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Archive for the ‘Bread and Buns’ Category

This is one of my favorite baked buns in Malaysia. Otak-otak is a steamed spicy fish paste and is a very popular food in Malaysia. In my hometown Muar, Malaysia, there’s is a bakery that sells very good otak-otak buns. You have to be there early to buy these delicious buns as they sold out fast. I am glad that I finally know how to make otak-otak, so I can have these spicy buns fresh out from my oven any time. 🙂

Otak-Otak Buns 乌打面包

Otak-Otak Buns 乌打面包

Otak-Otak Buns 乌打面包

Otak-Otak Buns 乌打面包

Otak-Otak Buns Recipe 乌达面包 (makes 18 small buns)

Ingredients:
Dough:
2 cups bread flour
1 1/2 tbsp dry whole milk powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 1/2 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp dry yeast
125 ml water
1 egg
2 1/2 tbsp butter

Filling:
18 pieces of otak-otak (2 inch x 1 inch each piece, 1/4 inch thickness)– see picture below

1 beaten egg for egg wash

Method:

  1. In the mixing bowl mix well the first 5 ingredients then add in egg. With dough hook attached and starts kneading, slowing add water to form a dough. Add a little more water if necessary. Drop in butter and continue to knead the dough until it doesn’t stick to the bowl and pass the “membrane” test. (pull a small piece of the dough, use two hand to stretch the dough to a very thin layer– if the layer doesn’t tear then the dough is ready to proof. Otherwise, continue kneading until it passes the test).
  2. Transfer the dough to a big bowl. Wrap the bowl and leave it on a warm spot to rest/proof until double in size.  (To speed up the resting time a little you can sit the bowl on a moist hot towel, or sit the bowl on top of a pot of hot water).
  3. Lightly knead the dough a few times to punch out big air pockets trapped inside. Divide into 18 portions. Roll out each dough and put a piece of otak-otak in the middle. Bring the dough on two opposite ends towards the center, pinch to seal.Place the buns, sealed side down, on greased/nonstick baking sheet, cover and rest for 45 minutes — 1 hour.
  4. Apply egg wash on top of the buns, bake at preheated 350°F oven for 15-17 minutes. Cool on the rack.
Home made otak-otak

Home made otak-otak

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Ham and Cheese Rolls

Ham and Cheese Rolls

Ham and Cheese Rolls Recipe (makes 18 rolls, 9x13x2 glass pan)

Ingredients:

for Dough:
2 1/4 cup bread flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tbsp dry milk powder
4 tbsp sugar
2 tsp dry yeast
1 egg
125- 150 ml warm water
2 1/2 tbsp butter

for Filling:
3-4 pieces of sandwich ham– cut into thin strips
5 tbsp shredded Parmesan cheese

1 egg– beaten, for glaze

Method:

  1. In the mixing bowl mix well the first 5 ingredients then add in egg. With dough hook attached and starts kneading, slowing add water to form a dough. Add a little more water if necessary. Drop in butter and continue to knead the dough until it doesn’t stick to the bowl and pass the “membrane” test. (pull a small piece of the dough, use two hand to stretch the dough to a very thin layer– if the layer doesn’t tear then the dough is ready to proof. Otherwise, continue kneading until it passes the test).
  2. Transfer the dough to a big bowl. Wrap the bowl and leave it on a warm spot to rest/proof until double in size.  (To speed up the resting time a little you can sit the bowl on a moist hot towel, or sit the bowl on top of a pot of hot water).
  3. Lightly knead the dough on a board a few times to punch out big air pockets trapped inside. Roll out to a 9×13 inch rectangle of 1/2 inch thickness. Spread shredded cheese evenly (be sure to cover the edges too), followed ham strips. Roll the dough up like a jelly roll/Swiss roll. Pinch to seal the edge. Cut rolls into 18 even pieces. Place each piece (cut side up) on greased glass pan, leaving a little space between each. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rest in the fridge overnight (see note below).
  4. Let the chilled dough sit in room temperature for 30 minutes to 1 hour before baking. Preheat oven to 375°F. Apply egg wash on the top of the rolls and bake in preheated 375°f oven for 15-18 minutes until golden brown. Remove from pan and cool on a rack.

Regina’s Note:

  • Dough resting time: for 2nd resting time, 45 minutes to 1 hour is adequate. But I found resting the dough in the fridge overnight yields a much fluffier texture to the buns.
Ham and Cheese Rolls-- ready to roll up.

Ham and Cheese Rolls-- ready to roll up.

Ham and Cheese Rolls-- ready for second dough resting.

Ham and Cheese Rolls-- ready for second dough resting.

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This is my pai pau 排包 (translated as rows of bread) trial #2 with a different recipe. I got the recipe from Do What I Like. Just like my pai pau #1, this recipe uses bread starter too. While the starter for my pai pau #1 is more of a paste like and pretty quick to make; the starter in this recipe, on the other hand is more like a sticky doug. Since there is yeast in the starter so it takes a lot longer (it takes at least 2 hours) for the dough to be “fermented” in order for use. The original recipe calls for 1 1/2 cup of bread flour and uses only 1 egg yolk, but I used one whole egg because I don’t want to have any egg white leftover. I am thinking it might be because of the addition of egg white, my dough was very wet and sticky, so I kept on adding more bread flour (about extra 3/4 to 1 cup total). Also, I added a little more sugar and butter, hoping for a sweeter and more buttery taste.

Difference between pai pau #1 and pai pau #2? Well, these two versions both yields soft breads, but I think pai pau #1 weighs more (heavier feel on hand) and a little more chewy texture. Pai pau #2 seems to have a fluffier and lighter texture. I voted pai pau #2 over #1. Luckily the bread starter recipes yields 4 portions and can be frozen, which means making pai pau in the next three times will be a breeze.

Pai Pau 排包 #2

Pai Pau 排包 #2

Pai Pau 排包 #2-- a close up look of shreddably crumb.

Pai Pau 排包 #2-- a close up look of shreddable crumb.

Pai Pau 排包 #2 Recipe (makes 8 rows)

Ingredients:
2 1/2 cup bread flour– see note below
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp yeast
2 tbsp dry whole milk powder
5 tbsp sugar
120 ml milk and 1 egg combined
50 gm dough starter– about 1/4 portion of the recipe
4 tbsp unsalted butter

1 beaten egg for egg wash

Method (using a KA stand mixer):

  1. Combine bread flour, milk powder, sugar, salt and dry yeast in the stand mixing bowl. Add in remaining ingredients (except butter and egg wash). With a dough hook attached and the mixer turn on, knead the dough until it forms a dough. Drop in butter and continue to knead the dough until it doesn’t stick to the bowl and pass the “membrane” test. (pull a small piece of the dough, use two hand to stretch the dough to a very thin layer– if the layer doesn’t tear then the dough is ready to proof. Otherwise, continue kneading until it passes the test).
  2. Transfer the dough to a big bowl. Wrap the bowl and leave it on a warm spot to rest/proof until double in size.  (To speed up the resting time a little you can sit the bowl on a moist hot towel, or sit the bowl on top of a pot of hot water).
  3. Lightly knead the dough on a board a few times to punch out big air pockets trapped inside. Divide into 8 even portions. Rest for 15 minutes. Roll each pieces into a ball.  Use a rolling pin, roll out 1 pieces of dough to a oval shape. Fold 1/3 of the dough on the top towards the center. Then fold the bottom 1/3 over, on the center. Pinch to seal the edge. Roll and gently stretch the dough to 7 inches long. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough. Place them on greased 9x13x2 baking pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rest till the dough almost reach the rim of the pan.
  4. Apply egg wash on top of the buns. Bake in preheated 350°F oven for 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Remove from pan and cool on a rack.
Pai Pau 排包 #2-- ready for final proofing.

Pai Pau 排包 #2-- ready for final proofing.

Dough Starter Recipe (yields about 200 gram of dough)

Ingredients:
3/4 cup bread flour
1/4 tsp dry yeast
pinch of salt
80 ml water

Method:

Mix all ingredients together. Cover with plastic wrap and proof at a warm place for at least 2 hours (I proofed my starter for 4 hours). Divide dough starter into 4 portions. For pai pau recipe above, use only 1 portion. Extra dough starter can be wrapped individually and kept frozen. Thaw and bring back to room temperature before using.

Dough starter after mixing. See how sticky it is?

Dough starter after mixing. See how sticky it is?

Dough starter-- after proofing for 4 hours.

Dough starter-- after proofing for 4 hours.

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Pai Pau 排包 is translated as row of bread, and it is a popular bread in Hong Kong. I always get my pai pau from Kee Wah Bakery, they are soft buttery and fluffy soft. When I eat it, I always warm the bread up briefly in microwave then lightly toast the surface, then spread some butter on it– mmm, it’s so delicious!

This time, I decided to make my very first pai pau. Pai pau recipes online all require starter. I chose this recipe from Lily’s Wei Sek Hong, as it takes less time to make the starter. As always, I modified the recipe a little hehe… Next time I will try the other recipe that uses a different starter. Also, since I just love Asiago cheese and sugar on baked bun generally, I sprinkled some Asiago cheese and sugar on half portion of the pai pau.

How did my pai pau turn out? First, the look: the bread turned out pretty good and even in size. For some reason it takes longer to brown the half with cheese. So, when the ones with cheese were browned, the other half plain ones were a little too brown. Next time, I should bake them in separate trays. The taste? Well, my pai pau are soft enough, with a little chewiness. But compared to ones from Kee Wah Bakery, they are not as fluffy and buttery. Also the bread doesn’t look as yellowish as those from the bakery. Hmm… I wonder if Kee Wah Bakery adds anything “special”?

Pai Pau 排包

Pai Pau 排包

Pai Pau 排包-- a closer look of the ones with cheese

Pai Pau 排包-- a closer look of the ones with cheese

Pai Pau 排包 Recipe (makes 8 rows)– original recipe from Lily’s Wei Sek Hong

Ingredients:
3 cups bread flour
2 tbsp dry whole milk powder
4 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp dry yeast
all starter– recipe follows
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup 2% milk– add more if necessary– see note below
5 tbsp whipping cream
1 tbsp condensed milk
4 tbsp butter– cut into pieces

1 beaten egg for egg wash

Method (using KA stand mixer):

  1. Combine bread flour, milk powder, sugar, salt and dry yeast in the stand mixing bowl. Add in remaining ingredients (except butter and egg wash). With a dough hook attached and the mixer turn on, knead the dough until it forms a dough. Add a little more milk if necessary. Drop in butter and continue to knead the dough until it doesn’t stick to the bowl and pass the “membrane” test. (pull a small piece of the dough, use two hand to stretch the dough to a very thin layer– if the layer doesn’t tear then the dough is ready to proof. Otherwise, continue kneading until it passes the test).
  2. Transfer the dough to a big bowl. Wrap the bowl and leave it on a warm spot to rest/proof until double in size.  (To speed up the resting time a little you can sit the bowl on a moist hot towel, or sit the bowl on top of a pot of hot water).
  3. Lightly knead the dough on a board a few times to punch out big air pockets trapped inside. Divide into 8 even portions. Roll each pieces into a ball.  Use a rolling pin, roll out 1 pieces of dough to a oval shape. Fold 1/3 of the dough on the top towards the center. Then fold the bottom 1/3 over, on the center. Pinch to seal the edge. Roll and gently stretch the dough to 7 inches long. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough. Place them on greased 9x13x2 baking pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rest till the dough almost reach the rim of the pan.
  4. Apply egg wash on top of the buns. Bake in preheated 350°f oven for 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Remove from pan and cool on a rack.

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Ever since my first attempt with braided bread I have been wanting to make it again, but this time I decided to change the fillings to savory one. In this case, it’s preserved mustard green 咸酸菜. I want to create a filling with complex flavor– spicy, slightly salty and yet hint of sweetness of the filling, balanced with the slightly sweet bread– a bite of it will wake up your palate and ask for more. I bought a pack (about 10 oz.) of preserved mustard green, but found out it was not enough to be the main ingredient. Instead of running to the store to buy more, I decided to substitute with a pack of pickled mustard 榨菜.

Pickled Mustard Green Braided Bread 酸菜榨菜包

Pickled Mustard Green Braided Bread 酸菜榨菜包

By the time I finished cooking the filling, I thought it wasn’t the type of spiciness that I was looking for. Since my bread dough was all ready to break through the plastic wrap covering it, I don’t have time to recook the filling and wait for it to cool– so, I found some extra siracha  hot sauce from one of the to-gos from Vietnamese restaurant. Mixed it in and tasted– a little spicier but it’s still missing some thing. Then I saw the tom yum paste my sister left while she was here. Stir that in and tasted– STILL didn’t taste quite right to me! At this point, I knew I had to leave it alone or else it will taste worse, and so I did. All in all, it is still a wonderful bread with delicious filling, but just not the flavor I’m shooting for. Oh well, maybe next time…

Pickled Mustard Green Braided Bread 酸菜榨菜包

Pickled Mustard Green Braided Bread 酸菜榨菜包

Pickled Mustard Green Braided Bread 酸菜榨菜包 (makes 2 loaves)

Ingredients:

Dough:
2 1/4 cup bread flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tbsp dry milk powder
4 tbsp sugar
2 tsp dry yeast
1 egg
125- 150 ml warm water
2 1/2 tbsp butter

Filling:
pickled mustard green filling– recipe follows

egg wash for glazing
sesame seeds for sprinkling

Method:

  1. In the mixing bowl mix well the first 5 ingredients then add in egg. With dough hook attached and starts kneading, slowing add water to form a dough. Add a little more water if necessary. Drop in butter and continue to knead the dough until it doesn’t stick to the bowl and pass the “membrane” test. (pull a small piece of the dough, use two hand to stretch the dough to a very thin layer– if the layer doesn’t tear then the dough is ready to proof. Otherwise, continue kneading until it passes the test).
  2. Transfer the dough to a big bowl. Wrap the bowl and leave it on a warm spot to rest/proof until double in size.  (To speed up the resting time a little you can sit the bowl on a moist hot towel, or sit the bowl on top of a pot of hot water).
  3. Lightly knead the dough on a board a few times to punch out big air pockets trapped inside. Cut the dough into 2 equal portions. Roll out each dough to a 8×11 inch rectangle/oval of 1/2 inch thickness. Scoop some filling on the middle 1/3 of the dough. Make diagonal 1-inch strips on the other 2/3 of the dough. First fold one ends over the filling. Then pull strips, alternating, to the other side crossing over the filling. Before pulling the last two strips, fold in the end piece over the filling first. For the last strips, just tuck in at the bottom (see pictures below). Place on a large baking pan (greased or lined with parchment paper). Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise slightly again (it takes from 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on room temperature).
  4. Apply egg wash on the bread then sprinkle sesame seeds on the top. Bake in preheated 350°f oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan and cool on a rack.

Pickled Mustard Green Filling Recipe:

Ingredients:
1 pack preserved mustard green 咸酸菜 (about 10 oz.)
1 pack pickled mustard 榨菜 (about 10 oz.)
1/2 lb ground pork– seasoned with the usual seasoning (salt, pepper, sesame seed oil and cornstarch water)
3 cloves garlic– chopped
3 red hot peppers– chopped
3 tbsp sugar
1 tsp chicken bouillon powder

Method:

  1. Prepare preserved mustard green 咸酸菜: Rinse off the marinade from the package then chop. Wash chopped preserved mustard green in a bowl, squeezing a couple of times during washing. Repeat washing and squeeze dry. Set aside.
  2. Prepare pickled mustard 榨菜 same as above.
  3. Heat up 3 tbsp oil in a hot wok, add in garlic and hot peppers, saute until aromatic. Add in ground pork, keep stirring to loosen up the meat.
  4. Add in both types of mustard, saute for a few minutes. Add sugar and chicken bouillon powder (I didn’t add salt as the mustard are salty already, sugar was added to balance the saltiness). Saute for another couple of minutes. Let it cool and it’s ready for use.

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Cherry Cream Cheese Braid Bread

Cherry Cream Cheese Braid Bread

This is the first I made braided bread. As you can tell I need more practice! Don’t be intimidated by its look, it is actually quite easy to braid, and fun too. I initially wanted cream cheese filling, but added chopped tart dried cherries, hoping to break up the richness of cream cheese. After I braided the bread, I let it slow rest in the fridge overnight– and comes the problem: while those dried cherries didn’t taste too tart to me while I chopped them, but letting it sit in the fridge overnight brings out the tartness. After baking the filling tasted too tart to go well with cream cheese filling. Oh well, next time I should just skip the cherries, or go for a savory version of braided bread.

I forgot to take pictures of the braiding part, but I found this braiding pastry video that shows the braiding method.

Cherry Cream Cheese Braid Bread

Cherry Cream Cheese Braid Bread

Cherry Cream Cheese Braid Bread

Cherry Cream Cheese Braid Bread

Cherry Cream Cheese Braided Bread (makes 1 large loaf)

Ingredients:

Ingredients:

Dough:
2 1/4 cup bread flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tbsp dry milk powder
4 tbsp sugar
2 tsp dry yeast
1 egg
125- 150 ml warm water
2 1/2 tbsp butter

cherry cream cheese filling– recipe follows
egg wash

Method:

  1. In the mixing bowl mix well the first 5 ingredients then add in egg. With dough hook attached and starts kneading, slowing add water to form a dough. Add a little more water if necessary. Drop in butter and continue to knead the dough until it doesn’t stick to the bowl and pass the “membrane” test. (pull a small piece of the dough, use two hand to stretch the dough to a very thin layer– if the layer doesn’t tear then the dough is ready to proof. Otherwise, continue kneading until it passes the test).
  2. Transfer the dough to a big bowl. Wrap the bowl and leave it on a warm spot to rest/proof until double in size.  (To speed up the resting time a little you can sit the bowl on a moist hot towel, or sit the bowl on top of a pot of hot water).
  3. Lightly knead the dough on a board a few times to punch out big air pockets trapped inside. Roll out to a 9×13 inch rectangle of 1/2 inch thickness. Spread cream cheese filling on the middle 1/3 of the dough. Make diagonal 1-inch strips on the other 2/3 of the dough. First fold both ends over the filling. Then pull strips, alternating, to the other side crossing over the filling. For the last strips, just tuck in at the bottom (as seen on braiding pastry video). Place on a large baking pan (greased or lined with parchment paper). Cover with plastic wrap and let it rest in the fridge overnight.
  4. Let the chilled dough sit in room temperature for 30 minutes to 1 hour before baking. Preheat oven to 375°F. Apply egg wash on the top of the bread. Bake in preheated 375°f oven for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan and cool on a rack.

Cherry Cream Cheese Filling:
1 block cream cheese, softened
4-5 tbsp powder sugar
3 tbsp dried tart cherries– roughly chopped

Method: Whisk cream cheese and powder sugar until smooth. Stir in dried cherries.

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I was trying to save time by making rolls (same method as making green onion buns) instead of individual buns, only to find out after baking that, while I was transferring the rolls onto cooling rack, that the filling was falling out! Next time, I should use muffin cup liners for each rolls to prevent that from happening.

Milk Butter Rolls 奶酥卷

Milk Butter Rolls 奶酥卷

 

Milk Butter Rolls Recipe (makes 18 rolls)

Ingredients:

Dough:
2 1/4 cup bread flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tbsp dry milk powder
4 tbsp sugar
2 tsp dry yeast
1 egg
125- 150 ml warm water
2 1/2 tbsp butter

milk butter filling– recipe follows
egg wash

Method:

  1. In the mixing bowl mix well the first 5 ingredients then add in egg. With dough hook attached and starts kneading, slowing add water to form a dough. Add a little more water if necessary. Drop in butter and continue to knead the dough until it doesn’t stick to the bowl and pass the “membrane” test. (pull a small piece of the dough, use two hand to stretch the dough to a very thin layer– if the layer doesn’t tear then the dough is ready to proof. Otherwise, continue kneading until it passes the test).
  2. Transfer the dough to a big bowl. Wrap the bowl and leave it on a warm spot to rest/proof until double in size.  (To speed up the resting time a little you can sit the bowl on a moist hot towel, or sit the bowl on top of a pot of hot water).
  3. Lightly knead the dough on a board a few times to punch out big air pockets trapped inside. Roll out to a 9×13 inch rectangle of 1/2 inch thickness. Spread milk butter filling evenly on top of the dough. Roll the dough up like a jelly roll/Swiss roll. Pinch to seal both ends and the edge. Cut rolls into 18 even pieces. Place each roll, cut side up, on muffin cup liner then place them on a baking. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rest in the fridge overnight (see notes below).
  4. Let the chilled dough sit in room temperature for 30 minutes to 1 hour before baking. Preheat oven to 375°F. Apply egg wash on the top of the rolls. Bake in preheated 375°f oven for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan and cool on a rack.

Regina’s Note:

  • Dough resting time: for 2nd resting time, 45 minutes to 1 hour is adequate. But I found resting the dough in the fridge overnight yields a much fluffier texture to the buns.
  • Muffin cup liners: Use of muffin cup liners is recommended to prevent filling from falling out after baking.

Milk Butter Filling:
10 tbsp dry milk powder
8 tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, soften
6 tbsp powder sugar
pinch of salt
3 tbsp unsweetened grated coconut– grind to fine grade (with a coffee grinder) if not using food processor for mixing
6 tbsp raisin– coarsely chopped if not using food processor for mixing

Method:

Combine all ingredients and mix well. If you are using food processor for mixing, add coconut and milk powder first to grind coconut until fine grade. Then add remaining ingredients (except raisin) and blend well. Add in raisin then pause a couple of time to coarsely chop raisin.

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