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Archive for March, 2014

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Cheese Sugar Pai Pau 乳酪白糖排包

I haven’t made 排包 ‘pai pau’ (bread rows) for a very long time. I miss that buttery soft pai pau from Kee Wah Bakery… Hmm, with only two tiny slices of whole wheat bread left on the counter, it’s time to make some more bread!~ Pai pau it is! Little did I realize that my previous pai pau recipes require dough starter which I didn’t have extra time to make… So I used a couple recipes as guideline and create this pai pau recipe that doesn’t use dough starter. Oh, and I always love Parmesan/Asiago cheese and sugar topping, so why not use it here to clean up my leftover cheese.

The taste: Well, bread made with or without a dough starter does make a difference, at least with this pai pau. Since I didn’t use any dough starter this time, my pai pau was a little dry the second day (I didn’t try it fresh on the baking day). I warmed it up a bit in microwave then the bread was soft again, but when it cools it gets drier and a little more dense. Oh well… as long as I have the crusty sugar cheesy topping, it’s fine with me 😉

Cheese Sugar Pai Pau 乳酪白糖排包 Recipe (makes 10 rows)

Ingredients:
7/8 cup (210ml) milk– see note below
1 egg– beaten
3 1/3 cups bread flour– see note below
1 1/2 tsp dry yeast
5 tbsp sugar
2 1/2 tbsp grated fresh Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp milk powder
1 tsp salt
4 tbsp unsalted butter– cut into pieces

1 beaten egg for egg wash

Topping:
grated fresh Parmesan cheese (about 1 tbsp for each bread row)
sugar (about 1/2 tbsp for each bread row)

Method (using Zojirushi bread maker):

  1. Add milk and beaten egg to the bottom of bread maker loaf pan, followed by bread flour, ensuring covering all the liquid. Make a indentation in the center and add dry yeast to the indentation. Place sugar, cheese, milk powder, salt and butter in different corners (salt and sugar at opposite side). Select “Dough” course and press “Start”. When the machine starts kneading, check on the dough by touching– if it looks a bit dry and crumbly, add 1 tbsp of milk. If it’s too wet add 1 tbsp bread flour.
  2. When the course finishes, remove dough from loaf pan and place in a large bowl, covered with plastic wrap and rest in a warm place until double in size.
  3. Punch out the air and kneed to a log shape. Cut into 10 pieces, roll each piece of dough into a oblong shape, sprinkle some sugar (optional) and roll up lengthwise likes jelly roll. Pinch to seal the end. Place bread dough in a greased deep dish rectangle baking pan, slight apart from each other. Cover with plastic wrap and rest until they are double in height.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  5. Apply egg wash on top of the bread, then sprinkle some Parmesan cheese, followed by sugar (sugar helps preventing the cheese from getting burnt).
  6. Bake for 25 minutes, until the top is golden brown. Remove pai pau from the pan and cool completely on a rack.

Regina’s Note:

  • Milk: Weather and different batch of bread flour affect the amount of liquid used. When the machine starts kneading, check the dough by touching: if it’s a bit dry/dense/crumbly, add 1 more tbsp milk. It it’s too wet/sticky, add 1 more tbsp bread flour.
  • Measuring bread flour: the best and most accurate way is to measure by weight. If you measure by volume, be sure to scoop loosen flour into measurement cup (make a heap), then scrap off the extras with the back of a knife.
  • Cheese sugar topping: I baked 25 minutes but tips of pai pau are still pale so I baked for another 2 minutes, but the cheese sprinkles become too brown. So it’s better to stick with 25-26 minutes, or apply egg wash and the toppings half way through baking?…
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Challah Bread– 6-Strand Braids

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Challah Bread– 6-Strand Braids

Challah is a braided Jewish bread eaten on Sabbath and Jewish holidays. There are different braid patterns depending on number of strands used in braiding the bread. Because of Jewish dietary restriction, Challah is usually parve (containing neither dairy nor meat, important in the laws of Kashrut). Also, Challah for Jewish New Year is coiled instead of braided, sometimes referred as  ‘Turban Challah’.

How did my first challah turn out? The look was… weird, actually kinda ugly. I think I braided my challah too tight, didn’t giving each strand space to breath and expand to form the nice round curves. Also, the oven temperature was too high. I had to trim off the burnt bottom of the bread. The crumbs? It’s soft, but not as soft as I would like. Oh well, at least the family didn’t mind and finished the loaf. I sure had fun braiding the bread though.

Challah Bread (makes 1 large loaf)

Ingredients:

for the sponge:
7/8 cup water
2 cups unbleached bread flour
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp dry yeast

for the dough:
all of the sponge
2 eggs– beaten
2 cups unbleached bread flour
4 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
4 tbsp vegetable oil

Egg wash (mix well):
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp water

Method (kneaded by Zojirushi bread maker):

To make the sponge:

  1. Add water to the bottom of bread maker loaf pan. Then sprinkle in flour ensuring covering all the liquid. Make an indent in the middle and add in yeast. Add sugar and salt in separate corners.
  2. Select “Dough” course and press “Start”. Check the dough when it is kneading: scrap down any dry flour, add 1 tbsp water if it’s too dry. When the dough course completes, unplug the cord and let it sit inside the loaf pan for 8-10 hours. Do not open the lid. The sponge will eventually collapse and look bubbly and sticky after 8-10 hours.

To make the dough:

  1. Add all other dough ingredients to the sponge in the loaf pan. Select “Dough” course and press “Start”. When the course completes, remove dough from loaf pan and place in a large bowl. Cover the bowl and rest in a warm place until the dough is almost double in size.
  2. Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface. Knead gently to push out the air, then divide into 6 portions. Roll each portion to a 16-inch thin log and start braiding. Please check out this wonderful 3-4-5-6-7-8-9 strand braiding video from The Bread Kitchen.
  3. Place braided challah on a baking pan lined with parchment. Loosely cover the bread and place in a warm place until it almost double in size. Apply egg wash and bake in preheated 375°F oven for 40 minutes (if the top browns too quickly, tent the top with a piece of aluminum foil after 30 minutes). Remove from oven and cool completely on a rack.

Regina’s Note:

  • Braiding the bread: I  braided my challah too tight, so the pattern was not as obvious and kinda ugly. Next time I will braid a little loose so the curves will pop up after baking.
  • Oven temperature: I find 40 minutes/375°F is too high and too long for my challah. the top is very brown and the bottom is burnt ( I had to slice off the burnt bottom). So maybe 40 minutes/350°F on next trial will work out better?

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Pullman Loaf

I have always wanted to make a pullman loaf and finally I did it! This recipe is actually from my Zojirushi Sweet Bread recipe that comes with the bread machine; I just make a little changes. I found the texture of the bread a bit dense around the edge, but the enter is soft. Maybe I have too much dough for the loaf pan?… Hmm, next time I will cut down dough amount and we’ll see what happens…

Pullman Loaf 方形麵包 Recipe (makes 1 large 13″ x 4″ loaf)

Ingredients:
1 1/8 cup milk
1 large egg– beaten
4 cup bread flour
4 tbsp dry milk powder
4 tbsp sugar
2 tsp salt
3 tbsp unsalted butter
2 1/2 tsp dry yeast

Method (use Zojirushi bread maker for dough kneading):

  1. Add milk and beaten egg to the bottom of bread machine loaf pan. Then add in flour, ensuring covering the liquid. Make a indentation in the middle and add in yeast to the indentation. Then add in milk powder, sugar, salt and butter around on the top (be sure salt and sugar are at opposite side). Select “Dough” course and press “Start”.
  2. When the course finishes, take the dough out of bread machine and place in a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and rest the dough in a warm place until double in size ( I sit the bowl on top of a pot filled with 2 inches warm water).
  3. Remove dough from bowl, punch down slightly, then roll out to a rectangle shape, to the length of Pullman loaf pan. Roll up the dough like a jelly roll. Place bread dough inside a greased Pullman loaf, cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rest until it’s 1/2 inch to the rim. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°F.
  4. Carefully place the cover on the pan. Bake for 25 minutes, positioned in the middle of the oven. Carefully remove the loaf pan cover, and bake for another 20 minutes. Remove bread from pan and cool completely on the rack.

Regina’s Note:

  • The bread looks great, but some parts of the crumb is denser than others. My theory is that maybe the bread has no where to expand during baking because the lid was on the pan. Maybe cutting down bread flour by 1/2 cup next trial so hopefully the bread will have more room to expand during baking and yields a fluffier crumb.
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Pullman Loaf 方形麵包

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Apple Roses 蘋果玫瑰

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Apple Roses 蘋果玫瑰

Beautiful aren’t they? I stumped on this video ‘Rose di pasta sfoglia’ on YouTube while I was looking for six-braid challah braiding instructions, and thought, I’M MAKING IT! The instructions are in Italian (I think) so I was just guessing the amount of ingredients based on the video. Despite its fancy look, these edible roses are quite easy to make using store bought puff pastry dough, and I guarantee the receiver(s) of these roses will go WOW!!

Well, being the first trial, and just like the beautiful fragrant roses in the garden, they have challenges. My problem this time was that the pastry dough didn’t cook through towards the center. The bottom was already quite brown, the outer layer pastry puffed  up, and ‘petals’ was getting burnt, but the inner pastry layers were still not done!! I ran out of time, and also couldn’t bake it any longer without risking my beautiful rose petals. Maybe I set oven temperature too high (400°F)?

I made these apple roses for Alexander’s birthday, and we had some leftovers the next day. I reheated the leftovers in preheated 375°F oven for 10-15 minutes to see if the pastry part improves~ well, it puffs up some more, but still not all layers puffed up… Luckily this is an easy and quick dessert so it’s not that hard to make a different batch for next trial.

Apple Roses 蘋果玫瑰 Recipe (makes 12 roses)

Ingredients:
3 large golden delicious apples
Juice of 1 lemon
5 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon

2 sheets (or 1 box) Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Sheet– thawed

Method:

  1. Peel and core apples. Slice thin, about 1/4 inch thickness. Sprinkle lemon juice, toss to coat well.
  2. Melt butter in a pan over medium high heat. Add sugar, salt and cinnamon. Mix to blend well. When sugar dissolves, add in apple slices (drain lemon juice).  Stir and cook until apple slices become soft enough to roll up (the juice should be almost dried up at this point). Remove from heat and cool completely.
  3. Take a sheet of pastry and cut into 6 strips lengthwise. Roll out each strip to 15 inches long.
  4. Arrange apple slices on one side of a pastry strip, with part of apple hanging over the strip (it’s okay to overlap apple slices). Leave a 1/2 inch space at both ends. Fold the pastry on the other side over apple slices. Use a fork to press to seal both ends.
  5. Coil pastry strips up, and tuck the end under the pastry rose. Bake at preheated 400°F oven for 15-18 minutes.

Regina’s Note:

  • As I said, this is not a perfect recipe yet~ My problem is the puff pastry didn’t cooked all way through especially towards the center. The outer layer of pastry was puffy and the bottom was quite brown already but not the center!! I think my temperature maybe too high. If I lower to 375°F then will the pastry puff up? or maybe I coil up too tight? If I loose up a little will the pastry in the center bake up better? I couldn’t bake any further this time as the bottom of the roses were quite brown, and the roses start having a burning edge on their “petals” already… hmm, more trial to come.
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Apple Roses 蘋果玫瑰

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Apple Roses 蘋果玫瑰

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Apple Roses 蘋果玫瑰

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Apple Roses 蘋果玫瑰

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Apple Roses 蘋果玫瑰

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Apple Roses 蘋果玫瑰

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