Tag Archives: yeast

Exploding Cream Buns 爆浆面包 (Whole Wheat & Vegan)

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One of the things I love most of Taiwan is the varied speeds of change in the country. The rocky path to my grandparents’ house  have those same old rocks embedded, the same old metal spring buried at one side, rows of crops of 槟榔叶 (betel leaves) grown by the same old farmers at the other, the same kinds of grass growing at the side, the same family of daisies swaying along to the wind. Largely the same people, plus a few babies, minus some who passed away, the same smiles, the same faces, with a few more wrinkles. The same breakfast shops that had not changed in any way since before I was born. Things like that stay the same. They make the place we come from what it is.

Cycle a couple kilometres along the sort-of-expressway into the city. Most things would be different a year on. The same lady selling my favourite pancakes 车轮饼 stands at the same spot, but in front of a different shop. Shops promoting PDAs with wireless network connection spring up. Just 5 years ago, barely anyone owned a computer, let alone knew what the hell the internet was. [Even today, in the area my mum was born, few people have an internet connection (an estimated 1 in 3).] And right in the middle of the Pingtung city, now stands at least 3 new french bakeries, 1 Japanese bakery, and 1 modern Taiwanese bakery. That’s where I found 爆浆面包, or as I translate– Exploding Cream buns. An innovation unto the traditional tiny buns accompanying Western meals. Today, they are one of the most popular buns in Taiwan. Though they’re typically filled with a buttercream filling, I decided to go the healthier way with, well, tofu. If you don’t tell the people you’re serving that the buns contain tofu, there is little chance they’ll find out.

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The cream is injected into the bun rather than pre-inserted. DO NOT inject the cream into the bun while the bun is warm lest you want baked cream (a mistake a made for 2 buns, one of which’s innards are in the photo below).

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I’m providing 2 choices of filling. The Oreo Cream.

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The Coffee Cream version.

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And now the recipe! The recipe for buns is adapted from Christine’s Recipes. There are errors though! Add another 1 tsp of lemon juice for Coffee Cream and 1/2 tsp for Oreo Cream.

Assembly: stuff cream of choice into a piping bag. Make a hole in the corner of the bun and fit the piping nozzle into the hole to squeeze cream into the bun. If you press too hard such that too much cream enters, the bun literally explodes. So be careful!

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Hopefully, I’ll have something great for you tomorrow!

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This post is going to YEASTSPOTTING!!!

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Healthy Hokkaido Bread (Taiwan-inspired!)

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6 years ago…

Location: Kaoshiung International Airport 高雄国际航空站

Crazy people: Me, Bro, Mum

Airport Security: What are you carrying?

Mum: Bread.

Airport Security: Really? (Disbelieving)

Mum: Yes. (in a ‘Duh!’ manner)

Airport Security: Is it really that delicious? (More than ‘disbelieving’-ly)

Me: Yes. (instead of raising redundant suspicions with a sarcastic “no, we are smuggling drugs”)

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I can safely say it was the most ridiculous thing we have ever done. It was the most fragrant, milky, soft bread we had ever eaten.

After 5 hopeless failures, I finally got it right. 

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It contains 5 forms of milk, which together create a sweet milky aroma that stimulates a craving in even the most determined dieter.

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If you’ve never eaten bread without spread, start here!

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Healthier Hokkaido Bread

No. of servings: 12 thick slices

Adapted from: Angie’s Recipes

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Tangzhong preparation method:

Mix 50 grams of bread flour and 250 grams of water together and stir until flour is completely dissolved.

Heat mixture over a stove in a saucepan at medium-low heat.

Keep mixing until until a swirl of your spoon leaves a trail.

Immediately pour mixture into a separate bowl and cover with plastic wrap.

Refrigerate till tangzhong reaches room temperature or you can leave it overnight/a few hours before using (for better results some say)

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Ingredients

  • 200 g bread flour
  • 150 g Whole Wheat flour
  • 20g milk powder
  • 120 g tangzhong
  • 60 g White sugar
  • 8g instant yeast
  • 5 g Salt
  • 1 Egg
  • 30 g fresh milk
  • 40g low fat evaporated milk
  • 10g low fat condensed milk (do not omit!)
  • 30 g low fat cream cheese, diced (tastes richer with full fat cream cheese- recommended!)

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Directions

  1. Place all other ingredients, in the mixing bowl with a dough hook and stir over the low speed until the ingredients incorporate. Adjust speed to medium and continue to beat. Knead until the dough has become very smooth and elastic.
  2. Shape the dough into a ball and transfer into a large greased mixing bowl. Roll it around so the dough gets coated with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or damp cloth. Let rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Punch down the dough to release the gas produced during the proof and divide it into 3 even portions, each about 240 grams. Round up and let rest for 15 minutes.
  3. Press out the gas of each dough and roll out into an oval shape. Fold it into thirds, overlapping them in the center, press the dough down firmly. Turn over and roll out into a 30-cm long strip. Turn over and roll up each to a column shape. Place them in a 30x11x8-cm loaf pan. Let the dough rise up to 2/3 full. Lightly brush with egg wash and bake in a preheated 170C/340F oven for 30-35 minutes.

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Its soft, fluffy, chewy, sweet and lasts 3 days that way! 

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That’s it! 😀

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This post is going to YEASTSPOTTING!!!

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Peanut Butter Povitica (Vegan, Reduced Fat & Whole Wheat)

I have been watching ‘Lizzie McGuire’. 

And conducting detailed research of what happened to the main characters: 

Hilary Duff is now pregnant and has a smaller head. I still love her voice.

Adam Lamberg : MIA

Lalaine looks pretty much the same and she has been singing. That’s cute. 

Jake Thomas grew out his hair and now looks… shockingly different?

Amazing what time can do!

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And yes, I did watch ‘Lizzie McGuire’ while baking this Povita. It was fun.

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I used a regular sweet bread recipe for the dough, concocted my own Povitica peanut filling and made the bread like a Povitica. I’m pretty sure it tastes good. Because it does.

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This was the peanut filling. It tasted really good on its own. Better than peanut butter. Waay better.

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Peanut Butter Povitica

No. of servings: 5

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Ingredients

For Dough
  • 100g bread flour
  • 100g Whole Wheat flour
  • 30g cake flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 25g sugar
  • 115g unsweetened soy milk
  • 25g egg (coconut milk for vegan version)
  • 3g instant yeast
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  • 3 tbsp reduced fat spread, softened
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For Peanut Butter Filling
  • 1/2 cup peanut flour
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp reduced fat spread
  • 3 tbsp coconut milk OR egg
  • 3 tbsp demerara sugar or palm sugar
  • 3 tbsp black sugar or brown sugar
  • some water
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Topping
  • 2 tbsp strong cold coffee
  • 1 tbsp sugar or condensed milk
  • 2 tbsp demerara or palm sugar
  • 3 tbsp reduced fat spread
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Directions

For Dough:

Add all ingredients into the mixer bowl of a stand mixer.

Mix at speed 2 for 6 minutes or until the dough, when stretched slightly, does not split i.e. passes the windowpane test.

Shape the dough into a smooth round and place in a mixing bowl, cover with cling wrap and let it rise till double in volume for about 60mins.

Remove dough and give a few light kneading on a lightly floured work surface. Press out the trapped air as your knead.

Roll and stretch the dough out on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle.

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Peanut Butter Filling:
Mix all ingredients except water. Add enough water while mixing to give a filling of the consistency in the photograph above. 

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Topping:

Mix the coffee with sugar.

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Assembly: (adapted from Daring Kitchen)

Thoroughly oil a bread tin.

Mark off 1” along all the edges of the dough.(You will not spread any filling on this edge.)

Spread the softened reduced fat spread over the dough with a rubber spatula and then evenly distribute the peanut butter filling. Be careful to leave your 1” edges clean.

Using a pizza roller or knife, cut the rectangle into 3 with the cuts parallel to the long edges. 

For each section, begin at the far longer edge and roll up the dough toward the 1” clean edge. Like a cinnamon roll.

Press to seal the ends to prevent the filling from leaking.

Pleat the 3 rolls into a braid. 

Fold into half and place into a rectangular bread tin.

Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 45 minutes.

Brush the top of the loaf with the coffee and sugar mixture, cover with plastic wrap, and let stand for 15 minutes.  

Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 350°F/ 180°C.

Bake for for 15 minutes.  

After 15 minutes, lightly brush the top of the loaf with a tbsp of low fat spread , and lower the oven temperature to 300°F/ 150°C.

Cook for 45 minutes at this temperature, but make sure to check it after 30 minutes.  If the top of the loaf begins to brown too soon you can cover it with tin foil. 

Once ready, remove the loaf from the oven and coat the top of the loaf with remaining low fat spread.

Allow to cool on a wire rack for 20-30 minutes.  

Make sure to leave the loaf in the pan during this time so that the loaf can hold its shape.  

You can remove the loaf from the pan once it has completely cooled to room temperature. 

Best eaten fresh and warm. To store, freeze in sealed plastic bag.

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See the filling leaking out after it was baked?

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This post is going to YEASTSPOTTING!!!

Enjoy your Povitica! 

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Magical Cinnamon Rolls w Vegan Option (Low Fat & Whole Wheat)

If you’ve never seen a fluffy, wholewheat, sticky, gooey cinnamon roll, I have a question for you:

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Who are you???

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Crawl out of that cocoon you’re living in right now.
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And stare.

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You’re looking at it.

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Fluffy.
Gooey.
Soft.
Sticky.
Yum.
Who knew it would be whole wheat?

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No one.

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Magical Cinnamon Rolls

No. of servings: 9 big rolls or 16 small ones

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Ingredients

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For dough (very loosely adapted from here)
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (vegan: 1/2 tsp + enough soy milk to make 1/2 cup and let rest for 5 minutes)
  • 1/4 cup non-fat yogurt (vegan: use soygurt or coconut yogurt or 1/4 cup melted earth balance or 3 tbsp oil)
  • 25g egg (well beaten) (vegan: 1 tbsp oil or 2 tbsp Ener-G Egg Replacer)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp/ 25g white sugar
  • 2 tbsp/ 25g black or brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup/ 162g unbleached white bread flour
  • 1 cup/ 128g whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp instant yeast (1/2 envelope)
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For Filling
  • 3 tbsp reduced fat spread, softened (I used oil based spread, which is vegan)
  • 2 tbsp palm sugar (type that has been chopped into very small chunks) You can also use demera sugar but the taste is slightly different
  • 15 mini marshmallows (use vegan marshmallows)
  • 3 tbsp icing sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder

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Directions

Dough:

  1. Mix all wet ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Add all dry ingredients  into the mixer bowl of a stand mixer.
  3. Add wet  ingredients.
  4. Mix at speed 2 for 10-15 minutes until smooth dough that passes windowpane test is formed.
  5. Shape the dough into a smooth round and place in a mixing bowl, cover with cling wrap and let it rise till double in volume for about 60mins.
  6. Remove dough and give a few light kneading on a lightly floured work surface. Press out the trapped air as your knead.
  7. Roll and stretch the dough out on a lightly floured surface into a 15” by 24” (38 cm by 61 cm) rectangle.
  8. Mark off 1” along the 24” edge of the dough, closest to you.(You will not spread any filling on this edge.)

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Filling:

  1. In a food processor, add in marshmallows and icing sugar.
  2. Process till marshmallows are sort of minced. (The icing sugar prevents bits of marshmallow from sticking) Alternatively, use manpower!! Like I did.
  3. Mix well the marshmallow mixture with palm sugar and cinnamon powder.

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How to assemble

  1. Spread the softened reduced fat spread over the dough with a rubber spatula and then evenly distribute the filling. Be careful to leave your 1” edge clean.
  2. As a final step, use your rolling pin to lightly roll the filling mixture.
  3. Starting at the far edge of the dough, roll it up tightly.
  4. Begin at the far 24” edge and roll up the dough toward the 1” clean edge.
  5. The clean 1” edge is used to seal the finished roll.
  6. Trim the left and right ends of the roll. The result will be a 24” roll.
  7. Trim off the left and right ends of the roll so that you have a fulsh end at each end of the roll.
  8. Then mark the roll every 1 1/2 inches (3.8 cm).
  9. Cut the roll into 1 1/2” long portions.This may be done with a knife.
  10. Line your baking pans with parchment paper.
  11. Place 5 rolls into 8” square baking pans 1” apart. (One roll in each corner, and one in the center.)
  12. Cover with a lint free cloth and let rise in a warm, draft free place until almost double, approximately 1 hour.
  13. After rising, rolls should be touching each other and the sides of the pan.
  14. This is important for best results. This gives the resulting rolls the soft, moist outer edge that most people prefer.
  15. Preheat oven to 375F/180C. Bake for 10-15 minutes. 
  16. (Optional but recommended step) Brush the tops with butter! once removed from oven.

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This post is going to YEASTSPOTTING!!!

Enjoy.

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Guilt-free Tangzhong Choco-Cinnamon buns (with vegan option)

I got chased by a cat today…a cat… a freakin’ cat!

It started with a plan to run. (Okay, that’s an overstatement– I really mean ‘jog’).

I was jogging on this pavement and a cat literally jumped out of nowhere right at me!

My immediate reaction was to give it a cold hard glare hey cat you’ll have caused me some expensive medical bills if not for my sudden possession of quick reflexes.

But that’s not the point.

The point is. It ran after me.

 My planned jog evolved into a frantic run.

An extremely frantic, angry run.

But of course. It suddenly occurred to me that its a cat and I’m human. It should be scared of me, not I scared of it.

I’m not too proud of what I did next. It was dumb. I hope nobody saw it.

I did a quick turn towards the stupid cat (sorry cat lovers… to clarify, its just this particular cat that I’ll call ‘stupid’) and shrieked/yelled/screamed “BOO!” and stuck out my tongue at it.

I’m not proud of what I did.

At all.

Nonetheless, the childish scare tactic did work. The cat scrambled away immediately, meowing angrily (my own interpretation, not too sure though).

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Okay. You (probably) weren’t looking for some dumb cat story when you started reading this post. You were (most probably) looking for my SUPER HEALTHY cinnamon roll recipe. No, that’s no longer an oxymoron. Its a reality.

Its fat-free (as always), cinnamony (self-created word which ought to be a real word), chocolaty, SUPER SOFT (for 2 days REALLY) without preservatives, wholewheat, and best of all DELICIOUS. Yums.

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Guilt-free Cinnamon Rolls

No. of servings: 10

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Ingredients

Non-Vegan

Bread dough

  • 140g bread flour
  • 70g whole wheat flour
  • 56g cake/top flour
  • 20g milk powder (I used my mum’s Anlene milk powder. Ssshhhh…)
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 7g instant yeast
  • 30g egg, lightly beaten
  • 85g water
  • 84g tang zhong

Filling (mix evenly)

  • 2 tbsp demerara sugar
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 4 tbsp applesauce
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder

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Vegan

Bread dough

  • 140g bread flour
  • 70g whole wheat flour
  • 56g cake/top flour
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 7g instant yeast
  • 2 tbsp oil/ vegan butter like Earth Balance
  • 85g non-dairy milk
  • 84g tang zhong

Filling (mix evenly)

  • 2 tbsp demerara sugar
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 4 tbsp nut butter/tahini
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder

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Add-ins: (optional)

  • Peanut butter chips,
  • white chocolate chips,
  • raisins, 
  • cookie dough,
  • macadamia nuts,
  • sliced almonds,
  • crumbled oreos/cookies,
  • etc.

Directions

For tangzhong preparation method, click here.

Add all ingredients for dough  into the mixer bowl of a stand mixer.

Mix at speed 1 for 20 minutes until smooth dough that passes windowpane test is formed.

Shape the dough into a smooth round and place in a mixing bowl, cover with cling wrap and let it rise till double in volume for about 50mins.

Remove dough and give a few light kneading on a lightly floured work surface. Press out the trapped air as you knead.Roll the dough into a rectangle, about 30cm by 25cm, 1 cm thick.

Spread surface with filling over the dough surface. Roll over the surface with a rolling pin, this is to make sure the fillings will stick onto the dough.

Roll up like a swiss roll. With a sharp knife or dental floss (unused of course!), slice the ‘swiss roll’ into the number of pieces you want.

Place rolls on a baking tray, lined with parchment paper. I used a non-stick cake mould. No need for parchment paper!  Loosely cover with a damp cloth or cling wrap and let dough proof for 50mins.

Bake at preheated oven at 180 degrees Celsius for about 15-20 minutes.

Remove from oven and let cool on wire rack

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This post is going to YEASTSPOTTING!!!

Fat free Milk-Coffee-Buns (with vegan option)

When feeling sad or fed-up, some just sleep on it. Some watch sappy movies. Some do homework (WAIT. Seriously, who does that?!!!) Others… like me… BAKE. I bake bread. While watching ‘How I Met Your Mother’.

Today I baked Milk-coffee-buns. And I can’t fall asleep now though its 2 am.

I’m no coffee drinker and evidently very vulnerable to caffeine dose-initiated-insomnia.

I used the lovely new stand mixer I bought myself so the kneading process shrunk to 8 minutes.

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Fat Free Milk Coffee Buns

No. of servings: 9

Adapted from Happy Home Baker

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Ingredients

  • 225g bread flour
  • 75g whole wheat pastry flour
  • 30g caster sugar
  • 2g salt
  • 1 tsp instant yeast
  • 200g milk (vegan: non-dairy milk)
  • 30g fat free cream cheese (vegan: Tofutti cream cheese/ Earth Balance)
  • 4 tsp instant coffee (granules)
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Fillings

Coffee Cream Cheese Custard Filling (my mum’s favorite!)
Instant Custard powder
Fat free Cream Cheese
Hot water
Instant coffee powder
OR
Chocolate Custard Filling
Cocoa powder
Instant Custard powder
Hot water
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Directions

Add all ingredients except cream cheese into the mixer bowl of a stand mixer.

Mix and speed 1 for 1 minute than 2 minutes at speed 2.

Add cream cheese and mix at speed 2 for 4 minutes.

Shape the dough into a smooth round and place in a mixing bowl, cover with cling wrap and let it rise till double in volume for about 80mins.

Remove dough and give a few light kneading on a lightly floured work surface. Press out the trapped air as your knead.

Divide into 9 equal portions and shape into balls.

Cover with cling wrap, let the doughs rest for 15mins.

Shape buns.

Place doughs on a baking tray, lined with parchment paper. Loosely cover with a damp cloth or cling wrap and let dough proof for 30mins.

Bake at preheated oven at 180 degrees Celsius for about 12-15 minutes.

Remove from oven and let cool on wire rack

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This post is going to YEASTSPOTTING!!!