22 March 2008

Taking a break

from bread, that is.

I haven't been baking bread ever since my orange bread. But I haven't been idling as well. Let's see, what have I been doing?

I continued with my experiment on the mochi or Korean bread. They seem to be quite similar in texture. Both are crispy on the outside and mochi inside. Both use premix to be baked. And both do not use yeast or baking powder as a leavening agents. However, Korean bread contains soya sauce, but mochi bread does not seem so. All in all, I've tried at least 8 rounds, experimenting in small batches. But none of the results was close to what I was looking for. Since I've already used up my glutinuous rice flour, I told myself to take a break from this and move on. Perhaps one day I'll revisit this again when I'm in the mood.

I went to Central Shopping Mall on Thurs. I remembered the ever famous Petite Provence, selling the ever famous wassants, has a branch there. So I found my way to the store in basement and bought some wassants. The chocolate ones were already sold off (as expected). I couldn't wait and had to open the bag to test one straight after leaving the tiny store.

The cream wassant was equally good. It was so soft, close to the softness of a sponge cake! And it has that milky aroma as you bite into it. I realised immediately that the chocolate wassants I had done were far from the standard. If one day I could ever reach that level of standard, it would be a very big achievement for me.

Next I passed by a Japanese shop, Nippon Ya, selling all kinds of food imported from Japan. I was very much attracted by the little exquisite mochi, cookies and many more. I just had to get something so that I can step out of the shop in peace! lol.... So in the end I bought a box of Sakura mochi and a bottle of orange citrus wine.

Isn't this a pretty packaging?

Yesterday was Good Friday. We didn't celebrate with hot cross buns, but instead, with my favourite Thai Green Curry (using Dancing Chef premix of course, don't expect me to know how to cook that from scratch) and a glass of cool Lemongrass Lemonade.

I decided to try my hands on pau. I've always been a pau lover since young, so I thought I should at least try to make it once in my lifetime. I chose the smiling pau recipe from KC and made the starter dough on Thurs night. But something was wrong. I had a super dry dough that refused to rise even after 8 hrs!

I gave up on this (as it uses 30g of yeast) and move on to try another 12-hour pau skin. The starter dough turned out more manageable (strange, as the amount of flour and liquid is quite close to the first recipe).

Starter dough in the beginning

Starter dough after 12 hours

I wasn't too sure if I've done it correctly as the starter dough was rather dry this morning. I went on with the rest of the steps to make the pau skin and fill up the char siew ingredients. In the end I had to add an additional 25g of water in order to make it into a kneadable dough. My pleating skill obviously needs lots of improvement.

The paus tasted all right when they were hot, soft and fluffy. But once they turned cold, they were hard as stones. :( And I could smell the ammonia sometimes when I bit into the skin. I think I didn't mix the ingredients well enough. Sigh...maybe I didn't do it properly since it was the first time I did pau and wasn't quite sure what to expect along the way. But the whole experience made me understood one thing, making pau is far more tedious than bread! I'll probably wait a long long time before I attempt another pau making again.

Last but not least, I also attempted the taro balls.

The Kopitiam food court near my place sell this dessert which my kids love. It was a QQ yam or sweet potato ball cooked in sweet syrup or any liquid dessert. The recipe was from a chinese blogger, JellyFish. I couldn't follow her recipe as I did not have the sweet potato flour. I went ahead to experiment with potato starch instead. The end result was not too bad, though not as QQ (I suspected I've added too much yam). The dough was very sticky and I had problem moulding it into long strips. So I just took the easy way out and rolled them into balls instead. If I were to make this again the next round, I must remember to mash the yam smoother (I think the best is still to blend it) and make it sweeter too. It would probably be nice with red bean soup or bo bo cha cha.

Mood: tired


Yuri said...

hey wf, so you found provence in Central, which is also full of Japanese shops. It's been so long since I last went there, and it's so near to where i work too. Must go there again soon. You are very adventurous and love seeing the results of those adventures.

Bernice said...

I admire your courage in experimenting with different recipes! 8 rounds! Wow!

KWF said...

yuri, I was a bit disappointed coz that provence is only a small little store. I was hoping it to be a real bakery.

bernice, too bad in the end still "fail again" (my favourite phrase...lol...)

I already know what I'm going to try making the next round. Sometimes I feel like a scientist!

Rei said...

WF, admire your effort on the mochi bread. I did about 3 rounds, stop and re-think before I concocted the last 1.. ahahah.. when you get hold of that book, please email me the recipe can? although I had enough of choux pastry, but can't resist to try out.

my next project is actually that kuzumochi you bought! wah.. nowadays they are using -ve ion water to make kuzumochi..

KWF said...

Rei, no worries. I will definitely let you have the recipes.

You know how to make this mochi too? wow...you're really one of a japanese lady! The mochi I've bought are made of arrowroot, very QQ. We treat them like some treasure, everyone can only eat one per day coz there's only 15 in a box.

Yuri said...

hey wf, its made of arrowroot ? I bought one packet of arrowroot powder and don't know what to use it for!

KWF said...

Ya, this particular one is made of arrowroot flour. I'm waiting for rei to teach me how to make mochi. That may be my next interest, besides bread...heee...