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Showing posts from November, 2008

Bread Baking Blabbering

There's always something to learn when I bake bread.

A thought or two on how to short-cut the prep work will come to my mind when I knead a dough.

In that span of a couple of hours, I become a:

(i) problem-solver when a dough doesn't rise as much as it was suppose to within the indicated timeframe;

(ii) patrol warden eyeing my little tot's curious hands roaming ever nearer to the rising dough; and

(iii) food critic when tasting my own fare.

Baking bread has a calming effect on my inner self ... but of cos when they don't turn out as it was suppose to then that's another story.

Doughnut or Donut?

While having lunch at my mom's house, we were watching Discovery Travel and Living featuring Donut Paradise. I can't remember how many times I said: "I want to eat this!" Unfortunately, over here on this sunny island, we don't have many choices for a good quality doughnut. Perhaps the only ones that I would consider good are from Wiener's Oven located along Upper East Coast Road but they don't come cheap. I vaguely remember that it comes at around S$2/piece. So I gleefully told my mom that I would make it myself and she can help me fry up the dough.

But as soon as I got back home and flipped open my cookbook, I knew my mom would be disappointed cos there is no way I would be able to deliver that piece of dough to her. The recipe specifically advised against hand kneading the dough to prevent it becoming greasy. Even food processor was forbidden. *Sigh* I just can't bear to imagine myself pulling out my KitchenAid. Does it have to come to that? Maybe wi…

Focaccia and Pizza

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I found this interesting focaccia bread recipe from Allrecipe.com and had to try it. The smell was terrific but the texture of the dough was not as good as Baking Illustrated's Olive Focaccia. But it was a good experiment, at least now I have a good pizza dough to rely on!

I followed the recipe accordingly but I made minor changes: * increased the amount of water by 1/4 cup as I found that my dough wasn't able to come together at all * substituted garlic powder with fresh chopped garlic
This is the dough after the first proofing:

Mini pizzas ready for baking:

Ready to eat!

I haven't made pizzas for a long time and this was the first time I made it with my little princess. She had a fun time smacking the dough and also doing the toppings. Despite the fact that she doesn't like tomato sauce, she took 2 bites of the pizza simply because she made it herself.

Freezer Candidate: Muffins

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One of the few things that I like to make is muffins. Mixed by hand, all in a bowl and quick to make. Need more reasons to make your own muffins? How about saving money? This is like a tag line now that will grab the attention of most people.
I used to freeze the leftover batter when I make muffins, but recently I seem to be making muffins specifically for freezing. These muffins take so well to freezing that you won't be able to tell if it was made fresh or frozen.
So just use your favourite muffin recipe and grab some aluminmum trays/cups and start freezing! You can pop 1 or 2 frozen batter into the oven while you get your morning started. Just remember to think of me when you are biting into a freshly baked warm muffin in the morning. (^.^)
Steps to freeze freshly made muffin batter:
(1) After mixing the batter, portion the batter into appropriate serving size aluminmum trays/cups. (2) Place the aluminmum trays/cups into a container. Be careful not to overcrowd so that the trays/c…

Freezer Candidate: Bread

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Sorry for this late post. I was down with the flu bug for the past week and was rather busy during the weekends house hunting.
I forgot to mention that I have frozen some of the olive focaccia that I've made previously and I am glad to say that they taste just as good coming out from the freezer.
Here's a short kitchen note on how to freeze and thaw bread from Martha Stewart.
I haven't quite figure out how to thaw unbaked bread yet so for the time being I will stick to this.
Steps to freeze freshly baked bread:
(1) Cool bread completely. (2) Cut bread into suitable serving portions. (3) Wrap tightly with clear food wrap. (4) Place into a zip top bag and squeeze out all the air in the bag before putting into freezer.
To use frozen bread:
(1) Preheat oven to 180 degC. (2) Remove plastic cover and place on baking sheet. (3) Bake for 15mins or until bread is heated through.

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

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I am now very conscious about food that I buy/consume these days after reading all that essay. So when I was in the supermarket yesterday and spotted a tin a Danish butter cookies, I was almost tempted to put that in my trolley when I saw the label "Sugar Free". Immediately all the red flags came up. Something is really wrong here. How can butter cookies be sugar free? Without even looking at the ingredient list, I chucked it right back to the shelf. But what made me interested in getting that tin of "cookies" was the assortment it had: choc chip cookies, oatmeal cookies and apple cinnamon cookies. Interesting!
Unwilling to deny myself a treat, I picked up my Baking Illustrated and found the recipe for this cookie. They are absolutely delicious and had a wonderful texture. This is the first time I have ever made and eaten oatmeal cookies and I must say that I like it very much. Although lots of butter goes into it, but I think it is still more natural than those &qu…