March 27, 2008

The Easy Way, Peace Award!

On normal weekdays when I want to bake some breads for breakfast the next day, I would use the bread maker's full function to bake a loaf. Below are two which I tried recently.

One was Happy HomeBaker's Mocha Loaf. Halfway through baking, it rised so high up to the brim that I was curious and opened the lid. I'm not sure if that had caused the bread to deflat. :( Like what Happy HomeBaker commented, the taste was a tad too bitter. It was not very welcome by family as they do not like chocolate loaf. My nephew shunned away from it cos' the dark colour was unappealing to him. LOL

Although dense, the texture was quite soft when freshly baked.

The other was the wholemeal loaf. I got the recipe from a book I borrowed from the library on Bread Machine's bread. Based on the size, I should have set the size to a 750 g but I accidently set it to 900 g and was too late when I realised it. It was not very successful either. It was rather dense, especially at the bottom embedded by the kneading blade. Nevertheless, it makes great toast. I shall not be posting the recipe until I've tried one that's good.

I would say so far for bread machine bread, the Peanut Butter Loaf is worth a try if you want to go fully automated. :)

I received this Peace Award from Daphne - More than Words quite some time ago. Thanks Daphne. :) I would like to share and pass this award to:

March 26, 2008

Playing with Dough

Ever since I got my bread machine/maker, I had been using it to either bake a loaf of bread, or to help me knead a dough. I have to agree that breads made by the bread maker are usually not that soft and fluffy. They are more inclined towards 'western' bread where it is denser and coarser, that goes very well with soups or as toast. Heh that's not a problem for me as I'm open to try ALL kinds of bread! Unfortunately not so for my parents.. :(

Investing in baking equipment / machines is always well worth my money cos' i fully utilise it! Haha. I made these ham buns on a sunday and was well received by those who tried it. The bread maker helped me in kneading of the dough. I adopted Happy Homebaker's method of kneading it for 30 minutes, and the dough was well kneaded, soft and elastic. :)

This sweet bun recipe was from a chinese cookbook I had. Somehow this recipe was very sticky to the hands even though it had already pulled away from the sides of the bowl. I had to flour my hands and work surface generously.

The shaping method was adopted from Cafe of the East - Hotdog buns. It is a rather straight forward method and I believe picture speaks a thousand words. ;)

Here's the sweet bun recipe (By the way, this recipe was initially for polo buns, but I used it for my ham buns instead).
300 g bread flour
24 g milk powder
3 g bread improver (may be omitted)
150 g water
3 g instant yeast
20 g caster sugar
3 g salt
30 g egg + extra for egg wash
30 g butter
Handful of spring onions, chopped
1 tsp canola/olive oil
dash of pepper
10 slices of picnic ham (square shape)


  1. Sift flour, milk powder and bread improver (if adding).
  2. Combine sifted ingredients with the rest of the ingredients (except butter) and mix to form a dough (Do not allow salt to come into direct contact with the yeast).
  3. Add in softened butter and continue mixing with your dough hook (knead if you do not have a stand mixer) until the dough becomes smooth, shiny, elastic and pass the windowpane test.
  4. Place dough in a bowl, let it proof for about 60 minutes, or until double in size.
  5. Punch out the gas, and divide the dough into 10 equal potions, each about 60 g. Let it rest for 20 minutes.
  6. Roll each dough into a square the size of the picnic ham.
  7. Place the ham on the dough, and roll it (swiss roll style).
  8. Cut the rolled dough with ham wrapped inside into 5 equal portions (do not cut through entirely).
  9. Twist and turn the dough to form a shape of a flower (it looks prettier with the ham facing upwards).
  10. Let shaped dough proof for another 50 minutes or until double in size.
  11. Mixed chopped spring onions with oil and pepper.
  12. Brush pproofed dough with beaten egg, sprinkle spring onions on top.
  13. Bake in preheated oven at 180°C for 15-20 minutes.
Note: I used my bread maker to help me with the kneading. I added the ingredients according to the sequence: water, egg, milk powder, sugar, salt, flour, yeast. After 10 minutes of kneading, then i added in the butter.
Recipe Source: 面包,吐司,饼干 by 杜丽娟,李湘庭
The bread was quite soft and fluffy. But my friend said that it tasted more saltish instead of sweet than the usual buns sold outside. Probably I need to reduce the amount of salt in future!
I had fun with the shaping of dough and it's really satisfying to have homemade ham buns for my mum. I'm definitely gonna try out more bread varieties! :D

March 17, 2008

Honey-Raisin Chiffon Cake

It has been a long time since I last made a chiffon cake. My last coffee chiffon wasn't that good cos' I opened the oven halfway to put a foil over it due to the top getting burnt. As a result, the bottom shrunk slightly. I'm forever having this problem. Thus from now onwards, I'd learnt that any delicate cake would have to be placed at the lower shelf, nearer to the right side, away from the hot spots (for my oven only). This time round, though the top's still burnt, at least it wasn't that bad.

I was browsing through my chiffon book recipes by Kevin Chai and finally decided on this simple honey chiffon cake. Instead of olives, I substituted with raisins. I like cakes with the addition of honey as it always gives a different kind of sweetness that I simply love. The addition of raisins pairs well with honey too.
2 egg yolks
20 ml honey (I added 1 1/2 tbsp more)
20 ml olive oil (I added 2 tbsp more)
20 g raisins
60 g self-raising flour
2 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
40 g caster sugar
  1. To make egg yolk batter, combine egg yolks, honey, olive oil and raisins in a mixing bowl. Fold in sifted flour until it forms a batter.
  2. To make egg white foam, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Gradually add in sugar in three additons , beating at high speed until stiff peaks form.
  3. Gently fold in beaten egg white foam into egg yolk batter until well blended.
  4. Pour batter into ungreased 6-inch tube pan. Bake in preheated oven at 170°C for 30 minutes or until cooked.
  5. Remove from oven, invert tube pan to let it cool completely.
Note: As I was mixing the egg yolk batter, I found that the batter was too thick, almost going to form a dough. Probably the egg yolks I used was of medium size. Thus, I added more oil and honey to get a more liquid consistency.
Thus you may need to adjust accordingly.
I would suggest using large eggs. If it is still too thick, then add in more oil.

I'm looking forward to try other chiffon cakes! :D

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!!

March 2, 2008

Strawberry Swiss Roll

This swiss roll was made some time back after chinese new year. After all the baking of cookies, I yearned to bake a cake. Yup, I still prefer to bake cakes, as baking cookies is more time consuming, when I need to bake batch by batch; and cakes are more popular with my family, as well as myself.

After having many unsuccessful attempts with rolling swiss roll, I decided to go for a recipe that uses 3 eggs instead of 4, which I felt could reduce the thickness of the cake sheet, thus making it easier to roll. I adapted the recipe from Zu's - Quick 'n' Easy Treats, and made my own adjustments by adding some strawberry emulco and colouring.


3 eggs, separated
1/2 cup caster sugar (I reduced it to slightly less than 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup self-raising flour. sifted
1/4 cup corn flour, sifted

2 tbsp hot milk
1 tbsp melted butter
1 tsp strawberry emulco
2 drops of pink colouring

Strawberry jam (filling)


Preheat oven to 180°C.
Sift both flours together and set aside.
Place egg whites in a clean, dry bowl and beat till soft peaks form.
Add sugar slowly and continue beating till think and glossy.
Add egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition followed by strawberry emulco and colouring.
Lightly fold in flour with milk till well combined.
Add melted butter and lightly mix till no streaks.
Pour batter into a greased and lined swiss roll pan (mine is 14 inch by 11 inch) and bake for 8-10 minutes or when a toothpuck inserted at the centre comes out clean.
Leave the cake in the tin for about 5 minutes and remove it from the tin to cool.
When still slightly warm, spread with strawberry jam, and roll it tightlywith a tea towel or greaseproof paper.
Leave it wrapped for about 10 minutes.
Slice and serve.

Note: If you are using whipped cream, it may melt when the cake is still warm. Thus, one way would be to roll and leave it for some time, then unroll and filled it with cream again. I have not personally tried this method but have seen many using this method.

Recipe Source: Quick 'n' Easy Treats From Zu's Kitchen

As you can see, it almost cracked at the bottom and I did not roll it tight enough. I wished I had rolled it tighter so tha it would have a nicer round log shape. :(

Nevertheless, it's my most successful attempt! The sponge cake recipe is very good; soft and moist. The cake s indeed easier to roll with 3 eggs, which is just right for my pan.
I'll definitely try this recipe again! Will practice my rolling.......;)

March 1, 2008

oh no..tagged again :D

I'm tagged once again, by Yuri and Emily. Here it goes.. :)

1. Name one person who made you laugh last night? WG.

2. What were you doing at 0800? Still lying in bed.

3. What were you doing 30 minutes ago? Finish bathing.

4. What happened to you in 2006? Just graduated, and started my very first job.

5. What was the last thing you said out loud? Guess is talking to my nephew.

6. How many beverages did you have today? Does water count? The whole day I've been drinking plain water.

7. What color is your hairbrush? Black.

8. What was the last thing you paid for? Chocolates for my colleagues.

10. What color is your front door? Yellow.

11. Where do you keep your change? Wallet.

12. What’s the weather like today? Cloudy.

13. What’s the best ice-cream flavor? Chocolate with nuts.

14. What excites you? Churing out successful bakes.

15. Do you want to cut your hair? Trim only.

6. Are you over the age of 25? Yes, I just turned 25 years old 2 days ago. :P

17. Do you talk a lot? No, I'm not a person who talks alot.

18. Do you watch the O.C.? What's that? :P

19. Do you know anyone named Steven? Nope.

20. Do you make up your own words? Only when need arises.

21. Are you a jealous person? To a little extent, and only to those whom I care for.

22. Name a friend whose name starts with the letter ‘A’. Angeline.

23. Name a friend whose name starts with the letter ‘K’. Kexian.

24. Who’s the first person on your received call list? ZY.

25. What does the last text message you received say? Good night.

26. Do you chew on your straw? No

27. Do you have curly hair? No

28. Where’s the next place you’re going to? Probably breakfast with mum at food court.

29. Who’s the rudest person in your life? Can't think of any.

30. What was the last thing you ate? Buffet at Orchard Hotel.

31. Will you get married in the future? Probably.

32. What’s the best movie you’ve seen in the past 2 weeks? Didn't watch any.

33. Is there anyone you like right now? :P

34. When was the last time you did the dishes? This afternoon.

35. Are you currently depressed? No.

36. Did you cry today? No.

37. Why did you answer and post this? Just to join in the fun

38. Tag 5 people who would do this survey: I'm not tagging anyone this time round. :)

Have fun reading! ;)