Friday, May 19, 2017

Brown Flaxseed Bread

Chia & Brown Flaxseed Bread
Chia & Brown Flaxseed Bread

This is basically a white bread recipe enriched with some brown flaxseed meal which imparts a beautiful colour to the bread and also gives a nutty and earthy flavour.   Flax is a natural superfood, packed with healthy nutrients and antioxidants. If you can't find flaxseed meal, you can make your own by grinding whole flaxseed using a coffee grinder or blender.

Tangzhong Starter: 
40g bread flour
200g water

  • In a small pan, combine flour and water.  Cook over low heat, stirring continuously until the mixture thickens and you'd notice some "lines" appear in the mixture when you stir (or until it reaches 65°C).
  • Remove from heat and transfer to a clean bowl. Place cling wrap directly onto the surface of tangzhong to prevent from drying up.  Cool or bring to room temperature before using. Measure the amount of tangzhong you required and the rest can be kept in the refrigerator.  But remember, once the tangzhong turns grey, discard it.

Main Dough:  
250g bread flour
20g brown flaxseed meal
10g chia seeds
15g caster sugar
3g sea salt
15g milk powder (optional)
5g instant dried yeast

100g tangzhong

(C) Whisk together: (Total liquid=170g)
55g egg (lightly beaten)
30g honey/condensed milk
85g fresh milk (adjust the quantity of milk to make up to 170g in total)

30g coconut oil

  • Combine all ingredients (A) in a mixing bowl.  Add in (B) followed by (C).   Knead until well combined and smooth.  Then add in (D) and continue kneading until dough is smooth and elastic and passed the "window pane test".
  • Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl.  Cover with a damp cloth and let it rise until doubled.
  • Punch down the dough to release trapped air.  Cover and let it rest for 10 minutes.
  • Flatten the dough and roll it up tightly.  Place onto a greased pullman tin (20.5 x 10.5 x 9 cm).  Cover and let it rise until almost doubled (90%).
  • Preheat oven to 170°C.
  • Bake for about 45 minutes or till golden brown.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Meyer Lemon Tartlet

Adapted from Pierre Hermé  - Meyer Lemon Tart recipe

150g unsalted butter, cubed
60g caster sugar
30g almond meal
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg, room temperature
250g plain flour
1/2 tsp salt

  • Place flour, almond meal, sugar and butter into a large mixing bowl.  Rub the butter into the flour mixture with your fingertips until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.  Add in egg and mix until the dough binds together.  Knead the dough gently into a ball and wrap it in clingfilm. Refrigerate the dough for about 1 hour or overnight.
  • Remove dough from the fridge.  Take a small amount of dough and press down gently with your fingers so that the dough is centred in the well. Prick the bottom of the crust with a fork.  Rest in the fridge for 1 - 2 hours.
  • Bake tart shells in 180°C fan-forced oven for 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. After tart shells are cooled slightly, remove them from the moulds and cool completely before use.

Lemon Cream

2 eggs (100g without shells)
120g caster sugar
70g fresh Meyer lemon juice 
zest of 2 lemons
120g unsalted butter, room temperature, cubed

  • In a large metal bowl, rub lemon zest with sugar until sugar is moistened and aromatic. Then add in eggs and lemon juice.
  • Bring a small saucepan holding a couple of inches of water to a simmer over very low heat. Place the metal bowl on top of the saucepan (ensuring that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water) and whisk the mixture constantly until thickens and reaches 85°C (at this stage your whisk should leave a trail through the cream).
  • Strain the cream and let it cool to about 60°C.  Pour into a blender or use a stick blender to beat in the butter, a few cubes at a time until well blended.  Continue beating for another 2 - 3 minutes to achieve an airy and light cream.
  • Transfer cream into a container and press a piece of cling wrap on the surface of the cream.  Leave the cream to cool at least 4 hours or overnight in the fridge before using.  Just whisk the cream to loosen it before filling the tart shell.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Hong Shao Rou (红烧肉) or Red Braised Pork Belly


1 kg pork belly
90g rock sugar (or brown sugar)
35g ginger, sliced
dried chillies, cut into halves and soaked in hot water to soften
4 stalks spring onion, cut into 2cm length
2.5 cup water, approx
1 tsp cooking oil
dash of white pepper

4 tbsp Chinese cooking wine
4 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp dark soy sauce

  • Cut pork belly into big chunks.  Boil water in a wok and blanch the pork for about 4 minutes.  Drain and set aside.

  • Heat wok and pour in 1 tsp cooking oil; fry pork until caramelised.  Transfer pork into another pot.

  • With the remaining oil in the wok, stir fry ginger slices, dried chillies and spring onion until fragrant.  Add to the pork.

  • Put the rock sugar into the same work and stir fry until all the sugar melts and large bubbles appear.  Add in 1/4 cup water and continue stirring.  
  • Add in pork and ginger slices, dried chillies and spring onion.  Stir to combine.  Pour in sauce and bring to the boil.

  • Transfer everything into the pot.  Add in enough water to cover the pork. Bring to the boil and then lower the fire and simmer for about 1.5 hour with the lid on. Occasionally stir to prevent burning.  
  • Once the pork is tender, uncover the pot.  Cook under medium fire until the sauce thickens.  
  • Garnish with chopped spring onion before serving.

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