Archive for bread

New Year Celebration, Nuts & Breads


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Last chinese new year we managed to get away to Beijing. Unfortunately this year, Mike had to stay babysitting the hotel, as he sent all of the managers to take a few days leave. The city’s life is practically put on hold. Everywhere is so quiet, shops are all closed for more than a week (some would stay close for 2-3 weeks even), the hotel’s occupancy dropped significantly during these days. Food is getting scarce – *lucky that we live in a hotel where getting food is not really a problem* – unless one stocks up well prior to the celebration. The shopping frenzy happened 3 days before the celebration. Food stalls, street vendors, supermarkets were all packed with thousands of people and everything would be sold out instantly.

I’m not sure if I want to go out for the next coming few days, partially because of the weather that stay below minus two digits everyday, the other reason is that there isn’t much to do and see out there.

A few days ago, I experimented on the no-knead bread recipe. Thanks to Dita for her inspiring photo that makes me drool,  I peeked the recipe from Steamy Kitchen.  It’s amazing how one’s palate can change completely during pregnancy. I used to be more of a savoury person, but now I drool over things that’s super sweet, gooey, sticky caramelly with sprinkles of chopped nuts. A few months ago, I thought pickled cornichons was food from heaven. I must’ve gone mad!!!


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No-knead Sticky Pecan Caramel Cinnamon Rolls
Click here for recipe
Modification: We’re not a big fan of walnut,
so we use pecans instead. The filling is made without nutmeg &
black pepper (yuck!) I added chopped brazilian nuts & dates.
Double yums!!!


PhotobucketNo-knead Gruyere Cheese Rolls
to view recipe click here
This is another modification I made, just by replacing the filling
with crushed garlic, sprinkles of oregano, sprinkles of basil,
grated vintage cheese and Gruyere cheese


All of the nuts I bought from the local market next door, literally, it’s a small alley located next to our place. On regular days this market is so full of vendors selling every unimaginable things. One day I spotted a guy walking around in the market with a live bull tied around the neck, he was selling it for the meat. Great little place to walk around and find little surprises. I bought a bag of fresh brazil nuts, macademia, pecans and roasted almonds  (about 500 gram each)  for 75 Yuan only – that would be about US$11 total.


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From almonds, macademia, walnuts, pecans, sunflower seeds,
chestnuts, brazilian nuts, pistachios….
and some unidentified nuts. Take your pick!


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Warm chestnuts is a beautiful snack in wintertime
This cost about 5 Yuan/bag – less than a dollar


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Crusty Loaves with Gruyere Cheese


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As a true coffee junkie, I am constantly on a search for recipes of breads/cakes and other savouries to go with it. Although, in my opinion, the best match for morning coffee is cheese bread. This is such a wonderful loaf to bake. I was so excited when I prepared the starter dough the night before, wondering what wonderful taste & texture it would be like. I found the recipe from  HERE,  referred by Temperance on her Bread Baking Day#16. The starter puffed up very nicely overnight. Proofing took most of the time of the entire baking though, baking process only took about 30 mnts. So short, for such a rewarding result.

That morning my entire kitchen is wafting the smell of freshly baked cheese bread. The use of gruyere cheese – which I added a bit of mozzarella and drizzles of garlic oil, is just puuuurrr-fect!!! It’s melting beautifully, moist in the inside, crusty on the outside. Guess who loves it the most….. Mike 😀

This recipe is definitely going to be on the menu very often….

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CRUSTY LOAF STUFFED WITH  GRUYERE CHEESE

Ingredients:
(i) Starter
* 1 1/4 cups unbleached Bread Flour
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
* 1/2 cup cool water

(ii) Dough
* all of the starter
* 1 cup + 2 tbs to 1 1/4 cups lukewarm water*
* 1 tsp salt
* 3 1/2 cups unbleached Bread Flour
* 1/2 tsp instant yeast
* *Use more water in winter time

(iii) Filling
* 2 1/2 cups grated Gruyère cheese, or your preference
* 1 tbs garlic oil (optional)

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Baking Directions:

1)  Starter: Mix the 1 1/4 cups flour, salt, yeast, half cup of water.
Cover & rest overnight

2) Dough: Combine the risen starter with second one,
water, salt, flour & yeast. Knead until elastic.

3) Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover,
let it rise for 1-2 hours, till it’s nearly doubled in bulk.

4) Gently deflate the dough, stretch it into a 4 inch thick,
about 9″ x 12″. Sprinkle with the grated cheese.

5) Roll it into a log, pinching the seam to seal.
Place the log, seam-side down on a lightly oiled surface.

6) Cover & let it rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, till puffy but
not doubled in bulk. Preheat the oven to 425°F.

7) Gently cut the log into four crosswise slices, for mini-breads;
or cut in half, for two normal-sized loaves. Place on silicone sheet.
Spritz with warm water, immediately place them in the preheated oven.

8) Bake for 20 – 35 mnts or until the cheese is melted & loaves are
a deep golden brown. Cool on a rack.

Recipe from: HERE

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Submitted for a food event
“Bread Baking Day #16: Cheese Bread”
Hosted by Temperance ~  For more information & participation, have a look HERE


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