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Birthday Cakes

posted May 3, 2014, 11:11 PM by Jenny Loh   [ updated May 3, 2014, 11:12 PM ]

Special birthday cakes…..
In 2010,  my son visited Australia on his own with his grandparents.  He had a great time there,  hanging out with his cousins, helping out at the warehouse where my sister and  my brother had import and export businesses.

When he returned home,  he handed me a magazine,  and said, mom - present for you.  MasterChef Magazine July 2010 - featuring Adriano Zumbo's Macaron Tower.  And make this…..pointing at the cover page of the cover photo. Macaron Tower.  Turned the page to the recipe and the method,  I thought,  this was too difficult.  I said to my son. Ok, make this for your birthday. 

2012,  my son was turning 13.  I recalled that I promised him a Macaron Cake.  In search of an easy recipe,  I went online,  and 2-3 weeks before his birthday,  attempted an online recipe.  It turned out no good at all.  I decided to follow exactly the way it was instructed in the magazine.  Using my little notebook,  I decided to make a chocolate cake as the triangular tower,  and stick the macaron with a toothpick onto the cake.  

Each of the macaron puff up nicely, smooth surface and I just make a very simple chocolate filling.  The assembling was a challenge, I was never good at art, and trying to make it look beautiful,  elegant is just not me.  Tried my best to have it stuck to the chocolate cake without each of the macaron being coated with chocolate finger prints,  I managed to tower up.

The kids had a great time,  and when I brought it out,  kids were impressed and they were snatching up the macarons and gobbling up the chocolate cake.  I was totally pleased with it.



2013 came.  My son and I were just surfing the net.  In Singapore,  there was a craze over Lady M's Mille Crepe that just opened shop in Singapore.  I was totally curious.  Isn't crepe easy to make? Why are these people paying so much for such cakes?  So,  here I am,  early in the year,  told my son,  my challenge this year for your birthday cake is Mille Crepe - Ok?  He said ok.

And there I was couple of weeks before his birthday,  thinking how am I going to make the crepe without a flat pan.  I went online and started to search for the recipe as well as a pan that I can make think layer of crepe.  I was lucky to find an electric one.  Again,  2 weeks before,  I tried one of the recipe,  and tried to learn how to use the pan.  Obviously, it took me a while to master the flipping,  the evenness of the wet dough on the pan.  

I used a mix of 2 recipes from online:  20 Layer Crepe Cake by Ellen Easton 2009 and Tasting Table - Best Pastry Chefs - Mille Crepe Tiramisu.  Making the crepe was easy enough after the first few attempts.  I was trying to make the tiramisu filling and I think I over beat the mascarpone cheese,  it turned watery.  I just couldn't use it.  Had to run out to purchase new ones to make them.  Luckily I was in time.  I even had time to make wordings from chocolate.  I probably made 30 layers of crepe tightly packed.

This time we only invited 2 of the other boys over to celebrate with him.  The Italian friend that is so fussy with food had like 2 extra servings, I guess the Tiramisu taste suits him well. Again,  assembling is not my strength, but the overall cake was absolutely tasty.



November 2013,  my husband's birthday.  I decided to make a traditional Blackforest Cake.  It's just one of those times when I just like things simple, back to basic,  no nonsense type of cake.  I had a collection of Cordon Bleu cookbooks and one of them featuring Cakes.  This is one book that I used quite frequently.  

The cake turned out fluffily,  moist,  and we don't like lots of cream,  so,  I half the cream to be used.  I guess if its for selling,  I would have used more cream.  I just love my dark chocolates that I had used to cover the whole cake.  Not a cake to be kept long,  best to have it on the day it was made.



Its 2014,  half the year has gone by,  our main celebrations are usually end of the year,  so what challenges should I give myself?

Bavarian Pretzel

posted Feb 23, 2014, 1:28 AM by Jenny Loh   [ updated Feb 23, 2014, 1:33 AM ]

Adapted from Daniel Leader's recipe. Looks easy but not so easy...


I tried this recipe last week and it was a total failure.  I threw the whole bunch away after spending a whole day working on it. 

I've decided that last week what went wrong was:
1. Instant Yeast was not working well.
2. Dough was too hard
3. I didn't let the dough rise properly
4. I added flour when shaping
5. Because it didn't rise properly,  I had to boil for a long time,  the whole thing was too hard

So,  this week,  I just had to try again.  I cannot believe I can't get it right.

Here's the recipe.  



Method:

1. Mix flour, yeast, salt and butter - using a mixer.
2. Mix water and starter,  pour into dry ingredients.  Knead well.
3. Let the dough rise.  As its winter here,  I had to let is rise for about 8 hours. It should rise nicely into a dome shape.
4. Pour out and divide.  I didn't want my pretzel too big,  cut into 16 pieces.  About 78-90g each.
5. Do not add flour at this stage.  Shape it round first,  let rest for 5 mins.  
6. Roll it length wise, like a pencil.  Shaping it takes a bit of practice. Mine is still not perfect,  but at least it took shape.
7. Put onto a tray with baking paper.  Let it refrigerate over night.  Winter here,  I just left it at my yard, how convenient,  and my fridge is not messed up.
8.  After 9 hours,  boil water, add baking soda 1 teaspoon at a time.
9.  Drop the dough 1 at a time.  It will sink to the bottom and get a little stuck.  I used a scoop to shake it off.  The dough will float after about 10 sec.  If it doesn't float,  something is wrong.  Drop the 2nd one in and pick up the 1st one out.  It will look a little yellowish, bubble on the surface,  expand a little.
10.  After all boiled,  oven ready at 175C,  not too high,  and bake for 30-35 mins till reddish brown.  You will see it slowly bloom, and you know you got it right!






Couple of things that I had to adjust:

1.  I added starter.  Because my starter is so active and bubbly I just had to use it.  And I had more confident that the dough will rise nicely.

2.  The original recipe called for only 300g of water.  Somehow,  it was so hard after the 1st mix.  I just had to soften it by adding water.

3.  It called for 80g of soda,  I used a small pot,  and I just just about 4 teaspoonful of baking soda.  The last time,  it smell quite bad with so much soda.

And here's my Pretzel Bun and Pretzel,  I'm so happy that it turned out so well.

It was crispy on the outside,  and soft and chewy inside.  This is best when hot!

Breads, breads, breads.......

posted Jun 26, 2013, 8:26 AM by Jenny Loh   [ updated Jul 1, 2013, 6:45 AM ]



I have been busy baking, just not updating this site. 

I have been baking several favorite recipes over and over again, and tweaking the recipes a little here and there.  

One of them is using the Pizza recipe,  and turning it into a roll.  Brushing the top with a mix of olive oil, paprika, cayenne, dried herbs such as thyme, parsley, rosemary.   This is one of the favorites for the kids!  In no time,  it's gobbled up.





Another variation using the Pizza dough is Focaccia.  I learnt this from an Italian mama,  its so easy and can be done within 4 hours,  its done.  Great as a party food.  Using a rectangular pan,  pour some olive oil,  pan the dough using fingertips till it is all spread out.  Brush with olive oil, throw some herbs such as rosemary or thyme,  shake some salt over.  




Another one that I like is the simple white loaf that I got the  recipe from a Japanese web site,  using Google translate,  figured out what the recipe says.  And, why must white loaf be in the shape of a loaf?




Why can't it be round?  Well,  I made it round! 





Another favorite is the Deli Rye Bread,  love that it's soft, open crumb.  So,  why not mix a little with whole wheat,  add herbs or nuts? 











Why not turn it into a burger roll to make a burger?  This burger is healthier,  and certainly taste better!  



I simply love experimenting,  and try out new things.  Perhaps it's time to focus on this.  

Kueh Bangkit

posted Jan 28, 2013, 6:43 PM by Jenny Loh

Adapted from Hot Favourites Kueh published by e-lifestyle.


I finally made Kueh Bangkit that tasted like how my mom made it. The strong taste of coconut melts in your mouth,  not too sweet,  but sweet enough from the coconut.  


I've experimented before and those turned out to be hard,  and you literally have to chew,  and there's just not enough coconut taste.  It's been difficult to find fresh coconut milk, and I've just resorted to using packet ones.  Checked the ingredients, the highest % of coconut milk is 90%,  and 10% water.  And this cookie just don't like water at all.


I finally called mom,  and her 2 advices were:


1.  Stir fry tapioca flour till fluffy

2.  If use coconut milk from packet,  boil with pandan leave.



Alright, mom's advice are usually good,  but it does requires some common sense to really fully appreciate what she is saying.  Fluffy,  what does that mean?  Boil the coconut milk - for how long? Following these advice,  looking at what other bakers did on the internet,  and working through my own sense, feel,  smell,  whatever senses that I can use,  here's what I did:



Ingredients:

500g Tapioca Starch

140g Sugar

2 Egg Yolks

1 Egg White

85ml Thick Coconut milk (and a little more) - used Kara Coconut Milk - Classic

10 pieces Pandan leave 



1.   Heat up pan in small fire,  put 5 pieces of pandan leave (tied in knot)) and let fry for a few minutes till the fragrant of pandan is in the pan.   I fry the pandan leave till dry.   Add Tapioca Flour and fry.  This took about 45 - 60 minutes.  The Tapioca flour became much lighter,  and easily fly out of the pan.  So,  be careful when stirring.  Leave to cool.  Book advised to leave cool up to 2-3 days. Mom said at least 1 day.  I left it to cool for about 10 hours (it was cold in Shanghai,  5 degrees celsius in kitchen)


2.  Next,  heat up coconut milk (I used the full packet of 400 ml)  with 5 pieces of pandan leave (tied in knot),  and let boil.  Boil for 30 minutes in slow fire.  The milk should thicken.  Stir well to prevent from sticking.  Once you see that it is thick,  trickles down slowly,  that will do.  It will become half about 200 ml.  The smell of the coconut milk will also be strong,  floods the kitchen.  leave to cool.  Discard the pandan leave after cooled.


3.  Beat eggs together first till it turns whiter and lighter,  add sugar and whip till foamy.  It will also thicken.  Using an electric whip,  it took me about 20 minutes to get it foamy and thick. 


4,  Add 85 ml coconut milk to the eggs & sugar, whip till well mixed.  


5.  Sift the cooled tapioca starch to the mixture (keep a portion of the tapioca starch aside to cloud the biscuit cutter).  Sieve the flour properly as there will be pandan leaves that might have broken off.   Slowly stir and fold the mixture.  Bring out and  knead the dough.


6.  The dough seems a little hard at first,  add some coconut milk, 1 tsp at a time.  and knead. what I did was to knead portion by portion of the dough,  add coconut milk when needed if the dough is too dry.


7.  Roll the dough at 0.3cm,  use a biscuit cutter.  ensure that you flour well before using.  The dough easily breaks, so,  handle with care, gently.


8.  Place on lined baking tray,  bake at 160 degrees celsius for 15 minutes.  Put on the middle tray of oven.


9.  Leave completely cool before removing from baking tray and store in air tight containers.


Here's my Kueh Bangkit,  I believe I've tried like 3-4 times,  it didn't quite turn out as expected.  This time,  it worked,  I just need to get it smoother,  probably can add a little more coconut milk to smoothen the texture.  


The learnings here is patience,  let the tapioca flour cool completely.  spend time to stir fry the tapioca flour.  





Rosetta Rolls

posted Nov 25, 2012, 1:59 AM by Jenny Loh   [ updated Nov 25, 2012, 2:00 AM ]

Rosetta Soffiati.  Daniel Leader's - Local Bread.  Il Fornaio and Italian Independent Bakers

I almost thought I lost touch with baking bread using my high gluten flour.  Its been turning out too chewy,  too hard,  these few weeks.  I haven't got really good bake even with a normal white loaf that normally turns out fluffy.  

But today,  today is the special day. My magic touch is back!  Perhaps I should just blame it on my tendonitis that I got on my shoulder,  that causes my arm not to work so well.  Well,  it's not like I've been using a lot of kneading using my hands,  still,  I'm always looking for an excuse for a bad bake.

These rolls,  turns out soft,  fluffy, light,  and crisp.  Yes....it can be achieved using my sack of high gluten flour,  and the magic formula from Daniel Leader's book - Local Bread.  Simply love this book, because,  it is simple,  it is easy to follow,  and the breads that I make,  usually turns out beautifully.








This is one bread that takes time.  I have time,  time on the weekend to bake.  

I started out with Saturday morning,  it was a great weather on Saturday,  checked the weather report,  ah...it was going to rain the next day,  ok, I had better build in my 5km run this morning.  Very quickly,  flipping through Leader's book,  I was choosing between Como Bread or Rosetta Rolls,  I have plenty of high gluten flour,  I had better use the recipe that requires such type of flour.  There,  I've made up my mind.  

Measuring out the ingredients for the bigs - wow,  I realized its more than usual amount of biga to make this bread,  interesting.  Mixing it up,  a quick knead of 1-2 minutes in my large metal bowl,  and the dough came together,  not smooth,  just enough to pull together,  strange,  it's quite dry.  I've been playing with wet dough too much recently. Transfer it into my newly bought rectangular box,  I left it on the table top covered lightly.

Got into my running gears,  and went out running.  It was indeed good weather for a run.  I managed to run 5.6km that morning.  Coming home after 1 hour,  the biga had risen. I let it go on for another half hour,   as my kitchen is cold, and then put into the fridge, it was about 10.30am.  It will be another 9-17 hours in the fridge, that's what the book says.   I had to get a roll stamp,  that's what the book says.  Searched online,  trying to look for one,  ordered some stamp like baking equipment.  It says confirmed my order and will be delivered.  I did hope that it will deliver the following day.  All right,  I guess I don't need to bake that day,  I decided to go for a walk outside.  The week had been miserable with too much rain.  Not wasting a day when the sun is out,  we went out for a walk and let my son try out his photography.

I came back in the evening,  and decided that perhaps I should just let it go till the following day.  

Waking up early morning,  I was thinking about my dough.  Yes,  it was bubbly,  risen more than double, smelt a little acidic.  Took it out of the fridge, put into the blender,  add the rest of the ingredients,  water first,  followed by flour and salt.  Using my Kenwood Platinum,  mix at level 3 for 10 minutes.  The dough was smooth and silky. Did the window pane test,  nice!

Took out the hook and left it in the blender to rise,  I let it rise for 1 hour.  My kitchen was still cold.  It doubled nicely.   

I poured it out on the tabletop lightly floured.  Fold into a rectangle.  Suppose to cut into 12 pieces, at 80g,  I decided to cut into 16 pieces.  Too lazy to measure each piece,  I just decided to divide them up as evenly as I can.  Well,  it didn't quite even out esp the ends.  Anyway,  I rolled them up into balls,  ensuring that I stretch it nicely and tightly.  Oh gosh,  my roll stamp is not here!  I had to improvise.  Using my cookie cutter,  putting a couple of the design together,  I decided,  this might just work.  Stamping it with the cookie cutter,  well,  some of them cut too deep.  

Laid the rectangular tray with a baking sheet,  floured lightly,  I put each of the stamped rolls face down.  Let them rise for 1 hour (I think I went a little over),  and put them in the fridge covered with plastic wraps.  The book says 3-8 hours.  I let it sit in the fridge for 5 hours.  

I started to heat up the oven at 250 degree celsius,  1 hour before I bake.   I wanted to put both trays in at the same time,  but the book says, put them in the middle,  bake slightly lighter,  so,  I thought,  well,  the first tray will be a bit close to the top,  may be baked too quickly,  anyway its only 15 mins each,  I decided to go 1 tray at a time.

Removing them from the fridge,  45 mins before baking to let it rise a little more.  Just before baking,  flip them over,  oh,  my stamps didn't quite work.  The design was almost gone.  The one with the heart seems to work better.  Oh well.  It will work.  Loading them into the oven,  I noted that the book didn't require steam.  I sprayed some water on the dough anyway.  15 mins of baking at 245 degree celsius.

The rolls rose nicely,  like a tennis ball,  as what the book says.  I was pleased.

Second tray went in,  and same effect.  

I love these rolls,  I just need to get some nice roll stamps to make some beautiful looking rolls.




   

  


Biga:

315g Water
10g Instant Yeast
500g Bread Flour

Bread Dough
70g Water
50g Bread Flour
10g Salt
all biga

Baguette - Experiment X

posted Sep 9, 2012, 7:03 AM by Jenny Loh

This recipe is adapted from a fellow,  but definitely capable baker txfarmer in www.thefreshloaf.com.  http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/19830/36-hours-sourdough-baguette-everything-i-know-one-bread

Baguette - Experiment X,  after many tries of baguette,  I've totally lost count the number of times the number of times that I tried.  I think I stopped my writing at Baguette 7 that I didn't post out,  as I guess I've lost all words to describe the failures.

Coming back to this Baguette,  in fact,  this is the 2nd try on this recipe.  I saw this beautiful,  full of holes baguette by this fellow and very capable fellow TFL baker - txfarmer.   Once again,  I picked up the courage to try once again the simple ingredients yet difficult process baguette.

With my rye starter active,  I added all the ingredients into a rough mass.  The original recipe call for flour and water to be mixed and set aside for 12 hours.  But somehow, this step was deluded from me,  I just forgot all about it.  I must profess,  I didn't give this recipe justice,  as I missed an important step which perhaps resulted in the not as open as the original recipe.  But overall,  I still like it, and will try to perfect it.

After 20 mins,  I started with the first stretch and fold.  Thereafter, every half hour a stretch and fold for the next 3 hours.  Then it went into the fridge.  As I have to bake it the next morning/afternoon,  I only managed an 18 hour in the fridge instead of the 24 hours as recommended.  

The stretch and fold definitely strengthen the dough.  The dough almost doubled in the fridge.  I did take out from the fridge and leave it for an hour on the kitchen top and it continues to grow.  I wish I had more time for it to expand more.

Next is the cut into 4 pieces,  fold into rectangle,  leave it on the table top for about 20 mins.  Again,  I should have leave it longer, up to 40 mins as recommended.  The shaping this time is much easier as compared to the last few times.  With 67% hydration,  this definitely beats the 70% hydration.

The final proofing took another 1 hour, the dough felt light and airy.  The oven was ready at high temperature 250 degrees celsius.  

As I was loading the dough into the oven,  somehow,  I couldn't get my dough off the peel,  it took me almost 10 min just to load the dough onto the stone.  My hand was all red because of the heat. After loading,  I still had to spread out the dough to ensure that they stay apart.  

Immediately after finishing loading,  I added water onto the stones,  and sprayed water, closed the oven door and watch the the dough expand.   After 25 mins,  the bread was done.  I wish I had more time to let the dough expand more, but was overall generally pleased with the result,  although not enough holes, but the skin of the bread is thin, a little chewy, but the taste is good.






Ingredients

150g Rye Starter (100% hydration)
430g All Purpose Flour
290g Cold Water
10g Salt

Rye Loaves with Nuts

posted Sep 9, 2012, 1:52 AM by Jenny Loh

Adapted from Daniel Leader's - Local Breads - Little Blue Cheese Rye Loaves

I don't know why I picked this recipe to try,  as I don't usually like to work with Rye that's over 50%.  I guess I wasn't quite paying attention the whole recipe.  The Little Blue Cheese Rye Loaves - this title was good enough to attract my attention.  

I was waking my rye starter on Saturday morning in preparation to make bread.  I've started to like using starter instead of instant yeast,  somehow,  I'm just fascinated that the bread will expand naturally with a starter.  My starter had always been 100% hydrated, i.e.,  same portion of water as flour.  It takes about 4-5 hours for the starter to double,  that's the peak,  that I usually use the starter.

With the starter at its peak,  I mixed all the ingredients other than nuts together in a mixer.  After couple of minutes of mixing,  all ingredients are well mixed.  But it was just too wet.  Looking at the recipe,  the starter was a dryer starter,  I guess,  again,  I overlooked this.  I added less than 1/2 cup of bread flour.  After another 10-15 mins of high speed,  the flour is still wet and not pulling together. I added the nuts in to mix it together. I decided to take it out and do a stretch and fold.  Now I recall,  it is just difficult to work with rye.

In the next 3 hours, every half hour,  I did a stretch and fold in a container.  The dough still felt sticky, but it was coming together better than before, strengthening at every stretch and fold.  The dough started to rise slightly after the final turn,  still a little sticky, but I decided to let it bulk rise.

After 4 hours,  the dough finally doubled.  When I pour the dough out,  the dough is not like the usual bread dough that I make, it didn't quite come together as well.  But I guess,  I will have to proceed.

Splitting into 4 pieces,  I fold into rectangle to rest for 15 mins.  Then decided to shape it round,  and let it rise on my metal plate.  I should have leave it in a basket to hold the shape.  Again,  another mistake as I didn't read the recipe.  It was suppose to go into a loaf pan.  

Anyway,  I heated up the oven, after 1 hour,  the dough spread out,  quite flat. I loaded the dough into the oven,  brought the temperature down to 200 degrees celsius,  as I recall,  rye needs longer time to bake, I set it at 45 mins.  Poured hot water onto my hot stone,  and sprayed water onto the dough.  The dough rose slightly and not much.

After 45 mins,  the bread browned nicely.  I let it rest overnight, to let the taste settle. In the morning,  I finally slice it thinly and every bite,  there's nuts,  there's no sourness,  but only richness in every bite.

Although the baking process was quite frustrating when I see that the dough was not coming together,  still sticky when I shaped it,  but the eventual result was a surprise.  Next time,  I'll get a pan to make it higher.  At least the boys decided that they like it,  and made Spam Slider with it.  




Ingredients:

125g Rye Starter (100% hydration)

275g Bread Flour
225g Rye Flour
8g Kosher Salt
350g Water

Nuts:
25g Pine Nuts
25g Walnut
25g Almond Pieces
25g Sunflower Seeds

Olive Levain

posted May 12, 2012, 1:47 AM by Jenny Loh   [ updated May 12, 2012, 1:49 AM ]

This recipe is from Jeffrey Hamelman with slight modification to the amount of sourdough and the use of Rye instead of whole wheat.  
Its been a long while since I've inputted this site.  My Macbook was getting old and the uploading of pictures are so slow,  I just give up totally.  Here I am, back with my new Macbook Air.  This little piece of equipment is so light,  and fast,  quite incredible.

I have been baking,  but the last few times hasn't been really good,  even my normal recipes seems to be dense.  I was suspecting its my new oven not working well,  well,  today,  the oven proofs that it is working fine.  I think I was playing around with the temperature a little and just not enough heating up,  such that it caused my other breads to turn out not so well. Lesson learnt,  stick with what works!

So,  with my Rye starter on hand,  just made some Deli Rye bread,  its been quite active.  I decided to try my hand on this Olive Levain.  Why?  My son loves olive,  and I wanted to use the levain,  and there are some olives left in the fridge.

The night before,  I build up the liquid levain.  Looking at my starter,  I had a little too much left.  Decided to up the amount from 34g to 100g.  Well,  in 4-5 hours,  my levain was bubbly,  I decided to put it overnight.  

In the morning,  I mixed all the final dough ingredients together with the liquid levain. I didn't have whole wheat,  and instead I used rye.  I prefer the taste of rye actually.  And for the olives,  I didn't bother to measure it because I have only a half bottle left,  took them all out and drain it and cut into half.   Putting into my mixer,  set at speed 1,  mixed the dough and let it come together for about 5 minutes.  Then followed by moving to Speed 4,  mixed it up more and check the gluten development.  As this has more liquid than original recipe,  I had to let it mix longer, about 7 minutes.  Then threw in the olives that are cut into half, mixing at speed 1.  I've developed it pretty well to ensure that  the bread will rise nicely.  I used the window pane check.

Putting into my container to let it rise,  I did a 1 stretch and fold after 1 hour. The levain was building the bread nicely.   Then I left to buy food for lunch,  by the time I got back 1.5 hours later ,  my cover of the container popped up! I quickly get into action by taking it out,  did a quick fold,  and cut into half and leave it to rest for about 20 mins.

Shaping it into oval shape for both,  and left it to rise.  I decided not to retard as recommended by Hamelman as I wanted to bake it in time for lunch and to give it to my little Italian friend's mom.  Heating up the oven at 250 degree celsius,  for 1.5 hours.  The dough rose very nicely.  

Steaming the oven with my hot lava stones,  I loaded the bread and sprayed water onto the bread.  First 10 mins was baked at 250 degree celsius,  and  adjusted the temperature to 230 degree celsius.  10 mins left and I turn the bread the other way to let it bake evenly.  The whole baking time is 45 mins.  The bread rose really nicely.  

Taking them out,  there is that lovely crackling sound!




This bread surprisingly turns out very light and fluffily.  I cut it after 1 hour,  and it tasted absolutely fabulous!  Love this !
Ingredients:

Liquid Levain Build

100g Liquid Sourdough (100%/100%/100% - -Rye)
164g Bread flour
204 Water

Mix and leave overnight for 12 hours

Final Dough
648g Bread Flour
90g Rye Flour
368g Water
14g Salt
Olives (about 20)
all the liquid levain

Year End 2011 Cooking and Baking

posted Jan 2, 2012, 11:16 PM by Jenny Loh

Every Year End,  there's so much festivities,  there's so much cooking and baking, that I just have to put them all here to show everyone what I've made.  Simply love the year end festivities,  and the best is,  it's just starting!

This is the best time to experiment,  and trying new dishes.  I think I made more dishes during this period than the whole year.


Christmas Eve Feast Menu

1.  6 - 7 kg Honey Glazed Turkey
2.  Brown Rice filling
3.  Fougasse
4.  Cranberry & Walnut Bread
5.  Mushroom with Mascarpone Cheese
6.  Proscuitto Ham Wrap with 7.  Carrots and Cucumber
8.  Strawberry with Chocolate Fondue
9.  Italian Salad - Green, Red Pepper & Capsicum,  Cucumber with Vinaigrette
10. Cranberry Sauce & Brown Sauce




After Christmas - Turkey Leftovers:

1.  Turkey Capellini
2.  Turkey Empanadas
3.  Turkey Pie
4.  Turkey Soup with Puff Pastry
5.  Turkey Gratin




Desserts and Others:
1. Chocolate Cream Cheese Cup Cake
2.  Shrimp and Squid Capellini
3.  Cream Cheese Cake in Cupcake form
4.  Rum Raisin, Mint, Chocolate Icecream with strawberry, blue berries, white and chocolate chips and nuts
5.  Clams Capellini with dash of lemon
6.  Apple, Pear, and Strawberry Smoothie.











Turkey:

1.  Defrost for 48 hours.  
2.  Wash Clean, remove all Gizards
3.  Rub with Salt
4.  Fill up the bottom with brown rice filling
5.  Sew up with pins.
6.  Tie the Turkey
7.  Bake for 3.5 hours 190 degree celsius
8.  After 1 hour,  brush the turkey with sauce that has dripped down the pan
9.  Brush every 1/2 hour
10. 1/2 hour before time due,  brush with honey every 10 mins.
11.  Temperature inside turkey measures about 165 degree Fahrenheit or 75 degrees celsius


Turkey Filling:
1 cup of brown rice cooked
1 corn,  cut the corn bits off
1/4 Green Pepper - cut in bits
1/4 Capsicum 
1/4 Red Pepper
Pepper
Salt


Mushroom with Mascarpone Cheese:
Button Mushrooms - washed and middle removed.
Spoon Butter that is mixed with chopped garlic and spiced with dried parsley,  mixed with Mascarpone Cheese. 

Bake at 180 degree celsius,  15 mins till butter melted.



Turkey Empanadas:

Pastry
2 cup of flour
1 egg
1 tsp of salt
50g butter melted
1/2 cup water

Mix well, and knead. leave for 10 mins before rolling.

Turkey Filling
1 large Potato
1/4 white onion
1 shallot
1 clove of garlic
Turkey chopped
Brown sauce
Salt & Pepper

Stir Fry and add brown sauce, simmer till slightly dry.

Divide Pastry, roll till about 0.5 cm,  use round cutter and roll as flat as possible.  Fill pastry with turkey filling,  and fold,  close the ends.

Fry 2 mins each side or until golden brown.  Serve when warm.


Clams Capellini

500g Clams
Some Olive Oil
1 Shallot
1 clove of garlic
Salt & Pepper
1 tbsp of lemon

Add oil to pan,  fry shallot and garlic when oil is hot,  add clams into pan.  Cover till clams open up and simmer for about 10 mins.

Meanwhile boil capellini in hot water till soft about 5-7 mins.

Add Capellini to clams, add lemon and simmer for 2 mins.
 

Rosemary Filone and Ricotta Bread with my Brand New Kenwood

posted Dec 31, 2011, 12:20 AM by Jenny Loh   [ updated Dec 31, 2011, 12:24 AM ]

from Daniel Leader's Local Breads with use of Kenwood Major Platinum
I got a call that there's a discount on one kitchen item that I've been eyeing for like 3 years.  After lunch, I quickly hop over to the store,  the buy is not only a discount but also a free meat grinder,  well,  I wanted the pasta maker.  The sales girl promised that there will be a free surprise gadget in the pack,  and ok,  fine, we decided to buy it.  Well,  the surprise was not there and the sales girl decided to give us a the pasta maker for free!,  I was exhilarated.  



Lugging the big item back home, my son had to help me carry it home.   I couldn't wait to try.  But it was already evening,  too late for a quick bake.  I decided to work Daniel Leader's Local Breads,  usually turns out really really well.  And,  my son requested for Rosemary Bread.  Leader's Local Breads contains a lot of recipes that uses herbs,  simply love it,  and uses biga that somehow,  makes it easy for the bread to work with and it usually turns out excellent.

Rosemary Filone:

1.  Took the biga out from the fridge, put into the mixer bowl.  add in water,  and used the stirrer to cut up in chunks.
2.  Add in all Ingredients, all dry first then, followed by wet.
3.  Mix for 10 mins using no. 3 ( I initially used 4 and the whole machine was jumping like crazy, I was afraid that it'll jump off the counter.)  In the meantime,  I was able to do some cleaning up.
4.  After 10 mins, the gluten was developed very well,  I was able to get my window pane dough.  And the dough was warm from the mixing.  Remove from the bowl.
5.  Round the dough and leave in the container for 1st proof.
6.  1 hour 15 mins.  the dough doubled.   
7.  Split dough by half,  fold and leave for 15 mins.
8.  Shape into loaf and leave in basket to proof for another 1 hour.
9.  Meanwhile,  heat oven at 210 degree celsius.
10. Score dough, bake for 40 minutes with steam.  (this bread is stated as no steam required, but I prefer the crust to be crispy and light)


Rosemary Filone:  The dough doubled in the oven,  and the rosemary smell wafted through the oven as it was baking. This bread is so soft and the crumbs were so well stretched.  


Ricotta Bread - Pane Alla Ricotta

Since I had my machine and flour all out,  I decided to make another bread at the same time. I had a box of Ricotta that I bought,  but not sure how to use it other and there in front of me, just a few pages down,  Ricotta Bread.  I just have to try it.

1.  Same method,  dry ingredients first then followed by cheese and butter, then water and milk.
2.  Mix for 10 mins at No. 3.
3.  Dough was mixed well. Window Pane achieved again.
4.  Let proof for 1 hour 30 mins.
5.  Cut 2/3 and 1/3.  Fold and leave for 15 mins.
6.  Round the 2/3 dough and 1/3 into loaf.  Leave to proof for 1 hour 30 mins.
7.  Score dough,  bake bread for 30 mins, with steam.  


This time,  the loaves tripled.  The milk and ricotta seems to make the dough much lighter than other breads,  and with the steam,  the bread just bloomed.  This is the first bread that I see spread, bloomed,  just indescribable.

I am totally happy with this new machine that I bought.  Totally satisfied,  as I usually don't get consistent mix.  And now,  with only 10 mins,  and the dough is so well mixed,  gluten fully developed. 





Rosemary Filone:

Biga
100g Bread Flour
65g Water
2g Instant Yeast

Let rise for 2 hours and fridge for 9 hours.

Bread Dough

500g Bread Flour
300g Water
5g Instant Yeast
65g Extra Virgin Olive Oil
15g Salt
10g Fresh Rosemary - chopped
All Biga


Ricotta Bread

500g Bread Flour
200g Water
100g Milk
150g Ricotta Cheese
20g Butter (that's the butter I'm left with, it requires 30g)
10g Instant Yeast (it says 20g.  I thought that's a lot,  usually its 2%,  I'll go with my instinct)


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