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Category: Bread and Pastry (page 2 of 3)

Nick Malgieri’s perfect white pan bread

A couple of years ago, I thought this was an awesome bread recipe and easy too. However, I discovered Nick Malgieri’s Bake and realised his Perfect White Pan bread was equally awesome if not better.

Perfect White Pan Bread

Recently, I bought a loaf of fruit and nuts bread from Gardenia and it tasted awful. And I vowed not to buy any store bought bread. I started sieving through cookbooks, finding recipe for that perfect white bread. What is wonderful about Malgieri’s recipe is that in just 4 hours, you can get yourself a delicious loaf of buttery bread. And you do not need a breadmaker.

Sliced

As instructed by Malgieri, I spread some butter on top of the loaf for a softer crust. Butter was also added in the mix hence the bread will not be white but with a tint of yellow. Every slice smells yeasty and it was soft and fluffy.

Flour’s brioche au chocolat

the great thing about making brioche – you have to double the recipe if not your dough hook has nothing to work on. with the additional dough, i freezed it and was used later for flour’s brioche au chocolat.

brioche au chocolat

brioche au chocolat required you to make a pastry cream too. my greatest fear. i dont exactly love making anything custard-ish for fear i will end up having scrambled eggs. its nerve wrecking for me. in the end, my cream did not turn out to be as thick as i think it should be.

burst!

because the cream was not very thick, thus when i cut the brioche au chocolat dough, everything kinda oozed out (note to self: pre-cut the dough!!). still i sorta managed to contain the cream and the chocolat in the dough.

the result was this eggy toast with this sweet custardish cream and rich chocolate. my breakfast has never tasted so good.

Rachel Allen’s hot cross buns

as easter is approaching (fine its already here ;p), i had a sudden craving for hot cross buns. these buns are not usually sold in local bakeries – last round, i bought mine from marks and spencer. yah.

last 30 minutes of proofing

i dont know why but i knew rachel allen‘s bake would definitely have a recipe for hot cross buns. and i was right!

rachel allen never failed to provide a simple recipe with easy to follow instructions. however i made quite a bit of modification. as i cannot find strong white flour at the supermarket, i did a half and half – half AP flour and half bread flour.

in addition, instead of raisins and currants, i used raisins and cranberries – which was the best decision i ever made. the tartiness of the cranberries just go so well with the spices in the hot cross buns.

weapons! knife for slashing and brush for egg washing

the recipe also called the use of shortcrust pastry for the cross. as i am lazy and cannot be bothered, i just used a knife to slash the cross on the buns.

baked

this is what happened when you are too lazy to bring out the proper wire rack

it takes less than 3 hours to proof the buns and next thing you know, the house was filled with the smell of freshly baked buns *bunny hop*

(Brioche) french toast

remembered the brioche that i baked? it kinda got stale after three days. what do you do when you have stale bread? french toast!

awww french toast

i  love french toast. there is something so comforting about warm, burnt, crispy chewy toast – drizzle some honey … my heart just melts away.

Flour’s brioche

oh brioche, who doesnt love a good brioche? one of the biggest reasons why i bought a kitchenaid is so that i can make brioche. based on my understanding (thank you, dorie greenspan), its not advisable to make it with a handheld mixer (unless you want to “kill” the handheld mixer). OR you can mix your brioche dough by hand (via a wooden spoon) which i will NOT do.

though i have been eyeing greenspan’s brioche recipe for the longest time, i decided to give flour’s brioche a go instead.

flour’s brioche

while preparing the mise-en-place, my heart started palpitating – 5 large eggs + 310 grams of butter (which was about 1.5 block of butter)  – were going to be added into the dough *gulp*. though its going to make two batches of dough, the sheer amount of “sinful” ingredients going in still frighten me.

sliced

all sliced up

the key to making brioche is patience. you need to slowly let the dough come to shape, and bit by bit add in the soften butter. it took me a good half an hour to get the dough done. once the dough was ready, i let it proof overnight in the fridge.

i saved half the dough and chucked it in the freezer (going to use it for brioche au chocolat). i love playing with brioche. unlike the usual bread dough, its less sticky and more dense – like play doh!

i am loving the odd air-hole

the end result is pure deliciousness. its so rich that one of my friends commented that the brioche tasted like cheese bread (i take that as a compliment by the way. ha).

Nutella pop tarts

a couple of months ago, i stumbled upon chez pim’s blog entry on nutella pop tarts. they looked absolutely adorable and easy to make. so i decided to give it a shot.

nutella pop tarts!

all you need is your go-to pie dough – mine is from king arthur flour – i used half AP and half pastry flour (for extra flakiness) and PURE butter (i cant stand shortening – any recipes require me to use shortening i will skip. i just cannot handle it).

rolling and cutting the dough was fine (though i am not very good at it). it was when i need to crimp the dough, that is when the nutella started to ooze out (overzealous with the filling). everything became kinda messy.

close up

to add to the mess, halfway through the bake, i realised i forgot to eggwash the pastry! i quickly took them out, and gave them a good brushing.

though the pop tarts look abit pale, they tasted great  - buttery and flaky – and with the right amount of sweetness!

Jim Lahey’s pizza funghi

jim lahey pizza funghi is pure shrooms essence.

pizza dough – first rise

going for the second rise

and i mean it. it involved a truck load of cremini (aka swiss brown mushroom)  which needed to be sliced very thinly via the mandolin. slicing so much mushrooms with the mandolin was no fun – fingers were black and i had to watch out and not get my fingers chopped.

truck loads of shrooms

as i did not have any white onions (as indicated in the recipe), i simply used red onion. throw  the cremini, onion, salt, pepper and olive oil in a HUGE bowl and mix gently. and spread them all over the pizza. before i placed the pizza in the oven, i drizzled a bit more olive oil.

off to the oven

mushrooms tend to ooze out lotsa of liquid when cooked – it was stated in the book that as the mushrooms were sliced thinly, the liquid should be minimum. ehhh that did not happened to my pizza. i am unsure what went wrong – mushrooms slices were too thick? oven was not hot enough? i should have left the pizza in the oven longer so everything evaporates? i dont know! the funny bit was part of my pizza was soggy (from the mushroom jus) and some part were perfectly fine.

can you spot the soggy bits?

and the best bit – the pizza actually tasted better overnight! i had a slice COLD and it was yummy. the flavor of mushroom really penetrated into the dough and the jus kept it moist thus the dough was not rock hard.

on one hand, it seems that i have failed in pizza funghi, on the other, i think i have perfected the ultimate late night snack.

Strawberry cream cheese breakfast buns

whenever a friend’s birthday is approaching, i will always try my best to give them something homemade. i think we have lost the art of giving homemade presents. i think the only people who still do homemade gifts are kids. thus i find it abolutely endearing when my niece sarah loudly reminded her brother that he forgot to give her a birthday card. how cute.

its my good friend l’s birthday and my dear friend is also queen of homemade (ooohhh a shout out to her gorgeous shoppe!!) so how can i give her something that is mass produced and commercialised!!

close up

i woke up really early (on a saturday) to make magnolia bakery raspberry cream cheese breakfast buns. the original receipe called for raspberry preserve however i only have strawberry preserve so that was what i used.

you can basically use whatever preserve you have in your pantry (btw preserve is also jam; i personally like to use bonne maman – i quite digged the taste of their preserves). one thing you need to know that these breakfast buns are pretty heavy and dense in terms of taste (cream cheese) thus you might want to use something that is more sourish and tarty to accompany them. based on the preserve you used, you might also want to adjust the amount the sugar. i wished i have used raspberry preserve instead of strawberry when i made these. i think the sourness of the raspberry is enough to cut through the heaviness brought by the cream cheese.

birthday pack

these breakfast buns are quick and easy to make (i took less than an hour for prepping and baking). my mom was rather shocked that how fast i was done with everything.

disclaimer

once the buns have cooled, i packed them in a personalised paper bag, stuck a disclaimer label and viola homemade pressie!! and of course de birthday girl obediently finished everything within three days.

Good ole blueberry muffins

whenever i feel like baking something and i do not know what to bake, i turned to de classics – butter pound cake, muffins and so on. since its still the blueberry season (i LOVE blueberries!!!), i felt the need to bake de good ole blueberry muffins.

there are alot of pretty good recipes out there for blueberry muffins – i know i am dying to try this one. i stuck with the one from my all time favorite bake book – king arthur flour baker’s companion. they are simple to make – de only work you really need to do is perhaps mashing the blueberries abit. ha.

while most muffin recipes often called for sour cream, yoghurt or buttermilk (all these make the muffins more fluffy), the kaf one uses milk. this i like. de truth is my house rarely stocks on sour cream, (plain) yoghurt or buttermilk. i only buy them if a recipe calls for it. chances of me chucking away the leftover is very high too.

thus to make muffin a little less “solid”, i used 2 small eggs instead of 1 large egg to produce a more cakey muffin. ohhh and muffins are really one of those baked best to be eaten warm and on de day they were baked. i wouldnt keep them for more than 2 days.

Homemade pizza

i have been wanting to make my own pizza for de longest time. initially i wanted to try out the king arthur flour recipe recipe (i even bought de semolina flour). since i got jim lahey’s no knead bread book, and he being my latest bread hero, i thought i ought to give his recipe a shot.

once agan, lahey’s pizza dough was easy and you only need five ingredients – bread flour, sugar, salt, yeast and water. like de title of his book, there was no kneading involving. and this time round, you do not need to wait that long for the dough to proof – just 2 hours for the first rise and 30 minutes for the second rise.

like how de italians will do it, you also do not need to use your rolling pin to spread de dough on your pan. you used your fingers! i find the process very fun and therapeutic too.

i also used laughey recipe for tomato sauce. his version is more “liquidish”. what i like about the recipe is its simplicity and of course there is NO need to boil down/ reduce the sauce. all you need is a can of diced tomatoes (i used hunt as its an american brand and lahey measurement is all american based. so duhhhh), extra virgin olive oil and salt. dump everything in an immersion blender and viola (btw if you do not have blender or food processor, dun despair. you can always use motar and pestle).

i wanted to make a simple tomato, mozzarella and basil pizza. as i stand at the cheese section for 15 minutes, i just cun bear to spend $10 on a piece of buffalo mozzarella (and i need two pieces). in de end, i bought some coon pizza cheese and portobello mushroom.

i first let the dough (with the tomato sauce on it) bake for 15 minutes before i spread the cheese and mushroom (i precook the mushroom – i stir-fried them with some garlic; in this way i kinda reduce the cooking time of de pizza).

de only major issue i have with the recipe is the oven temperature (i have de same problem when i was making the bread). it was way too high – de recipe was asking for 500 degrees F /260 degree C. that is bloody hot. i did reduce to 240 degree C but i still find it too hot. i find the pizza hardened faster than i expected. thank god i precooked my mushroom.

i took de pizza out from the oven real fast and made my parents eat them immediately. my mum lovessss it (she actually pestered me to make de pizza again). i had a leftover piece – it was sitting at the table for awhile – i attempted to eat it without re-heating. as expected, it was pretty hard.

despite my oven temperature problem, i like lahey simple approach to food, and will definitely try to make pizza again with my preferred temperature. ha.

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