Friday, September 27, 2013

Welsh Bara Brith

The name of this bread sounds intriguing! It is a traditional bread levened with baking powder.
This 'bara' or bread originated in the Welsh countryside and 'brith' means spotted or freckled.

I love the texture of the 'bread' with a hint of orangy marmalade. It is not rich nor crumbly like a fruit cake. This will be on my list of frequently baked goodies!

Ingredients: (for 23cm x 13cm loaf pan)

2 tea bags infused in 310ml boiling water for 10 minutes

170g mixed dried fruits, chopped
170g currants
45g diced dried pinapple
160g light brown sugar

440g plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon bicarbonate soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon powder
¾ teaspoon salt

1 large egg, lightly beaten
 ½ cup sour cream
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
3 tablespoon marmalade

1. Remove tea bags and add all the dried fruits and sugar(A) and stir well. Cover and let stand for 1 hour to plump the fruit.

2. Place ingredients B in a mixing bowl and mix well.

3. Add the soaked fruit mixture and C to the flour mixture. Mix well. 

4. Pour batter into greased and lined loaf pan and baked in a preheated oven 165deg C for 1 to 1½ hours. Remove and cool on rack.

 Earthquake occurred during baking!

 Love the tight texture! Fruits don't fall apart!
Will add nuts the next time!

Milk Bread

Recently I bought another bread book on a whim! I had some vouchers to use at Popular bookstore and after buying some story books for my grandsons, I still had a ten-dollar voucher left to spend. After browsing, I chanced upon this bread book by Alan Ooi and immediately I was attracted to the pictures. I love cookery and baking books with lots of illustrations as they allow me to see the end result of the recipes.
This is the first recipe that I have tried from the book. I have no regrets so far as it turned out very good -  a milky and soft, moist bread!

Ingredients: ( Yields about 966g dough)

350g bread flour
150g plain flour
30g milk powder (I used Anlene. It's the only type I have)
40g caster sugar
7g instant yeast
8g salt

250ml cold fresh milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
60g unsalted butter, soften
Evaporated milk for glazing

1. Place ingredients A in a miximg bowl and give it a couple of swirls with a hand whisk to mix.

2. Add milk and egg and mix with a dough hook until it forms a dough.

3. Add butter and continue mixing till all the butter is thoroughly blended in and the dough is smooth and elastic.

4. Remove dough and shape into a ball and place it in the mixing bowl, cover with a damp tea cloth or clingwrap. Rest the dough till it doubles in size.

5. Remove dough and hand knead for 1 minute.

6. Cut the amount required. I divided the dough into 2 portions.

7. Flatten the dough into a rectangular shape and roll like a swiss roll taking care to seal the joints.

8. I placed one portion in a loaf tin and the other on a baking tray. Rest until it doubles in size.

9. Make slits on the top of dough, glaze with evaporated milk.

10. Bake in preheated oven 195deg C for 20 minutes.

11. Remove bread to cool on a rack.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Banana Cake 1 & 2

Why Banana Cake 1 & 2?
I tweaked the recipe for the second batch of banana cake and baked it in cupcake cases!
The recipes varied slightly but the method is the same for both.
There's a difference in texture and taste!

Ingredients for Banana Cake 1                           

200g butter                                                            
160g caster sugar                                                  
4 eggs                                                                   
4 tablespoons evaporated milk                            
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
250g plain flour                                                                                             
1 teaspoon baking powder                                      
1 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
3 ripe Delmonte bananas, mashed
50g walnuts, chopped                                                                                                

Ingredients for Banana Cake 2

100g butter + 90 ml canola oil / corn oil
150g caster sugar
4 eggs
2 tablespoons evaporated milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

220g plain flour
30g cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate soda

 4 ripe bananas ('ang bak chio'), mashed
 60g walnuts, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 170deg C.

2. Sift flour, baking powder and baking soda together.

3. Cream butter and sugar till light and creamy.

4. Add eggs, one at a time to mix well. (Add oil if using recipe 2 before the eggs)

5. Add milk and vanilla extract. Mix well.

6. Add flour in three portions.

7. Lastly add mashed bananas  and walnuts and mix well.

8. Bake in greased and lined loaf tin for 40 mins or cupcake cases for 25 to 30 mins.

I used three 12cm x 10cm disposable aluminium baking tins for recipe 1 and 22 (4.5cm base) cupcake cases for recipe 2.
I had one banana left which I sliced and used it as topping for the cupcakes.

Banana Cake 1
Slightly heavier, more moist and richer!

Banana Cake 2
Lighter and less sweet!