Archive | November 2012

Pumpkin Cinnamon Bread Wreath

Pumpkin Cinnamon Bread Wreath

By Kira

I keep talking about soft textured japanese bread and water roux method in many of my bread posts. Well, let me show you how with few illustrations(pictures).

To celebrate the thanksgiving day, I decided to make pumpkin sweet bread, to make it more exciting I used cinnamon sugar filling.

This bread is my ultimate creation using water roux method. Look at the pretty braids, it had a wonderful soft texture. I had it when it is still warm, I absolutely loved it. Might as well say, I have fallen in love with bread baking.

Prep time: 20 mins (proofing time: 1 hr 40 mins)
Cook time: 22 mins
Total time: 2 hrs

Ingredients
Water Roux:

  • Bread flour 1.5 tbsp (15 g)
  • Water 7.5 tbsp (115 ml)

Bread:

  • Bread flour (Strong white) 285 g
  • Plain flour 75 g
  • Caster Sugar, white 65 g
  • Salt 1/4 tsp plus 1/8 tsp
  • Yeast 6 g
  • Egg 1 medium
  • Pumpkin puree 115 ml
  • Milk 1 tbsp plus 1 tsp
  • Unsalted Butter 30 g

Filling:

  • Caster Sugar, white 80 g
  • Ground Cinnamon 3 tsp
  • Unsalted Butter, melted 40 g

Instructions
Water Roux:

  • Using a whisk, mix the flour and water in a saucepan, make sure there are no lumps.Water Roux1
  • Cook the mixture on low heat until it thickens, stir frequently.Water Roux2
  • The thicken is right when the mixture coats the back of the spoon. Keep cooking for 1 more minute. Remove the saucepan from heat, cover with cling film and leave it to cool down to room temperature.Water Roux3
    Water Roux4

Bread:

  • In a large mixing bowl, mix the bread flour, plain flour, sugar, salt and yeast.
  • Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture. Beat the egg, add it to the flour mixture and mix it well.
  • Add the lukewarm water roux to the flour mixture and mix it well.
  • Add the pumpkin puree and mix it well.
  • Knead the flour using the electric hand mixer with dough hook attachment.
  • Heat the milk until its lukewarm. Gradually add the milk to flour mixture, knead until the flour resembles a sticky dough.
  • Chop the butter and add it to the dough. Knead the dough until the butter is well incorporated. The butter won’t combine with the dough initially but as you knead it will work its way into the dough.
  • Check whether the dough stretches, if so stop kneading.Pumpkin Bread1
  • Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a lightly greased bowl, cover the bowl with cling film and let the dough rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.Pumpkin Bread2

Shape into Wreath:

  • Tip the dough on the lightly floured surface, shape into a rectangle of 1cm thickness using a rolling pin.Pumpkin Bread3
  • Get the filling ready, melt the butter in microwave. In a separate bowl, mix the ground cinnamon with sugar. Using a pastry brush, spread the melted butter on the rectangular dough leaving 1 inch thickness for the border. Now, spread the cinnamon sugar mixture evenly. Start rolling it like a swiss roll starting with longer side of the rectangular dough.Pumpkin Bread4
  • Make sure to seal the edges by tucking it in. Keep the tuck edges under to make it look pretty.Pumpkin Bread5
  • Note: You will have to work very quickly, because the sugar will start to melt.
  • To shape it like a wreath, use a sharp knife to the cut the log shape lengthwise, right in the middle, keeping one end attached, which will make it easier to braid. Keep crossing the two legs, each time making sure the cutside is on the top.Pumpkin Bread6
  • Transfer it gently to the lightly greased baking sheet, cover with cling film and let it rise for 45 minutes or until doubled in size.
  • Preaheat the oven, during the last 15 minutes of the second proofing.
  • Check the dough, if there is any sugar oozed out, try to remove them using kitchen towel, atleast near the outer rim, this will prevent the bread from too much browning/burnt bottom especially.
  • Lightly brush the top of the wreath with butter. Bake at 180C fan for 20 ~ 22 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.Pumpkin Bread7Pumpkin Bread8
  • My goodness look at the texture, so soft I can’t wait to eat. Oh, these fingers are not mine. There are little people living under my house, they too can’t resist my sweet bread.Pumpkin Bread9
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Soft Mediterranean Loaf

Soft Mediterranean Loaf

By Kira

After my very successful Rosemary & Garlic Focaccia, I have taken quite an interest in making homemade bread. It is so much fun to make your own bread, it is satisfying and it tastes much better than the store brought ones.

I like japanese buns for their softness, I improvised with my basic Japanese sweet bun recipe. Since, I like mediterreanean vegetables, I came up with an idea to make mediterranean loaf with water roux method to achieve the same softness as Japanese buns.

Here are the pictures of my mediterranean loaf made with water roux method.

Mediterranean Bread1

Mediterranean Bread2


To create my loaf, I have used sundried tomatoes, black olives, red peppers, feta cheese, oregano and sprinkled with sea salt. The result was amazing with great flavours.

Prep time: 20 mins (proofing time: 1 hr 40 mins)
Cook time: 30 mins
Total time: 2 hrs 30 mins

Ingredients
Water Roux:

  • Bread flour 1.5 tbsp (15 g)
  • Water 7.5 tbsp (113 ml)

Loaf:

  • Bread flour (Strong white) 285 g
  • Plain flour 75 g
  • Salt 1 tsp (8 g)
  • Yeast 6 g
  • Egg 1
  • Milk 115 ml
  • Unsalted Butter 30 g
  • Dried Oregano 1/2 tsp (If you like oregano you can 3/4 tsp)
  • Red Pepper, diced 1/2
  • Black Olives, chopped 25 g
  • Sundried Tomatoes, drained from oil, chopped 35 g (approx 3 tbsp)
  • Feta cheese, crumbled 100 g
  • Extra virgin Olive oil 2 tbsp
  • Rock salt 1/4 tsp

Instructions
Water Roux:

  • Using a whisk, mix the flour and water in a saucepan, make sure there are no lumps.
  • Cook the mixture on low heat until it thickens, stir frequently. The thicken is right when the mixture coats the back of the spoon.
  • Keep cooking for 1 more minute. Remove the saucepan from heat, cover with cling film and leave it to cool down to room temperature.

Loaf:

  • In a large mixing bowl, mix the bread flour, plain flour, salt and yeast. Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture. Beat the egg, add it to the flour mixture and mix it well.
  • Add the lukewarm water roux to the flour mixture and mix it well.
  • Knead the flour using the electric hand mixer with dough hook attachment.
  • Heat the milk until its lukewarm. Gradually add the milk to flour mixture, knead until the flour resembles a sticky dough.
  • Chop the butter and add it to the dough. Knead the dough until the butter is well incorporated. The butter won’t combine with the dough initially but as you knead it will work its way into the dough.
  • Check whether the dough stretches, if so stop kneading. Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a lightly greased bowl, cover the bowl with cling film and let the dough rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  • Meanwhile roast the red pepper in frying pan, at low heat to remove some of the moisture. Remove from heat and let it cool.
  • In a small mixing bowl, mix the oregano, red pepper, black olives, sundried tomatoes and feta cheese.
  • After the first rise, tip the dough on the flour surface, knead the vegetable and cheese mixture into the dough.
  • Shape into a loaf and place it in the lightly greased loaf tin, cover with cling film and let it rise for 45 minutes or until doubled in size.
  • Score the loaf crosswise 5 or 6 times. Drizzle the olive oil of the top, sprinkle the rock salt.
  • Bake at 180C fan for 30 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.

Caramelised Onions, Feta Cheese & Black olive Pizza

What’s for dinner? I had some leftover greek feta cheese and I thought of putting together a dish. Incidentally, I was reading the Italian Home Baking book… Wait a minute, Italian cuisine Pizza buzzed in my mind. Excellent choice, did I tell you, I love homemade (my) pizza. Also it is an opportunity to try pizza base from this book.

I made the pizza base as per the book. I was skeptical, since the recipe called for large amount of yeast for very less flour, it worked out pretty good.

Now for the topping, I decided to go with caramelised onion and feta cheese. The saltiness of the feta cheese and sweetness from the caramelised onion goes well together. Since I had craving for olives, I added just a little black olives.

Here is the slice of my Caramelised Onions, Feta Cheese & Black olive Pizza.Caramelised Onions, Feta Cheese & Black olive Pizza