Friday, July 27, 2007

Kaiser Buns

The kaiser roll or bun has a very nice soft crumb with a crisp, crusty and slightly chewy exterior. The secret to making a good kaiser according to Bernard Clayton is an egg, egg white plus a steamy moist oven. It is delicious as a filled roll or just eaten by itself.

The difficult part of making this bread is shaping it to resemble a five petal flower blossom . There is a kaiser roll stamp to get a flower-like imprint but judging from the supermarket rolls it is not very effective or visible. There are two ways of shaping the rolls, the spoke-wheel or the rope-knot method.

kaiser roll by knot shaping

330 ml water
1 egg white (40gm)
1 egg (55 gm)
600 gm high grade/bread flour
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2½ tsp surebake yeast
1 Tbsp butter

1. Breadmaker setting : Dough

2. Place all the ingredients into the bread pan in the order according to your breadmaker instructions and press start.

3. Cover the breadpan with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or leave in a warm place to rise until dough double in bulk. (I prefer to let refrigerate overnight where it still rise slowly).

4. Next morning remove breadpan from fridge and punch down the dough. Cover and leave to double in volume again.

5. The shaping of the kaiser bun is the tricky bit. Use either the spoke-wheel or rope-knot method (see below). I find the rope-knot method retains its petal shape better.

6. Lightly mist the buns with a light spray of water from a height of 12".

7. Preheat oven to 230C. Create steam by placing an old pan with hot water in the oven. Just before putting the buns in, mist the oven walls with a water sprayer (do not spray the light bulb). Lower the oven to 200C. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden. Three minutes into the baking spray the oven wall again, avoiding the buns.

kaiser bun by spokewheel shaping

1. Total weight of egg white and egg = 95gm (weight without egg shell).
2. The buns freezes well. To defrost we nuke it in the microwave and pop it on top of the toaster to crispen up the exterior.
3. I have a fan oven which seems to bake the buns faster than the recommended time of 20 minutes.

Leaving the dough to overnight and prove in the fridge is a real time saver and ensures you will have plenty of time to get the bread ready by lunch time. The bread is suppose to taste better with the overnight proving in the fridge.


Shaping the Kaiser Rolls

Friday, July 20, 2007

Homemade Pure Essence of Chicken

As kids I remember my mother brewing this for us whenever we were studying for our exams. Nowadays whenever I feel lethargic or have trouble getting a good night sleep I cook this to boost my energy levels.

This is chicken essence in its purest form with no added water. When I first cooked this, Mr Redneck did not believe I could get a bowlful of soup with just placing some chicken on top of a bowl. Trust the end of 3 hours you will end up with a bowl of very nutritional soup.

Pure Chicken Essence
Yield : 1 rice bowl

1 small skinny chicken or chicken pieces (1.2kg)

chinese soup pot (fig 1)
rice bowl (fig 1)
metal rack or dish cloth
big stock pot

1. Remove skin and all fat from the chicken. Cut the chicken into big chunks.

2. Lightly crush each chicken piece with a pestle or the back of a chopper (make sure you crush the bones as well).

3. Invert a rice bowl in the chinese soup pot (fig 2).

4. Place the crushed chicken on top of the rice bowl (fig 3). Cover with the lid.

homemade essence of chicken : step by step

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Har Meen ~ Prawn Noodles

I was really looking forward to eating this har meen. The trick to a good prawn noodle is to have a very tasty and flavoursome prawn stock. It took me months of religiously collecting every bit of prawn heads and its shells to make the base.

For me this har mee recipe is an easier version as I used my homemade red curry paste which I have a ready supply in my freezer to spice up the dish . Instead of yellow fresh mee, I substituted with dried noodles as it is more readily available.

Har Meen, Prawn Mee
Yield : 2 bowls

1 tsp homemade red curry paste
2 cup prawn stock
1 chicken drumstick
12 raw prawns
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp soy sauce
fresh yellow noodle or dried noodle
handful ngah choy (bean sprout)
chives or spring onions
fried onions

Har Mee

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Seremban Siew Pau ~ Crispy Bbq Pork Bun

Seremban, a town in Malaysia is famous for its siu pau . Seremban siu pau is a popular dim sum dish. The pau has a filling of barbecued pork wrapped in a pastry made up of an oil and water dough . The siew pau skin in this recipe is light and crispy with many flaky layers. However, don't look too closely at my pleating as I stink at it.

Seremban Siew Pau, Crispy Pork Bun
Makes 9 paus

Water dough
60g all purpose flour
60g bread/high grade flour
40g cooking oil
18g sugar
½ tsp golden syrup
60g water (minus 1 Tbsp)

Oil dough
62g all purpose flour
37g shortening

Friday, July 06, 2007

Filling for Char Siu Pau ~ Pork Bun Filling

This is my favourite filling for steamed or baked savoury siew pau (buns). I always have a ready stock of barbecue pork in my freezer and can whip a small batch of this in a jiffy whenever I feel the urge to make some seremban siu pau or char siu pau .

char siew pau filling

125 gm char siew (bbq pork) (chopped into small pieces)
5 Tbsp frozen peas
chives or spring onions (optional)
2 tsp oil

3 Tbsp water
¼ tsp sesame oil
1½ tsp oyster sauce
2 tsp sugar

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