The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Kistida's blog

Kistida's picture

We've eaten 8 of these Barbari breads in the last 5 days. Only thing is, both times I made these, there was a rush for dinner time, so I feel that maybe they were a lil under-proofed so they got very puffy during the bakes (or maybe I didn't press the dough enough during shaping). Also, I made them with onions and cheese on top!

The roomal or glaze used for this bread is amazing. I'm starting to wonder if I could use it for loaf breads or other bakes even. Much like making Tangzhong, this glaze is cooked until it's thick, then brushed on the dough once it's cooled. It leaves a golden, crispy crust that I really like. There's a variation of it using baking soda, I've yet to try.

Barbari bread (Nan-e Barbari)
Adapted from

100g sourdough starter (I used barely doubled starter)
230g water
250g all purpose flour
100g atta flour
5g sugar
8g salt
2g instant yeast
15g unsalted butter / ghee

Roomal / Glaze
2 tsp all purpose flour
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp light olive oil
60g water

Seeds like Nigella, sesame, black sesame, caraway
I used some sesame seeds, Havarti cheese and chopped Vidalia onions

Chapati / capati / phulka / roti

These are rotis I used to eat at our neighbour's in the late 80's (how time flies) and each time I get some atta flour, I remember them. Nothing beats freshly made, warm roti :)


Makes 4 rotis (about 6-8")
200g atta flour
1 tbsp light olive oil or ghee
3g salt*
140g water

Another batch was made using my liquid starter, these were chewier.
100g ripe sourdough starter (100% hydration)
160g atta flour
1 tbsp ghee
3g salt*
90g water

Ghee was used to brush on the hot roti, before serving.

*salt: this is a reduced amount as I'm no fan of salty roti for breakfast. Also, the Sharbati atta I'm using has a light sweet taste that shines through.

Marbled Matcha Shortbread Cookie

Now, here's something I've only made once this year. Why? There's at least 6g of butter per cookie; more than a teaspoon of butter each. :D

Last year I made these with a lemony twist, and baked them as a sheet before slicing them mid-bake. And most of them were given away, thankfully.

For this batch, I wanted to see swirls of matcha in the cookie (I've been making and eating matcha boba pearls too!) and to make a small batch, like enough to keep us in buttery heaven for a few days,.. or a week.

The ratios I use for my shortbread are based on butter instead of sugar. The internet tells me the ratio is 1:2:3 for sugar, butter and flour. This makes ridiculously sweet cookie if I wanted it buttery.

So, here's my ratio for buttery, mildly sweet, airy shortbread cookies:
1 butter: 1.25 flour : 0.35 superfine sugar
1 butter: 1.25 flour : 0.4 confectioner's / icing sugar

Adapted from various sites including: and

Makes 30-32 medium square cookies
240g all purpose flour
10g cornflour
3g salt
200g unsalted butter, room temperature
70g superfine sugar or 80g confectioner's sugar

4g matcha powder sifted into 1/2 the cookie dough
1/4 tsp vanilla extract into 1/2 the cookie dough

Sift together flours in a medium bowl. Set aside.

With a stand or hand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, whip butter with sugar until fluffy and pale, scraping down the sides of the bowl every minute.

Add salt and continue whipping for a minute.

Fold in or mix on low, sifted flours until just combined. 

Remove half the dough onto the counter.

Sift matcha powder to the half of the dough in the mixing bowl.  Fold (or mix on low) until evenly combined.

Add vanilla extract to the other half. Fold until all the vanilla is absorbed.

Divide each dough into 2 pieces. Roll each piece into strips of about 15cm/6” long, then twist and fold these 4 strips together.

Shape the dough into a log. Fold the log and twist it once again.

Place the log-shaped dough on parchment paper and wrap it. Flatten the sides to shape it into a square. Wrap the a dough with cling film. To help keep the shape of the dough, I used an empty cling-wrap box.

Place the dough in the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight..

Preheat the oven to 160°C/325°F.

Slice the dough with a sharp knife into 5mm or 1/4” slices and place on a parchment lined baking sheet, keeping each cookie about 2cm or 1” apart (the cookie spreads a little due to the butter). Chill the sliced cookie for about 15 minutes, if they've begun to soften too much.

Bake the cookies 15-20 minutes, until the edges are golden brown. Let the cookies cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

Coconut Loaf bread with butterfly pea flowers and pitaya

I made a variation of my coconut loaf, this time with butterfly pea flowers for blue and pitaya puree for a pink colours.
Well, my pitaya pink disappeared, and I was left with a pastel blue and faint brown streaks of pitaya pink.

Oh, that was one scary colour combo! Good thing, it's an edible, fragrant loaf, I don't mind the missing pink hues now :D

okay, have a happy weekend!

- Christi

Kistida's picture

After seeing so many beautiful creative babkas for the community bake, I decided to give it a try. I read through Melissa Clark's recipe (at the end of this post) and decided maybe I can try 1 loaf with a chocolate mousse filling - this mousse is good on its own too, I smother each slice of the babka with more of this!

30g milk
30g orange juice
2 large eggs
150g all purpose flour
100g Kamut flour
30g sugar
4g salt
3g instant yeast
1/2 tsp orange zest
60g unsalted butter

Egg wash
1 large egg
1 tbsp milk
A pinch of salt

Chocolate and yogurt mousse

100g chopped dark chocolate
5g cocoa powder
1/2 tsp espresso powder
25g milk
25g unsalted butter
25g sugar
A pinch of salt
50g Greek yogurt
40g walnuts, chopped fine

Orange syrup
40g caster sugar
50g orange juice

Preparing the dough:
Day 1: Mix milk, juice, eggs, sugar, orange zest and instant yeast. Then, add in flours and salt and mix until the dough begins to form and no dry bits can be seen. Gather the dough into a ball, cover the bowl and let it rest for 20 minutes.

Add in blobs of butter one by one, to the dough. Pinch and fold until each blob (ha!) of butter is absorbed before adding the next one. Continue kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic (this took me about 12 minutes, to get a lovely windowpane)

Stretch and fold the dough into a ball, place in a greased bowl, cover and let it rest at room temperature (about 25-26°C) for 1 hour. Then, gently deflate the dough, stretch and fold it once again into a ball. Flatten and shape it into a disc or square. Wrap in 2-3 layers of clingfilm and place it in an airtight container or resealable bag. Freeze the dough for 1 hour before transferring to the refrigerator for at least 4 hours to overnight (from past experience of chilling wrapped doughs in resealable bags, directly in the fridge they grew so fat they got stuck between racks! These days I freeze, then chill)

Filling (prepare the same day as dough or 1 hour before assembly):
Chop chocolate into smaller pieces. In a saucepan, whisk together cocoa powder, espresso powder, milk, butter, sugar and salt over medium low heat. Continue whisking until all the butter is melted and the mixture is close to boiling (steam appears). Reduce heat to a simmer and sprinkle in chopped chocolate. Leave the chocolate pieces untouched in the hot milk mixture for 1 minute. Then, slowly stir with a spatula until the chocolate melts into the milk.

Remove from heat and continue stirring until the chocolate mixture is smooth and not grainy. Fold in chopped walnuts.

In a medium bowl, stir the yogurt until smooth. Fold in chocolate mixture until fully incorporated and creamy.

Assembling the babka:
Day 2 (or 4 hours of chilling later): Line a loaf pan on all sides with parchment paper with an overhang on each longer side. I fold the ends together so the dough only comes in contact with parchment paper on all sides.
Place the chilled dough onto a lightly floured counter. Press the dough out into a rough rectangle. Then, with a rolling pin, begin to roll the dough into a rectangle about 40cm x 30cm (16 x 12"), turning it 90° to roll each side.

Spread a thin layer of chocolate filling all over the dough leaving one longer edge about 2" space free of filling (as this mousse is a thinner than usual babka filling). Begin to roll the dough from the opposite side to the free edge. Roll the dough snug (not too tight that the dough tears) into a log. Then, let the log rest seam-side down for about 5 to 10 minutes for the edge to seal.

Then, slice the rolled log/dough in two lengthwise with a knife or bench scraper. With the exposed dough-filling facing up, twist the dough halves together, by crossing each other, with the exposed filling facing up at each cross. Gently tuck the ends under slightly while pushing both ends towards the middle, compacting the twists and the dough to fit the prepared loaf pan. Transfer the shaped babka into the loaf pan, cover and let it rise at room temperature until puffy (not quite doubled) and about 2cm (nearly 1") from the rim of the pan, about 1 to 2 hours.

Toward the last 30 minutes of the proof, preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).

Once the babka is ready for the oven, brush the tops lightly with egg wash (lightly beat 1 egg with milk and salt). Bake at 180°C (350°F) for 40 to 50 minutes until the tops are golden brown, carefully tenting halfway should it brown too quickly. The internal temperature of the babka should reach at least 90°C (190°F).

While the babka is baking, prepare the syrup by heating orange juice with sugar over medium heat. Once the sugar has dissolved, let the mixture begin to boil. Reduce the temperature to a simmer for 1 minute. Remove from heat and let the syrup cool slightly before use.

Let the loaf pan cool for about 5 minutes before removing the babka from the pan with the parchment paper overhang. Brush the babka all over once removed from the pan and parchment paper. Let it cool completely before slicing.

Note: I baked my babka till 48 minutes before checking the internal temperature - entirely my fault for forgetting. The internal temperature was already 97°C. While I find this recipe a lil dry compared to others I've made before, the mousse made it all worthwhile. :)

Melissa Clark's recipe from or

1/2 cup/118ml whole milk
7g (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
67g (1/3 cup) granulated sugar, plus a pinch
531g (4 1/4 cups) all-purpose flour, more as needed
1 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp grated lemon zest (optional)
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
4 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
140g (10 tbsp) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing bowls and pans

100g (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
174g (3/4cup/177ml) heavy cream or half-and-half
Pinch of  salt
170g (6 ounces) extra bittersweet chocolate, preferably between 66 and 74 percent cocoa, coarsely chopped
112g (8 tbsp/1 stick) unsalted butter, diced, at room temperature
2 teaspoons/10ml vanilla extract

60g (1/2 cup) all-purpose flour
45g (3 tbsp) granulated sugar
11g (1 1/2 tbsp) cocoa powder
½ tsp salt
64g (4 1/2 tbsp) unsalted butter, melted
60g (1/3 cup) mini semisweet chocolate chips

135 grams granulated sugar
158g water

1. Prepare the dough: In a small saucepan or a bowl in the microwave, warm the milk until it’s lukewarm but not hot (about 43°C/110°F). Add yeast and a pinch of sugar and let sit for five to 10 minutes, until slightly foamy.

2. In an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook, or in a food processor, mix together flour, 1/3 cup sugar, the salt, the vanilla, the lemon zest (if using) and the nutmeg. (If you don’t have a mixer or processor, use a large bowl and a wooden spoon.) Beat or process in the yeast mixture and eggs until the dough comes together in a soft mass, about two minutes. If the dough sticks to the side of the bowl and doesn’t come together, add a tablespoon more flour at a time until it does, beating very well in between additions.

3. Add half the butter and beat or pulse until the dough is smooth and elastic, three to five minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed. Beat in the rest of the butter and continue to beat or pulse until the dough is smooth and stretchy, another five to seven minutes. Again, if the dough sticks to the sides of the bowl, add additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time.

4. Butter a clean bowl, form the dough into a ball and roll it around in the bowl so all sides are buttered. Cover the bowl with a clean towel and let it rise in a warm, draft-free place (inside of a turned-off oven with the oven light on is good) until it puffs and rises, about one to two hours. It may not double in bulk but it should rise.

5. Press the dough down with your hands, re-cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight (or, in a pinch, for at least four hours, but the flavor won’t be as developed).

6. Prepare the filling: In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar, cream and salt. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until sugar completely dissolves, about five minutes. Scrape mixture into a bowl. Stir in chocolate, butter and vanilla until smooth. Let cool to room temperature. Filling can be made up to a week ahead and stored, covered, in the fridge. Let come to room temperature before using.

7. Prepare the streusel: In a bowl, stir together flour, sugar, cocoa powder and salt. Stir in melted butter until it is evenly distributed and forms large, moist crumbs. Stir in the chocolate chips. Streusel can be prepared up to three days ahead and stored, covered, in the fridge.

8. Prepare the syrup: In a small saucepan, combine sugar and 2/3 cup water. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then simmer for two minutes, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves.

9. Butter two 9-inch loaf pans, then line with parchment paper, leaving 2 inches of paper hanging over on the sides to use as handles later.

10. Remove dough from refrigerator and divide in half. On a floured surface, roll one piece into a 9-by-17-inch rectangle. Spread with half the filling (there’s no need to leave a border). Starting with a long side, roll into a tight coil. Transfer the coil onto a dish towel or piece of plastic wrap and stick it in the freezer for 10 minutes. Repeat with the other piece of dough.

11. Slice one of the dough coils in half lengthwise to expose the filling. Twist the halves together as if you were braiding them, then fold the braid in half so it’s about 9 inches long. Place into a prepared pan, letting it curl around itself if it’s a little too long for the pan. Cover loosely with a clean kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place for 1 to 1½ hours, until puffy (it won’t quite double). Alternatively, you can cover the pans with plastic wrap and let them rise in the refrigerator overnight; bring them back to room temperature for an hour before baking.

12. When you’re ready to bake, heat the oven to 350 degrees. Use your fingers to clump streusel together and scatter all over the tops of the cakes. Transfer to oven and bake until a tester goes into the cakes without any rubbery resistance and comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes. The cakes will also sound hollow if you unmold them and tap on the bottom. An instant-read thermometer will read between 85 and 99°C (185 and 210°F).

13. As soon as the cakes come out of the oven, use a skewer or paring knife to pierce them all over going all the way to the bottom of the cakes, and then pour the syrup on top of the cakes, making sure to use half the syrup for each cake.

14. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before serving.

Kistida's picture

Hey everyone,
It's been very HOT lately! I'm so glad August is almost over and the weather is getting slightly cooler. On our way home from Niagara, we stopped by a branch of Panchvati for some Indian snacks and sweets. I left with a bag of Sharbati atta and murukku. I like how smooth this version of atta is compared to others. And at about 25°C, this flour made my starter double in 2.5 hours! I converted my AP/spelt starter to atta for by feeding it 1:5:5, 3 times. I'm convinced this flour would create new starters way faster (I made mine with spelt long time ago).

So, I made some breads these last few weeks between trips to Gaspésie and going for a 'shower' at the Niagara Falls (poncho kept my bag dry only). My apologies for the long post. :P

Braided atta loaf

A lil bit of instant yeast was added to this loaf as I wanted this loaf ready in a few hours and I didn't know how the atta starter worked. Baked in a 9 x 5" loaf pan at 180°C 40-45 minutes

20g all purpose flour
100g milk

165g soured milk (1 tbsp lemon juice + 160g milk)
90g atta starter (100% hydration)
1 large egg
40g sugar
2g instant yeast
207g atta flour
84g Kamut flour
64g all purpose flour
7g salt
40g ghee

Eggwash: egg, milk and a pinch of salt

Matcha coconut loaf

I made two loaves of the same bread for our trips. I wanted to see how the colors would look like with different ways of rolling the doughs. I think laminating the doughs together might give me more uniformed lines. Either way, matcha + coconut is tasty! Baked in a Pullman 9 x 4 x 4" 180°C 25 minutes with lid on, 20 minutes without. The second loaf had a longer 2nd proof because life got in the way. :)

20g all purpose flour
100g milk

All of the Tangzhong
115g soured milk
90g starter (100% hydration)
1 large egg
40g sugar
4g instant yeast
6g salt
200g all purpose flour
120g Kamut flour
20g unsalted butter
20g coconut oil

Just after mixing the dough:
to 1/3 of the dough:
Mix 2g matcha powder with 5g water. Add to the dough and mix until dough is pale green and smooth.

to 2/3 of the dough:
Add 20g unsweetened desiccated coconut to the dough and mix until smooth.

Blueberry sourdough with atta flour

While making blueberry compote, I reserved some blueberry skins (I read about this from: Natasha's Baking) to test with atta flour in a sourdough loaf. This is a same-day loaf that I find rose faster than the others before probably due to higher ambient temperature on that day and the flour. The blueberry skins  were laminated into the dough with some pulp. I forgot about adding a lil bit of citrus zest for a lil burst of flavor. While this was fun to make, I realize it's much too tedious just to get blueberries in the dough without changing its pigments' intensity. For a same-day loaf, this one had a light sourness which I like!

200g water
80g atta starter (100% hydration)
110g atta flour
100g all purpose flour
50g Kamut flour
5g salt
5g coconut oil
40g blueberry skins (from about 150g blueberries)
3 tbsp blueberry pulp

Onion & yogurt flatbread
Qashqari patir and qatlama layered breads

Adapted from: The Art of Uzbek Cuisine and Tasty Arbuz

Unlike piyozli that are usually rolled with onions (raw or caramelized), these were topped with a mix of chopped onion, yogurt and egg yolk.

Shaping the dough for qashqari patir was quite easy, but I wanted to see if the dough can be used in layered bread/qatlama patir instead. This method of making flaky flat bread is very similar to our Malaysian roti canai (I must attempt this soon).

The atta and Kamut made this dough soft and easy to stretch and shape. Once baked the layered version had crispy layers and tasted so good thanks to the brushing the dough with some ghee, onion topping and cheese. The normal qashqari patir is softer and chewy. Onion + yogurt + cheese =  yum!

190°C 25 to 30 minutes until the edges and topping are golden brown - I noticed Malika did not include baking temperature and time on her site.

Dough (6 flat breads)
230g *onion water
90g atta starter (100% hydration)
2g instant yeast
115g Sharbati atta flour
240g all purpose flour
7g salt
10g ghee / butter, a bit more to brush on dough for layered version

*Onion water
200g onions, chopped fine (I used Vidalia)
200g water
Short cut: mix these roughly chopped onions in a food processor with water, use 'chop' mode and pulse for 30 seconds until the onion bits are smaller than 1cm.
Pour the mixture through cheesecloth or a sieve and squeeze out the water. Set aside the leftover onion pieces for the topping

Onion topping
Onion bits
1 egg yolk
2 tbsp plain yogurt (I used plain Greek)
Optopnal: shredded cheese (I used cheddar and Swiss

Cinnamon twists

We love these cinnamon buns/twists as they're really great snacks on our road trips. I have posted one in the past, but this time, I used my other recipes. There are so many ways to shape buns, I simply spread the filling, letter fold the dough, roll it out a bit, slice into 8-12 strips, and twisted each strip until they formed a bun, almost like making a hair bun!

Bake at 180°C 18 to 25 minutes until the tops are golden brown.

20g all purpose flour
100g milk

All of the Tangzhong
120g milk
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
280g all purpose flour
50g Kamut flour
5g salt
a pinch of ground cinnamon
25g sugar
6g instant yeast
60g unsalted butter
10g light olive oil

15g unsalted butter, melted
80g brown sugar
15g all purpose flour
3 tsp ground cinnamon (or more)
a pinch of salt

Banana bread with blueberry compote
Here's where the blueberry compote went into.

Mix wet and dry ingredients separately, then mix them together until just combined. Pour half of the batter into the greased pan, drop teaspoonfuls of compote over the surface. Top with the rest of the batter. Add spoonfuls or pipe the rest of the compote and swirl.

Bake in 8 x 8" pan (have yet to test in a loaf pan), 180°C 40 to 50 minutes

Wet ingredients
300g mashed ripe bananas, with some chunks (about 3 bananas)
50g coconut oil
30g sugar
30g brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
120g yogurt

Dry ingredients
140g all purpose flour
60g whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt

Filling & topping
1/3 cup blueberry compote

Banana coconut baked oatmeal

There's barely any traces of flour in this one. It is one of my favorite breakfasts with a bit of cinnamon and milk and sometimes with some fruits or berries. A tray usually gives me breakfast for about 4 to 6 days depending if hubby is eating as well or not. He eats them like a soft cookie. I place these baked and sliced bars in a resealable bag and chill them to keep moisture and air out.

Wet ingredients
300g mashed ripe bananas (about 3 bananas)
20g unsweetened desiccated coconut
240g milk
120g Greek yogurt
30g maple syrup (or honey)
1/2 tsp coconut extract (optional)
1 large egg
30g unsalted butter, melted
20g coconut oil

Dry ingredients
200g rolled oats
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt

120g blueberries tossed in 1 tsp flour or fine sugar
Other toppings or add-ins: cranberries, toasted nuts, sliced banana, chocolate chunks/chips, cinnamon crumb or anything you like with breakfast

Mix wet and dry ingredients in 2 separate bowls. Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Pour into greased and lined baking sheet (quarter or 8" square). Add toppings and bake at 180°C for 50-60 minutes until the top is firm and golden brown.

Okay, until next time! :)
- Christi

Kistida's picture

Happy August! :) I'm happy with the same-day sourdough loaf I made over the weekend. Shaping was ok but my scoring was completely wrong. Luckily the loaf turned out well and it's got a hint of matcha scent that I like.

Matcha Swirl Sourdough
175g all purpose flour
45g Kamut flour
10g spelt flour
165g water
70g ripe starter (100% hydration)
5g salt
5g olive oil
1 tsp matcha powder (I used culinary grade matcha) mixed with 1 tbsp water

Ambient temperature 21-24°C.
Autolyse: 2 hours
Bulk fermentation:  4 to 5 hours (30-50% increase in volume)
Final proof: 45 minutes at room temperature. 2 hours in the fridge.
Bake at 230°C for 20 minutes with lid/steam on; 20-25 minutes without lid/steam until internal temperature is at least 96°C/205°F
- I left the loaf to cool in the oven until the next day before cutting into it.

The other bakes I've made recently are:
Coffee swirl sourdough loaf (recipe here) - I used instant coffee with cocoa powder for this loaf. I think it'll be better with just cocoa powder.

Puran poli
- a stuffed flat bread typically made with a sweet lentil filling. I love the warmth of this flatbread thanks to ground ginger, cardamom and nutmeg.
I chatted with the microbiologist behind ZestySouthIndianKitchen on the alternatives to lentil for the stuffing. Swathi (or Saraswathy) was happy to explain, I could easily use chickpeas/garbanzo beans - removal of the skins took awhile.
I adapted her recipe and changed the amounts of sugars (it would be overly sweet with the amounts of jaggery and sugar) Dough preparation and cooking steps can be found on Swathi's website.

200g all purpose flour
50g Kamut flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
3 tbsp light olive oil
1 tbsp sesame seed oil
135g water

300g chickpeas (about 1 can)
50g brown sugar
40g sugar
1 tsp molasses
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
a pinch of nutmeg
Butter for brushing each flatbread

Filling preparation:
Wash and rinse chickpeas in cool water. Drain and place the chickpeas in medium pot. Cover with water, making sure all the chickpeas are submerged. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium low, or a simmer and let the chickpeas cook for 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and rinse the chickpeas in cold water. Remove chickpea skins (if any), drain and pat dry.

In medium saucepan cook the chickpeas together with the sugar, brown sugar, molasses on medium heat. The mixture will become watery as the sugars melt. Continue cooking until the mixture begins to thicken.

Remove from heat and stir in ground ginger, cardamom and nutmeg powder.

With a fork, gently mash the chickpeas into a paste. This filling will thicken as it cools. Once cooled, divide the filling into 8 - 10 portions. Roll each portion into balls to be used to fill the dough.

Garlic, herb and cheese loaf
I used the same recipe for garlic herb rolls in this loaf. And increased the shredded cheese to 150g just to finish the last of my block of cheese.

Rum raisin coconut cookies
Made these without any leavening for a shortbread-like feel.

100g raisins
1/4 cup rum

Cookie dough
80g unsalted butter
30g coconut oil
50g sugar
1/2 tsp coconut extract
1 large egg
1 tbsp rum (from soaking raisins)
120g all purpose flour
10g cornflour
1/4 tsp salt
50g unsweetened shredded coconut

Soak raisins in rum overnight. The next day, drain and pat dry. Set aside excess rum.

Whisk together all purpose flour, cornflour and salt in a bowl. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 150°C/300°C.

In a mixing bowl, add butter, coconut oil, sugar, coconut extract and egg. Beat gradually from low to high speed until the mixture is pale and fluffy. Add rum and continue mixing until homogeneous.

Gently fold in the flour mixture and coconut just until no bits of flour can be seen. Cover and chill the dough for 60 minutes.

Scoop 1 tbsp portions of cookie dough onto parchment lined baking sheets. With the back of a wet spoon or finger, flatten each cookie dough to about 3cm in size. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until edges of the cookies are golden brown. 

Remove from the oven and leave the cookies on the baking sheet for 5 minutes. Then, transfer the cookies to a cooling rack.

6" Clafoutis

We're finding cherries in every store now; since my husband hates them, I've all of them to myself (yay!)

This is a really easy dessert to make, almost similar to making Dutch babies except with less flour. I made 2 versions of clafoutis - one with cherry and one with pineapple coconut. The batter is the same for both.

Adapted from

25g all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 large egg
20g sugar
100g milk 
8g unsalted butter, melted
A pinch of salt 
1/4 tsp vanilla/coconut extract
30g unsweetened shredded coconut, toasted 
150g pitted cherries/diced pineapples


Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Butter 6" baking pan and lightly coat with sugar.
Whisk together all purpose flour and baking powder. Set aside.

In a saucepan over medium low heat, warm butter, sugar, milk, salt, and shredded coconut until butter is melted and sugar dissolved. Remove from heat and let the mixture cool for 15 minutes. Add vanilla/coconut extract and egg. Whisk the mixture for 1 minute. Add in flour mixture and mix until batter is smooth.

Pour about 1/3 cup of batter into prepared pan and bake for 6 to 8 minutes. This step creates a base so that the berry/filling will not be touching the base of the pan and burn during the bake.

Remove the pan from the oven and carefully pour the rest of the batter. Arrange pitted cherries/pineapples evenly in the batter. 

Bake for 45 to 50 minutes until the edges are golden brown and the middle of the batter is set (wobbly, not shiny). 

Remove from the oven and let the clafoutis cool slightly for about 30 minutes.

Kistida's picture

This was supposed to be a laminated and braided loaf. I decided to use a similar recipe to my molasses bread in this loaf, together with some 6-day old sourdough discard (calculated so I can use all the discard).

Brown and white checkerboard loaf

Brown dough
10g all purpose flour (Tangzhong)
50g milk (Tangzhong)
65g sour milk*
45g SD discard (100%)
120g all purpose flour
15g Kamut flour
50g rye flour
3g caraway seeds
2g instant yeast
3g salt
20g unsalted butter
5g light olive oil

White dough
10g all purpose flour (Tangzhong)
50g milk (Tangzhong)
30g sugar
80g sour milk*
40g SD discard (100%)
160g all purpose flour
30g Kamut flour
2g instant yeast
3g salt
20g unsalted butter
5g light olive oil

*Sour milk (substitute for buttermilk): 1 cup milk + 1 tbsp lemon juice, mix and leave it for at least 15 minutes. I prepare mine a few hours ahead, chilled in the fridge.

First proof: 1 hour 45 minutes at 24-25°C - White dough was almost doubled at 1.5 hours but brown dough was not as puffy so I waited a lil bit longer.

Pre-shape: Divide each dough into 8 equal parts for 2 rows of alternating colours (2x2, 16 dough balls). For a 3x3 grid, I would have to divide the same doughs to ... 54 pieces I think. Roll them up into balls, cover and let them rest for 15 minutes. Then, roll them again (my dough balls weren't equally round), before placing in a loaf pan.

Arrange the dough balls (as shown) and hopefully you've more skills than me at getting straight lines. :p

Second proof:
1 hour 20 minutes (25°C) until the dough balls were about 2.5cm / 1" from the rim.

Bake: 180°C 40-45 minutes, internal temperature registered at 97°C (90°C would've been okay)

The next bake was just to use the last two over-ripe bananas. It's the "easiest" for me since there are only 2 - 3 ingredients for the cookie and I only needed a fork to mix everything. Minimal tools and ingredients, awesome cookie. Adapted from thekitchn.

Twice-baked banana coconut cookies

Makes 20, 1 tbsp (about 2" in size) cookies
Cookie batter
2 large bananas
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
Optional: 1/4 tsp coconut extract

Chocolate drizzle
1/2 cup dark chocolate, chopped
1/8 tsp espresso powder
1 tsp coconut oil
a pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Mash bananas and mix in shredded coconut (and extract, if using) until every coconut bit is drenched with banana. Scoop 1 tbsp dollops (I used an ice cream scoop) onto parchment lined baking sheets, about 2" space between each cookie.

Bake at 180°C for 15 minutes until the edges begin to brown. Remove from the oven and with the back of a spatula, flatten each cookie to about 1cm thickness. I did this mid-bake since the batter would've been really sticky earlier on. Also, there's more banana against coconut so, it'll take a very long time to bake evenly as a mound of batter.

Return the cookies to the oven, reduce temperature to 160°C and bake for 15 to 18 minutes until the cookies are golden brown. For crispier cookies, I guess you can bake to 20 minutes.

Let the cookies cool to room temperature (about 45 minutes). Or why not eat one or two while they're warm?

The next steps are completely optional but chocolate makes a lot of cookies taste good.
Melt chocolate, coconut oil, espresso powder and salt in a bowl over a bain-marie or in the microwave. Dip the base of the cookie (it's darker than the rest of the cookie, so let's hide it) in chocolate, then let it set chocolate side up in the fridge for about 20 - 30 minutes. Drizzle the rest of the chocolate (warming it a lil if it's thickened) over the top of the cookies before letting it set again.

Easier method: dip warm cookie in warm chocolate and eat. No need to chill. :P

I melted 3/4 cup of chocolate and the extra was used to make a lil saucer for the cookies. And the last bits of it went into coffee :D

Kistida's picture

I made these rolls for a lil trip to Chertsey QC last week. Usually I make these rolls with a sweet filling like Nutella+espresso or jam. Also, I wanted to try using buttermilk in the dough, and this resulted in lovely soft rolls!

Garlic, herb & cheese rolls:
20g TZ flour
100g TZ milk

All of the TZ
120g buttermilk*
100g SD discard (100% hydration)
1 large egg (+2 tbsp milk, whisk, then remove 2 tbsp to be used as egg wash)
320g all purpose flour (mine has 12% protein)
60g Kamut flour
5g instant yeast
20g sugar
7g salt
30g unsalted butter
15g light olive oil

*Buttermilk - I used store-bought cultured buttermilk here and homemade version (soured milk) in subsequent bakes and I find making this from scratch is easier especially when I can use either lemon or orange juice - 1 tbsp juice/vinegar to 1 cup milk, cover and leave it to curdle for about 15 minutes.

Garlic, herb & cheese filling:
6 cloves garlic, chopped fine
2 tsp chopped fresh parsley (1 tsp of dried, I think?)
a pinch of dried rosemary
a pinch of dried thyme
1/4 cup onion, chopped
30g unsalted butter
1/2 cup shredded cheddar

1st proof: 70 minutes (I believe my starter helped here)
Shaping: deflate and gently stretch the dough, then with a rolling pin, roll to about 18" x 12". Spread filling (except cheese) all over the dough leaving 1" of the longer edge clear. Sprinkle 2/3 of the cheese. Lightly flatten and brush the clear edge with water. From the opposite longer edge, roll the dough up and seal the edge. Cover and let this rest for 5 minutes. Then, slice the dough into 15-16 rolls. Place pretty side up in a lined bake sheet. Gently brush with egg wash, sprinkle the remaining cheese.
2nd proof: 60 minutes (preheat oven 30 minutes into the proof)
Bake: 180°C 20 to 25 minutes

The next bake was a Sourdough coffee & walnut mischbrot (mixed bread) since it's pretty good as a cake, I figured why not in a loaf. :)

(it does look like the molasses bread doesn't it? This one is all nutty and full of coffee flavor)


20g TZ flour
100g TZ milk

All of the TZ
120g buttermilk
1large egg
150g stiff starter (50% hydration)
90g rye flour
180g all purpose flour
60g whole wheat flour
1 tbsp espresso powder
A pinch of cocoa powder
50g brown sugar
7g salt
15g light olive oil
50g toasted walnuts, chopped

Baked in a 9x5 glass loaf pan at 160°C for 45 to 50 minutes until internal temperature is at least 93°C/200°F.

For the next bake, I wanted to make coffee swirls! At the same time, there was a number of chores to run, so I left a piece of dough in water for the bulk this time. Almost 5.5 hours later, the lil dough was floating. I know this method isn't the right way to determine when bulk ferment has ended but it's easy! There's a thread on this here (I dunno if I'd soak a shaped loaf in water though)

Sourdough Coffee Swirl Milk Loaf


20g TZ flour
100g TZ milk

All of the TZ
110g buttermilk
150g stiff starter (50% hydration)
45g sugar
1 large egg
260g all purpose flour
60g kamut flour
7g salt
50g unsalted butter
10g light olive oil

With espresso swirl, to 400g dough:
Dissolve 2 tsp espresso / instant coffee powder, a pinch of cocoa powder in 1 tsp water. Add to the dough, pinch and fold, knead until fully absorbed.

Roll the plain dough to a rectangle and the coffee dough to a smaller rectangle to fit 2/3 of the plain dough (I did not measure here). Lay the coffee dough over the plain dough, letter fold twice. Cover and rest for 15 minutes. Then roll to about 10" x 15", slice the dough into 6 strips (this depends on the type of braid, usually I make 3 - 4 strand braids). Make two braids, roll the ends under and place in a buttered pan (9x4x4). Cover and proof (24°C about 2.5 hours)

Bake at 180°C for 35 - 40 minutes until the internal temperature is at least 93°C/200°F.

The final bake (from yesterday) was made from leftover carrot purée. I made two loaves of swirly loaves as gifts and decided to use the remaining purée for our own loaf for the weekend. (yes, buttermilk and a braid, again)

Carrot + orange milk loaf

15g TZ flour
75g TZ milk

All of the TZ
70g carrot purée
100g buttermilk
40g sugar
zest of 1/2 orange
4g instant yeast
1 large egg
340g all purpose flour
60g Kamut flour
6g salt
10g light olive oil
50g unsalted butter

Pullman 9x4x4 
Bake at 180°C for 25 minutes with the lid on, 15 - 20 minutes with lid off, or until internal temperature registers at  93 - 97°C/200 - 206°F.

Kistida's picture

Made 2 versions of molasses bread before making others this last 2 weeks or so. One with toasted walnuts and one with drunken raisins - accidentally soaked the raisins in whiskey instead of rum, resulting in puffy, pretty strong tasting drunken raisins. Must make mistakes like this more often!



Molasses Bread
Makes 1 loaf
160°C/180°C 40 - 50 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 88-95°C

20g all purpose flour
100g milk

All of the TZ
200g all purpose flour
150g Kamut flour 
60g whole wheat flour 
6g instant yeast
6g salt 
160g milk
100g molasses 
2 tsp lemon juice 
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon 
A pinch of allspice/ground cloves
50g unsalted butter
10g light olive oil
Optional: 3/4 to 1 cup raisins soaked in water, juice or rum, overnight. Drain and pat dry or, 100g toasted walnuts, chopped 


Next one was Pain brié. This is always a favorite of mine thanks to its soft crumb and buttery taste. This time, I made it using my liquid starter with a lil bit of salt to slow the fermentation a little bit.

Sourdough Pain Brié
2 small loaves
220°C/430°C 15 minutes with steam, 10-15 without.

Stiff Starter 60% - 8-12 hours:
10g starter (100% hydration)
290g all purpose flour 
172g water 
1g salt

150g all purpose flour 
150g kamut flour 
140g water or 160g milk 
10g salt
50g unsalted butter

Yesterday, I made was a sourdough tea-infused loaf. Basically, I just wanted to have a favorite tea in my bread (and there are several more to try). Milk is slowly infused with tea over a simmer, then used in the dough the next day. I used chamomile and lavender tea here with butterfly pea flowers for a pastel blue swirl. The baked loaf has a light scent of chamomile, while the lavender’s gone. 


Sourdough Tea-infused loaf 
Makes 1 loaf 
160°C/ 180°C 40-50 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 88-95°C

Stiff starter 50% hydration: 
30g stiff starter
50g water
90g all purpose flour
10g whole wheat flour
10g sugar 

100g infused milk*
20g all purpose flour 

All of the TZ
180g stiff starter
160g all purpose flour
100g Kamut flour 
50g whole wheat flour (or 150g kamut for lighter crumb)
6g salt
30g sugar/honey 
160g infused milk*
10g light olive oil
30g unsalted butter

*Tea-infused milk - boil then simmer 15 minutes, cover and chill overnight 
400g milk
15g honey 
5 x chamomile & lavender tea bags

Optional: 30 x Butterfly pea flowers

The dough is mixed with 120g milk then, 10g with salt. 20g milk is heated to create a blue milk with butterfly pea flowers. After mixing in butter and oil, the dough is split to 2 equally before mixing in the remaining 15g plain and blue milk respectively. This bit is tedious and I could’ve just make two doughs from scratch…but for the lazy me, there’s less mixing time this way. 

The other bakes and makes:
The other small batch goodies I made were pineapple tarts (used 2 egg yolks in the pastry dough), followed by pastila (used the 2 egg whites, sugar and lots of apples), 2 batches of espresso biscotti with spelt and mocha ganache - recipes at the bottom of the post :)



For the dragon boat festival this year (14 June; next year it’ll fall on 3 June) I made steamed rice cakes and nyonya-style sticky rice dumplings (zongzi), 2 of my late grandmother’s favorites. These were my first attempts and I’m so happy with the results!  Despite having trouble folding the bamboo leaves (my hands can’t quite fold them like my grandma), some filling and rice leaked, they cooked up soft and fragrant thanks to small pieces of Pandan leaves, bamboo leaves and spices in the filling. The rice flour that I used had a strange smell to it. The steamed cake had a chalky taste to it! Will have to test this recipe with a different brand or make it from cooked rice next. 


Here are the other recipes:

Pineapple tarts
Adapted from:
160°C 25 minutes, until golden brown

175g unsalted butter, room temperature
50g sweetened condensed milk
1 egg yolk
230g all purpose flour
20g cornflour
5g salt
Egg wash: 1 egg + 1 tbsp milk + a pinch of salt

Pineapple jam (tart, lightly sweetened)
1 pineapple, diced, or 2 x 400g cans
1" cinnamon stick
2 cloves or 1 star anise
1 tsp lemon juice
50g sugar (use 30g for canned pineapples)

Adapted from:

8 apples (or 6 large apples)
100g sugar
2 egg whites
A pinch of ground cinnamon


Espresso biscotti
Adapted from:

120g all purpose flour
120g spelt flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
80g unsalted butter
90g brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp coffee extract
2 to 3 tsp espresso powder
2 large eggs
60g dark chocolate chips
60g toasted walnuts or almonds, roughly chopped

Easy mocha ganache
150g dark chocolate chips
30g milk
10g unsalted butter
1/2 tsp espresso powder

Steamed rice cake:
Nyonya Zongzi: &



Kistida's picture

I did more cooking than baking these last 3 weeks. But I did manage to squeeze in some bakes. My husband said he likes oat and honey breads too (this is after telling me he liked the swirly soft loaves and crusty ones, flat ones..) So, I set out to make him something to taste test, so far I've made these loaves with and without discards; 5 loaves later, it's safe to say he likes this bread! I love the hint and smell of honey in this bread. Also, they keep me full! Baked at 160-180°C 45-50 minutes (I use a glass loaf pan).


In between these loaves, I managed to make a lightly sweetened Cozonac (also baked at 160-180°C 45-50 minutes) and steam-baked sponge cakes.

Adapted from: For the Cozonac filling: Over medium heat whisk together milk, sugar and walnuts. Stir continuously until the mixture thickens slightly. Add the *rest of the ingredients and continue stirring until it thickens to a sticky paste. 

*adjust espresso or cocoa powder to taste. 


Orange sponge on the left used a 2-egg recipe, was mixed a little bit too carelessly (white spots here in there due to unmixed egg whites) while the coffee one on the right, 3-egg recipe, rose beautifully as I was gently folding the mixtures. Both were steam baked in 6" round pans. 3-egg version is loftier (also gives more cake!) So happy these were soft and spongy! Baked at 160°C in a water bath for 50-60 minutes.

Steamed rice cakes for next week, when I find some ingredients in Ottawa. :) Happy weekend everyone.    

Kistida's picture

This week, I made an olive and cheese loaf, Queen Elizabeth cake (twice), and non-baked breads: steamed flower buns and horseshoe fritters (these are fried). 

For the loaf, I wanted a soft bread that stays soft until the last slice. I used pepper-stuffed olives - these gave specks of red together with the orange bits of old fort and marbled cheddar. I wasn’t sure if my starter was strong enough for this bake since I used it passed its peak.

15g starter (100% hydration)
45g water
80g all purpose flour

100g milk
20g all purpose flour

all of the starter
all of the TZ
260g all purpose flour 
40g whole wheat flour 
5g salt (reduce if using more filling)
160g milk
15g light olive oil 
60g pitted olives and sliced/chopped
60g grated cheese (100g would be better?)
Butter - to brush on loaf after the bake

After baking 4 carrot swirl loaves for people, I finally found time to learn how to make the Queen Elizabeth cake. The recipe I used as a reference is here:

I was tempted to make a small cake but it was my husband’s birthday so I made the recipe as is. Be warned, the original recipe has a ridiculous amount of sugar. So, after that cake is over and done, I decided to make it again as a mini sheet cake (mini as in a 1/8th sheet pan) and with a lazier, no mixer required way of mixing (I like easy mixings!)

60g dates, pitted and chopped
80g water
1/2 tsp baking soda

110g all-purpose flour, sifted
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda 
1/4 tsp salt
pinch of nutmeg/allspice 
50g unsalted butter, soft
10g light olive oil
40g coconut/brown sugar
1 large egg, beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract 
40g heavy cream

Coconut Frosting 
50g brown sugar
40g butter
50g shredded unsweetened coconut
40g heavy cream 
Optional: 1/4 cup toasted walnuts, chopped 

Cook dates and water over medium heat until it begins to boil. Reduce to a simmer for 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat and add baking soda. Stir the dates and place the pot over low heat until the mixture boils again. Continue stirring and let the mixture boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
Preheat oven to 180°C. Butter and line a 1/8th sheet pan with parchment paper. 
Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg in a bowl. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, mix butter, oil and sugar until the mixture is pale - 2-3 minutes. Then, mix in the egg and vanilla extract.
Then, alternate adding flour mixture and cream into the egg mixture. Fold in with each addition until just combined.

Fold in cooled dates and then transfer to prepare pan. 
Bake at 180°C 15 - 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let it cool for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, turn on the broiler. 
While the cake is baking, prepare the coconut frosting. Melt butter with coconut, brown sugar and cream in a saucepan. Stir until sugar and butter are melted, then bring the mixture to a gentle boil for 3 minutes. 
Remove from the heat and stir in the nuts if using. 
Poke holes all over the warm cake and then spread the frosting all over the cake. Return the pan to the oven and broil the frosting for 2 minutes until the topping is golden brown. Be sure to watch the cake during the broil. Remove the cake and let it cool completely before slicing. This cake can also be cooled completely in the fridge. 

I let the frosting caramelize for a full 2 minutes leaving a light crunchy topping. 
The other two: steamed flower buns (hua juan) and horseshoe fritters (ma kiok) are two kinds snacks I enjoy back home. 



Kistida's picture

I made this carrot swirly bread as one of the things to do with a big bag of carrots. 🤣

Here’s the recipe, just prepare the yudane a few hours ahead of time (some recipes call for it to be chilled overnight). Also it’s easily modified to exclude the sd discard. 



  • 100g all purpose flour 
  • 100g boiling water 

use 100g for white dough, 70g for carrot dough 

 White dough

  • 100g yudane
  • 120g sourdough discard 
  • 180g all purpose flour 
  • 50g whole wheat flour
  • 5g salt
  • 20g sugar 
  • 3g instant yeast 
  • 1 large egg (50g), beaten
  • 80g milk (I used 2%)
  • 20g lght olive oil
  • 30g unsalted butter, softened 

 Carrot dough

  • 70g yudane 
  • 100g *carrot purée
  • 180g all purpose flour
  • 30g whole wheat flour 
  • 3g salt
  • 20g sugar 
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 2g instant yeast
  • 20g egg, beaten (to the balance egg, add 1 tbsp milk and pinch of salt - use as egg wash)
  • 15g milk (I used 2%)
  • 15g light olive oil
  • 20g unsalted butter, softened 

*carrot purée: steam carrot chunks for 20 minutes. Remove from heat, mash the carrot. Weigh and mix 80g of mashed carrot with 40g water (2:1). Blend this mixture until smooth or with tiny pieces scattered (adds nice specks of bright orange). Use 100g in the recipe

180°C Loaf pan (9x5”) 45-50 minutes; freeform loaves like braids, 25-30minutes. Braided version here where one is folded under to make a small loaf and the other not folded 👇🏻

This past week, I made some of my favorite baked goodies: crostata with a woven crust and home made jam, mocha cake and espresso Swiss roll (did a fantastic mess cutting into this one), with espresso ermine frosting and rum raisin sandwich biscuits - lil things I miss baking back home in Malaysia.



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