Japanese Milk Pan With Milk Puddings Fillings (日本牛奶面包)

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INTRODUCTION

I do not know the origin of this bread and I only that it was called “milk pan” by the bakery…Using English pronunciation, it shall be pronounced as “pun” as in puncture. ..”Pan” is a Japanese word meaning “bread” and believed to have been borrowed from Portuguese “Pao” ..Therefore essentially, milk pan means milk bread..

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Whenever the family frequented Tampines mall, Singapore, my girl never failed to remind me to buy these buns… While doing some shopping in a hot Sunday afternoon, my girl saw the bakery and requested me to buy again… I rejected her saying there are already lots of snacks at home and we can hardly finished all these snacks.. But my wife concurred with her and bought two, one for my boy and one for my girl…

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At the spot when i rejected her request to buy, both mother daughter teamed up and challenged me to prepare these buns at home…. After pondering a while, I have decided to accept the challenge..

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This is an extremely soft bun with some sweet custard being wrapped.. It is milky flavoured and the custards are sweet and soft… I know it is delicious  bun as I have tasted several times before. When I reached home, I goggled for recipes but not successful… At least none looked like the one being sold.. I have therefore decide to design my recipe and come out with these buns..

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Since Japanese bread recipes like to use milk roux or tangzhong, for this bread recipe, I have also decided to use tangzhong.  Bread with tangzhong are generally able to stay soft for a longer period of time.

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

Servings: 9 medium size buns

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Milk Roux

  • 100 grams of milk
  • 25 grams of bread flour

Bread dough

  • 100 grams of milk
  • 250 bread flour
  • 30 grams of butter , at room temperature
  • 30 grams of milk powder
  • 30 grams of castor sugar
  • 6 grams of instant yeast
  • Pinches of salt

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Milk Puddings

  • 125 ml of milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

 

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  • In a pot, heat 100 ml of milk under medium heat, add the 25 grams of bread flour. Use a whisk to whisk the mixture until smooth and starts to form a sticky dough. Off the heat and let it cooled completely.

  • Once the roux cooled completely, transfer to a mixing bowl of a standing mixer. Add bread flour, milk, sugar, yeast, milk powder and salt.. Use a spoon to slightly stir until it form a sticky dough. Use the dough hook in the machine to beat the dough at medium to low speed (speed 2 in Kenwood Chef or Kitchen Aid) for about 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, put the butter, change from medium to high speed (speed 4 kin Kenwood Chef or Kitchen Aid) for about 7 minutes until the dough is smooth and leaves the side of the mixing bowl. Take a small piece of dough and lightly stretch the dough. If it can form a thin film of dough without breaking, the kneading is considered as adequate.. This is called windowpane test.

  • Transfer the dough out to a lightly flour surface. Shape round and let it proof for about double in size. Cover with a clingy wrap or wet towel during proofing.

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  • While the dough is proofing, in a microwaveable bowl, put sugar, egg and milk. Stir until well mixed. Microwave for 2 minutes or until the puddings have set. Set aside for later use.  Alternatively, heat the milk mixture over a stove under low heat until custard starts to form.

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  • When the dough double in size, divide into about 9 equal pieces. Take a piece, shape round, flatten it, put a tablespoon of the milk puddings on the centre, seal the edges and transfer to a baking cups with the sealing part facing downwards.  Transfer to a cupcake cup and let them proof until 2 to 2.5 times.

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  • Pre-heat the oven to 180 degree Celsius.

  • Once the dough reaches 2 – 2.5 times, bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes or until the desired colour tone.

Note:

  • If your custard is wet, you may want to put the cooked custard over a sift and drained away the water. The drier it is, the easier will be the wrapping. If the liquid touch the sealing part of the dough, it will be very difficult for you the seal the dough. Therefore, make sure the fingers are dry and clean before sealing.

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CONCLUSION

I believed that this adventure was at least 80% successful. The bread is softer than my original recipe though it is still not as soft as those sold in the bakery but the taste and texture  of the custards are very close. Of course there are commercial secrets for bread sold in the bakery that will not be leaked out to others…Haha..

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Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.

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(updated as at 13 March 2015)  here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit the blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE to keep abreast of my future posts. Also follow me at INSTAGRAM or TSU, a new social network for some more personal sharing other than recipes.

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Cheesy Bacon Bread Bites (培根芝士小面包)

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INTRODUCTION

This is a very easy recipe.. Easy to prepare, easy to shape, fast to bake with an awesome texture and taste…Of course taste wise will depend on the types of ingredients you used.

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All these are easy because of its small size… Any shape will do, proofing time is shorter and baking time is even shorter depending on size of your bread..

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I can’t claim this is my original idea and I have obtain the inspiration from the internet. This bake of bite size cheesy buns are rather common especially in Chinese speaking Facebook food groups. ..However, I never read their recipes and unsure what have been used. The common shape is cubical shape..

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This recipe is entirely from my own crazy ideas.. I modified the recipe from the basic bread dough .. Since this is a cheesy bread, most the ingredients I used are diary based.. Cheese never goes wrong with bacon. Since I have some chicken “bacon” at home, I have decided  to pair them up. To enhance the flavour, I have used Italian mixed herb comprising of oregano and etc..

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I am more than happy with this adventure.. The bread is soft and very aromatic …I loved especially the cheesy herbs flavour.  The only disappointment is that I have forgotten to add in pinches of salt.. As such the bread is slightly bland.. Well I have already adjusted in the recipe.. Be it savoury or sweet, this bread is addictive .. It will be a very good snack when you are picnicking, gathering etc..

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

Servings: about 50 bread bites depending on size.

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  • 250 grams of bread flour
  • 100 grams of fresh milk, lukewarm
  • 50 grams of condensed milk
  • 50 grams of cheddar cheese
  • 50 grams of bacon *, cut into small pieces
  • 30 grams of milk powder
  • 20 grams of butter, softened
  • 6 grams of instant yeast
  • 2 grams of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of Italian herbs (optional)
  • 1 egg

* Luncheon meat, bak kwa or sausage bits can also be considered.

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

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  • Add bread flour, milk, condensed milk, salt, eggs and yeast in a standing mixer’s mixing bowl. Use a spoon to slightly stir it until it form a sticky dough. Use the dough hook in the machine to beat the dough at medium to low speed (speed 2 in Kenwood Chef or Kitchen Aid) for about 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, put the butter and cheddar cheese, change from medium to high speed (speed 4 kin Kenwood Chef or Kitchen Aid) for about 7 minutes until the dough is smooth and leaves the side of the mixing bowl. Take a small piece of dough and lightly stretch the dough. If it can form a thin film of dough without breaking, the kneading is considered as adequate.. This is called windowpane test.

  • Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface, add the bacon bits. Use hand to lightly knead the dough until all the bacon bits are well incorporated. Shape round and let it proof until double in size. Cover with a clingy wrap or wet towel. If the dough is too sticky, flour your hand and continue the kneading.

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  • Pre-heat the oven to 160 degree Celsius

  • When the dough double in size, punch the dough and roll the dough evenly into a 1 cm thickness . Use a cookie mould or any other desired mould to mould out the dough and transfer to a lightly greased baking tray. Gather the sides, roll flat and mould until all its done. Let it proof until at least double in size.

  • Bake in the pre-heated oven for 8-10 minutes or until lightly brown. Store in a covered container once the bread bites had completely cooled.

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Note:

  • While kneading the dough, if your dough is too wet, add bread flour tablespoon to tablespoon until it form a pliable dough. If it is too dry, add milk or water teaspoon by teaspoon until it forms a pliable dough. There are many factors that may affect the dough condition, condition of flour, how wet is your puree can significantly affect the amount of liquid required. As such, you have to exercise judgment. A bit more or less is acceptable in bread making. 

  • The timing of the baking is relatively shorter and very much depend on your size. As long as the bottom of the bread is slightly brownish, it is considered as cooked. If you want to brown the top, you may need to monitor until it reach your desired colour tone. Over baking, however will make your tiny bread hard.

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CONCLUSION

This is a simple recipe with many variations. I believed it is suitable for new bakers. With its tiny size, any imperfection will not be obvious. If you want it to be sweet version, just add 2 tablespoons of sugar .. Otherwise, it will a savoury version as in the recipe. Feel free to change the bacon to bak kwa or even sausages..  As for cheese, if you like very strong cheesy flavour which does not suit my taste buds, you can use 2 tablespoons of parmesan cheese powder to substitute the cheddar cheese.. If you do not like oregano, why not change to chopped spring onion or even coriander?

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Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.

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Potatoes Buns (马铃薯餐包)

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INTRODUCTION

How I wish I can scrap off the custard toppings.. It is a total disaster as I have selected the wrong recipe. It is not smooth and hard and I regretted that I should have  used back my trusted bread baking book recipe on the custard toppings .. Well, that was over, though potatoes buns that were sold in the bakery always have some custard being piped on top of the buns but I will not share the recipe on custard toppings.. (Updated post on 27-4-2015: Please scroll down for the new custard topping recipes)

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But this is definitely a bun recipe that I liked. Potatoes, pumpkin or sweet potatoes are very good moister retainers. Any bread or traditional kuih made with these 3 ingredients will be soft for days. It is indeed a very soft bread.

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I first eaten these type of breads in Malaysia. To be very frank, potatoes do not have any flavour. As such, the bread is just like normal buns with enhanced texture.  It is very soft if you kneaded and proofed properly.. It will remain soft at least for 2 days if you store it in a covered container minimizing the lost of moisture vapour.

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This is a small recipe that yields only 9 buns. As such, it is very suitable for a small family of four. If you have bread machine, you can use it to knead the bread as the dough volume is quite small..It is a recipe that I have modified from various recipes of mine.

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

Servings: Prepare 9 buns of about 60 grams each

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  • 250 grams of bread flour
  • 125 grams of mashed potatoes puree
  • 80-100 grams of lukewarm water
  • 50 grams of white castor sugar
  • 30 grams of milk powder (optional)
  • 30 grams of butter
  • 8 grams of instant yeast
  • 1 egg
  • Pinches of salt

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Custard toppings

  • 250 grams of fresh milk
  • 10 grams of butter
  • 50 grams of bread flour
  • 60 grams of castor sugar
  • 1 egg

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

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  • Boil the potatoes until soft. Either use a fork to mash it or transfer the boiled potatoes to a blender, add the about 80 grams of water, blend until as fine as possible . (Note that it is optional to use blender to get the potatoes puree. If your potatoes are very easy to mash, fork mashing will do. As my potatoes is very hard to get cooked, I have resorted to the use of blender to get the puree)

  • Transfer the mashed potatoes or puree to a mixing bowl. Add bread flour, eggs, yeast and sugar. Use a spoon to slightly stir it until it form a sticky dough. Use the dough hook in the machine to beat the dough at medium to low speed (speed 2 in Kenwood Chef or Kitchen Aid) for about 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, put the butter, change from medium to high speed (speed 4 kin Kenwood Chef or Kitchen Aid) for about 7 minutes until the dough is smooth and leaves the side of the mixing bowl.

  • Take a small piece of dough and lightly stretch the dough. If it can form a thin film of dough without breaking, the kneading is considered as adequate.. This is called windowpane test.

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  • Transfer the dough out to a lightly flour surface. Shape round and let it proof for about double in size. Cover with a clingy wrap or wet towel during proofing.

  • After first proofing, punch the dough, lightly knead for 1-2 minutes and divide into 9 pieces of about 60 grams each. Take one dough, shape round  and transfer it to a lightly greased baking tray. Let it proof until double in size and cover with a clingy wrap or wet towel.

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180 degree Celsius.

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  • Put all the ingredients in the pot. Stir until well combined. Cook under medium to low heat until the custard had set. In this process, constant stirring is required and the custard can harden rather quickly.

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  • Egg wash the dough when the buns have double in size, pump the custard on top and bake in the preheated oven of 180 degree Celsius for about 15-20 minutes or until the top have turned golden brown. For egg washing, crack one egg yolk, add one tablespoons of water, sift and brush evenly on the buns surface. (There will be no sharing of the custard topping. The post will be updated if I have found a suitable topping recipe).

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Note:

  • While kneading the dough, if your dough is too wet, add bread flour tablespoon to tablespoon until it form a pliable dough. If it is too dry, add milk or water teaspoon by teaspoon until it forms a pliable dough. There are many factors that may affect the dough condition, condition of flour, how wet is your puree can significantly affect the amount of liquid required. As such, you have to exercise judgment. A bit more or less is acceptable in bread making. 

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CONCLUSION

Not a very difficult recipe but  it yields a soft bun. Remember that if your bun is properly kneaded, proofed and baked, it will give you a soft and fluffy buns. Do remember to store your cooled buns in air tight container to avoid moisture lost.. Homemade buns do not have any additives such as bread improvers and hence cannot be compared with what is sold in the bakery.

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Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.

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Hot Cross Buns (十字餐包)

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INTRODUCTION

 Picture courtesy from: Hot Cross Buns Nursery Rhyme Printable

I have been singing this song to my girl when she just arrived in this world… and this is one of the limited traditional nursery rhymes that I can only sing..However, having sang for 1-2 years, I have never tasted a hot cross bun before and I have never prepared one either.

These buns were usually prepared for Good Friday and for 2005, it is approaching falling on April 3, 2015.. I did not prepare this last year but this year, I have decided to share with reader this recipe found in my favourite cook book.. This cook book never failed me so far and I have full confidence on the recipes provided..

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As this is a traditional bake with long historical significance, I have decided to follow the recipe as much as I can including the special glaze and sugar cross recipe.. The only major difference that I did not follow is the use of currants or raisins, As I do not have the time to buy these, I have used my leftover fruit mix for the buns instead..

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The buns did not disappoint me. They were soft and aromatic and it definitely goes well with a thick slab of butter and a cup of steaming hot coffee..

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As per Wikipedia:

“A hot cross bun is a spiced sweet bun made with currants or raisins and marked with a cross on the top, traditionally eaten on Good Friday in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, the Caribbean, South Africa, India, and Canada, and now available all year round in some places. Hot cross buns may go on sale in Australia as early as New Years Day, or after Christmas.

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English folklore includes many superstitions surrounding hot cross buns. One of them says that buns baked and served on Good Friday will not spoil or grow mouldy during the subsequent year. Another encourages keeping such a bun for medicinal purposes. A piece of it given to someone ill is said to help them recover.Sharing a hot cross bun with another is supposed to ensure friendship throughout the coming year, particularly if “Half for you and half for me, Between us two shall goodwill be” is said at the time, so some say they should only be cooked one at a time. Because there is a cross on the buns, some say they should be kissed before being eaten.If taken on a sea voyage, hot cross buns are said to protect against shipwreck. If hung in the kitchen, they are said to protect against fires and ensure that all breads turn out perfectly. The hanging bun is replaced each year”. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hot_cross_bun)

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

Recipe adopted from: The Essential Baking Cookbook Page 262., Murdoch Books 2000

Servings: 12 hot cross buns of about 50 grams each

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Dough

  • 250 grams of bread flour
  • 150 grams of lukewarm water
  • 100 grams of raisins or currants or mixed fruits
  • 20 grams of butter at room temperature
  • 7 grams of instant yeast
  • 1 tablespoon of white castor sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of mixed spice (or cinnamon plus nutmeg powder)

Paste for crosses

  • 15 grams of plain flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon of white castor sugar
  • 20 grams of plain water

Glaze

  • 1.5 tablespoons of castor sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of plain water
  • 1 teaspoon of gelatine powder

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

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  • In a mixing  bowl, mixed all the ingredients (except butter and currants) together. Use a spoon to slightly stir it until it form a sticky dough. Use the dough hook in the machine to beat the dough at medium to low speed (speed 2 in Kenwood Chef or Kitchen Aid) for about 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, put the butter and currants, change from medium to high speed (speed 4 kin Kenwood Chef or Kitchen Aid) for about 7 minutes until the dough is smooth and leaves the side of the mixing bowl. Transfer the dough out to a lightly flour surface. Shape round and let it proof for about double in size. Cover with a clingy wrap or wet towel during proofing.

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  • After first proofing, punch the dough, lightly knead for 1-2 minutes and divide into 12 pieces of about 50-60 grams each. Take one dough, shape round and transfer it to a lightly greased baking tray. Let it proof until double in size and cover with a clingy wrap or wet towel

  • Pre-heat the oven to 190 degree Celsius.

  • In a bowl, put all the ingredients for pastry crosses. Stir until well mixed. Transfer to a piping bag and set aside.

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  • When the proofing is done, pipe across the pastry on top of the proofed buns.  Baked in the pre-heated oven of 190 degree Celsius for 15-20 minutes or until the top is golden brown.

  • While the bread is baking, mix the ingredients of glaze together, stir until the mixture on top of a pool of hot water until the gelatine and sugar have dissolved. Set aside for cooling. Brush the glaze on top of the buns when the buns are baked.

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CONCLUSION

Not a tough recipe and in fact most traditional recipe are straightforward… Don’t be discouraged by the use of stand mixer, if you have a bread maker, you can use it to knead the dough. If you don’t, you can easily hand knead the dough. It is a small dough, just knead until it is smooth will do. As it is a small bun, any imperfections will not be obvious and the recipe is rather ideal for bread beginners.. Do give it a try and see if it suits you.

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Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.

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Your Stollen is stolen? Quick And Easy Yeast Free Stollen (德国圣诞面包 – 史多伦)

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INTRODUCTION

This is not a stolen bread but a bread name Stollen.. It is a German Christmas cake bread type of sweet bake and usually served during Christmas..

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As per Wikipedia:

“Stollen is a fruit cake containing dried fruit and often marzipan and covered with sugar, powdered sugar or icing sugar. The cake is usually made with chopped candied fruit and/or dried fruit, nuts and spices. Stollen is a traditional German cake, usually eaten during the Christmas season, when it is called Weihnachtsstollen or Christstollen. Stollen is a bread-like fruit cake made with yeast, water and flour, and usually with zest added to the dough. Candied orange peel and candied citrus peel (Zitronat), raisins and almonds, and different spices such as cardamom and cinnamon are added. Other ingredients, such as milk, sugar, butter, salt, rum, eggs, vanilla, other dried fruits and nuts and marzipan may also be added to the dough. Except for the fruit added, the dough is quite low in sugar. The finished cake is sprinkled with icing sugar.” (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stollen)

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I did not intend to have any more Christmas bakes this year but I broke my promise again… While cleaning my kitchen cabinet, I still have some mixed fruits left. As all will know, these mixed fruits are usually used for Christmas bakes, after Christmas, it is unlikely that it will be used for other bakes… I told myself that I must think of a way to get rid of this..

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When I issued my Italian Panettone post, one reader was asking me if I have a recipe of stollen. I told her I don’t and I will include  in my next year’s Christmas recipes lists. However, since I want to get rid of the mix fruits, I have decided to take a bold move and  baked it this morning.

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I have searched high and low for the recipes.. In fact, there are many recipes and most are using yeast leavened method. But when i read the 4th recipe, it immediately caught my attention.. It is yeast free and therefore, it should belong to a quick bread category. It is leavened by baking powder. Further digesting the recipes found that the recipe called for the use of ricotta cheese which I knew that it will definitely yields a moist quick bread. The reviews confirmed my understanding and it score a 4.5 stars out of a 5 stars rating. One reader reviewed:

“I have been baking this wonderful recipe since I first found it in 2009. I thought it was so good, I mailed a piece of the stollen along with the recipe to a family member, and since then, just about every one in my family uses this recipe. My family is German, and we always looked forward to our mother baking stollen during the holidays. Her recipe uses yeast and seemed too difficult for me. This recipe is easy and always delicious! It tastes fine as written, or you can vary the amount of candied fruit or nuts (chopped pecans instead of almonds) I like to eat mine with a little margarine spread on it…..yummy!” (Read more: http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/simple-stollen#ixzz3MF1LDtCl)

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Since this is a quick bread, preparation is extremely fast and easy.. When I baked but somehow I found that my stollen was slightly flat, I opened my oven and intended to make it slightly rounder! LOL…. Oh, that created 2 parallel cracks on the top of the stollen and become rather unsightly. Do not follow me doing this wrong move.. Since my stollen is not beautiful, I thought to shelf the idea of sharing the recipe. I cut two pieces and ate it as my breakfast (I don’t usually eat any of my bakes before photo taking. Ha-ha)…As the house is full of this nice aroma and the after taste linger in my mouth, I took the courage to post to Facebook and share with members..

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For purpose of this illustration, I did not put in any alcohol, instead, I soaked my dried fruits in pineapple juice.. As I do not have any silvered almond at home, I have omitted it as well. I have changed rather substantially from the original recipe because of the cups conversion. If you want, you can refer to the original recipes measured using cups.

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

Recipe Inspired/Adapted from: Simple Stollen Recipe | Taste of Home

Servings: Prepare one medium size stollen

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  • 300 grams of plain flour
  • 200 grams of cream cheese (original recipe used ricotta cheese)
  • 200 grams of mixed fruits (soaked either in rum, brandy or fruit juice)
  • 100 grams of sugar
  • 100 grams of butter
  • 35 grams of silvered almonds (not in picture – I did not used)
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
  • 1.5 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of grated lemon peel (i have omitted)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 egg and 1 yolk

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

  • Pre-heat the oven to 170 degree Celsius and line a baking tray with a piece of baking paper.

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  • Cream the butter, cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, beat until well combined. Add the soaked mixed fruits and silvered almonds. Give it a quick stir until well mixed.

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  • Sift in the plain flour, baking powder and salt. Use a spatula or flat bladed knife to mix until it form a rough dough. Do not over mix as it will yield a chewy stollen and slight lumpy batter is acceptable. Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead about 5 times. If it is too sticky, pat your hand with more flour. Roll dough into about 8 inches x 10 inches and fold one side to the other side leaving about 1 inch from the edge. Bake in the pre-heat oven of 170 degree Celsius for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown or a skewer inserted to the thickest part comes out clean. The timing of baking is for your reference, it will depend on how thick is the dough of stollen. Dust sparingly with icing sugar on top of the bread.

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CONCLUSION

Pardon me for my ugly stollen but rest be assured that this quick and easy recipe that yields a moist and fragrant stollen. For me, It is definitely a keeper. For more Christmas recipes, you can refer to this compilation: Christmas 2014 Special Compilation (2014 圣诞节特别汇编)

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Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.

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I Failed To Do Proper Make Up For My Santa–Santa Bread (圣诞老人面包)

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INTRODUCTION

I said before that my Christmas 2014 series has came to an end 2 weeks ago… After seeing Facebook members preparing Christmas bakes, I cannot help but to lay my hand on making this Santa Bread…

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I decided to bake this cute bread also because I have plenty of free times since my kids was on holiday. I have more time to prepare bakes that need full concentration and more laborious recipes..

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Hmmm, I am not going to eat the bread… Hold on.. Not the bread is not edible, it is because I want to sun dry it and show it to my kids when they are back from Holidays after Christmas.. This is not a recipe sharing but a shaping sharing. It will definitely be a centrepiece on your Christmas table .. Again, the bread is edible if you are using an edible recipes.

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

  • About 350 grams of bread dough (Please refer to this post: Basic Bread Dough Recipe )
  • Some red colouring gel.
  • 1 egg yolk for egg glazing (mix one tablespoon of water with one egg yolk, sift before application)
  • 2 currants or black raisins

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

  • For edible bread dough please refer Basic Bread Dough Recipe . The shaping shall be done after the first proofing of double in size.

  • For non edible bread dough, mixed 250 grams of plain flour, 1 teaspoon of yeast and 120 grams of lukewarm water. Knead until it form a pliable dough. Let it rest for 10 minutes before shaping.

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180 degree Celsius.

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  • Divide the dough into 4 portions. Portion 1 for face, portion 2 for beard, portion 3 for hat and portion 4 for all the other smaller items such as nose, hat collar, moustache,  etc.. Additional left over dough will be used for the shaping of moustache.

  • Take one dough, shape round, and roll it thin in the shape of a face.

  • Take the second portion, roll it like a semi circle, use a knife or scissor to cut into 1 cm broad strips resembling the beard. Do not cut too near the straight edges and stop the cutting at about 1cm from the edge. Slightly twist it to make curly beard. Attach the beard portion to the chin of the face.

  • Take the 3rd portion, leave about 20%, use the remaining 80% of the dough to make it into triangular shape. Attached to the head. Use the remaining 20% of the 3rd portion to make a collar for the hat. Slightly fold the top of the hat towards the hat collar.

  • For the fourth portion, pinch a small dough, shape round and attached to the tip of the hat. Pinch another slightly bigger dough, shape round and make the nose. Pinch another 2 small dough, roll like shape of leaves to make the moustaches. For all the remaining dough, if any, make it into thin strips, slightly twisted and attached to the beard portion.

  • Use a small scissors to cut two small cavities for the eyes. Put 2 dark currants or raisins as eyes.

  • Use a brush to brush some some red colouring gel on the hat.. Dilute the gel with a bit of water and brush on the nose and cheeks resembling rosy cheeks.

  • Egg wash the bread thoroughly before baking in the pre-heated oven of 180  degree Celsius for 15-20 minutes depending on the thickness of the bread. If it brown too soon, off the the top heat of the oven..

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CONCLUSION

It is fun and a self achievement to prepare this bread for me to share with readers. I do hope readers can try preparing this too..

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Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.

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  • For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX (updated as at 26 November 2014)  here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit the blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE to keep abreast of my future posts.  

 

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Individual Panettone (意大利圣诞面包)

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INTRODUCTION

Panettone will be my last recipe for Christmas 2014.. This is an Italian famous bread which had become a  common imported Christmas item in high end Singapore and Malaysia supermarkets

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Per Wikipedia:

“Panettone (pronounced /ˌpænəˈtni/, Italian: [panetˈtoːne]) is a type of sweet bread loaf originally from Milan (in Milanese dialect it is called paneton /paneˈtuŋ/),[1] usually prepared and enjoyed for Christmas and New Year in Italy,south eastern France, Spain, Portugal, Brazil, Peru, Malta, Germany and Switzerland, and is one of the symbols of the city of Milan. In recent years it has become a popular addition to the Christmas table in the United Kingdom. In South America, especially in Peru, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, Venezuela, Colombia, Bolivia, and Chile, it is a Christmas dinner staple and in some places replaces roscón de reyes/bolo rei (King cake).

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It has a cupola shape, which extends from a cylindrical base and is usually about 12–15 cm high for a panettone weighing 1 kg. Other bases may be used, such as an octagon, or a frustum with star section shape more common topandoro. It is made during a long process that involves the curing of the dough, which is acidic, similar to sourdough. The proofing process alone takes several days, giving the cake its distinctive fluffy characteristics. It contains candied orange, citron, and lemon zest, as well as raisins, which are added dry and not soaked. Many other variations are available such as plain or with chocolate. It is served in slices, vertically cut, accompanied with sweet hot beverages or a sweet wine, such as Asti or Moscato d’Asti.  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panettone)”

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Looking at the definitions of Panettone above, one will know that traditional Panettone will requires long hours or even days of proofing. It is a huge but tasty and rich bread.. In fact, it is rather difficult to prepare the traditional or commercial version of Panettone if we do not have a special big mould designed for the preparation of big Panettone.

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Don’t worry, this recipe is the individual Panettone recipe that is easy and fast and requires no special baking equipment. It is about 12 cm tall and the taste and texture are equally awesome. For such a size, it is just nice for a small family of 3-4 and not to mention it can be prepared at a fraction of cost as compared to store purchased…The only think that you might need is to search for some tall muffin cups and I get mine rather easily in Singapore bakery. If you are not concerned about the height, feel free to use the normal muffin cups in the preparation.

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Remember that if you can’t finished the Panettone, keep it until Christmas is over, use these stale Panettone to make some delicious bread puddings. It is an excellent choice for bread puddings because the bread in itself is already tasty and aromatic..

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

Recipe adapted from: Individual Panettone,The Essential Baking Cookbook Page 266., Murdoch Books 2000

Servings: About 4 twelve cm tall Panettones

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  • 250 grams of bread flour
  • 125 grams of mixed fruit (can be substituted with equal quantities of dried apricots, currants and sultanas)
  • 90 grams or ml of lukewarm milk
  • 90 grams of butter – softened
  • 60 grams or ml of Marsala wine or other fruity wine such as rum, red cherry etc.
  • 60 grams of castor sugar
  • 7g of instant dried yeast
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
  • 1/2 teaspoon of aniseed or mixed spice

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

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  • In a bowl, put the mixed fruits and Marsala (or other fruit based wine) together. Let it soak for at least 1 hour.

  • In another bowl, put the yeast, one teaspoon of sugar and milk. Stir until well mixed, leave it in a warm place until the mixture is frothy and slightly increase in volume.

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  • Cream the butter and the remaining sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg one by one and beat until well mixed. In another mixer bowl, put the bread flour and mixed spice, make a well in the centre.

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  • Add in the yeast solution, the butter batter, the soaked mixed fruits and mix with a flat bladed knife until it forms a soft sticky dough. Cover with some clingy wrap and let it proved until the dough have double in size. As this is a very rich dough loaded with eggs and butter, the proofing time can be rather long (about 1.5 hours) and it also depends on the day’s temperature. In colder countries, you may want to proof the dough in the oven at 35 degree Celsius with a bowl of plain water)

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  • After the dough have doubled in size, transfer to a lightly floured surface, knead a few minutes until it is not sticky. If it is still very sticky, add spoon gradually (one tablespoon by tablespoon) until it did not stick to your hand. Divide into 4 portions and transfer to the 10 cm tall muffin cups for second proofing.

  • Pre-heat the oven to 200 degree Celsius. Once the dough have double in size or reach about 90% of muffin cup’s height, bake in the pre-heated oven for 30-35 minutes or when a skewer inserts into the centre of the bread comes out clean. Can be served warm or cold if preferred.

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CONCLUSION

Christmas is a joyous seasons where there are lots of delicious food available for choices. You may not be able to finish this bread during the dinner. You can always keep it and prepare bread puddings few days later… This is one of the simplest and fastest recipe.. Why pay more where you can easily prepared at home?

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Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.

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  • For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX (updated as at 20 November 2014)  here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit the blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE to keep abreast of my future posts.  

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Double Chocolate Banana Quick Bread (巧克力香蕉快速面包)

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INTRODUCTION

Though the name of this recipe is a quick bread, it is more of a simple mix and bake type of cake…. It is quick because of its simple preparation..Mixing of dry and wet ingredients..If you want to read more about quick bread, you can refer to this post: A Healthier Alternative Than Cake – Passion Fruit Quick Bread

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I have never bake anything with chocolate and banana combo… But apparently it is very popular among members of Facebook Groups.  I am also rather curious about the taste of this combo..

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When I typed the chocolate and banana in the search engine, there are lots of recipes for this combo and I have choose one that is sinfully enough.. Double chocolate banana quick bread recipe…

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I cut a piece and gave the rest to my relative… Not that I do not like the quick bread but I have intention to prepare it as a gift… It is a very moist cake as both banana and chocolate are moisture retainer.. The small pieces of nuts give the entire piece of quick bread something to chew… The quick bread have both strong aroma of chocolate and banana..

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

Recipe adapted from: double chocolate banana bread | smitten kitchen

Servings: A loaf of 9” x 4” x 3” cake

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  • 200 grams (about 3-4 medium or 2 large over-ripe bananas), mashed
  • 120 grams of butter, melted
  • 120 grams of brown sugar or castor sugar (brown sugar preferred)
  • 150 grams of self raising flour
  • 120 grams of semi-sweet chocolate
  • 60 grams of cocoa powder
  • 50 grams of nuts of choice (optional and can be pumpkin seeds or walnuts)
  • 2 eggs
  • 30 grams of milk (optional only if batter too thick)
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

  • Pre-heat the oven to 165 degree Celsius. and lightly greased a 9”x4”x4” pull man tin or baking tin of your choice.

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  • Melt the butter in a microwave for about 1 minute and the chocolate for 30 seconds. Stir until well mixed. You can also heat the butter and chocolate over the stove under low heat until both melt.  Mash the banana, add egg, the butter and chocolate mixture, stir until well combined. Add sugar, nuts and sift in the baking soda and self raising flour. Use a spatula to fold until well combined. Transfer the batter to the greased baking tin and bake in the pre-heated oven of 165 degree Celsius for about 45minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Cool completely before cut for serving.

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CONCLUSION

Do give it a try. An easy peasy recipe with great taste.. It is a piece of moist and aromatic quick bread.

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Hope you like the post today..Cheers and have a nice day..

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  • For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX (updated as at 15 October 2014)  here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit the blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE to keep abreast of my future posts.  

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Homemade Flour Tortilla (墨西哥面粉烙饼)

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INTRODUCTION

Even though my flour tortilla is not as beautiful as what is sold in stores, but I am extremely happy with this adventure..

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I swore that this is not on my list to blog…It is rather unprecedented… I thought of preparing some simple tortilla wraps for my family but I have everything except tortilla….

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I am lazy and do not have time to drive all the way to the supermarket and get a pack of flour tortilla… I have therefore decided to goggle for a recipe of flour tortilla … I am rather unsure if it is possible to homemade and whether it is difficult to prepare.. If it is difficult, I will shelf the idea of serving them tortilla wraps…

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I goggled and found many recipes on flour tortillas… almost all recipe are the same.. Ingredients are as simple as ABC… just flour, water and some oil.. No hard kneading required, just knead until it form a pliable dough.. No long waiting time or baking time required, immediate after they are  prepared, they are pan fried and the tortillas are ready..

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For the first piece of the tortilla, I am doubtful as to whether I am successful in the preparation… It is rather dry  and some did not have any “bubbles” or air cavity between the tortilla.. By the end of the preparation, most have huge bubbles or air cavity in between and when cooled, they were really soft..

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I am happy because the preparation is so easy and the output is more than satisfactory… I then proceed to prepare the wraps and for the recipe of crispy fried chicken and the wraps recipe, you will have to refer to this post : Another Copycat? – Mexicana Wrap With Fried Chicken

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Per Wikipedia:

“A tortilla /tɔrtˈiə/ (or flour tortilla to differentiate it from other uses of the word “tortilla”) is a type of soft, thin flatbread made from finely ground wheat flour. Originally derived from the corn tortilla (tortilla in Spanish means “small torta“, or “small cake”), a bread of maize which predates the arrival of Europeans to the Americas, the wheat flour tortilla was an innovation after wheat was brought to the New World from Spain while this region was the colony of New Spain. It is made with an unleavened, water based dough, pressed and cooked like corn tortillas. Flour tortillas are commonly prepared with meat, mashed potatoes, cheese and other ingredients to make dishes such as tacos, quesadillas and burritos (a dish originating in northern Mexico). In appearance and use tortillas are rather similar to the South Asian chapati. Tortillas are also very similar to the unleavened bread popular in Arab, eastern Mediterranean and southern Asian countries, though thinner and smaller in diameter. “

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

Servings: Prepare about 8 flour tortillas

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  • 250 grams (2 cups) of plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons of cooking oil
  • 180 grams or ml (3/4 cup) of water
  • Pinches of salt

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

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  • Put all the ingredients in a mixing bowl of a standing mixer, knead the dough until it form a pliable dough and do not stick to the size of the mixing bowl. If you do not have a mixer, you can knead using hand until the flour did not stick to your hand.

  • Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. Knead for another 1-2 minutes and if you have time, let it rest for 10 minutes before dividing the dough into 8 equal portions.

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  • Take a dough ball and use a rolling pin to roll it as flat and as large as possible  (in this illustration was about 15 cm in diameter).

  • Heat up a non stick pan (or a lightly greased normal pan) under medium to high heat. Place the rolled dough on top of the pan and pan fried the first side for about 1 minute or until the tortilla have dried up and have some brown spots of burnt. Turn to cook the other side for another 1 minute. You will witness bubbles in between the dough start to puff up. After one minute, dish out the tortilla and store in an air tight container if it is not consume immediately.

CONCLUSION

This is a simple recipe and comes handy when you need to use it… Remember that if you want the recipe for the spicy chicken wraps, you can refer to Another Copycat? – Mexicana Wrap With Fried Chicken and you can also use this tortilla to prepare a snack called tortilla cups. The recipe for tortilla cups are here ; Need To Go To A Party? Try Preparing This Party Snack : Bacon/Tuna Tortilla Cups

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Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.

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  • For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX (updated as at 8 June 2014)  here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit the blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE to keep abreast of my future posts.  

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4 Strands Braided Jewish Bread–Challah (犹太辫子面包)

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INTRODUCTION

I was surprised with the texture of this bread..It was a very soft bread… On that morning I prepared the bread, for lunch, I used it to prepare some sandwiches for the kids..

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On the next morning, I used it to prepare some French toast as the breakfast….. Family members loved this bread..

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This is a famous bread with rather basic bread making techniques. It is a bread of Jewish influence and obviously have some religious significance in Judaism..

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Per Wikipedia:

“Challah (plural: challot/challos) (Hebrew: חלה‎) is a special Jewish braided bread eaten on Sabbath and holidays. According to Jewish tradition, the three Sabbath meals (Friday night, Saturday lunch, and Saturday late afternoon) and two holiday meals (one at night and lunch the following day) each begin with two complete loaves of bread. This “double loaf” (in Hebrew: lechem mishneh) commemorates the manna that fell from the heavens when the Israelites wandered in the desert for forty years after the Exodus from Egypt according to Jewish religious belief. The manna did not fall on Sabbath or holidays; instead, a double portion would fall the day before the holiday or Sabbath.

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Traditional challah recipes use numerous eggs, fine white flour, water, sugar, yeast, and salt. Modern recipes may use fewer eggs (there are also eggless versions) and may replace white flour with whole wheat, oat, or spelt flour. Sometimes honey or molasses is substituted as a sweetener. The dough is rolled into rope-shaped pieces which are braided and brushed with an egg wash before baking to add a golden sheen. Sometimes raisins are added. Some bakers like to sprinkle sesame or poppy seeds on top for flavour. Challah is usually parve (containing neither dairy nor meat, important in the laws of Kashrut), unlike brioche and other enriched European breads, which contain butter or milk.”

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Unlike other European enriched bread like French brioche, the bread is dairy free .. no butter or milk .. So the bread is enriched with eggs and sweetened by molasses or honey.. It was usually braided by using 3,4,5 or 6 strands of bread dough and in this illustration, 4 strands were used.

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

Recipe adapted from: Classic Challah: King Arthur Flour

Servings: Prepared 2 Challah of about 12” long

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  • 485 grams ( about 4 cups) of all purpose flour or plain flour
  • 115 grams (about 1/2 cup) of lukewarm water
  • 85 grams (about 1/4 cup) of honey
  • 75 grams (about 6 tablespoons) of vegetable oil
  • 9 grams (about 1 tablespoon) of instant yeast
  • 8 grams (about 1 1/2 teaspoons) of salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • Some sesame seeds for sprinkling (optional)

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

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  • In a mixing  bowl, mixed all the ingredients  together. Use a spoon to slightly stir it until it form a sticky dough. Use the dough hook in the machine to beat the dough at medium to low speed (speed 2 in Kenwood Chef or Kitchen Aid) for about 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, change from medium to high speed (speed 4 kin Kenwood Chef or Kitchen Aid) for about 7 minutes until the dough is smooth and leaves the side of the mixing bowl. Transfer the dough out to a lightly floured surface. Lightly knead, shape into a ball and let it proof until at least double in size. Cover the dough with a wet towel or clingy wrap in the process of proofing.

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  • Divide the dough equally. Take one dough, flatten it to about 10“ x 4” rectangular shape. Use a knife to cut it into 4 equal strands. Pinch the end of one bread dough and start pleating like as shown in the picture. For more detail pleating procedures, please refer to here: How to braid challah4 strand method. – Instructables. Once done, let it proof until double in size.

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180 degree Celsius.

  • Egg washing (one egg yolk with one tablespoon of water, stir until well mix) the proofed dough thoroughly and sprinkle with sesame seeds if desired. Bake in the pre-heated oven of 180 degree Celsius for about 30 –45 minutes or until your desired colour tone. The time of baking will depend very much on the size and height of your bread dough. Timing is an estimation and you have to keep an eye after 20 minutes or when the aroma of bread starts to permeates the house.

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CONCLUSION

Trust me, this is a soft and aromatic bread because of its enriched contents.. Do give it a try and see if it suits your taste bud.

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Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.

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  • For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX (updated as at 15 October 2014)  here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit the blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE to keep abreast of my future posts.  

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