Showing posts from 2010

Whole wheat sandwich bread (Pullman loaf)

Perhaps it is related to my mild OCD, but there is something extremely satisfying for me to make perfectly square sandwich bread. I bought these loaf pans -- usually called Pullman Loaf pans -- from Amazon but have been too lazy to calculate the exact dough size and recipe for it until this weekend. It makes a nice 4"x4"x13" loaf. I have been baking bread off and on for the last year or so. So far the use of water roux starter (Tang-Zhong, 湯種) is by far the best way to make pillow-like soft bread that stay soft for days while using only a small amount of butter. This is a method very popular in Japan and Taiwan, and probably pacific Asia in general. It probably has something to do with the fact that very few traditional Western recipes feature doughs made with hot water, while many traditional Chinese recipes called for the use of hot water in dough making. (Actually the only Western recipe I can think of is Pate a Choux) The hot water gelatinizes the starch molecules …

Chinese pan fried stuffed buns 豬肉白菜餡餅

I just came back from visiting my friend S and her family in San Francisco. She has a lovely live-in nanny/cook/cleaner from Shanghai and she cooked up many Chinese dishes over the 2 days when I was there. Pan fried stuffed buns were one of them. These are actually easier than regular steamed buns because no yeast rising is required. The dough is made with a lot of hot water, which makes the dough very pliable with very little gluten formed. I made the stuffing out of pork, scallions, and napa cabbage. This is definitely a good way to stretch a little ground pork into a meal and to sneak in a lot of vegetables for those meat lovers.

Hot dog buns or pigs in a blanket?

These are such guilty pleasures. I know hot dogs are probably not the most healthy food on this planet, but they sure taste good. I think the Chinese bakers took the idea from pigs-in-a-blanket when they made up this bread. The dough is again the typical Chinese sweet dough, enriched with butter, milk powder, and eggs. The hot dog is cut up into little chunks. Come to think of it, corn dogs are another guilty pleasure of mine...I used half whole wheat pastry flour, and the hot dog was made by Applegate Farm from organic grass-fed beef that had no antibiotics and growth hormones, etc. So it is not THAT bad...

大家都吃過熱狗麵包吧? 雖然知道這熱量超高又超多添加物的複製產品對身體不好, 但是甜甜的麵糰配上它跟酸甜酸甜的番茄醬還真搭呢! 而且我這是在家製作的麵包, 用的是一半的全麥麵粉, 而熱狗也是標記完全以草為飼料, 無荷爾蒙, 無任何抗生素或生長激素的有機牛肉. 還稍微安心啦!

Making ham and cheese bread

Everyone who grows up in Taiwan knows this style of bread -- golden brown on the outside, slightly sweet, soft, and incredibly tender on the inside. This is why I was a bit shocked when I first encountered European style bread with the hard crust and chewy interior. There are reasons to like both styles. But the Asian style bread is very popular and indeed versatile for many variations. It can be used to make savory treats like this one with ham and cheese. But more often it is used to encase red bean paste, sweet ground peanuts, and other sweet stuffings. There are quite a lot of different recipes for this dough, but the main ingredients always include flour, yeast, sugar, water, butter, and milk powder. Not sure why the milk powder, but it is a common ingredient in Asia. Many of the recipes call for "starters" or pre-ferment, which basically requires the making of some of the water and flour and yeast 1-2 hours in advance, before adding the rest for another cycle of mixing…

Rombo - roasted whole striped bass

I had the dish "Rombo" when I was in Venice this year. It is a roasted whole turbot, with potatoes, tomatoes, and olives. It was so fresh, simple and delicious. My boss pointed me to this recipe after we returned to the US, and I made it for Christmas Eve. It is so easy and is a one-pan dish. I got a live striped bass from Chinatown so the fish was super fresh. The recipe is from Bon Appetit.