Blueberry Jam

Another blueberry sales in the local supermarket recently. It happened that I wanted to do a blueberry cake for my sister, so I bought many packs of them, and decided to make blueberry jam too!

The blueberry jam turned out to be really good with some sweetness and tartiness from both the lemon juice and blueberries. I felt that the sugar could have been reduced more.
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Recipe for Blueberry Jam, adapted from Against All Grain.
(Makes approximately 550g jam)

Ingredients:
500g Fresh blueberries (4 packets)
130g Caster sugar (can reduce to 100g )
3 tbsp Fresh lemon juice
1 tsp Lemon zest

Method:

1. Wash your blueberries and dry them.
2. Place the blueberries in a medium sized sauce pan and crush them with a potato masher.
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3. Add the sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest, then bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
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4. Stir frequently while the mixture boils for 15-20 minutes and it starts to thicken. 

5. Skim off any foam, then ladle the jam into a sterilized jar. Cover and leave it to cool completely before storing it the fridge. jam_blueberry03 jam_blueberry05

Artisan Rye Bread

Flour, water, salt and yeast are what you need to bake a good loaf of artisan bread. Simplicity is bliss. 
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Ever since I learnt how to bake good breads using sourdough, I've been buying and trying out bread making using the more natural way of baking. There is no definite definition for artisan. However, according to Jamie Oliver - "At The Flour Station we use the word ‘artisan’ to sum up just how much attention we give our products; the long, traditional processes we use and the way we closely monitor every single handmade loaf, like protective parents, to make sure it comes out beautifully. In short, it’s very well-bred bread."

Similar to what he mentioned, this bread took approximately seven hours to complete. It tasted nothing like our sweet dough buns. It has a chewy taste with very wonderful aroma. This Rye Bread happened to be adapted from "Flour Water Salt Yeast" by Ken Forkish, a renowned artisan baker. I modified his Saturday 75% Whole Wheat Bread into a Rye Bread, tweaking some process along the way from the knowledge I learned from my previous workshop.
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Recipe for Artisan Rye Breads, modified from Ken Forkish's Flour Water Salt Yeast
(Makes 2 loaves)

Ingredients:
750g Plain flour
200g Rye flour
100g Wholewheat flour
760g Room temperature water (better if chilled)
22g Fine rock salt (or sea salt)
3g Instant yeast

Method:

1. Using a mixer with a dough hook, mix all the flours and water until fully incorporated.
2. Cover and let it rest for 30mins.
3. Sprinkle salt and yeast over the dough evenly and mix well till fully incorporate, about 2mins on low speed.
4. Turn the speed up to medium and mix for another 5mins until the dough does not stick to the bowl.
5. Remove the dough carefully using a scraper and place it in a big container greased with oil. Let it rest for 60mins.
6. Do a set of stretch and fold. You may refer to this video on how to do the stretch and fold. Rest for another 60mins.
7. Do a total of three stretch and folds with 60mins intervals. As you do each stretch and fold, you can find that the dough becomes lighter and more airy. The volume would have tripled by the end of the third stretch and folds.bread_ryeKF01
8. Flour your work top. Flour your hands and sprinkle flour around the edges of the container.
9. Tip the tub slightly and gently work your floured free hand beneath the dough to loosen it from the bottom of the tub. Gently ease the dough out onto the work surface without pulling or tearing it.
10. With floured hands pick up the dough and ease it back down onto the work surface in a somewhat even shape. Dust the area in the middle where you'll cut the dough with a bit of flour. Cut the dough into 2 equal-size pieces with a scraper. (I cut into 1192g and 660g as I do not have big proofing bowls. So I used a glass mixing bowl with cloth and dust it with flour for the bigger dough.)
11. Dust 2 proofing bowls with flour. Shape piece of dough into a medium tight ball. Place each seam side down in its proofing basket.
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12. Cover with a kitchen towel and place them in a warm place. Plan on baking the loaves about 1 hour after they are shaped assuming a room temperature of about 28C.
13. Preheat the oven at least 20mins prior to baking. Put a rack in the middle of the oven and put a Dutch oven in the rack with their lids on. Preheat the oven to 240C.
14. Put the second loaf into the refrigerator about 20mins before baking the first loaf and bake the loaves sequentially giving the Dutch oven a 5-min reheat after removing the first loaf.
15. Invert the proofed loaf onto a lightly floured countertop, the seam side up. Place it on a silicon paper to ease the removal later.
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16. Remove the Dutch oven from the preheated oven. Remove the lid. Carefully place the loaf in the hot Dutch oven seam side up. Replace the lid and put the Dutch oven into the oven.
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17. Bake for 30mins, then carefully remove the lid and bake for about 20mins more, until at least medium dark brown all around the loaf. [I baked mine for only 13-15mins.]
18. Remove the Dutch oven and carefully tilt it to turn the loaf out. Let it cool on a rack completely before slicing.
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The crumbs for the bigger loaf didn't turn out to be as good as the smaller loaf because my Dutch oven (Le Crueset 22cm) was too small to allow for a great oven spring. The smaller loaf has very good oven spring and the crumbs were very holey. I was very happy with the process and the results it produced. These kind of breads are good to be used as sandwich base, or even lightly toast it and spread with butter. Wholesome and healthy! Enjoy!
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(Mexican) Coffee Buns

This post is sponsored by Liv butter. Try Liv today!
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It is the first term school break this week. My children are home for the whole week with no school activities. Whenever they are home, they will be searching for some snacks to fill their stomach. I made some Mexican Coffee Buns to satisfy their snack hunting should they want to eat them in the afternoon, though it is more for breakfast. My son wanted to eat this for breakfast, after lunch, afternoon tea and after dinner, which I have to stop him! He happens to be a super big fan of this coffee bun.
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The bread dough was adapted from my previous preferment coffee buns. Instead of baking them in loaves, I weigh out 50g and baked them as buns. I also added a capsule of Nespresso coffee seeds into the dough. The dough has very fragrant coffee aroma. 

As for the coffee fillings, I adapted the recipe from Everybody Eats Well in Flanders. Prepare this topping while the dough is at its final proofing stage.
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Coffee Topping
(Makes for approximate 26 50g buns, though I had 24 buns)

Ingredients:
125g Liv unsalted butter, room temperature
125g Icing sugar [I used 100g only, and not sweet]
2 eggs
240g Plain flour [I used 230g]
15g Instant coffee powder [dissolved in Kahlua]
1 tbsp Kahlua or other coffee liquer

Method:

1. Cream butter and icing sugar till smooth, using a K beater.
2. Add in eggs, and mix well.
3. Then add in flour and instant coffee and mix until well-combined.
4. Put the coffee topping into a piping bag and pipe a spiral pattern on each bun after the final proof.
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5. Bake the coffee buns in the preheated oven of 180C for 15 mins.
6. Remove them from the pan immediately and let them cool completely on a wire rack before storing.
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Nutella Cupcake

This post is sponsored by Liv butter. Try Liv today!
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Nutella seems to be everyone's favourite. Besides those  who  are  really conscious of the ingredients present, most people have at least a bottle of Nutella in their kitchen. I'm no exception. Recently, there was some promotion in our supermarket, my sister got me two large tubs. So I decided to use it to bake Nutella Cupcakes as shared by Rumbling Tummy.

As it turned out, it was really a easy to make, and tasty to eat cupcakes. My children loved it and even my helper who brought it to share during her weekly gathering said her friends loved them too!
cupcakes_nutella01 Recipe for Nutella Cupcakes, adapted from Rumbling Tummy.
(Makes approx. 19 regular cupcakes)

Ingredients:
280g Liv unsalted butter, softened
160g Caster sugar
6 Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla extract
200g Plain flour, sifted
1/2 tsp Salt
4 tsp Baking powder
Nutella

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Prepare cupcake paper cups.
2. Cream together butter and sugar until light.
3. Add in eggs one at a time, until fully incorporated. (as you add the eggs, it might curdle, use high speed to mix it)
4. Add vanilla. Stir in flour, salt and baking powder until batter is uniform and no flour remains.
5. Fill each paper cups with batter. They should be ¾ full. (this cake rises quite a lot.)cupcakes_nutella03
6. Top each cake with 1½ tsp Nutella. Swirl Nutella in with a skewer, making sure to fold a bit of batter up over the Nutella.
7. Bake for 20 minutes or till the top is browned. cupcakes_nutella04
8. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely before serving.
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Lemon Poppy Seeds Ogura Cake

Earlier last month, I had a sudden urge to want to eat ogura cake. So I decided to bake this. It turned out really nice and light with a hint of tang and crunchy from the poppy seeds.
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Recipe for Lemon Poppy Seeds Ogura Cake, adapted from Victoria Bakes.
Makes a 9" round cake or 8" square cake

Ingredients:
75g Cake flour, sift twice
1/4 tsp salt
5 Egg yolks
1 whole Egg
60g Vegetable oil
30 ml Lemon juice
50 ml Milk (I used 5g lemon juice + 75g milk)
1 tsp Lemon zest
2 tsp Poppy seeds

A few drops of lemon oil

5 Egg whites
1/2 tsp Corn flour
60g Castor sugar

Method:
1.  Place the dry ingredients in the mixing bowl and make a well in the centre. Add in egg yolk + 1 whole egg, corn oil, lemon juice, zest and milk.  Using a paddle hook, beat ingredients until creamy and well combined.  Set aside.
2. Place 2 cups at the bottom of the oven and preheat oven at 160C.
3. Using an electric mixer, whisk egg whites until slightly foamy.

4. Add in sugar with corn flour in 3 batches.  Whisk until soft to stiff peaks formed
5. Using a spatula, fold in 1/2 of the meringue into egg yolk mixture.  Lift and fold until well combined, then add to rest of meringue.  Add in the poppy seeds.  Fold again until well mix
6. Pour batter into a 9″ round pan [line base with baking paper]
7. Smooth the surface with a spatula or shake a little and the batter will spread out evenly
8. Bake in oven at 160 degrees C for 40 minutes, lower heat to 140 degrees C and bake for a further 20 minutes.
9. Remove cake and invert it after baking on a wire rack and let it cool slightly [about 5 minutes] before removing the pan and baking paper.
10. Cool cake completely before slicing to serve or refrigerate before slicing to serve later.

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Easy Wholemeal Bread

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After trying the original recipe from 吴宝春金牌土司, I decided to modify it into wholemeal bread. I can't believe his recipe is so simple and nice. Here is my modification of his original recipe to wholemeal bread and some changes to the liquid content. This is recipe for my reference.

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Recipe for Wholemeal Loaves, modified from 吴宝春金牌土司, which orginated from ccm.
Makes two loaves - a flower mould (dough weight about 550g) & mini rectangular mould (dough weight about 360g)


Ingredients:

70g Wholemeal flour

130g Plain flour
300g Bread flour
40g Castor sugar
9g Salt
25g LIV unsalted butter
340g Fresh milk
5g Instant yeast

Method :
1. Mix all ingredients (except butter) into a dough using low speed for 3mins.
2. Add in the butter and continue to knead until the dough is pliable (smooth, soft and elastic), about 5-6mins on medium speed.
3. Shape into a ball, cover to rest dough for about 1 hour or double in size.  
4. Flatten the dough into a rectangular shape.  Divide into 5, with each dough approximately 184g. 

5. Pre-shape it and let it rest for 10mins. 
6. Roll up swiss-roll style and tighten the dough.
7. For a 550g loaf pan, place three doughs into it. For the smaller pan, place two doughs side by side. (550g is for my flower mould, while the other has the 360g dough)
8. Cover and leave to proof for about 50-60 minutes.

9. Bake in a preheated oven at 190°C for 30-35 minutes. (I baked them on a baking stone.)

10. Remove from the mould and let it cool completely before slicing.
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