Tag Archives: malaysian baker

celery bread

malaysian master baker alex goh has got a recipe for celery bread. it has a light celery flavour and is absolutely delicious in that “oh my goodness yummy bread, addicted to carbs and can’t stop” kind of way.  the recipe makes use of his sponge dough recipe, which requires a bit of forethought but totally worth planning around.

Celery Bread
(Makes two 8×3 inch loaves; adapted from Alex Goh and slightly modified)

Overnight Sponge Dough
Bread Flour 100g
Hot Water 70g
Main Dough
Bread Flour 325g
AP Flour 75g
Milk Powder 15g
Sugar 50g
Salt 8g
Instant Yeast 8g
Celery 130g
Egg 1 egg
Cold Water 70g
Butter 40g
Diced Celery 50g (optional)
Diced Ham 50g (optional)

To make the sponge dough:

  1. Mix together bread flour and boiling water until a dough forms. Cover with plastic and set asie to cool. When cooled, place in refrigerator for at least 12 hours.

To make the main dough:

  1. Butter and flour your bread pans and set aside.
  2. Prepare celery juice. Put 130g of celery in a food processor and add 65g of cold water (not listed in ingredient list above).  Grind until the celery is totally pulverized.  Strain the celery, making sure to retain the juices. You only want to retain the juices and not the coarse fibers that are strained out.
  3. In the bowl of your stand mixer with the dough hook attachment, mix together the flours, sugar, salt, milk powder, and yeast until well-blended.
  4. Add in the celery juice, cold water and eggs. Knead with the dough hook until a rough dough forms.
  5. Then add in the overnight sponge dough followed by the butter.
  6. Knead the dough on medium speed for 3 to 5 minutes until the dough becomes elastic. When you pull it apart the dough will be springy and not too sticky.
  7. Add in diced celery and diced ham, if desired. Mix until well-combined.
  8. Let the dough proof until it has doubled in size and an indentation remains when pressed. About 1 hour.
  9. Flatten the dough and roll it up like a swiss roll.  Place 3 to 4 pieces in each loaf plan.
  10. Let proof for 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
  11. Bake at 350ºF for ~40-45 minutes.

pandan coconut bread (香兰椰子面包)- twist and loaf roll

so i got to wondering, as i’m wont to do. instead of making a whole bunch of small rolls, as i did with the prosciutto shallot rolls, would it be possible to take the dough and fashion it into a loaf-sized roll? i also recalled seeing a recipe for a coconut twist bread in alex goh’s magic bread cookbook that i wanted to try.  why not, why not kill two breads with one stone, so to speak?

Pandan Coconut Roll Loaf

i prepared one recipe of alex’s basic sweet bread dough and divided it in half (measure out 480g for the twists and use the rest for the roll loaf).  i used half of it to fashion the pandan coconut roll loaf and the 2nd half to make the pandan coconut twists.  my little experiment with the roll loaf worked.  i shaped the roll loaf using the same method as described for the prosciutto shallot rolls, just on a larger scale and with a different stuffing.  i’d say though that the loaf came out more oval than round. i’d imagine that if one endeavored to make an even larger roll (using perhaps all of the sweet bread dough, rather than just half), the resulting loaf would probably come out even more oblong than round.

because of the size of the loaf (roughly 8×6 inches), the baking time needs to be adjusted.  a roll loaf made out of half of the basic sweet bread dough recipe needs to be baked for 30-35 minutes at 350°F.

Pandan Coconut Twists
(for 16 twists)

Basic Sweet Bread Dough Recipe 1 full recipe
Pandan Coconut Filling
Butter 70g
Sugar 120g
Egg 1 large one
Shredded unsweetened coconut 110g
Milk powder 50g
Pandan paste 1 tsp
  1. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  2. Add in egg.  Beat until smooth.
  3. Then, add in coconut and milk powder.  When well-combined, add in pandan paste.  Mix until the green colour of the paste is evenly distributed.
  4. Shape the coconut filling into sixteen 35g balls and set aside.
  5. Next, divide the sweet bread dough into 60g balls.
  6. To shape the twists, take a 60g ball of dough and flatten it until it is a circle about 3-4 inches in diameter. I used a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface.
  7. Place the 35g ball of coconut filling in the center of the flattened dough.  Cupping the dough and coconut filling in the palm of your hand, slowly pinch the sides of the dough together until the coconut center is completely covered.
  8. Next, roll out the filled dough with a rolling pin until you have an oval shape about 6 inches long and 3 inches wide.
  9. Roll up the dough like a swiss roll.
  10. With the seam of the roll as the underside, use scissors to make 8 cuts in the top of the dough.  the cuts should go about 3/4 of the way down but should not cut through the dough entirely.
  11. Using your fingers, twist one cut portion of roll to the left and one to the right, until all 8 cuts are twisted in an alternating fashion.
  12. Place each roll on a parchment paper lined pan, and allow it to proof until it has roughly doubled in size (about 45 minutes with the oven set to the proofing function).
  13. Brush with egg wash and bake at 350°F for 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown.

asian bread rolls: cheddar prosciutto shallot or fish floss

jetlagged. on the flip side, i’m keeping a baker’s hours.  woke up at 2am last night which was just as well.  while in malaysia, i picked up  a cookbook, alex goh’s (呉景發) magic bread, and had started the bread making process earlier in the day.  by 2 am, i was ready to mix together the bread dough for its 2nd proofing stage (3 proofs total).  i picked up two tricks from the book so far — how to make asian bread with the sponge dough method and how to shape stuffed bread into a spiral pattern.

alex goh makes his sweet bread dough using the sponge and dough method.  (the preface of the book indicates that it derives from japanese bakers). essentially, the method requires one to mix together flour and boiling water at least 12 hours — this is called an overnight sponge dough.  the sponge dough is then added to the main bread dough.  the sponge dough component enables bread that is softer and moister and stays soft and moist for a longer period of time. the sponge dough also helps the resulting dough achieve a higher volume than without.

i was originally going to make only prosciutto and shallot rolls, but i ran out of prosciutto in the process.  i wrapped fish floss (commonly found in chinese supermarkets, fish floss is typically swordfish that has been seasoned and stir fried until it becomes dried out, light and fluffy) into the dough, which worked just as well as the prosciutto. i thought the breads came out quite tasty. hubby ate 4 rolls in one day, so i guess at least there’s one customer besides myself!

Alex Goh’s Basic Sweet Bread Dough
(makes about 16 rolls)

Overnight Sponge Dough
Bread Flour 100g
Boiling Water 70g
Main Dough
Bread Flour 300g
AP Flour 100g
Sugar 80g
Salt 6g
Milk Powder 20g
Instant Yeast 9g
Cold Water 175g (you may need 25 to 50g more.  alex is based in malaysia, a very humid climate)
Cold Eggs 60g (about 1 large egg)
Butter 60g

To make the sponge dough:

  1. mix together bread flour and boiling water until a dough forms.  Cover with plastic and set asie to cool.  When cooled, place in refrigerator for at least 12 hours.

To make the main dough:

  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer with the dough hook attachment, mix together the flours, sugar, salt, milk powder, and yeast until well-blended.
  2. Add in the cold water and eggs.  Knead with the dough hook until a rough dough forms.
  3. Then add in the sponge dough followed by the butter.
  4. Knead the dough on medium speed for 3 to 5 minutes until the dough becomes elastic.  When you pull it apart the dough will be springy and not too sticky.
  5. Let the dough proof until it has doubled in size and an indentation remains when pressed.  About 40 to 90 minutes.

Cheddar Prosciutto Shallot or Fish Floss Stuffed Bread Rolls

Minced Shallots 1 large shallot (for 16 rolls)
Prosciutto 300g (for 16 rolls)
Shredded Cheddar Cheese ~2-3 tbsp (for 16 rolls)
Fish Floss ~1-2 tbsp per a roll
  1. When the dough has doubled, divide it into 60g portions and then let the dough rest for 10 minutes.
  2. Take each piece of dough and roll it flat until it is an oblong shape about 6 to 7 inches long and 3 inches wide.
  3. Place a piece of prosciutto OR fish floss on the surface of the dough.
  4. Roll it up, then bend the tubular roll in half.
  5. Using a knife, make a cut in the middle of the bent roll about 3/4 of the way down the length of the bent roll.  The cut should be parallel to the longer edge of the bent roll. Do not cut through entirely.  The roll should still be in one piece with an incision in the middle.
  6. Then open up the roll along the two cut edges. Place the opened up roll on a piece of parchment papers. You should be able to see the ham or fish floss intermingled with layers of dough.
  7. Allow it to proof until doubled in size.   The fish floss buns are ready to be baked at this point (skip step 8).
  8. If using prosciutto only, you may egg wash the rolls after they have proofed (I skipped the egg wash).  After egg washing the prosciutto rolls, sprinkle on the minced shallots followed by the shredded cheese.
  9. Bake at 360ºF for 12-15 minutes.