Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Plaited Loaf



After seeing Happy Homebaker's very inviting and interesting pretty marble bread, I decided to give my very first try on plaited loaf. Afterall, I had all the ingredients on hand.

It was quite easy to manage the doughs after the first fermentation except the plain dough which was quite sticky (strange!) Well, I just lightly floured the sticky dough each time I rolled it and thereafter the dough wasn't that sticky.

Since it was my very first time to plait a dough, I was rather excited. Luckily, all went well though I think my plaiting was not very neat. I tucked both ends of the dough and put it in my pullman's tin. Just then, I remembered I forgot to pinch and seal the dough tightly..... oops! How? Forget it! I don't have the heart to take it out and "disfigure" my dough! I cover the lid and let it proof for 60 minutes or until the dough reach 90% of the height of the tin.

I don't encounter the plain dough tearing apart as what Happy Homebaker said. But about 30 minutes into 2nd proofing, I open the lid and noticed the centre part of the dough rises way ahead of the sides. Afraid that the sides may not rise as high as the centre, I stick to the 60 minutes proofing. Once the proofing was over, I quickly sent for baking, praying hard that I don't get a weird mountain range after baking.

No matter how well-greased the lid, I find that my bread always stick to the lid. This was what happened to my otherwise perfect loaf!


I was pleasantly surprised that the dough raised so well! Truly amazing a plaited loaf put into a tin can come out as a perfect square! Wow!

This is a bottom-up shot.

I always have problem unmolding the sides! See the ugly side! :(



Overall this loaf is not bad: soft and light, very appealing to young kids :)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Braised Pork Ribs


This was one of our dish for dinner. I marinaded the pork ribs overnight.

Recipe as follows:
Ingredients:
500g spare ribs (chopped into 4" length)
1 tbs minced garlic
1 litre (1000ml) water

Marinade:
1 tbsp chilli sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1/2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp chinese cooking wine

For garnishing:
Some lettuce leaves


Method:

1. Rinse ribs. Leave them in a big bowl, coat with marinade and garlic for 30 minutes or more.

2. Heat a wok or pot and cook the marinade porks for 10 minutes. Add in water and cover contents. Turn to medium heat and cook till sauce has thickened to a dense consistency. Turn off the heat.

3. Dish up the cooked ribs onto a plate lined with lettuce leaves. Serve.


Enjoy!
Recipe source: Y3K Recipes issue # 38

Milk Loaf




Notice the creamy colour bread? That's because I used the "Gold Medal Harvest King" bread flour. Managed to get a pack from one of the ntuc by luck! And it was the one and only one pack left on the shelf! So, grab and go! Tried other ntuc outlets sometimes later, but couldn't locate any. By the way, if you are buying, please note the expiry date. Notice one pack "All-purpose" flour with expiry date dated Jan 08 at one of the outlet!!!!!!

This is one of the good loaf you should try: no egg, less butter and less sugar (45g). It is equally good as compared to my breakfast toast. Recipe from here.

Made this on Monday and it remained soft and moist till today. Another good milk toast to add to my list of bread loaves! :)

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Fried Chinese Buns 生煎包



Two days ago, I attempted a 生煎包 from here.

Unlike our usual steamed buns, these are fried in a wok which result in a soft top and crispy bottom. (My husband's favourite). However, if you do not have a good non-stick wok, my advice is don't attempt! This was a real test for my anodized non-stick wok. The result: my buns were all stucked in the wok! I'd difficulty in removing the buns . After drizzling some oil to the sides of the wok and much wrestling with my metal turner/spatula, I managed to remove all the buns without tearing and destroying the bottom! Gosh!

Conclusions:


1. For cabbage: do not add salt to remove the water content otherwise your cabbage will be soft and tasteless.

2. For fillings: quite bland, cabbage not sweet. Add more salt or other seasoning to add more flavour. (Puzzling why the original blogger said it was good? Cabbage where got crunch after sweating out the water content??)

3. Texture of the bun is not bad. Hmm.... make me thinking of steaming them up instead of frying.

4. Plaiting: My plaiting sucks! Can't see the plaits! Needs plenty of practice.

Chilled Vitagen Yogurt Cake



This is my first time making a cake for my sister. Recipe was taken from a "sleeping" blog over here,

To share an 8"cake with ten over peoples is way too miserable for them. So I made two quantities. One using an 8" loose bottom pan and the other using an 8" cake pan lined with foil. The latter's appearance didn't look nice after tearing off the side. As I have no confident to decorate the cake, I simply serve without any decoration.

Anyway, the cakes were very well-received by my sisters, brothers, nephews, niece and my two little sons. Most of them asked for second serving! :) My 2nd sister requested me to make some more next time! :))

Monday, April 7, 2008

My breakfast Toast







The original blogger commented that the bread will stay moist up to 4 days at room temperature. Wow! 4 days and still moist! Must try out! So decided to make this toast yesterday. A bit puzzle: the cover was greased and the bread still stick to it! :(

Another reason to try this is because it uses less butter and eggless!

Original recipe from here. You may adjust your quantity as you wish. The following is the quantity I used for my pullman's tin:


Ingredients A:
Bread flour 300g
Salt 4.5g
Milk powder 15g
Castor sugar 54g

Ingredients B:
Water 180g (you may use fresh milk, or even unsweetened soya milk, if you like)
Instant yeast 4.5g
Ingredient C:
unsalted butter 24g


Method: (I use my own method)

1. Combine ingredients A &B into a mixer to form a dough. Add ingredient C till smooth and elastic.

2. Remove dough. Shape into round and leave it in a big bowl cover with a piece of damp cloth/clingwrap. Leave to proof in a warm place for 60 to 90 minutes till double in size. (Temperature: 28 deg C ,humidity: 75%)

3. Once double in size, punch out the air. Divide into 3 portions. Shape into balls. Rest the dough for 15 minutes before shaping.

4. Flatten each piece and roll up tightly into a swiss roll style. Place the rolls into a greased tin. Cover with clingwrap/damp cloth and let it proof for 50 minutes in a warm place till it reach 90% of the tin (temperature: 38 deg C, humidity: 85%) {Mine took 1 hour 20 minutes}

5. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 deg C for 40 minutes.

6. Remove the bread from the tin. Cool well on a wire rack before slicing.


Guess what, this bread is still moist and quite soft at this hour (11:15 pm)! :D

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Hokkaido Milk Loaf





Ever since I bought a pack of non-diary whipped cream, I'm trying to use it fast before it past its expiry date. But what other ways to use it besides for frosting? Since I failed my sponge cake sometimes ago, I couldn't think of other ways to use it... :(

The famous "Hokkaido Milk Loaf" is one of my favourite bread. The texture of this bread is really soft.... However, I do not quite like the strong milky taste.

Now, with my experiment, I am pleased that from now on I can use this cream (non-diary cream) to make the famous Hokkaido milk loaf (minus the strong milky taste).

Although this loaf is not appealling in look, you'll be surprised that it's equally soft and cottony, and the best thing is it's very tasty! Much better than the original version, in my opinion. Be very careful when you slice the bread, it's soft as cotton!



Original recipe is from Angie's Recipes. I scaled down to half and scale up 1.5 times. This time I used a loaf pan (that's why scale up 1.5 times, otherwise half recipe is too small for loaf pan). It was a breeze to remove the loaf. For your info, this dough is rather sticky initially. You've to knead for 30 mins (I gave another 2 mins) to achieve the smoothness and elasticity finally.

Next round, I'll adjust the quantity to achieve a better appearance.

Verdict: Very nice, soft, and tasty too!

Seems like this cream is not very healthy too..... contain hydrogenation...... just like our favourite "Skippy Peanut Butter" spread! Sigh! :(