Friday, September 21, 2018

Sourdough Pita Bread


Once I had the Sourdough Starter ready, there was no ends to what I can do with it.  I made Sourdough Pita Bread with it and they turned out really good .  Light puffy and the big pocket enabled me to fill it with the pan seared chicken breasts and alfafa sprouts salad.  A perfect light dinner that hubby and I enjoyed. I took the recipe from Sonia. You can hop over to her blog. She has lots of wonderful recipes that she so generously shared.  No need for commercial yeast. I have my own natural yeast I named 'Sunshine' for it truly brings joy each time I bake .....feeling awesome.  When I am not baking SS rest in the fridge on the bottom shelf.  When I need 'Sunshine' I just bring it out and activate it and I am good to go. Easy and it is so healthy.  Will be sharing another sourdough banana bread in my next post. Stay tuned. 

Notes from Sonia as to the benefits of Sourdough bread
A.  Easier to Digest
B. Natural Preservatives
C. Blood Glucose Regulation
D. Better Absorbtion of Vitamins
E. Better Absorbtion of Minerals





you can feel the lightness when mixing 
in the sourdough starter with the AP flour


look how light and puffy the dough is..
rest the dough for 2 hours until doubled


divide dough into 12 portions


dust worktop with flour, take a ball of dough and roll into
flat round disc




place 3 discs per baking, bake at 250C for 2-3 mins each
side


Cut into half and fill the pockets with anything you like
for me, I filled them with pan seared chicken breasts 
and alfafa sprouts salad

Sourdough Pita Bread - adapted from Sonia
* makes 12

ingredients:

250 g all-purposes flour
200g sourdough starter (feed with all-purpose flour)
20 g sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
85g water

Method:

1. Bring out the starter from the frige, remove the cover, lets it rise till double before use .
Once you are done with your recipe, go back to feeding your starter equal parts flour and water ( the amt depend how much starter you want to keep, can be 50 g each or 100 g each feeding.

2. Mix all ingredients in a mixing bowl, knead till soft and smooth dough. REst for 2 hours or till doubled.

3. Equally divide into 12 portions (46 g each)  shape to ball, cover with a kitchen towel and rest for 1 hour.

4. Dust worktop with flour, take 1 ball (keeping the rest covered)  and use a rolling pin and roll into a 4.5" to 5" circle, dusting with more flour if necessary.  Baking 2-3 pieces at a time, depend on the size of your baking tray. Cover the rest with kitchen towel.

5. Place the dough quickly and bake 3 pieces at a time on a preheated cast iron griddle or baking tray at 250C or normal black tray at 220C.  After 2-3 minutes, the dough should be nicely puffed. Turn over with spatula and bake  another 2-3 minutes . The pita bread should be pale, with only a few brown speckles.

Enjoy !

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Natural Yeast - Sourdough Starter Using Apple Yeast Water


After the 7th day, my Apple Yeast Water is ready for use. If you have missed out on my previous post. Click here for the recipe to make your own apple yeast water to enable you to make your own Sourdough starter.  I was very happy with how my apple yeast water turned out. The sizzling sound I hear each morning when I have to open the lid to let out the gas is really soul lifting.  Joy in every aspects.  Finally , I was able to start making the sourdough starter.  Making my own sourdough starter is one way of baking and eating healthy bread and at the same time I can say goodbye to commercial yeast. I challenge I gave myself and I succeded.

Later I will show you all the bakes that I made from my own sourdough starter.  For now I shall share on how to make your own sourdough starter, recipe taken from Sonia, a lady who inspires me a lot in my cooking and baking journey.


my apple yeast water is ready...


it is important to weigh the bottle jar before
starting to measure out the flour and water


place a rubber band to mark the 1st level,
once it double the height, you can start to remove half
the starter and feed back the amount you have remove
(the total weight minus the weight of bottle divide by two)
 that is the amount to remove and feed back


the bubbly sourdough means it is active


once it has doubled, it is ready to be used
I named my sourdough SUNSHINE :)

Sourdough Starter Using Apple Yeast Water - taken from Sonia


Unbleached all purpose flour 
Apple yeast water 
Filtered water

 1. Add 50g Apple Yeast water and 50g all purpose flour into a clean jar, stir to mix well. Using a rubber band to mark the original level. Place inside kitchen cabinet and let it ferment till next day.

 2. If you see the starter has risen double. Discard half of the starter, and add equal amount 50g of apple yeast water and all purpose flour, mix well and mark the level. Let it rise till double.

 3. Repeat the same steps 3-4 times. Then you can start feed the starter with filtered water instead of apple yeast water.

 4. Continue to feed the starter, until the starter able to rise double within 4-5 hrs, that means the starter is ready to use for making sourdough or soft bread.

Note:
Name your sourdough starter - I named mine Sunshine
It is important to weight the bottle jar before starting
You can rest the starter in the fridge, feed it every 7 days.


Apple Yeast Water


I have always wanted to make my own sourdough starter . I bought a lot of books on basic bread makng to sourdough bread while I was still working. I even have bread books by Peter Reinhart. I first made my own Ciabatta bread using Peter Reinhart's recipe. Poolish Starter and they turned out good except the ciabatta doesn't have the holey grails (large holes) effect that I wanted.  

When I chanced upon Sonia's recipe on natural yeast made with apple yeast water, my interest was ignited again.  I felt like I was set on fire . That was how I started my Sourdough Starter project.  I am happy to announce that after 7 days, my apple yeast water was ready for making my own Sourdough Starter.  I will be sharing on how to make SS using apple yeast water.   From now on, I can say goodbye to commercial yeast and use natural yeast instead to make my bakes.


using organic apple and filtered water
to  make the yeast water is very important
as the rate of success is 100 percent


after 7 days my apple yeast water is ready 
for making my Sourdough Starter

Apple Yeast Water

150g organic apple small cubes 
30g organic sugar 
500g filtered water 
1 clean glass jar

 Method 
1. Wash the apple, remove the core, retain the apple skin, then slice and cut into cube size.

2. Day 1. Put all ingredients and cover with the lid, shake the container and let them mix well, put in a shady place ( I place inside kitchen cabinet).

3. Day 2- Day 6. Shake and open the container at least 2times a day. This is to prevent apple getting moldy and let the gas released. You can see bubbles formed and also able to hear sizzling sound.

 4. On the day 7, apple yeast water is ready to make into natural yeast. 


Monday, July 2, 2018

35th Wedding Anniversary


It has been an amazing journey all these 35 years being wedded to this annoying and yet wonderful man. He is my bible teacher, my mentor in photography and my pillar of strength when I fall.  My most trusted friend and the one person in this world who can accept my flaws and weaknesses.  The first thing we did this morning was to renew our vows to each other in the presence of God. And we asked God to continue to bless us many more happy years together.  And let us be the salt and light for HIM.

I made his favourite cake ( traditional rich butter cake ) to celebrate our being together for 35 years.  The flowers are from my lil space. Though the flowers are not edible but they are perfectly safe to have them as decoration on the cake.  I am amazed that I can be that creative...hahaha even he was surprised when he saw the cake...the first thing he said was  " oh my , you have put your garden on the cake "!  .  This is how straight forward he can be !  


Rich Butter Cake
- cake pan: 7" x7" x 3"
preheat oven to 180C 
greased baking pan with baking paper


 ingredients
 8oz multi purpose flour - sieve
1 tsp baking powder
8oz butter ( Butter Churn)
8oz sugar * I reduce to 5.5 oz -  taking into consideration of the sugar icing
5 Grade A eggs
6-7 tbsp of full cream milk
1 tsp of vanilla extract

 Method:
Cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy.  Add eggs ,one at a time until till egg is well incorporated. Fold in flour in three batches , alternating with the milk till well combined. Spread mixture into prepared pan and bake for 50 mins or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Stand in pan for 10 mins . Turn out on a wire rack to cool.

Prepare Sugar Icing

225 gm of butter
3.5 cups of confectioners' sugar/powdered sugar
1/2 tbsp of lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract

Cream butter and powdered sugar in a mixing bowl, ( add  powdered sugar tablespoon by tablespoon into the butter) and cream mixture till you get the correct consistency - add in the lemon juice and vanilla extract last, give it a last whisk to make sure the lemon juice and vanilla extract are well combine.

Spread icing on the  butter cake and decorate with fresh flowers that is pesticide free.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Lemon Curd Bars


This is my first time making Lemon Curd Bars.  I remembered eight years ago , I did make lemon curd using Martha Stewart's recipe for frosting lemon yogurt cupcake .  My cousin gave me a bottle of prepared lemon curd last week .....wow, a step easier for me as using prepared lemon curd makes baking tangy lemon bars so easy that I can whip up a batch anytime. Dessicated coconut and almonds add extra richness and texture . Recipe is from Allrecipes.com.  Every bite is so yummy good with the lemon curd tanginess bursting in the mouth and I can snack on them while watching korean drama :)


ingredients used for making lemon curd bars
so easy to use prepared lemon curd

beat butter and sugar till fluffy, add flour mixture
and mix with this simple tool from Daiso


 mix till it resembles crumbs

 

 take out 1/4 of the crumbs mixture and mix 
in dessicated coconut and chopped almonds
keep aside


Pat 3/4 of mixture into bottom of ungreased 13 x 9-inch baking pan. 
and bake till lightly brown, take out and cool

once the base crust has cooled down, spread lemon curd
over baked layer


spread curd evenly 


Add coconut and almonds to remaining crumb mixture
stir to mix. Sprinkle over curd.


Bake additional 25 minutes or until lightly brown. 
Remove from oven and cool slightly. 
Dust with powdered sugar and cut into squares. 


my first trial, slightly over baked but taste good!

Lemon Curd Bars - taken from Allrecipe

ingredients:

1 cup butter -softened
1 cup sugar 
2.5 cups All purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
10 oz lemon curd
1/2 cup almonds- chopped
3/4 cup dessicated coconut
1 tbsp powdered sugar

Method:
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl until creamy. Add flour, baking soda and salt. Mix until mixture forms coarse crumbs. Pat 3/4 of mixture into bottom of ungreased 13 x 9-inch baking pan.
  2. Bake 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool slightly. Spread curd over baked layer. Add coconut and almonds to remaining crumb mixture; stir to mix. Sprinkle over curd.
  3. Bake additional 25 minutes or until lightly brown. Remove from oven and cool slightly. Dust with powdered sugar and cut into squares.  
Enjoy!

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Hot Cross Bun - Because He Lives



Tomorrow is Easter Day and it the day the Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Because HE lives, I can face tomorrow, and all my fears are gone. Happy Easter to all my Christian friends.

I have made some soft and delicious hot cross buns for celebrating Easter Day.  Woke up at 4.30am this morning and could not go back to sleep, so hot cross buns came to mind. Easy to prepare and had the buns ready by 7am for our breakfast . Recipe calls for the kneading but I too lazy, so using the non kneading technique (that is mixing all the ingredients together until the dough leaves the side of the bowl ) I  kept some for tomorrow Easter breakfast  :)  Recipe calls for the kneading but I too lazy, so using the no knead technique (that is mixing all the ingredients together until the dough leaves the side of the bowl ). 

I really love the aroma of freshly baked buns.....do you?


 ingredients for making the hot cross buns


 I just use the spatula to stir and keep stirring
until it turns into a dough
till the dough leaves the side of the bowl
and it is ready for proofing


use a cling wrap to cover the dough
and leave it to rise for 1 hour

 

As bread dough ferments and proves,
 the yeast produces carbon dioxide gas that  
causes the gluten network to expand.


I love piping the cross on the buns
it's fun time for me  :)


 the buns turned out beautifully

 

 spread on homemade orange marmalade
so yummy good


 the buns turned out soft despite
using non-kneading technique



Hot Cross Buns
Ingredients:

3 cups plain flour (or organic plain flour )
2 tsp dried yeast
3/4 cups dried currants
4 Tbsp caster sugar
1 tsp mixed spice
pinch of salt
30g unsalted butter (cut into cubes)
220 ml milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten

Flour paste for drawing crosses:
4 Tbsp plain flour
2 to 2 1/2 Tbsp water

Glaze for brushing buns:  * I use homemade orange marmalade jam for glazing the buns

2 Tbsp caster sugar

1 tbsp of water

Method:-

1. In a large bowl, combine sifted flour, dried yeast, mixed spice, sugar , salt and currants.

2. Use a little saucepan, melt butter.  Add milk to cook for 1 minute until lukewarm.



3. Add warm milk mixture and egg to flour mixture.  Use the electric hand mixture with the dough 
hook and whisk the ingredients till thoroughly mixed and continue for another 5 minutes till the dough becomes a lump and leaves the side of the mixing bowl. 

4. Take out the soft dough and knead the dough for another 10 minutes on a lightly floured surface until it  is smooth. Place into a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and a towel on top.  Set aside in a warm place for 1 hour until dough doubles in size.

5. Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Punch dough with your fist to release some gas and let dough return to its original size.

6. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth. Divide into 12 even portions and shape each portion into a ball.  Place balls onto lined tray, around 1 cm apart.  Cover with plastic wrap. Let sit for 30 minutes until buns double in size.

7. Preheat oven to  190C (374F)

8. Mix flour with water together to make smooth flour paste. If it's too thick, add a little more water as you go. Transfer to a small snap-lock bag, snipping off a corner of the bag. Pipe flour paste over tops of buns to form crosses. 

9. Pop in the preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until buns are brown and cooked through.
While baking buns, mix sugar with water in a small saucepan. Warm over low heat, until sugar dissolves. Brush warm glaze over cooked hot cross buns. Serve warm.  

* Note:  Zap overnight buns in microwave for 20 seconds and they are as good as just out of the oven.


Have a wonderful Easter break !




Monday, March 19, 2018

Banana Chiffon Cake



It has been a long time since I last baked a chiffon cake. Reason being, it will either shrink or not fluffy and light enough. It may sound a very simple and easy to make cake but in fact it can be quite frightening the first time making them.  Yesterday, I had a sudden craving for light and easy cake and since I have banana at home, I decided to bake a chiffon cake for our tea break.  The recipe calls for a 7" tube pan but since I do not have one, I used my 8" tube pan instead, thinking that an inch would not matter.  Other then the cake turned out shorter, the taste and texture is good.  A light and tasty chiffon cake for our tea break.  Love it to bits and will use this  recipe again.  A healthy one as it uses vegetable oil instead of butter.  I used rice bran oil which is healthy and fragrance free too.  I used Sonia's recipe, which is foolproof , light and easy. Thank you Sonia for sharing such a wonderful chiffon cake recipe. Hope over to her blog, she has shared many foolproof recipes.

 

ingredients for
a very healthy, light and easy banana chiffon cake


folding in the meringue gently so as not to deflate
the batter
 

a beautifully baked banana chiffon cake
and has to be turned upside down while
cooling, once cooled it is ready
to unmould


Banana Chiffon Cake - adapted from Sonia
*for a 7" chiffon tube pan

ingredients:

3 egg yolks ( A size or large)
10g caster sugar
75 g cake flour (superfine flour )
35g vegetable oil * I use rice bran oil
90 g mashed banana  *  I use Pisang Emas

3 egg white (A size or large )
40g caster sugar
1/2 tsp lemon juice

Method:

1.  Immediately separate cold eggs after taking out from fridge as cold eggs are easier to separate them. Make sure the bowls are dry, clean and free from oil and water.  Set aside and allow them to return to room temperature.

2.  Add the 10g sugar into egg yolks and lightly whisk till light , add in oil and whisk till well incorporated. Add in mashed banana and stir well to combine, then fold  in flour till well incorporated into the egg mixture.

3.  Beat egg whites and lemon juice till foamy, gradually add in sugar in three batches and continue to beat till stiff peaks ( meringue stand straight up with a little curve at the tip ) This will take about 3-4 mins using speed 3 of electric hand mixer.

4. Take 1/3 of meringue and use a hand whisk to mix well and lighten the egg yolk batter ( Do not worry , you will deflate the batter at this stage.

5. Now change hand whisk to a silicone spatula, fold in 1/3 of meringue, gently fold with egg yolk batter till slightly combined.  Fold in the balance meringue and gently fold till well combined.

6. Pour cake batter into chiffon pan, wipe off the excess batter that stick on the tube or insert area.  Fill batter about 80% full , but not too full as the cake need space to rise while baking and resulted in cake shrinkage.  Tap pan on the counter top to remove air trapped inside the batter.

7. Bake at pre-heated oven at 180C for 30 mins at middle rack or until cooked.

8. Once done, turn the chiffon tin upside down and cool completely before remove from the tin.

9. Chiffon cake is ready to unmould.  You can use a plastic thin spatula to run the pan and unmould the chiffon .


Enjoy !


Tuesday, March 13, 2018

MIx Grains Sausage Bun With Sesame Seeds Topping


I will never get sick of making bread by hand.  To some it is a messy chore but I tell you it is truly therapeutic and not messy if you know how to do it right :)  I have been making buns for years now. I think I can make them with my eyes closed.  Nah, I am just kidding. But I do love making them and I can tell whether the dough will turn out great as I go about mixing them.  Hubby loves the mix grains sausage buns that I baked for him some time back and requested that I make them again for him.  So be it, his wish is my command.  And this time I added sesame seeds  as a topping to give texture to the bun.  I recently discovered that by just mixing the ingredients together and giving it a quick stir, and a light knead with the heel of the palm, the dough will turn out light too. And allowing the dough to rest and proof for an hour will give a better result.  I can never get bored making the same bun over and over again as it is really a keeper for sure.


 beautifully proofed dough


 love the feel of a well risen dough


 sesame seeds as topping


 my oven did not act up on me, the buns were
evenly browned and looks good
the aroma of freshly baked buns is to die for


 
Mix Grains Sausage Bun With Sesaame Seeds Topping
 
ingredients:
200g bread flour
60g plain flour
70g mix grains
125 ml full cream milk 
42g caster sugar
1/2 tsp of salt
3g instant yeast
1 egg  - grade C, beaten
85 g water dough
25 g unsalted butter

8 chicken sausages
Recipe for the water dough " water-roux"
Cook 125g water with 25 g bread flour at medium low heat, keep stirring until it become thicken and no lumps left. If you've a candy thermometer, measure it until the temperature turn to 65C and turn of the heat. Cook it until quite liquid consistency like the baby porri
 
dge. Transfer to a clean bowl to cool down. Use only amount required. The rest can be kept in the fridge for 2  to 3 days only. If there is grey mold, throw away.
Method:
1.Place all the ingredients for kneading except the butter until everything come together and become a smooth dough, then add in the butter a little at a time.
2. Let the dough slowly absorb the butter. Gently knead till dough is smooth and leave the side of bowl and not sticking to the hand.
3. Let it proof for 50-60 mins in a clean bowl cover with cling wrap.
4. Divide dough into even size of 8 portions or any size you like it to be then let it rest for 10 minutes.
5. Shape the dough into smooth round shape. Roll out  flat  into a triangle strip. Place the sausage at the broad end and roll towards the tapered end . ( like rolling a croissant ) Placed the rolled up bun on a greased baking tray. Repeat till all is done. 
6.  Leave the buns to proof for another 30-40 mins .
7. Brush milk over the surface of the rolled up buns and toss some black and white sesame seeds over the surface.  
 
8. Bake at a preheated oven @180-200C  middle shelf ( depends on your oven ) for 25-30 mins till golden brown.
 
 
Enjoy!