Archive for the ‘Breads’ Category

North Indian Cuisine
June 5, 2010

What happens when you are craving for garlic naans and tandoori chicken and have too much time on your hand? You D-I-Y! As it is apparent on this site, I’m not fond of cooking. I prefer baking with its approximately precise ingredient quantities. Maybe it is just the way my mother is trying to pass down her recipes, what’s with the random throwing of ingredients into the pot.

Back to the food, naans and tandoori chicken are traditionally cooked in a tandoor – a cylindrical clay oven. Now, most of us will not have a tandoor in our kitchen – if you do, wow! So the chicken was cooked in the oven and the naans were pan-fried with the lid on. It might not taste 100% authentic what with the lack of the smokey taste but it is still “Yum!”.

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Do Nuts for Doughnuts
February 6, 2010

How time flies? It’s already February and I’m in the second month of my last semester. Last semester! As the semester progresses, work is starting to pile up but I’m sure (and hope) my need to bake will not wane.

Was it really 10 years ago when we paid more than $2.50 for a cup of bubble tea? Wasn’t it just 2 years ago that the doughnut craze reignited in Singapore?

I was just reading up on the various food fads here in the last decade and came upon a photograph of a box of a dozen doughnuts. What should I have done then? Run out to the nearest doughnut shop and buy a dozen home? I still had two sachets of the active dry yeast so why not put them to good use? Sure, my doughnut cravings won’t be satiated till 2hrs later but a piping hot doughnut fresh from the pan and rolled in sugar tastes like no other store bought doughnuts.

Doughnuts

Makes a dozen rings plus numerous doughnut balls

Ingredients

1 packet active dry yeast

2 tbsp warm water

3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup whole milk at room temperature

1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened

3 large egg yolks

2 tbsp sugar

1 1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp cinnamon

vegetable oil

Activate yeast by adding dry yeast and 1 tsp sugar over warm water. Stir until yeast dissolves and let stand for 5 minutes. If yeast mixture does not froth, throw it out!

Mix flour, butter, milk, yolks, sugar, salt, cinnamon and yeast mixture at low speed until a soft dough forms. Increase speed and continue beating for the next 3 minutes.

Scrape down dough from side of bowl into the center, then sprinkle lightly with flour to keep crust from forming.

Cover bowl with clean kitchen towel and let dough rise until doubled in bulk (1 1/2 to 2 hours)

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll out until 1/2 inch thick. Cut out as many rounds as possible using a doughnut cutter or any round shaped cutter. Transfer to a lightly floured baking sheet.

Cover doughnuts with kitchen towel and allow to rise for another 30 minutes. Do NOT reroll scraps.

Fry in pan till golden brown and dunk immediately into powdered/caster sugar. Alternatively, prepare a chocolate glaze and cover with almond slices.

The doughnut balls seem to disappear even before the next batch is out of the pan!

Crazy for Cinnamon
January 20, 2010

Did you know that cinnamon was once so valued that wars were¬† fought over it? Neither did I. Here in Singapore, cinnamon is also known as “kayu manis” which literally means sweet wood in Malay. It is more commonly found in the form of cinnamon quills and used often in dishes such as Curry and Black Sauce Chicken.

A bit of cinnamon goes a long way. I love baking with cinnamon as the smell permeates through the house and wafts towards the neighbors and lingers on for hours.

After a week and a half of school, my hands are itching to bake and I thought why not try something new to kick off the new year. Enough with the cakes, cookies and chocolates. I will overcome my fear of yeast and bread (new year’s resolution?) and attempt to bake bread.

This recipe for Cinnamon Raisin Roll was modified from Old Fashioned Favorites. My mom don’t really fancy cinnamon so I had to reduce the quantity of cinnamon by half (Oh, I know..the horror) and the recipe wasn’t really for a roll. It was supposed to result in a loaf of bread, but with a little tweaking, it churned out about a dozen cinnamon raisin rolls. I know it might seem long and tedious (it’s not, really) but the rolls just made it worth the wait. This post has no “work–in-progress” photos cause my hands were too sticky and messy to handle my camera. There will be more in other posts.

Cinnamon Raisin Rolls

Makes about a dozen rolls

Ingredients:

1 package active dry yeast

1/2 cup and 1 tsp sugar (keep separated)

1/4 cup warm water

2 eggs

3 cups flour (plus a bit more for kneading and rolling)

1 tsp salt

2/3 cup warm milk

3 tbsp butter (room temperature)

1 tsp vanilla

3/4 cup raisins

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tbsp butter, melted

1 tbsp water

Activate yeast by adding dry yeast and 1 tsp sugar over warm water. Stir until yeast dissolves and let stand for 5 minutes.

Separate one egg. Refrigerate the white while leaving the yolk aside. Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 1/4 cup sugar and salt in a large bowl.

Gradually beat yeast mixture, warm milk and butter into flour at low speed. After the addition, beat at medium speed for about 2 minutes.

Reduce speed to low before adding the whole egg, the separated yolk and vanilla. Increase speed to medium again, beating for a further 2 minutes.

Stir in raisins and about 1 1/2 cups flour with wooden spoon. Turn out dough and knead for about 5 minutes or until dough is smooth (3 minutes ought to be sufficient with addition of flour if necessary).

Replace dough into bowl and allow it to rise, covered with a towel for 1 1/2 hours. Punch dough down and let rest for 10 minutes.

Grease baking tray well. Combine 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon and set aside.

Roll dough into a 20×9 inch rectangle and brush with 1 tbsp melted butter and sprinkle with sugar/cinnamon mixture.

Roll up dough starting from the shorter side and pinch seam to seal. Using a bread knife or any other serrated knives, cut approximately 1 inch thick rolls.

Place on baking trays and allow to rise for a further hour.

Preheat oven at 180 degree Celsius.

Brush loaf with egg white mixed with 1 tbsp water. Bake at 180 degree Celsius for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Enjoy hot from the oven!