Call me ignorant, or maybe not, I have not heard of Dean Brettschneider before I have his book but as I was browsing through the many cookbooks, this particular one attracted me as the recipes are not those "old-fashion" or "classic" recipes that you commonly see from American/European bakers. Owing to the fact that he is currently based in Shanghai, some of his recipes are given an Asian twist such as "red bean & sesame ring bread", "chocolate chip hot cross buns" , "chinese flower steam buns", and many other interesting cakes, bread and pastries which somehow appeals to me.This book is accompanied by a dvd showing a snapshot of a day in this baker's life in Shanghai. A little disappointing is that the entire film is probably only about half an hour. This irish soda bread is the first recipe that I tried. I have seen quite a fair bit of such bread in other baker's books such as Martha Steward but this is the first time I try making it. It seems to me an easy quick bread minus the sugar so I often wonder how it taste like. I decided to give this a try as all I wanted for next day's breakfast was a very easy-to-bake healthy quick bread. Overall, it's a nice soft bread that is good when toasted and spread with butter or jam.
Ok, my second recipe here. This is your usual favourite subway cookie - if you love their cookies. Sweet, chewy, giant cookie, but you can't find in Subway, so you gotta make it yourself! White chocolate and pistachio is a good combination, sweet white chocolate pairs with salty pistachio nuts helps to balance the overall sweetness. I made this for my dd's best buddy and his wife who will be staying in Australia for two years. :)
- Preheat oven to 175°C
- Cream butter, sugar and brown sugar with electric beater until light and fluffy.
- Add egg , milk and vanilla essence/extract and mix in.
- Sieve all the dry ingredients, and add to the creamed mixture along with the rolled oats until well combined and evenly mixed.
- Add pistachio nuts and white chocolate and mix again until well combined.
- Using a tablespoon, scoop spoonfuls (about 35g) and roll into round balls using floured hands and place 10cm apart on a baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper. (Do not flatten, otherwise the cookies will spread too much.
- Sprinkle a few chopped pistachio nuts over the top and bake for 8-10 minutes until golden brown. You can bake for 10-14 minutes for crispier cookies.
- Place on a wire rack to cool.
Update: Due to some requests, I have posted the recipe of the irish soda bread here. Enjoy!!
Wholewheat Irish Soda Bread
- 215g plain flour
- 10g baking powder
- 5g baking soda
- 5g cream of tartar
- good pinch of salt
- 225g wholewheat or wholemeal flour
- 20g treacle, honey or golden syrup, warmed
- 225ml milk
- 225g natural yoghurt
- rolled oats for decoration
- Preheat oven to 190°C.
- Sieve the plain flour, baking powder, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt into a large mixing bowl, add wholemeal flour and stir together.
- Add warmed honey, milk and natural yoghurt and use a wooden spoon to stir the mixture together until smooth with a batter-like consistency. Do not be tempted to add more flour.
- Pour mixture into a greased 21cm by 9cm and level the top so it is smooth. Sprinkle with rolled oats.
- Brush the bottom edge of a large scraper with oil and push it halfway down into the batter, then remove it. This will create a split as the loaf rises during the first stages of baking.
- Bake for 55 minutes to 1 hour, or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted.
- Remove from oven and tip onto a wire rack to cool.
Recipe Source: Global Baker - by Dean Brettschneider