In an effort to attract more native wild bees, we made a bee house out of some old bamboo from our yard. Unlike honey bees, native bees are solitary and make their nests in hollow stems, or holes in wood. We tucked the bee condo into a tree near our new butterfly & bee garden (more on this in part 3, butterflies). If a bee makes her nest in here we'll know, as she'll plug the end with mud and leaves.
I really like to include a kitchen project or snack with our camp theme if I can. This week's treat - honey buns, of course. I combined and modified a couple of recipes to create my own and these wholesome buns created quite a buzz around here! Tip: while we waited for the dough to rise, we watched the Bee Movie, pausing it to roll out the dough and spread on the filling, roll it back up, cut it and let it rise again. When the movie was over, the honey buns were ready.
Wholesome Yogurt Honey Buns
1/2 cup warm water
3 tbsp local honey
1 tbsp dry active yeast
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups whole milk vanilla yogurt, room temperature
2 tbsp melted butter
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
In a large bowl or a stand mixer, combine water, honey and yeast, stirring well. Let stand 10 minutes. Combine flours, baking soda, oats and salt in another bowl. Beat half the flour mixture into the yeast slurry, then mix in the yogurt and butter. Add in remaining dry mixture and knead, at medium speed, until dough forms a smooth ball, about 4-5 minutes. Place into an oiled bowl, turn to grease the top. Cover and allow to rise 1 hour.
Meanwhile, make filling: in a bowl, mix the sugar with the cinnamon. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough to a rectangle (about 12 by18 inch). Spread the butter over the dough, leaving a 1-inch border all around. Sprinkle the dough with the cinnamon sugar. Starting at a long side, roll the dough into a log and turn it seam side down. Cut the dough into slices (about 16-18). Arrange the slices on a parchment lined baking sheet. Cover and let stand 45 min., or until the buns about double in volume.
Preheat the oven to 350°. Bake the honey buns for about 15-18 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes. Serve warm, drizzled with honey.