Category Archives: Bread Basket

japanese tofu bread

in case you’ve been wondering if i still bake, yes, i do…however, i’ve been doing a miserable job keeping up with the posting!

in the past few months, i’ve been spotting the emergence of “tofu bread” at japanese bakeries around the NYC area.  i’ve purchased a few loaves.  i can’t say that the flavour of tofu is actually detectable, but the texture is good, it seems to keep for a longer time than normal bread, and well the idea of eating tofu in my bread seems virtuous and healthy.

so, i decided to track down a recipe on a japanese website (which i’ve since lost track of — otherwise, i’d link to it).  the flavour and texture is pretty good (a tight crumb) and moist…altho i didn’t quite get the rise that i had anticipated (perhaps i messed something up in translation or my yeast had sat in the freezer for too long).

anyhow…here’s how i made tofu bread…version 1.0

japanese tofu bread
(makes one 9″ loaf)

Bread Flour 250g + 50g (reserve)
Sugar 30g
Salt 3g
Butter 30g (at room temp)
Silken Tofu 150g
Milk 100 ml
Active dry yeast 3g
  1. Heat milk until just warm (but not so hot that it kills the yeast).  Pour about 1/3 of the sugar into the warm milk.  Then pour in the yeast.  Set aside, allowing the yeast to bubble and froth (about 15 minutes).
  2. In the bowl of your standmixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together butter and sugar until well-combined. Then add in tofu.  Mix for about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Next, pour in salt and bread flour.  Mix for another 2-3 minutes.
  4. Finally pour in milk-yeast mixture.
  5. Change to dough hook.  Mix at medium speed until a ball of dough forms and the all the excess has removed from the sides.  The dough should not be tacky.  We added about 50g of additional bread flour until we got it to the right consistency — something like a soft clay.
  6. Transfer to a bowl. Dust with flour, cover with plastic and allow to rise until it doubles to triples in size.
  7.  Then, form it into a loaf to fit into a 9″ loaf pan.  Again, allow the dough to rest in a warm place until it rises to the just above the lip of the pan.
  8. Heat oven to 385°F and bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

 

 

 

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bread & jam

the bread making bug is back!  after buying copious loaves of bread from my local bakery, and then watching half the loaf go moldy before i got to it, i decided to start baking my own bread again . . . for some weird reason which i haven’t quite sorted out yet, bread baked at home seems last 1 to 1.5 wks before going molding.  whereas the stuff i get from my local bakery, starts to catch that fuzzy green stuff within 3 days. hmmmmm . . .

i decided to launch the fall 2011 breadmaking season with KAF’s classic 100% whole wheat bread, except of course, i only had half the amount of whole wheat flour at hand and ended up having to substitute with bread flour.  their recipe (with my substitutions) turns out a fantastically rustic loaf with the slightest bit of nuttiness.  hubs and i have been eating the bread for over a week now…and it has yet to go moldy! yipee!

here’s the recipe. i used 200g of whole wheat flour and 200g of bread flour instead.  i also opted for the maple syrup rather than the molasses (since i didn’t have any of the latter on hand).

now, what i’m really excited about is how well my white nectarine jam turned out. it’s fruity, peachy and has just the right consistency for thickly spreading on a slice of homemade wheat bread.

i purchased a flat of white nectarines from costco, which turned out to be rather dry and tasteless.  and in my book, when life gives you tasteless white nectarines, you turn it into jam.

White Nectarine Jam
(makes about 1.5 quarts of jam)

White nectarines or peaches 1.5 kg (washed, peeled and cut into chunks; about 8-10 nectarines)
Seedless Grapes 0.5 lb (washed and de-stemmed)
Sugar 800g
Lemon Juice From 3 large lemons
Pectin (low methoxyl) 3 tsp (and a 2 tbsp of calcium water for activation), or follow manufacturer’s recommendations for usage of pectin.
  1. Combine all ingredients, except calcium water, in a large clean flat bottomed pot (i used a dutch oven).
  2. Mix together with a wooden spatula and let sit for 20 minutes.
  3. Bring the mixture up to a light boil and then turn off heat.  Allow the mixture to cool and then store in refrigerator overnight.  Place a clean white plate in the freezer overnight as well.
  4. The next day, pour calcium water into the mixture and bring to a boil. Stir constantly to ensure that the jam is evenly heated. Boil for 10 minutes or so.
  5. Then, take the pot off heat, and use an immersion blender to puree the fruit until smooth.
  6. Return the pot to the stove, and continue to boil / stir until the jam passes the frozen plate test.  (take the plate out of the freezer.  put a dab of jelly on the plate.  push the jelly slight with your finger. if wrinkles form as you push the jam, it is ready).
  7. Pour jam into prepared jam jars immediately.

white peaches & green tea in a muffin

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jury duty & honey black sesame bread

after magically managing to escape jury duty for most of my adult life, my number was finally up.  slated to report to the center street court house this monday, i started feeling a bit anxious on sunday morning. and when i’m anxious, i bake.

a while back, i attempted to make the japanese double soft bread (ダ○ルソフト), and it came out lopsided. i decided to give it ago a second time, with some last minute modifications, of course.  Continue reading

lemon cream stuffed puffs

remember that quart of lemon cream i made but which didn’t work so well sandwiched in between two tea cookies? well . . . i decided to get out my piping bags and stuff it into some pâte à choux (or choux dough) puffs.  it’s still ooey and gooey once you bite into it, but it does stay quite a better in its enclosed cream puff receptacle.

some science 1st:  while some doughs get their rise from the action of yeast fermentation or baking powder, choux dough rises from steam.  the water content of the dough is quite high, and as it bakes away, the water in the dough steams out, causing the dough rise into light airy puffs.   (this also means that one should stand to the side upon opening the oven; otherwise, you’ll be greeted with a rather hot squirt of steam). Continue reading