact, I like it so much that I learned to make it, because it’s impossible to source it in London, and I was missing it lots each time I spent Easter in the UK.
One of the defining features of this bun is that it uses eggs both in the dough and in the decoration, which has many variations: you can brush the top with beaten egg, or whisk the egg white with sugar until it stiffens and use it to decorate the top the bun, or you can even place an egg on the bun before baking, which makes it look like an egg nesting on the bun (this is most typical of the smaller, individual pieces). Often, the eggshells are dyed with food colouring, so this makes for very colourful pieces that you’re sorry to eat.
Tradition has it that you should take a mona with you on a country side walk on Easter Monday, to celebrate the arrival of Spring. Then, when you find a nice and calm spot, you sit down and eat your mona outdoors, while enjoying the early warm weather and the sight and scent of flowers (hopefully without too many insects!).
And if your mona includes eggs, it’s quite traditional to ‘crack’ them on the forehead of your family members or friends… preferably by surprise! 🤪