Showing posts with label Baking. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Baking. Show all posts

Monday, May 28, 2012

Beka's Recipes: Sourdough Scones





Sourdough is has a hearty, slightly tart flavor that is very appetizing. This recipe is  similar to my pumpkin scones recipe. 

Sourdough contains naturally-occuring yeast and is full of enzymes that break down anti-nutrient phytates in grains, making it more nutritious and digestible.Too much sourdough, however, usually yields a distinctly unpleasant, overpowering, sour-tasting, baked product.

350gm bread flour (you can replace up to a third of the bread flour with wheat germ or whole wheat flour for added nutrition)
1/4 cup to 1/2 cup white sugar or honey (the pumpkin is sweet, too)
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

75gm butter
140gm  (1 1/4) cup liquid sourdough starter

2 tbsp milk, to brush

Baking: 200C or 400F Oven for about 30-40 minutes

1) Prepare the sourdough starter by mixing 1 1/2 cups of flour, 1 1/2 cups of water, and 1/4 cup sourdough starter. Let it rise/ferment overnight.
2) Measure the flour into a large mixing bowl. Mix the cream of tartar, baking soda, sugar (if you are using sugar and not honey), and salt into the flour. Rub the butter in until it becomes fine breadcrumbs. You can use a stand/hand mixer.
3) Add in the sourdough starter. (and honey) and incorporate it well. It should form a stiff but very sticky dough. Use more sourdough starter if necessary.
4) Coat your counter well with plain flour. Pat the dough, coating it well and both sides with flour and cut it out into circles. One batch will yield 12 large scones or 16 little ones (3 inches wide and 1 inch tall)
5) Brush the remainder milk on the tops of the scones. Arrange them on a well-greased baking tray and bake until golden brown on the top and bottom and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean
6) Enjoy fresh, sliced in half and spread with salted butter or jam for tea. Store the scones in the freezer to preserve their freshness.


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Beka's Recipes: Pumpkin Scones 南瓜烤饼


This quick and easy recipe for Pumpkin scones yields a delightfully yellow scone, gently browned on the surface. It is sweet and rich when you bite into it, and the fluffy texture comes from the exceptionally moist dough. You can enhance the scone batter with raisins or bits of dried apricot.


350gm bread flour (you can replace up to a third of the bread flour with wheat germ or whole wheat flour for added nutrition)
1/4 cup to 1/2 cup white sugar or honey (the pumpkin is sweet, too)
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

75gm butter
300gm cooked and mashed pumpkin
About 1/3 - 1/2 cup of milk, as necessary

Baking: 200C or 400F Oven for about 30-40 minutes

1) Wash and cut a medium-sized fresh pumpkin into quarters. Steam, microwave, or bake the pumpkin until it is very soft, so that you can scoop out the pumpkin flesh from the skin. It should be very moist and easy to mash. Mash the pumpkin and weigh it. A medium-sized pumpkin should yield about two batches of this recipe.
2) Measure the flour into a large mixing bowl. Mix the cream of tartar, baking soda, sugar (if you are using sugar and not honey), and salt into the flour. Rub the butter in until it becomes fine breadcrumbs. You can use a stand/hand mixer.
3) Add in the pumpkin (and honey) and incorporate it well. It should form a stiff and moist dough. Mix in up to a cup of milk so that the dough is very moist and sticky.
4) Coat your counter well with plain flour. Pat the dough, coating it well and both sides with flour and cut it out into circles. One batch will yield 12 large scones or 16 little ones (3 inches wide and 1 inch tall)
5) Brush the remainder milk on the tops of the scones. Arrange them on a well-greased baking tray and bake until golden brown on the top and bottom and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean
6) Enjoy fresh, sliced in half and spread with salted butter for tea. Store the scones in the freezer to preserve their freshness.




面包 低粉 350克、
细砂糖 75克、
塔塔粉 1 茶匙
小苏打 1 茶匙
盐  1/2 茶匙

无盐奶油 75克、

煮熟的南瓜 300克、
1/2杯牛奶



1. 剪下一个中等大小的新鲜南瓜分为四个部分。煮南瓜,直到它很软。舀出皮肤软的南瓜。捣碎的南瓜,然后测量它。一个中等大小的南瓜,应该至少有600克。

2. 混合面粉,糖,塔塔粉,小苏打和盐。黄油切成小块,用你的双手揉进面粉,黄油,直到它类似于细屑。

3. 面粉中加入捣碎的南瓜和牛奶。以及混合面团。

4. 入炉200°C,烤约30-40分钟,表面呈金黄色,出炉,趁温热即可食用。


Saturday, March 3, 2012

10 Loaves of Bread











I was happily busy in the kitchen yesterday. The weekend past was spent at a “holiday” home running around, jumping on and off bicycles in skirts (if the Mennonites can do it, why can’t I?), making newspaper balls, staying up late, making notebooks, and helping with cooking and washing - altogether a wholesome trip.

On Monday I remembered that we’re ought of bread, so I set out to make 4 rounds (8 loaves) of Country Seed Bread. We’re almost out of yeast and wheat flour.


Cranberry Walnut
 
Carrot Raisin (pulp from carrot juice added to bread dough, made it extra moist ) And 1 tsp of cinnamon is enough.

Apple Raisin Cinnamon (very moist, nice)





I continued baking the whole afternoon and mixed up two batches of really quick Pan De Mie Sandwich bread from the Bread Bible. It’s the simplest recipe in the whole book, I believe, with only one rise. I added a bit of atta flour to the plain white bread, and it was still very light, white, and fluffy. To the green bread I added Pandan juice instead of water, a little oil instead of butter. They both turned out very light.



So, ten loaves of bread in one afternoon. I managed to clean up everything and wasn’t so tired after it.  

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Another Busy Baking Day






Wow... Since noon I have been baking, because of several birthdays in the family and the aftermath of the recent New Year celebrations.

A good friend gave us a bunch of the sweetest, fattest, and thinnest-skinned bananas, they were so good and ripe, I made three batches of Cordon Rose Banana Cake from the Cake Bible - it was fun mixing up the batter - 24 cupcakes and a 2-layer 8 inch round cake.

Next, I used finely grated carrot pulp from the fruit juicer - Mummy loves raw carrot juice like anything. I like smoothies - banana blueberry, mandarin orange apple, and I like them with yogurt. From the bread bible, the Carrot Bread (Cake) is delicious, tasty, and moist. It's very dense and cinnamony, with plenty of good flavor, plus it was quick to whip up when the banana cakes were baking.

Thirdly, I made white rolls using the French sandwich bread recipe from the cake bible, tiny buns of 30g each filled with a tablespoon of dried, sweet, Chinese chicken floss. Mummy loves it,

So the kitchen is full of baked goods and good smells. I stacked the  banana cake and paired with Walnuts and Royal Honey Buttercream. I had only a bit of butter left, so this is what I did.

Ground Walnuts with a teensy bit of buttercream makes a not-too-sweet filling
1) Bring 37g of Royal Honey to a rolling boil in the microwave.
2) Whisk 37 g of egg (egg yolk and a bit of white) in a small mixing bowl and pour the honey in, stirring fast. Whisk well and let it cool
3) When the egg/honey mixture is cool, beat in 150g of  butter.

Silky Soft!
Honey, butter, and egg. If your health is critical, warm the egg, constantly stirring, in a double boiler and follow the temperature for pasteurization.

The ratio is
37 Honey
37 Egg
150 Butter.

The frosting is smooth, creamy, and not too sweet at all.

On a different note, I have finished my third coptic binding book. Learn about bookbinding here. It's a pretty, useful, craft that can be combined with scrapbooking, calligraphy, embroidery, anything! 

I also plant to make a Kapp - Tutorial Here. They are so pretty! I want to add some to my collection.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Baking Day Recipes

Whew! It's been three days of baking. Each day I am totally wiped out, but wake up (late) the next morning ready to begin all over again. The thing about baking in the holiday seasons is that I don't have to return everything to the pantry cupboard. Everything's sitting out nice and convenient, so it takes me only fifteen minutes to whip up a Lemon Poppy Seed Pound Cake from the Bread Bible. 

Today I made three kinds of cake. That must be a kind of record for me. I've been so inspired by the Amish people. I bet one Amish baker could whip up six kinds of cake and knock up twenty pies of nine varieties in one afternoon without skipping a beat (I meant "breaking a sweat"). 

I woke up at eleven today. I must have slept at about one last night. I sat down to sew, and did not rise up until I decided I had better get to sleep. I was stitching a kapp for my Amish doll. I already have her Satin green cape dress almost finished - and what a dusky, serviceable shade of green. It's nice. She's a good friend to my Pioneer Doll with a red gingham bonnet and a yellow print dress. 

Quickly I got into a pink dress and a baking apron. Then I made a green chiffon cake. It turned out sufficiently green because I used less water in the making the screwpine (pandan) paste water. That's made from blending long screwpine leaves in water, and draining out the leaves. I put the leafy pulp on a tray on the currently-not-in-use BBQ grill to use and reuse for tea. 

We use that herb water as a cake flavoring. Usually if you order the green pandan chiffon cake in stores, you get a weird shade of green that comes from those little dark bottles of cheap food coloring. No artificial food coloring for me, thank you! And the fragrance was fantastic. 

Rose Levy Beranbaum's Lemon/Orange Glow Chiffon Cake in the Cake Bible was my base. All I did was to replace all the water and lemon juice with fragrant pandan juice and omit the zest altogether. She uses 7 egg yolks and 10 egg whites, the disparity making the cake extra fluffy and light without compromising lightness. Perfect! Most recipes use the same amount of egg whites and yolks, but Rose Levy Beranbaum's addition of extra egg whites is a groundbreaking innovation, which is really elementary in actual fact. It just takes someone who thinks outside of the box. 

Once the pandan cake was in the oven, I washed up and postponed lunch so that I could whip up my brownie cake recipe, which was so yummy, because I used some coffee chocolate chips alongside the usual kind, because I was out of the usual kind. Now, I always add 1/2 tbsp of baking powder to the brownie cake and mix it as per the Cake Bible. It's my favorite, most moist chocolate cake. After three years of wild experimenting, I think I have my recipe right where I want it.

Beka's Latest Brownie Cake: 

Ingredients

    • 230g cooking chocolate
    • 236g (1cup) water
    • 227g salted butter
    • 6 large eggs
    • 100g castor sugar
    • 280g all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 tsp baking powder
    • 340g chocolate chips

Method

    1. Preheat oven to 180 C. Place rack in such a way that the brownies will be baked in the centre of the oven on top of an oven stone, if you have one.
    2. Grease the cake pans. I used shortening today because it's so effective, but it also "poisonous".  It is necessary to flour the pans when baking with chocolate. Put some flour in the cake pan, then tap and shake until the insides are completely coated. Tap out excess flour into next pan, repeat, and discard the rest of the flour.
    3. Measure out ingredients in bowls. Sift the flour into a bowl over the weighing machine.
    4. Pour water into a saucepan and bring it to a boil. Then remove from fire and add in the cooking chocolate. Once the chocolate is added, put the saucepan on the stove and allow the mixture to boil. Then let it simmer for five minutes, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the water has mostly evaporated and mixture is very much thickened. Use the wooden spoon to scoop and drop back a little chocolate. It will form a pattern on the surface of the chocolate and dissolve in a little while. 
    5.Break the eggs, and whisk them a little. Then add in the warm chocolate mixture a little at a time, so that it does not get  "scrambled". This is the liquid mixture.
    6.In the Cake Mixer bowl, mix all the dry ingredients - the flour and the baking powder.
    7. Add all the butter and half the liquid mixture to the flour mixer. Beat until incorporated, then beat on medium speed for 1 1/2 minutes to strengthen the cake. It will not turn out hard, don't worry.
    8.Add in the rest of the liquid mixture in two batches, beating 20 seconds after each time.
    9.Fold in the chocolate chips.
    10. Pour the brownie cake batter into a nine-inch round bundt pan.  Bake the brownies for 30-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
     


    You can follow the instructions in my link above to the original recipe if you want to decorate the cake with a water ganache. 


    __________________________________________________________


    Then I had a pot of stew and rice seasoned heavily with pepper and painful bird's eye chilli sauce, together with The Story Girl on my PC. The Story Girl series is my favorite of L. M. Montgomery's works. I love the comradeship and characterization, as well as her beautiful, humorous descriptions. It's wholesome and fun to read, full of stories and portraits of life. 



    Finally, I baked the Lemon Poppy Seed Pound Cake and cleaned the entire kitchen. 



    So here in the house now (don't think of  stealing) we have 1.6 kg of melting moments, 8 tubs of chocolate chip cookies (baked last night), a Lemon Poppy Seed Pound Cake, a gobsmacking, sweet, rich, goeey, Brownie Cake, and a fragrant, sweet, and airy Chiffon Cake. 


    Tis' the season to eat mandarin oranges!


    Shalom.



Thursday, January 19, 2012

Melting Moments


January 20th

Dear readers, please check out the beautiful and fantastic JOY OF BAKING website, which is the most reliable and beautiful baking website I know, with all sorts of tried and tested baking recipes, concise videos, and fantastic photography. If you want to learn to bake, or want to find reliable recipes: USE THEIR SITE! 

joyofbaking.com

Well, today I made 8 rounds of pressed butter cookies, also known as “Melting Moments”. This is a fantastically simply recipe that I adapted to make in super-large batches. The only variation to Joy of Baking’s recipe I made is to use salted butter, and not to chill the dough because if you want to press the dough, chilling makes it lumpy (bad!).


So, firstly I measured 2 batches of four rounds each of the recipe, making 8 rounds in all. Chinese New Year is coming up and we like to make cookies to share around. These are pretty, delicious, and fantastic.

Last Night's Work


Daddy took me to the local Indian sundry shop to buy two  bags of cornstarch, because I was out and I figured not to take a risk with rice flour, though I know rice flour is a good replacement.

Of course, you can pipe the cookies in swirls too, like i did before

The dough is made by simply creaming the butter and powdered sugar. I use $10 worth of Indian butter, and ground my own powdered sugar because it’s much cheaper. If you have a bullet blender, it’s easy enough to make your own powdered sugar.

I only buy white sugar for fancy baked goods, for a treat, because it’s not healthy. Don’t bother with brown sugar. There’s a bottle of molasses in my pantry, so I make my own brown sugar by mixing a teeny bit of molasses into the white sugar. That is basically what brown sugar is; it’s not any healthier than white sugar it’s just white sugar with a bit of molasses. With just grainy white sugar, you can have brown sugar, powdered sugar, and caramel sugar, which I also made.

Moving on, just sift the flour, cornstarch, and salt into a huge tub and put the fluffy, pale, creamed butter and sugar in that. For the record, I used the Kenwood. Creaming butter and sugar is tough work, especially if the butter is hard.
8 batches of cookies, 2kg of butter, or more?
Finally, I filled the cookie press and began pressing and baking, pressing and baking, etc. These cookies must not be badly browned. They have such high butter content, that they only must be delicately browned. 



Mammoth size batch of cookie dough
Oh, and for filling the cookie press, which can be a messy and sticky job, I fill a plastic bag with the dough, and cut a hole, squeezing the cookie dough into the cookie press tube so the cookie press stays clean! That was the great idea, only these bags I used were cheap and easy to tear so by the end of the night I was on my third bag. If you use a piping bag, it would work well.

Mummy wrapped them in used cookie tubs. They’re pretty standard around here. I collect them, sometimes I buy new ones but for our own use, I use reuse decent-looking ones. They look good with some red tape, an “auspicious” color for this holiday season.

This recipe, with only five common ingredients, is very simple to make in large batches and absolutely rich and addictive. It is lower in sugar than many recipes I know, producing such buttery, fragile little cookies. In the Amish/Pioneer culture of baking, giving, and sharing, these may make great Christmas cookies too, or snacks during a large event. 

Previous Chinese New Year gifts