Saturday, 25 March 2017

Walnut and Raisin Bread (Natural Yeast)

These days, I am exploring ways to eat more healthily.  So far, my experiment was not as successful as I wished for.  I shall blog about my learning journey when I succeed.

Anyway, one such healthy eating was begin to eat bread with non commercial yeast and I am happy to say that we already took a baby step forward.

I am exploring more option for my family to eat sourdough bread but it was not such a welcome in this family.  I guess I will need time to convert.

Today, I tried a "softer" version by adding fruits and nuts to it.  Let's hope this Walnut and Raisin Bread will be more acceptable.

Findings: This dough is extremely wet and I had a hard time shaping it.  In fact, it got stuck to my banneton! Thus, I was not able to score it.  

Other than that, this yield a crusty crust and with the raisin, its sweetness balances off the taste much better.  I will need to work on handling the wet dough though.

What you need:

100g natural yeast starter
170g water
5g salt
60g honey
40g rye flour
80g toasted walnut, chopped
80g raisins, soak in water until soft.  Drained.
210g bread flour


In a mixing bowl, mix natural yeast starter with water until dissolved.

Mix in salt and honey.

Stir in rye flour until well combined.

Add in walnut and raisins until incorporated.

Add in bread flour and mix till no lumps.

Cover and let it proof until double in size.

Chill in fridge overnight.

Flour work area and turn the dough out.  Sprinkle the dough with a little flour and punch down.

Roll out the dough and fold into thirds.

Repeat the process from the longer side.  

Shape into oval and seal the edges.

Place into a well floured battonne and cover.

Let it proof until double in size (approx 2 - 3 hours)

30 mins before proofing time, preheat oven with a baking stone to 220°C  

Turn the dough out onto the baking sheet, score the dough and slide the it onto the baking stone.  

Bake for 15 mins and lower the temperature to 180°C  and bake for another 20 mins or until golden brown. 

Leave to cool on rack. 

Have a good weekend.

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Chestnut bread

I love chestnut but since now I don't get to eat those from Shanghai, I will have to make do with packet ones.  

I bought 4 packets of chestnut during a charity fair and I am refraining myself from eating all up so I turned it into a bake to share. 

Saw this really interesting recipe decided to give it a try.

Findings: The dough is not that easy to handle as it is wet.  Thus using a dough scrapper works better than using hand.

Texture wise it is soft and I like it with the toppings.  

If you can, try to get candied chestnut, I think it will taste much better than these packet chestnut that I bought.

Definitely worth to try again.

What you need:

56g egg
50ml fresh milk
50ml water
100g yeast starter
5g salt

40g castor sugar
30g rice bran oil
250g bread flour

1 packet cooked chestnut


17g peanut butter
25g unsalted butter
1 tbsp honey
80g castor sugar
25g egg
120g plain flour
½ tsp salt


Combine egg, fresh milk, water, salt and yeast starter.  Mix until yeast dissolved.

Stir in oil.

Add in bread flour and mix until it forms a rough dough. 

Cover and let it proof overnight at a cool temperature.  It should double in size.

Flour a work area and turn the dough out.  

Sprinkle with a little flour over the dough and gently press down to release air.  

Flatten the dough and shape into a ball.

Roll into a rectangle and spread the chestnuts along the length side.

Roll the dough up to form a log and seal the edge.  

Cut the log into 3 pcs.  

Arrange it in a greased bread tin, cut side facing up.  

Cover and let it proof until double in size (approx 2 hours)

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Spray water over the dough and sprinkle in the topping evenly.

Bake for 30 mins or until golden brown.

Cool on rack.



Whisk peanut butter, butter, honey and sugar until pale.

Add in egg and continue to whisk until smooth.

Beat in the flour to form a crumb.

Remove and chill in fridge until needed.


Monday, 13 March 2017

Red Braised Pork Belly (红烧肉)

My family loves Roast Pork and braised pork but strangely they don't fancy pork belly in other cooking method.  Then again, while in Korea, I had witnessed my kiddos tucking in pork belly just cooking over a pan, dip in sauce and wrap in vegetable without any problem.  They will eating so wholeheartedly without without picking out the fats.  I wonder why.

Anyway, I was curious to see whether they will pick out the fats in this Red Braised Pork Belly (红烧肉).

What you need:

800g pork belly
3 slices ginger
1.5 tbsp rock sugar
3 star anise
6 cloves garlic
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1.5 tbsp dark soy sauce
2 tbsp Shaoxing Rice Wine
Water to top up to cover the pork belly


Cut the pork belly into thick pieces, about 1 inch long.

Heat the wok over medium high.  Add 1 teaspoon oil and sear each side of the pork belly until brown. Set aside.

Wash and reheat wok.  Add 2 tbsp of oil and sautee ginger until fragrant.

Add in garlic, star anise and continue to fry until fragrant.

Add in rock sugar and keep stirring until it dissolved and turned golden.

Mix in the pork belly.

Then add in water, light soy sauce, dark soy sauce and rice wine and bring just a boil.  (water should cover the pork belly).  Refill water if pork is still not soft.

Once the sauce is boiling, lower down heat and let it simmer for 1 hr or until pork belly is tender.

Turn up heat again and keep stirring until sauce starts to thicken.

When the pork belly turns red and shinny, turn off heat.

Serve with jasmine rice.