Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Hokkaido Milk Bread 北海道牛奶面包

After many trials and errors, having to eat countless 'hard rock' style bread, I finally succeeded in making a my first soft and fluffy bread - Hokkaido milk bread! This time I don't have to eat all the bread by myself.

Pardon the look of my bread, having failed so many times I wasn't expecting much from this loaf, hence no nice photos taken. Despite the look, the taste and texture of the bread is surely comparable to the store bought bread, only minus off the many additives (bread moisturiser, bread softener, bread improver ... check the label on the bag of your bread!).


If you are like me, follow the recipe to every single point but still couldn't achieve the softness and fluffiness that you desire, read the tips below. Those tips are derived from my many failures before this. Happy baking!

The recipe below make 1 loaf of bread.

Ingredients 

Tang Zhong Starter dough

25g bread flour
125ml water

Bread
270g bread flour
43g caster sugar
4g salt
4.5g milk powder
5.5g instant yeast
43g whisked egg (around 3/4 egg)
30g whipping cream
27g fresh milk
25g unsalted butter, soften (if using salted butter, reduce the salt to 2g)

Method

Tang Zhong Starter Doug

1. Mix water with bread flour and cook over low heat in a pot.

2. Stir constantly until it reaches 65 degree celsius or when it thicken (the time when you can see the bottom of the pot when stirring).

3. Let tang zhong cool to room temperature before use.

Bread
1. Mix all the ingredients (including tang zhong) except the butter. Knead until smooth and elastic (around 10 minutes).

2. Knead in butter until fully incorporated (around 5-10 minutes).

3. Cover the dough (you can use a clingwrap or pastry cloth; if you have none of these, just put it in a pot and cover with the pot cover) and place it in a warm place to let it undergo the 1st proofing, about 1 hour.

4. Place the dough onto a clean floured surface. Punch down and divide the dough into 8 portions.

5. Roll out each portion of the dough with a rolling pin into rectangular shape, then roll up the dough into a cyclinder, like a swiss roll.

6. Repeat for the rest of the dough and place all the pieces into a greased loaf tin.

7. Cover the dough and place it in a warm place, let it undergo the 2nd proofing, about 1 hour, or at least double in size.

8. Brush the surface of the bread with egg wash.

9. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius and bake for 20 minutes or until it turns golden brown. Remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack for cooling.

Tips:
1. Place the dough at a warm place (but not too hot) during proofing, you can place it in the oven with the light turning on.

2. Although the recipe calls for the dough to be 'double in size', wait a while longer! The higher the rise the softer the bread. This time, I waited until the dough turned 2.5 times the original size. It continue to rise in the oven while baking until it reached 3 times the original size.

3. Brush the egg wash gently and be careful not to flatten the dough. You can brush it around 15 minutes before baking so that if anything went wrong, there is still time for the dough to rise back.


用料

汤种
高筋面粉 25 克
水 125 ml

面包
高筋面粉 270 克
細砂糖 43 克
盐 4 克
奶粉 4.5 克
快速乾酵母 5.5克
全蛋液 43 克 (大约 3/4 全蛋)
忌廉(whipping cream 動物性鮮奶油)30 克
牛奶 54克
汤种
无盐牛油 25 克,融化(如果使用有盐牛油,请将盐减少至2克)

做法

汤种
高筋面粉和水放到锅里,开小火,不停搅拌。熬成浓稠的糊状,盛出待温度降至室温方才使用

面包
1. 把所有材料包括汤种(除了牛油)搅拌成面团,用手揉至面团光滑(大约10分钟)

2. 加入已融化的牛油,继续揉约5-10分钟

3. 把面团放在温暖处发酵至2-2.5倍大小(大约1小时)

4. 用手按压面团,然后分割成大小均匀的8份

5. 将每個小面团从中间向外滾成长方形,然后捲成圓柱形。收口朝下

6. 放入面包模中进行最后发酵(放在温暖处,例如开着灯的烤箱里),让发酵至2.5倍大小

7. 刷上全蛋液
   

8. 放入已预热至180C(356F)的烤箱中,烤20分钟。取出放在铁架上放涼

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Swensen's

It became almost like a tradition that we like to celebrate our birthday with Swensen. Why ar you might ask. Yup, it is for the free birthday ice-cream!

But of course, we need a proper meal before the ice-cream, right? Our soup of the day was a cheesy leek soup. It was a rather simple soup, sometimes, keeping food simple is better.

Soup of the day

Baked spaghetti bolognaise
Look at that three juicy chicken and beef meatballs sitting atop spaghetti! Meat ball lah, fish ball lah, I love them all. 


Baked spaghetti bolognaise

Mega burger
The mega burger is indeed a gigantic burger! Sandwiched between the hamburger bread were layers of juicy beef patty, chicken ham, turkey bacon, grilled vegetables, onions, melted cheese, and a fried egg. Is your mouth wide enough to bite down the burger with all the ingredients inside? Yes, I am challenging you!


Mega burger

Rodeo wings
Everyone loves rodeo wings. These were actually golden fried chicken wings tossed with sweet and sour BBQ sauce. The sour tang from the sauce is sure to whet your appetite. As I had guessed, the wings disappeared in an instant!


Rodeo wings

Chili fish pasta
Indulge yourself in these golden fried tender fish fillets. The skin was crispy yet not over fried. The spaghetti was tossed in spicy oriental sauce, which made this a fusion dish!

Chili fish pasta

Fish baked rice
'Be careful, the baking dish is hot.' We were warned by the tactful waiter. This was nothing special, a typical baked rice that you will expect -fish fillet smothered with a layer of white sauce and cheese.


Fish baked rice

This was a free ice-cream for the birthday boy. Feel so loved by just looking at it! Thanks Swensen's.



Salad Stop!

There were many lunch choices here at City Link, somehow we felt the need of turning 'green' (hulk?) today.

Iron 'wo' man ($13.3)
I am strong to the finich, cause I eat my spinach....This bowl was full of greens with the goodness from baby spinach. We added $1.5 for additional chicken. Feta cheese, roasted pumpkin... all my favorite in one bowl. All ingredients were cut into bite size which made it easy for us to eat without looking like cows. The dressing for this salad was raspberry vinaigrette, refreshing!



Rimba samba ($11.8)
This one was more fruity, with mango and pomelo inside. It was colorful with the ingredients such as the carrots, mango, lentil, and pumpkin. This was my first time having a quinoa patties too and I found the texture interesting - kind of sandy I think. 


Location
B1-13, One Raffles Link
City Link Mall Singapore 039393





Monday, April 14, 2014

Dontaku

One of us had an ulcer on the tongue, one of us yearned for light meal. All right, fried stuff we consume not, healthy meals we should have.

Salmon nabe set (RM16), does it look healthy enough?

Salmon nabe set

A close up look of the bowl full of vegetables and salmon.

Salmon nabe

They offered seafood zousui (RM11.5) and kimuchi zousui, we chose the non-spicy one. In case you are not aware, zousui means porridge in Nihongo (Japanese language)

seafood zousui

Chuka wakame (RM4) with sesame seeds. Love the texture of the seaweed!

Chuka wakame

This egg may not win a beauty egg contest but it tasted good!

egg

The entrance to Dontaku was lined up with bamboo on your sides.

Dontaku

Hello pandas, are you there?

Dontaku

Can you read those words? I spotted 'meat', 'crab', vegetables', 'fish', 'tea'... What else can you read?

Dontaku

Location
Level 3, Johor Bahru City Square (near Sakae Sushi) 
108 Jalan Wong Ah Fook

Friday, April 11, 2014

The Food That You Must Try in Surabaya, Indonesia

I am often asked for food recommendation in Indonesia. During my many visits to Indonesia, I was really fortunate to have locals bringing me around, hunting for delicious Indonesian food, and exploring new tastes that are unique to the region. Having received the flavor, I have compiled a list of my food recommendation. Enjoy your food hunt in Surabaya!


Soto Ayam

If you like to eat soto ayam, try the one in Indonesia, you won't be disappointed. There are many types of soto ayam in Indonesia, with the ingredients vary across the archipelago. This one, is called soto ayam ambengan. The brownish flakes floating atop the yellowish broth was koya (finely crushed keropok), which added a nice crunch to your soup. The broth was packed with robust flavor, leaving a pleasant after-taste in your mouth.



Ayam Presto Telur Asin
Ever thinking of biting a bone? You can now even crush it with your teeth, easily! This chicken was pressure cooked until so soft that biting down the bone become an effortless job. Several choices of sauces are available. Among those, I highly recommend the salted egg sauce.


Bandeng Presto Dalam Sarang

Encapsulated in the cloud of golden, cocoon-like fritters, is a mouth-watering high pressured cooked bandeng fish. It may looked dry and hard but the fact is, it is flaky and nothing close to hard. Eating the fish couldn't be easier without the need to pick for bones, as all the bones had been pressured cooked to the point that they were indistinguishable. The marination penetrated deep into every inch of the meat, making every bite a flavourful burst in your mouth.


Ote-ote

Unlike those ote-ote that we are familiar with (those with prawns on top), this one does not has the beauty that we adore. Its unassuming dome-shape-like appearance belies its scrumptiousness.


Breaking open, the flavor packed fillings consisting of seaweed, oysters, vegetables and meat came into sight. The skin was thin and the fillings were moist and more than ample.


My recommendation: Ote-ote from Miraza


Bu Rudy Crispy Fried Prawn

If you enjoy crispy snack, I would strongly recommend Bu Rudy crispy fried prawn. These are actually small prawns being deep fried until the shells are crispy enough for the prawns to be eaten whole. Paired with their super spicy sambal, this combination made a truly Indonesian style snack. Spicy and shiok!



Rawon
Don't underestimate this plain looking dish. The soup base itself, which was made from almost 20 different ingredients, including various herbs and spices, is enough to make you shout for more. The soup is in dark black color and has a nutty and earthy flavor, which comes mainly from the heavy usage of keluak nuts. It is often taken with lontong, fried shallot, and newly sprouted tauge (bean sprout). In Singapore, despite this is a commonly found dish in Indonesian restaurant, the newly sprouted tauge was not common. It made a really huge different to the taste. To me, the soup just isn't complete without the tauge.




Es Puter

You will find this dessert interesting, both in texture and in taste. Es Puter is translated to stirred ice cream. This is a traditional Indonesia dessert with the main ingredient being coconut. The ice-cream had a nice rough texture and was adorned with the many colorful toppings. The presentation itself is enough to set your appetite going.



Sate Iga Hotplate

Served on a sizzling hot hotplate, the iga was grilled with sweet sauce that glazed into caramelized crust under the heat. Despite of its charred appearance, the meat was succulent, easily torn apart using a fork. 





















My recommendation: Sate iga hotplate from Leko

Some of these food are rather common in Indonesia, you can find it almost everywhere. If you have a strong stomach, you can even try those selling by the roadside!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Order Your Coffee The Singaporean Way

Kopi o? Kopi c? Kopi o kosong? Kopi siew dai? Not sure which one to order? Look at the guide below and be 'enlightened'! 

Ordering a coffee can be fun, if you understand how all the terms go. If you think you are an expert, challenge yourself with the following facts, see how much you know!

Picuture taken from Fun Toast

Now, you can order a cup of coffee in Singapore, in a truly Singaporean way!

My yuan yang (coffee + tea), from Fun Toast.


Location
CityLink Mall,
1 Raffles Link
#B1-04 S039393









Ming Jia Korean Food

What is the best to have during a cold and rainy day? 

For me, this one, a bowl of slightly spicy and piping hot Kimchi soup! Guarantee to make me sweat after eating it. I tend to order this dish everytime I visited Ming Jia, be it a hot day or a cold day. The taste of this soup was just right, sour enough for me, but a tad salty. On some days, it was saltier than usual. 


Just like the economy rice stall, they also offer cooked dishes for diners to choose. This set came with a complementary seaweed soup. I like their omelette roll, very colorful and attractive looking. Not only my taste buds, my eyes were also enjoying it. 


Was it just me or anyone else find kimchi pancake ($9) expensive? Just Kimchi and pancake mix right? Now I am staring at the ingredients and thinking of making it myself.


The fail-safe ramyon ($5.5), something that can't go wrong no matter where you order it. Especially that they added ingredients like kimchi and egg, to make it more nutritious, and less 'instant'.


They have their menu pasted all over the front stall. Days by days, I can see the pictures increasing in numbers. Can you still spot the aunties behind preparing food?


We had been visiting them since they first opened. They used to be this small. I still remember myself squeezing at the corner enjoying a bowl of hot kimchi soup.


And they have expanded, more seatings here, just right in front of the original shop. They even provide high chairs for those with little ones. 


Location
#B1-07, Bukit Timah Plaza,
1 Jalan Anak Bukit