March 3, 2008

Bread making is fun!

Some of you have already know that I got myself a bread machine not long ago. It was the Carrefour house brand which many floggers had recommended. I was so excited when I got it! I realised it was rather bulky only when I went down to Plaza Singapura to get. I did not want to drag myself with the bulky box to board a train home alone; neither was I patient enough to wait until the next time for someone to accompany me. I was unable to get any 'chauffeurs' or helpers to help me. So, I had to take a cab home. Thus this machine cost around $20 more, LOL. Anyway, thanks to my dad for giving me as my birthday present. :)

I'd like to thank Happy Homebaker for her generousity in sharing so many tips and advices on how to use the machine, some valuable resources she'd provided and of course the recipes she had shared in her blog! So far I'd used the machine three times, but was unable to find time to blog about it until today.

The first one I tried was the Crunchy Peanut Butter Bread, shared by Happy Homebaker. True to what she described, the bread was light, soft and airy, and remained soft and fluffy even 2 to 3 days after it was made. It was rather plain, with a slight hint of peanut butter taste; so it really tasted good with other spreadings. However, mine did not rose right up to the brim, probably cos' I 'd choosen a 700 g size instead of a 900 g size.
I encountered the problem of the kneading blade stuck to the bread during baking, resulting in a big hole at the bottom after removing the blade. Probably next time I have to estimate the time when it starts to proof and remove it?


The next item I made was the milk loaf. I must say this is a truely awesome bread, especially if you like milk bread. I can't tell how excited I am at the point when I opened the lid of the pull-man loaf tin after 30 minutes of baking. The feeling of not knowing how the bread would turn out because everything is inside that 'little box' ; I couldn't see how it rised, the colour of the product; I could only wait patiently to see the result after it was baked.

That was the first time I used my newly-bought pullman tin; I used the bread machine to help me knead the dough using the dough function, then proceed on with the proofing and shaping as per the normal procedures of bread making.

This was the dough after the last proofing, just before closing the lid and sending off to the oven. Unlike what I would usually do during my normal baking to take a peak every now and then to check on the process, this time, I just set the timer to 30 minutes and left it to bake. When it was done, I took out the tin, excited about the result. As I was halfway opening the lid, oh my god! I squeaked with joy! No joking, Haha I knew I'm abit exaggerating, but well...I was simply elated when I saw that the bread had rised to the brim of the cover, and had formed a perfect square shape, just like what was sold outside. I had no difficulty at all trying to remove it as I had greased the tin. The bread was so soft and smelled so nice. :)

I had to rush off to meet my friends thus I could only let it cool down and have it sliced when I reach home. Managed to take several shots of the finished product. :)

I scaled the recipe to 1.5 times the original recipe as Happy Homebaker mentioned that her's was too small a loaf. So I guessed this proportion was just right as the dough filled up to about 2/3 of the tin after the final proofing; thus I was able to get a nicely square loaf of homemade milk loaf! :D

  • 216 g fresh milk
  • 53 g egg (I used 1 medium size egg)
  • 38 g caster sugar
  • 7 g salt
  • 375 g bread flour
  • 6 g instant yeast
  • 58 g unsalted butter
  1. Place milk, egg, followed by caster sugar, salt, bread flour and yeast into the pan of the bread machine. Set to Dough function. Add in the butter after 8 ~ 10 mins into the kneading cycle. Continue to let the bread machine do the kneading. Stop the machine after the kneading cycle. (This is usually after 20 minutes)
  2. Re-start the machine and let the dough knead for another 10mins before stopping the machine (I followed Happy Homebaker to let it knead for extra 10 minutes).
  3. Remove dough from the bread pan, let it proof in room temperature in a mixing bowl, covered with cling wrap for 60 minutes.
    Remove dough and punch out the gas. Divide dough into 3 equal portion. Roll and shape into balls. Let the doughs rest and relax for 15 mins.
  4. On a lightly floured surface, flatten one dough and roll out into a longish shape. Roll up the dough swiss-roll style. Do the same for the two remaining doughs.
    Flatten the rolled-up dough and re-roll out again into a long rectangular shape. Roll up tightly, swiss-roll style for the second time. Do the same for the two remaining doughs.
    Place doughs in lightly greased bread tin/pan. Let the doughs proof for the second time, until it fills up 80% of the tin/pan.
    Bake at pre-heated oven at 180 ~ 190 deg C for 30 to 35mins.
  5. Unmould the bread immediately when removed from the oven. Let cool completely before slicing.

Note: If you want to make it by hand, combine all the ingredients together in a big mixing bowl (do remember to separate the salt and sugar from the yeast), mix together using a wooden spoon or an electric beater (dough hook); add in the butter after all the ingredients are well mixed. Knead using a beater or by hand until the dough becomes soft, elastic and had passed the window pane test before first proofing.

Recipe Source: Happy Homebaker - Milk Bread

This milk loaf really had a nice strong milk taste; you really do not need to spread anything at all. It remained soft even after a few days. It tasted good both toasted / plain. A keeper!!


sweet-tooth said...

Beautiful breads!
I'd love to try out the Crunchy Peanut Butter Bread soon :D

Yuri said...

Well done! I'm so tempted to bake bread, but still hesitating! How??? lol No confidence I guess...

Small Small Baker said...

The milk bread is really beautiful! I can almost feel your joy of getting a perfect loaf. Oh, I feel like getting the bread machine already. :)

Mandy said...

wow! A new bread machine. That's so cool, now you can have all the fresh breads you want. :)

kuangesther said...

Belated Happy Birthday to you Aimei :-)

WOW, I love your milk loaf, so nicely baked! Hmmmm... Maybe I shd get a bread machine too. ;P
How much does it cost? Is the Carrefour house brand?


daphne said...

oh aimei! I can only imagine the smell of fresh bread coming from your apartment/house! Great stuff!

Anne said...

Such beautiful loaf of bread! Look so fluffy and light :)

Happy Mrs Kwok said...

Aimei! I got the same machine ;)
Your bread looks real fluffy and good :D Can I have 5 slices? :P

Happy Homebaker said...

Aimei, you can leave the kneading blade inside the's meant to be baked together with the dough. That's the downside of a bread machine loaf, u get a hole at the bottom when the blade is removed :(
I was in the same state of excitment when I first used the pullman tin! It was real exciting isn't it?! After my first attempt with this milk bread recipe, I tried it again several times, and the dough was able to fill up to to the brim, so I guess the proportion is actually right for the tin size, just that we have to let the dough rise up to at least 80% of the tin before baking it. Hope this helps. Looking forward to seeing more bread posting from you :)

Aimei said...

sweet-tooth, yeah do try the peanut loaf! Elyn - e's joie also tried before and looks like it's foolproof!

Yuri, do try it. It's fun! And the satisfaction from bread baking is far more than other bakes, to me cos I love eating breads! Don't worry, I failed many times as it bread making, chiffon cakes..etc. still edible lah but not so's the process...But you need abit of time and patience so don't do it if you planned to go out that day! Hee..:P

smallsmallbaker, thanks! I'm sure you can understand the joy..;)

Mandy, thanks! :D

Thanks Esther! Yup it's the carrefour brand - bluesky. I bought for $69.90. I think it's rather affordable...and many are using this so it's easier to share tips on how to use it.

Btw, I find it hard to leave comments in your blog. Always cannot..:)

Daphne, Thanks for the compliments! :D

Anne, thanks for the compliments too! :D

Mrs Kwok, Thanks! :D Hehe sure.. I'm always more than happy to give others my bakes..I want your bread too! LOL. Maybe one day we should exchange our bakes...hehe. :P

Happy homebaker, yeah it's real exciting! lol..oh so I actually do not need to scale up the recipe?

Yeah I'd find more time to bake more breads! I tried your mocha loaf, but not that successful...Hehe. I'll post it soon! :)

kuangesther said...

Hi Aimei

The chinese blog is kinda not taken care for too long. Can't upload many things. But now you can go to my blogger blog instead.

:) esther

Yuri said...

Hi Aimei, I finally baked a bread last night, with the help of a breadmaker, no less. However, the bread tastes bitter and has a weird aftertaste in the mouth (abit like msg). I suspect its from the yeast, what yeast do you use?

cocoa said...

Perfect Square milk look... just lovely. yummy

Cheryl said...

My milk loaf hardened by the second day!!? Even a blast in the oven cannot save it.... wonder what's wrong....

Anonymous said...

Cool story you got here. I'd like to read a bit more about this topic.
By the way check the design I've made myself Overnight escorts

Anonymous said...

Hi! I'm baking bread for the first time and i just wanted to know if i had to preheat the oven before i start baking? I read on some other recipe that i shouldn't preheat the oven, but i question that since in every other recipe for baked goods it requires me to preheat. I'm patiently waiting for your answer!!

Aimei said...


Yes you'll definitely need to preheat the oven for baking most baked goods, unless the recipe indicate otherwise. :)