Nov 30, 2011

Baguette... I like..

This afternoon, while my daughters and my mum were busy in the study room, playing computer games, I had the sudden urge to bake this baguette.  I was flipping through Alex Goh's The World of Bread, and I thought, why not give this recipe a try...again.  The first time I tried about 5 years ago, it turned out to be a disaster!  The bread was so tough and dry!

You should give it a try if you love baguette.  Of course you can always go to the supermarkets or cafes and buy them easily from the counter, but the ones made by yourself, are just extra delicious!  The outside crust is crunchy/crispy and the inside is so cottony soft.  Eat it with jam, butter, kaya, dipped in soup, stew or even with sambal tumis ikan bilis! is always sedaaaappp!

Baguette - "The World of Bread" by Alex Goh
90g plain flour
360g bread flour
1 tsp salt
3 tsp instant yeast
250-260 ml water
10g shortening

Mix (A) till well blended.  Add (B) and knead to form a dough.  Add (C) and knead to form a smooth and elastic dough.  Leave it to rise for 45 minutes.  Divide the dough into 3 pieces, mould them into balls and let them rest for 10 minutes.  Flatten the dough and make them into stick shapes about 30cm long.  Leave them to prove for 30 minutes.  Brush them with water and slash the tops with a sharp knife 3 or 4 times.  Bake at 220C for 25 minutes.

Will have the baguette for breakfast tomorrow morning.  It seems that November is a 'let's make bread' month for me.  Let's see if this 'bread' fever will spread into December....

Nov 28, 2011

Soft bread rolls

I'm baking bread again.  This is a nice recipe but the dough is a little soft and sticky to handle.  I knead all my bread dough by hand as I do not own a bread maker.  It can be quite a workout for the arms actually!..  This time, I used the recipe I got from MamaFaMi during her FP days.  She bakes lovely bread.  I have always admired the quality of the bread she bakes.

There is also another recipe I got that uses water roux.  A lot of food bloggers have tried it.  I think it's called Japanese Style Sweet Bun Dough.  This bread is super soft.  Will try this other recipe soon.  My daughters love bread.  They really cannot wait when I have to leave the dough to prove.  They'll keep on coming in the kitchen to take a peek at the rising dough.

Here's the Bread Rolls recipe from MamaFaMi....thank you very much for sharing the recipe...

360gm flour
3/4 tsp salt
10gm instant yeast
2tbsp thick ghee
1 egg
250ml fresh milk (lukewarm)
30gm sugar

Sift flour and add salt and yeast into a bowl.  Add sugar, ghee and egg into the lukewarm milk and beat.  Add this mixture a little at a time to the flour.  Stir until a soft sticky dough forms.  Knead well and leave to rise till double the original size.  Knead and divide dough into small balls.  Grease baking pan and arrange the dough balls into it.  Allow to rise again.  Bake at 180C for 10-15mins.
* I brushed butter on top of the buns once they were done and out of the oven. 

Nov 25, 2011

Comfort food..

Everyone has his or her own way of seeking solace.  Some jog, swim, read, sing, write, shop, go for a holiday, bake, eat, draw and talk to God.  Quite a lot of people nowadays use the term "retail therapy" and "comfort food".  As for me, my inclination is towards "comfort food".  I love food and I love eating.  Baking is therapeutic for me.  When I am in the right mood and when all the ingredients are readily available at home, I can think of so many things to make and bake.  I do not feel tired and can bake 2-3 items in a day.  But that does not happen much nowadays as my girls will always be there to "keep me occupied".  They need a lot of my attention.

Since it is the school holidays now, I make sure that the 'cookie jar' is always filled.  My girls will always be running in and out of the kitchen, munching on all these goodies.  I balance all these not so healthy things with fruits as snacks too.  Widya and Nadyn also love apples, pears, grapes, melons and bananas.  This means that the refrigerator will be filled with fruits too.

Chocolate Chip cookies is one of my favorite comfort foods...I have sooo many, I guess..!!!!  I used the recipe that my mum gave me.  It was way back in 1994 that she wrote me a letter and included the recipe in it.  I still have that letter. (We used to write to each other then as she and my dad were staying in Brunei and my brother and me were living and studying in Singapore).

Here's the recipe...

1 cup plain flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/4 tsp salt
125gm butter
Just under 1 cup of brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate bits
1/2 cup of coarsely chopped nuts of your choice
1 tsp chocolate emulco/paste
1/2 cup of raisins (I added)

Sift flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt together.  Put aside.
Cream butter, sugar, egg, choc emulco and vanilla until very smooth.
Add the sifted ingredients, nuts, choc bits and raisins.
Scoop into baking tray - about 1 tsp full.  If dough is too soft, keep in the refrigerator for a while.
Bake for about 12-15 mins in a 170-180C oven.

Here's the result....

While I was baking these cookies, Widya asked if she could have the Banana Cchocolate cake.  I have made this to so many times because it is so delicious and simple to make.  Thanks again to Ayu, as I got the recipe from her blog.  This is the first time I made them in paper cups.  I think it's easier to eat them this way and they look prettier too!  This time round, I also shaved the bar of chocolate and not roughly chopped them.  I like the results.

Happy munching everyone!

Nov 22, 2011

Roti Perancis - French Loaf

I have tried making french loaf once before and it did not turn out good at all.  It was as hard as a rock!  This was many years back.  I have decided to just buy them from the shops whenever I feel like eating it.  After the first incident, I have never gotten myself to try bake my own french loaf again. Got no confidence in myself.  At home, we usually eat french loaf with kacang phool or fried with egg and minced beef a.k.a Roti John. 

After much procrastination, I have decided to try out the recipe given to my mum by my cousin in Melbourne.  I tried it when my mum was at my place last week.... Wanted her to 'judge' my roti!

This time round the result was much better!  I liked the outcome.  It's just that I did not knead it long enough, I think.  The texture of the bread was a little 'dense' and the skin is very wrinkled.  My mum said the one my cousin made was a little fluffier.  Nadyn liked it very much.  She kept on asking me to cut another piece for her.  I think she finished half of the loaf!  At least now, I have more confidence to bake my own french loaf.

This is the recipe.
  • 2 cups unbleached white flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 7gm yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  1. Sift flour and salt together into a large mixing bowl.  Add yeast and sugar.
  2. Make a well in the centre and add water.  Stir to form a soft dough.  (It should be quite sticky, not like normal bread dough).  Knead then leave for 1 hour or until double the size.
  3. Preheat oven to 220C.  Line tray with baking paper.  Roll out dough to 30cm x 20cm and roll up tightly.
  4. Allow to rise after slashing down the centre with sharp knife.  Sprinkle with water and bake for 20 minutes.

My daughters want to use the computer now.  They want to play 'make-up' and 'dress-up' games!  Well, it is the school holidays....  Enjoy aje lah ya...

Nov 18, 2011

A wonderfully simple pudding..

Last Saturday, my brother invited us to his house for lunch.  They were having Asam Pedas Ikan Keli...who can resist that!  I wanted to bring a light and cooling dessert.  Agar-agar Gudir came to my mind since it was nice and easy.  But the gula kelapa that I have in stock is not very tasty.  It's a little bitter and has sediments.  I hate having to boil it and then sieve or filter for any residue.  And so I browsed through some food blogs and found this simple yet yummy recipe from Hana's blog.  I found the same recipe here at Easybakes.   Yat makes beautiful and very pretty jellos and puddings.  I love flipping through her blog.

You have to work quickly when scooping the mixture to make the marbling effect.  The pudding mixture hardens quite fast.  Just take a look at my last layer on top.  It's not smooth at all.  I can get a little clumsy when it comes to the tiny details.  Anyway, once chilled in the refrigerator, it is so cool and yummy!  Thanks to the lovely ladies for sharing the recipe!

My brother has got a new coffee machine.  Here, the girls are attentively watching their Om make my Macchiato.  It's delicious and the smell of the coffee's just so invigorating!  I sure enjoyed my cuppa!  Hhmmmmmm...I think I'll make myself a cup of coffee now. 

Have a good weekend!

Nov 11, 2011


It is not not exactly winter, yet 'this bear' is hibernating.  I have been somewhat dormant as there are too many things on my mind.  It's all murky and gloomy as the dark clouds outside...

Besides the normal 'soul-searching' methods of over-coming this hiatus, I flip through recipes in my books and the internet, experiment, cook, bake and... finally..., eat them...hahahaha...hahaha.. (sounds like 'Cookie Monster' and the 'Count' from Sesame Street!)  There's no way a mother or SAHM can hibernate for long.  Chores are calling out your name daily!  And if you do not cook or prepare anything for lunch or dinner, your family members will be calling out for you!!!

Ok lah.  Now I'll get to the interesting part.  I made focaccia a few days ago.  This is a very simple and fun recipe.  Simple to me because you need only plain flour and not bread flour.  Fun, because you can be creative and put anything as the topping.  Got this recipe from my cousin in Melbourne.  My mum liked it and I thought I'd ask my cousin for the recipe.  As for my other cousin who has bought the ready made focaccia mix, please try it out lah...this weekend ok...hehehe... 

My family is in a "Potato Doughnut" craze phase now.  I do not know how many batches of potato doughnut dough I have made to date!  The process of making the doughnuts takes a much longer time than seeing my daughters practically "gobble" them down....they are Doughnut Monsterina's!!  This time I doubled the recipe and kept them in the freezer. 

Made some of these too since I still had some leftover pineapple jam filling.  The children are already on holiday mood so that is the reason why I have lots of things for them to eat and munch on... 

Have a good weekend!