Thursday, January 12, 2012

"QQ" Cornflour Bread and Korean Buckwheat Noodles - Gifts from Lena

About two weeks back, Lena from Frozen Wings and I finally met!

Lena is my one of our bake-along buddies. We have never meet each other before and only know each other through blogging. A year back, Lena and I were follower of each other blogs and we were corresponding a lot, leaving our comments at our blog posts. In the midst of last year and my early bread baking days, I started writing to Lena to seek her advices in bread baking. Then, she invited me to be part of our bake-along team, all together with Joyce from Kitchen Flavours and now Joyce, Lena and I are great friends.

This is my first time face to face seeing Lena and I was very excited to see her. As I was waiting at the Flinders train station at Melbourne city, I was busy scanning around for any potential Lena-looking ladies. I kept asking myself "is this Lena?" or maybe not. When she arrived, I knew that this is her! I think this is funny because I sound like I was dating an online friend...LOL!

I was very comfortable chatting with Lena. I brought her to the well-equipped spice shop at Lygon and we had a nice lunch at a cafe, Brunetti. Lena has been very thoughtful to me and my family and gave me lots of gifts. Amongst all are these two cookbooks which I would like to cook and bake one recipe from each book to express my gratitude to Lena's generosity.

The meaning of "QQ" in Chinese term means chewy food with bouncy texture. This recipe, "QQ" cornflour bread is from the book, The Second book of Baking for Beginner by Carol. The recipes in this book are all written in Chinese and when Lena knew that my husband can translate these Chinese recipes for me, she decided to give me this book.

The addition of cornflour in this bread dough is meant to give the bread a little bouncy "QQ" texture but can cause the dough to have insufficient gluten strength to rise to a higher height. This recipe recommends 10 cm high Pullman tin but mine is 11 cm high and unfortunately, the bread dough just can't rise slightly higher to form a perfect square shape in my higher Pullman tin. Nevertheless, the bread is actually quite "QQ" with a nice buttery "brioche-like" taste.

At the same time, I've also cooked a nice and easy Korean spicy chilled buckwheat noodles for our family's dinner based on a recipe from the other book, Seoul Kitchen by Debbie Lee. I must admit that the sauce of this noodle dish is little too spicy for my son but my husband and I were happily enjoying it. Eventually, I had to prepare a non-spicy sauce but his non-spicy sauce is just not Korean enough.

"QQ" Cornflour Bread
delicious slices of "QQ" bread...
Notice that the bread in this book has a more compact texture with smaller pores than mine? I think my bread has reached its maximum height, resulting a fluffier bread with larger pores size.
My Korean Spicy Chilled Buckwheat Noodles
Cooking the noodles...

Here are the recipes of "QQ" Cornflour Bread and Korean Buckwheat noodles.
(with my slight modification in blue) 

"QQ" Cornflour Bread from The Second book of Baking for Beginner by Carol
(original in Chinese language, now translated to English)

This recipe make one 20 cm x 10 cm x 10 cm square toast bread.

250g Bread flout
50g Corn flour
1/2 tsp yeast
1 egg
20g sugar
1/4 tsp salt
30g butter, cut into small pieces
150ml milk

1. Place all ingredients (reserving 30ml of liquid and except butter) into a mixing bowl. Mix well. Add the reserving liquid slowly and mix well when adding until a dough has formed.

2. Add butter into the dough and mix until well-combined.

3. Knead the dough until it can be stretched to form a "window panel".

4. Shape the dough into a round shape and place it into a lightly oiled bowl.

5. Spray water onto dough surface and cover it with moist cloth. Prove in a warm place with high humidity for 60 min or until double in size.

6. De-gas dough on a lightly floured surface.

7. Divide dough into 2 (or 3), shape them into round shape and cover them with moist cloth and allow them to rest for 10 min.

8. Roll each divided dough into a flat oval shape and roll them up to form a log shape. Allow it to rest for 15 min.

9. Roll each divided dough to 35cm long and roll them loosely towards front. Place them with seam side down into lightly oiled baking tin.

10. Flatten the doughs slightly to ensure rising to same height of all doughs.

11. Spray water onto dough surface and prove for another 50-60 min or until the baking tin is 80% full.

12. Preheat oven to 210°C (or 190°C fan forced).

13. Place the cover of the tin when the baking tin is 90% full and bake for 38-40min.

14. Remove the bread immediately from baking tin when it was baked and allow it to cool completely on a wire rack.

Spicy Chilled Buckwheat Noodles from the other book, Seoul Kitchen by Debbie Lee


Serve 6
225 buckwheat noodles (naeng myun), dried or frozen
3 tbsp sesame oil
1 red onion, julienned (I didn't add this - we don't like to eat raw onions)
3 tbsp rice wine vinegar (I didn't add this)
1 tbsp granulated sugar (I didn't add this)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cucumber, julienned
1 Fuji apple, julienned
2 carrots, julienned

For Gochujang Vinaigrette:
4 tbsp chilli bean paste (gochujang)
3 tbsp honey
4 tbsp rice wine vinegar (replaced with normal white vinegar)
2 tbsp soy sauce
4 tbsp sesame oil (reduced to 1 tbsp)

3 eggs, hard boiled, peeled and halved
4 tbsp chopped spring onions for garnish (I didn't do that, instead I sprinkled some toasted sesame seeds.)

Half-fill a large stockpot with water and bring it to boil with a pinch of salt. Add the noodles, stirring occasionally with tongs to make sure the noodles don't clump and cook for 6 to 8 min if using dried noodles and 4 to 5 min if using frozen. As soon as the noodles are cooked, immediately run under cold water, stirring with the tings again to keep the noodles from clumping. Once the noodles are cool, drain and transfer to a mixing bowl. Drizzle with the sesame oil and toss so the noodles keep their elasticity.

In a small mixing bowl, combine red onion, rice wine vinegar, sugar and a pinch of salt. Toss well set aside. (I skipped this step.)

In a food processor, combine all ingredients for the vinaigrette except for sesame oil, and puree (I combined the ingredients with a hand whisk). Drizzle in the sesame oil, binding well to emulsify the vinaigrette. Return to the small mixing bowl and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the noodles, half of the cucumber, the apples and carrots and half the vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper and toss well, making sure to evenly distribute the ingredients. Arrange in the middle of a large serving bowl or divide into 6 bowls. Drizzle with additional dressing and top with this remaining cucumber and boiled eggs.

Sprinkle with spring onions (or toasted sesame seeds) and serve immediately.

Note: I've used half amount of the recipe and 250g noodles to serve three.

Thanks Lena! Nice to know you through blogging...

Happy Blogging, Happy Baking and Happy Cooking!
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  1. Zoe, just to let you know, 糯米粉 is glutinous rice flour, not corn flour. :) btw, Carol's book is a great book that many bloggers love! It must be fun to meet up with blogger friends, I can understand the 'dating' feeling, hehe...

  2. Thanks Hanushi!

    No wonder I wasn't getting the best result for this bread baking. It was all due to poor translation. I thought my husband can read Chinese or maybe not! LOL!

  3. Hehe, he did a good job in the whole recipe, maybe he just confuse this ingredient... :) I look forward to your retry n success!

  4. Hi Zoe! Both of these dishes look amazing. So cute that you met your blogging buddy in person. It must be a bit strange at first to finally meet face to face but I am sure your so familiar with each other that it felt like meeting an old friend.

    I am going to learn how to bake yeast breads this year so I will be coming to you for advice :) You have obviously come a long way because your bread looks perfect.

    The buckwheat noodles dish look amazing and right up my alley. I could eat something like that every day!

    Beautiful pictures as well :)

  5. Hi Zoe, your QQ Glutinous rice flour bread looks very fluffy even thou you use the wrong flour.
    Never mind give it a try again to get the correct texture.

    Likes what you write "dating feelings" so you must had a good times with Lena chatting like old friend? It's nice to meet up with blogger friends actually, I had personally so far meet 3 online friends. Few yet to meet but had spoken on the phone. So I know your dating feeling, LOL

  6. If you ever though about visiting Dubai, I will be glad to take you for a foodie day out :p I'll be your eating guide here :p

  7. Both bread and noodles looks fabulous..

  8. The bread and noodles look amazing!! I could probably eat all of it in one sitting!

  9. hi zoe, i was very excited to meet you that morning and i was late..and when i arrived at the flinders station, i saw a lady, a man and a kid and i know it must be you..though i cldnt really see your face at that time. thank you so much for bringing me to the spice shop and brunetti, actually when i went back to lygon the next day by tram, i actually thought how far we hv walked the previous wonder you kept asking me whether am i okay. oh, so i guess your husband must be guessing on some of the chinese words and bravo! you cooked! haha! now you can tell your husband that you can cook!! i would also like to try to cook buckwheat noodles one day..cheers!!

  10. That bread looks really good ! The photo from the book looks like the one I usually buy at the bakery , a tad dry , I might say :D I like yours much more better , the slices looks soft and as you described it , buttery , I guess partly because you used corn flour ;D

  11. The bake along buddies does sound like a lot of fun. I do have some rice flour and your picture of the bread does look delicious. Glad to see the correction above, because I do want to make this.
    The noodle dish also looks like a tasty one to put on the dinner table.
    Nice to find two delicious recipes in one post=thanks Zoe!

  12. Hi Zoe, It is great that you and Lena finally met! I saw the book by Carol too after reading about the rave reviews from bloggers, but it is foreign to me, LOL! I think that I should get it and have my hubby translate it for me too, but I have doubts over his translation, don't tell him! Perhaps our hubbies need to consult each other first! Hehehe! Your bread looks so soft and moist, perfect! And your Korean Buckwheat Noodles look so delicious! Look forward to more of your breadmaking and Korean yummies! Really sweet of Lena! :)

  13. Blogging connects people!Lucky you!Great recipe,dear!Kisses from sunny Greece!

  14. Loss in translation! Nevermind, next time you'll do a better job!

    Bread is certainly in my cooking list for this year, it's just that I'm still waiting for the right time to try. Actually, my so call "right time," is when I can have my own time for 1 day. But I'm afraid that my hubby won't be able to handle my 19mth old girl & 4.5yrs old son all by himself.

    Abt the noodle, it reminds me of the Jap cold soba.

  15. Wow, your bread looks delicious...I love baking bread, but get very frustrated because I do not read Chinese...there are so many awesome baking/cooking books in Chinese.
    Anyway, thank you for sharing this recipe, and hope you are having a wonderful week Zoe :-)

  16. Dear Zoe - I am saving this recipe, as I love to bake bread. Yours look perfect in my book :) I think it's very cool you got to meet your blogger - friend. Hugs!

  17. How fun!!! There is another food blogger in this city with whom I've become good friends...and another I'd love to meet. And thanks for sharing two fabulous dishes...those noodles look irresistible!

  18. So glad you've found friendship through blogging! It's a great place for like minded people to share cooking experience. I'd like to try this bread as I always wonder what QQ means!

  19. Wait! Hold on! I have never heard of cornflour bread and I love corn flour! That looks amazing- so moist and delicious

  20. Hiiii Zoe!!! feels like it's been a while, hope you had a great Xmas and NY and gearing up towards CNY now ;) ive been MIA lately...havent been spending much time online which has been refreshing somewhat!

    hahaha i had to smile at hanushi's comment above...! so funny ;) but at least you discovered another delicious recipe by accident :P

    ohh your buckwheat noodle recipe is making me salivate right now!!! im looking to get into more korean cooking this year :)

  21. That buckwheat salad looks great. I've been experimenting with buckwheat noodles lately too and I like the spicy sweet combination.

  22. Zoe, you are lucky to have found each other..great looking bread and I can see from the photo that you've achieved the 'QQ' texture! :D

  23. I also going to meet Lena very soon, hehehe..nice gifts she brought for you, who said blogging is not good, hahaha..

  24. Thanks everyone for your nice comments.

    I told my husband that we have been "lost in translation"! LOL! We will try again to translate better for the other Chinese recipes.

    I'm very lucky to meet a great friend like Lena. A few of my close friends have been encouraging me to explore different types of exotic cuisine. I would love to start by cooking simple Asian or Asian-Aussie fusion style cuisine. There is always so much for me to learn from everyone and blogging!

  25. mmm...I can imagine how delicious it would be to slurp those noodles up! great meal!

  26. I have met with just a few food bloggers including one coming from L.A. to Greece for vacations and it was so much fun. The bread looks very fluffy and that is how I like it. The noodles look delicious although I would definitely cut back on spices since I have a very sensitive stomach!

  27. I love all your breads! They always look so light and fluffy. And it's so exciting to see online friendships come to life. :)