June 21, 2009

Dean Brettschneider

Global Baker - by Dean Brettschneider is a recent book that I acquired when there was this 30% off all books at Borders with a cut-out coupon. I didn't really have any books that I wanted to buy in mind but since it was such a good offer, I hopped down to Borders for a book-shopping.

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.
Being not a too-picky eater, this bread is fine. I guess in terms of pastries, I still prefer Asian's sweet soft buns, that why I'm not really fond of muffins, but I do like Artisan hard crust bread!
If anyone is interested in the recipe, then drop me a note. :)

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. :)
Pistachio & White Chocolate Chunk Cookies
135g butter, softened
100g sugar
100g soft brown sugar (I used 80g each)
1 small egg
10ml milk
few drops of vanilla essence or extract
150g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
45g rolled oats
55g pistachio nuts, coarsely chopped
140g white chocolate drops, coarsely chopped
60g pistachio nuts, coarsely chopped, for topping
  1. Preheat oven to 175°C
  2. Cream butter, sugar and brown sugar with electric beater until light and fluffy.
  3. Add egg , milk and vanilla essence/extract and mix in.
  4. Sieve all the dry ingredients, and add to the creamed mixture along with the rolled oats until well combined and evenly mixed.
  5. Add pistachio nuts and white chocolate and mix again until well combined.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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


  1. Preheat oven to 190°C.
  2. Sieve the plain flour, baking powder, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt into a large mixing bowl, add wholemeal flour and stir together.
  3. 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.
  4. Pour mixture into a greased 21cm by 9cm and level the top so it is smooth. Sprinkle with rolled oats.
  5. 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.
  6. Bake for 55 minutes to 1 hour, or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted.
  7. Remove from oven and tip onto a wire rack to cool.

Recipe Source: Global Baker - by Dean Brettschneider


daphne said...

I'm a big fan of sunway cookies- and I even know a friend who will probably give me a huge hug if i make these for her. Thanks for sharing- i'm bookmarking it and trying it out very soon!

tracieMoo said...

hello =)
The bread looks really good. Could you share me the recipe?

thanks alot =)

Aimei said...

Daphne! Hope you will enjoy the cookies ;)

Hi TracieMoo, I'll email you the recipe soon ok! Sorry!

Missy said...

ur bread looks so perfect! i really envy u! mine always fails.

I love pistachio cookies! cant wait for the weekend to bake!

Anonymous said...

Hi Aimei,

I am an amateur baker, can I have the recipe for the wholewheat irish sida bread? My email is hong-shiyu@hotmail.com


Aimei said...


I have posted the recipe. :)

tracieMoo said...

thanks for the recipe! gona try it soon!

ai wei said...

hi aimei,
for the cookies recipe, do you mean, just roll the dough into balls and it will flatten during baking???

Aimei said...

Hi Aiwei, yup it will spread and flatten during baking. so do leave more space for it to expand. :)

Anonymous said...

hi aimei,

thanks for sharing the recipes!
i tried baking the cookies but it didn't turn out to be chewy like subway. was your cookies chewy?

thanks! =)

Aimei said...

Yes they are suppose to be chewy. Maybe you could reduce the baking time. It should be quite soft when baked, it will harden a bit and turns chewy after cooling. :)