AD – This post is in collaboration with Arachne Press for Zed and the Cormorants by Clare Owen.
Have you ever read a book and instantly wanted to run off and travel to where it was set? Or recreate a tasty treat that was briefly mentioned, and you were curious to try it for yourself?
That was me when I read Clare Owen’s Zed and the Cormorants and since travelling to Cornwall is currently impossible, I decided to settle and attempt to create one of the many treats mentioned; Cornish Saffron Buns.
Zed’s Cornish Saffron Buns
In Zed and the Cormorants, Zed’s family moves to Cornwall in hopes of a better life. For her Dad, that means starting up a bakery, so there are so many baked goods featured throughout.
Initially, I had wanted to create Zed’s birthday cake that was a rich sliced apple cake and described as: “it was warm and gooey, more like soft bread with apples and almonds on the top. Zed waited patiently, and a little nervously as Cordelia spooned a big dollop of curd on the side (fortunately not the top!), and then she plunged her spoon into the sticky mess…it was delicious.”
Sounds lovely, doesn’t it? I was practically on the way to buy the apples and almonds when my Mum reminded me of my Granddad’s allergy to apples, and since he forgets he is allergic to nuts at the best of times, it would be best not to tempt him unless we wanted a trip to A&E. Something that has actually happened a fair few times already.
So, we took a vote and decided that the bookish bake I’d make to celebrate the release of Zed and the Cormorants would be Cornish Saffron Buns.
Baking Zed’s Cornish Saffron Buns
Since I’ve never made Cornish Saffron Buns before, I decided to use a recipe online for my first attempt as I had limited ingredients and had never worked with saffron before. I used the recipe from Sainsbury’s Magazine that you can find here. I found the entire recipe quite straight forward and loved how the saffron was able to really enhance and bring the dough to life.
With this bake, I think I timed it perfectly as it was on one of the warmest afternoons we’ve had in the North so far this year. This meant every time I had to give the dough time to prove that I could place it in the sun while reading Zed and the Cormorants. Admittedly, I did get so engrossed that the dough was given a bit longer to rise than it should have but I think it worked out.
Zed and the Cormorants by Clare Owen
As well as featuring a range of deliciously sounding baked goods, Zed and the Cormorants is much more than a book about bread and buns. It’s a coming-of-age tale wrapped in a mystery, family relationships, mental health, friends and realising who you are.
I read this book in two sittings. After reading the first half on a warm Sunday afternoon and the second half, I began to bake and prove the Cornish Buns. After reading the blurb, I was pleasantly surprised as Zed and the Cormorants was not what I had expected or envisioned at all! Instead, I was met by an intriguing narrative that had such mystery behind it and was an element that meant I couldn’t put the book down. Moreover, it was thrilling to attempt to work out the mystery yourself just as Zed was.
Will you be picking up Zed and the Cormorants? Or will you be trying some Zed-inspired Cornish Saffron Buns?
Have you checked out my other Bookish Bakes?