Jul 222013
 

Babka (1) ~ Simple Recipes Dot Me

This is one of the recipe that as soon as I saw on the Wall Street Journal on a lazy Saturday morning I said “I am making this!”. This recipe got stuck on my mind and I would not rest until I tried it…and of course I had to do it my way…it was not hard since I had all the ingredients handy.

I used an Asian version for the dough, and somehow followed the instructions for the filling. I omitted the sugar syrup because I thought it would be too sweet with the Nutella and chocolate chips in the filling, which by the way, I added a very generous amount, but hey, feel free to add the sugar syrup if you enjoy a sweeter version of this treat. If you want the original recipe look it here.

Overall the recipe is pretty simple and easy if you are familiar with bread baking…and yes, the result is delicious, the combination of Nutella and chocolate chips is just a dream…gooey, moist…as noted in the article, you will have Nutella in each and every bite of this bread. Therefore when eating this bread, you will find your fingers coated with Nutella/chocolate…yum!

One more thing…I only used half of the dough for the babka, the remaining half I made it into rolls.

Ingredients:

Bread dough with Water Roux

Water Roux
15 g bread flour
75 g water

Dough
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk, complete with water to make a final 2/3 cup
2 ½ cups bread flour
1 ½ tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons dry milk
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dry yeast
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons butter

Filling

Nutella
¼ cup chocolate chips

Babka (2) ~ Simple Recipes Dot Me

Babka (3) ~ Simple Recipes Dot Me

Babka (4) ~ Simple Recipes Dot Me

Method:

Water roux

In a small pan, mix all the ingredients of water roux, place in a low heat and stir constantly until the temperature reach 65C (150F), or if you do not have a thermometer, cook until ripples form.

Set aside to cool by covering with a plastic film.

Dough

In the bread machine bucket, add the water roux, and all the other ingredients, except for the butter.

Turn the machine to knead mode until it forms soft dough. If the dough is too wet or too dry, add more flour or water accordingly. The dough should be soft and almost sticky.

Add the butter and let it knead until the butter incorporates to the dough. At this stage, the dough will be very sticky, do not add more flour as the butter will incorporate totally in the dough.

Remove the dough and place in a bowl by covering with a plastic film.

Let the dough proof until double of its original size.

Knock back the dough and split into 2 balls and let it rest for 5 minutes on the counter.

Using a rolling pin flatten one of the ball and roll into a rectangular (sort of) shape of approximately 13 x 9 inches. Spread Nutella (generously) and sprinkle with chocolate chips. Roll the dough tightly like a Swiss roll and lay the seam side down. Cut into half and again each half to a half. With the second ball I just made rolls…

Lay two segments and for an “X”, and twist each end once. Repeat with the remaining two segments. Transfer them to a mini loaf pan, tucking the end underneath.

Cover the pans with plastic wrap until loaves double in volume. Bake in a pre-heated oven to 350F for 20 minutes.

Remove and let it cool on a wire rack.

Babka (5) ~ Simple Recipes Dot Me

Babka (6) ~ Simple Recipes Dot Me

If you enjoy this Asian inspired recipe for babka, you might want to check on this other Asian inspired bread such as Chocolate Marble Bread or Cinnamon Rolls in a Cup.

Curiosity Corner Jan 2013
Did you know that babka is rumored to have its origins in Poland? And it was a cake? Many other versions of babka have emerged from cake to yeasted bread.

Thank you for stopping by Simple Recipes [dot] Me and have a great week!

Apr 152013
 

Gluten Free Bread from Simple Recipes Dot Me (1)

Gluten is a very serious issue for people that have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, and lately has been in the news as a new way to boost health and even lose weight. Apparently 1% of the population has celiac disease and about 10% are gluten-reactive. Anyway, as far as we know my husband and I are not in neither group of population, but I found it interesting and challenging the concept of baking goods without wheat flour since gluten is “vital” for the “structure” of the bread.

I must agree with you that the list of ingredients seems “endless”, but so little is required after you gather all the ingredients, once you have it mixed, you almost forget how long and tedious was collecting them all. The recipe that I have below is a blend of many recipes for gluten free bread that I adapted from Delishville.

This bread tasted delicious right out of the oven, and if I did not know that was gluten free, I would have a hard time to believe it. But the problem was the very next day, the bread literally was hard like a brick…therefore in order to eat I had to either microwave or toast it.

Ingredients:

½ cup rice flour
¾ cup corn flour (starch)
¾ cup tapioca flour (starch)
¼ cup sorghum
2 eggs
½ teaspoon white vinegar
2 tablespoons agave syrup
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup warm water
1 tablespoon xanthan gum
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoon almond meal
1 teaspoon gelatin
1½ teaspoons yeast

Gluten Free Bread from Simple Recipes Dot Me (2)

Gluten Free Bread from Simple Recipes Dot Me (3)

Method:

Grease and lightly flour a loaf pan of 9 x 5 in with corn meal.

In a bowl, mix all the dry ingredients together. In a bigger bowl mix the water (warm), eggs, vinegar, agave syrup and margarine or butter.

Slowly add the dry ingredients to the liquid mixture. The dough will be like a cake batter, mix for approximately 4 minutes.

Pour the batter/dough in the pan and let it rise in a warm place for about 40 minute to 1 hour or until it double its initial size.

Place the dough in preheated oven of 350F for approximately 50 to 55 minutes.

Serve warm, preferably on the same day.

Gluten Free Bread from Simple Recipes Dot Me (5)

Gluten Free Bread from Simple Recipes Dot Me (7)

For the gluten free toasts…

Slice the gluten free bread, place in a silicone liner and place in a preheated oven of 275F for 45 to 60 minutes by flipping over once until golden brown.

Let it cool completely in the wire rack. Store the toasts in an airtight container.

Gluten Free Bread from Simple Recipes Dot Me (6)

If you enjoy this gluten free bread you might want to check on others gluten free bread recipes such as Brazilian Pão de Queijo or the Asian Inspired Pão de Queijo.

Curiosity Corner Jan 2013
Did you that the term “gluten” is derived from Latin gluten, which means “glue”? Many vegetarian dishes use gluten for imitation meats due to its textures and the ability to absorb broth, therefore the gluten acquires the flavor and the texture of meat.

Thank you for stopping by Simple Recipes [dot] Me and have a great week!

Mar 182013
 


Brioche from Simple Recipes Dot Me

I must admit that I do not watch my diet, I always believed that moderation is the key therefore if I crave for something I will go for it…in moderation. With that said, every time that I plan to bake brioche I get turned off once I see the amount butter that is required…well, I could not resist and eventually went ahead with the plan to make brioche. I can tell you that when the butter was added to the dough and struggling to get incorporated in the dough, I was like “OMG, this is insane! But when the loaf of brioche came out of the oven the alarming image of the butter trying to be incorporated to the dough disappeared…and here I was one slice after another…

I adapted this recipe from Food.com and used the bread machine for all the mixing and kneading. This came out deliciously rich, buttery with such a luxurious texture…we enjoyed it warm with strawberry jam and slightly toasted…for your information, I did not regret making this bread. If you have not baked brioche I urge you to try…it is worth every single bite.

Ingredients:

Sponge
¼ cup warm water
1 teaspoon yeast
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 large egg

Dough
¼ cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
¾ cup all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons butter at room temperature

Brioche from Simple Recipes Dot Me

Brioche from Simple Recipes Dot Me

Brioche from Simple Recipes Dot Me

Method:

Place the milk, yeast, egg and 1 cup of the flour in the bread machine bucket, set to mix until all the ingredients are well blended. Set the sponge aside to rest uncovered for 30-40 minutes.

After this resting time, add the sugar, salt, eggs, and ¾ cup of the flour to the sponge. Set in the machine to kneading setting until dough is smooth, make sure that you scrape the sides of the bucket.

Add the butter one tablespoon at the time until all the butter is incorporated to the dough. It will be very sticky but do not be attempt to add more flour, eventually the butter will be all incorporated in the dough and the dough will be very soft and smooth.

Transfer the dough to a bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and let it rise at room temperature until doubled its original size for approximately 2 to 2 ½ hours.

Deflate the dough by pulling the dough and then letting it fall back into the bowl. Quickly shape the dough by Dividing the dough into three balls, and each into 3 little balls. Braid them and put the braid in the mini pan. (The original recipe calls for a second rise in the refrigerator overnight)

Cover the pans with plastic film and allow the dough to rise at room temperature for 2 hours, or until doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly brush each loaf with egg wash (1 egg beat with 1 tablespoon water), Use the ends of a pair of very sharp scissors to snip a cross in each ball of dough.
Bake the loaves for about 30 minutes, or until top of the bread is golden color.

Cool to room temperature on a rack and enjoy!

This brioche can be stored in the freezer, by wrapping the bread tightly with plastic bag.

Brioche from Simple Recipes Dot Me

Brioche from Simple Recipes Dot Me

If you enjoy this Brioche recipe you might want to check on Chocolate Marble Bread or Sweet Rolls.

Thank you for stopping by Simple Recipes [dot] Me and have a great week!

Oct 292012
 

When I bought the can of pumpkin from Trader Joe’s, I had no idea what I wanted to use the can for…I just knew that I wanted to make something using pumpkin…after all, it is Fall and Halloween is around the corner.
After many thoughts…why not pumpkin buns using the water roux method? But what do to with the remaining of the pumpkin? Why not fill the buns with it? So this was the end of my quest…pumpkin buns filled with pumpkin. In the middle of the baking, I decided to try and make some rolls as well, like the cinnamon rolls, using the pumpkin filling…

The buns and rolls came out delicious, the combination of the soft and pillowy bread with the creamy pumpkin filling was just perfect.

Ingredients:

Water roux
15 g bread flour
75 ml water

Dough
1 ½ cup bread flour
¾ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons dry milk
1 ½ tablespoons butter
1 ½ teaspoons yeast
1 egg
½ cup mashed pumpkin
1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
Water as needed

Pumpkin filling
1 can of pumpkin minus the ½ cup (used in the dough)
3 to 4 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon pumpkins spice
2 tablespoons fresh milk

Egg wash
Poppy seeds

Method:

Water roux

In a small pan, mix all the ingredients of water roux, place in  low heat and stir constantly until the temperature reaches 65oC (150F), or if you do not have a thermometer, cook until ripples form. Set aside to cool by covering with a plastic film.

Dough

In the bread machine bucket, add the water roux, and all the other ingredients listed under “dough”, except for the butter.

Turn the machine to knead mode until it forms soft dough, add more water if needed. Add the butter and let it knead until the butter incorporates to the dough.

Remove the dough and place in a bowl by covering with a plastic film.

Let both dough proof until the dough doubles to its original size. In the meantime prepare the pumpkin filling by mixing all the ingredients in a medium bowl.

Knock back the dough and split into 2 balls and let it rest for 5 minutes on the counter.

Flatten one of the balls and shape like a Swiss roll, place half of the filling and roll it like a Swiss roll. Cut in 8 equal size and place in a pan, cover the pan with a plastic film until it sizes double.

With the other half ball, split into 8 small portions. Flatten the dough with the roller pin and with your fingers until a disk. Place some filling in the middle of the disk and seal it with all the filling in it. Place the filled buns on the tray, cover with a plastic film and let them rest until their sizes double.

When ready to bake, with a sharp scissor make cuts on the side of the buns and brush the top of the buns with the egg wash and sprinkle some poppy seeds on it.

In a preheated oven of 350 bake the buns and rolls for approximately 25 minutes or until golden brown
Remove from the oven and cool the buns/rolls on a wire rack.

If you enjoy this pumpkin buns using water roux method, you might want to check on Simple Pumpkin Cupcakes or Pumpkin Cookies for recipe using pumpkin.

Curiosity Corner Jan 2013
Did you know that pumpkin is very rich in dietary fiber? Moreover, due to its high content in antioxidants, minerals and vitamins is one of the food item that is recommended by dieticians for cholesterol and weight controlling program.

Thank you for stopping by Simple Recipes and have a great week!

Jun 042012
 

Hello! I am back and I hope you all had a great weekend…we went to Beijing for vacation. Being that this was my first time in China, I must tell you, it was amazing…I will, in the future, share some of the pictures that we took.

Being in China and exposed to all the Chinese food, all of a sudden I asked myself “how come I have not made Chinese steamed bread/bun?” Well, most of the time I would buy them frozen at the local Asian grocery store, either plain or filled with savory meat/vegetarian or the sweet version. Very different from when I used to live in Brazil.  Because the Asian goods were not ready available, we had to make everything from scratch. After moving to US, we just got spoiled since we could find all the goodies easily available.

I remember the first time  I introduced this buns to my husband, he looked at me and said “are you sure that this is cooked? It seems raw…” Even as I place the bun into my mouth, he was still hesitant but finally gave in and tried…Now he loves the homemade ones; he even spreads the buns with peanut butter and jelly or makes a sandwich with it.

These buns are very soft and pillowy… I love “playing” with the dough and making different shapes or into simple rolls. You can store the buns in the refrigerator or in the freezer. Just place them in the steamer for 10 to 15 minutes and you have a hot and steamy bun. Believe me this recipe is very simple!

Ingredients:

Starter dough

1/3 cup warm water
1 ½ teaspoon yeast
2 teaspoon sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour

Main Dough

1 ½ tablespoon cornstarch, complete with all-purpose flour to final measurement of 1 ½ cup
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon canola oil
¼ cup warm water

Method:

Starter dough

Dissolve the sugar in the warm water and add the yeast. Mix gently and let it rest for approximately 5 minutes, add the flour. Mix and let the starter dough rest in a warm place for approximately 1 hour, until the surface is bubbly.

Final dough

In the bread machine bucket add the starter dough and the remaining ingredients from the main dough, except the water. Set the bread machine to the dough setting, slowly add the water until the dough is soft and smooth. When the dough cycle finishes, remove the dough from the bucket and place in a medium bowl cover with a plastic film and let the dough proof until it doubles its original size. It will take approximately 1 to 2 hours, depending of the room temperature.

Once the dough double its original size, knock the dough back (punch in down) gently and it is time to shape them…now the fun begins!

In this particular case, I divided the dough into 10 equal pieces and shaped them differently. I even added green onion in a couple of them.

Once you shape the buns, place them on parchment paper, cover with plastic film and let them rise in a warm place for approximately 30 to 45 minutes, or until almost double in size.

In the meantime get the steamer going. Place the buns in the steamer, making sure that there is enough space between the buns. Steam the buns in boiling medium heat for 12 to 15 minutes. Be careful when removing the buns from the steamer so the steam condensation does not drip on the buns.

Transfer the buns to a rack to cool. Serve them hot/warm.

Store them in the refrigerator or freezer.

If you enjoy this Chinese steamed buns you may want to check on this other Asian bread recipes like Red Bean Buns or Asian Style Sandwich Loaf from Simple Recipes.

Curiosity Corner Jan 2013
Did you know that the steamed buns were typically eaten in the northern part of China, where wheat was grown abundantly? These steamed buns have mainly two textures, the soft and fluffy and the dense and firm, being that the first one was served in elegant restaurants and the latter one was mainly used for the working man (high carbohydrates).

Thank you for stopping by Simple Recipes and have a great week!

Apr 162012
 

This is a very fun and simple bread recipe using the water roux method. The texture of this bread, due to the water roux,  is very soft, almost cotton like and the bread stays soft for more than 3 days. It is not very sweet because sugar was not added to the chocolate layers…

My husband was a little disappointed because he expected a sweeter chocolate layer…and he was like “looks like chocolate, but does not taste like it”. Once I explained to him that I used unsweetened cocoa powder, he settled for “Oh! So the chocolate color is just for  looks”. Anyway, to boost the flavor you can always spread jam or Nutella.

I used my bread machine, but this simple recipe can be easily done manually. I made them into three mini bread pans; they came out very “cute”.

Ingredients:

Water roux
1/3 cup bread flour
1 cup water

Main dough
2 ½ cups bread flour
2 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons milk powder
100 ml of water plus 2 tablespoons water
1 ½ tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ½ teaspoons yeast
2 tablespoons butter

Method:

Water roux

In a small pan, mix all the ingredients of water roux, place in a low heat and stir constantly until the temperature reach 65oC (150F), or if you do not have a thermometer, cook until ripples form. Set aside to cool by covering with a plastic film.

Main dough

In the bread machine bucket, add the water roux, and all the other ingredients, except for the butter, water and cocoa powder.
Turn the machine to knead mode until it forms soft dough. Add the butter and let it knead until the butter incorporates into the dough.

Divide the dough in approximately 2/3 and 1/3 portions. Remove the small portion and set aside by covering with a plastic film.

Knead the bigger portion until the dough is smooth and elastic. Remove from the machine and set aside in a bowl by covering the dough with a plastic film.

Place back the small portion in the bread machine and add cocoa powder and water as needed and let it knead until the dough is smooth and elastic. Cover the chocolate dough and set aside in a bowl by covering with a plastic film.

Let both dough proof until the dough doubles to its original size.

Knock back both dough and let it rest for 5 minutes on the counter, cover both dough.

Flatten the chocolate dough into a rectangle shape of approximately 6 x 9 inches and the white dough to 12 x 6 inches. Layer the chocolate rectangle in between the white rectangle. Flatten the rectangle and cut in 2 equal portions. Layer one piece on top of the other and flatten again. Repeat this procedure a couple of times.

Cut the flatten dough into 3 equal pieces. Then again cut into 3 equal strips. Gently roll the strips and place 3 together and make a braid. Place the braided bread in the tins. Cover the tins with plastic film and let them rise in a warm place until the dough has almost tripled its original size.

Meanwhile, preheat oven at 350F. Bake for approximately 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and brush with melted butter. Remove from the tin and transfer to a wire rack to cool.

If you enjoy this Asian style bread you might want to check on red bean buns or cinnamon rolls.

Have a great week and thank you for stopping by Simple Recipes!

Feb 062012
 

Slices of bread

This is my first time baking bread with semolina…always hear so much about it and finally got the chance to try it out.

If you like crusty crust and soft, and somehow moist and chewy crumb with uneven holes and nutty flavor, you will love this bread. It is so simple…as usual,  I used my bread machine for the sponge and to knead the main dough, but you can easily do it without the machine or use a mixer instead. This recipe was adapted from Bread Making/Bread Experience. I cut the quantity by a third, since I was baking  for only the two of us, but next time making this bread I will sure double it since it is so good.

Before I share the recipe of this delicious bread with you, I am very excited because Simple Recipes has been featured on the Best of the Web hosted by Pocket Change. Please hop to the site to check it out. This site contains lots of reviews and shopping advices for all kind of products, from food items to spas.

Now to the recipe…

Ingredients:

Sponge:

½ cup semolina flour
½ cup bread flour
½ cup water
½ teaspoon yeast
¼ teaspoon sugar

Main Dough:

¾ cup semolina flour
¾ cup + 1 tablespoon bread flour
½ cup water or more
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
all the sponge above

Method:

Sponge:

Place all the ingredients listed on the sponge on the bucket of the bread machine. Set to kneading mode. Once the cycle is over, let the sponge rest for approximately 1 ½ to 2 hours, when the dough is about to collapse.

Main Dough:

Add all of the ingredients listed on the main dough to the bucket with the sponge except for the olive oil, and again set the machine to kneading cycle. Once a soft and even dough has formed, add the olive oil and let the cycle continue until its end, the gluten should have developed.

Remove the dough from the bread machine and place in an oiled bowl and cover with plastic film.

Let the dough ferment for 1 ½ to 2 ½ hours depending on the temperature of the room, until almost triple the initial size. Fold the dough and let it ferment for another 2 hours.

Remove the dough from the bowl on a lightly floured surface. Cover the dough with plastic. Let it rest for about 10 to 20 minutes so the dough relaxes.

Shape the dough by gently stretching until it forms a big rectangle. Fold the ends and flip the dough on a floured parchment paper so the mended side is on the bottom. At this point, I sled the parchment paper on a cookie sheet lined with silicone mat (I thought that if the dough were to raise too much it would stick on the silicone mat instead of the cookie sheet, but there was no need, therefore you may skip the silicone mat) and covered the dough with plastic wrap and placed them in the refrigerator overnight.

The next day, remove the dough from the refrigerator and let them warm up to room temperature for about 1 to ½ hour.

Preheat the oven at 475F by placing a baking stone on the middle rack of the oven and a steam pan underneath with water.

Score the loaf and gently spray the top of the loaf with water.

Slide the bread (on the parchment paper) directly onto the baking stone and pour 1 cup of ice in the steam pan. After 30 seconds, spray the walls of the oven with water. Repeat a couple of times.

After 15 minutes, lower the temperature to 450 F. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes. Rotate the bread 180 degrees for even baking.

Remove the loaf to a wire rack and cool completely before slicing.

I hope you enjoy this simple recipe for bread using semolina.

Curiosity Corner Jan 2013
Did you know that semolina flour is derived from durum wheat? It is high in gluten and mainly used for bread and pasta.

Thank you for stopping by Simple Recipes and have a great week!