Bread and Batter, Cakes and Cookies, Desserts

Anna Olson’s Anything Muffin

This has got to be the healthiest recipe for muffins I’ve ever used. However, when she said ‘anything’ she meant dried fruits, as in ANY dried fruits. My kids wanted chocolate chips instead so the healthy level just went down a few notches.

But really, this recipe is good but I couldn’t follow it completely. 1. She said not to use Greek yogurt but that’s all I had so I did. Turned out fine. Her recipe called for 124g of yogurt but my tub is 140 and you know, waste not! She said she only semi milk with 1 to 2 per cent fat. I couldn’t open a new packet just for this so I used what I had in the fridge, full fat. There’s no sugar except maple syrup, calling for half a cup. But my bottle could only give out to 1/4 cup so I added another 1/4 cup of honey. I used chopped walnuts and chocolate chips for the ‘anything’ filling.

Wait. Did I just make unhealthy muffins using her healthy recipe? 😱

No matter. The kids loved it and now there’s only 5 left of it for today.

Before the oven
I saw these cute sticks at Daiso and bought a pack
Healthy unhealthy muffins. Yums!
Bread and Batter, Middle Eastern/Turkish

Yemeni Honeycomb Bread

A friend of mine who’s living in Jeddah told me about the existence of this bread. It is soooo delicious that I’ve made it twice.

It’s called honeycomb bread because it looks like one. And basically, it’s a cheese bun loaf but with a sweet sugary syrup over it.

The recipe is simple. For the dough, it’s just 2 cups plain flour, two teaspoons yeast, two teaspoons baking powder, about 30ml melted butter, 1/2 tsp salt, 3 tablespoons sugar, 150g Greek yogurt. This yogurt is my addition the second time baking and boy, did the dough turn out perfect! So soft and delicious!

For the sugar syrup, melt 1 cup of sugar to 1/2 cup of water. Boil for ten minutes then stir in 1/4 tsp of rise water and 2 tablespoons of runny syrup.

I used my trusty Kitchen Aid mixer and when all is incorporated and kneaded (the more you let the machine do its thing, the softer the buns going to be), let the dough rise till double in size. Then gently punch it down, and form about 19-20 small balls. Fill each ball of dough with cream cheese and place it in a circular pattern inside a well greased 9 inch pan. Any round pan will do, but don’t use Pyrex glass!

I really am such a lazy photographer. But as you can see here, the dough is so soft! Space them slightly apart but close enough because after this, leave it to rest and rise a second time.
Look how fat they’ve become! Lovely! After the second rise, brush the tops with a mixture of egg and milk. Sprinkle nigella seeds. If nigella seeds prove to be too strong and earthy, just use sesame seeds. But I love the intense flavour from the nigella seeds. Then bake in the oven at 180 degrees Celcius fill the buns are browned. For my oven, this took about 25 min.
Fresh out of the oven. While it’s still hot, brush generously all over with the sugar syrup. I’ve seen in YouTube videos some people poured the syrup all over and there’s even a version where they poured condensed milk all over. I cannot. I don’t particularly have a sweet tooth, so the brushing generously method works fine for me and the family.
I used a loose bottom springform pan so it was easy to remove
I brought this over to my sister’s for teatime treat.
As you can see from the caption there, I should have added more cheese for some of the individual buns, some had a lot, some had just a bit too little. 😁

This is a keeper and I would definitely be making this for guests during teatime treats!

Bread and Batter, Middle Eastern/Turkish, Snack

Turkish Braided Loaf

I was watching on YouTube the Turkish Food Travel video and she was making this beautiful braided bread. And I was thinking, why not? I could use some of the dough to make hotdog buns. But first I’ll try making this potato filling bread.

The dough was easy to assemble with a mixer. I bloomed one packet of yeast into 1/2 cup warm milk and 2tbsp sugar. And once bloomed, added the other ingredients: egg, olive oil, bread flour, salt. Leave the dough to double in size and then you’re ready to fill it with the filling.

For the filling, I boiled potatoes and then over a stove, stirred them with olive oil and garlic, smoked sweet paprika and since I had some kale, added that in too. Oh, and some leftover hotdog ends.

Take some dough out and then roll thin. I wished I had rolled the dough thinner but this turned out ok too. Then place the filling in the center.

Using a sharp metal pastry knife, make slits on each side and the just fold left right, left right, left right. The bottom part was tricky and I was disappointed when it unravelled in the oven. Brush with egg and the top with nigella and sesame seeds.
See how the bottom part got unlaced? Almost perfect.
See how gorgeous the braids are? If I just ignore the bottom part.
The kids loved it. Delicious! Next time I’ll roll thinner so less carby and perhaps try a meat filling. 😃

Dough Recipe

1. One packet of yeast

2. 1/4 cup warm milk

3. 2 tbsp sugar

4. 3 cups bread flour

4. 1/4 cup olive oik

5. 1 egg

6. 1/2 tsp salt

Bread and Batter, Snack, Western

Homemade Pizza: (new technique learned!)

So I learned a new way to cook pizza at home by Dr Leslie Tay, Singapore’s food guru. He is a legit doctor, by the way, but he’s more well known as a foodie with a very popular blogsite.

Anyway, he had a video promoting the Tefal Ingenio pan and it is from here that I learnt his techniques and applied them. However, 1. I did not buy the Tefal pan. I used my go to WMF steel pan, and 2. I did not blowtorch my pizza 😌

Here’s the link to his site and here’s my end product!

I must say, his technique really works so I’ll be making my pizzas like this from now on.
See how crispy and well cooked the bottom is? No more soggy bottoms! 😂
And here’s my video on YouTube. Subscribe to my channel at Shasha Cooks
Bread and Batter

No Knead Focaccia

Ok, I love love love this recipe and Marion Grasby. If you’ve not been following her on YouTube then you don’t know what you’ve been missing. Half Thai and half Aussie, she’s a brainchild of Asian and Western cooking.

Her latest post on making focaccia is amazing. I followed her recipe and it worked perfectly. However, because of the Super hot and humid weather here, I need to cut down on the water and the hours to be kept overnight. For example, a one hour wait for the yeast mixture to bloom only takes less than 10 minutes here!

Some of her tips and tricks like mixing an olive oil and water mixture and pouring it all over the dough before baking also works.

The yeast mixed with a quarter cup of semolina and 80g of lukewarm water. Wait for it to bloom and thicken.
Pour some olive oil and cover with a cloth overnight.
Is there such a thing as over rising? I did the dough at around 11 plus at night and by 6 am it’s so huge! The humidity here does affect baking recipes.
Deflate the dough and make 4 turns from underneath the dough till a smooth ball is formed.
Spread the dough on a lined and greased baking sheet, and add more olive oil all over the dimpled and creased Top that you’ve created from pressing and forming the dough to fit the pan. Add topping of choice. Here, 1/3 of the dough is given the Marion’s topping of fried shallots and chilli flakes. For the rest, I grated parmesan cheese and over the entire thing sprinkled Maldon sea salt flakes.
Bake in a 230 Celsius oven till golden and crispy. Sprinkle with fresh thyme while the bread is still hot.
Crispy with a light and slightly chewy interior. I love this so much! I’m going to bake again this coming weekend but will use a different topping.

For the full recipe, visit her website here.