Friday, November 7, 2014

Walnut Cinnamon Swirl Bread 核桃肉桂麵包

I always get excited about learning, no matter if it is new knowledge, technology or, of course, new recipes.

Until recently, I did not know about this kind of bread, called Povitica. It is a Croatian sweet bread. For Croatians, Povitica is a very common gift between friends and families. This culture is very similar to gifting of mooncakes during Mid Autumn Festival for the Chinese.

Although Povitica is similar to cinnamon rolls here in America, it has its own characteristics. The dough needs to be rolled out as thin as possible and it does not need a lengthy second rise as in making regular yeast bread.

And the filling is decadent: lots and lots of ground walnuts with cinnamon and cocoa powder, all of my favorites. Perfect choice for the Holidays.

Please read the recipe and the notes at least once before you begin for best results.

我對於學習新的知識、科技及食譜都十分興奮,今次這款麵包對我而言是完全嶄新的,所以便第一時間與大家分享。它名叫Povitica ,出產於東歐的克羅地亞,當地人在喜慶日子便會互相送贈,與我們中國人在中秋節互送月餅一樣。



Recipe modified from Passionate About Baking

Ingredients to make a 9x5 inch loaf:

Dough 麵團:
280g/2 cups all purpose flour 普通麵粉
120ml/ ½ cup milk 牛奶
43g/3 tbsp sugar 糖
6g/1½ tsp instant yeast 即溶酵母
¾ tsp salt 鹽
1 large egg 大蛋
½ vanilla bean seed, optional 雲呢哪籽
30g/1 tbsp unsalted butter, softened 室溫無鹽牛油

Filling 餡:
280g/ 1¾ cups walnuts, ground 碎核桃
60ml/ ¼ cup milk 牛奶
58g unsalted butter 無鹽牛油
1 egg yolk 蛋黃
½ vanilla bean seed 雲呢哪籽
100g sugar 糖
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder 可可粉
1 tsp cinnamon powder 肉桂粉

1) In the bowl of a stand mixer, put all the dough ingredients except salt and butter and mix on low speed until no dry flour is seen.
2) Add salt and knead for about 5 minutes (10 minutes if you are kneading manually). Add butter and knead until incorporated.
3) Put the dough in a greased bowl and let it rise until it doubles in volume.
4) While the dough is fermenting, prepare the filling. Add milk and butter in a small pot and bring to a boil. In a large bowl mix the rest of the filling ingredients. Pour in the hot milk mixture and mix well. You should have a spreadable paste.
5) Lay out a large piece of cloth on a large work surface (I used a large, clean pillow case). Sprinkle flour on it.
6) When the dough is ready, take it out and roll it out on the cloth. Roll it out as thin as possible. When it resists and shrinks back, let it rest for 5-10 minutes and continue. 

7) Spread the filling on the thin dough.
8) Lift up the long side of the cloth and roll up the dough.
9) Oil a loaf pan and put the dough in. Cover and let it rest for 15 minutes.

10) While the dough is resting, turn on the oven to 350F.
11) Brush the dough with egg wash (whole egg, beaten). Bake the bread for 15 minutes, then lower the oven temperature to 300F and bake for 45 minutes.
12) Take the pan out from the oven and onto a rack. Let the bread stay inside the pan to cool for about 30 minutes.

13) Unmold the bread and continue to cool on a rack. Cut into thick slices with a serrated knife. Keep in room temperature for a few days or frozen for longer storage.

1) The dough has to be rolled out as thin as possible and baked immediately after a brief resting time.
2) A long baking time at a lower temperature is used to ensure the dough is properly baked through without browning too much.
3) Let the bread cool inside the pan after baking. The bread is heavy with all the filling. Taking it out while it is still hot may risk breaking it.
4) I strongly recommend using a large cloth for easy rolling of this long dough (over 2 feet).

1) 搓麵團:將麵團材料 (鹽及牛油除外) 混合成團,搓成球狀後加鹽,再用機搓約五分鐘,或手搓約十分鐘。再加牛油搓勻。
2) 蓋上保鮮紙待其發酵至一倍大。
3) 做餡料:牛奶及牛油放小鍋內煲滾,其他材料放大碗內攪勻,將熱牛奶倒入攪勻,待用。
4) 準備一塊大布(我用一個乾淨的大枕頭套),灑上麵粉。
5) 將麵團放布上,按扁後捍平,盡量捍薄。如麵團回縮,便讓它靜待幾分鐘,讓麵筋鬆弛,然後再捍。
7) 平均地塗上餡料。
8) 將布長的一方提起,使麵團卷起。
9) 小心地將卷起的麵團放入已塗油的焗盤。靜待十五分鐘。
10) 預熱焗爐至三百五十度。
11) 塗上蛋液後放入焗爐內焗十五分鐘,然後降低爐溫至三百度,焗多四十五分鐘。
12) 出爐後放架上待凉三十分鐘,之後小心脫盤,繼續放架上待凉,才可切厚片,然後放膠袋封可保存三、四日。如有須要可放冰箱。

1) 麵團要盡量捍薄,卷好後只須靜待十五分鐘後便要入爐,才會做出又薄又多層的效果。
2) 因有很多餡料,所以要用低溫及長時間焗以確保焗得熟及不會焗焦。
3) 焗後切記不要立刻脫盤,這款麵包比沒有餡的重,要待稍冷後才脫盤。
4) 用一塊大布對卷起這超過兩尺長的麵團有很大幫助。

Friday, October 24, 2014

Raspberry Tart with Almond Cream 紅桑子杏仁醬撻

Raspberry is often referred to as the king of berries. It is often used to make all kinds of yummy desserts. When it is paired with the other king of nuts--almond, it makes a superb tart.


Ingredients to make one 9" round or one 14"x4" rectangular tart:

one 9" Pâte Sablée Tart Shell (click here for recipe)

Almond Cream 杏仁醬:
70g almond flour 杏仁粉
70g powdered sugar 糖粉
70g unsalted butter, softened 室溫無鹽牛油
3/4 tsp cornstarch 粟粉
1 tsp cake flour 低筋麵粉
1 egg, large 大蛋
1 tbsp dark rum 朗姆酒
1/2 tsp vanilla extract 雲呢哪香油

250g/2 cups fresh raspberry 新鮮紅桑子
1/2 cup raspberry jam 紅桑子果醬

1)  Make the tart shell a day ahead. Line it on a tart ring or pan and poke holes. Keep it refrigerated until ready to bake.
2)  Preheat oven to 325F.
3)  Sift the almond flour, cornstarch, cake flour and powdered sugar in a large bowl.
4)  Put the soft butter, salt and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer. Use the paddle to mix for one minute in medium speed. Scrape the bowl and add the flour mixture. Mix for another minute.
5)  Add the egg and rum. Mix until incorporated.
6)  Take the tart shell from the refrigerator and fill in with the almond cream.
7)  Level the top and bake for 40 minutes or until the crust and the cream are golden brown.
8)  Let it cool completely and remove the tart ring or pan.
9)  Spread a thin layer of jam and arrange raspberries on top. Dust with powdered sugar right before serving, in room temperature.

1)  Do not over mix or beat in high speed when preparing the almond cream. If too much air is incorporated, it will puff up in the oven and collapse afterwards.
2)  Butter and egg must be in room temperature.
3)  The tart is best to be served the same day.

1) 一日前準備好撻底 ( 食譜 ) 放撻盤上,用叉戳孔。放雪櫃。
2) 預熱焗爐至325度。
3) 將杏仁粉、粟粉、低筋粉及糖粉過篩於大碗內。
4) 室溫牛油、鹽與雲呢哪香油放攪拌器內攪一分鐘,放已篩好的粉類,再攪一分鐘。
5) 加入蛋及酒,攪勻。
6) 倒入已準備好的撻內,放焗爐焗約四十分鐘至金黃色,取出待涼。
7) 除去撻盤,塗上果醬,再放紅桑子在面,食時灑上糖粉作裝飾便成。

1) 做杏仁醬時不要過度攪拌,以至過多空氣納入,入爐後受熱膨脹,出爐後便會塌陷。
2) 牛油與蛋用時一定要室溫。
3) 此撻最好即日食用。

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Purple Rice Bread 紫米麵包

If you are like me who eat bread on a daily basis, do you get bored with white toast or whole wheat bread? Here is something different: whole grain bread, not only with whole wheat flour, but also with rice.

This is my first time using rice to make bread. I should have made it earlier! It stays soft for 3-4 days in room temperature, just like tong zhong bread.

Purple rice is also called black glutinous rice or sticky black rice. It is one of the fragrant type of rice. Cook it in a rice cooker and cool before adding to the bread dough.


Ingredients to make a 13x4x4 inch loaf:

50g purple rice soak in water at room temperature for a few hours or overnight. Cook in a rice cooker with 100-125g water (or follow the package's instruction). Set aside to cool.

cooked purple rice
Sponge 麵種:
200g bread flour 高筋麵粉
275g water 水
3g instant yeast 即溶酵母

Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl. Cover and let it sit in room temperature for 1-2 hours or refrigerate overnight.


Main Dough 主麵團:
all the sponge from above 所有麵種
200g bread flour 高筋麵粉
100g whole wheat flour 全麥麵粉
25g sugar 糖
2g instant yeast 即溶酵母
100-150g cooked purple rice 煮熟紫米
5g salt 鹽
20g unsalted butter, softened 無鹽牛油

1) Put all the ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer, except salt and butter. Mix on low until it forms a ball. Add salt and knead for about 10 minutes. Add butter and knead until incorporated.

dough after kneading

2) Cover and let it rise in room temperature until it doubles in size.

dough doubles in volume after 1st rise

3) Divide the dough into three equal parts. Roll out each one and roll up.

4) Put into a greased pan with seam side down. Let them rise until they are about half an inch from the rim.

5) Bake in a preheated 350F oven for 35 minutes.
6) Take it out from the oven and remove from the pan. Cool on a rack completely before slicing.
7) Keep frozen for longer storage, otherwise put in a plastic bag at room temperature for 3-4 days. Do not keep in the refrigerator.

1) 先煮熟紫米,盛起待涼。
2) 做麵種:將麵粉、水及酵母攪勻,放室溫一至兩小時或雪櫃過夜。
3) 主麵團:將麵種、主麵團其他材料 (鹽及牛油除外) 混合成團,搓成球狀後加鹽,再用機搓約十分鐘,或手搓約十五分鐘。再加牛油搓勻。
4) 蓋上保鮮紙待其發酵至一倍大。
5) 將麵團分成三等份,滾圓然後捍長,跟着卷起,放入已塗油之焗盤內,再發酵至一陪大。
6) 放入已預熱至三百五十度之焗爐內焗約三十五分鐘。
7) 出爐脱盤後要待完全凉後,才可切片,然後放膠袋封可保存三、四日。切勿放雪櫃,如有須要可放冰箱。

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Banana Flavored Roll 香蕉糕

Glutinous rice balls, mochi, Chinese New Year steamed cakes and boba all have something in common. They are comprised of glutinous flour as the major ingredient. It is what gives them their chewy, gummy texture. Banana rolls are also one of these foods which fit the description. But it has a misleading name (just like bo lo bao/pineapple bao without pineapple). Anyhow, how I have missed this glutinous flour roll! Besides Hong Kong Style Waffle and Chinese Steamed Cake, this is my other favorite childhood snack.

It only has a few major ingredients--water, sugar, glutinous flour, and banana flavoring--but the right ratio is important to bring out the best texture. I have been searching and experimenting a long time for a good recipe. Some make it by steaming raw glutinous flour while others use cooked flour to make the roll without further steaming. The following recipe from another blogger has the best texture with the right ratio of glutinous flour, wheat starch, and tapioca flour and it is super easy to make.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Matcha Ice Cream 綠茶雪糕

Summer seems never end in Southern California. Mid Autumn Festival is over but it still has a few weeks before official Fall (Sept 23) arrives. This Asian flavor matcha ice cream is refreshing and full of green tea flavor. It greatly helps to relieve some summer heat.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Godiva's Chocolate Mooncake 巧克力月餅

The Mid Autumn Festival or August Moon Festival is the second most celebrated holiday in Chinese culture. If you live in an area highly populated with Chinese people, there will be some sort of celebration around this time of the year. This holiday, to the Chinese, is like Thanksgiving to Americans; the first thing that pops up in your head when it is mentioned is, most likely, food.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Custard Moon Cake 奶皇月餅

These exquisite moon cakes are created by innovative bakers from Hong Kong. A box of eight reportedly fetches almost HK$500 (~USD$65-70)!! The cake is filled with moist and rich custard with a nice coconut flavor. The recipe is straight forward but it takes some tricks and a lot of practice to create a nice and distinctive look.

I tried different recipes and finally came up with this one with modifications.

這款近年風靡香港的奶皇月餅,身價越來越貴,據報一盒八個要港幣近五百大元 !!

Friday, July 25, 2014

New Classes 又有新班啦

Custard Moon Cake 酥皮奶皇月餅

Date: 8/23/14
Time: 1pm~3pm
Place: Diamond Bar
Fee: $30

In this hands-on class, you will learn how to make this popular and exquisite moon cake at home. No experience required. Moon cake molds and special gift packaging boxes are available for purchase.

Snowy Moon Cake 冰皮月餅

Date: 8/16/14
Time: 1pm~3pm
Place: Diamond Bar
Fee: $30

This popular class is back by demand. Learn how to make this simple, easy-to-make and healthy moon cake. Moon cake molds and gift packaging boxes are available for purchase.

Each class is limited to 8 students. Questions and registration:

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Moon Cake Mold 月餅模

This year's Mid Autumn Festival is on Sept 8, less than two months away. In order to make homemade moon cake, either the baked traditional kind or easy-to-make snowy moon cake, you will need an indispensable tool. This plastic moon cake mold is so much easier to use than the traditional wood mold that it makes the whole process a breeze.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Sliver Thread Roll 銀絲卷

"Fun to eat and easy to make" is the best description of this dim sum bao. A variation of mantau, the sliver thread roll is made by cutting the dough into many thin strips and wrapping them together in a bundle. The most common way to enjoy it after breaking open the outer layer is to pull out and eat the threads one by one. Some people like to dip it in condensed milk. I like the deep fried version: the outer layer is crispy while the threads inside are still soft.

I have been searching for a good English translation for the name of this bread: sliced roll, bread roll, etc, but I've given up and am now using my own translation.

For a successful roll, please read the whole recipe and pay attention to the notes below.


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