Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Victorian Milk Bread

I learnt to bake bread a few years back and attempted the Victorian milk bread a couple of times by manually kneading the dough but without success. A few years later, after finally owning my own stand mixer, I decided to make another attempt on this bread.

Victorian Milk Bread
2 tsp dried yeast (add some milk to it)
1 tsp salt
300g milk
500g bread flour (sieved)
1.5 tbs sugar
(1) Make a well in the flour
(2) Put in salt first followed by some milk. Mix flour in and add milk slowly while mixing flour in.
(3) Halfway through, add in the yeast
(4) Continue to add remaining milk while kneading the dough by hand or by machine
(5) Add sugar
(6) Dough will be wet initially and it is also the indication that the dough requires more kneading. The dough is ready when it doesn't stick to the fingers.
(7) Cover with plastic foil and leave to raise for an hour
(8) Grease a baking tin
(9) Put the dough in the baking tin, cover with a damp cloth and leave it to proof for another 30 minutes
(10) Bake at 200°C for approximately 20 minutes
(11) When the bread is almost done, reduce the oven temperature to 180°C and bake for a few more minutes
* Put dough in a small bowl if you want to yield a bigger dough after proofing
* Yeast need sugar to react, therefore, add sugar last and slowly to the yeast
(+) Easy recipe for beginners
(-) Without the use of a stand mixer, it can be pretty tedious when manually kneading the dough
(=) Due to the high humidity in Singapore, the bread does not keep as long as in temperate countries. (=) It can at best be kept for 2 days with the same bread texture and taste
(=) Nevertheless, it is best eaten on the same day!

Apple Crumble adapted from The Sunday Times, Life!

Apple Crumble
For The Crumble
220g plain flour
140g sugar (I used about 100g sugar instead because it's simply too sweet for me)
120g butter chopped into cubes
For The Filling
5-6 Granny Smith apples
4 tbs sugar (I reduced it to 2 tbs sugar since the apples are already sweet after baking)
200ml water
1 tsp cinnamon
(1) Preheat oven to 180°C.
To make the crumble:
(2) Place the flour and sugar into a large bowl and mix well.
(3) Taking a few cubes of butter at a time, rub them into the flour mixture with your fingertips.
(4) Keep adding butter and rubbing until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
To prepare the filling:
(5) Peel, core and slice the apples into a large bowl. Sprinkle over the sugar and cinnamon. Stir well, taking care not to break up the fruit.
(6)Spoon the filling into an oval baking dish.
(7) Pour water over it.
(8) Sprinkle the crumble mixture on top, spreading it right up to the edges of the dish. Using the flat of your hand, press it down firmly all over - the more tightly it is packed together, the crispier it will be.
(9) Finish off by lightly running a fork over the surface to "crumble" the top.
(10) Bake in the oven for about 40 minutes until the crumble is browned and the fruit mixture is bubbling.
(11) Serve with ice cream.
(+) Easy to prepare and assemble.
(-) The quantity of sugar stated in the original recipe yielded a very sweet apple crumble.
(=) A foolproof recipe that is hard to fail and great for beginners!

Happy Birthday To ME!

This is one of my best birthday ever!

It's the first time that my dad sang the Happy Birthday song to me.

It's the first time I had two cakes for my birthday - on the very same day and both cakes were even bought at the same bakery!

Strawberry shortcake (top) and fruit cake (bottom) from Epi D'or

More cake treats from friends at Loola's by Awfully Chocolate. However, It was also awfully sweet and even with the four of us, we were having difficulties polishing it off!

Brownie (top) and hazelnut (bottom) cake slices

Nice lunch treat from The Supportive Spouse at Bedrock Bar & Grill

Medium-done striploin steak set lunch

Then there's the heartwarming birthday wishes from families and friends!

And to top it all off, nice presents too! I know I'm not supposed to show favoritism for one present over the other. But still, this is my favorite!