Monday, March 27, 2017

Extremely Soft and Moist Bamboo Charcoal Bread

Bamboo charcoal bread?

Seriously, I don't really know why are we eating these ultra black breads. All because it is a trendy Asian food to eat??? I hope that you have not rolled your eyes on me! LOL!

Accordingly to Wikipedia, bamboo charcoal is made by burning bamboo that are five years or older in an 800-1200°C oven. What is the use of making bamboo charcoal? Well, most Asians believe that bamboo charcoal has excellent absorption properties and can remove bad odour and organic impurities. You know... Like any charcoal, bamboo charcoal is also commonly used to purify water.

I have seen and tasted many bamboo charcoal bread in Asia before but really ONLY A FEW are soft and moist enough to impress me! And I wonder why... Why are most charcoal bread dry and too hard to chew? No doubt that it must be the excellent absorption properties in bamboo charcoal that absorbs the moisture from the gluten making the bread tougher than usual??? For this reason, I clearly know that bamboo charcoal is a challenging ingredient to incorporate into bread.

I have been lurking around to find an ideal bamboo charcoal bread recipe for years... After trying several charcoal bread recipes from food blogs and internet, I must say that nothing beat this recipe!!! So unbeatable that I dare to say that THIS moisture-overloading bread recipe is the BEST that I have tried so far. No? Please tell me if you have tried any other charcoal bread recipe that is better than THIS...

soft moist bamboo charcoal bread
Extreme soft and moist Bamboo Charcoal Sandwich Bread

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Chinese Sesame Seed Spring Onion / Scallions Yeasted Pancakes 芝麻香葱烙饼

If you are familiar with northern China cuisine, I'm sure that you will know or maybe like the Chinese scallion pancakes which is commonly known as 葱油饼 (pronounce as cōngyóubǐng in pinyin). For those who don't know, 葱油饼 is a Chinese savoury pancake which folded with a generous amount of oil and finely sliced scallions or spring onions. It is characteristically made from a basic water and flour dough and typically not yeasted.

Instead of cooking 葱油饼 today, I'm cooking another different scallions pancakes and they are called 葱烙饼! Can you know or see the difference?

Unlike 葱油饼 (cōngyóubǐng), 葱烙饼 (cōnglàobǐng) is typically made with yeasted dough. Unlike 葱油饼 again, 葱烙饼 are usually larger like the size of a large pizza and are thicker with doughy and chewy center. What I like about laobing is they are crispy on their outside but never as oil-soaking like SOME youbing. I remember eating super oily youbing before... The badly cooked youbing are like dripping with oil. Ewww!!!

According to a Taiwanese food author, Carol Hu, the way to cook good laobing with crispy outside plus soft, spongy and chewy inside is to incorporate an overnight sponge dough and a cooked dough into a main pancake dough. Sound complicated??? Not really when you see how I cooked mine.

Chinese sesame seed spring onion scallions pancakes flatbread
Chinese sesame seed spring onion pancakes 芝麻香葱烙饼

Monday, March 20, 2017

Tenkasu Okaka Onigiri / Japanese Soy Bonito Rice Balls 天かす おかか おにぎり

THIS is my favourite onigiri!!!

These Japanese soy-flavoured rice balls are SO easy to make and SO delicious!

SO delicious that I always make these onigiri for me and myself only - LOL! ... whenever I have spare tenkasu after making Takoyaki (Japanese Octopus Balls) for my family. If you are interested in cooking Takoyaki from scratch at home, my best Takoyaki recipe is at here.

SO easy that I hope that you don't mind me sharing this nice and simple recipe with you...

tenkasu okaka onigiri Japanese soy bonito rice balls
Tenkasu Okaka Onigiri
(Japanese Soy Bonito Rice Balls)

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Crispy Butter Cookies

I love indulging in butter cookies and the only thing that is stopping me is my bulging tummy and my flabby thighs... LOL!

Nonetheless, the so-called-always-conscious me is not going to stop baking and enjoying my butter cookies... LOL! I keep reminding myself that life is short and an occasional indulgence is ok!

Yes that I love butter cookies. Throughout all my baking and blogging years, I have learned to bake many different fully-incorporated butter cookies... I mean butter cookies that are baked with maximum amount of butter and can't be loaded with extra butter any further!

Based on all that I have tried and tasted, my always number one best butter cookies is this recipe with no egg!!! ... even though the addition of egg yolk can help to stabilise the shapes of the cookies after baking.

Then, I have also derived three different types of fabulous melt-in-the mouth Nyonya butter cookies recipes at here and from these bakes, I have learned not to incorporate whole eggs into my butter cookies.

Most importantly, I have learned from my copycat Jenny bakery butter cookies baking experience at here that I can use canned butter and flour with higher protein content (not cake flour) to stabilise shapes of butter cookies after baking.

What now? Now, I want to bake butter cookies that are crispy... Crispy butter cookies that snap with a sharp cracking sound when you bite or break them. Nice, huh?

crispy butter cookies
Now proudly presenting... my crispy butter cookies!