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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Bread making

I'm so into making bread nowadays. I make it once every one or two weeks. I find it very relaxing and rewarding. As I said in a previous post, I don't buy bread anymore. Usually I have to freeze bread and take out as needed.

So here is my Chinese baked bread dough that I learned from Mrs. Chiu at VSB. She introduced me to bread flour and Chinese wheat flour. I had some red bean paste and made red bean paste flower bun and regular bread. This is a nice rich bread, as it uses milk, butter AND egg.

So I've also tried making steamed BBQ pork bun with my mom. I can only make this with my mom cos I don't have a big steamer to steam this many buns. Plus, I love cooking/baking with my mom. She's the reason I love baking cos I have such good memories of my mom baking and us "helping" her (actually making a mess and she had clean up using double the time she would without our "help".)

We made three different recipes. Tasted pretty much the same but we liked one recipe in particular cos we could leave the dough alone for up to 24hrs before we had to use it.

Artisan Bread

Then my coworker passed me an ad by a potter (is that what pottery people are called?). Anyways she held a class to make Artisan bread and that opened my world into another bread making style.

This class got me buying whole wheat and rye flour for my breads.

And I purchased a cloche which the instructor made. This makes makes the bread's crust crustier.

Here's some bread we made in class. This includes a plain bread (the French name is better. I think it l'ordinaire pain.), a no knead bread (which was AMAZING) and light rye ciabatta.

The ciabatta tasted really good!! It was like a high end bakery! I cant make it at home cos this dough is very wet and needs a stand mixer. That's one thing I really want but no space to get one. I already have the dream model that I want!!


So in my artisan class, our instructor gave us a sourdough starter and I've been feeding it every weekend and also using it. Isn't it lovely? When I go on vacation, I'll have to freeze it or else it'll die!

I've always been interested in Sourdough bread and the starter. I think it was my love for Little House on the Prairies books and pioneer life/food. (incidentally I collect historical recipes. I have a copy of Mrs Beeton's Household book and enjoy looking at the recipes and how a "house" was maintained back then.)

Anyways, so I've made sourdough bread and pancakes. Love it!!

I've also heard that sourdough breads are healthier than whole wheat bread.

No Knead Bread

I read that there is a big interest in No Knead bread in USA. My mom found a no knead bread recipe and I tried it. It was really good. Crust was crusty and chewy and the middle was soft. It was easy to make and good.

You'll notice that I cut my bread on a wooden chopping board. I found out one nite when I was too lazy to put my freshly baked bread away that putting the cut end of the bread on a wooden board keeps the bread soft.

If you liked any of my bread and want recipes, please comment and I'll get back to you.

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