So here I am, dusting my old blog and making an entry… There really isn’t any excuse for not posting apart from laziness. While i have been cooking and baking up a storm over the past couple of months, I haven’t been posting them up in here.
Nevertheless, it’s 10.38 pm on a Good Friday evening. I didn’t want to miss posting a “Hot Cross Buns” recipe. Because as we all know Hot Cross Buns are made to celebrate Good Friday. And i didn’t want to wait till Good Friday 2015 to post this up!
These buns were made using sourdough starter which i’ve been growing in my kitchen for the past couple of months (more on that on a later post). They were studded with raisins and are refined sugar free with the use of coconut sugar.
“Why the sudden health kick???”, u ask… Well, it’s because these buns were made with my toddler’s health in mind. And you know how paranoid mothers can get… Plus, they are all not that bad for you!
So here’s wishing everyone a Good Friday!
Sourdough Hot Cross Buns
250 gram bread flour
120 gram sourdough starter
50 gram coconut sugar
5 gram salt
1 egg yolk
35 grams butter
50 ml water
100 grams raisins
For the crosses, i just made a paste out of water and flour.
1. Mix the flour, sugar, salt and sourdough starter into a bowl. Make a well in the center, add in the egg yolk, water and milk. Pour the dough onto a kneading table, add the butter and start kneading away till the dough turns elastic and is able to be stretched to thin membrane without tearing. Add the raisins and knead till they are well distributed around the dough
2. Round the dough into a ball and leave it at room temperature, covered, till it doubles in size (about 2 hours, on a hot climate like mine).
3. Gently deflate the dough and cut the dough into balls each weighing 50 grams. Place them on your baking sheet and set aside till it doubles in size again. (about 2 hours)
4. Make a paste with flour and enough water. Pipe crosses across each bun
5. Preheat oven to 200 degree celcius. Bake for about 10-15 minutes till the bread turns a nice golden brown.
I remember seeing someone doing this on the internet a few years ago.
And my first thought was…
“Geez, that’s a lot of work for a meal!!!”
And here I am, a few years later, attempting something i thought was so frivolous.
I must have had a personality transplant or something!
Or rather, the process of ageing does funny things to your brain.
So, if you are old and aged like me, and would like to do frivolous things, here’s a step by step pictorial.
One word of advise though, for the sake of your sanity,, please use the shorter grained Japanese rice for this.
Short grained Japanese rice have a stickier quality, which saves you from tearing your hair out when the balls of rice refuse to ball together.
I learned this the hard way using the regular Chinese (or was it Thai?) long grained rice.
2 Cups of cooked Japanese Rice
1 TBS of fish sauce
1/2 TBS of soy sauce
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
3 TBS of oil.
Salt and Pepper to taste
Heat the oil in a wok, Throw in the chopped garlic and cook till fragrant
Throw in the rice and the sauces. Mix well to combine. Taste and add salt and pepper if necessary
1/2 TBS mirin
1/2 tsp soy sauce
Oil to coat the pan
Beat the eggs, mirin and soy sauce together in a bowl.
Coat your frying pan with a bit of oil and pour just enough of the mixed egg to form a thin layer of omelette.
Repeat the process till all the eggs are used.
I am really bad with words, so i think it is easier if you refer to the pictorial. Or if you are a youtuber, please head on over to theKKSshow’s video for her comprehensive steps on how to make the rilakkuma omurice
But do take note that her recipe differs from mine. Hers was done with tomato ketchup. Mine was soy sauce.
When i was making these biscuits this morning. I didn’t think that i was going to write a blog post about them.
All i wanted was to use up the gravy that i made the day before.
My impression of biscuits was never fantastic. Gone were the days where I would nibble on a piece of tasteless, unsavoury Popeye’s biscuits.
In addition to that, biscuits were never photogenic.
Biscuits doused in pale, white-ish sauce were even less impressive.
However, i decided to weather all the negativity. Because it is of utmost importance that i were to journal this recipe.
The recipe that had the power to erase all the bad judgement i passed on all the biscuits that i ecountered before.
I’m sorry Biscuits, I’ve been harsh on you.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon white sugar
- 1/3 cup shortening ( I used butter)
- 1 cup milk
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Cut in the shortening until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Gradually stir in milk until dough pulls away from the side of the bowl.
- Turn out onto a floured surface, and knead 15 to 20 times. Pat or roll dough out to 1 inch thick. Cut biscuits with a large cutter or juice glass dipped in flour. Repeat until all dough is used. Brush off the excess flour, and place biscuits onto an ungreased baking sheet.
- Bake for 13 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges begin to brown.
And in case you were wondering about the gravy, the recipe can be found HERE
Besides being swamped with handling the payroll at work on the first day of every month, I like to do a little what i call “blog event browsing”
It’s the time of the month where i poke my nosey nose at the various blogs that’s hosting some of my favourite blog events.
So, the theme of this month’s Little Thumbs Up is Soya Bean
And since Mich, the host, was kind enough to open this event to dishes with at least 2 tsp of soy sauce. Our breakfast of DIY Rice Noodles automatically qualified as they were practically swimming in soy sauce!
The rice rolls came out so silky soft that i decided that they were fitting for my 14 month toddler with +- 8 teeth.
Her version was drenched with carrots, corn and some bone broth.
So here goes!
Homemade Rice Rolls
Makes about 5 rolls
40 grams rice flour
1/2 tbs cornstarch
1/2 tbs wheat starch
1/2 tbs cooking oil
pinch of salt
Sift the rice flour, corn starch, wheat starch and salt into a large bowl
Gradually, while whisking, pour the water into the flour, making sure that there is no lump.
Add the oil and set aside for 30 minutes
Place an oiled tray into a steamer. When the water in the steamer has come to a boil, Give the batter a good stir and ladle a think layer of batter into the oiled tray.
Cover and steam on high heat for 5 minutes.
Remove tray from steamer, let cool.
Using a spatula, carefully lift one edge of the cooked rice roll and roll it up into a cylinder.
Continue to steam the rest of the batter until it is used up.
Soy Sauce dressing
1 TBS oil
4 slices of ginger
2 TBS sugar
50 ml of soy sauce
50 ml water
Heat the oil, ginger and sugar till the sugar turns syrupy. Add the water and the soy sauce. Let the mixture come to a boil
To serve. Place the rice rolls onto a plate and ladle the soy sauce dressing over it.
I am taking a break from all the healthy, wholesome cooking to make way for this peach pie.
This pie is a full butter, double crusted, gluten-full pie made from refined white wheat flour.
The peaches came from a can which probably leached BPA.
White refined sugar was added to the peaches.
While the overall goal here is to make healthier, whole foods to feed my family. I’m taking baby steps towards it.
That canned peach? It was something I unwittingly bought a few months ago. I am using it as I am clearing my pantry of the less healthy food items and replacing it with the healthier ones.
Having said that, I don’t think i will go to the extremeties such as completely eliminating a certain food.
I ‘ll still use wheat flour to create gluten-full bread.
I will still dump cupfuls of sugar into my cookies. ( well, maybe I will hold back just a little)
My version of “healthy” is defined in the most universal way. Health ideas that most of us can unanimously agree on. And my first focus would be to buy ingredients as fresh and as less processed as possible.
I really don’t like the idea of reading the ingredient list on say, a pack of biscuit in the supermarket and not being able to pronounce some of the items listed there, be it preservatives, additives, or even coloring, So if i were really craving for that pack of biscuit, i would load up my grocery cart with flour, butter, sugar and whatever it takes to make that biscuit.
So wish me luck everyone. *tosses empty can of peach*
Makes a small pie with a diameter of about 12 cm
80 grams flour
60 grams butter, cubed and frozen
pinch of salt
pinch of sugar
1 to 1.5 tablespoon ice cold water
1 tbs beaten egg
1 cup of peaches (I used canned peach)
1 tbs flour
25 grams sugar
pinch of cinnamon
pinch of salt
1/2 tbs butter
1. In a food processor, add the flour, salt and sugar and pulse a couple of times.
2. Add the butter, and pulse a few times until the mixture resembles peas.
3. Add ice water and pulse. The dough should start to hold together.
4. Remove dough from the food processor, and place it over your working surface. Form the dough into two discs, cover in pastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.
5. Preheat oven to 425 F
6. Take the dough discs and roll it out till it’s at least 18 cm in diameter.
7. Place the rolled dough and arrange it into the pie dish. Brush the pie crust with egg whites so that it doesnt get soggy.
8. In a large bowl, place the sliced peaches. In another bowl, mix the flour, sugar cinnamon,salt and the beaten egg. Pour the mixture over the sliced peaches and mix gently with a wooden spoon.
9. Roll the second disc of dough to make the top crust. Cut small round holes into the disc to let air during baking
10. Spoon peaches onto the pie dish, cover with the second dough, folding the edges under.Dip a fork in the egg wash, and start pressing the edges with the tines of the fork.
11. Bake for 10 mins in a preheated oven. the reduce the heat to 350 F and bake for an additional 30-35 mins.
12. Cool before removing from pie dish,
I’ve been observing numerous foodblogs and their abstinence to grains.
A Grain-Free diet, as they call it, is a diet devoid of grains. This includes things like rice, barley, oats, etc.
To summarize, ALL the flours in my pantry, be it rice flour, wheat flour or corn flour unmitigatedly breach this grain free diet.
“So what the heck are you supposed to bake with?” screamed the baker in me.
Well, take it easy, Because baking is still possible without the above mentioned flours. Days after days of blogstalking activities revealed that almond flour (almond being a nut, not a grain), and coconut flour (coconut is a fruit), are the top favourites amongst the grain-free dieters.
And since i live in the tropics where coconuts are aplenty. I am using coconut flour on this grain free adventure
but WHY ???? you ask. Aren’t grains good for you? Aren’t they full of fiber? Don’t they reduce the risk of heart diseases.
Well, i guess there are two sides to every story.
The followers of a grain free diet believe that:
1. Grain are inflammatory food due to its high starch content.
Grains that are refined have higher inflammatory index than unrefined grains. So a white flour is more inflammatory than a whole wheat flour.
2. Grain contain phytic acid which binds minerals and prevent absorbtion.
This pretty much means that you won’t be able to fully and effeciently absorb the minerals that the grains boasts about.
3. Grains are linked to tooth decay.
High starches in grain is a breeding ground for bacterial growth in your mouth.
There are probably a more extensive list of the detrimental effects of grains. But I’ll leave it up to you guys to research into it on your own. My brain is starting to hurt just by highlighting the three points above. I guess i could never look into health advisor as an occupation.
Sugar Free Coconut Flour Chiffon Banana Cake with blueberries
Makes two ramekins
5 grams coconut flour
1 egg yolk (preferable organic)
10 grams coconut oil
10 grams coconut milk
60 grams ripe bananas, mashed
1 egg white
a handful of frozen blueberries
Preheat oven to 165 C (330 F).
Mix egg yolk, mashed banana, coconut flour, oil, and milk into a bowl. Stir till you get a smooth batter
Beat egg white till stiff peak.
Fold egg white into banana batter
Transfer batter into ramekins
Drop blueberries on the batter
Bake for +- 20 minutes or till the cake turns a golden brown
What strikes me the most about Nigella Lawson is her beauty.
It’s almost a pity that she is hosting a cooking show instead of starring in a blockbuster movie. What a waste of pretty face, me thinks.
After watching numerous episodes of her show, I’ve come to conclude that Nigella’s style of cooking comes with a careless wanton. She is not very rigid on her measurements. It’s always a “drizzle of this” or a “handful of that”. That doesn’t sit well with me. My sense of estimation is tragically useless.
Thankfully, someone was able to convert her recipes into teaspoons, tablespoons and cups. Precise instructions are my bedrock. Without it, I am just a piece of wood drifting about cluelessly in the world of culinary.
What made this pudding stand out is the use of croissant instead of the common stale bread. This made a very soft, melt-in-your-mouth pudding texture which you barely have to chew.
So, grab a spoon and dig in!
Recipe taken from Food Network.
Caramel Croissant Pudding
2 stale croissants
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons bourbon
1/2 cup whole milk
2 eggs, beaten
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Tear the croissants into pieces and put in a small gratin dish; I use a cast iron oval with a capacity of about 500ml/ 2 cups for this.
Put the sugar and water into a saucepan, and swirl around to help dissolve the sugar before putting the saucepan on the hob over medium to high heat. Caramelize the sugar and water mixture by letting it bubble away until it all turns a deep amber colour; this will take 3 to 5 minutes. Keep looking but don’t be too timid.
Take the pan off the heat and add the cream – ignoring all spluttering – followed by the bourbon and milk. Whisk to mix, then still whisking add the beaten eggs. Pour this quickly over the croissants and leave to steep for 10 minutes.
Place in the preheated oven for 20 minutes and prepare to swoon.