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Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Cheese Babka - #BreadBakers



Most delicious bread ever.

I know that's a bold statement but trust me on this one. This bread is amazing. My only complaint is that I did not make 2 loaves. I certainly did not want to share this one and my mother felt the same. When my sister-in-law asked if I'd made bread, my mother handed her a loaf of supermarket bread. You can't hide anything from my brother so he found the babka stashed in a curio cabinet and quietly enjoyed his slice. He didn't share with my sister-in-law either.


We're evil. One of these days I'll make her some bread just for her. She won't need to share with us.


If you're a cheese lover, this month's Bread Bakers is just for you. Our host Sue chose cheese as the theme and lots of deliciousness awaits you - just scroll down to see the list.




Cheese Babka
Yield: 1 loaf 
Dough adapted from Bon Appetit

Ingredients 
Dough
300-360 grams flour
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup milk
7 tablespoons butter

Filling 
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup finely sliced escallion
2 tablespoons fresh thyme
6 oz cheese, grated (I used aged cheddar and mozzarella)
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes


Directions

Whisk together flour, yeast, salt, and sugar. Add the eggs and milk and mix together until the dough just starts to come together. Knead in butter one tablespoon at a time until  the dough is smooth, elastic and very tacky - about ten minutes. I found that with only 300 grams of flour per the original recipe, my dough was very wet and definitely needed more flour. Sprinkle in a little a time. You don't want a dry dough.
Place the dough in a greased bowl and allow to rise until doubled. You can also refrigerate overnight.

When the dough is ready, line a loaf pan with parchment paper leaving about a 2 inch overhang to help you lift the bread out when it's baked.

Mix garlic and butter.

Roll out the dough to a 16" x 10" rectangle. Brush the garlic mixture over the dough. Top with escallion, thyme, cheese and red pepper flakes. Starting along a long side, roll the dough up tightly.

Use a serrated knife to slice down the length of the roll. All the layers will now be exposed. With the halves cut side up, place one half over the other to form an X. Next twist the ends on either side twice.  See here for pictures.

Place the dough into the prepared pan. Lightly cover and let rise until doubled.

When the dough is almost doubled, preheat the oven to 375F.

Bake until the top is golden brown - 25-35 minutes. Let cool in pan for 15 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Enjoy your hard work!

Notes 
  • Escallion = scallion. Sometimes. All this time I thought that escallion was just the way we spelt scallion. But a little googling made me realise they might be different plants that look and taste the same.
  • Don't despair if it seems like the dough is falling apart when you try to do the twists. Just smoosh it into the pan, it will still taste AMAZING.
  • 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes is not even slightly spicy. Feel free to use more.



BreadBakers



#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.


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Thursday, February 21, 2019

Jamaican Rock Buns



I spend a lot of time researching recipes from all over the world but spend very little time on Jamaican recipes. We don't have a lot of traditional desserts but it's about time that I learn to make them. I'd been thinking about this for a while and voiced this some friends back in December. They decided to join me on this quest. We created a schedule. One recipe for each month in 2019. No pressure though. If it doesn't get done in that particular month, no big deal.

For January, we chose rocks buns. I first made rock buns in first form of high school (at 10 years old). It's a really easy recipe and a good way to start because some of these months are going to be very hard for me.

I'm not quite sure how to describe a rock bun. A dense mini cake? Scone's denser cousin? A delicious treat that you should just eat and stop trying to describe it? Let's go with that.


Jamaican Rock Buns 

Ingredients 

480 grams flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
170 grams butter
200 grams brown sugar
1 cup shredded, fresh coconut
1/2 cup raisins
2 eggs
2 teaspoon vanilla
milk, as needed


Directions

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease 2 baking sheets (I used a half sheet and a quarter sheet).
Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs.  Stir in the sugar, coconut and raisins. Beat the eggs and vanilla then stir them in. Splash in enough milk to get the mixture to stick together. I used about a 1/4 cup but you might need more.

Scoop mounds of the batter onto prepared sheets. I used an ice cream scoop but you can use a large spoon. It doesn't need to be perfect. If desired, sprinkle the tops with a little bit of sugar.
Bake 20-25 minutes or until the tops are dry and the rock buns are golden.

Note

Sometimes I use a cup of grated coconut. More coconut = more happiness.




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Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Breudher Cake #BreadBakers




I am extremely excited about this month's Bread Bakers for two reasons. First, I have not participated in Bread Bakers in over a year! During the first 8 months of 2018 I was just very horrible at time management. Other times it would be because I just couldn't come up with a good idea for the theme. And that brings us to the second reason. The theme this month is CATCH UP. And catching up is exactly what I wanted to do. Thanks for hosting this, Pavani!

I really wanted to participate in last November's yeast cake theme but ran out of time. I'm glad that I did though because I would have made something else and would never have discovered this Breudher cake.

Breudher cake is a yeasted cake popular in Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia. However, it's not exactly Asian but a product of Dutch colonization. I may have spent too much time tracing the roots of this cake. What you need to know is that it is delicious. I thought some kind of glaze would have kicked it up a notch but I did love it as is. It's not very sweet and is definitely something that I'd make several times - adding a twist here and there. The list of ingredients is long but you make the cake in stages so it's pretty easy.





Breudher Cake 

Ingredients 
450 grams flour
1 teaspoon instant yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter

140 grams raisins
5 tablespoons of rum

150 grams butter
150 grams sugar
2 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons rum
2 teaspoons vanilla

Directions 

Combine the flour, yeast, salt, water, and milk. Knead until the dough comes together into a ball and all the liquid is absorbed. The dough shouldn't be dry. If it's dry, add a tablespoon of water.  Cut the butter in pieces and knead into the dough for about 8 minutes until the dough is soft. It shouldn't be sticky. If it's sticky, add a little flour. Place in an oiled bowl and refrigerate overnight. It can also be left to rise for about an hour or until doubled at room temperature.

Mix the raisins with brandy and set aside while the dough is proofing. I prefer to do this overnight.

When the dough is ready, thoroughly grease a 10 cup Bundt pan. Cut the dough into pieces. I cut into roughly 3 or 4 tablespoon pieces.

Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add rum and vanilla and beat until mixed together. Add the dough one piece and a time and beat until incorporated. Add the eggs and yolks one at a time mixing after each addition.

Add the raisins and beat until the raisins are distributed in the dough.

Scrape into the prepared Bundt pan. Cover and let sit at room temperature for 30 to 60 minutes. It will not rise much but it will look a little puffy.

When the dough is almost ready, preheat the oven to 325F.  Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and let it cool slightly before inverting it onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Enjoy!





This month, we are catching up on old ‘Bread Bakers’ themes we missed out on. Our host of the month is Pavani at Cook's Hideout. Check out what the Bread Bakers have baked up.
BreadBakers
#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our of lovely bread by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated after each event on the #BreadBakers home page.
We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to foodlustpeoplelove@gmail.com.


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