Archives for the month of: March, 2014

witch and foreign c

Yes, Witch caused quite a stir in the Dede world with her project. There is a lot of interest in how it is supposed to work and when the book will be published, and how she will publish it. Question after question. Unfortunately Witch shies away from publicity and would rather like to make the kitchen a no-go zone for everyone while she is in there making her concoctions.  She absolutely hates other Dedes standing around watching her. Foreign Correspondent managed to intercept her between the fridge and the oven yesterday and asked her for an interview. Witch said she is far too busy and continued walking. Foreign Correspondent just followed her around until she said if he gave her some written questions she would answer them when she finds the time. This answer was good enough for  Foreign Correspondent and he finally let her get on with the job. I am pretty sure he will have the questions ready by dinner time tonight. :)

witch bun

Witch never got as much attention as yesterday. All the Dedes waited by the oven and wanted to inspect the result as soon as the timer went off. As if they had never had a bun baked by Witch before! Witch got quite protective and shooed everybody away. We weren’t allowed to taste them until they had been photographed. As I told you yesterday, Witch is usually one to throw things together and if you ask her for a recipe she can’t tell you. Much to my surprise she was very consciencious yesterday and noted every step along the way. Here is her transcript:

Bread buns

The main incredient in this recipe is patience. While it actually doesn’t take much time to prepare, the dough will need a lot of time to sit around and rise. If you try to take a shortcut, you will end up creating rocks rather than buns. I would recommend trying the recipe first for a Sunday morning treat. Prepare the dough the night before (maybe in the ad breaks when you watch TV, or if you don’t watch TV, you can tend to the dough whenever  you make yourself a cuppa).

Ingredients for eight buns

3 cups of high grade flour, 1 cup of warm water and 1 teaspoon of dry yeast.


  1. Pour flour in a bowl, make a hole in the middle and add half the water (make sure the water is not hot, as hot water kills the yeast) and add the yeast. Let it sit for at least 15 minutes so the yeast becomes active, which you can see when it becomes sloshy. It’s better to let it sit too long than not enough.
  2. Add the rest of the water and knead to a dough, first in the bowl then on the bench. Knead very thoroughly. It is a good exercise for your upper arms ;)  and you want to spend five minutes or so on it. Then put it back in the bowl, cover with a clean tea towel and put in a warm place until it has risen to twice its original size. If you don’t have a warm place (you poor thing), this process will take longer, but it will happen.
  3. In an hour or so, maybe when the TV program has finished, come back and knead it again. It doesn’t have to be as long as the first time, really, it’s just to get the air out. Then let it rise again. At this point you can go to bed if you are preparing the dough for Sunday morning. Otherwise, come back in yet another half hour. Time is not that important, just make sure it has risen comfortably and noticably again.
  4. Switch the oven on to 2000 C.
  5. While the oven is heating up, knead the dough again and divide into 8 balls. Place on baking paper on a tray (I use a silicon mat as it can be reused again and again) and let it sit to rise for one last time. Like 10 minutes or so. This gives you enough time to go into the garden and pick some flowers and lay the table nicely.
  6. Once the oven is heated to the right temperature, brush the buns with water and cut an x on top of each one with a sharp knife (this process will flatten them a little). Personally I love poppy seed and sesame buns. So I sprinkle them with seeds.
  7. Then I place a little bowl filled with water on the baking tray and off they go into the oven. (The water will evaporate in the heat and make the buns crispy).

Bake for 20 mins. And that is it.

Don’t ask me if you can freeze the dough or the buns. I never had to. They are always eaten as soon as I make them!

Here is a picture gallery of the process: when the buns were rising for the last time on the tray, then the cross cut into the surface to illustrate what I mean, and of course the final result.

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lizzie carol and esther

Last Friday I finished Lizzie’s film (Lizzie is the pink one in the middle). It is now awaiting music and a last edit from the script writer. This is a project I started last year together with an Australian therapist, who I met at a puppet workshop in Melbourne. The film is to raise awareness of Lipoedema, a condition that is present in 11% of the female population, and it will premiere at a conference in Auckland in three weeks. I will show it in due course on the blog.

Now that one major project is finished, I asked what we should do next and it turns out that two puppets are already working on new projects. L’Artiste has to create  a set of new puppets for a nutritional blog that Garden Guru Dee Pigneguy has just started. If all goes to plan, L’Artiste’s puppets will be present at the launch of Dee’s new book in the Takapuna Library next month. He has shown me his ideas on paper and I love them. L’Artiste is a very quiet worker and an extremely reliable guy, so I am pretty sure we will see his creations soon.

Witch, who is into nutrition as well had an idea of her own. She has always been a strong believer in cooking everything from scratch. She doesn’t buy bread or spaghgetti from the shop. She makes it herself and along the way she experiments with all sorts of ingredients, like buckwheat grouts or teff flour. Most of the time she can’t repeat what she cooked, as it is all chucked together, but anything she cooks is a treat. I can’t ever remember her presenting us with something ineditable. The weirder the better. Unfortunately the Dede household is pretty strapped for cash at the moment, so fancy ingredients are off the menu for a while. Instead of moping and complaining that she can’t fulfill her job description as the supplier of nutritional food, she decided to turn the shortcomings into a challenge. She is working on a recipe book with the working title “The artist’s survial cook book –  101 meals made from flour and water“. We discussed her draft yesterday, and while I have to admit she is cheating a little, (she uses, in fact, a handful of ingredients in different combinations) I am totally amazed at how many different things she can conjure up with those few really basic ingredients.  On top of it, none of them seem to be very time consuming. (Oh sorry, yes, flakey pastry does take a bit of time, that’s why we only get it on very special occasions.)

The books starts off with the basic of all basics: Bread buns, which she is baking for lunch today. I asked her to take photographs and maybe we can have the recipe on the blog as a teaser tomorrow.