Do you remember Saba? Bryson, I know you do – that is where we found Lady, after all (the world’s greatest dog).
How about you, Lochlan? Do you remember the turtles? What memories do you have from when we lived on a that small island in the Caribbean? You were so young!
My memories of it are many! The fruit trees, the ocean breeze, the lizards, lying on the still-warm-from-the-sun driveway at night trying to count the stars, the tiny tiny market, the smell (I am positive that Heaven must smell like the island of Saba), the little white houses with bright red roofs and dark green doors…
I think what I remember the most, though, is the people. The local people of Saba were so warm and welcoming and willing to answer all of my questions about the food and culture of Saba. The sweet older ladies of Saba welcomed me into their Thursday afternoon “Saba Lace” sewing time, and they patiently taught me the craft.
There was also a large population of people from all around the globe; we formed a loose cooking group. We would teach each other the recipes and techniques for our countries’ traditional foods.
While a small group of moms crowded into a tiny Saba kitchen and learned how to make things like these traditional Russian Piroshkis, you played with Lego on the sun porch with all the other littles, Lochlan. (Bryson, you were attending the tiny island school)
Granny M. gave me the gift of an adventurous spirit in the kitchen – Saba taught me to look beyond borders and see the beauty of other cultures and try everything!
love you two!
I have been asked a question about the dough and quantity of flour, so I have added a few additional instructions and photos to show the texture and consistency of the dough. The first thing I did was check back with my hand-written recipe from 16 years ago! Just to make sure that I didn’t make a mistake in the quantities. The Russian lady who taught me how to make these did not have a written-out recipe – she just knew how to make this from memory. As you can see, the quantities of the ingredients were more of a suggestion.
A few of my tips from making this recipe many times!
I always use hard wheat.
Hard wheat has a higher protein content than soft wheat and thus produces more gluten, the elastic component of a dough that can capture and hold carbon dioxide (CO2). Therefore, hard wheat is critical for yeast-leavened baked goods, but is also appropriate for a wide range of baking. Best brand in America – King Arthur Flour
If you only have soft wheat plan on using more flour.
Knead, knead knead! It is so important to knead your dough for a long time. As you knead your dough, it develops gluten, which in turns helps the dough to be more ‘elastic’ and will give you a softer and much more pillowy bun. Knead time? 8 to 10 minutes. In a stand mixer you will know the dough is ready when it starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
As I am kneading I add a little extra flour, a spoonful at a time. I measured it out today to see exactly how much I use as I knead the dough and found that just about 1/2 cup of additional flour was perfect.
You do not need a stand mixer (on Saba we just used our dough-covered hands!) it sure makes the 10 min knead that much easier if you do have one, though!
This dough is a very soft and sticky dough, so keep your hands either well oiled or floured!