Monday, January 22, 2018

Lemon And Thyme Shortbread Cookies



I was searching a good shortbread cookies that is easy to make and taste good. When I came across this recipe from WriteOnRubee, I knew I had to make it. Lemon and thyme are a perfect match for this shortbread cookies. The recipe calls for 2 hours chilling in the fridge but I left it overnight as I wanted to bake them in the morning, reason being weather is cooler. 

I woke up at 5am , listen to a sermon on Youtube and spent 20 mins workout with my 1.5kg dumbbells. I had a great workout, bathe and within 15 mins, I had the shortbread cookies baking in the oven. Buttery, lemony thyme-y fragrance filled the whole kitchen . Even my furkids are excited.  They know they will be treated to a piece each :)  What to do, this mommy loves them so much.  Sharing is caring !  I made half a load which is about 25 pieces and just perfect for hubby and I .  For the next two days, we can have these delectable cookies for our tea or midnight snack :p  I love the beautiful texture , has a  light crunch, melts-in-mouth , bursting with lemon,thyme and buttery flavor.  It is truly addictive. I will surely make a full load on the next round.  Hubby is happy and I am happy.


you can see from the picture, I took a bite and gosh
it was so good that I almost forgot the photo session :p


 because I did a half load, I use the hand whisk I bought from Daiso
to cream the butter and sugar till creamy


I forgot to chop the thyme leaves :p

 because the weather is hot, I prefer to shape the
dough into a long log of 1" diameter ,using the cling wrap
to wrap the soft dough
Chilled the soft dough overnight before slicing
 into 1/4" thick slices


after a night in the fridge, it is easier to slice the dough


bake them for 17 mins @175C /350F till you see
the edges are slightly brown.

once the cookies has cooled down, use a spatula
to lift them onto a rack to further cool them
once harden, you can store them in air tight container


photoshoot time is my favourite time, 
I hate the washing up , I wish I have a maid to do it :p



Lemon And Thyme Shortbread Cookies - adapted from Write On Rubee

 * I halved the recipe when I make mine - 25 pieces

ingredients

250 g unsalted butter softened at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar *  I reduced sugar
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 large egg yolks, room temperature
1 tsp of fresh thyme leaves  * I used 2 tsp
zest from 1 lemon
2 cups all purpose flour

Method:
1. Rub half the zest with your fingers into the sugar in a small bowl and set aside.

2. Using a hand mixer, beat the butter at medium speed until it is smooth and creamy. Add both sugars and salt and continue to beat one minute more.

3. Reduce to low and beat in the egg yolks until blended.

4. Add flour, thyme, and the remainder of the zest and briefly pulse your mixer about 5 times at low speed . If you still see flour on the surface of the dough, pulse a couple of more times.  Mix just enough to incorporate the flour into the dough.  It should be a uniform, clumpy, soft dough.

5. Scrape it out onto a piece of cling wrap, pat it into a ball, and divide in half.  Gently flatten each piece into a oblong shape about an inch thick and chill for at least 2 hours.  ( or overnight )

6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees when ready to bake and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.

7. Remove dough from the refrigerator about 7-10 minutes before rolling, just so the dough softens enough to be slightly pliable.  Roll out to 1/4-inch thick and cut out shapes with a biscuit or cookie cutter.

8 .Place one inch apart on the prepared sheet and bake for about 15-17 minutes, rotating halfway through.  They should be pale on top and golden brown around the edges.

9.  Cool cookies for 1-2 minutes before transferring with a spatula to a cooling rack.

Tips:
1.  Butter with a higher butterfat percentage (which also means less water) = better cookies
2.  Grate the zest over the bowl of sugar to capture the spray of the citrus oils.
3.  Remember to allow time for the egg yolks and butter to come to room temperature.
4.  If the cookies soften too much after cutting, put them on the prepared pan and chill for 5 minutes before going into the oven.  You want them to be cold when they go in the oven or they can spread.
5. You can also roll the dough into two logs and chill (or freeze).  Before slicing, brush with beaten egg yolk and roll in coarse or sanding sugar. These were rolled in demerara/turbinado sugar.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Mix Grains Sausage Bun


Nothing beats kneading a piece of dough gently...it is so therapeutic . I have learned to add mix grains into my dough to increase our fibre intake.  Cannot just depend on the edibles from the garden :) Hubby loves it and that is most important. And he being a meat eater,  I add sausages for him.  With the same recipe, I made another load without sausages for a friend.  I remembered those days I used to bake for my kids when they were schooling.  They loved the buns that I baked for them.  Sweet memories indeed. Now I bake mostly for hubby.  He loves homebaked buns and I took the opportunity to bake ....killing two birds with one stone as the saying goes. He gets to eat and I get to enjoy playing with the dough :)  This recipe is a keeper no doubt. I used the same recipe for making burger buns and just add mix grains and brings the bun to a healthier level.


I add butter to the sausage bun before wrapping
for extra oomps


not just kneading is fun but to braid the dough is fun too


 brush a coat of milk and a toss of mix grains
before sending them to the oven


love the scent of freshly baked buns
it is a natural aromatherapy for the home

I enjoy the soft fluffy texture of the bun


I made another load with dried cranberries and mix grains
this is more healthy without the sausages



dried cranberries  added for extra oomps



before mixing into the dough, cut the dried cranberries to 
smaller bits
 


gently knead till dough is light and dough leaves the side
of the mixing bowl and divide equally and shaped
into balls



Mix Grains Sausage Buns
  
ingredients:

200g bread flour
60g plain flour
70g mix grains
 *add 70g dried cranberries if you want to make the Mix grains cranberry bun
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 porridge. 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 oblong shape. Cut slant slit on both side. Place the sausage in the middle and braid them ,covering the sausage. You can butter the sausage first before braiding. Place the braided bun on a greased baking tray. Repeat till all is done. 

* For making the mix grains with dried cranberries buns, shaped into round balls 

6.  Leave the buns to proof for another 30-40 mins .

7. Brush milk over the surface of the braided buns and toss some mix grains over the surface.  Bake at a preheated oven @180-200C  middle shelf ( depends on your oven ) for 25-30 mins till golden brown.

* For making the mix grains with dried cranberries buns, shaped into round balls


Monday, January 1, 2018

My First Bake For 2018 - Moist Greek Yoghurt Banana Cake


Happy New Year to all my readers, friends and loved ones.  Wow, I have not been baking much in 2017 and I hope to be able to do more baking this year.  My baking hobby has taken a back seat for  the whole of 2017 while I indulged in my current craze, gardening and photography.  Hope to be in baking mode again in 2018.  For a start, this is my first bake for 2018 - Moist Greek Yoghurt Banana Cake is really packed with banana and uses Greek yoghurt instead of milk :p  This is so yummy good that hubby gave me the due compliment for once !  He likes it moist and packed with banana.


I had two slices at one go.....it is great to be back in baking mode again


 banana cake is hubby's favourite cake besides
butter cake


the greek yoghurt makes the cake moist and delicious

Moist Greek Yoghurt Banana Cake
 
Ingredients:-

9 medium size banana- mashed or puree ( I used Pisang Emas )
250 gm unsalted butter - room temperature
175 gm brown sugar
4 eggs - lightly beaten
440 gm all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsps baking soda
2 tsps baking powder
a drop of vanilla extract
270 gm Greek yoghurt

Method:

1.      Grease a 10" cake pan. Preheat oven to 170C
2.      Sift together flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
3.      Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add a drop of vanilla extract.
4.      Add in eggs in one at a time till well blended in.
5.      Fold in the flour mixture in 3 batches until well combined.
6.      Fold in Greek yoghurt and lastly mashed bananas until well combined.
7.      Pour batter into prepared baking tin and bake in preheated oven for 45-50 mins
         or until the skewer test comes clean.
8.      Cool on wire rack completely before unmolding, cut and serve.