Butter Sugar Buns

Wednesday, 17 January 2018







The “Tangzhong” method is tried and true and will always yield a soft, moist and elastic bread texture. The buns will still stay moist even after few days! I added more Tangzhong this time and the bread is even softer and I think that the texture works very well for a sweet bread like these Butter Sugar Buns.


If you have any questions regarding this recipe or any other post, please leave me a comment in the “LEAVE A COMMENT” link and I will reply you as soon as possible.

Butter Sugar Buns Recipe - Tangzhong Method


Yields: 12 buns

INGREDIENTS:

Tangzhong:
35g bread flour
168g water

Main dough:
320g bread flour
1 1/8 tsp instant yeast
2 ½ tbsp (25g) brown sugar
2  tbsp (16g) milk powder
¾  tsp salt
45g whisked egg (from 1 large egg, balance use for egg wash)
33g butter
65g fresh milk or water (If you use water, please increase milk powder to 3 tbsp (24g) in total)

Topping:
Egg wash: Balance of above whisked egg (about 10g) + 1 tsp water
30g salted butter, cut into cube 
Sea salt (Optional, if unsalted butter is used)
30g brown or coarse sugar (Add more if you prefer sweeter)

METHOD:

How to make tangzhong:

  1. In a sauce pan, combine flour and water.  Mix with whisk or spatula until no lumps.
  2. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring consistently until the mixture becomes thicker.  Once you see some lines appear, it is ready.
  3. Remove from heat and transfer to a clean bowl to let it cool.  Tangzhong can be used straight away once it cools down to room temperature. It can be stored in fridge up to a few days The chilled tangzhong should return to room temperature before using.
Bun:
  1. Line the baking pans with parchment paper.
  2. Add all ingredients (start with salt, flour, yeast, sugar, milk powder, butter, egg, fresh milk and lastly tangzhong) into the bowl of stand mixer. Using the dough hook, knead until the dough comes together and is beginning to become elastic and tacky but not sticky. Tacky dough behaves sort of like a Post-it note, sticking to a surface but peeling off easily. It takes around 10 to 15 minutes.  If the dough is too dry, add 1 tablespoon of milk at a time.
  3. Let it rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until double in size in a large greased bowl, covered with cling film or kitchen towel.  I normally leave the dough in the stand mixer’s bowl and cover with kitchen towel.
  4. Punch down the dough to release the air. Transfer the dough to a clean floured surface then divide into 12 equal portions. Shape each dough into a ball. Flatten the dough and shape it into an oval shape. Place the buns in the prepared baking pan.  Let it rise for another 50 minutes or until double in size.
  5. Fifteen (15) minutes before baking, turn on the oven to 180C.
  6. Slit centre of the bun with scissor. Brush with egg wash. Place the butter cube onto the slit and top with sea salt and brown sugar.
  7. Bake in a preheated oven for about 15 - 20 minutes or until golden brown.
  8. Remove from the oven and transfer onto a wire rack to cool.

Note:

Coarse sugar is better for topping as it  has  larger crystals compare with regular sugar and makes it more resistant to heat. 



Nasi Lemak Bungkus

Thursday, 11 January 2018





Nasi Lemak Bungkus or sometimes we call it Nasi Lemak Tiga Segi (Steamed Coconut Milk Rice with Anchovies in Spicy Paste Wrapped in Banana Leave)

I found an old Sambal Ikan Bilis recipe from the recipe book I used for Home Science in school.  The taste reminded me of the traditional nasi lemak I grew up with.  I tweaked the recipe a little by adding pandan juice with the coconut cream to cook the rice.  I steamed the rice instead of cooking in rice cooker and we call it Nasi Lemak Kukus in Bahasa Malaysia.  The combination of coconut and pandan blends rather well and the savoury sweet fragrance of the piping hot rice is truly delicious.

If you have any questions regarding this recipe or any other post, please leave me a comment in the “LEAVE A COMMENT” link and I will reply you as soon as possible.

Nasi Lemak Recipe


Yields: 4 packets

Coconut Milk Pandan Steamed Rice (Nasi Lemak Kukus):

2 ½ cups rice, washed and drained (It is best to use Thailand fragrant rice)
1 ¼ cups coconut milk
1 ¼ cups pandan juices (blend 8 - 10 pandan leaves with 1 ¼ cup water)
½ tsp sea salt

Sambal Ikan Bilis:

100g dried anchovies, washed and drained
1 tbsp asam jawa + 1 tbsp water
Salt to taste
Sugar to taste
Cooking oil (enough to fry the paste ingredients)
Water

Paste Ingredients (to be finely ground) -
60g (6) shallots, peeled
1 lemongrass
1 inch fresh ginger
6 dried red chillies, soaked in hot water and seeded

Other Ingredients:

1 cucumber, sliced
30g roasted peanuts (Roasted with Air Fryer)
2 hard-boiled eggs, quartered
4 banana leaves (10” X 9”) + 4 small pcs (1.5” X 1.5”)
4 newspaper (8” x 13”)


METHOD

Coconut Milk Steamed Rice (Nasi Lemak Kukus):
  1. Blend the pandan leaves together with water in a food processor until fine.  Squeeze out the juice through a sieve.
  2. Wash and drain the rice.  
  3. Place all the ingredients in a steamer bowl or tray and steam for 40 - 50 minutes.
  4. Then fluff up the rice with a fork or chopsticks and keep the rice warm in the steamer.
Sambal Ikan Bilis:
  1. Coated Ikan Bilis with very little oil and fry with Air Fryer until crispy and golden brown (160C for 10 to 15 mins). Set aside.
  2. Heat cooking oil in a wok, add paste ingredients and stir fry till fragrant.
  3. Add some water and asam jawa juice.
  4. Then add in fried ikan bilis and add salt and sugar to taste.
  5. Simmer in low heat and cook until liquid is slightly reduced. Add more water if too dry. 
  6. Remove from wok and keep aside.
Wrapping:
  1. Layer the banana leave on top of the newspapers. 
  2. Press the steamed rice into a rice bowl.  Invert the bowl and place the rice on the middle of banana leave.
  3. Place the small piece of banana leave on top of the rice and scoop some sambal ikan bilis on top. Garnish with roasted peanut, quarter egg and slices of cucumber.  
  4. Wrap the rice as per the below pictures.


Pandan Chocolate Milk Loaf

Monday, 8 January 2018




My family eat a lot of bread and this gives me the opportunity to experiment with a variety of recipes with the confidence that it won’t ever go wasted! This Pandan Chocolate Milk Loaf is the result of one of my experiments and it happens to be my Sister-in-Law’s favourite. I like this very much too as it looks attractive, the texture is soft and the aroma of pandan is just so delicious.

If you have any questions regarding this recipe or any other post, please leave me a comment in the “LEAVE A COMMENT” link and I will reply you as soon as possible.

Pandan Chocolate Milk Loaf Recipe - Tangzhong Method


Yields:  1 loaf

INGREDIENTS:

Tangzhong:
40g bread flour
192g water

Pandan Dough:
160g bread flour
½ tsp instant yeast
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp milk powder
¼ tsp salt
15g butter
15g whished egg
52g pandan juice (blend 100g water with 10 pandan leaves, squeeze the juice and leave it overnight in the fridge and use the bottom concentrated juice)

Chocolate & Milk Dough:
320g bread flour
1 tsp instant yeast
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp milk powder
¾ tsp salt
30g butter
35g whished egg
105g fresh milk
1 tbsp cocoa powder

Utensil:
25 X 12 X 11 cm loaf pan

METHOD:

How to make Tangzhong:

  1. In a sauce pan, combine flour and water.  Mix with whisk or spatula until no lumps. 
  2. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring consistently until the mixture becomes thicker.  Once you see some lines appear, it is ready.
  3. Remove from heat and transfer to a clean bowl to let it cool.  

Bread:

  1. Line the loaf pan with parchment paper.
  2. Pandan Dough:  Add all ingredients (start with salt, flour, yeast, sugar, milk powder, butter, egg, pandan juice and one quarter of tangzhong) into the bowl of stand mixer. Using the dough hook on a stand mixer, knead until the dough comes together, become elastic and tacky but not sticky. Tacky dough behaves sort of like a Post-it note, sticking to a surface but peeling off easily. It takes around 12 - 15 minutes at medium speed.  Let it rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until double in size in a large greased bowl, covered with cling film or kitchen towel.  I normally leave the dough in the stand mixer’s bowl and cover with kitchen towel. 
  3. Chocolate Milk Dough:  Repeat the same for chocolate milk dough ingredients except for cocoa powder.  After kneading process complete, take out half portion of the dough and rest in a bowl.  Add the cocoa powder in the mixing bowl with balance of the dough.  Continue kneading until the cocoa powder well combined. Let them rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until double in size.
  4. Punch down the dough to release the air.  Transfer the dough to a clean floured surface then divide into 3 equal portions.  Form each dough into a strand (about 12 inch long) and braid them together.  Place the braided dough in the prepared baking pan.
  5. Punch down the pandan dough to release the air. Transfer the dough to a clean floured surface then form it into a strand (about 12 inch long). Repeat the same to chocolate and milk dough. 
  6. Braid them together and place the braided dough into the prepared baking pan.  Let it proof for another 45 to 60 minutes or until double in size.
  7. Fifteen (15) minutes before baking, turn on the oven to 180C or 160C (fan forced).
  8. Bake in a preheated oven for about 30 minutes or until golden brown.
  9. Remove from the oven and transfer onto a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.




Chicken Rendang

Friday, 5 January 2018



After the festive season of eating all that rich Christmas food, I began to crave local flavours and I decided to cook Chicken Rendang (Rendang Ayam).  Chicken Rendang is a version of dry chicken curry dish with toasted grated coconut added.  I cooked it to go together with Nasi Lemak for dinner ...and it doesn’t get much more Malaysian than that!

If you have any questions regarding this recipe or any other post, please leave me a comment in the “LEAVE A COMMENT” link and I will reply you as soon as possible.

Chicken Rendang Recipe


Yields:  5 – 6 servings

INGREDIENTS

500g chicken, cut into your desired size
4 tbsp cooking oil
300g coconut milk
3 lemongrass, crushed
4 kaffir lime leaves (2 sliced finely and 2 cruchsed)
3 turmeric leave, sliced finely
2 – 3 tbsp pan toasted grated coconut (Kerisik)
Brown sugar and salt to taste

Spice Paste to be ground:
8 (80g) shallots
3 cloves garlic
1.5  inch (25g) ginger
1.5 inch (25g) lengkuas
1 knob (20g) turmeric  
3 stalks lemongrass, use the white part
7 dried red chillies, soaked in hot water and seeded
3 red chillies, seeded

1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground fennel

METHOD:
  1. Blend the spice paste ingredients in a food processor until smooth with a little water added. Transfer the paste into a bowl and add in ground cumin and fennel.
  2. Heat the oil in a wok over medium heat, add crushed lemongrass and saute until fragrant.  Then in the spice paste and stir fry until aromatic and oil begins to separate.
  3. Add in the chicken and stir until all well coated.  Then add in the coconut milk.
  4. Simmer on low heat for 15 – 20 minutes or until the gravy is thickening. Stir occasionally to prevent the prevent from burning at the bottom and add some water if necessary. 
  5. Add in kerisik and also all the turmeric leaves and kaffir lime leaves.
  6. Season with salt and sugar to taste.  Continue to cook for another few minutes.  Dish out and serve with steamed rice. 


Almond Hazelnut Cranberry Biscotti

Tuesday, 2 January 2018




Christmas just passed and it is time to start with Chinese New Year cookies.  I made these thin crunchy Biscotti last week.  This is really an Italian cookie that we Asian Chinese have adopted as one of the many goodies enjoyed during Chinese New Year. Of course, it is still Biscotti and they are always good at any time and season with a coffee! 

If you have any questions regarding this recipe or any other post, please leave me a comment in the “LEAVE A COMMENT” link and I will reply you as soon as possible.

Almond Hazelnut Cranberry Biscotti Recipe


Yields:  65 slices

INGREDIENTS:

140g plain flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
4 egg whites (large egg)
55g caster sugar
¼ tsp of salt
100g almond
50g hazelnuts
90g dried cranberries

Utensils:  Loaf pan (23 cm X 10 cm or 9” X 4”) and 2 baking trays

METHOD:

Day 1

  1. Preheat oven to 180C.  Line the baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. Sift flour and baking powder together in a bowl, add in salt.  Set aside.
  3. Whisk egg whites until foamy with electric mixer.  Gradually add in sugar and whisk until stiff peaks.
  4. Fold in the flour mixture with a spatula gently.  Then add in nuts and cranberries.  Gently mix until well mixed. 
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake at preheated oven for 30 minutes or until light brown.
  6. Remove from oven and let it cool in the pan for 5 - 10 minutes before removing the paper and let it cool on wire rack. Once completely cool, wrap with cling film and keep in the fridge overnight or at least 5 to 6 hours before slicing.

Day 2

  1. Preheat oven to 150C and line the baking trays with non-stick baking paper.
  2. Remove loaf from fridge and cut into thin slices (about 2 mm or 0.2 cm thick). It is better to use the bread knife to get a straight and even cut.
  3. Place the biscotti on the prepared baking trays and bake again at preheated oven for 10 – 15 minutes or until crisp, dried and light brown. 
  4. Remove from oven and leave to cool completely on a wire rack before storing in an airtight container.