Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Milk Loaf

As SMALL FAN and Baby FAN both loves bread, decided to try my hand at making bread for them. Thought it would be healthier and fresher with no preservatives etc.

Found the recipe and follow the instructions from Happy Home Baking.

Milk Loaf (original recipe from here)
  • 143g fresh milk (I used about 140 g of marigold fullcream milk)
  • 35g egg (I use half an egg)
  • 25g caster sugar
  • 5g salt
  • 250g bread flour (I used unbleached white flour)
  • 4g Instant yeast (I put about 1 teaspoon)
  • 38g butter (unsalted)
How I did it:
  1. Mixed flour, salt, sugar and yeast together. Form a well in the flour and pour milk and egg into it, then knead it into a dough.
  2. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes until smooth. Then knead the butter into the dough.
  3. Knead the dough for about 20 minutes until the dough is smooth and not sticky.
  4. Remove dough from the bread pan, let it proof in room temperature in a mixing bowl, covered with cling wrap. Let proof for 1 to 2 hours.
  5. Remove dough and punch out the gas. Divide dough into 3 equal portion. Roll and shape into balls. Let the doughs rest and relax for 15 mins. (this 'relaxing' time is needed so that the dough will be easier to roll out and shaped).
  6. On a lightly floured surface, flatten one dough and roll out into a longish shape. Roll up the dough swiss-roll style. Do the same for the two remaining doughs.
  7. Flatten the rolled-up dough and roll out again into a long rectangular shape. Roll up tightly, and make as many rolls you can, swiss-roll style for the second time. Do the same for the two remaining doughs.
  8. Place doughs in lightly greased bread tin/pan. Let the doughs proof for the second time, until it fills up 80% of the tin/pan. Cover with cling wrap.
  9. Bake at pre-heated oven at 180 ~ 190 deg C for 30 to 35mins. (I set mine to 200 deg C as my oven temperature is always on the low side.)
  10. Unmould the bread immediately when removed from the oven. Let cool completely before slicing.
Ok, the bread turns out quite nice although I think it's a little too dense and the next day, I need to steam it as it gets quite hard. I wonder if it's because of the flour as I don't have bread flour, I substituted it with unbleached white flour or is it that I did not knead enough or I didn't proof it long enough??? But it's a good try, maybe I will try again next time using bread flour as per the original recipe.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Homemade Baby Food: Fisherman's Pie

Fisherman's Pie
  • 2 potatoes
  • 90g skinless cod fish
  • 1/4 cup frozen peas
  • 2 tbsp frozen corn
  • 210ml formula milk
  1. Peel and rinse the potatoes and cut into even pieces. Place in a pan with the peas corn and milk.
  2. Bring to boil, cover and simmer for 10 minutes, put in the fish and continue to cook for another 5 minutes until the potatoes are tender.
  3. Puree the mixture until desired consistency.
  4. Served a portion and freeze the rest.
Verdict: Baby FAN don't really like this, I think it could be the cod fish and the corn combination that cause the dish to have a bitter aftertaste.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Homemade Baby Food: Nutritious Fruits Dessert

Baby FAN has been having constipation since she started on solid food, was thinking of buying commercial prune juice for her to drink to help in her constipation when I stumble upon a reading that pear helps in bowel movement. So decided to try out on this recipe and it seems to work, Baby FAN has been pooing quite consistently these few days after I gave her the dessert.

Nutritious Fruit Dessert
  • 1 ripe pear (make sure it's really ripe, I used a not as ripe one and the dish taste a little sour)
  • 2 ripe plums
  • 2 tsp sugar (optional, if your pear and plums are ripe enough, I suggested not to put sugar)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup or 90ml formula milk
  1. Peel, core and cut the fruits into small pieces.
  2. Put the fruit in a pan with 1 tbsp water and 2 tsp sugar. Cover and cook gently for 10 minutes until soft. Then puree until smooth.
  3. Heat up and milk and dissolve the remaining sugar and bring it to a boil. Then lower the heat and pour in the beaten egg yolk and stir until a custardy mixture is form.
  4. Pour the custard mixture into the puree fruit.
  5. Serve warm or cold. Freeze the remaining.
Verdict: As mentioned earlier, my pear was a little too raw and so are the plums, so the dessert tasted a little too sourish, Baby FAN don't really like it. But I will try again next time and use riper pear and plums since it works in getting Baby FAN to poo and I personally tasted it myself and thought it tasted quite yummy.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Homemade Baby Food: Mixed Vegetables Platter

Mixed Vegetable Platter
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 medium potatoes (I used 3 instead as my potatoes was very small)
  • About half a broccoli
  • 50g of cabbage
  • 210ml of formula milk
  1. Peel carrot and potatoes. Rinse, chop and place ina pan. Wash the broccoli and cabbage and cut the broccoli into florets and the stems into think slices. Shred the cabbage finely.
  2. Add the milk to the carrot and potatoes and bring to boil, then cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Add the broccoli stems and florets and cabbage and cook, covered for 10 minutes until all the vegetables are tender.
  4. Puree until the desired consistency.
  5. Spoon a portion into a bowl and served. Freeze the rest.
Note: It made about 3 servings for my baby girl. For big eater, maybe 2 servings.

Verdict: My baby FAN doesn't seems to like it but I tried it myself and thought it tasted quite tasty :)

Easy Pretzels

SMALL FAN has been eating a lot of breads nowadays as his Grandma always buy him bread to eat after school as she is worried that he did not eat a proper lunch in childcare. Am getting worried about those commercial bread and how much preservatives and artificial favourings and conditioners that has been put in the bread to made them nice and soft.

So, I decided to try my hand at making some bread stuff for him, a more home-made and healthy one. Found this recipe on making Pretzels instead that looks so easy, so I decided to try making it on a lovely Saturday and let Big FAN take care of the 2 screaming kids instead.

Buttery Soft Pretzels
orginal recipe from
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 2.5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 tbs of baking soda
  • 1/2 cups hot water
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt, for topping
  1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, and salt. Make a well in the center; add the oil and yeast mixture. Mix and form into a dough. If the mixture is dry, add one or two tablespoons of water. Knead the dough until smooth, about 7 to 8 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). In a large bowl, dissolve baking soda in hot water.
  4. When risen, turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a rope and twist into a pretzel shape. Once all of the dough is all shaped, dip each pretzel into the baking soda solution and place on a greased baking sheet. Sprinkle with kosher salt.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 8 minutes, until browned.
Verdict: The pretzel turns out quite nice and SMALL FAN likes it, look at him enjoying the bread. The only think is that it gets kinda hard the next day.


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