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!

Ciabatta?? They are slippers …

Imagine they are on your feet … lol *o*

Süßes Nussbrot (Sweet Nut Bread)

Love it. Never imagine that rum, hazelnuts and sweetness can be such a  perfect match. Not to mention the bread also has a soft crumb and is packed with lots of hazelnuts …  Great sweet treat.

It’s easy to make – 2-hour sponge plus 1/2 hr first and final fermentations. Yet I think it is better to finish eating on the first day to enjoy a soft crumb because of the short fermentation time.

Thanks Bäcker Süpke for the recipe, also his son for translation! : )

Süßes Nussbrot( Sweet Nut Bread) – Make two 800g loaves

(I modified the steps a bit, since I am not sure of some German/ translations, the bread is fine anyway)

  • The day before:
  • Toast 300g of hazelnuts and chopped into about 8 portions for each (otherwise it’s hard to stick them to the dough as there are many. I skipped the hot water compared with the original recipe)
  • 100g toasted walnut soaked in 50ml of rum
  • Sponge:
  • 300g T55 flour (I used King Arthur)
  • 280ml milk
  • 17g instant dry yeast or 50g fresh yeast
  • Mix and leave for 30-60 mins, until it at least doubles under 24°C (my dough was cold so I left it longer for 2 hrs)
  • Dough:
  • 300g T55 flour
  • All of the sponge
  • 60 g sugar
  • 60 g egg
  • 100 g butter
  • 6 g salt
  • Vanilla (I forgot!)
  • Mix until almost full gluten development. Then mix in the nuts. 1st fermentation for 1/2 hr.
  • Shape the dough . Final fermentation 1/2  hr.
  • Slash the dough. Bake with steam at 180°C. Then lower to 170°C for 45 mins.

Bäcker Süpkes’ Joghurt Brötchen (Yogurt Bread)

I love the taste of multi-grain bread. However it always comes with a dense crumb and I wondered whether there can be one with more opened texture. This bread is the right choice. Thanks Bäcker Süpke for the recipe!

The yoghurt in this bread has created the soft and open crumb. A website said it acts like Vitamin C or absorbic acid to give a boost to the dough. The milk in the yogurt also extends shelf life.

Notwithstanding, the crust is quite hard. Maybe it’s the bread crumbs on the crust and I will skip them next time!

Bäcker Süpkes’ Joghurt Brötchen (Yogurt Bread) (original recipe in German. I have tranlated by Google)

Make 30 small rolls

Soaker:

*70 g cracked rye
* 145 g cracked spelt
* 36 g salt
* 215 ml very hot water

Pore water into the the salt and seeds. Mix, cover and wait for at least 4 hrs.

Sponge:
* 280 g wheat flour 550 (I used King Arthur All Purpose)
* 1 g fresh yeast (I used a pinch of instant yeast)
* 280 ml of cold water

Mix the ingredients. Cover and ferment at room temp. for 2 hrs. Put in fridge for at least 16 hrs.

Dough:
* 890 g flour 550 (I used King Arthur All Purpose)
* 70 g rye flour 997 (I used Dove Whole Grain Rye)
* 75 g sunflower seeds
* 140 g pumpkin seeds
* 75 g sesame seeds
* 75 g flaxseed
* 55 g fresh yeast
* 220 g yoghurt
* 400 ml water

Slightly toast the seeds (can use other kinds of seeds).

(Dan Lepard’s kneading method) Mix all the ingredients, cover and wait for 10 mins. On a slightly oiled surface, knead for 10 secs. Cover and wait for 10 mins. Knead for 10 secs again. Repeat the fermentation and kneading process for 2 more times. Then ferment for around 30 mins until the dough is about double in size.

Cut the dough into squares (about 95g each). Moist the surface with water and roll onto some bread crumbs.

Final fermenation for about 40 mins until almost double in size.

My baking temperature is 220c with steam for 30 mins.

WBD 09 – Vermont Sourdough with Increased Whole Grain

This recipe is from Jeffrey Hamelman’s “Bread”, a sourdough made of flour, salt and water only, and no commercial yeast. A “pure” bread that I like the most.

There is another Vermont Sourdough recipe in Hamelman’s book using 10% rye and 15% starter, and this one is increased to 15% and 20%. According to the book, the increased rye provides more fermentable sugar and minerals to the yeasts in the levain. In addition to the increased levain, this bread is more acidic than the Vermont Sourdough. Since acidity has tightening effect on gluten structure, the crumb of this bread is tighter, chewier, and more elastic.

In terms of taste, this version is sweeter and more tang to me. Definitely I prefer this one more.

I’m submitting this beloved bread to World Bread Day 09. Happy Anniversary! : )

Make 1 Loave

Ingredients:

Liquid-Levain Build

Bread flour 91g (I used King Arthur All Purpose)

Water 113g

Mature culture (liquid) 18g

Final Dough

Bread flour 295g

Whole-rye flour 68g (I used Bob’s Red Mill Dark Rye)

Water 181g

Liquid Levain 204g

Salt 8.5g

1. Mix ingredients for liquid levain build. Cover & let stand for 12-16 hours at 70F.

2. When the levain is done, mix all ingredients except the salt of the final dough to medium consistency. Cover and let stand for autolyse for 20-60mins.

3. Sprinkle in salt and mix for another 1 1/2 -2 mins.

4. Bulk fermentation for 2 1/2 hrs. Fold after 1 1/4 hrs.

5. Shape the dough. Final fermentation for 2 to 2 1/2 hrs (or retard for 8 hrs at 50F, or up to 18 hrs at 42F)

6. Bake at 460F for 40-45 mins with normal steam.

Roasted Hazelnut and Prune Bread

I didn’t bake bread for more than 2 months now. I’m happy to see that my natural yeast is still alive. I fed it three times before baking the bread (including preparing the stiff levain build) and on the second time it became several times bigger .. wow.. it must be starved : P

The recipe is from Jeffrey Hamelman’s “Bread”, my second time to bake the bread. It calls for both bread flour (I used King Arthur All Purpose Flour) and whole wheat flour. However I found out my whole wheat flour was expired just when I wanted to prepare the dough, hence I replaced it with Bob’s Red Mill’s Dark Rye (the other flour I only had).

The texture of the bread is tighter than using whole wheat. Also the taste of rye was not strong enough. Maybe I should use rye sourdough instead of white one if I have it? Or ferment the dough for longer time without the commercial yeast? Anyway the original version with whole wheat flour does taste very good, especially the roasted hazelnut and prune, the deep flavor is good to enjoy in autumn. There is also 5% butter in the bread, which makes it softer and more flavourful. My baked bread always have darker crust, but I like it this way. : )

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.

BBD#21 – Genzano Potato Pizza

Happy 2nd anniversary to Bread Baking Day! I would love to celebrate the big day with this delicious Genzano Potato Pizza.

The theme for WBD is pizza this time. I wanted to try something interesting, and this recipe from Daniel Leader is exactly what I want. The pizza does not have tomato and cheese like general ones. It is thin & crispy, has a deep potato flavor and most importantly a sharp note from the sea salt.  Perfect to enjoy with cold beer ;) .

Something to note is I used King Arthur All Purpose flour instead of high gluten indicated in the recipe. Hence the dough did not have full gluten development as it’s very wet. Also the recipe said the dough should be 1/2 inch thick in the sheet pan, but mine was only 1/4 inch. The recipe didn’t mention the size of the sheet pan. I looked on the web and found mine is a quarter size one (9-1/2 x 13 inch). So I made 1/4 of the recipe. I am not sure if anything was wrong with this. Anyway the pizza is good enough as it is crispy which is how it should be.

The recipe is adapted from Daniel Leader’s “Local Breads”. I found the blog “Hungrig in San Francisco” also posted the recipe, so I am not typing it again.

Now I’m submitting this to BBD#21. Enjoy & Cheers!

Orange and Mint Loaf

This is a delicious loaf from a recipe by Richard Bertinet. The crumb is very soft and moist, enriched, and has a hint of refreshing orange and mint flavor. Before making it I wondered if bread with mint would taste good. Now I found that the mint has merged with the orange nicely, and goes very well with the bread. The taste is refreshing. I like it. It’s suitable for summer.

Yea, summer has come. I want to make more soft bread or breads with fruits in the coming days. Something more citrus, appetizing and colorful. : )

Love these little cuts on the crust.

Tender!

Recipe adapted the book “Dough” by Richard Bertinet. For steps please follow Gourmet.com .

Makes 1 loaf

Basic Sweet dough

125g full fat milk

7g commercial yeast

250g strong bread flour

30g unsalted butter at room temperature

20g caster sugar

5g salt

1 large egg

Addition

1/2 brunch of fresh mint (I used 3 sprigs)

Zest of 1 large orange

1/2 tablespoon Cointreau

1/2 egg beaten with a pinch of salt for an egg wash

Flour for dusting

A little butter for greasing

Sunflower Seed Rye

Love this! Different from last time, the sunflower seeds were toasted beforehand this time, and definitely has made the bread much nuttier. Couronne shape of the bread has increased the crust to crumb ratio. The rye, toasted seeds and high amount of crust resulted in a strong taste and went very well together, and filled the mouth with a long finish even with a small piece. It really impressed me how the shape of a bread will affect its taste. Yet I still need more practice for better shaping the dough!!

Recipe from Peter Reinhart’s Bread Baker’s Apprentice

Makes 1 pound loave

Firm Starter:

33g 100% hydration levain

38g unbleached high gluten or bread flour

17g water

Mix and ferment at room temp. for 4 hrs, until doubles in size. Then fridge overnight.

Soaker:

80g coarse whole-rye (pumpernickel-grind) flour or rye meal

85g water, at room temperature

Mix and soak at room temperature overnight.

Dough:

78g firm starter (take out  1 hr beforehand to get off the chill)

127g unbleached high-gluten or bread flour

5g salt

2g instant yeast

56g-85g water, lukewarm (90F – 100F)

1/4 cup toasted sunflower seeds

1) Mix the ingredients except the seeds, adding water slowly to adjust the dough consistency. Knead for 4 minutes. Then add the sunflower seeds. Knead for extra 2 minutes until the dough passes window pane test. Avoid over-knead to prevent the dough from turning gummy with rye.

2) Bulk fermentation: 1.5 hrs until doubles in size.

3) Shape into couronne. Final fermentation: 1-1.5 hrs untnil 1.5 times in size.

4) Preheat the oven to 500F. Bake at 450F after steam for 10 minutes. Then lower to 425F and bake until golden brown for extra 15-25 minutes.

5) Cool completely before serving.

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