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Afternoon Off

It is Monday afternoon and I am at home enjoying 'Wizard of Oz' in the background.... the smell of chicken stock boiling... fresh buns started... and just being home!

I LOVE my Monday afternoons - they are a treasure. My job has me at work five days a week, but Mondays I only work until 1:00 p.m. Some Mondays I run errands, have coffee with friends or pick-up or drop-off kids. Today, however, I am home.

So I decided to use my afternoon to update my blog, bake fresh buns and watch a movie that the rest of my family would rather not have to endure!

So as I await the lovely sound of my Tupperware Thatsa Bowl to pop from the yeasty dough rising, I write and share. Today I am going to share my mom's recipe for buns... although there will be slight changes due to my shortage of whole wheat flour... so these buns are not going to be as healthy as hers would be!

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White Oil Buns - Lynda

5 cups warm water

1/4 cup sugar

1 tsp salt

1 cup oil

11 cups flour

3 cups whole wheat flour (but I used white flour)

4 eggs

3 TBSP instant yeast (The best kind is one I buy in Altona, MB - I will get a picture shortly)

1) Put warm water (I also substituted 2 cups water with 2 cups warm milk), sugar and salt and oil (use only 3/4 cup- save rest for later) in large mixing bowl. Beat using a whisk attachment until mixed well and then add 4 cups of flour. Add eggs. Beat well. Add 1 cup of flour and the yeast. Add 3 more cups of flour.

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Change beater to dough hook.

Add 6 cups of flour. Throw some oil around the sides inbetween additions - this helps to pick up loose flour.

Mix well.

Should have good swirls.

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It should start looking something like this. Add more flour if very sticky.

Keep adding the rest of the oil to pick up loose flour.

I have found that with this mixer, I sometimes have to pull the dough out and flip it over and keep mixing for awhile.

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Put oil in a large bowl. I love my THATSA Bowl from Tupperware.

Put a bit of oil on the lid too so that the dough, when it rises, doesn't stick to the lid.

Dump your dough into the bowl, flip it so that the dough has oil on both sides.

put the lid on and keep it in a warm place. (put a towel over top).

Hopefully you will hear a pop as the pressure from the yeast pops the top off! Let it rise to about doubled... then punch it down (put some oil on your hands) and let it rise again.

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Oh yeah... this is looking fantastic!

But what is with the dry wrinkly hand??? agh!

So while you are waiting. Enjoy watching the tin man find his heart and the scarecrow discover his brain and the lion dig out his courage.

Lions and tigers and bears... oh my... lions and tigers and bears... oh my!!

As silly as the story is... and as silly as that lion is (everytime I watch i have to chuckle!)... the story is true to life. I believe we all want to love and be loved. We all have brains and if we fill them with good/solid items, we will spew knowledge in areas that we are well acquainted with. We ALL have things to share, educated or not. And finally, we can all summon up some courage if we have support of family and friends behind us. Its amazing how creating friendships and community give us strength to get through all kinds of things.

All right... back to the buns.

oops!! Warning!! Don't let your dough get too warm... i tried putting in oven at heat and hold... agh - almost had one massive bun baked right there in my Thatsa Bowl!!

I think we will still be ok though.

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You may have your own way of actually forming buns - go for it!

I take oil - oil my hands - grab a clump of dough and cut it with a steak knife.

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Then I kind of work it with my hands so it has a smooth top and squeeze it through my fist and pull the round bun off the top and put it on the pan.

Then I round the dough again and squeeze another ball through my fist until there is not enough dough to create another ball.

Then more oil, back to the bowl, grab and cut and do it all over again.

I try to do this quickly so that they rise evenly.

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You can put them close together or further apart. My mother-in-law rolls her dough balls in flour and puts them side by side in a higher edge pan.

You decide what works best for you. This is what my mom taught me and it seems to work!

Let rise for approximately 1 hour or until doubled. Sometimes this happens in less time (especially if you overheat your dough!!)

So... now you wait again. Make a cup of coffee... and watch Dorothy cry in front of the Wonderful wizard who really isn't all that wonderful!

Here is another lesson - don't be deceived by all that glitters. It isn't all gold OR emeralds. Sometimes we search for the riches and end up with nothing but emptiness. Sometimes we think we have the gold and all we have are lies. Be careful in what you pursue.

God may lead us down some bumpy, gravelly, uncomfortable paths... but walk in them, follow God and someday you will walk the yellow brick road in heaven... straight to God's kingdom. There will be no more fear, no more tears, no more pain... we will see what we can only imagine now.

...And my family doesn't like Wizard of Oz with all its hidden gems... go figure!! (yeah, I sometimes stretch things a bit. You'll have to bear with me.

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Buns are rising nicely. I am not waiting 60 minutes. This is about 30.

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if they rise too long they fall. So off to the pre-heated oven at 400'F if convection oven. 425'F if regular oven.

about 10 minutes till brown.

Let them cool on racks when done. The wooden rack was made by my father-in-law who has been enjoying the yellow brick road of heaven for just over a year now. I treasure this rack that was built by his hands. He was a very special, and kind man of faith. He is missed.

Best time to be a MOM? When your 20-year old son comes into the house... takes a sniff of the air and asks... "mom, did you make buns? You are the best!" oh yeah.. that happened.

Buns are browned and done! YAHOO! They rose, they baked, they went missing under peanut butter and jam!