Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Coffee Pull-Apart Bread - #BreadBakers

My nephew's daily cup of Milo is sweetened with condensed milk. One day his Milo tasted a bit different. Better different. Had Milo changed the formula? But then cups of coffee started tasting better too. What on earth was going on? The same ingredients were being used as before - water, Milo/Coffee, condensed milk. It took a couple weeks of great cups of Milo and coffee to figure it out. We had inadvertently picked up flavoured condensed milk at the supermarket. We didn't even know that that existed! These cans have cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla. Now, all cups of coffee and Milo are made with flavoured condensed milk. I'm not much of a hot beverage drinker but the new condensed milk has me making myself a cup now and then. 

Source: Seprod, Jamaica

The better tasting cups of coffee were my inspiration for this month's Bread Bakers. I'm the host this month and chose pull-apart breads as the theme. Be sure to scroll down to see what the other bakers made! I usually use a simple dough when I make a pull-apart loaf but this time, I decided to use a dough with tangzhong. This resulted in a dough that was silky and soft. The loaf itself seemed to rise a bit more than normal. It's a great tasting loaf and it's been hard to not eat the entire thing by myself.

Coffee Pull-Apart Bread 

Flour Paste
125 millilitres water
25 grams

Final Dough
350 grams flour 
2 teaspoons instant yeast 
All of the flour paste 
125 millilitres milk
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
25 grams sugar 
1 teaspoon salt 
28 grams butter, softened

3/4 cup light brown sugar 
1 1/2 tablespoons instant coffee
1 teaspoon cinnamon 
pinch of nutmeg
2-3 tablespoons butter, softened


Flour Paste: Over medium-low heat, stir together the flour and water for the flour paste. Keep stirring until the mixture thickens and is the consistency of pudding. Remove from heat and set aside to cool to room temperature. 

Final Dough: In a mixer bowl, combine flour and yeast. Mix together the flour paste, milk, egg, and vanilla. Add this to the flour mixture and mix until the flour is just moistened. Let rest for 15 minutes. 

Add the sugar and salt and knead using a dough hook for 5 minutes. The dough will be very sticky. Add the butter, a tablespoon at a time, and knead for another 5 minutes. The dough will become smooth.

Refrigerate overnight or set aside at room temperature to double. 

Filling: Mix together sugar, instant coffee, cinnamon, and nutmeg. 

When the dough is ready, roll out to approximately 20" x 12". Spread the softened butter across the dough and then sprinkle evenly with the filling. Slice the dough into 6 strips measuring approximately 12" x 3 1/3". Stack the strips and then cut the strips into 6 pieces measuring approximately 3 1/3" x 2". 

Place these in a greased 9" x 5" loaf pan. Ensure that the for the end pieces, the filling is facing inward. 

Cover and let proof for about 30 minutes or until doubled. While the dough is proofing, preheat the oven to 350 F. 

Bake 35-45 minutes until the loaf is nicely browned. A too lightly coloured dough might mean the center isn't fully cooked. If the dough is getting dark too quickly, tent with a piece of foil. 




#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.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Savoury Pumpkin Muffins - #MuffinMonday

I've been craving something sweet for over a week. I've eaten bullas (a ginger & molasses spiced cake/bread hybrid), my nephew's cookies, my own cookies, sugary popcorn, and plain sugar. Still, the need for sugar persists. That would seem like the perfect reason to make a sweet muffin for this month's Muffin Monday. But alas, my mind doesn't work that way. Apparently I can crave something sweet but still go into the kitchen and make savoury muffins. 

The muffin inspiration came from all the soup that I had over the last 2 weeks. I've mentioned before that Saturday equals soup in Jamaica. And if you're making soup, it's a cultural sin to not add pumpkin to that soup. You can leave it out of the red peas (kidney beans) soup. But chicken, beef, or corn soup needs some pumpkin. And after my umpteenth cup of soup, I decided that I needed a savoury pumpkin muffin. This means that I'm still craving something sweet. The best way to deal with this may be to give up sugar for a bit. Wean myself, I guess. But I spy some sweet muffins on this month's Muffin Monday list. Perhaps, one of them is what I need.

Savoury Pumpkin Muffins 
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder
1/2 small onion, diced
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
1 cup pureed pumpkin
3/4 cup water or milk
1/4 cup oil
2 eggs 


Preheat oven to 400 F. Grease a muffin tin or line with cupcake wrappers. 

Whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and cayenne pepper. Toss in the onions and thyme. In a separate bowl, whisk together pumpkin, water or milk, oil and eggs. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and gently mix together.  The batter is very thick so be careful not to overmix. 

Fill each muffin well almost to the top. Bake 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean. Tastes great warm and at room temperature. 

Muffin Monday

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Friday, October 20, 2017

Rosemary Apple Grilled Cheese - #CIC

This month's Crazy Ingredient Challenge is n easy one. Normally, I'd try to challenge myself to come up with a new way to use an easy combination. But this month, I just did not have it in me. I went for simplicity with a grilled cheese sandwich. This is only the third grilled cheese sandwich I've ever eaten so while it's simple, it's not standard fare for me. I served this for lunch but suspect that in next couple of days, variations will show up at breakfast. Scroll down to see the other apple and rosemary combinations this month.

Rosemary Apple Grilled Cheese
Yield: 1 sandwich 

1 tablespoon butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary or 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, finely minced
Extra rosemary for sprinkling
2 slices of whole grain bread
2 slices of cheese
1/4 apple, thinly sliced


Heat a pan over medium-low heat.
Mix the butter and the rosemary together.
Place a slice of cheese on a slice of bread. Sprinkle with a little rosemary, if you wish and then top with the apples, cheese and then bread.
Butter the top side of the sandwich with half of the rosemary butter. Be sure to get it all the way to the edges.
Place the sandwich in the pan with the buttered side down. Butter the other side with the remaining rosemary butter. Cook for approximately 5 minutes on each side or until the cheese is melted.
Serve immediately.

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