Thursday, October 30, 2014

MTR #3 - Pumpkin / Butternut Squash Loaf (Bread Machine)

I have baked 4 orange coloured loaf breads in my bread machine in the past 1 week and I have published my successful orange sweet potato loaf yesterday so here is another successful pumpkin (or rather butternut squash) BM loaf which I baked in my bread machine on 28 Oct (Tues). Do you like the colour and texture of my butternut squash loaf? I love it very much!


I joked with my son that this bread could do yoga, see how soft and flexible it was? 


It actually took me 2 attempts to get this right, even though I already have a working recipe based on the sweet potato loaf. Why? Reason being pumpkin (or butternut squash for that matter), has more moisture than sweet potato, hence it is more difficult to estimate how much more liquid should be added. My first attempt of the butternut squash loaf was on 27 Oct (Mon). Although I was already very careful in adding the milk during kneading and it appeared perfect half way through, the final dough became very sticky and fluid after 50 min of kneading. Hence for my 2nd attempt, I decided to cut down on the amount of milk, and I finally got it right. Yippee!!! 


So again, I am showing you the step-by-step fotos taken along the way since this pumpkin loaf was more challenging than the sweet potato loaf. This will be an exception rather than the norm. Pls do not expect such level of details in my future postings. :)







I did not manage to take a foto of the dough just before the "punch-down" by the BM. It happened so fast that I couldn't react in time. But here is a foto of the dough taken during my 1st attempt. It will give you an idea of what the dough is NOT supposed to be, as this dough pictured above was simply too wet and as a result the bread did not rise very high. The dough for my 2nd attempt was less sticky than the one pictured above. After punch-down by the BM (a few seconds of quick mixing), the dough would turn from a flat sticky dough to a more manageable, pliable ball of dough as pictured below.




I was very happy and very satisfied with the results of my 2nd attempt of this butternut squash loaf so I am sharing with you this recipe which I created through 2 rounds of testing. If you wish to use this recipe on your blog or FB, kindly link back to this post.

Ingredients
425g bread flour (I added 1 tbsp extra)
1 tsp salt (6 g) 
2.5 tsp instant yeast (7.5g) 
50g sugar
60g whipping cream 
55g fresh milk 
180g pumpkin/butternut squash, steamed and mashed with fork 
1 egg (60g), at room temp
50g unsalted butter, softened, cut into cubes

(Note that the instructions are pretty BM-specific, I do not usually write this way. I would suggest that you check out other breads in my blog if you are looking for oven-baked bread recipes.)

Method in BM
1. 1st add wet ingredients, then add dry ingredients. Add salt and sugar at different corners, dig a hole in the middle and add in the yeast. Add the butter only after a rough dough is formed. Note that you should not add the milk all at one go, add about 30g milk and add the remaining as you go along.

2. Use "Dough" mode 20 min and press stop, then press "Sweet" mode (light crust, 1000g), the whole process of "Sweet mode" will take 2h 55 min. Total kneading time for the dough will be 50 min, of which 20 min is from dough mode and 30 min is from sweet mode. The dough must be kneaded until it can be pulled into a thin stretchable membrane. (Pls note that the method stated above applies only for my Primo BM, pls do not ask me to advise for other BMs.)

Method in Oven
1. Use BM or stand-mixer to knead until thin stretchable membrane
2. Cover and proof for 60 min in a warm place or until doubled in volume. (1st proofing)
3. Punch down to release gas, then rest for 10 min covered.
4. Cover and proof for 60 min in a warm place or until doubled in volume (2nd proofing).
5. Place the dough rolled up as swiss roll in 2 greased 450g pullman tins, apply egg wash on top and bake in preheated oven at 180C for about 30 min.



2nd attempt on the left (taller loaf) and 1st attempt on the right (shorter loaf).

2nd attempt on the left (taller loaf) and 1st attempt on the right (shorter loaf) .



Also  linking this to Little Thumbs Up (Oct 2014 Event: PUMPKIN) organised by Zoe (Bake for Happy Kids) and Mui Mui (My Little Favourite DIY) and hosted by Eileen (Eileen's Diary).

And last but not least, also linked to YeastSpotting.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

MTR #3 - Orange Sweet Potato Loaf (Bread Machine)


I have been baking orange-coloured breads 4 days in a week, that is considered quite a feat considering I hardly ever repeat a bread more than once. On 23 Oct (Thurs), I baked this orange sweet potato bread in my Primo bread machine, it was my first attempt and it rose so high that I nearly got a heart attack watching it rise through the window of my BM! This foto above was taken when there was still 15 min left. I decided to err on the safe side, and I quickly transferred the bread tin to the oven to continue baking at 180C so as to brown the top. 


In the end, the top crust became wrinkly due to exposure to cold air. Neverthless I was very happy with the results. I have achieved a very soft and fluffy high-hydration sweet potato loaf using the straight dough method, without the use of any dough starters. Can you see how soft it was? 


Crumb shot of my 1st attempt of Sweet Potato BM Loaf. 


3 days later on 26 Oct (Sun), I decided to do a 2nd attempt of my Orange Sweet Potato BM Loaf after doing some fine-tuning on the recipe. This time round, I decided to reduce the amount of yeast from to 2.5 tsp so that the loaf do not rise too high and I could bake it in the BM from start to end. Thanks to my meticulous calculation, I managed to get another tall and fluffy loaf without hitting the top of my BM! Here I am showing you the step-by-step pictures of what happened in my BM. (It is an exception rather than a norm, as I usually do not take step-by-step pictures. )










So are you tempted to try this sweet potato bread? If you are, here is my recipe created through 2 rounds of testing. If you wish to use this recipe in your blog or FB, kindly link back to this post.

Ingredients
425g bread flour 
1 tsp salt (6 g) 
2.5 tsp instant yeast (7.5g) 
50g sugar
60g whipping cream 
75g fresh milk 
190g sweet potato, steamed and mashed with fork 
1 egg (60g), at room temp
60g unsalted butter, softened, cut into cubes

(Note that the instructions are pretty BM-specific, I do not usually write this way. I would suggest that you check out other breads in my blog if you are looking for oven-baked bread recipes.)

Method in BM
1. 1st add wet ingredients, then add dry ingredients. Add salt and sugar at different corners, dig a hole in the middle and add in the yeast. Add the butter only after a rough dough is formed. Note that you should not add the milk all at one go, add about 40g milk and add the remaining as you go along.


2. Use "Dough" mode 20 min and press stop, then press "Sweet" mode (light crust, 1000g), the whole process of "Sweet mode" will take 2h 55 min. Total kneading time for the dough will be 50 min, of which 20 min is from dough mode and 30 min is from sweet mode. The dough must be kneaded until it can be pulled into a thin stretchable membrane. Pls note that the method stated above applies only for my Primo BM, pls do not ask me to advise for other BMs.


Method in Oven
1. Use BM or stand-mixer to knead until thin stretchable membrane.
2. Cover and proof for 60 min in a warm place or until doubled in volume (1st proofing).
3. Punch down to release gas, then rest for 10 min covered.
4. Cover and proof for 60 min in a warm place or until doubled in volume (2nd proofing).
5. Place the dough rolled up as swiss roll in 2 greased 450g pullman tins, apply egg wash on top and bake in preheated oven at 180C for about 30 min.


Notes:
You can use either orange or purple sweet potato, but you must first steam it and drain off excess water, then mash the sweet potato with a fork. The weight of 190g is after removing excess water and mashed. 



Crumb shot of my 2nd attempt of Sweet Potato BM Loaf. 


I am submitting this post to "My Treasured Recipes #3 - Taste of Autumn (Oct/Nov 2014)" hosted by myself, Miss B of Everybody Eats Well in Flanders and co-hosted by Charmaine of Mimi Bakery House

And also linking this post to YeastSpotting.

Monday, October 20, 2014

MTR #3 - Belgian Apple Brioche


Saturday 18 Oct was probably the last warm day in October. We were able to enjoy a nice and sunny day (23 degrees!!!) as if it was still summer. I am not sure if I have ever experienced such a warm autumn day in Belgium! My son jokingly asked me if we could hold a BBQ since the weather was so warm and pleasant. I told him that the sun would set very early from now onwards since the days are getting shorter day by day, and no, we were not gonna have a BBQ, since summer was officially over.

How could I not bake some breads in such nice weather? So I baked a belgian apple brioche and quickly took the opportunity to snap fotos of it under natural light in our garden, before the sun disappeared behind the trees. This will probably be the last series of fotos taken under natural light before the onset of winter when it will start to turn dark as early as 4pm. And not to forget in about a week's time, we all have to tune our clocks and watches for daylight-saving. It will be 7 hours time difference between Belgium and Singapore instead of 6 hours. :)


Apples have always been one of my favourite fruits and we always have apples in our fridge or on the tabletop, so it is no wonder that I decide to dig out some apple recipes for posting. Do you know that due to the tragic shootdown of MH17, Russia has declared an embargo on all import of fruits and veggies from Europe, and as a result, there is now an over-supply of locally produced apples and pears, and you can see apples and pears everywhere in Belgium being sold at rock-bottom prices. Imagine a kilo of Jonagold red apples (pack of 6) for as little as 1,30 euro! They were previously being sold at 1,60 to 1,80 euro if I recall correctly. So what better way to support the belgian fruit farmers and the belgian economy by consuming a lot of belgian apples and pears? =)


Recipe adapted from a dutch baking book Appeltaart by Janneke Philippe

Ingredients
475g bread flour (I added 1 tbsp extra)
25g custard powder
7g instant yeast (2 + 1/3 tsp)
2 eggs at room temp
50g sugar
75g unsalted butter, softened (split into 50g + 25g)
175ml milk (lukewarm) 
1/2 tsp salt

Fillings
1 very big apple (increased to 1.5)
3 rounded tbsp brown sugar (increased to 4)
2 tbsp raisins (increased to 3 tbsp)

Egg Wash
1 egg lightly beaten with few drops of water (not included in original recipe)

Glaze (omitted)
1/2 tbsp almond flakes
75g icing sugar
1 egg-white, beaten


Method (translation from Dutch to English)
1. First place the wet ingredients (eggs, milk) into the bread machine or stand-mixer with dough hook, followed by the dry ingredients (bread flour, custard powder). Make sure that you set the salt, sugar and yeast apart, the salt and sugar should be at separate corners, dig a hole in the flour mixture and add in the yeast in the centre. Only add in the softened butter when a rough dough is formed. You may wish not to pour in all the milk all at one go. (I used BM to knead for only 20 min since the book didn't specify that windowpane stage has to be achieved. On hind sight, I should have kneaded longer.)

2. Form the dough into a ball and cover with clean tea towel. Let it proof at room temp for 45 min. (As the weather was not warm, I placed my dough in a lightly greased bowl covered with greased clingwrap and put it in the oven for proofing, with lowest temp turned on about 30C, for about 1 hour)



3. On a lightly floured surface, punch down and roll out the dough into a rectangle of 1cm thickness. Melt 25g butter and spread on the dough with a brush. Peel, core and cut apple into 1cm cubes. Mix apple cubes with sugar and raisins. Spread the mixture over the dough and leave a 2cm fringe free all around the dough. (I realised the apple filling was not sufficient, so I added more apples, raisins and brown sugar)



4. Roll up the dough and cut into 9 equal portions. Place them facing up in a 30-cm (greased) springform, cover and proof for 45 min. (I first sliced off the 2 ends of 2 cm each, before slicing into 9 equal portions. Then because I did not own a 30-cm springform, I placed 6 rolls in a 8-inch/20-cm greased chiffon tin and another 3 in a greased loaf pan.)



5. Preheat the oven to 180C. Bake the buns for 30 to 35 min. Remove from the oven and cool the buns in the springform for 15 min. Then remove them from the springform and allow them to cool further on cooling rack until room temp. (After 10 min in the oven, I took the buns out and apply a layer of egg-wash. As I was using 2 separate tins of differing sizes, it was hard to check if the buns were ready. I let them bake for about 30 min, and realised the ones in the loaf pan were more well-baked than the ones in the chiffon tin.)


6. Roast the almonds in a dry saucepan until golden brown. Mix a little egg-whites at a time with icing sugar until a thick glaze is formed. Spoon the glaze over the brioche and sprinkle the roasted almonds on top. Let it dry for 15 min. (This step was omitted since uncooked egg-whites are not so suitable for children.)

I hope you would enjoy this simple belgian apple brioche. My kids, hubby and I enjoyed it so much that we had it as "picnic" (actually afternoon tea) sitting on a mat in the garden enjoying the afternoon sun. :)


Btw, the theme for My Treasured Recipes MTR #3 in Oct and Nov is Taste of Autumn. You are welcome to post any fruits and veggies harvested in Autumn from 1 Oct to 30 Nov 2014 and link to us. For more info, please refer to this link - http://everybodyeatswell.blogspot.be/2014/10/mtr-3-taste-of-autumn-fruits-and.html

And for this coming December, we are holding a Christmas related theme for MTR #4,  befitting the festive mood of Christmas. And this will be followed by 2 months of Chinese New Year related theme for MTR #5 for Jan and Feb 2015. For those who are interested in joining our blog-hop, do take note of the dates. I will put it down on the side of my blog so that it is more visible to everybody. :)



I am submitting this post to "My Treasured Recipes #3 - Taste of Autumn (Oct/Nov 2014)" hosted by myself, Miss B of Everybody Eats Well in Flanders and co-hosted by Charmaine of Mimi Bakery House

Also linking this post to "Cook-Your-Books #17" hosted by Joyce of Kitchen Flavours.

And also linking this post to YeastSpotting.



Friday, October 17, 2014

Olive Oil Challah

This has nothing to do with pumpkins or autumn fruits and vegetables, hehe.

This is an olive oil challah that I did few weeks ago and I posted in my FB page back then on 26 Sept. It was supposed to be posted for MTR #2 - Dough Starter Breads but it has been sitting in my computer for weeks, waiting for a chance to see daylight, haha. It was not a very successful bake, because I kind of panicked while doing the 6 plaits and in the end I only managed 3. The steps of plaiting 6 were too complicated for me.  And while it was being baked in the oven, I was busy chatting on FB and whatsapp, and I didn't watch the breads, so they were too brown for my liking. Neverthless, hubby gave me thumbs up and said it was quite close to the butter zopf that we ate daily during our summer vacation in Switzerland. I consider that as a compliment because he rarely give me compliments for my breads. If you are interested in this recipe, for your info, I used the recipe from Wild Yeast blog. :)






Back to the theme for these 2 months, My Treasured Recipes MTR #3 - Taste of Autumn is in full swing from now till end of October November. We welcome any recipes that are related to fruits and vegetables harvested in Autumn. For more info, please refer to this link

Myself and Charmaine of Mimi Bakery House would like to take this opportunity to thank all fellow bloggers for the overwhelming support and I do apologise if I am slow to visit or drop a comment on your respective blogs. My little baby is now 8 months and she is keeping me busy all the time, and not to forget I still have 2 more kiddies who stick to me like chewing gum! 

Just for your info, for this coming December, we are holding a Christmas related theme for MTR #4,  befitting the festive mood of Christmas. And this will be followed by 2 months of Chinese New Year related theme for MTR #5 for Jan and Feb 2015. For those who are interested in joining our blog-hop, do take note of the dates. I will put it down on the side of my blog so that it is more visible to everybody. :)




Monday, October 13, 2014

MTR #3 - Fried Pumpkin Ham and Cheese Fritters


This is a very easy yet delicious savoury snack that I would recommend you to try if your kids do not like pumpkin. I was quite surprised at how tasty these fried pumpkin ham and cheese fritters turned out to be. The pumpkin does not need to be steamed in advance and even if it is not cooked in the inside, it doesn't matter. As long as the crust is lightly fried and crispy, they are ready to be served. 

You can serve this as an afternoon snack or as a side dish for dinner. My little girl is a very picky eater and yet she managed to eat 3 of these fritters. I am sure if she sees cooked or fried pumpkin in any other form on the table, she will not touch it at all.

So here you are, an easy Fried Pumpkin Ham and Cheese Fritters. Sorry I forgot where I got this recipe from. 


Ingredients A:
pumpkin or butternut squash : 300g (skin and seeds removed, shredded)
ham : 85g (cut into thin strips)
grated cheese : 100g 

Ingredients B:
egg : 1

Ingredients C:
self raising flour : 80g (sifted)
pepper : ¼ tsp
salt : ¼ tsp
sugar : ½ tsp

Method
1) Put Ingredients A into a bowl, mix well.
2) Add in Ingredients B, mix well.
3) Add in Ingredients C, combine well.
4) Heat non-stick frying pan with 1 tbsp oil, pour in 1 tbsp of batter mixture, use medium low heat to fry both sides till fragrant and golden brown. Add 1 tbsp more of oil whenever the oil has dried up.

Note:
- If you do not have SR flour, just use plain flour with a pinch of baking powder. SR flour or plain flour with baking powder is required for the fritters to puff up during frying.
- Butternut squash instead of pumpkin can be used, in fact I used butternut squash in this case. In either case, you do not have to steam it but you must drain off the excess moisture to avoid the batter getting soggy.
- The original recipe used grated cheddar cheese, but you can use any grated cheese.

Btw, the theme for My Treasured Recipes MTR #3 in Oct and Nov is Taste of Autumn. You are welcome to post any fruits and veggies harvested in Autumn from 1 Oct to 30 Nov 2014 and link to us. For more info, please refer to this link - http://everybodyeatswell.blogspot.be/2014/10/mtr-3-taste-of-autumn-fruits-and.html


I am submitting this post to "My Treasured Recipes #3 - Taste of Autumn (Oct/Nov 2014)" hosted by myself, Miss B of Everybody Eats Well in Flanders and co-hosted by Charmaine of Mimi Bakery House

Also  linking this to Little Thumbs Up (Oct 2014 Event: PUMPKIN) organised by Zoe (Bake for Happy Kids) and Mui Mui (My Little Favourite DIY) and hosted by Eileen (Eileen's Diary).



Friday, October 10, 2014

MTR #3 - Butternut Squash Char Siew Bao

In order to get rid of a gigantic butternut squash that I bought from the supermart, I made a batch of steamed char siew bao yesterday. Guess how heavy that butternut weighed? A total of 1.8 kg and it cost only 1.50 euro! After removing the skin, there was still 1.2 kg left. I thought it was very cheap for such a big fruit, but why was I so greedy, now I need lots of pumpkin / butternut squash related recipes to get rid of this giant!

I have already cut the butternut squash into cubes and placed half of it into ziploc bags to be stored in the freezer. For the other half (600g) still sitting in my fridge, I used 250g to make this butternut squash char siew bao.


The recipe was adapted from my previous post on steamed sweet potato kaya bao that i posted for my Aspiring Bakers #31 eventI am reposting here with modifications that I made. If you add the right amount of water and flour, the dough skin would be very easy to handle, it would be very easy to wrap in the filling, and the resulting bao skin would look very smooth too. The dough did not stick to my hands and I did not use any extra flour for flouring. What I especially like about this recipe is that it doesn't use any crisco shortening (which I am still searching for but no luck so far) and it doesn't use any double action baking powder which is quite impossible to get in Europe unless you buy it from Singapore or Malaysia. So this is a recipe which uses ingredients that are easily available.

Dough recipe adapted from my old recipe here: 

Ingredients
250g steamed pumpkin or butternut squash
250g 90 to 110g lukewarm water (depending on moisture of pumpkin/squash)
500g cake flour (original recipe used pau flour) 
1 tsp baking powder
100g sugar
50g 30g corn oil (original recipe used shortening)
1/4 tsp salt
11g instant yeast (I used Bruggeman, 1 packet is 11g)

Method
1. Steam the butternut squash  over high heat for 15 min and mash them using a fork. Set aside to cool. (You need to drain the steamed pumpkin or butternut squash of excess water, otherwise the recipe for the liquid amount would not be accurate.)

2. Mix about 80g lukewarm water with the instant yeast and set aside. (Keep the remaining water to be added later.)

3. In a large mixing bowl, combine everything including the oil, and mix to form a rough dough. (Do not add all the water at one go, add the remaining water a little at a time.)

4. Continue to knead until you get a smooth, non-stick dough. (I used the dough mode of my breadmachine to mix for approximately 12 minutes. You could use hand-kneading also. I added about 110g water and 30g oil, then I realised the dough was too wet, so I added an extra tbsp of cake flour and the dough was perfect. )

5. Cover the dough with greased clingwrap or kitchen towel and let it proof in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size. 

6. After 1 hour, punch down the dough and knead for 1-2 min.

7. Divide dough into 50g portions and shape them into small dough balls. (The dough was nearly 1 kg or 970g to be exact so you would get about 19-20 portions). 

8. If you are making buns with fillings, flatten the dough into a small circle, add in 1 heaped tsp of the desired filling, seal the dough and shape it round, then place each bun with the sealed side down on a paper cupcake liner or square piece of baking paper.  (I used a cake decorator knife to make a pattern on the surface of the buns.)

9. Cover the buns with greased clingwrap or kitchen towel and let them proof in a warm place for another 30-40 min until doubled in size. Do not overproof.

10. Steam in a pre-heated steamer on HIGH heat for 12 min. After 12 min, open the steamer lid so that there is just a small gap, to allow the steam to escape, and let the buns adjust to room temp. This will prevent the surface of the buns to become wrinkly.

For the Char Siew Filling recipe, you may wish to refer to my old recipe here:
http://everybodyeatswell.blogspot.be/2013/05/ab-31-smiling-char-siew-bao-hong-kong.html

The char siew I used was a batch of frozen char siew which I made a few weeks ago and stored in the freezer. You can refer to my homemade rice cooker char siew here: http://everybodyeatswell.blogspot.be/2014/06/rice-cooker-char-siew.html




Autumn has really begun. It is always so dark and rainy and there is hardly any sunlight these few days. When I thought I could catch the last ray of sunlight before the sun went into hiding, this was what happened. Somebody wasn't patient enough to wait for my photos to be ready and decided that he was so famished that he had to grab one and stuff it into his mouth! Now you know why it was so difficult for me to take pictures for my blog. :)



Flash back to May 2013, his little sister who was 15 months when that photo was taken (and who is now 2 years 8 months old) was also very impatient and couldn't wait to taste my steamed chicken buns.  So what can I say about my buns. =D



I am submitting this post to "My Treasured Recipes #3 - Taste of Autumn (Oct/Nov 2014)" hosted by myself, Miss B of Everybody Eats Well in Flanders and co-hosted by Charmaine of Mimi Bakery House

Also  linking this to Little Thumbs Up (Oct 2014 Event: PUMPKIN) organised by Zoe (Bake for Happy Kids) and Mui Mui (My Little Favourite DIY) and hosted by Eileen (Eileen's Diary).

Also linking this to Best Recipes for Everyone #3 Oct 14 - Bun in My Hot Steamer hosted by XuanHom Mum's Kitchen Diary.

And last but not least, also linked to YeastSpotting.



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