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jennyloh's picture

I thought I'd share my (not bake),  but steamed chinese rice cake here.  This is something that is so dear to my heart,  as it reminded me of the time that I spent hours helping my mom doing this,  every year diligently, for some festivities.  Now that I'm away from home,  it's just something to remind me of home, family,  and I want to pass this little tradition to my little boy,  he did help out,  and did it well indeed.


This is a unique kind of cake that I probably see in Singapore/Malaysia,  and probably Taiwan, and the taste is chewy as it uses rice flour,  I forgot to take the inside.  This is usually filled with glutinous rice,  and other stuff like mushrooms, dried shrimps,  and even peanuts.

Details in

FYI - the word on the cake means "long life".


Sedlmaierin's picture

Ok, first off I have to admit that up until dinner all I ate all day was BREAD (plus an apple). Now, I don't know how I feel about that, but I can tell you it sure was tasty and I hope my husband and son will eat the rest, so that I don't have to be tempted to eat some more bread for dessert.

Let's husband has begged me to make Foccacia for a while and this weekend the moment had come. I decided to make Foccacia according to the recipe in Hamelman's "Bread" book (which as you can see by my past Blog posts, has become the only book I am using ever since I got it 1.5 weeks ago), which uses the Ciabatta with stiff Biga as a dough.Since the Foccacia recipe doesn't utilize all of the Ciabatta dough it meant, if I didn't scale down the Ciabatta recipe, I would have some dough left over to make one loaf of Ciabatta.

A few notes:

-it says in the recipe that one is to use "bread flour"-which I have never used before but thought, hey, I will actually buy this, this time around

-then after I had already started the Biga I decided to research the difference between bread and ap flour here on TFL and lo and behold I come upon some posts saying that when "bread flour" is specified in theis book that it really should read AP flour (I feel that my way of doing research may be a tad backwards ;p)

-after reading that retarding a dough overnight might weaken the gluten structure, I decided to use bread flour for the dough anyways, since I figured the higher gluten content might stand up better to the retardation(all you experienced bakers out there-please tell me if that rationale makes sense)

This time the bread making timing was all awry due to my duncehood-or maybe I can just say that I am experimenting in how best NOT to follow directions*wink*- here is what I ended up doing:

- once the Biga was ready, I mixed the dough and let it sit at room temp probably for no more than 30 minutes and off in the fridge it went.

-in the morning I did a S&F, then let it proof for about 45 minutes; here I divided the dough into the two pieces for the Foccacia and the one piece for the Ciabatta

-in total the Ciabatta proofed for about 1,5 hours after coming out of the fridge(wiht one more S&F) and that Focaccia for about 2.25 hours

I must not have floured the towel I had the Ciabatta proof on enough, since there were small parts that stuck to it, giving the final crust a strange "seam".

For the Foccacia I decided to make one according to Hamelman's instructions and the other one I baked according to the instructions I found in my italian cookbook by Marcella Hazan. The Hazan version calls for docking the dough after the rising time, with stiff fingers, and then drizzling the top of the Foccacia with an emulsion of olive oil, water and salt-this mixture will pool in the little hollows created by your fingers. One of them was topped with sauteed onions and the other with a little bit of onion and garlic.

The Ciabatta was done baking after 35 minutes-it almost turned too dark. At the bottom it has a very small blowout area-which I think means that I should have let it proof a bit longer after it coming out of the fridge.

The Foccacia had to stay in the oven closer to 30 minutes-they are moist and absolutely charming on the inside, but it definitely needed that extra 10 minutes to acquire some color.

And here are pictures:


plus crumb shots:

and here the Hamelman Style Foccacia:

And the Hazan Style Foccacia

and its crumb

My camera was being difficult so no crumb shot of the Hamelman style Foccacia. We already devoured the one with the olive emulsion drizzle and the Ciabatta is almost gone, too. Thos are some delicious breads! I will have to contemplate on which of the Foccacia versions I prefer-the olive oil emulsion definitely make the resulting bread very, very moist(but not soggy) in spots and it resulted in slightly flatter loaf.

I am happy with the results overall-the Ciabatta was one of the most heavenly thngs to eat!I definitely need more practice(in everything but also...) in gently laying down the Ciabatta dough-it is by no means a rectangle!


varda's picture

Today's bread is a pain de compagne.   I used and modified Bernard Clayton's instructions for Madame Doz's bread.   Compared to the milk bread I made yesterday, this is long and involved, with many steps that make the scheduling difficult, especially for a beginning bread baker, who generally can't hang around the kitchen all day.   So I allowed myself more flexibility on the times than what Clayton specified, and looked more at the condition of the dough than the clock to decide if I could get away with going late or early on several of the steps.   I have made this bread a few times already and this came out the best yet.   It starts with a "starter" with flour, water, vinegar, buttermilk, and yeast (belts and suspenders?) that goes overnight.   Then add whole wheat, water and wheat germ to that to make the levain, which hangs around on the counter for most of the day.   Then mix up bread flour and water into a dough.   Then merge the levain and the dough - balls of around equal size - into one big blended dough.   The step that I really don't understand and haven't seen elsewhere, is that when the two pieces of dough are merged, only then do you add a solution of salt in water and work that in.   Can't argue with the result though - even though this uses a fair amount of whole wheat flour, it still comes out very mild and light.   Although Clayton's total kneading time is around 20 minutes, I tried to do as little as I could and still get the dough mixed up, so as to have more of an open crumb.   I baked this in a dutch oven instead of on a stone with steam, removing the top for the last 15 minutes.  

I saved half of the levain in the refrigerator, but don't really know how to use it other than to just make another big boule soon.    It is not a starter, so I don't know if I can just add to it later without the "starter" component" when I'm ready to bake another Madame Doz.

Tomorrow - Multigrain batard using no-knead techniques.

pmccool's picture

What with having dinner guests on Saturday and more coming on Monday, it was a wonderful excuse for puttering around in the kitchen this weekend.  I started with Pain au Levain from Leader's Local Breads Saturday morning and followed with Rich and Tender Dinner Rolls from The King Arthur Flour 200th Anniversary Cook Book and finished up with a Chocolate / Chocolate Chip cake, source unknown.  

Having posted about the Pain au Levain previously, I won't go into detail about the process here.  This bread is consistenly good, in both outcome and flavor.  This bake resulted in lovely oven spring and big ears, in spite of some rather deficient scoring.  It hasn't been cut yet, so I don't know about the crumb but the exterior suggests that the interior ought to be good.

The dinner rolls were a typical enriched roll, with butter, eggs, sugar and milk.  The two differences that set it apart from most such rolls was the addition of some whole wheat, maybe 20%, and no refrigeration.  The former was a pleasant addition in flavor and the latter was a real convenience since I was a bit pressed for time.  I just shaped them as simple pan rolls.  As the name suggested, they were rich and tender and a good accompaniment with dinner.

The cake was a bit over the top (which won't stop us from making it again!), what with a cup of butter, 4 ounces of melted chocolate, 5 eggs and buttermilk in the batter.  Oh, and chocolate chips, too.  My wife halved the frosting recipe (it called for 5-1/2 cups of confectioners/icing sugar), since we baked it in a 9x13 pan instead of in 3, 9-inch round cake pans.  This is not a light and airy cake.  It is moist, it is heavy, and it is sweet!  Good stuff, in other words.  Best of all, with others to help eat it, the danger of too much snacking on the leftovers is reduced.

Before going to bed Saturday night, I mixed a biga for Portugese Sweet Bread.  Today I finished the bread, shaped it as hamburger buns and baked it.  Now we have the base for some barbecue sandwiches for our guests Monday evening.  I've learned that the store-bought buns just don't stand up well to the sauce that comes along with the barbecue, so something like PSB is less likely to go all floppy in mid-bite while still being tender.

No pics of anything described here.  Just lots of enjoyment in both the baking and the eating.


siuflower's picture

where in Dallas, Tx to buy bulk flour (50 lb), good quality whole wheat and bread flour?



JoeVa's picture

In my previous post "Golosaria 2009 & Petra Lab" I wrote about Petra flour from Molino Quaglia. I said I'd like to try conTuttoIlGrano, the (very) whole version of Petra.


And now, my very first test with conTuttoIlGrano! You can read about these flours in my previous post but I want to give you more details about conTuttoIlGrano. "con-tutto-il-grano" means "with-the-whole-grain" and I think this is a perfect name. The flour is stone milled, GMO free (not organic), it has 80% whole wheat flour and the other 20% is wheat flakes, toasted germ and bran ... a whole whole wheat flour!

I baked a simple sourdough bread, here the main points:

  • 25% Petra1 + 75% Petra conTuttoIlGrano

  • 25% pre-fermented flour (100% hydration liquid levain), I used Petra1 flour.

  • 62% overall hydration

  • Short mix with S&F

  • Retarded in proof

          [The loaf]


         [The crumb]


And here the information from the bag (you can see the high resolution version on my zoomr page, just click on the photo then on the "lens" and select the original size). One side of the bag describe a formula with a yeasted biga. If you do the easy calculations the suggested hydration is 70% (maybe 68% if the dough is retarded). For sure this flour can go up to this high hydration (even more if you use a stiff 45% hydration biga that adds a lot of strength to the final dough) but I think this is not a must.

DSC03631 DSC03633 DSC03632

Yesterday I was reasoning about my oven + covered steam method and I think (maybe I'm wrong) the cover traps a lot of steam, sometimes too much steam. This could be a problem with high hydration dough (heart baked) because they need less steam but when covered they free even more stream than a stiffer one: result flat loaves. Ok, you can say don't use the cover with this dough but I wasn't so bravo to get a proper steaming with my crazy oven.

Conclusion: a great whole wheat flour. The loaf is perfect even if I think my starter doesn't like the "all in one" switch on Petra1.

Next loaf ... Pane Petra di Campagna?

welling's picture

I'm not a professional baker but i have been successfully baking as an amateur for a couple of years now. In this time I have learned a few basics, such as that strong white flour can absorb water of 60% of the flour weight (approximately). That is, 3/8 water to 5/8 flour. I know that this is flour dependent, but only within a couple of percent.

Today i tried to use the Bourke Street Bakery Cookbook to make simple white pizza dough. The recipe called for 600g flour and 445ml liquid (water, milk, oil). This equates to 74% liquid to flour weight. Needless to say, the dough resembled a batter and required several handfuls of flour to bring back to workable dough.

I normally use a Ciabatta dough for my pizza bases, so I am quite used to working with a wet dough, but this was rediculous. Luckily I have enough experience to know what to look for, but others may not be so fortunate. I will be interested to see how other recipes from this book work out.

I am keen to hear other's thoughts and experiences with this book.

jennyloh's picture

I saw Floyd's posting on this recipe.  Wanted to try out.  I also saw some seeded recipes,  and wanted to add in the seeds. I need some advice here,  as the the bread turned out a little dense - see the crumb below.

125g All Purpose Flour 85g water 2.5g salt 2g yeast
Day 1:  Mix all and leave rise for 1 hour,  then refrigerate it overnight.
Final Dough
350g Bread Flour 225g water 40g extra virgin olive oil 5g rosemary leaves (I used dried) 7.5g salt 2.5g yeast All of the preferment
Seeds (I added these in as I wanted a seeded bread)
50g Sunflower seed  20g Sesame seeds
Bake sunflower seed for 15 minutes in oven at 150 degree celsius. Turn the seeds occasionally. Fry sesame seeds for about 5 minutes over fire.  Stir constantly till brown.  Put in a bowl and cover overnight.

Day 2:  Mix dough first,  and add in preferment,  knead well.  I added the seeds last after I've kneaded the dough well. Mix the dough and seeds well together. (Should I have waited after the 1st rise to add in the seeds?)
Rising/Proofing:  Rise for 1 1/2 hours, (Floyd suggest a 3 hour bulk rising with 2 folds,  which I should have followed).  1 fold and shape.  Proof for 1 1/2 hours. (The dough have doubled well,  my first rise should have been longer??)
Bake:  Steam the oven at 250 degrees celsius,  and  bake at 230 degrees celsius for 50 minutes,  and bring down the temperature to 200 degree celsius for 20 minutes.  (did I bake a little too long?)
Looking for some advice please?

breadbakingbassplayer's picture

Hey All,

Just wanted to share with you all my bake from today...  Lots of stuff to share.  On the left side is just a sourdough bread that is similar to the Pane Casereccio di Genzano from Dan Leader's Local Breads...  The other two are 90% rye breads from Hamelman's Bread.  For the rye breads, I freshly hand milled organic rye berries for each of the steps using the Detmolder process.  I just used my storage stiff sourdough starter to start the rye sours...  The last 2 photos are some sandwiches that basically contain all my girlfriend's favorite ingredients: smoked salmon, avocado, mango, fresh mozzarella, and mesclun.  Strange combo, but we learned about this combo at Le Petite Abeille in NYC...  Enjoy!

Tomorrow I'll post some crumbshots of the rye bread as Hamelman recommends letting the bread rest for at least 24 hours for the crumb to stabilize...


Edit: Rye bread pics are up...  We made some toast with cream cheese, smoked salmon, and herring...  Yum!

90% Rye Bread (Based on Hamelman’s 90% Rye from Bread)


Rye Sour #1

26g Organic Rye Berries (freshly ground)

24g Firm Sourdough Starter (60% hydration)

50g Water

100g Total


Rye Sour #2

200g Organic Rye Berries (freshly ground)

156g Water

50g Rye Sour #1

226g Total


Rye Sour #3

290g Organic Rye Berries (freshly ground)

290g Water

226g Rye Sour #2

806g Total


Final Dough

580g Organic Rye Berries (freshly ground)

110g Bread Flour

476g Water

20g Kosher Salt

1 tsp ADY

806g Rye Sour #2

1996g Total



Evening of Day 1

6:50pm – Measure out ingredients for Rye Sour #1, grind rye berries, mix all in bowl, cover with plastic wrap, rest on counter.

11:50pm - Measure out ingredients for Rye Sour #2, grind rye berries, mix all in bowl, cover with plastic wrap, rest on counter.

Morning of Day 2

8:30am - Measure out ingredients for Rye Sour #3, grind rye berries, mix all in bowl, cover with plastic wrap, rest on counter.

11:45am - Measure out ingredients for final dough, grind rye berries, mix all in bowl with wooden spoon.  Do not touch this dough with your hands.  Just mix it well, and smooth it over with a wet spoon. Cover with plastic wrap, rest on counter. For 30 minutes.

12:15pm – Divide into 2 equal pieces.  Flour your work surface, shape into boule, place into linen lined banneton seam side down.  Proof for 1 hour.  Place 2 stones in oven on different levels, along with seam pan.  Preheat to 550F with convection.

1:15pm – Turn boules out onto lightly floured peel, dock if desired with chopstick or skewer, place in oven directly on stone.  When all loaves are in, add 1 cup of water to steam pan, close door, turn oven down to 480F, no convection, bake for 10 minutes.  After 10 minutes, rotate loaves, turn oven down to 410F.  Bake for another 60 minutes, rotating and switching loaves between stones halfway through.  Loaves are done when internal temp reaches 210F.  Cool loaves completely and let rest for 24 to 36 hrs before cutting.

Notes: I did not go through the 15-24hr fermentation for rye sour build #2 as per Hamelman's instructions.  My attempt was not very sour tasting, which for me is good.  Also, I should have let the loaf rest for the full 24 hrs before cutting.  It was a little gummy, but this was quickly resolved by toasting...  Also, I have the small iron hand crank mill that Gerard Rubaud uses to grind...







varda's picture

I have been baking bread like crazy over the last three months.   I've tried a lot of things, I've received a lot of great advice in the forums, many breads haven't worked very well since I am so inexperienced, but now I have a list of breads that either came out pretty well or I hope that with more practice will eventually turn out pretty well.   In order to consolidate what I've learned so far, I will try to bake a bread a day (or so) with seven breads that I would like to get right.   I'll start with the easiest, and since it is also quite delicious, I'll call it the best per amount of effort:   Greenstein's Milk Bread.   In Secrets of a Jewish Baker, Greenstein gives two recipes for this - one with a sponge, one without.   The one I made today was with a straight dough method.   This means you just mix everything up, let rise, shape, rise, and bake.   No pre-ferment, no cold ferment, no sourdough no nothing.   And for bread, a fairly short time from start to finish.  

Mix 2 cups warm warm water with 1.5 Tbsp instant yeast.   Add 5 cups unbleached bread flour (I used a measurement of 133 g per cup).  Add 2 Tbsp soft butter, 4 tsp sugar, 2/3 cup dry milk, 2 tsp salt.   Mix it up until smooth.   Let double.  Cut in half.   Let rest for 15 minutes.   Shape and put in bread pans.  Let rise to over top of pan.   Score and brush with melted butter.  Bake with steam for 40 minutes at 375.   Remove from pan for last 5 minutes of baking and put directly on stone.

Tomorrow Madame Doz Pain de Compagne from Bernard Clayton.


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