Thursday, November 17, 2005

Baking in an Art

Baking in an art. This recipe is not meant to be a hotdog bun recipe. It is actually a celery/seed bun. I don't normally follow a recipe exactly what its says. I try to be more creative to bake according to my likings and taste.

Feel free to add other fillings/toppings to this recipe below. I wrapped hotdogs with bread and added Cheddar cheese as topping.

Ingredients
1) 5 1/2 cups bread flour or all-purpose flour (780 grams)
2) 1 package dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
3) 2 cups warm milk (8 tablespoons milk powder + 2 cups milk)
4) 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
5) 3 tablespoons sugar
6) 1 teaspoon salt
7) 2 eggs, lightly beaten, room temperature
8) 1 egg yolk + 1 teaspoon milk

Method
1) Mix 3 cups flour with dry yeast in a bowl.

2) Mix milk, butter, sugar and salt.

3) Pour milk mixture into dry ingredients and mix into a soft dough.

4) Add in the eggs and mix until the eggs absorbed into the batter.

5) Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave it to rise for 1 hour.

6) Stir in remaining flour until you are able to work with the dough.

7) Knead the dough for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic.

8) Put the dough into a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Leave it to rise for 45 minutes until double in bulk.

9) Punch down the dough and roll out into stripes.

10) Wrap the strips around the hotdogs and place them on a greased baking sheet. Leave it to rise for 40 minutes until double in bulk.

11) Glaze with egg-milk wash and add toppings.

12) Bake at 425 Fahrenheit (220 Celcius) for 20 minutes. You may want to reduce to temperature by 50 Fahrenheit (375 F or 190 F) if you have a conventional oven.

Be creative!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

All-American Chocolate Cake

I baked an All-American Chocolate Cake. This cake recipe is absolutely the best.

Here is the recipe:

Ingredients
1) 230 grams unsalted butter
2) 300 grams castor sugar
3) 2 tablespoon vanilla essence
4) 3 eggs
5) 1/2 cup cocoa powder, sifted,
6) 1 cup hot water
7) 235 grams all-purpose flour
8) 1 tablespoon baking powder
9) 3/4 teaspoon salt
10) 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

Glaze
1) 150 grams bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate
2) 3 tablespoons heavy cream
3) 3 tablespoons unsalted butter

Method
1) Cream butter and sugar.

2) Add in vanilla essence and eggs one at a time.

3) Dissolve cocoa powder with water.

4) Sift together flour, baking powder and salt.

5) Add cocoa powder mixture and dry ingredients (flour, baking powder and salt) into batter, alternately.

6) Fold in walnuts.

7) Pour batter into 20-cm round cake pan lined with parchment paper.

8) Bake at 170 Celcius for 25 minutes or until skewer comes out clean when inserted into the cake. Allow the cake to cool before pouring the glaze.

9) To prepare glaze, mix chocolate, butter and heavy cream in a heat-proof bowl until dissolved.

10) Pour the slightly cooled glaze unto the cake and chill in the refrigerator.

Happy baking!

Friday, November 11, 2005

Raisin Braided and Plain Buns

Image hosted by Photobucket.com I baked a raisin braided bun and 5 round plain buns. The dough was not sticky this time probably because the measurement was in grams and litre, instead of cups. The texture and taste were okay, but I still find Bernard Clayton's bread recipes are definitely tastier than this recipe, which I got it from another baker, Amy Beh, published on The Star newspaper. I probably need to be more careful when following recipes with cups measurements. Anyway, this recipe is very easy and simple to follow, definitely for beginners.

Here's the recipe:

Ingredients
1) 300 grams all-purpose flour or high-protein flour
2) 1 teaspoon yeast
3) 75 grams sugar
4) 1/4 teaspoon salt
5) 140 mililitre water
6) 1 tablespoon milk powder
7) 1/2 egg, beaten
8) 30 grams butter, melted
9) Glaze - 1 egg yolk with 1 teaspoon milk

Method
1) Mix flour, yeast, sugar and salt in a bowl.

2) Stir in milk powder into the water and then add in egg and butter into the milk.

3) Pour in the milk mixture into the dry ingredients and mix with hand or electric mixer.

4) Knead the dough until smooth and elastic.

5) Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover with cling wrap for 30 minutes to 1 hour until it double in bulk.

6) Punch down the dough, divide the dough and roll them into balls and place them onto greased baking sheet.

AND/OR

7) Punch down the dough, knead raisins into the dough, divide the dough and roll them into 3 stripes. Braid the stripes and tightly seem the ends and place them onto greased baking sheet.

8) Leave the doughs to rise for another 30 minutes to 1 hour until they double in bulk.

9) Glaze the doughs.

10) Bake in oven at 210 Celcius for about 10 to 15 minutes.


Image hosted by Photobucket.com The color of the raisin braided bun was uneven because I placed the it on the top shelve of the oven, then I quickly put it in the lower shelf, but the damage had already been done. Anyway, I glazed the buns with whole egg (egg white and egg yolk), which was why all the buns were dark in color. I will use egg yolk with milk so that my buns would not be so dark next time.

I had fun braiding the raisin bun though. It was my first time and it turned out good!

By the way, I put raisins into one of these 5 plain buns. Guess which plain buns has raisins in it?

Monday, November 07, 2005

Tuna Pizza Bun

Image hosted by Photobucket.com I really hoped that the Pizza recipe would be a pizza bun, like the ones sold in bakeries. Anyway, it looked and tasted like a pizza and had a texture of a pizza as well. Some commented that the bread was firm, some commented that the bread was soft but the tuna was a little hard, probably because the tuna was baked in the oven too long (I modified the recipe by replacing tuna with ham).

This tuna pizza had two types of cheese in it, Parmesan and Cheddar cheeses. Tuna in olive oil was used.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com Anyway, I thought that this tuna pizza was a failure. The taste was blend and the texture was tough. I added way too much flour because I had a hard time with the very sticky dough, it did not rise properly and I forgot to prick the dough before I put it in the oven.

Will try to bake this again next time.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

In the Making: Tuna Pizza Bun

I am baking a flat bread. It has tuna, olive oil, parmesan and cheddar cheese in it. It is currently in the oven, baking at 425 Fahrenheit for 25 minutes. I don't think it will come out well because the dough didn't seem to rise as expected. It should double in bulk at both first and second rising but it didn't. I even tried working yeast mix with a small amount of water into the dough at the first rising but it only rise a little and it didn't rise at the second rising.

Is my yeast dead already?

Also, I always have problem mixing the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients. I follow the recipe with the right amount of flour and water but the dough always turn out very sticky that the dough keeps sticking onto my hands and it is impossible to knead. I have to keep adding more flour until I am able to knead the dough and I end up working with the dough double the suggested time.

Is the dough suppose to be sticky? Or the recipe is not accurate?

I am still waiting for the tuna pizza bun to be ready. Let us see how it turns out later.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Hotdog Buns

Image hosted by Photobucket.com People who tasted the hotdog buns commented that the buns were too compact. Yes, the right word to describe the texture of the bun was compact. I reviewed the steps I have followed from Bernald Clayton's New Complete Book of Breads to find out what went wrong during the process. I had probably added too much flour, over kneaded the dough and allowed it to rise for an extra 15 to 20 minutes, while I went to the hypermarket to buy the hotdogs with cheese bits in them.

I attempted baking the hotdog buns again with the same recipe, adding the right amount of flour, kneading between the suggested time and letting the dough rise within the time frame.

After 20 minutes of baking the 5 hotdog buns and 4 round plain buns, the buns turned out almost perfect. I had placed the buns too close to each other and they sticked together slightly as the dough continued to rise. Anyway, I managed to pull them apart and they were still in good shape. Most importantly, they had a much softer texture, tender, fluffier, nicely shaped, look presentable and good to eat.

No wonder they were too heavy, not fluffy and puffy like commercial hotdog buns earlier.

I got it right this time :)

Sunday, October 30, 2005

First Bread

Image hosted by Photobucket.com As this is my first bread-baking experience, it was quite an exciting and fun moment for me. Mixing the ingredients and kneading the dough weren't a problem, the dough rised as expected, but I failed while shaping the dough into balls to add the tuna mayonaisse filling. It was a total mess as the filling had too much liquid and it destroyed the dough texture. I had to throw away some of it, leaving me with just enough dough to make 5 hotdog buns and 1 tuna mayonaisse bun.

Actually, I intended to bake tuna mayonaisse buns at first but I suddenly decided to bake hotdog buns as well to have more variety while waiting for the dough to rise for the second time. I quickly drove to the nearest hypermarket and bought 2 packets of hotdogs with cheese bits in them.

I got stucked in the middle of preparing the dough and quickly connected to the Internet to search for the equalavent of 1 package of dry yeast (2 1/4 tablespoons) and also the equavalent of 375 Fahrenheit in Celcius (190 Celcius) on Google.

The total baking time only takes about 20 minutes. They turned out a bit crusty, a bit crispy, light goldened in colour (glazed with 1 teaspoon milk with 1 egg yolk), nicely shaped and too heavy for a commercial hotdog/tuna mayonaisse bun.

I only managed to taste a hotdog bun because the high-quality bread made it too filling for me to taste the tuna mayonaisse bun. It tasted good, not fluffy and puffy like the commercial ones and too filling for a bun.

I will definitely go for a lighter version in my next attempt.