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Archive for the ‘Bread and Buns’ Category

Green Onion Buns 香葱包

Green Onion Buns 香葱包

There is this bakery/dim sum to-go place in Chinatown, San Francisco (name of store is 好望角)that sells big green onion buns for only 80 cents each (used to be 60 cents!). I love their baked green onion buns and will go there whenever we go to SF. Nowadays with 3 kids, and Richard hates driving to the city, we hardly go to SF anymore.

Recently I was craving for their green onion buns, so I decided to make it myself. I rested the buns overnight in the fridge, so I could have the baking done first thing next morning rather than late afternoon after I finished all my daily chores. Here’s what I found out: the buns turned out fluffier than normal because of slow rising time in the fridge. I love it!

Green Onion Buns Recipe (makes 18 buns, 9x13x2 inch 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:
1/2 tbsp cooking oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground white pepper
1/8 tsp five spice powder
1/2 cup chopped green onion (4-8 stalks depending on size)
1/2 tbsp fried shallots– optional

1 egg– beaten, for glaze
1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds– for sprinkle

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 cooking oil evenly all over, followed by salt, ground white pepper, five spice powder, and fried shallot (if using). Sprinkle green onion evenly then 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 buns and sprinkle toasted sesame seeds. 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.
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Hot Dog Buns

Hot Dog Buns

Hot Dog Buns Recipe (makes 16 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:
8 hot dogs– pat dry with paper towel and cut in half lengthwise

eggwash

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 16 portions. Roll each portion into a small 6 inch strip. Strip the dough over cut hot dogs2-3 times, leaving both hot dog ends open. Be sure both ends of the dough are tucked in or face down. Place the buns on greased/nonstick baking sheet, cover and rest for 45 minutes — 1 hour.
  4. Apply eggwash on top of the buns, bake at preheated 350°F oven for 15-17 minutes. Cool on the rack.

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Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day is a bread cookbook that doesn’t have tons of pictures. The usual me definitely wont have much interest in it because I just love cookbooks that show lots of colorful pictures. Not only pictures give me the ‘Oh this looks delicious. I’m gonna try it!’ drive, but also serve as reference/guidance to see how well/bad our food turns out compared to the original version. BUT, this bread book caught my attention because of tons and tons of positive reviews. Upon reading I found out this book is written very clearly (this is especially important for artisan bread dummies like myself), and the authors offers lots of tips for baking a good loaf. I was thinking highlighting some important points but gave up, or else I would have to highlight pretty much the whole book!

Back to business, this book really lives up to its name– five minutes a day for a fresh loaf of artisan bread. This new approach is totally the opposite of the traditional methods. It doesn’t require starters nor kneading. This basic bread recipe calls for very few simple tools and ingredients. You don’t need experience in baking bread either to bake a beautiful loaf. If you’re interested in baking artisan breads and yet don’t want to spend whole day (or even days) making it, I recommend you get this book (or visit their website http://www.artisanbreadinfive.com)– I did and it turns out to be one of my best bread cookbooks!

Artisan Bread Basic Recipe: dough after mixing

Artisan Bread Basic Recipe: dough after mixing

Artisan Bread Basic Recipe: dough after mixing

Artisan Bread Basic Recipe: dough after mixing

Artisan Bread Basic Recipe: dough after 2-hour rising at room temperature.

Artisan Bread Basic Recipe: dough after 2-hour rising at room temperature

Artisan Bread Basic Recipe: resting dough on pizza peel.

Artisan Bread Basic Recipe: resting dough on pizza peel.

Artisan Bread Basic Recipe: The bread must be cooled completely on rack after removing from the oven.

Artisan Bread Basic Recipe: The bread must be cooled completely on rack after removing from the oven.

Artisan Bread Basic Recipe: showing here is the crumb (interior of the bread).

Artisan Bread Basic Recipe: showing here is the crumb (interior of the bread).

 

Another artisan bread from same batch of dough.

Another artisan bread from same batch of dough.

I made this loaf to go with Thanksgiving meal-- same dough, different shapes, but all delicious!

I made this loaf to go with Thanksgiving meal-- same kind of dough, different shapes, but all delicious!

 

Artisan Bread Basic Recipe (yields 3 loaves)–full and original recipe from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day

Ingredients:
6 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour– use 1 cup measuring cup and a knife to sweep flat. DO NOT use large 2-cup measuring cup.
1 tbsp salt12/8/10 update:  should cut down to 2 tsp as I find the bread is a little salty to my liking.
1 1/2 tbsp dry yeast
3 cups lukewarm water

Method:

  1. Stir salt into flour to combine. Add lukewarm water and yeast into a 6-quart container, whisk to combine. Add flour mixture to the yeast water while stirring using a wooden spoon, until the dough is evenly moist. The dough will look very wet. This should take no more than 5 minutes.
  2. Cover loosely with a lid and let the dough rise at room temperature until the top collapse or flat (it took me about 3 hours). Snap the lid on but pull up lid a little so the container is not air tight. Now the dough is ready put into the fridge (the dough is ready for baking after this initial rise but it’s easier to handle after chilling. The dough can be kept in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. As the dough gets old– especially almost 2 weeks old, the dough will smell sour and the bread will taste more like those of sourdough).
  3. On baking day, sprinkle some cornmeal on a pizza peel (so the dough rests without sticking to the peel). Take out chilled dough, sprinkle some flour on top of the dough then use one hand to pull up some dough (about size of grapefruit) while use the other hand to cut the dough with serrated knife. With dough in you hand, gently pull stretch the surface of the dough and tuck in the bottom, giving it a quarter turn as you pull/stretch. Dust a little more flour to prevent dough sticks to you hand. This shaping process should not take more than 1 minute.
  4. Place shaped dough on pizza peel, rest uncovered at room temperature for 1 hour. 20 minutes before baking, place pizza stone on the middle rack and a shadow pan at the bottom rack. Then preheat oven temperature to 450°F.
  5. Dust the top of the dough with some flour (so the dough won’t stick to the knife when making slit on the top) and make some slits(1/4 inch deep) on the top. Quickly and carefully slide the dough onto the pizza stone. Pour 1 cup of water into the shadow pan then quickly close the oven door. (To prevent last minute ‘surprise’ of the dough sticking to the pizza peel and losing heat from the oven, I always move pizza peel back and forth to test slide the dough before open the oven door).
  6. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the bread is golden and tap hollow at the bottom of bread. Remove bread  from oven and cool immediately on a rack. Cool completely before slicing.

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One time I bought a panettone bread from Costco and I just fell in love with it– it loads with dried fruits and soft and fluffy, super delicious when toasted and served with butter, and it makes really good french toasts as well.

This panettone recipe is from one of William Sonoma cookbooks I borrowed from library long ago. Despite of its long proofing process, I still want to try it because the finished bread from the cookbook really look like those selling at Costco. You must  be curious how long it takes… well let me tell you, at least 5 hours! Since my house is always cooler so it always takes longer than suggested in book to proof the dough, and between preparing lunch/dinner and other house chores, it took me pretty much the whole day to bake this bread! So, bake this bread when you have LOTS of time to spare.

During my final proofing process I didn’t let the dough rise high enough in the pan as the time is getting late. I wonder if it’s because of this rather short proofing causing my bread only 3.5 inches tall instead of 5-8 inches. The other thing is that I couldn’t find any candied lemon peel and candied orange peel, so I just added more fresh lemon zest to bring out the citrus scent. Besides raisins, I used dried cherry and cranberries (chopped dates is also a good choice). The bread smells fruity and zesty (from lemon zest). Texture wise it is not as soft and fluffy (at room temperature) as I expect, but the texture improves when warmed in microwave or toasted– much softer and fluffier.

Panetonette

Panettone

Panettone Recipe (makes 2 round loaves)

Ingredients:

for the sponge:
1/4 cup warm water
2/3 cup warm whole milk
4 tsp dry yeast
pinch of sugar
1/2 cup bread flour

3/4 cup unsalted butter– melted
1/2 cup sugar
grated zest of 2 lemons or oranges
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs + 3 large egg yolks
3-4 cups bread flour
1 cup raisins, preferably golden raisins
1 cup diced candied lemon peels and diced candied orange peels combined (or combination of dried cherry, cranberry and dates)

1 beaten eggs for egg wash

Method:

  1. Make the sponge: Combine water and milk in a stand mixer bowl. Sprinkle yeast and sugar and stir to dissolve. Let it stand until foamy, about 10 minutes. Add flour and beat with whisk attachment until smooth. Cover loosely with plastic wrap, let it stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  2. Add melted butter, sugar, zest, salt, eggs, egg yolks and 1 cup of flour to the sponge. Switch to paddle attachment and beat for 1 minute. Beat in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough pulls away from the bowl sides.
  3. Transfer dough on a lightly floured surface, hand knead until dough is smooth and springy about 10 minutes. Add little more flour if the dough sticks during kneading. Greased a deep bowl with extra melted butter. Transfer dough to the bowl and turn once to coat melted butter. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and proof  in a warm place (eg. top of dryer while drying clothes) until doubled in bulk, about 1.5-2 hours.
  4. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently for 1 minute. Return dough to the bowl, re-cover and proof again until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, combine raisins and other dried fruits in a bowl to mix well.
  5. Line 2 round cake pan or springform pans with parchment paper. Brush the paper and the sides with extra melted butter. Carefully lined the sides with foil (double folded) to 5 inches tall. Brush more melted butter if needed to attach the foil to the sides.
  6. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and pat/roll out to a large oval shape. Sprinkle evenly half of the fruit mixture, press into dough to adhere and roll the dough up. Pat/roll out again into oval shape and sprinkle remaining half of fruit mixture, and press into dough to adhere. Roll the dough up again. Knead a few times to smooth out the dough.
  7. Divide dough into 2 equal portions and shape into 2 round loaves. Place each dough ball in the prepared pan, gently pat the dough to stretch to the sides. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let it rise until the dough reaches the rim of foil collar, about 2 hours.
  8. Place a baking stone on the center rack and preheat oven to 400°F. Egg wash the top of each loaf.
  9. Place pans on the hot stone and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350°F and bake until the loaves are golden brown, and cake tester inserted into each loaf center comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes longer.
  10. Let breads cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove from pan and foil. Transfer to a rack and cool completely. Store in air-tight bag/container.

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I got a pizza stone last Christmas but didn’t really use it until I tried out this recipe. Instead of baking the bread in a pan, I baked it on the stone. The purpose of pizza stone (some called baking stone) is to create an oven temperature that is similar to a brick oven, which distributes heat evenly and thus producing better crusty breads. I just love the rustic look of the focaccia.

Sundried Tomato & Cheese Focaccia

Sun-dried Tomato & Cheese Focaccia

This is a good bread to serve with pasta, dip with extra virgin olive oil, or as panini sandwiches. The orange color is from sun-dried tomatoes. The asiago cheese smells wonderful but I think it’s a little too much (although I love asiago cheese:)) and covering other flavors. Also on the next attempt, I should add a little crushed red pepper to spice it up and some herbs (thymes, rosemary etc), or pizza seasoning, to compliment the flavor.

Sundried Tomato & Cheese Focaccia

Sun-dried Tomato & Cheese Focaccia

Sun-dried Tomato & Cheese Focaccia Recipe

Ingredients:
3 1/2 cup bread flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 cup grated asiago cheese + extra for sprinkles–> for next attempt: 1/2 cup for the dough, 1/2 cup for sprinkles
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes– chopped
5 cloves garlic– finely chopped
2 tsp yeast
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil + 1 tbsp for brushing
1 3/4 cup water

for next attempt try adding:
1 tsp crushed red peppers
1 tbsp chopped herbs/pizza seasoning

Method:

  1. Mix all dry ingredients (including cheese, tomatoes and garlic) in a stand mixing bowl. With the dough hook attached, turn mixer on low and slowly add water to form a dough.
  2. Slowly drizzle in 3 tbsp olive oil and continue kneading until the dough is elastic and pass the “membrane” stage.
  3. Transfer dough to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let it prove until double in size. I prove the dough in the fridge overnight.
  4. Punch down the dough and let rest for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, sprinkle cornmeal on a baking sheet or flexible cutting board. Place baking stone on the middle rack in the oven and preheat to 450°F.
  5. Transfer dough to a well-floured work surface. Gently pull and stretch the dough evenly into 10×14-inch rectangle. Brush the top with 1 tbsp olive oil and top with some extra asiago cheese.
  6. Carefully transfer to the prepared baking sheet/flexible cutting board which has cornmeal at the bottom. Cover and let it rest for 15 minutes.
  7. Spray the oven walls with water. Work quickly so the oven doesn’t lose heat.
  8. Use finger tip to create dimples on the top of the dough.
  9. Carefully slide the dough onto the hot stone. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the bread turns golden brown. Cool focaccia on a rack. This bread can be frozen– just wrap with foil/plastic wrap then store in air tight Ziploc bag.

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I love Asiago cheese so I always like to add it to my bread making. This time I made Asiago dinner rolls. Look how nicely they baked up! Nicely browned and same even size/shape… I’m happy:)

Asiago Dinner Rolls

Asiago Dinner Rolls

Asiago Dinner Rolls Recipe (makes 12 rolls)

Ingredients:
2 1/4 cups bread flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tbsp milk powder
3 tbsp sugar
1 tsp dry yeast
2 cloves minced garlic– optional
5 tbsp grated asiago cheese
1 egg
125 -150 ml warm water
2 tbsp butter

Methods (using a stand mixer):

  1. In the mixing bowl mix well the first 7 ingredients then add in egg. With dough hook attached and starts kneading, slowing add water to form a dough. Drop in butter and continue to knead the dough until it doesn’t stick to the bowl and pass the “membrane” 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 I let the bowl sit on a moist hot towel)
  3. Lightly knead the dough a few times to punch out big air pockets trapped inside. Divide into 3 equal portions. (If you’re not using optional stuff listed on the top, divide the dough into 9 equal small rolls and rest them in a greased square pan for 45 minutes before baking).
  4. Take 1 portion and roll it out, sprinkle some green onions, ground black pepper and salt on top. Roll the dough up like a swiss roll. Pinch to seal the edge. Then cut into 3 equal small rolls, with cut side facing up and put on a square baking pan. Repeat this step with the other 2 portions. Leave a little space among the rolls as they will expand during 2nd proofing and baking.
  5. Cover the rolls and proof again for 45 minutes (again, I used moist hot towels underneath the pan to speed up proofing time).  Sprinkle some cheese on the top and baked in preheated 350°F oven for 20-25 minutes, turning half way until golden brown. Brush top with melted butter and serve hot.

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Cheesy, buttery and garlicky at the same time… Mmm, this is another easy recipe especially good for the party. Most of the work is about assembling the ingredients together, and the oven will do the cooking. Better yet it can be prepared ahead of time and baked near serving time. I always use Asiago cheese when I make this dish because the flavor is irresistible. A good substitute is grated Parmesan( I think Parmesan is saltier than Asiago). You can use Cheddar cheese too but the garlic bread will have a different flavor. I haven’t stepped into making artisan bread yet, so I bought the bread from the bakery… read the notes next to the ingredients for details.

Cheesy Garlic Bread

Cheesy Garlic Bread

Cheesy Garlic Bread Recipe (makes 1 loaf)

Ingredients:

1 loaf Pulgliese/Ciabatta/French bread– I prefer Pulgliese or Ciabatta because they are lighter as the bread has lots of holes in it. French bread is good too if you want to stuff  yourself with lots of bread dough.

5-6 cloves garlic

2 cups grated Asiago cheese– this cheese gives flavor but it doesn’t melt nicely because it’s dry cheese.

2 cups grated Mozzarella cheese– this mild cheese gives the melting cheese look on the bread.

butter– I use real or whipped butter, not margarine or spreadable “stuff”.

Method:

  1. Slice bread lengthwise and place on a baking tray (crust side down). Finely minced garlic. Set aside.
  2. Spread butter generously on the bread. Then spread minced garlic evenly. Sprinkle Asiago cheese evenly all over then top with Mozzarella cheese.
  3. Place garlic bread in cold oven then turn oven temperature to 400°F. When temperature reaches 400°F, check on the bread. If the cheese on the edge turns bubbly and golden brown the bread is ready. If not let it bake for another 5 minutes or so (depending on your oven). Remove from oven. Cool for few minutes on the pan before slicing. Serve hot.

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