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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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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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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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