TWD: Leaf-Shaped Fougasse

holding fougasse

The Tuesdays With Dorie bakers baked leaf-shaped fougasses this week using a focaccia dough! To see how other bakers fared with this recipe, check out the Tuesdays with Dorie page here.

This is only my second time making artisan bread so I’ve a hell lot to learn still! Also my first time using my new KMix Stand Mixer aaaahhh ❤ ❤

I got the flour:water ratio a bit wrong when I was calculating to make 2/3 of the recipe though, so the dough wasn’t that ideal 😦 and mum said bread was much too hard for her so I always end up eating it myself haha! No amount of exercise is gonna save me in this life 😥

fougasse3
Made the dough for this on friday night while having a durian party with my family ^^ Then put it into the fridge to rest and develop its flavour for a day, baked it on sunday morning.

fougasse against door

Leaf looks kinda aged though hahaha! It shall be a autumn leaf la.

fougasse2Bread making always seemed so daunting and I always thought that you have to go for professional classes to learn it cause there are a 101 terms that come along with it. But practice really makes perfect so even though I’m a poor student I still can afford to experiment in the kitchen with breads. Just that I feel compelled to eat everything even if it’s not that good haha!

And its ingredients are relatively cheap also – just flour, yeast and water – unless you use more complex types of flour like rye etc which is more expensive in Singapore. Much cheaper than the ingredients for cupcakes/cakes/cookies because butter is deceptively expensive!!

Gonna get a bread belly from this hehehe.

 

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TWD: Cantuccini!

Very happy to finally be able to post on time yay!

I wrote this post last week as I’m currently (I hope) selling my soul  studying fervently in hope that I’ll get through this sem’s exams alive. Wish me luck 😥

Anyway, this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie challenge was Cantuccini, also known as Almond Biscotti, a classic Italian biscuit. Wikipedia just told me that Biscotti is the plural of Biscotto, so does this mean that the plural of soprano is soprani? xD #english #myfirstlanguage

This is the end result!

I love how participating in TWD challenges allows me to learn about so many different kinds of food and methods I’d never have tried on my own. I love exploring the lesser known sides of home baking (in Singapore at least), going beyond cupcakes, muffins and cakes.

I actually made this twice, because I majorly messed up the first time.
What did I forget to add? SUGAR!!! 😥
I added it in desperately when I already had my dough formed, and valiantly tried to massage the sugar into the dough but I thought I failed terribly because the dough was sooooo incredibly sticky and was super rough all over. So very very sadly, I threw it all out (nuuuu my almonds, I tried to wash the dough off the almonds but what I got was a pile of very soggy almonds with wet dough stuck on them)

I attempted it again the next day when I bought more almonds, and I realised the stickiness wasn’t a product of me forgetting to add sugar! The dough also got really really incredibly sticky and I had to keep flouring my hands and the table/counter so that I could touch it without getting a chunk of dough stuck to me.

Ckay (sweetandthatsit.blogspot.ch) commented on the Cantuccini P&Q thread on TWD saying that we can consider reducing the number of eggs used from 3 to 2 or 1, and I think I shall give that a try next time! Thanks you 🙂

They turned out super crunchy and hard, which I also wasn’t sure was right, but after checking with Wikipedia again (woops) which said they’re usually meant to be dunked in a drink, I’d categorise this as a success! They are really great with a cup of coffee!

My attempt at food styling. Haha looks like I’ve some improvements to do xD

Dino pointed out the rather puny pieces of ice hahahaha it’s cause I took so long taking photos that the ice in my coffee melted woops damn it.

Head over to Tuesdays With Dorie – Cantucinni to view everyone’s creations!!

;_; now back to study 😥

I scheduled a post for the TWD post in 2 weeks tho, hehe hardworking!!

TWD: Buttermilk Scones!

Hi again !

The past 2 weeks have been really trying – had a non-stop fever for 12 days in the midst of 2 major assignments! Thankfully I’m blessed with such caring and thoughtful friends who’ve sent me lots of encouragement (and notes!!), as well as the ever hovering mum. And who’s forgetting my loving Dino, even in the midst of his mid-term exam. ♥♥♥

I was so disappointed that I fell sick right as I was supposed to take part in this month’s first Tuesdays with Dorie challenge, and really disheartened after the fever refused to go away after more than a week. Despite having a next assignment coming up, I dropped everything and made the buttermilk scones I was supposed to make anyway. Baking therapy should be a thing – it does wonders *_*

The challenge this time around were Buttermilk Scones, found on page 210 on Baking with Julia. Head over to Tuesdays with Dorie to see the links from all the other bakers who participated, with their beautiful scones 🙂

Scones were blueberry-lemon, here’s a picture ft. small hands

Decided to set up shop at the dining table instead of the kitchen – with my page in Baking with Julia marked out, I’m ready to start *excited*

Got my brother to take this photo (hehe in case you were wondering what socery!!) (also you can see his usual style – tip of photo finger. Hahaha he took one for Benz, Lin and I before and his finger was covering so much of the photo we looked really funny :’D)

We’re supposed to cut the butter in, and I decided to try grating the butter into the dry ingredients before rubbing it in with my hands! This worked out pretty well.

After working the butter into the dry ingredients to form a crumbly texture (it’s alright to have slightly uneven lumps, this adds to the flakiness of the scones, as with most pastries), add the buttermilk!

Adding the grated lemon peel

No pictures on the (very short) kneading and shaping process cause my hands were all icky!

Before baking

Little pizzas :’D

Fresh out of the oven ♥

I love the smell of freshly baked goods, permeating the house. I could do this every day, if only I could!!

A good night with my scones and a bag of small things ♥

Which reminds me that I never did finish The God of Small Things, because reading fiction is such a luxury. But actually, I’ve to stop thinking that way; it’s only a luxury because we all spend so much time on facebook/instagram/various other form of social media. Although, a lot of time on facebook is spent reading articles posted by friends, so the nature and subject matter of reading has changed, not the time spent itself! *consolesself

 Hotdog or legs Pizza or Scones. #calefareplant

These scones are really good eaten fresh out of the oven or toaster! Unfortunately, they don’t keep well and get a little soft even when placed in an airtight container. This is the dilemma I face when attempting to feed my friends all the time 😦

I finally had time to pen these thoughts down after my equity & trusts assignment submission today, rushing for the deadline was such a nightmare. Very much looking forward to the brief respite we’d have for a few days after Monday’s LCS assignment submission, before preparation for finals begins!

Take care everybuddy ♥

TWD: Challah!

Exams for this semester are finally over! Even though the days leading up to Property and Company Law seemed so arduously long, this sem did seem to fly by; this has really been the best semester of university so far 🙂

I’ve been raring to bake for Tuesdays with Dorie ever since I read about it quite a few weeks back and it was a real exercise of self-restraint that I managed not to touch my oven till after exams. (Admittedly, did whip up brownies for the food party during the last prop tutorial, but that was for class and hence, it was homework? Excuses.)

So, I finally made good use of my free Sunday to bake this week’s tuesdayswithdorie challenge, Challah.
It was fun reading up about the Jewish traditions and significance that come with this tradtional Jewish bread. For example, that a small portion of the dough is supposed to be separated from the rest, in memory of the portion of dough set aside for the Jewish priests as a tithe in biblical times. Also, during Rosh Hashanah, challah is braided into spiral rounds (symbolising the continuity of creation) and other shapes! I love how food is such an insight into another culture.

This was my first time really doing some heavy duty hand kneading and working with yeast dough that needed 2 rises. It was very satisfying giving the dough a good solid punch in between the rises.

I had some difficulty trying to figure out whether the dough was ready to be proofed and decided to err on the side of caution and kneaded for longer. However, caution was present in abundance, and I might have over-kneaded the dough ):

I do think, though, that the challah is one of the most beautiful breads. This is just a normal 3 strand braid, but they do more elaborate 4, 5, even 6 strand braids that turn out so elegant but homely.

Another aspect I could have improved on was reading my oven better. Unfortunately the oven I have isn’t that great, very prone to losing heat, has a hot spot on the left. I also did not recognise that my oven is too small to position the racks dividing the oven into thirds, and hence the top third challah browned (and almost burnt) really really fast! (hence sadly, the slightly burnt tops)

It is true that every oven has a character of its own, and it’s up to you to develop a relationship with it, work with and around it’s flaws and celebrate its beauties. I first got mine approx. 7 years ago (has it been that long?), although I only really started using it regularly 1.5 years ago. Perhaps it’s hard to force a relationship out of 2 fundamentally incompatible people; My oven (jokingly referred to as Orion, son of fire)  prefers spontaneity and unpredictability while those unsettle me.

So although Orion has been faithful albeit with its fair share of problems, perhaps it’s time to consider an Olivander or an Ophelia soon?

/edit
so I made french toast this morning from leftover challah for the brother and myself, and it was really yums. Challah, as well as brioche, make really good bread bases for french toast 🙂