Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sourdough Ham & Cheese Rolls

I love making sourdoughs, and whenever I can, I use the same method.  So most of the savory breads, rolls etc I make, are sourdough.

This time, I used honey glazed leg ham, thinly sliced, and shredded tasty cheese, ground black pepper, and some dry herbs.

They came out really nice and very simple to make.

I used 1/3 finely ground whole meal flour, so:
200g strong bread flour
100g whole meal flour
2 tsp salt
100g 100% sourdough starter
200g liquid, 170g water and 30g extra virgin olive oil.
2g dry instant yeast.

I rolled out the dough into a rectangular sheet and spreaded the ham and cheese and the herbs.

Fold up into a long log, cut and make a twist.

Used a bit of egg wash.

And they came out as nice as usual.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

October Daring Baker's Challenge... Doughnut Drive...

I haven't been cooking much, well, I do cook everyday - almost, but nothing exciting lately.  I had ear and throat infection for 2 weeks and still not 100%.

But this month's Daring Baker's Challenge is one not to miss... after all, the family LOVE LOVE donuts.

So thank you Lori from Butter Me Up for this wonderful wonderful challenge.... 

I used the yeast doughnut recipe from the recipes Lori collected,  but baked the donuts rather than deep fried them.  It's a bit easier for me when I don't feel like standing up too much.

The recipe I used - make 20:
360ml milk
70g butter
14g dry yeast
80ml warm water
1.5 tsp salt
55g white sugar
1 tsp all spice
0.5 tsp cinnamon powder
650g plain white flour (plus extra for dusting)

150g strawberry jam (can be home made or shop bought)
chocolate sauce (I made it with chocolate ganache - the normal dark chocolate and cream version, and icing sugar)
an egg, lightly whisked - for egg wash

For the dough:
1.Place the milk in a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat just until warm enough to melt the shortening. (Make sure the shortening is melted so that it incorporates well into the batter.)

2. Place the shortening in a bowl and pour warmed milk over. Set aside.

3. In a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water and let dissolve for 5 minutes. It should get foamy. After 5 minutes, pour the yeast mixture into the large bowl of a stand mixer and add the milk and shortening mixture, first making sure the milk and shortening mixture has cooled to lukewarm.

4. Add the eggs, sugar, salt, nutmeg, and half of the flour. Using the paddle attachment of your mixer (if you have one), combine the ingredients on low speed until flour is incorporated and then turn the speed up to medium and beat until well combined.

5. Add the remaining flour, combining on low speed at first, and then increase the speed to medium and beat well.

6. Change to the dough hook attachment of the mixer and beat on medium speed until the dough pulls away from the bowl and becomes smooth, approximately 3 to 4 minutes (for me this only took about two minutes). If you do not have a dough hook/stand mixer – knead until the dough is smooth and not sticky.

7. Transfer to a well-oiled bowl, cover, and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
8. Instead of making normal ring donuts, I rolled the dough into a long log, and fold the jam in the dough - as it's the baking version, I can cheat a bit, rather than pipe the jam into the donuts.
9. Let the donuts set in the baking tray, lined with baking paper and greased, for 45 minutes or so, and brush on egg wash.
10. Bake donuts in oven pre-heated to 200C, for 12-14 minutes.
11. Let them cool a little and add chocolate sauce on top, it will melt and drop down the warm dome shaped donuts....

Eat them when they are warm!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Water Roux Breads, Red Bean Buns and Cheesy Mite Twist

I've decided to make more water roux buns.  Hmm, guess I just want to experiment a little more.

For the Roux:

250ml Water
50g plain flour

Make the roux on stove top and then cool in fridge.

Because I'm making quite a bit of bread, so this is the dough for the lot:
600g plain strong flour
250g milk
2 tbsp instant dry yeast
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
2 large 59g eggs
75g butter

and I'm using 3/5 of the roux - leaving the rest for a loaf for the lunch box.

The dough's a bit wet and I knead in the butter last - well, I did use the bench top mixer.

It proofed really well.

I used 4/5 of the dough to make a rectangle and spread on vegemite and some shredded tasty cheese.
Rolled it up and made it into a twist.

The rest of the dough, was devided and I used it to make around 14 red bean buns.

Brush on egg wash and baked in 190C oven for 15-18 minutes....

Spicy Chillie Chicken Wings - Chinese Style

One man's meat is another man's poison...  During our trip overseas, not only we found a lot of different local delicasies but we also found, chicken wings are much more popular in Asia than chicken breast meat....

I'm pretty sure this dish should be labelled as Chinese, but not sure which region it belongs to, too spicy for Cantonese, not numbing enough for Szichuan, not soy enough for Shanghai.  But it's tasty and I used almost all the Chinese ingredients...  apart from the fish sauce.

A simple dish, and if you are not into wings, just use any chicken chunks, drum sticks... and as Chinese prefer to have bones in their chicken, let's keep the tradition....

1 kilo chicken wings, cut where joints are, leave out the wing tips (I don't really see the point of using wing tips other than for stock)
1 brown onion, sliced.
1 clove of garlic, sliced
1 tsp shaoxin wine
1 tbsp light soy
1 tbsp fish sauce
pinch of salt
pinch of sugar
1 tsp ground black pepper
2 tsp dry chillie flakes (quantity to adjust to personal taste)
1 tsp ground ginger powder
1 tsp 5 spice powder
1 tbsp tapioca flour
1 small fresh red chillie
3 tbsp canola or peanut oil for cooking
2 sprigs of spring onion
1 sprig of coriandar
5 button mushrooms, sliced.
Bit of chicken stock or water.

Slice up the red chillie, mix with black pepper, 5 spice powder and ginger powder, add fish sauce, wine salt and half of the sugar and tapioca flour, marinate the chicken in there for half an hour to an hour.
Heat up the frying pan or a wok (I'm pretty guilty of not using a wok for cooking Chinese most of the time, but a deep frying pan will do the similar trick, although not traditional).
Add oil and wait till it's hot.
Caramelise the onion and garlic, till it's brown and fragrant.
Add the chicken, keep stirring as the tapioca will make the chicken pieces sticky if not stirring constantly, make sure they are cooked evenly, until it's almost cooked.
Add the dry chillie flakes.
Add light soy sauce and stir through well.
Add mushroom slices and cook for a further 1-2 minutes.
Deglaze with a bit of chicken stock.
Add the already cut spring onion and coriandar.

Serve with rice and steamed bok choi.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Stuffed Grape Leaves - Dolmas / Dolmades, October Daring Cook's Challenge

I've always loved those Dolmas... stuffed with flavoured rice, cabbage leaves, vine leaves etc....  We do quite a bit of Mediterranean food at home, and I have always got some vine leaves at home...

But thanks Lori from Lori's Lipsmacking Goodness who proposed this challenge of Stuffed Grape Leaves, I've done a bit of changes to my normal vegetarian versions and gave it a bit of kick...

Chorizos Kalamata & Mint Dolmas.

First of all, I soak the vine leaves over night out of the packet.

I used the ingredients on hand as I didn't have much time to shop after the holidays, running around in between kinder, school and work, and pity my parsley hasn't been growing well so I did use some dry herbs.

3 cups of medium grain rice, washed and soaked for half an hour.
1 chorizos, skinless.
60g of pitted kalamata
handful of fresh mint, finely chopped.
dried herbs - mix of oregano, parsley.
2 big table spoon of tomato paste
1 table spoon of all spice (mix of cumin, nutmeg)
1 table spoon of sweet paprika
juice of 3/4 of a small lemon myer (that's from my tree)
salt to taste...

I think that's it.

Boil for 25 minutes on my steam rack in the pot (high heat until boil and then lower to medium heat)

Serve with yoghurt dip as a starter.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Home Made Yoghurt....

I have been making yoghurt for a while, so part of the come home thing to do is to make a new batch of yoghurt.

I've been away for 3 weeks so I didn't have any yoghurt left from my last batch, so I bought a small tub - 200ml of natural yoghurt as starter.

Making yoghurt is relatively simple, and I normally make plain flavour yoghurt as I can use it for dips, marinate meats or add a bit of home made jam and fruit or honey, as brekky.

2L Full Cream Milk
200ml natural yoghurt (plain)

Boil the milk in pot until scalding.

Cool the milk in cold water or just leave it as is till around 110F, or 43C.

Add in the yoghurt.

Put it in Thermo Pot to keep temperature the same for 8-10 hours.  You will see the yoghurt forming and solidifying.

I usually make 1L at a time and normally takes about 5-7 hours.

When the yoghurt is made, put in the pots or any fridge friendly jars etc and keep at the back of the fridge, it will keep for 2-3 weeks, label them if need to....  And leave some for the next batch of yoghurt.

No additives, no artificial flavouring... you don't need gelatine or starsh to set your yoghurt.... Enjoy.

Friday, October 8, 2010

ah... Sourdough....

Honestly, the holiday was great and we do miss home.

The boy missed his pasta and I missed my bread.

They have nice cute breads in China. Creamy Buttery enough, but not sourdough.

They have pasta there as well, but maybe Americanised a bit? not sure, bit like their pizza there... Not quite the same.  I can't tell our friends there that Pizza Hut really don't make anything like our good old wood fire oven pizzas.  Pizza Americana with a local twist?  hehe.  The boy tried the local pasta and he didn't like it. 

Alright, so we went on a pasta binge since we came back - well, 3 days ago.

And, yesterday, I went back on my sourdough...

Just a simple dough:

300g plain flour
70g whole meal flour (I forgot about it, otherwise I'd add more whole meal)
20g polenta
200g water
110g sourdough starter (100% hydrated)
50g olive oil
pinch of salt

My daughter helped me with the dough.... the 3 year old hasn't really got the strength it takes, but she surely tried her hardest....

I made them into smaller rolls and when they are ready, baked them in the hotted oven...

After 12 minutes...

Pull apart and had some with slice of double brie melting on top...

Hmm..... I AM HOME!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A Trip, Lots of Food and No Cooking at all....

Alright, I haven't been cooking.  Too much food and have definitely put on weight.
For the last 3 weeks, I was off line, no internet, no blogging, away from my kitchen, travelled to China and Singapore with my family.

Of course there're food, lots of them and we were just busy trying to taste each dish, well, skip the cooking part.... we didn't manage to get one recipe.

There are strange foods, we were brave and had horse and camel... They tasted like, hmm...

We went sight seeing.  Old...


And some traditional arts - we saw this man making all those figures out of some coloured flour doughs bit like our play doughs...
We saw how green tea was made....

We saw how traditional style lollies were made...

And the very busy World Expo that we were so lost in the crowd.....

Then we went to the beautiful Singapore....

And got lost in the beautiful Orchid Garden, well, lost in the beauty.

We shopped, mostly children's clothing and my favourite... my new toy...  at a bargain price....