I will not lie; the past week has been hectic. My nerves are frazzled, emotionally drained and physical exhausted.
Although I have not been directly affected by what has been going on in Durban, the chaos and panic has managed to trickle down into the Eastern Cape.
When Durban business shut down, our province was put on high alert and malls were closed as a precautionary measure. This however created panic and people were panic buying. We had people purchasing brand new jerry cans so that they could stock pile fuel in case there was a fuel shortage, traffic was a nightmare, people weren’t obeying the rules of the road, they were just rushing all over the place.
I happened to have watched ENCA where the guy from AA told the news anchor to not put words into his mouth as this would create panic, and it did. Then when some form of normality was on the horizon, the government issued a gazette stating that fuel was not allowed to be purchased in a portable container. Meaning that if you asked for a jerry can to be filled up, the answer would be no. That created yet another wave of panic, but within 24 hours of issuing that statement, it was rectified and amended to state that only SANS approved containers were allowed, which was what the law was pre riots. So all that really happened was the old law was updated and then the update was cancelled. I don’t think that the Department of Energy has any idea the panic that they had created in those 24 hours.
I have tried to stay away from social media as I panic, I have always been a scardy cat and when you see an influx of stressed people, panicking, it just hastens my ability to panic. I tried not to watch the news, but my dad was the news reporter, giving me constant updates and freaking me out even more.
There was zero appetites this past week, but to keep the energy levels going and to let me focus on something other than the potential of what can go wrong, what could happen and what is currently happening, I took to baking.
I tried something new, something unfamiliar and something that would take long and keep me focused. I decided to give raisin bread a try.
Before I get on with this recipe, just keep in mind, that I hate raisins, yet I somehow decided that amidst the chaos, I was going to make sweet bread that essentially contained more raisins that I have consumed in my lifetime.
When my mother saw the bread machine out, she kept guessing what I was making and she kept guessing wrong.
Seeing as this was a recipe that contained yeast, I had zero hopes for it coming out the way it should. I have a heavy hand that whips yeast so much, that the yeast throws a tantrum and refuses to obey me and grow. It just sits in the bowl and shows me that it is the boss and not me.
The verdict, thanks to the bread maker, it rose beautifully, then got the living daylights punched out of it and had a scattering of raisins onto of it and then rolled and shaped into a log, had a milk wash and then went into an oven to bake for a few minutes.
This recipe was from Fatima Sydow’s cookbook and the original recipe contained eggs, I substituted the eggs with egg replacer powder.
My parents loved it, they wanted more raisins, my opinion it would have tasted better without the raisins.
- 4 x cups cake flour, sifted.
- ¼ x cup sugar.
- 1 x packet Anchor Instant yeast.
- 1 x tsp salt.
- 1 ½ x cups milk, lukewarm.
- ½ x cup butter, melted.
- 1 x egg or substitute with ½ x tbsp. egg replacer mixed with 2 x tbsp. water.
- 1 ½ x cups raisins.
- Place all the ingredients, except for the raisins into a bread machine.
- Set to dough and leave to do its magic.
- Once done, turn out the dough onto a floured surface and roll out to form a shape of a rectangle.
- Sprinkle the raisins over the entire surface of the dough.
- Roll the dough up, to form a log shaped.
- Place into a greased loaf tin.
- Cover with cling film and allow to rise for an hour or until double in sized.
- Remove cling film, brush the top with a little milk and a sprinkling of white sugar over the top before popping into a preheated oven.
- Bake at 180 degrees for 30 – 45 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and immediately brush with the sugar syrup.
- Allow to cool for 15 minutes in the tin, before turning out onto a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.
To make the sugar syrup:
- 1 x cup sugar.
- 1 x cup water.
- 1 x cinnamon stick.
- 1 x cardamom pod.
- In a large sauce pan, add all the ingredients and over a medium heat allow the water to come to a boil.
- Once the mixture comes to a boil, remove from the heat and set aside.