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French Bread Rolls

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When I first saw the post from Mels Kitchen Cafe on these beautiful French Bread Rolls, I knew that I just have to try to make them. Not just influenced by how appetizing they look but the statement that Mel made in her blog saying that this is “one of the easiest, no-fail roll recipes around”. Well, I know they are just bread rolls but they are not “just” bread rolls you see. If I have found a recipe where I can bake scrumptious bread rolls at home than buying some doughy, store-bought ones, well… have a guess.

I followed the recipe but with a slight change in the ingredients. For example, I used bakers flour instead of all-purpose flour, glucose powder instead of sugar and grapeseed oil. I would remind you to read Mel’s notes about the amount of flour use in the recipe, it is an excellent tip.

French Bread Rolls
(From Mel’s Kitchen Cafe)
(Makes about a dozen)

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups warm water
3/4 tablespoon instant yeast
2 tablespoons glucose powder
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 cups bakers flour, give or take a few tablespoons

Method

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the warm water, yeast, sugar, oil, salt and 2 cups of the flour. Begin mixing and continue to add the rest of the flour gradually until the dough has pulled away from the sides of the bowl. The dough should be soft and smooth but still slightly sticky to the touch (see Mel’s tutorial on working with yeast here).

2. Using a stand mixer, knead the dough until it is very smooth and elastic (you can knead the dough by hand but it might take a bit longer). Place the dough in a large bowl that is slightly greased. Cover the bowl with lightly greased plastic wrap. Place the bowl in a warm spot for about 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size. While waiting for the dough to rise, you might want to watch Mel’s tutorial on shaping perfect rolls.

3. Lightly punch down the dough and turn it out onto a lightly greased countertop. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces and form the dough into round balls. Place the rolls on a lightly greased baking sheet about an inch or two apart. Cover the rolls with lightly greased plastic wrap without pinning the plastic wrap under the baking sheet. This is to allow the rolls to fully rise. Let the plastic wrap gently hang over the sides of the pan to fully cover the rolls but not press them down. Let the rolls rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Bake for 12-14 minutes until lightly browned and cooked through.

As soon as the aroma starts to fill your kitchen, this is the moment when you just cannot wait to take the rolls out of the oven and have your first bite…though it is advisable to wait until it cools down slightly.

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It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would have been to make these rolls. Thanks to Mel, I think this could be my new found favourite. These gorgeous, golden bread rolls not just look good but taste delicious.

Do you have a favourite bread roll recipe?

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Fruit and Nut Loaf

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As beneficial as it is to have carrot sticks for morning tea, if I am given a choice between carrots and raisin toast, I would choose the latter. Don’t get me wrong, I love carrots but I think most people would agree that a slice of warm raisin toast with butter makes a great accompaniment to your favourite cup of tea or coffee.

Just so happen that I didn’t have much planned for the day, what better to way to spend time in the kitchen making bread! We do have a bread machine but at times I enjoy kneading the bread myself. I didn’t have much raisins in the pantry but with other ingredients available I am sure I can make something else. So, Fruit and Nut loaf it is…

Fruit and Nut Loaf
(Adapted from The Australian Women’s Weekly)

Ingredients

2 teaspoon dry yeast
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoon warm water
160 ml warm milk
1 cup plain flour, sifted
1 egg, beaten lightly
2 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind
1 cup plain flour, sifted (extra)
1 cup wholemeal flour (extra)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
100 gram butter,softened
1/4 cup sultanas
1/4 cup dried fruit mix
1/4 cup dried figs, chopped
1/4 cup slivered almonds, roasted

For topping
A bit of milk for brushing
Mix 1 tablespoon sugar with 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Method

1. Combine yeast, 2 teaspoon of the sugar and water in a large bowl, whisk until yeast has dissolved. Whisk in milk and the first cup of sifted plain flour. Cover and leave it to stand in a warm place about 30 minutes or until mixture is frothy.
2. Stir in egg and rind, then the extra cup of plain and wholemeal flour, salt, cinnamon and remaining sugar. Stir in butter, fruit and nuts. Knead dough on floured surface until smooth. Place dough into greased bowl; cover and leave it to stand in a warm place until dough has doubled in size.
3. Preheat oven to 220°C/200°C fan-forced oven. Oil 14cm x 21cm loaf pan, line base with baking paper.
4. Turn dough onto floured surface, knead until smooth and place it into the pan. Cover loosely with greased plastic wrap and leave it to stand again in a warm place for about 30 minutes or until the dough has risen slightly. Remove plastic wrap.
5. Brush dough with milk, sprinkle with combined sugar and cinnamon. Bake for 10 minutes and then reduce oven temperature to 180°C/160°C fan-forced; bake further 35 minutes. Turn baked loaf onto a wire rack to cool.

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That’s it. Toast sliced bread under a hot grill and serve it with butter or cream cheese. Also good for afternoon snack!

If you are not rushing to go anywhere, I would suggest you try this recipe. If there is any left, it keeps well in the freezer too. Just slice and wrap them in pairs before freezing.

Good luck!

What is your favourite morning or afternoon snack?

Traditional Scones

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What better way to kick off the blog with my very first batch of scones. I love scones and I am sure a lot of people can relate to that. I always thought that you ought to have special skills to bake scones but I was told that it is not that hard. Well, if I can make them, surely anyone can.

It was a day out at a friend’s house where we girls get together and stitch! What a great excuse to bring along some fresh, homemade scones. I know there are a number of scones expert out there but this is how I made mine…quick and easy. Literally, in just a few minutes they were out from the oven and seconds later they were in the car with me. The smell of freshly baked scones filled my car, what a pleasant drive. The scones were still nice and warm by the time I arrived. The girls enjoyed them as much as I did…deliciousness!!

Traditional Scones
Makes about 20

I served them with fresh-whipped cream and raspberry jam

Ingredients

4 cups self-raising flour
2 tablespoon sugar
60 gram butter
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup water (approximately)

Method

1. Preheat oven to 220°C/200°C fan-forced oven. Grease tray.
2. Sift flour and sugar into a large bowl; rub in butter with fingertips resembling fine breadcrumbs.
3. Make a well in centre of flour mixture; add milk and most of the water. Use a butter knife to mix through the mixture. Add more water if mixture is not moist enough. Knead dough on floured surface until smooth.
4. Press dough into 2cm thickness. Dip a 5cm round cutter in flour, cut as many rounds as you can from the dough. Place scones on tray, about 1cm apart.
5. Gently knead rest of dough and repeat process. Brush tops with milk, bake for about 15 minutes or until scones are just browned.

So, when was the last time you baked some scones? Appreciate your comments.

Enjoy!

 

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