World Bread Day 2012 – Cantonese Salty Rolls (咸卷)

World Bread Day 2012 - 7th edition! Bake loaf of bread on October 16 and blog about it!I was thinking what sourdough I would like to bake to participate in the World Bread Day today, and I finally determined to bake these Salty Rolls (咸卷) instead. Besides Bo Lo Bao and Cocktail Buns, these bread rolls are also one of the several iconic breads in Hong Kong, and you can easily find them in Hong Kong’s local bakeries or Cha Chaan Teng. As the name goes they are more salty and buttery in taste. I’m thinking they are possibly adapted from Western white bread/roll formulas and re-formulated according to our local taste.

They also have other names including 軟豬仔包 (soft piggy rolls?) and 芝麻卷 (sesame rolls). Below is a recipe I learnt from a Cantonese bread class few years back. Have a try and let me know if you like them. Happy World Bread Day! :)

Recipe (makes 6)

Bread flour 200g 100%
Water 130g 65%
Butter 20g 10%
Sugar 10g 5%
Milk powder 6g 3%
Salt 4g 2%
Yeast 3g 1.5%
Egg wash (optional, I have skipped in mine)
White sesames (optional, for sprinkling on top)

1) Mix the ingredients and knead the dough until full gluten development.

2) 1st fermentation until double in size (1-1.5hr)

3) Form into 6 rolls

4) 2nd fermentation until double in size (1hr)

5) Brush the rolls with some water or egg wash, sprinkle the sesame seeds

6) Bake at 180C for 15 mins, serve warm

3 Kinds of Chinese New Year Cakes

Haven’t posted for a while. I still haven’t bought a new oven since my last one was broken down. I’m still interested in eating all those high carb food though. The Chinese New Year has just come and I’ve made 3 kinds of Chinese New Year steamed cakes today. They are Chinese Turnip Cake (left), Sticky Cake in the shape of Variegated Carp, and Water Chestnut Cake (top).

Cake in Cantonese/Mandarin pronunciation is the same as “high” in the same language. Therefore we have these cakes meaning for a better life in the new year.

Happy Chinese New Year guys!

World Bread Day – Sheng Jian Bao (Pan-Fried Bun, 生煎包)

Bread can be “cooked” in different ways. It can be baked, steamed, grilled, cooked in a tandoor, etc. Do you know it can also be cooked with a pan? Some of you might know pita can be cooked with a frying pan. Below is a Chinese bun which is cooked with a pan too.

Basically it’s a the dough of steamed bun, pan-fried for a minute at the beginning and then added with water to cook the bun. Therefore upper part of the bun tasted like a steamed bun while the bottom is crispy to give a tasteful texture. It’s usually filled with vegetable and minced pork inside.

My oven is broken down (!) and hence I prepared this pan-fried bun to celebrate the World Bread Day 2011. Do you know any other ways to “cook” a bread? :)

Would like to submit it to YeastSpotting too.

Cheers!

RECIPE (MAKES 12)

Adapted from a dim sum class that I took in www.masterwhy.com

Buns

Flour 160g (the chef taught me there’s a kind of flour used for making Chinese buns which the protein is lower than bread flour but higher than cake flour, and not exactly the same as all purpose flour. The common one is in this link. Or you can look for other brands in China town that are used for making buns)

Sugar 16g

Yeast 2g

Baking powder 2g

Water 80g

Filling

Minced pork 80g (the pork is minced with a chopper by myself. Also it’s better to have about 1/4 fat inside which would help the filling taste juicer. The fat should be cut into small dices and mixed to the minced lean pork)

Salt 1/2 tps

Rice wine 1/2 tps 

Pak Choi 80g (cut into dices. Cooked with boiling water for 20 secs. Drained. Wait till cool and use your palms to squeeze out extra water. This helps softening the vegetable and avoids breaking the dough during wrapping)

Sugar 3 tps

Corn starch 2 tps

Water 60g

Others

Spring onions, Toasted sesame seeds (for sprinkling on the buns)

To prepare the buns:

1) Mix all the ingredients until smooth. A window pane test is not required

2) Rest for 20 mins (no need double in size. Just wait until the dough is relaxed)

To prepare the filling:

1) Mix all the ingredients except water and pak choi

2) Add the water slowly in 5 times. After adding the first 1/5 of water, mix the pork mixture and water with a pair of chopsticks in circular motion until the water is absorbed. Continue until all water is added.

It might look too much water at the beginning but it will all be absorbed by the mixture at last.

3) Add the pak choi

4) Place the filling in refrigerator for at least 30mins and the mixture will be firmer

To fill the buns: 

1) Roll the dough into a log and cut into 12pcs

2) Press or roll the small dough into a flat one of 8cm diameter

3) Place 1 tps of filling onto the dough

4) Wrap up the dough (as below video which I found from YouTube)

5) 2nd fermentation is not needed

To pan fry the buns: 

1) Heat a frying pan. Add some oil

2) Place the buns to the pan. Each of them should have 1-2 cm spacing between as the buns would be bigger after cooked

3) Pan fry for 1 min. Bottom should look crispy at this moment

4) Add water to the buns to reach 1/2 of the height of the buns. Wait until the water is boiled

5) Cover with a lid until cooked at medium heat

6) Sprinkle with spring onions and toasted sesame seeds

7) Serve & Enjoy!





Rice Dumplings for the Dragon Boat Festival

I like traditional food. Yesterday I’ve made some rice dumplings which are traditionally eaten during the Dragon Boat Festival (celebrated on the 5th of the fifth month of the Chinese calendar, which is on 6th Jun this year).

There is story about the rice dumplings that their origin was to prevent fish eating the poet Qu Yuan’s body, who drown himself in river for failing to prevent his king against the expansionism by the other State during the Warring States Period.

Anyway, I think rice dumpling is decent, beautiful and delicious as food itself. There are different recipes and wrapping methods in different places of China, as well as both savory and sweet versions. Below is a simple and delicious savory recipe that I like.

Rice Dumpling (Zongzi) (makes 20 small / 10 large dumplings)

Ingredients

Glutinous rice 500g

Split mung beans (i.e. green beans) 250g

Pork belly 250g

Duck egg yolks 10pcs, cut in half for small dumplings

Dried bamboo leaves – 20 large pcs or 40 small pcs

Hay straw 10 pcs or 20 pcs (1 for each dumpling)

Marinate for pork belly: 1 tp salt, 1/2 tp five-spice powder

Marinate for glutinous rice: 2 tps salt, 2 tbps peanut oil

Marinate for mung beans: 1 tp salt

Steps:

1. Soak glutinous rice in water for 4 hours. Drain and mix with the salt and oil

2. Soak mung beans in water for 2 hours. Drain and mix with the salt

3. Cut the pork belly into 20pcs. Marinate with salt and five-spice powder for 2 hours

4. Soak to soften the dried bamboo leaves in hot water for few minutes

5. Wrap the dumplings as below video.

For large dumplings, put 2 tbps glutinous rice, 1 tbp mung beans, 2 pcs pork belly, 1 whole duck egg yolk, and further 2 tbps rice and 1 tbp beans, then wrap up.

For small dumplings, put 1 tbp glutinous rice, 1/2 tbp mung beans, 1 pc pork belly, 1/2 whole duck egg yolk, and further 1 tbp rice and 1/2 tbp beans, then wrap up.

6. To cook the dumplings, covered and boil the large dumplings in hot water for 3 hours, and small dumplings for 2 hours. The water would be absorbed by the glutinous rice quickly, hence will need to add additional hot water to the pot every 20-30 mins.

7. Serve hot with soy sauce or sugar! Yum!

Bo Lo Bao (Pineapple Bun, 菠蘿包) – World Bread Day 2010

The most well-known bread of Hong Kong, Bo Lo Bao represents our food culture and how we interprets bread in this city. “Bo Lo” is the Cantonese of pineapple, wheareas “Bao” is bread. This bread features a golden pineapple-like pattern pastry on top, and therefore the name. Is there pineapple inside? No! It’s no surprise the name of Chinese food or dishes sometimes may be a metaphor of something else. The name “Mooncake” is one of the examples.

Bo Lo Bao is a product of “East meets West”. One common story about the origin was people wanted more from traditional western style buns, and hence used sugar, egg, shortening, flour etc and created a pastry for the top. This bread has a crispy top, soft crumb, golden color, enriched flavor and short fermentation time. It exactly tells our preference for a variety of characters in food at a quick speed. Because of the crispy crust and enriched flavor, this bread is also suitable to serve hot or warm. I do appreciate the creativeness and originality of this bread, and I like it when I want something savory. Notwithstanding our culture is used to have soft, warm and savory bread, it is not easy for people to pay more attention to an authentic sourdough. Um, let’s hope time will change this!

This Cantonese bread will go to the World Bread Day. I would also like to submit it to Yeastspotting. Enjoy! :)

Recipe (makes 6)

Sweet buns

Bread flour 200g

Sugar 53g

Instant yeast 8g

Milk powder 13g

Water 100g

Egg 23g

Shortening 23g

Salt 4g

Egg wash

Knead all above and ferment until double in size (about 45 mins). Divide in 6pcs and shape into buns. 2nd fermentation until double in size for about 45 mins

Crust topping

Cake flour 45g

Sugar 25g

Shortening 15g

Butter 3g

Egg 5g

Milk powder 5g

Baking ammonia 1g (I used approximately 1/5 tp)

Baking soda 1g (I used approximately 1/5 tp)

Baking powder 1/8 tp

Mix all of the above and divide into 6 portions. Shape into balls. Afer the 2nd fermentation of the sweet buns, use your palm or a chopper to press the topping into thin round slices. Size would be slightly bigger than the diameter of the dough (refer to photo). Place on the dough and brush with egg wash. Use a toothpick to make crisscrosses on the topping. Bake at 200C for 16-17 mins until the top becomes golden brown. Serve warm.

(Recipe and last photo adapted from the book “Hong Kong Memorable Bakery”/ “回憶的味道-港式老包餅” by 黎力強)

Chinese New Year Dumplings 油角

I like dim sum and Chinese festival food, although they are fading as time goes.  I learnt to make some of them from a chef few years before, including the below Chinese New Year sweet dumplings.

I looked for the English name of the dumplings on the internet, and there were many versions: “Fried Triangles” (well they are not triangles), “crispy peanut puffs” (there are other fillings in these dumplings), “Yau Kok” (the Cantonese pronounciation), “Yau Jiao” (Mandarin version). I think we better standardize the English name in order to better promote these delicious food. I now will just call them “Chinese New Year Dumplings” which should be the easiest to remember.

These dumplings consists of a sweet filling wrapped in a piece of dough. They look similar to the savory ones but are sweet and deep fried. The dough is made of egg, sugar, flour, water and lard (or shortening), and let rest for a while before shaping. It’s similar to making a flaky pie crust, so you can imagine the texture of the dumplings is also similar. In the filling, there are sugar, desiccated coconut, peanuts and sesame seeds.

The dumplings resemble ancient Chinese gold ingots, hoping each other to make more money by giving them out or eating them. In the old times people would make them at home before Chiense New Year. It’s less common now. Luckily my brother likes them so I have a chance to make some.

Today is the day before Chinese New Year. Happy CNY!

Mooncake (月餅)

Mooncake

Today is the Mid-Autumn festival (中秋節), the second biggest Chinese festival besides the Lunar New Year. It’s on the 15th day of the eighth month of the Chinese calendar. This day the moon is the roundest and fullest. Traditionally it represents 團圓,which is to gather with your beloved ones to have dinner, enjoy the moonlight, play lanterns, etc.  Mooncakes symbolize the moon. We give out and share mooncakes to celebrate this day.

Below is the mooncake recipe. I learnt from a Chinese dim-sum chef 3-4 years before. The ingredients are quite different from western pastries. There are more photos of this recipe in Flickr . Hope you’ll enjoy. Happy Mid-Autumn!

Tool: plastic mould 膠模 (Traditionally we use wooden ones 木模. Plastic ones are convenient for moulding and storage)

Ingredients (10 small mooncakes):

a) Flour 40g (This 美玫麵粉 is the popular brand for making dim sum and mooncakes, with different ash and protein than general cake and bread flours)

b) Lyle’s Golden syrup 金獅糖漿 28g (don’t substitute with other brand as the acidity of the syrup will affect the result)

c) Peanut oil 13g

d) Food lye 食用鹼水 1/8 tsp

Lotus seed paste 蓮蓉 300g

Peanut oil (for lotus seed paste) 2 T

Salted duck egg yolks 鹹蛋黃 5pcs (divide into half)

Egg yolk 1pc

Steps:

1) Mix a) to d) which will be the crust. Rest for 30 minutes.

2) Divide the lotus seed paste into 10 portions. Put 1/4 tsp peanut oil in your hand. Fold the lotus seed paste in your palm. The oil will slowly be absorbed, and the lotus seed paste will soften a bit. Roll it into ball.

3) Wrap the duck egg yolk in the seed paste.

4) Sprinkle flour onto the counter. Roll the crust dough into a roll. Divide into 10 portions (9g each).

5) Sprinkle more flour on the counter. Flatten the crust dough. Big enough to wrap the seed paste with duck yolk. The dough will be very thin. Use a scraper to help taking it out.

6) Wrap the seed paste with duck yolk inside with the flattened dough.

(In flickr photos I used a quicker method in 3)-6) for wrapping but it’s hard to describe by words. The above method also works which is to wrap each part step by step)

7) Dust some flour to the plastic mould to avoid sticking. Put in the dough. Press on counter. The moulded mooncake will come out.

8 ) Bake at 180C for 6 minutes. Then take out. The crust should be hardened and set. Brush some egg yolk to the patterns.

9) Bake for an extra 7 minutes. You’ll notice the patterns are turned brown as in 1st photo above with the egg yolk on.

10) Rest the mooncakes at room temperature for at least 2 days. This is the process of 回油, where the mooncakes will absorb the oil from the lotus seed paste, and the crust will get shinier and tenderer.

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