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Unsliced Bread may be the greatest thing since Sliced bread

December 20, 2010 4 comments

I am sure many are familiar with the quote “….. is the greatest thing since sliced bread. I don’t know how the quote came about, but i am guessing sliced bread must have pretty much taken the world by storm to be quoted in such a timeless fashion.

Sure, sliced bread is great, it takes away that nerve wrecking task of bread cutting. And if you don’t own a serrated knife, you definitely will appreciate pre-sliced bread more than your counterparts with a serrated knife.

I am fortunately a proud owner of a serrated knife, and i do enjoy slicing my own bread. And let me tell you how wonderful it is to be baking my own bread, a sandwich loaf no less.

It will probably take your whole afternoon. So, don’t expect to serve this for breakfast the morning you decide to start baking. Don’t let that scare you though, for all that time intensiveness, you do get much loafing (no pun intended) around. That is of course, after u are done with the initial kneading stage. Once you are through that hurdle, all you have to do is pretty much wait around for the second, third, fourth … rising (I told you it will take some time).

I seemed to have acquired the patience of a rock statue the day i made this bread. I followed the instructions, kneaded my dues and then goofed my afternoon away with a little kitchen timer in my hand to remind me of the next “session” i have with my dough, be it the next punch down, or the next shaping… etc. I didn’t for one regret though, at the end of all that timed activities, i got myself a soft crumbed tall sandwich loaf 🙂

Yup, all that goodness in a sliced bread minus all the harmful chemicals and preservatives. A good homemade sandwich loaf, which u can pretty much serve in any way you fancy.

Like with lettuce, cheese and tomatoes? (Sorry i ran out of Bacon to make this a regular BLT)

Or maybe with some blueberry jam?

That is of course the goodness you can get out of sliced bread. But waittt, there is more.

What about an UNsliced loaf? After all, the title is about unsliced loaves being greater than their sliced cousins right?

Surely there are some goodness in that too?

Right ON!

We make bread boxes out of sandwich loaves.

These bread boxes, better known as Honey Toasts are very popular as asian desserts. I believe they may have originated from Hongkong.

Basically, the interior of the bread is removed via a slit made at the bottom of the loaf. They are then buttered and given a light toasting before they are replaced back in the bread boxes with a drizzle of honey. They are usually topped with ice cream and u can imagine how wonderful it is when the ice cream melts and soaks up the underlying bread pieces.

I however, replaced the ice cream with Rum pastry cream as i was gifting these to my friends and there was no way ice cream could have survived the journey.

I arranged the fresh fruits over the pastry cream and gave it a light coating of honey for an added touch of sweetness and shine. 🙂

So let’s get loafing!

White Sandwich Bread

Recipe from Happy Homebaking Thanks for sharing!!
Ingredients:
(makes one 11cm x 11cm x 20cm loaf)

(A) Gelatinised dough

75g bread flour
53g boiling water

(B) Overnight sponge dough

100g bread flour
60g water (room temperature)
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast

(C) Main dough

225g bread flour
10g milk powder
22g caster sugar
5g salt
4g instant yeast
143g water (room temperature)
60g overnight sponge dough
gelatinised dough from (A)
30g butter (cut into cubes)

Method:

– Gelatinised dough

Add the boiling water in (A) into the bread flour, stir and mix to form a rough dough. Cover dough and set aside to cool. Wrap dough and leave it to chill in fridge for at least 12 hrs. (Bring back to room temperature before using.)

– Overnight sponge dough

Mix bread flour in (B) with instant yeast. Add water and mix to form a rough dough. Cover dough let it proof for 30mins. Wrap dough and refrigerate overnight. Note: only 60g is required. Bring back to room temperature before using.

– Main dough
  1. Mix together bread four, milk powder, caster sugar, salt and instant yeast in a mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre, and add in water and overnight dough. Knead to form a rough dough. Knead in gelatinised-dough.
  2. Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface. Knead the dough till smooth. This should take about 10mins. Knead in the butter. Continue to knead the dough until it no longer sticks to your hand, becomes smooth and elastic. This should take about another 15~20 mins. Do the window pane test: pinch a piece of the dough, pull and stretch it. It should be elastic, and can be pulled away into a thin membrane without tearing/breaking apart easily.
  3. Place dough in a lightly greased (use vegetable oil or butter) mixing bowl, cover with cling wrap and let proof in room temperature (around 28 to 30 degC) for about 60mins, or until double in bulk.
  4. Remove the dough from the bowl and give a few light kneading to press out the gas in the dough. Divide the dough into 3 equal portions. Roll each dough into smooth rounds, cover with a damp cloth or cling wrap and let the doughs rest for 10mins.
  5. On a lightly floured work surface, flatten each dough and roll out to form a longish oval shape. Starting from the shorter end, roll it up swiss-roll style. Leave the doughs to rest for another 10 mins.
  6. Flatten each dough and roll it out again to form a long rectangle (around 30cm x 10cm). Flip the dough over and roll up swiss-roll style, roll up as tightly as possible. Pinch and seal the seams. Place the three doughs, seam side down, in a well greased (with butter) pullman tin.
  7. Cover with damp cloth or cling wrap and leave doughs to proof for the second time for about 50~60mins, or until the pan is 80% full. Cover the lid (well greased with butter) and bake at 220degC for 35mins. Unmold immediately and once cool store in an airtight container.

Rockin’ the Rolls

October 3, 2010 6 comments

After yesterday’s less than satisfactory bread, i was itching to make something that will redeem my faith in my breadmaking.

So, i went back to my true, tried and tested recipe, and switched from cinnamon to chocolate.  The process was just like visiting an old friend, i knew know what to do, what not to do, what to expect and and what not. It was quite relaxing, if not comforting.

I kneaded the dough for a good 30 minutes, and was rewarded with the smoothest and silkiest dough which was able to pass that elusive window pane test. All it took was some patience, and persistence if you must.

I left the dough to proof for about an hour, which was more than enough when u have a hot, humid climate like mine ( i live in Indonesia). By the end of the hour, the dough has more than tripled in size! i was a bit worried that i might have overproofed it, and that it might taste sour later on. But thankfully none of that happened.

As for the filling, instead of the usual cinnamon sugar i settled on chocolate chips today, just because, u can never go wrong with chocolate.

I moved at a leisurely pace as i rolled the dough into a log, sliced it, and let it proof a 2nd time. Just because it’s a Sunday, and i didnt have to worry about the office, or anything boring like that. A very indulgent baking session, really.

The dough went into the oven for a good 20-25 minutes.

and after all that time in the oven, i pulled out a pan of golden brown deliciousness.

Which was promptly drizzled with chocolate, of course

Next, came the final test,

the texture of the bread.

I pulled at the first roll and soft fluffy goodness greeted me. The texture was somewhat like a sandwich bread, a fresh one. The roll was so soft i had to collapse it sidewards, and use the gentlest sawing motion with my serrated knife.

aahh, thats about right for Asian styled sweet bread.

For dough recipe, refer to my older post, HERE.

What a Happy Sunday Breakfast.

Floss Roll Bread

October 2, 2010 4 comments

After all the cakes and cookies i have baked in the past couple of days, i have decided that something heartier, (and healthier) was in order. These chicken floss rolls are no strangers in Asian bakeries. They make pretty good breakfast items.

Instead of its usual bun shapes, this Asian-type sweet, soft bread was baked in a jelly roll pan. It is then spread with a thin layer of mayonnaise and rolled into a log over a bed of floss ( in this case chicken). If you’ve ever made Buche De Noel, this will be easy peasy for you.

Like my previous bout with yeasted bread, this recipe also requires a water roux to be made before the kneading and all that jazz. I’ve been told that this method extends the moisture keeping qualities of the bread. I guess it does help somewhat.

Between this recipe and the previous, this one however seems rather on the dry and tougher side. Don’t get me wrong, they are not, u know, bad, but they just dont live up to my expectations, which was lifted rather high from that previous recipe.

I was quite disappointed that after all that kneading (i hand kneaded these for about half an hour!!), i was not quite rewarded with what i anticipated. Then again, it might be due to overbaking on my part, or the fact that the dough is rolled thinly, but I am sticking to the old recipe for now.

Of course, an additional spread of mayonnaise and a dunk in the floss on the surface wouldn’t hurt too!

For a more successful version of this, head over to HappyHomeBaking. Thanks for sharing the recipe!
Seaweed Pork Floss Rolls (65degC TangZhong)

Ingredients
(makes 6 rolls)

water roux:

20g bread flour
100ml water

dough:

195g bread flour
90g cake flour
30g caster sugar
12g milk powder
6g salt
6g instant yeast
60g egg, lightly beaten
65ml water
75g water roux (tangzhong)
45g unsalted butter

fillings:

chopped spring onions
sesame seeds
seaweed pork floss
mayonnaise

to make tang zhong:
  • Place 20g bread flour in a saucepan. Add 100ml water, mix till smooth, making sure there are no lumps of flour. Cook over medium to low heat, stirring constantly with a hand whisk to prevent it from burning. Within 1 to 2 mins, the mixture will start to thicken, stop when you see traces in the mixture for every stir you make with the hand whisk. (Take a look at the video clip here. ) The 65degC tang zhong is ready. Immediately transfer the hot tang zhong into a bowl and cover it with a cling wrap, making sure the cling wrap sticks onto the surface of the mixture. This is to prevent a film from forming on the surface. Leave to cool completely before using it. Measure 75g for the recipe, there will be a little bit of leftover.
to make dough (by hand):
  • Mix all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre and add in the egg and tang zhong. Reserve about 20ml of water and add the rest into the mixing bowl. Mix the ingredients with hand and slowly form into a rough dough. Add in a little of the reserved water if the mixture is too dry.
  • Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface. Knead the dough till smooth. Add in the remaining water a little at a time, knead well after each addition. (This way, the dough will not be too wet and sticky). Use up all the water. The whole process should take about 10mins.
  • Knead in the butter. Continue to knead the dough until it no longer sticks to your hand, becomes smooth and elastic. This should take about another 20 to 30 mins. Do the window pane test: pinch a piece of the dough, pull and stretch it. It should be elastic, and can be pulled away into a thin membrane without tearing/breaking apart easily.
  • Place dough in a lightly greased (use vegetable oil or butter) mixing bowl, cover with cling wrap and let proof in room temperature (around 28 to 30 degC) for about 40mins or an hour, or until double in bulk.
  • Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and give a few light kneading to press out the gas. Roll into a round dough. Cover with a damp cloth or cling wrap and let the dough rest for 15mins.
  • Roll out the dough into a rectangular shape to fit a 30cmx40cm baking tray (I used a 10″ by 14″ tray). Place dough in baking tray(lined with parchment paper). Cover and let it proof for around 30~40 minutes.
  • Use a fork to poke holes all over the surface of the dough (this is to ensure the bread will not puff up too much during baking). Brush with egg wash then sprinkle with chopped onions and sesame seeds. Bake at 170~180degC for about 15 minutes (do not over bake).
to assemble:
  • Remove bread from tray and leave to cool. Invert the bread on a parchment paper. Cut a few slits along the longer edge of the bread, make the slits only half-way through the bread do not cut through. The slits will make rolling up the bread easier.
  • Spread a thin layer of mayonnaise on the surface and sprinkle with pork floss. From the longer edge, roll up like a swiss roll. Wrap the bread roll with the parchment paper. Secure and leave it for about 30mins so that the roll can stay in its shape without unrolling. (I tried to tape it down, but the tape couldn’t stick onto the parchment paper, so I had to use stripes of paper to secure the roll.) Trim away the edges and cut the bread into 6 portions. Spread the cut sides with some mayonnaise and coat with pork floss.

Soft, Fluffy Pull-Aparts

These pull aparts are so wonderfully soft and fluffy. They surprisingly stayed moist despite being pulled at and left uncovered for hours.

These fluffers go well with good ole plain salted butter. I eat mine with butter and chocolate sprinkles  because i just happen to have it around.

On second thoughts, I always have chocolate sprinkles around.It is pretty much  a staple at my home. It’s  probably the only thing my family members reach for to go with their white sandwich bread, besides Nutella.

Too bad we ran out of Nutella, and i had to settle for second best.

Blahs.

For those of u without choc sprinkles, here are some other ideas:

Peanut butter,

Strawberry jam,

or a slice of cheddar

Or Nutella…. (well, the list is pretty much endless..)

Recipe is from an Indonesian Baking Book titled : 100 Resep kue & Roti by Lanny Soecha

Ingredients I:

500 gr bread flour

50gr sugar

50 gr milk powder

7.5 gr instant yeast

3 gr bread improver

Ingredients II:

3 egg yolks

250 ml iced water

Ingredients III:

75 gr margarine

1 tsp salt

Ingredients IV ( beat together):

250 gr butter

125 gr icing sugar

50 ml sweetened condensed milk

Ingredient V:

evaporated milk ( For glazing)

1. Mix Ingredients I & II till well combined. Add Ingredients III and knead till the dough is no longer sticky and is elastic.

2. Add a little oil into the dough and shape it round. Let proof for 20 minutes.

3. Deflate the dough, divide it into little rounds, each weighing 30 grams. Shape the mini doughs into elongated rolls. Brush each roll with Ingredients IV.  Assemble the rolls into a 20cm x 20 cm square tin that has been lightly greased.

4. Let proof for a second time for 1 hour. Brush the surface of each roll with Ingredients V

5. Bake at 175 degree Celcius for 25 minutes, or till the surface is golden brown. Remove tin from oven. Remove bread from tin to cool

6. Serve each roll with Ingredients IV or whatever u fancy.

Okay, above are my feeble attempts at translating, i apologize. Please do bear with me.