Thursday, December 29, 2016

Tips and Tricks from School - Pancakes, Crepes and Waffles

I love the waffles at Hatter Street, a cafe specializes in desserts influenced by Asian culinary traditions.   Their waffles are extremely crispy and yet remain moist inside, top with a scoop of vanilla/ pandan icecream with some salted caramel/ Gula Melaka sauce, it tastes so heavenly good!  

Dining in such cafe is quite costly these days, a waffle with a scoop of ice cream normally cost $10 or more.   That's why when I came to know Waffles, Crepes and Pancakes making was part of the curriculum,  I was so excited.  4 recipes were taught, i.e. Crepes Suzette, Buttermilk Pancake, Mandarin Pancakes with Roast Duck and Waffles. I wish I could make these professionally after the lessons. 

What are pancakes, crepes and waffles?  

They are the oldest forms of bread, the making process is very simple and straight forward.  

The primary ingredients for the batter are flour, egg and milk.  Leavening agents and other mix-ins can be added in.

Plain flour is most commonly used, it gives structure and flavor.   

Egg tenderize and milk gives moisture and richness.  

Butter in waffle provides richness and crispiness.
Here are some of the pointers I takeaway from our lessons:
  • Always preheat the pans
  • Mix dry ingredients and liquid ingredients separately and then mix them together.
  • Use the liquids at room temperature
  • Don't overmix the batter, this is to prevent gluten overdevelop. Else the texture will become rubbery.
  • Use the batter as soon as possible after mix especially when it is added with baking powder.
  • Cook on medium heat
  • Store the pancake/crepes/waffles tightly wrapped, chill if for 2-3 days, freeze it if for longer period.

Pineapple Tarts (enclosed version)

I've a lot of sentiments for pineapple tarts as it was the first cookie I baked, and because of that bake, it fired my passion into baking.  I once abandoned this baking passion but glad that I'm back and now pursuing a professional qualification.  I am still unsure whether I'll switch career but I enjoy every moment of the learning journey.  Hope I can figure out what exactly I want to do before I graduate.  
Pineapple tarts is one of the most popular CNY cookies for most people.  I used to love so much that I could "swallow" many a day but after being able to bake, I only do tasting as the tasting itself can make me consumed unnecessary calories.
I baked this at the request of my daughter's BFF.  She had the craving for it.  I used to have a recipe for pineapple tarts but it was difficult to handle, the crust/ skin always stuck onto my fingers.  That's the reason pushing me to look for another good recipe and after several searches, I decided to adopt the recipe from Sonia of  Nasi Lemak Lover.  

I can't say this is the best recipe but it's considered very good. This recipe has the melt-in-the mouth effect but as compare to my old recipe, the degree is lesser.   You can hover to Sonia's blog or refer to the following which has been modified to my preference.


  • 450g Golden Churn Pure Creamery Butter (cold and firm)
  • 130g Condense milk
  • 660g Plain flour (sifted)
  • 3 egg yolks (large)
  • 1 kg Pineapple jam mixed well with 2-3 limes (to reduce sweetness)
Egg wash:  1 egg yolk with 1 tsp cream/milk

Preparation: Scale 9g of pineapple jam and roll into a ball.  You should get about 110 pcs of pineapple jam balls.

  1. Cream butter on medium speed till smooth (2-3 mins), add in condensed milk till light (1-2 mins) (don't over beat as too much creaming will create crumbly product).
  2. Add in egg yolk one at a time on medium low speed and mix till combine.
  3. Add in 50% of flour on low speed and when it hits 50-60% incorporation, add in remaining.  Stop the mixer upon mix well (don't overmix).
  4. Remove from mixer and form into dough.  Divide dough into 10g each.
  5. Flatten a piece of dough, place a piece of pineapple jam balls and roll it to give a neat round shape.  Cut a few lines on the top surface and then place it on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
  6. Chill for 30 mins or more.  Preheat oven at 170*C  15 mins before baking.
  7. Glaze a layer of egg yolk over the top and bake at 170*C for 20-23 mins or till golden brown.
  8. Cool completely before storing.
Bake the world a better place !

Monday, December 26, 2016

Pandan Chiffon Cake

I baked this for my daughter,  adopted the recipe from Jennie Tay but used a tube pan and bake at 165*C for 35 mins instead. It looks drier as I didn't use bain marie method.  

Also, I think my pandan juice is too thick as I can feel bitter after taste.  I need to remember to dilute with slighter more water and add a bit of vanilla paste next time.

 The result is not to my expectation due to my oversight but still eatable. 

Please follow this link for Jeannie's recipe.

Coconut Milk Loaf

No more bread at home, should I buy from supermart so that I can go out for shopping?

In fact, these days I shop online often and I am no longer interested in shopping malls.  And because of shop online, I tend to buy lesser things than before.  In the past, once I went shopping, I tended to spend more as beside shopping the goods, I dined in restaurant or cafe.  When shopping online, if I'm tired, resting at home is free.  Moreover, normally, after I create the shopping cart, I don't submit the order immediately unless is something really urgently needed.  This is because I want to reassess my shopping decision to ensure I only buy things that I will use it or necessary.

What bread to bake?  Should I bake another Pullman loaf?  After second thought, I decided to do a variation from Pullman loaf.  This time, I use coconut milk instead of water and milk powder.  I adopted this recipe from a Taiwan baker, Carol.

The turnout is pretty good, it's soft, moist, chewy with a hint of coconut flavour. 

Recipe?  Here you go.

Ingredients (for one 11cmx11cmx19cm loaf pan):
  • 270g bread flour   }  sift together
  • 30g cake flour       }
  • 1/2 tsp instant yeast
  • 30g caster sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 egg (about 50-55g)
  • 150g Coconut milk (cold)
  1. Combine the flours,  yeast, sugar, salt and egg (salt and yeast to be placed apart from each other) in a bowl and mix it till combined on low speed.
  2. Add in coconut milk gradually on low speed and mix on medium-low speed till windowpane is achieved ( about 13 mins)
  3. Remove the dough from mixing bowl, round to ball and cover it with plastic wrap it in a bowl.  Leave it to ferment for 1 hour or till the size becomes double.
  4. Remove the dough from the bowl, dust some flour on the table top (if needed), slightly punch and deflate the dough.   
  5.  Fold the top and bottom to the centre.  Repeat the same for another two sides.   Seam side up covered with baker's couch and rest for 15 mins (bench rest).  
  6. Spray the loaf pan with cooking spray gently. 
  7. Take out the dough to final shape.  Stretch into rectangular, take the top half and bring it into the centre and press it down with fingertips.  Take the bottom half and bring it up to the centre and press it down with fingertips again.  Press the seam side to ensure no gap.  
  8. Put the dough in a greased loaf pan with seam side down and leave it to proof for another 1 hour or till it rise to 80% of the pan .
  9. Bake at 200*C for 50-55 mins, take it out from pan immediately and let it cool.  

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Cheese Chiffon with Choc Chip Cake

Yesterday, our Chef asked us to bring back some remaining coconut milk from the Nyonya dessert lesson as the expiry date was due within these two days.  I took back a package and planed to bake a Pandan Chiffon cake today.  However, the coconut milk couldn't wait, it turned sour before I began my baking.  It was a relief to me actually, I could trash it without guilt and could focus on clearing the remaining creamcheese that left over from last Sunday's bake.

I searched for cookie recipe since cookie can keep longer, however, I couldn't find any recipe that could consume the amount of the creamcheese left (130g) unless I doubled or tripled it.  I decided to bake a cake instead and chosen one of my favorite recipe, i.e.  Cheese Chiffon with Choc Chip Cake.

I reckoned I had two new tall tube pans that I bought from Phoon Huat last month during their sales and hadn't have any chance to use it, now it's a time to show case.

This recipe is using 6 big and 1 small eggs as I forget to remove one of the egg yolk.  I thought the cake might turn out denser but to my surprise, it's much better than my previous bakes.  The texture is very soft, light and fluffy.  The addition of chocolate chip has boosted the cake to another level,  it gives a chocolaty on top of cheesy flavor. 

Do you like this tall tube pan? Does it look like toilet paper roll  ?

Recipe here:
- 135g milk
- 130g cream cheese
- 80g butter 
- 150g  cake flour (sifted)
- pinch of salt
- 6 big + 1 small egg yolks
- 6 big + 1 small egg whites
- 120g caster sugar
- 100g chocolate chips (mix with some flour)

Preheat oven to 165*C.
  1. Put butter, cream cheese and milk in a heavy duty saucepan and heat on low fire or  over double-boiler until just simmering (around 70*C),  stir/ whisk till smooth and thicken (not too long).  Remove from fire.
  2. Add flour and salt immediately and whisk till smooth.
  3. Add in egg yolk one at a time, whisk well with each addition.  Set aside. 
  4. Use a mixer,  whisk the egg whites till frothy , gradually add in sugar and whisk till medium peak form.
  5. Sacrifice some meringue to dilute the cheese mixture from step 3.
  6. Fold in 1/3 of the meringue into the cheese mixture until almost combined.
  7. Repeat the same for remaining 2 portions, fold in the meringue lightly until well combined.
  8. Add in chocolate chips and fold gently.  Pour batter into two 15cm (6" diameter) x 10cm (4" height) tube pans 
  9. Bake in a preheated oven at 165*C for 15 mins and 160*C for 35mins or until skewer comes out clean.
  10. Remove from oven, invert cake onto table till it cool down.    
  11. Remove cake from pan and serve.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Tips and Tricks from School - Nyonya Desserts

I am a fan of Nyonya Kuehs, I always like to buy the kuehs from Bengawan Solo and treated as a dessert to complete my lunch.  Many a time if I didn't feel like eating a proper lunch, I just ate the Nyonya Kuehs with a cup of coffee.  My favorite Nyonya Kuehs are Ang Ko Kueh, Kueh Da Dar and some other Durian kuehs.  

I find Nyonya Kueh in Malaysia is tastier than Singapore.  It's so rich and fragrant.  Everytime  I go to KL or Malacca, I always like to hunt for it.

In Singapore, beside Bengawan Solo and a handful good one out there, others are not up to mark. Many of them, their texture is so tough and not much taste.  It's just chewy with a lot of colouring.  

When I noticed our higher certificate's syllable includes Nyonya Desserts module, I thought it was weird as Nyonya desserts are mainly steamed and cooked stuffs,  how that fit into Baking and Pastry.   Anyway, I was quite happy since I had no experience making Nyonya Kueh, it's a good opportunity to learn something new.  Moreover, both I and my elder daughter love to eat Nyonya Kueh, I would be able to make it myself after acquired the techniques.

In fact, making Nyonya dessert is not difficult. We learned how to make Onde Onde, Kui Bingka Ubi, Goreng Pisang, Pulut Inti, Pulut Hitam and Kuih Koci.  The key ingredients in Nyonya desserts are rice flour, granted coconut, coconut milk, Pandan leaves, Gula Melaka, tropical fruits and dry spices.

Talking about ingredients, we learned how to prepare the Gula Melaka, Panda leaves, Banana leaves, Goreng Pisang, Coconut, Glutinous Rice, Tapioca and etc.  Some of the take away here.
  • Gula Melaka - dissolve Gula Melaka in the water over medium heat and before using, it should be strained to get rid of sediments and impurities.
  • Pandan Leaves - Rub the Pandan leaves to release fragrant and  tie them to a knot.  Only add them to the end of the cooking (5-10 mins before) to minimize fragrant dissipate.
  • Banana Leaves - Run the Banana leaf under running water or wipe with a damp cloth. Before using, it should be blanched for a few minutes so that it becomes pliable for wrapping and folding.
  • Goreng  Pisang - Oil has to be preheated to high temperature before frying to achieve crispiness and golden brown colour.  Always heat the oil to regain the desired temperature between each frying batch.

  • Fresh coconut and coconut milk - Always steam it or parboil it before using to ensure the coconut is sterilized without turning bad.
  • Glutinous Rice - Always soak them over night to reduce cooking time.
  • Tapioca - Always soak it in water for a few hours and squeeze out the water to remove the bitterness.
I was overdosed with coconut, glutinous rice and Gula Melaka by end of the module,  I think I can take a break from eating Nyonya Kueh for a while.   I need to on diet after this higher certificate course as I have been consuming high calories  and unhealthy desserts since the course started :<
So glad that this week is a short week for us, only 2.5 days class.  Now, I'm free to enjoy and celebrate X'mas holiday!  

Monday, December 19, 2016

Pandan Gula Melaka Layer Cake

One day, I found someone left half a piece of Gula Melaka Pandan Cake (from Cedele) in the fridge.  Out of curiosity, I cut a small piece to try.  After a bite, I realised it was so good that I couldn't resist myself from finishing all.
It was just a simple pandan sponge cake with a layer of gula melaka cream frosting.   My daughter told me that she was the one left the cake in the fridge and she wanted me to try out.  

I googled around and found a PANDAN COTTON CAKE WITH GULA MELAKA SWISS MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM recipe from Bake With Paws and decided to give it a shot. 
I would say the Pandan cotton cake is really excellent, everyone who tried it gave a thumbs-up.  However,  I cannot appreciate buttercream, it's too oily and overly rich to me.   This is my first time I used the Swiss meringue buttercream method, I though it should be much lighter than the usual one.  Though it's lighter, it's still too oily and rich for me.

To get to the bottom of my doubt on what frosting Cedele used for their Gula Melaka Pandan Cake, I found the following product description from their website

A soft, aromatic pandan cake layered with steamed egg pandan custard. Frosted with gula melaka-sweetened cream cheese and finished with a fragrant sprinkling of fresh coconut shreds.
Now, I realised the gap.  Cedele uses cream cheese, not buttercream!
My lesson learned is to do sufficient homework before deciding which recipe to adopt.   

Bread Bread Bread!

Though currently I am not working, I still feel time not enough.  Monday to Thursday is filled with school lessons, my long weekends (Fri - Sun) are always packed with many things to do. Weekend is the time to spend time with family especially my two beloved daughters, my mum, my sibling and my parent-in-laws.   On top of that, I had been so busy with baking in the kitchen lately.  That explains!

Making bread becomes my weekly affair.  I baked quite a few breads lately, some were a total disaster, some were acceptable.

For example the Baguette, I think I might have overworked it, the texture turned out super dense.

For the Maple Walnut Cinnamon Rolls, I added too little filling (cinnamon and sugar) and maple syrup, the roll turned out super pain and tasteless,  it was a total failure!

Last Saturday, I  baked another batch of Artisan breads, the result was pretty good but somehow, I still couldn't achieve giant holes.  The crust was still too light, not to the dark brown yet.  I think I may need to turn on the fan mode in next bake to try out the result. I don't like to turn on fan because my oven tends to be very hot when the fan is on.
For this batch of artisan breads, I use the same method as my previous bake but cut down the amount.  This is because my baking pan is too small to accommodate the amount of the dough from previous recipe.   I needed to cut down 20% of the ingredient amount.  Below is the ingredients amount I used for this bake.
  • 485g bread flour 
  • 240g iced cold water
  • 10g salt (i cut down to 6-7g)
  • 1.5g yeast
  • 16 hours perferment using 80g flour, 80g water with a pinch of yeast

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Tips and Tricks from School - Cookies

We were all full force in the school kitchen making many types of cookies 4 days in a row and by end of the cookies module (today), we are all falling sick as we did too many cookie tasting.  Many of us are either having sore throat or ulcers, now we all get so phobia of cookies  :<
I baked Chinese Cookies every year and to me, making cookie is not difficult at all, kids can bake well too.  I feel this module can be shorten to 2 days or max 3 days since most of the cookies use the creaming method.
Though it was repetitive, I did pick up some of tips and key points here.
  • The final texture of the cookie and the amount of the spreads while baking is determined by how thorough you cream the butter and sugar.  For more spread, more creaming is recommended.
  • For high fat ratio cookie, too much creaming will create more crumbly product.
  • Cannot overmix the egg mixture after flour is added else it will develop strong gluten and cause cookie harden.  Same for nuts, chocolates and fruits, etc - don't overmix.
  • For high fat and low moisture cookie, it has lesser risk of gluten development.
  • Standard portioning of dough is key to ensure an uniform baking and size.
  • For piped cookies, egg plays an important role in strengthening and helping to retain the shape.  It's not advisable to use too much fat or too weak flour as the cookie will overspread and become flat.  
  • Always rest the dough for 30 mins or more (min 20 mins) after mixing to cool down butter and prevent shrinkage. 
  • To achieve crispy texture, the dough has to be in high fat, sugar and low moisture ratio.  The dough should be portioned before baking to dry out thoroughly.  Use low temperature for longer period will make cookies drier and crisper.  Stronger flour will create firm and crisp cookies.
  • To achieve soft & chewy texture, the dough has to be in higher moisture content and lower ratio of fat and sugar.  Eggs and brown sugar will create chewiness in cookies but honey will make cookie soft.  Higher temperature will lead to chewier texture too.
  • To achieve better spread, additional baking soda or baking powder will help but corn flour and powdered sugar will have adverse effect.  Cake flour/ low protein flour,  over-creaming the batter  and baking in low temperature will increase the spread as well.
  • Below table provides  a snapshot of the factors contributing to the cookie texture:

The right way to do creaming:

  • Cream the fat and sugar on medium-high to smooth and pale in colour.  
  • Always scrape down the sides of the bowls as needed.
  • Eggs should be added gradually with medium low or low speed.
  • If additional liquid is called for, add in gradually on low speed.
  • Add 50% flour on low speed and when it hits 50-60% incorporation, add in remaining flour. (don't overmix)
  • If nuts, dried fruit or/and chocolate chips etc is/ are called for, add in on low speed. Don't overmix, this is to minimize the gluten to develop and prevent hard texture.

Enjoy your X'mas and CNY cookie baking!

Friday, December 9, 2016

Tips and Tricks from School - Short Crust Pastry

I made egg tarts and fruit tarts before (but not too often) but didn't know what dough method I used previously for those bakes.  I realized I knew so little about pastry after I attended this week's lessons. Now then I know pie and tart are classified under short-crust pasty.

Here are some of the pointers I learned from the class:

Short-crust pastry is a non-laminated pastry, often used for the base or casing of a tart, quiche or pie.  It has a short and tender crumb.  Because of no leavening agent, it doesn't puff up during baking.

The basic ingredients used in short-crust are flour, fat, sugar, salt, water and egg. We should use as little liquid as possible in short crust recipe  to achieve a more tender crumb.   Lard provides the best tenderness among butter, oil and other fats. 

Different dough methods for pie and tart we learned in this module are:

(1) Pie -  sweet or savory dish with a crust and a filling.

  • Flaky pie dough -  best for pie top-crusts and lattice, used for non-liquid and cooked filling.

  •  Mealy pie dough - sturdier than flaky dough, used for bottom crust of custard and fruit pies which resist sogginess.

(2) Tart -  sweet or savory dish with shallow sides and only a bottom crust 

  • Sweet tart dough (Pate Sucree)- used for sweet tart shells, rich but not flaky, contains egg yolk and the fat is blended thoroughly. The high sugar content helps to make the dough more tender. Cookie-like crumb that will hold liquid filling without leaking, i.e. used for desserts such as fruit tart, chocolate tart, etc.
  • Savoury (sandy) tart dough (Pate Sablee) - short bread tart dough, high percentage of fat, crumbly richer crust, may include small amount of egg yolk, more fragile than sweet tart dough.  It's a richer and a more superior crust.  Because it's a more delicate crust, the tart shell will become soggy much faster than sweet pastry tart shell.

In this module, we learned how to make 6 types of pies/ tarts, i.e.  lemon meringue pie, triple berry pie, fruit tartlets, apple crumble tart, Asian chicken pie and quiche, with all the 4 different doughs.   

From my view, making pie and tart are more tedious as compare to cake and bread as beside baking, most of them require cooking.  

Out of 6 bakes we made, the only recipe that I think worth sharing is quiche as the rest of them weren't nice.  It could be due to lousy recipes  or not using good quality ingredients. We were somehow prepared for the outcome of the products. Just to remember what our Chef always said we should focus on learning the technique and not to blame on recipe.

Quiche Lorraine Recipe

Mealy dough
  • 220g plain flour
  • 110 butter
  • 3g salt
  • 7g sugar
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 10ml water
  • 75g ham (shredded)
  • 1/2 piece Onion (shredded)
  • 50g Gruyere cheese (shaving)
  • 15g butter
  • 150g milk
  • 150g whipping cream
  • 3 eggs
  • pinch of salt, pepper, paprika
Preparation:   Preheat oven at 180*C

Short Crust:
  1. Rub butter into flour, add in salt and sugar. And then rub till crumb form.
  2. Add the egg in, mix well and then add in water until mixture holds together to form a dough.
  3. Cover with a cling film and keep in chiller for an hour.
  4.  Remove the dough from fridge, roll the dough out between two parchment paper to 3mm thick sheet, cut the dough out to (abt) 1cm bigger than pie pan size.  
  5.  Line dough into the mould, trim the edge, prick holes with fork. 
  6. Chill the pie dough  for 15-30 mins.
  7. Remove pie dough from chiller, press surface to cover poked holes (no need baking bean if poke holes).  Blind bake for 15-20 mins.  Set aside to cool.
Filling:  Saute  onion with butter till soften, add in ham and continuous to fry till liquid is dried out. Leave it aside to cool. 

Sauce:    Mix egg, milk and whipping cream together.  Season with salt, pepper and paprika.  Strain the  sauce.

  1. Once the crust is cool down, put a portion of filling into crust and pour in the sauce (80% full).   
  2. Put the baking pan with the tart tin in the oven and bake at 180*C for 25-30 mins or until the center is just set, still a little wiggly.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Artisan Breads

I can't believe I am so crazy with bread baking lately.  I had so much energy last week and did 4 bakes within a week.  I used to dislike my homemade bread as it was dense and not nice.  However, after acquiring the techniques from school, I love my breads so much as they are really delicious.  Homemade bread is certainly healthier than bakery purchased bread as I omit preservatives and bread improver. 
  I like Artisan breads as they look rustic and pretty, they have the crispy crust and tender/ chewy internal crumbs with nice aroma.   After learning the bread making technique, I come to realize Artisan bread is not as difficult as what I thought previously. Hence, I was determined to give this a try. 

I adopted school's method, i.e. using 66% of hydration and 33% f preferment.  Based on this formula, if I use 100g flour and 100g water for preferment, I would need 500g of bread flour and 296g of water.

I baked the bread at 210*C with 25 mins, this was the highest temperature I used so far. I dared not go further as I worried my oven couldn't take it.  The bread came out light brown and not very crusty.  My Chef advised that I should increase the oven temperature higher (probably 230*C or higher) so as to get a darker crust.  Given that my home oven has no steam injection, I sprayed some water over the crust in the middle of the baking.  My classmate told me that I should spray 3 times during the baking process, i.e. (1) the moment before baking (2) in the middle of the baking (3) 5 mins before bread is done.   

I prepared the preferment 16 hours before.  I supposed to work on the dough next morning 9am but due to not available, I chilled the preferment till I came back home which was in the afternoon.  

I realized no big air pocket in my bread, I was told to achieve big air pockets, I should only stretch and fold the dough and not to punch it.  As I did a degas during my the bulk ferment, I guess I might have deflated the air bubbles.

Though it wasn't perfect, I think my first try is pretty successful.  I will rectify my mistakes so that I can achieve a perfect bread in next bake.  

  • 500g bread flour 
  • 296g iced cold water
  • 12g salt (i cut down to 7g)
  • 2g yeast
  • 16 hours perferment using 100g flour, 100g water with a pinch of yeast

  1. Prepare the preferment by mixing flour,  water and a pinch of yeast together in a bowl. Cover and leave it to ferment for 16 hours.
  2. Prepare the bread dough by combining flour, salt and yeast in the mixing bowl and mix it till combined on low speed.  
  3. Add in ice cold water gradually on low speed, then the preferment and mix till desired dough (become a ball) is achieved. Increase to medium speed till windowpane is achieved (total about 10-12 mins).  
  4. Remove the dough from mixing bowl, round to ball and then cover it with cling film in a bowl.   
  5. Leave it to bulk ferment for 1.5 hours ( 2 hrs if in aircon room) but after 45 mins (1 hr if in aircon), remove the dough from the bowl,  slightly punch to degas the excess carbon dioxide from the dough (I was told to stretch and fold instead of punch in order to achieve air pockets), fold 2 slides to the center and then 2 more slides. Round and ferment for another 45 mins (1 hour if in aircon)  
  6. Dust table top with flour, use a metal scraper and portion into 2 or 3 doughs or  desired weight (300g or 450g). Always cover the doughs with a baker's couche to prevent hard skin)
  7.  Take a dough, stretch a bit and pull top and bottom and fold to the center.  Fold another 2 sides to the center and round the dough. Seam side up and cover it with couche.  Continue this till completing all the doughs and allow all to rest for 15 mins (Bench rest).
  8. Take out the dough to final shape.  Round the dough, ensure seamside is closed and faced down.
  9. Arrange all the doughs in the greased baking try, dust with a layer of flour and covered with baker's couche.   
  10. Leave it to proof for another 60-75 mins (1 hr 15 to 30 mins if in aircon), score with a blade.
  11. Bake at 230*C for 25-35 mins or till golden brown.
  12. Once bread is doneness, transfer to tray and let it to cool.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Butter Milk Buns

After the success of the Pullman loaf, I am further charged with enthusiasm for breads. Though I have a lot of baking books at home, majority of them are cake related.  I have 1 or 2 bread baking books at home,  I don't really like them as majority of the recipes call for bread improver.  

I realized that Popular Boo Store has limited bread baking books.  Luckily,  I found a bakery book which is written by a Taiwanese baker, Carol.  I heard her name before since some of the bloggers were using her recipes.  As the book is written in Chinese , I need to translate the recipe to English before I could follow the instruction.  

I browsed through Carol's book and was attracted by the 牛奶法国面包recipe, it looked similar to the burger bun I did in school, using the enriched dough method.  I decided to modify her recipe by applying the method I learned from school.

I was very pleased with the outcome of this bake, it was so pretty.  The texture was soft.  

Below recipe is modified from Carol's.


  • 270g bread flour
  • 30g cake flour
  • ½ tsp instant yeast
  • ¼ tsp of salt
  • 25g caster sugar
  • 12g milk powder
  • 1 medium egg (abt 50g)
  • 150g iced cold water 
  • 30g butter 
  • Bread flour for dusting


  1. Place flours, yeast, salt, sugar, milk powder and egg in a mixing bowl (yeast and salt to be placed apart, egg in centre), mix on low speed till low speed.
  2. Add in iced cold water gradually on low speed, mix till desired dough is achieved.
  3. Add in butter gradually and mix on medium speed till windowpane is formed.
  4. Remove the dough from mixing bowl, round to ball, and cover with cling film in a bowl. 
  5. Leave the dough to ferment for 1 hour or till the dough has double in size (bulk ferment)
  6. Remove the dough from the bowl, slightly punch to degas the excess carbon dioxide from the dough (not too hard).
  7. Portion the dough into 8 pieces (abt 70g).  Round and seam side up covered with baker's couch.  Allow  to rest for 15 mins (bench rest).  
  8. Roll the dough into an oval shape (let the smooth surface at below), bring the top to the center and press on it.  Repeat the same for the bottom and roll into an oval shape, press and close the seam side to ensure no gap.
  9. Half fold the oval shape dough into to a triangular shape, press all the edges to ensure no gap. 
  10. Arrange all the doughs nicely in the greased baking tray, sprinkle some water and leave it to proof for another hour before baking (Final proofing)
  11. Dust with some bread flour, score with a blade.
  12. Bake at 200*C for 15-20 mins or till golden brown.  
  13. Once bread is doneness, transfer to tray and let it to cool.

Pullman Loaf

After a week of bread lessons and practice, I'm more confident with bread making.  The first bread I baked at home was the Pullman loaf.  To bake this, I had to buy a loaf tin.   My first attempt wasn't very successful, I followed the recipe and method learned from school, somehow, it didn't turned out good,i.e. it was dense and not tall.  I discussed with my classmate, she had the same experience as me.  We concluded that the dough might be overproofed given the warm kitchen we were in.  Unlike school, it's airconditioning.   The 2 hours of bulk ferment and 1 hour final proof could be too long for home proofing without aircon.  We decided to give another shot and this time round,  we reduced the bulk ferment to 1 hr 30 mins and final proof to 45-50 mins.  With these adjustments, the loaf finally came out so beautiful, it's clean and neat. The texture was soft as well.  I really like it.


Ingredients: 320g bread flour, 16g milk powder, 8g sugar, 4g salt, 3g yeast, 16g butter, 188g ice cold water (for one 11cmx11cmx19cm loaf pan).

For instruction, please refer to this link under Pullman loaf section.


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