Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Always Easy French Bread and Quick Roti John

For this post, I like to bake and cook something delicious that is EASY!

Is baking French bread easy? According to this recipe at Betty Crocker, this is the best, well-tested and most-trusted French bread recipe that can make easily at home. Nope!!! It is true that this Betty Crocker recipe is easy but the French breads that I baked with this recipe were tough and ugly with bubbly tops due to the brushing of egg white before baking.

Is baking French bread easy? It can be!!! Despite the failure of baking this Betty Crocker recipe, I like to fall back on this always simple and reliable crusty bread recipe from Delia Smith. I know that this recipe never fail me.

It is true that baking French bread can be easy but it can never be quick. From kneading to proving, shaping, second proving and baking, the total time required to bake decent French breads take more than 3 hours. After waiting for hours of French breads baking, I like to show you an easy and quick Singaporean way of enjoying French breads and it is to use them to cook Roti John.

Roti John? Roti in Malay language means bread and roti John is the crispy and savoury kind of French toast but particularly made with French bread and usually coated with eggs, minced meat and onions on only on the cut side of the bread.

I like to cook my roti John with the healthiest options and so I have used Alfa One trans fat free rice bran oil and lean chicken mince to cook mine.

quick easy chicken roti John
My healthy kind of Roti John made from scratch
First, I shaped dough into these medium long rolls.
Watch them "grow" and bake them.
Slice the breads into halves.
Easy, isn't it?
Smelling nice... Can't wait to eat these breads!!!
Next, I need some sweet chili sauce!

Here are the recipes that are mostly adapted from here and Mum Loves Cooking

Makes 4 medium sized rolls
350g bread flour, plus a little extra for the top of the bread
1/2 tbsp salt
1/2 tsp instant dried yeast
1/2 tsp caster sugar
220ml water, lukewarm at about 37°C

Place all ingredients in breadmaker and use "dough" setting to knead and prove the dough for 1 1/2 hr. 

If breadmaker is not available, combine flour, salt, yeast and sugar into a bowl, make a well in the center of the mixture, then add the water to form a dough. Transfer dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead it for 10 mins or until it is springy and elastic. Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover it with cling wrap and leave it to prove until doubled in size. about 1 1/2 to 2 hrs at room temperature.

Line one baking tray with baking paper and sprinkle a small handful of flour on the baking paper. To shape, divide the dough into 4 equal portions. Flatten each dough into rough square shapes and roll them to form medium long rolls and place their seam side downward. Dust the rolls with a thin layer of flour. Make 3 slits on the top side of each roll and allow the rolls to prove for another hr or until doubled in size.

Preheat oven at 230°C or 210°C fan forced. Bake the rolls for 10 mins. Without removing the rolls from the oven, lower the temperature to 200°C or 180°C fan forced and bake the rolls for another 5 mins or until they sound hollow when their bases are tapped. Transfer the rolls onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Cooks 8 medium pieces of roti John
200g minced meat, preferably lean chicken if you are health conscious
1 large onion, diced
3 eggs
1/4 tsp chicken stock granules, optional
salt and pepper to taste
4 small crusty French breads, sliced in the middle
adequate oil for cooking, preferably trans fat free oil if you are health conscious
sweet chili sauce, to serve

In a medium bowl, combine mince, onion, eggs, chicken stock granules, salt and pepper.

Using medium high, heat up a frying pan with about 2-3 tbsp of oil. Coat the cut side of the bread with tablespoonful of egg mixture and place the coated side onto the heated pan. Allow the bread to cook for 1-2 mins or until the omelette side is cooked and nicely browned. You can tell that it is ready when it is smelling really good!

Using a spatula, flip the bread over. Give the bread a press so that the crusty side will be cooked with the oil to become crispy. Cook until the bread is nicely browned and crispy.

Remove from the pan and slice the bread smaller if needed. Serve immediately with sweet chili sauce.

Happy Baking and Cooking

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  1. I liked the recipe.. I have already ordered the ingredients from Spice Market, waiting to make it a reality for eating.. I wish I just follow it properly and do it well. Thanks for it, it was worth reading.

  2. Ahhh, who doesn't know roti John, Malaysians I mean.. I like your healthy version of roti John, unique and I bet delisious as always.. My roti John? If I cook at home, it would be just onions (I love onions) and minced meat or sardines (depending on what I have in the fridge), scoop everything onto the bread, with fried bull's eyes, kekekekeke...

  3. Love the bread so perfectly made:) like the new version of roti john

  4. Oh just like always your breads (and other baked goodies) look perfect :)

  5. Aah..this is beautiful bread, Zoe. You are totally making me hungry!

  6. Roti John? Anytime I am keen to have this roti and I am never tired of it!

  7. I might to be able to just like the merely a great in addition to beneficial write-up. My partner and i significantly treasured the theory. Many thanks related to adding under about. Sustain modernizing further.

  8. Nice bread, I have read many recipes from your blog, very useful for me, I will make bread this weekend, thanks

  9. Perfection! thanks for the recipe..Excited!

  10. I really like your Roti john recipes, which is very unique to have in our breakfast or evening snacks. Thanks fro sharing it.