It's Monday already! How is everyone's Monday so far? Returning from holiday marks the return to reality, which in my case, is a return to uni. But anyway, let's think about that later and have some bread on this warm Monday morning.
Since my brother has toast every morning for breakfast, and peanut butter on toast has a special place in my and Mum's hearts, bread is often seen on our kitchen bench. Baking-wise, I've always been interested in baking breads - the smell of the warm bread in the oven is just too good to resist, in my opinion. Plus, there's the added satisfaction that my kneading and patience to wait for the dough to rise has resulted in some delicious bread free of preservatives =)
I finally made bread last year! My family and I love to eat HK-style soft bread and these turned out so well I couldn't help but grin like the Cheshire Cat when I saw the fluffy soft insides.
During the year, I bookmarked bread recipes using the Tangzhong method like there's no tomorrow. Seriously, I have so many it's difficult to know which to start with! I decided to use Jessie's recipe and just modified the fillings/toppings to suit what I had at home, and what my family likes.
Char siu bun
Anyway, these came out SO WELL!! I loved it, my Mum loved it (I think she would love it more if she wasn't already so full from the other food I was feeding her though..haha), my Dad loved it...everyone loved it! They were so soft and fluffy, with a mild hint of sweetness. I actually added less butter so they were less oily, yet the softness was not compromised at all. Yummy!
I was actually quite worried during the process because the dough was extremely sticky and all my mantou/bau and bread dough have never been that sticky...but then I read up that it's normal! Phew! I started breathing again =P haha..
Thanks for the recipe, Jessie! They turned out beautiful! Homemade bread is the best! I'm going to try make HK-style sausage buns for my brother next time.
Here's more of my bread-baking escapades =)
left-right: Wholemeal bread, wholemeal plait, wholemeal fruit + nut
I actually don't really like white bread so I experimented with adding wholemeal flour to substitute for some of the white flour. I first used a 1/3 wholemeal to 2/3 white mix, then upped it to 50:50 ratio. The 50:50 ratio took much longer to knead and didn't quite reach window pane test, but it was pretty much the same. Do you think adding more wholemeal flour will be ok?
The wholemeal bread loaf on the left in the above picture is not using the Tangzhong method, but another random bread recipe I had lying around. It turned out great this time (last time was too dense), though I wish the crust was chewier. More experimenting!
Mum loves to eat fruit & nut bread. I usually buy the one from Barrett's bread for her, but since I was making bread, I decided to make some for her. She loved it! She says it's better than the store-bought ones. She especially likes it because she finds the Barretts one too sweet because there are a lot of raisins in it, whereas I didn't add raisins but instead added fig, mango, apricot and assorted nuts and seeds.
Sweet potato bread
I had sweet potato puree leftover from making tangyuan so I used it to make a few filled breads. The puree was unfortunately quite wet so the bottom of these were quite damp by the end of the day.
Does the paper bag look like I've bought these from the bakery? haha! The rest of the rolls are just plain, except for the long one which is fruit & nut =)
Definitely won't be the last time I bake bread! My siblings bought me the Bourke St Bakery cookbook for my birthday last year, so I want to try the sourdough in that!!
Thanks for reading! ^^ Happy Monday & enjoy the rest of the week, everyone!