Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas Bakes Before the Year Ends & Happy 2012!





Two of my Christmas bakes for this year, a classic log and butter short bread that melts in the mouth. Almost left them behind before the year ended. Guess I have been rather think-free for past few weeks since my son's school holiday started. Or may be I am loosing the momentum for blogging? Nevertheless, I am still very much in love with baking. I wish I have another few more weeks to go before I have to ferry my son to classes few times a day, and 5 times a week! All these holidays have allow me to keep on trying out new bakes and I could afford to do trials with any rush!

Tonight everyone will be counting down for the new year. And I am hoping we can join cousins for the fireworks at her working place. Since my son who's a early bed time, wonder can he stay up for the late night..... How is every one's plan for this new year's eve? Cooking up a storm? Talking about that, I have yet to have any idea what's for tonight's dinner.

Here I wish the world, Happy 2012!!!!!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Pain Au Levain . 天然酵母の食パ



                                    This bottle is full of 'Live' which gives us the healthy loaves.



Making my very own bread leavening for the first time, following the books that I have, I managed to make a few of them to experience the whole working process from that magical liquid made from just organic raisins and purified water. Although the bread are mostly the European choices. But I managed to use the same leaving dough to make our usual white loaf. However, it didn't turn out to be as soft as the those I often made using dried yeast. But, if we can have the loaf on the same day as it's baked, it doesn't make that much difference if you are going for something that has more flavour and texture. 

The only down side of making these bread, would be the time needed for the whole process. It's took up much much time that I could imagine. Due to our wet and cool weather for the recent weeks, it took longer than what the book instructed. I even threw away one of the dough that was over proved, as I thought the proving hours could take longer than it should be. So, there are actually a lot of attention paid to just make a simple loaf. Hubby wonder is it worth the time and effort..... I am supposed, after a few more rounds of trial and practice, I should get better and better( I hope).  I will soon share the recipe and making of the starter dough when I finish up the current batch. Hope many of you would give it a try, if you are crazy enough like me!! 

Ingredients:
 Bread floour   300g
Salt  7g
Sugar  9g

Fermented dough / starter dough  21g
Bread flour / wholemeal flour  42g
Water  42g

Malt syrup/ honey  1g
Water  177g
Butter   9g


Method:

1. Have all ingredients mix together. Knead till the dough is springy and smooth on the surface. 

2. Cover the dough with cling film in a bowl. Let the dough rise for 2 hours at the temperature of 35'C. 

3. Press out the air in the dough, and have a second rising for 60 minutes. 

4. Again, press out the air in the dough, and divide them into two equal portions, shape the dough and place them in a bread tin and let it have the last proofing. This should take about 90-180 minutes till the dough reach as high as the bread tin. Spray some water on the dough before baking in pre heated oven  200'c for 35-40 minutes. 



Monday, December 26, 2011

Haiji Snowmen

With the well liked Haiji bun recipe, I turned them into the adorable snowmen to go with the season of Christmas. Shaping bread dough is one of the most interesting thing I like to do whenever time allows .
Have fun!!

















Have some cute little animals to join the festive season.




Busy busy weeks had passed, all the shopping, parties,course, and now getting ready for the next big thing which is the coming CNY. I am left with the next few days to really relax, do what I want and rest before the daily routine starts again. Hopefully these few days I could try out as many new bakes as possible before schooling days starts again. These days, besides buying books through the net, I seldom go to my favourite book shop Kinokuniya unless they have the 20% discount and of course to get those books I couldn't get from the net. Last week, me and cousin went on a book shopping spree. Got few books on homemade yeast from scratch which I have tested out couple of them. Lately, I notice I have a little problem when taking normal bread made with dried baker's yeast. I get that bloated and upset tummy if I take too much of certain amount in a week. And I started to find out more...  Learnt that, eating natural fermentation bread can be so healthy and benefits us so much. that my problem with bread can be elevated by switching to natural yeast. However, I do know such bread would not quite easily yield something as soft as the normal dried instant yeast does. So, I am now on some trials and hopefully I can come out with some 'Miracles'. Of course, whenever I get to go town, I would not fail to grab my favourite English White loaf from the particular bakery I frequent, as it's made of natural yeast. Some friends asked me how do I know they are truly using natural fermentation... and I said, '' because my tummy would never ' complain' even I had it for the whole week of the seven days!''

It's coming to the end of the year of 2011. Time seems to pass so fast as we grow. Remember couple of weeks back, when me and hubby were at our regular wet market buying breakfast, we had a short chat with the lady selling carrot cakes. She mentioned something which made me feel better, as I felt each year passes too quickly ( which means we all grow older quicker!!) hahah... She said:'' If you think your years passing too fast, that means you are happy in life! So I think it's good that you feel time passes fast." and she gave me a very kind and that motherly smile on her face, which I still have it vividly on my mind. It's so true that, to keep a happy and healthy mind is so important  in our lives. Well, I am still in the learning journey of being positive and keeping a simple and happy life, which would actually bring me more good than anything else. And I know this is what I should bring to my son. These days when I met friends or people I know, who have that negative mind set had made me handicap when comes to communicating with them. I am no master of preaching neither am I good enough to make them see the same ways as I do. But I really really wish, people around me would understand and know more about the 'Good brings goods, and Bad brings bads'. Has anyone started reading 'The law of attraction' yet? Or has anyone started to know about how important is that to be good to ourselves first before we could love our next kin? Sounded so simple but yet don't really know how to hey?? There were even people commented that all these sounded very selfish!!! But, just think of this, if we don't love and treat ourselves good and keep a happy soul, how much love can we share and give to the people we love most? When a person is not happy, living in long term stress, frustrations, blaming of others, and all kinds of negative thoughts in her/ him, how well can that person be and how much right energy and love can that person give to their loved ones? Ask ourselves that. I am supposed, learning to love ourselves is not a difficult task in any way. Instead, carrying some kind of hatreds , and living in the past could only bring us more suffering and pain. Let go the baggage and lead a life that you wish which is within our means and there we will see things around us change as we change for better. A simple logic would be, if we don't have a healthy and able body, how could we give the best to our children?! Hence, I hope our new year resolution would be " Love ourselves MORE'' !  :) What's wrong with that?!!!!! Wish everyone out there, A Happy New Year and brings you a greater lives! Cheers cheers.......!!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

X'mas Cup Cakes


Merry Christmas to all!! 









Each cup cakes seems like a present on it's own........



Enjoy the making of each cup cake deco with fondant, can be quite therapeutic to me. Seeing the final results was even more rewarding. Using the chocolate cake recipe for the cup cakes and with some amount of fondant for the decorations. What a great gift!

Joining this month's Aspiring Bakers #14 Creative Christmas Bake host by Hankerie. Wish everyone Merry Christmas!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Pororo















My twins nephews requested for these Pororo Cakes , for their 8th birthday this year. The snowy effect does match the season of Christmas. How great if we could have snow in Singpore too. 

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