Archive for the ‘Bake’ Category

* Uyghur Bread

Posted on May 17th, 2017 by Linda. Filed under Bake, Bread, Chinese, Cooking Method, Course, Cuisine, Entree, Xinjiang.

Uyghur bread - IMG_4011



I have not been to Xinjiang myself and it’s on my bucket list of the places to visit.  I have been to many Uyghur villages in the big cities of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.  When I lived in Guangzhou, we would seek out these breads because they are the closest thing to bagels (this was in the early 90s before China opened up), in fact, this actually resembled bread as we know it, not some strange fluffy sponge that were available as bread then.

To make the bread stamp (durtlik/chekich), go to your hardware store and buy a woode.  T piece of knob or coat peg.  Then find somebody with good woodwork skill (Marco in my case), to knock in some nails so it looks like a nail brush.  Have fun.

3 Tablespoons sugar
1 packet yeast
1 1/4 cup hot water
1 1/4 cups cold water

5-6 cups bread flour
1 Tablespoon kosher salt
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 yellow onion, grated
2 Tablespoons nigella seeds
2 Tablespoons sesame seed
Cornmeal or semolina

Heat oven to 550F preferably with a pizza stone. If no stone is available, place baking sheet in the oven to preheat.

Proofing the yeast: Dissolve sugar in hot water. Add cold water to make a warm solution (105 – 115°F). Take half of this lukewarm water and dissolve in the yeast. Stir lightly, and let stand in a warm place until mixture develops a creamy foam, about 7 minutes. (If mixture doesn’t foam, discard and start over with new yeast.)

Making the sponge. Add remaining water and half the flour. Whisk for about 8-10 minutes until big bubbles form. Let rest 30 minutes. Then all but 1 cup of flour, salt and oil and stir to combine.

Place remaining flour on a clean work surface. Transfer dough to floured surface and knead. Lightly flour your hands if necessary. Knead (by using the heels of your hands and your body weight to push away from you, pull it back and fold in the sides of the dough towards the center. Turn the dough right angle every few kneads) until dough is smooth, soft, and elastic, about 10 minutes. Form into a ball.

Lightly oil a large bowl, put the dough into the bowl and turn the dough so that all sides are coated. Cover the bowl tightly with a plastic wrap/damp tea cloth and let dough rise in a warm (75-80°F), draft-free place until doubled in bulk, 1-2 hours. The dough is ready when it does not spring back when poked with a finger.

In the meantime, squeeze the grated onion slightly to extract juice.

Once dough has doubled in volume, remove dough from the bowl and cut in quarters with out working it. Generously dust dough with flour and begin to roll out. Do this until dough is rolled to form a 8-inch circle that is 1/4-inch thick. Pick up the disc and then form a 1 inch band around the edge. Let dough rest for 10 minutes, covered with a towel. Transfer it to a pizza peel that has been sprinkled with semolina or cornmeal (Alternatively use a parchment paper) then using a bread stamp (durtlik/chekich) or a fork. Prick the center of the bread to create holes so bread will remain flat. Brush dough with onion juice then smear in a quarter of the onion pulp on the dough. Sprinkle with nigella seeds and sesame seeds. Then slide dough onto heated stone and bake until golden and crisp, 8-10 minutes. Remove bread from oven and serve immediately. Repeat.

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* Coconut Tartlets

Posted on March 29th, 2015 by Linda. Filed under Bake, Chinese, Cooking Method, Course, Cuisine, Dessert, Dim Sum.


What’s not to like about these dim sum favorite coconut tartlets?  Coconut in condensed milk – a macaroon – in a cookie shell!

90gm butter, diced
48gm powdered sugar, sifted
24gm eggs
144gm pastry flour, sifted
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
A pinch of kosher salt

250gm frozen shredded coconut, thawed
60 gm butter, melted
125 ml condensed milk
1 egg yolk

8 mini tartlet moulds

Preparing the pastry
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment beat the butter for a few minutes until soft, slowly add sugar on medium speed and beat until sugar dissolves and is pale and fluffy about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs in two separate batches, until incorporated. Add vanilla. Reduce speed to low and add flour (dry) mixture, mix until just combined. Remove dough and form into a disc. Avoid overmixing the dough. Wrap with plastic and refrigerate until firm.

Preparing the filling
Add the melted butter to the thawed shredded coconut. Then add condensed milk, and egg yolks. Stir to combine.

Preparing the tartlets

Preheat the oven 350F
When dough is firm, break dough into 8 equal parts and gently roll into ping pong size balls. Lightly dust the working surface with flour and roll each ball into a circle, about 4 mm thick and 3 inches diameter. Use a cookie cutter to get a perfect circle. Line the ungreased tart moulds with short pastry, thumb up to the sides then trim the edge to have a clean finish.

Fill with filling, up to ¼ inch from the edge with a slight mount in the center. Do not pack the filling. Place onto baking tray and bake at 350F for 30 mins, or until the crust is golden, and the filling is golden.   Let cool 5 minutes, remove tartlets from mould. Place into paper liners.

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* Salmon Red Curry

Posted on July 12th, 2012 by Linda. Filed under Bake, Braise, Cuisine, Entree, Thai.

Not exactly your regular Thai red curry, but it is sure tasty alright! The sauce is very versatile, too. Make a big jar of it and have it on hand for a quick and tasty curry. Pour it over steak, rotisserie chicken, blanched asparagus, broiled tofu – you get the idea.  The crisp basil on top is a bonus.  Skip it to reduce work.

Chef tip: Sear fish presentation down then flip it onto a baking sheet. The contact with the baking sheet will cook the other side in the oven.

1/2 Tablespoon ginger, peeled and grated
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons canola oil
1 Tablespoon Thai red curry paste
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 Tablespoon curry powder
1/2 Tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon cumin, toasted and ground
1 teaspoon coriander seeds, toasted and ground
2 cups unsweetened coconut milk, well-stirred
2 Tablespoon fish sauce
2 Tablespoons palm sugar

8 six-ounce pieces salmon fillet, skin on
Olive oil for brushing salmon
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/2 bunch basil, makes 24 leaves
2 cups canola oil
1/2 cup roasted cashews, roughly chopped
2 kaffir lime leaves, finely chiffonade

1/2 cup roasted peanuts
Cilantro sprigs

Preheat oven to 400°F

Prepare the curry sauce:
1.     In a heavy saucepan, add oil, then ginger and garlic over moderate heat, and sauté until golden, about 1 minutes.
2.     Add curry paste, tomato paste, curry powder, paprika, cumin and coriander and sauté, stirring, 1 minute, or until fragrant.
3.     Add coconut milk, fish sauce, and palm sugar and bring just to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes. Keep warm until service.

Prepare the deep fried basil (optional)
4.     Place oil in a small pot, bring to 375F.  Pat dry basil leaves and drop a few at a time into the hot oil, about 10 seconds.  Remove and place on a baking rack over a sheet pan to drain.

Prepare the fish:
5.     Pat dry salmon. Brush salmon with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper
6.     Heat a large non-stick sauté pan over medium heat.  When the pan is hot, sear the salmon, (presentation side down) until golden.  Transfer to an oiled sheet pan, presentation side up.  Roast salmon in the oven about 7 minutes.
7.     Place salmon on a platter and pour curry sauce over salmon.
8.     Garnish with basil, cashews and kaffir.

Serves 8

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