I've been missing from blogging for the past few days...was busy...hmmm...with doing Nothing ;) Yes, I have let my oven and bread machine a good rest while I was busy with nothing in particular...unless you count watching Korean drama on VCDs as doing something :P
I tried making kaya with the bread machine...but it was a complete flop :'( couldn't really pin point what went wrong...except I could have used coconut cream instead of coconut milk, the kaya was not smooth at all, it looked like a bowl of scramble eggs, haha! I still didn't want to throw it away though...will keep it in the fridge until there's a need to clear space for other stuff!
Was deciding whether to give the chocolate swirl bread a second attempt, but was too lazy to do anything too complicated other than a simple loaf. I made this country-style wholemeal round instead.
Presenting my first rustic loaf!
I would usually make soft sweet bread as my kids don't really like rustic kind...they find them too hard, coarse and chewy. Nevertheless, I went ahead with this as I really wanted to give rustic bread a go. It was a rather straight forward bread with very basic ingredients, there's no eggs or milk added. It is also not written anywhere in the recipe that there is a need to spray water in the oven, to create steam for the bread...something I am still a little afraid to try, as I wasn't sure whether it is necessary...since my oven comes with a function that will diffuse vapour?
I used the bread machine to knead the dough for 20mins and left it to rise in room temperature. I must say, our weather here in Singapore, with a typical room temperature of 28~30 degC plus the high humidity all year round...is really good for rising bread. The dough would usually double the size within an hour. It was very easy to shape the dough as it was not sticky at all. After punching down the dough to knock out the gas, simply give it a few knead and then lightly flatten it before shaping it into a smooth round ball. The trick here is to shape the dough as if you were filling it with some fillings, and gather all the loose ends and seal them together. Let it proof for another 30mins before dusting it with some wholemeal four and making 2 long slits (I made 4 instead! wanted to make 3 but due to my wrong judgement, got to make 4 cuts to make the dough look balance), and it is ready to send into the oven.
I pinched out 2 small dough and had a little fun decorating them. With some cookie crisps, chocolate rice and chocolate chips, my kids and I made these two cute bears or do they look more like the horlicks doggies? I actually wanted to make them into piggies, but my younger son strongly disagree with the idea! It wasn't easy to stick the cookie crisps onto the dough as it was not sticky at all, and the chocolate chips fell off the noses while the rolls were baking in the oven. The rolls expanded in the heat and pushed the chips off. I managed to "patch" them up after the rolls were cooled ;)
The crust of the bread was crisp and I really like the "look and feel" of the rustic loaf, not forgetting the smell of the bread when it was fresh out of the oven. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the crumbs were rather soft and tender, the texture was very much like a slice of wholemeal sandwich bread.
Here's the recipe for the bread which I have taken from a Japanese-Chinese translated cookbook, 面粉点心大会串.
Ingredients(makes a 20cm round bread)
150g bread flour
150g wholemeal flour
1 teaspoon instant yeast
2 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
- Place bread flour and wholemeal flour in a mixing bowl and stir with a whisk to combine. I did this by measuring both types of flour in a plastic bag and then give a few shakes to mix the flours.
- Place all ingredients (according to the sequence as stated in your bread machine manual) in the bread pan and set the machine to the Dough setting. You can either leave the dough to proof in the machine, or let it proof in room temperature. If you are proofing the dough in room temperature, place it in a big mixing bowl, and cover it with cling wrap. Let is rise till double in bulk, takes about 1 hour.
- Remove dough from bread machine/mixing bowl. Knock out the dough and give a few light kneading. Gently flatten the dough and shape into a smooth ball. Place dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover with a damp towel or plastic bag and let it proof for another 30mins. Note that this time round, instead of cling wrap, you should cover the dough with plastic bag, as the cling wrap may stick onto the dough and prevent it from rising properly.
- Preheat oven to 180 degC. Dust with some wholemeal flour and make 2 long slits on the dough with a sharp knife. Bake for 30mins until the crust turns golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool on a rack.