Thursday, October 4, 2018

Natural Yeast Japanese Milk Loaf (Cold Ferment)

Let Your Passion Be Your Guide"We do not know who we are until we see what we can do " - Martha Crimes

I was reading  Chicken Soup For the Soul - Life Lessons for Mastering the Law of Attraction and these are the words that pop out before my eyes  ...Let Your Passion Be Your Guide -  "We do not know who we are until we see what we can do " - Martha Grimes .....this is really an encouragement for my bread journey.

Wow, I love making bread and I find that challenging. I have tried many methods and different recipes using different ingredients to make the bread soft and fluffy.  

Now I am into the challenge of making Sourdough Bread. At the moment ,I am still using the discard to make other bread such as flatbread like Pita Bread, Focaccia and Sourdough Banana Bread and many others . Yesterday, I took a step further to bake this Japanese Milk Loaf,  turning my sourdough starter into natural yeast for making this soft and fluffy bread. 

Seriously, we do not know who we are until we see what we can do, so true.  I thought I will never be able to bake bread using natural starter as natural yeast.  For today , I will be sharing my journey on making this Japanese Milk Loaf.  This recipe takes 12 hrs to 15 hrs of cold fermentation and after taking out to proof, it will normally takes 2 hrs to proof and the dough will rise to the brim of the pullman tin but for me it took nearly 6 hrs , so meaning, mine took longer to proof.  I was worried and texted my friend to tell her , gosh , something is wrong with the process.  My friend texted me back and say be patient and wait.  So true , proofing time depends on the strength of the natural yeast. Using natural yeast in making bread needs Time and Patience.  I have the time but no patience..I need to learn be patient in order to bake beautiful bread using Natural Yeast.   Eventually , my bread came out of the oven, looking gorgeous and tasted so good that I went to bed happy. Took shots of the bread to send to my friend in Melbourne . She rejoices with me and she encouraged me to bake Sourdough bread and okay , now I am confident to take on the real Sourdough Bread.  And after reading the first few pages of this book I am reading, I am encouraged and will take a step further to and bake my first Sourdough Bread. Stay tuned for it.

Keep the dough into a plastic bag pre-coated with a little oil.
Place the dough in a bowl, and allow it to stand in room temperature for about 1.5 to 2 hours.

place the dough in the bowl covered with a lid, and store in a fridge for 12 hours at least

Continue to knead till the dough reaches window pane stage. This takes about 10 to 15 minutes.

Shape the dough into 3 balls by pulling down the sides, and seal at the  bottom.

Cover and let them rest for about 15 min.

Flatten the dough and roll out into a  oval dough

Roll up the dough from the shorter side, cover with a lid, 
and let it rest for 10 minutes.

After second proofing, brush a coat of fresh milk  over the dough.

 if your Pullman tin has a thinner wall, 
you can bake for about 40 minutes 
at the same temperature.

Remove the bread from the Pullman tin immediately after leaving the oven. 
Let the loaf cool down on a wire rack before slicing it. 
Slice with bread knife.

look how soft and fluffy the bread is

Natural Yeast Japanese Milk Loaf - adapted from My Mind Patch

Bread weight: 485g
Raw dough weight: 529g
Room temperature: 29.9 degree C
Yield: one 20x10x11cm loaves 

All ingredients in room temperature 
250g bread flour
100g natural yeast
25g fine sugar
8g coconut/vegetable oil
4g fine salt

155g fresh milk

20g unsalted butter

* 100% hydration (flour:water = 1:1)
# about 1/2 tsp

Some milk 

1. Feed 130g of active natural yeast with 10g each of cool boiled water and unbleached bread flour. Wait for the natural yeast to double in volume. For good active natural yeast, it should be able to double itself within 60 to 90 minutes. Use the natural yeast, while it is still active, within 3 hours after feeding.
Collect 100g for baking, and keep the remaining in the fridge.

2. Allow fresh milk to return to room temperature.
3. Mix all ingredients, except butter, in a mixing bowl.
4. Stir in one direction to combine the ingredients into a lump. Cover with a lid, and let it rest for 15 to 20 minutes to allow the flour to fully absorb the liquid.
 5. As the dough is quite sticky, wearing a CPE disposable gloves would make kneading easier. Knead the dough by slamming, pulling, and folding the dough, until the dough becomes smooth. This process takes about 10 minutes.
6. Spread out the dough and apply softened butter onto it. Knead to incorporate butter into the dough.
7. Continue to knead till the dough reaches window pane stage. This takes about 10 to 15 minutes.
8. Shape the dough into a ball by pulling down the sides several times, till the dough surface is stretched and smoothen, and seal at the bottom.
9. Keep the dough into a plastic bag pre-coated with a little oil.
Squeeze out all the air and tie the opening with a loose knot. To prevent moisture loss in the fridge, keep the dough in another plastic bag. Place the dough in a bowl, and allow it to stand in room temperature for about 1.5 to 2 hours. 1 hour 30 min later, the dough became inflated.
10. Finally, place the dough in the bowl covered with a lid, and store in a fridge for 12 hours at least.
I stored it for about 15 hours.
11. On the next morning, transfer the cold dough out of the fridge. Invert the dough with the base facing up, and allow the dough to thaw for about 1 hour.

12. While waiting for the dough to thaw,  apply a thin coat of butter on the Pullman tin interior walls. Set aside.
13. Cut open the plastic bag, and turn the dough onto a floured work top. 
14. Flatten the dough to release the trapped air. Divide the dough into 3 equal portions, about 178g each.  It's okay if the dough is still cold to touch.
15. Shape the dough into 3 balls by pulling down the sides, and seal at the  bottom.
Cover and let them rest for about 15 min.
16. Flatten the dough and roll out into a  oval dough.
17. Roll up the dough from the shorter side, cover with a lid, and let it rest for 10 minutes.
18. After the rest, roll out the dough into a flat dough again. The shorter length of the dough should correspond to the shorter width of the Pullman tin. Place the dough into a greased non-stick Pullman tin. The open end of the dough should be facing down.  
20. Spray some water over the doughs and place them in a closed oven.
Let the dough proof in a warm oven for about 90 to 120 minutes, or till the dough reaches about the rim of the Pullman tin.
To facilitates the second proofing, you may switch on the oven to its minimal temperature for about 1 minute.
21. After the second proofing and the dough has reached about the rim of the Pullman tin, remove the dough out of the oven. Preheat the oven to 170  degree Celsius.  And brush a coat of fresh milk  over the dough.
22. Bake the dough at the lower rack of the oven at 170 degree Celsius for about 50 minutes. If your Pullman tin has a thinner wall, you can bake for about 40 minutes at the same temperature.
23. Remove the bread from the Pullman tin immediately after leaving the oven. Let the loaf cool down on a wire rack before slicing it. Slice with bread knife.
For step (21), if you apply egg wash instead of fresh milk, you'll get a glossy top


Saturday, September 29, 2018

Sourdough Focaccia With Rosemary And Garlic

My dream Sourdough Focaccia finally turned out great.  I have been wanting to bake this Italian bread for a long time, one that is airy and full of irregular holes.  I guess it is due to reading too much on sourdough bread making and seeing too many sourdough bread with big irregular holes and I have this ' not giving up mentality' , until I have achieved it, I will not give up.  And today I can say I am almost there.  Still have room for improvement.  It all points to the method of stretching and folding the dough and the bulk fermentation and cold fermentation.  I know I will achieve it if I have the time and patience.  Making a good one , one need to have time and patience.  I introduced to hubby and he is beginning to like it. That just means the bread is good * wink wink.  I found a good recipe from Cultures For Health and it is really good. I just need to practice more on it and I will be happy for the rest of my life :)  

I made focaccia flavoured chopped garlic, rosemary , black pepper and on a last minute fancy ,threw in some cheddar cheese for the hubby.  It turned out so fragrant and light , soft with slight chewy texture and a tad sourness to it. A beautiful flavoured Sourdough Focaccia for keep.  A keeper for sure. This bread can be eaten as-is next to a pot of soup or cut in half for thin, flavorful sandwich bread.

 love the airy dream irregular holes

truly a baker's delight

Sourdough Focaccia With Rosemary And Garlic - adapted from Culture Of Health
  • 1 cup sourdough starter
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 4 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 tsp. sea salt, plus more for baking
  • 4 cups all-purpose or bread flour
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, minced finely
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced finely
  1. Combine the sourdough starter, water, and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the salt. Add the flour and mix until a sticky dough begins to form. Knead in the bowl with wet hands for several minutes, rewetting your hands as necessary to prevent sticking.
  2. Cover dough and ferment for 12-24 hours or until doubled in size.
  3. Preheat oven to 450°F.Generously grease a large baking sheet with a lip all the way around. Carefully turn the dough out onto the greased baking sheet, taking care not to deflate the dough. Spread it out, if needed by gently pressing the dough.
  4. Use your fingers to create indentations in the top of the dough by sinking them in slowly. It should look like divots all over the top of the dough.
  5. Drizzle over the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, sprinkle generously with coarse sea salt, chopped rosemary, and garlic.
  6. Let bread rest for 30 minutes.
  7. Place pan in preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown on top.


Sourdough Pancake

What can I do with the discard starter??? I goggled and found Lizzy's blog. She has a recipe for using sourdough starter for her pancake and from her photos, the pancakes do look fluffy and soft.  So I followed her recipe and true enough, the pancake was not a disappointment.  And the wonderful thing is the discard starter is not a waste after all. There are lots of goodies we can do with it, which I will be sharing from now on to those who loves eating sourdough bread.  This is a keeper and I have made this pancake many times since I have started my own sourdough starter.  Great breakfast food. Healthy and sourdough is good for our digestive system. Sourdough can help regulate blood sugar levels which helps ward off diabetes. Sourdough is also a prebiotic, which helps to support the gut micobiome. A lot of goodness eating sourdough bread.

these are ingredients used for making the pancake

my discard is active and bubbly after I activated it from

vege oil added

add in my homemade vanilla extract

give a quick whisk till well combined

first time making pancake so the shape
looks amateur

Sourdough Pancake - adapted from Taste Of Lizzy


2 cups of all purpose flour
1 tsp of baking soda
1 tsp of baking powder
2 tbsp of sugar
1 cup of sourdough starter
1.5 cups milk
1 large egg beaten 
2 tbsp vegetable oil  (rice bran oil)
a tsp of vanilla extract * optional


  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and soda, sugar and salt.
  2. Add the sourdough starter, milk, egg and oil and vanilla extract if using. Mix well just until combined.
  3. Spray a pancake griddle with cooking spray or grease well with butter. Heat to about 300-350 degrees.
  4. Pour 1/4 cup pancake batter on the hot griddle. Cook until the pancake starts bubbling on top, then flip the pancake.
  5. Cook for an additional 1-2 minutes or until the pancake is cooked through.
  6. Serve warm with butter and syrup.


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

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


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


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.

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

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

 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

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, 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  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


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

  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.