The Fresh Loaf

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Kistida's blog

Kistida's picture

A few months ago, I stumbled upon these puffy soft bagels called açma/acma while learning how to braid strands of dough. But I never got around to studying about their ingredients. They are so easy and fun to make. Unlike simit with its crispy crust, açma is soft and bun-like. I turned the doughs into different kinds of twists and rolls. The ones above were topped with chopped walnuts, brown sugar and maple butterscotch glaze.

Topped with cheddar and sesame seeds

First two batches were made with instant yeast and sourdough discard*

Açma with sourdough discard and instant yeast

100g starter discard (100% hydration)
40g honey or sugar
90g whole milk
100g Greek yogurt
1 large egg
1g instant yeast
350g all purpose flour
8g salt
50g light olive oil

1 large egg
1 tsp milk
A pinch of sugar
A pinch of salt

Toppings / fillings
Cheddar, shredded or chopped
Sesame seeds
Chopped walnuts with brown sugar
Unsalted butter, softened
Maple butterscotch glaze (recipe further down)

Prepare the eggwash
Whisk the egg, milk, salt and sugar. Cover and set aside in the fridge.

Prepare the dough

Whisk sugar/honey in the yogurt, milk and egg. Add the flour and yeast. Mix on low speed for about 3-5 minutes until the dough comes together. Cover and let the dough rest for 15 minutes.

Then, mix in salt and oil. Once these are absorbed, continue kneading at medium low speed for about 5-10 minutes, until the dough reaches windowpane stage.

Let the dough rise for 45 minutes at 23-25°C.

On a lightly oiled counter, gently deflate and perform stretch and fold on the dough. Then, shape it into a boule and return the dough to the bowl.

First proof
For a more flavorful açma, cover and let the dough rise in the fridge (4-5°C) for the next 10 − 14 hours.

To make the açma on the same day, cover and let the dough rise for another 45 minutes at 23-25°C. Then, chill the dough for 2 hours.

Remove the chilled dough from the fridge about 10 minutes before shaping. Divide the dough on the lightly oiled work surface into 40 - 80g pieces of dough.

Shape the dough pieces into thick logs, cover and rest them seam side down for 10−15 minutes.

To make plains bagel buns: use 60-80g dough per bun. Roll each dough log to about 20-25cm and then seal the ends together to form a bagel.

To make braided rings similar to simit: use 2 pieces of dough weighing about 40-50g.  Roll the dough to log to about 20-25cm in length. Take two strands of dough and twist them together like a braid. Seal the ends together to form a twisted bagel.

To make with filling (optional): flatten the dough pieces before rolling them. Brush a thin layer of softened butter on 2/3 width of the dough. Or add fillings like dried fruits and nuts. Roll the dough from the longer edge into a log. Seal the seams and continue rolling to about 20-25cm. Then proceed to twist or form single strand bagels.

If the dough pieces keep contracting when rolling, do not force them. Cover and let them relax for 10−15 minutes and then roll them out to the desired length.

Place the shaped bun at least 5-10cm apart from each other on parchment-lined baking sheet. With a pencil, mark 0.5 to 1cm points from the base the shaped dough to mark the rise of the dough.

Final proof
For fluffy soft açma: Loosely cover the shaped dough pieces with cling film and tea towel. Let them proof for about 60 minutes at 23-25°C or until the shaped dough reaches between the two markings.

About 15 minutes before the end of the proof, brush the shaped açma with egg wash.

Then sprinkle toppings, if using.

For bagel-like açma: once shaped, brush each shaped dough with egg wash and add toppings. Let them rest uncovered for 30-45 minutes. Then, bake as described.

At least 30 minutes before bake time, preheat the oven to 200°C. Place a heat proof casserole in the bottom rack with 2 cups of water.

Bake with steam for 15 - 20 minutes turning the baking sheet halfway, until the buns are golden and the internal temperature is at least 93°C.

Transfer the baked açma to cool on a rack. Cover with a tea towel to keep them soft.

This most recent batch were made with ripe sourdough, Tangzhong and semola rimacinata flour. I baked them on the same day and instead of letting them get too puffy, these had a shorter final proof for a more chewy, bagel-like texture.

Filled with butter, dark chocolate chips or laminated with hazelnut spread. Fun to make but tough to produce consistent shapes!

Sourdough açma

Starter 21-23°C 8-10 hours
- my starter has been consistently producing zero-sour breads with ratios like the one

2g starter
55g all purpose flour
55g water
2g sugar

15g all purpose flour
75g whole milk

All of the Tangzhong
100g starter (100% hydration)
15g milk
90g Greek yogurt
50g 1 large egg
40g sugar
114g Semola rimacinata flour
201g all purpose flour
7g salt
40g light olive oil

1 large egg
1 tsp milk
A pinch of sugar
A pinch of salt

Unsalted butter
Hazelnut chocolate spread
Dark chocolate chips
Sesame seeds

Preparation of the dough is the similar as the first batch. Prepare the Tangzhong first, then let it cool while preparing the rest of the ingredients. Add the Tangzhong together with rest of the dough ingredients.

Once the dough is smooth and elastic, let it proof for 1 hour at 23-25°C. Then, deflate, stretch and fold the dough on an oiled counter. Shape it into a boule and return to the proofing bowl.

First proof
Cover and let the dough rise for another 2 hours at 23-25°C. Then, chill the dough for 2 hours.

Shaping - similar steps as the instant yeast version above.

Final proof
For a bagel-like açma: Once shaped, brush each shaped bun with egg wash. Let them rest uncovered for 45-60 minutes. Then, brush another layer of egg wash (optional) and add the toppings and bake as described.

For fluffy soft açma: Loosely cover with cling film and tea towel. Let the shaped buns proof for 1 to 1.5 hours at 23-25°C or until the dough reaches between the two markings on the parchment.

Bake the açma the same way as the previous recipe.

The recipes above were adapted from these links:

Maple Butterscotch glaze/drizzle
- optional post-bake drizzle
- can also be used on cookies/cakes

30g brown sugar
50g maple syrup
1/4 tsp lemon juice
30g unsalted butter
60g cream or whole milk
A pinch of salt

Heat the ingredients over medium low heat. Stir until all the sugar has dissolved and butter is melted, then increase the heat to medium and bring the mixture to a boil.

As soon as it begins to boil, reduce the heat to low and let the mixture boil slowly for 5-10 minutes without stirring. Swirl the pan 2-3 times during the cooking period.

Remove from heat, loosely cover and let the glaze cool to room temperature before use. It will thicken as it cools. Drizzle over anything and everything because it's soooo gooood.

The next bake is one of my two favorite cakes at the moment: sourdough discard eggless chocolate cake (the other being a pandan yogurt cake)

Since I always have a little jar of discard* in the fridge, I started using them in my chocolate cakes instead of my usual buns/loaves.

A while back, I posted a recipe for a mini chocolate sheet cake using a 1/8 sheet pan. Sadly, a mini chocolate cake only serves 1, not enough to share. This recipe bakes in a quarter (1/4) sheet pan and contains no egg :)

Might've gone a little over with the white chocolate doodles here

Sourdough discard eggless chocolate sheet cake

120g all purpose flour
40g cocoa powder
90g brown sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
50g 70% dark chocolate, chopped
120g sourdough discard
60g plain Greek yogurt
60g whole milk
15g (1 tbsp) lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
40g unsalted butter, melted
40g light olive oil
120g freshly brewed coffee, hot

Chocolate glaze
60g unsalted butter
20g cocoa powder
80g semisweet/dark chocolate, chopped
A pinch of salt
3 - 4 tbsp whole milk/cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Optional: 2 tsp coffee liqueur or rum, 1/4 tsp instant coffee, 2-3 tbsp chocolate chips or toasted walnuts/pecans, shredded coconut
For doodles: White chocolate, melted

Prepare the cake
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease and line a quarter sheet pan with parchment paper.

Whisk together all purpose flour, cocoa powder, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and chopped chocolate in a medium bowl. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, mix starter discard, yogurt, whole milk, lemon juice, vanilla extract, melted butter and olive oil until the mixture is smooth.

Fold in the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients in 2-3 parts until just combined and with very little dry bits visible.

Then, add in the hot coffee and stir until the mixture is smooth. The batter will be is thin.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and gently tap the pan on the counter to release any trapped air bubbles.

Bake in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean or the cake bounces back when gently pressed with a fingertip.

Prepare the glaze:
While the cake is baking, prepare the dark chocolate glaze.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Stir in the cocoa powder, chopped chocolate, salt and 3 tbsp milk until the mixture is well-combined and smooth. Add another tbsp of milk for a thinner, pourable glaze (will take longer to set) and will make a fudgier cake.

Remove the pan from heat and whisk in vanilla extract and chopped nuts and liqueur (if using).

Immediately, when the cake comes out of the oven, prick holes all over the top of the cake with a tooth pick. Then, pour the glaze all over. Use an off-set spatula to spread the frosting to the edges of the pan. Add toppings, if using.

Let the cake cool for at least 30 minutes before serving or let it set completely for 1-2 hours in the fridge.

Use a plastic disposable knife or a warm sharp knife to cut the cake for clean cut edges.

Lastly, here's another braided/swirly loaf! This time, with matcha, AP and semola rimacinata flour:

Matcha milk loaf with AP & semola rimacinata

100g whole milk
20g all purpose flour

All of the Tangzhong
80g whole milk
1 large egg
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
120g starter discard (100% hydration)
220g all purpose flour
100g Semola rimacinata flour
2g instant yeast
50g sugar
6g salt
50g unsalted butter
15g light olive oil

Matcha dough
3g matcha powder sifted mixed with 5g whole milk. Mix into 330g (approx 40%) of the dough

Proofing temp: 22-24°C
First proof: 1 hour 30 minutes
Preshape, laminate both doughs: approx 15-30 minutes
Final proof: 1 hour 15 minutes or until the dough is about 2cm or 0.75" from the rim of the pan

Bake in a 9x4x4 Pullman loaf pan at 180°C 25 minutes with lid on, 20-25 minutes without, until internal temperature is at least    93°C.

*Sourdough discard
While I think it's ideal to keep little-to-zero discard for my starter, I feel "bad" whenever I remove a large portion for baking and then in that container, there's only this miserable 2-3g left. So, to keep them happier with more "friends", I feed them at a 1:5:5 (and sometimes with 1g sugar as a treat) in between bakes, whether on the counter or in the fridge. :)

These are some of the bakes that made it into my phone during the last couple of months; sometimes these bakes/makes get eaten way sooner than expected :p

3 versions of the same Queen Elizabeth date cake for my husband's birthday this year: 3" square, 4" rectangle, 6" round. Coconut ermine frosting with maple coconut butterscotch glaze.

Leftover paska dough turned into coconut braids (top) and pork floss & sesame twists

Mini sourdough focaccia with spiced onions, tomatoes and olives made in a 1/8 sheet pan

Mini sourdough pizzas with an awesome curry sauce from Glebe Kitchen and pulled chicken

Matcha & coconut butter mochi cake

Happy holidays (Canada Day and long weekend)! :p

- Christi

Kistida's picture

Isn't it nice when your baked goods smile at you? :p

These are my 'happier' hot cross buns this year

100g milk
20g all purpose flour

All of the TZ
165g milk
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
70g SD discard
55g sugar
6g orange zest
445g all purpose flour
6g salt
3g instant yeast
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
A pinch of nutmeg & allspice
50g unsalted butter
15g light olive oil

50g cranberries
100g raisins  
Both were soaked in recently boiled water for 10 minutes, rinse and pat dry.

Cross / Smiley Paste
40g all-purpose flour
30g icing sugar
35g water or milk
1 tsp light olive oil

Glaze: 1 tbsp apricot jam + 2 tsp hot water - brush on freshly baked buns

Bake times at 180°C until the internal temperature reaches at least 93°C
70g buns 20-25 minutes
50g smaller buns 15-20 minutes

I've used the same dough above without the cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg as rolls too. For these, I baked them at a lower temperature 160°C for about 30 minutes.

Next, I made small sourdough paska loaves using my 6" cake pan. The fun part included the origami involved in making the liner for my cake pan. This loaf is another same day bake! :)

6" Sourdough paska loaf
50g starter (100% hydration, doubled in approx 8-10 hours at 20-21°C)
82 to 85g milk
1 large egg
200g all purpose flour
30g sugar
5g lemon & orange zest
3g vanilla extract
4g salt
45g unsalted butter
10g light olive oil
60g raisins & cranberries (soaked and rinsed)

Egg wash
1 large egg
2 tsp milk
A pinch of salt

20g water
20g sugar

Mix on low speed every ingredient except salt and butter. Rest 30 minutes.

Add salt and butter, mix on low speed until absorbed. Then increase speed to 2 and mix for 15 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.

Remove about 100-120g of the dough for the decorative top. Shape this smaller dough into a ball and transfer to a small greased bowl.

To the remaining dough, add the soaked cranberries and raisins.  Mix on low speed for about 2 - 3 minutes until the fruits are incorporated evenly into the dough or, stretch and fold until the fruits are incorporated. Then, shape the dough into a ball and place it in a greased bowl.

Stretch and fold both doughs.  Cover and let them rest for 30 minutes at 24-26°C.

Stretch and fold the doughs. Cover and let it rest for 30 minutes at 24-26°C.

Stretch and fold the doughs. Cover and let them proof for the next 3 hours (24-26°C) or until the dough has increased 30-40% in volume.

Deflate both doughs gently. Form the larger dough into a boule and flatten with a rolling pin to about 5-inch in diameter. Place it in the lined 6” pan. Lightly press the centre to make a slight indentation. Then, brush the top of the dough with egg wash (this helps the decorative strands to stick and stay in place)

With the smaller dough, roll strands of dough to create patterns on the top of the main dough. Dust the strands of dough with flour to prevent overlapping strands from sticking and merging together. Place the desired design on the top of the dough.

Cover and let the assembled dough proof until the dome of the dough is about 2cm from the rim of the pan. This may take 3 - 4 hours at 24-26°C.

Preheat the oven to 190°C about 30 minutes before bake time. Brush the top of the paska with egg wash.

Place the paska in the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 180°C. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches at least 93°C.

Prepare the sugar glaze: bring water and sugar to a boil. Stir until all the sugar has dissolved. Reduce heat to low and let the syrup simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and brush the syrup over freshly baked paska.

Remove the loaf to a cooling rack and let it cool completely before slicing.

Happy Easter! ;)

- Christi

Kistida's picture

Here's a fancier, takes longer to make, savory and smells-oh-so-good flatbread: Pol roti (coconut roti)!

I've had this on my "To-make list" since mid-2021. Fresh chilis are only in my shopping list when I make chimichurri sauce. This time, I bought extras to add them into this recipe. Chimichurri is something I use everyday because it's actually a high antioxidant condiment. Even though this bread needs no leavening, I chose to use sourdough discard and Sharbati atta flour in my version of pol roti. The dough gets slightly puffy during the long resting period and extra uncooked rotis are kept in the freezer instead of the fridge. The atta flour produced a softer roti with a lovely flavor that I enjoy.

Pol roti with sd discard & chimichurri
Adapted from

240g all purpose flour
120g Sharbati atta flour (or whole wheat flour)
8g salt
100g unsweetened desiccated coconut
120g coconut milk (I used full fat canned)
80 to 100g water
120g sourdough discard
10 to 15g chimichurri sauce, chopped version (recipe below)
90 - 100g onion, chopped (approx 1 large onion)
2 green chilis, halved lengthwise, de-seeded* and chopped
Optional (but totally worth it): 10-20 5 to 10 curry leaves, sliced thinly or chopped

*Be sure to avoid touching your face when handling spicy green chilis. De-seeding is optional, it helps reduce spiciness. Keep them in if you like spicy roti.

Adapted from

1/2 cup virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar / lemon juice
1/2 cup parsley, flat leafed, chopped
6 to 8 cloves garlic, finely chopped or minced
1 tsp dried chili flakes
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 to 1 tsp salt, to taste
1/4 tsp ground black pepper, to taste

In a large mixing bowl, soak desiccated coconut and curry leaves (if using) in coconut milk for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Then, stir in 80g of water, sourdough discard and chimichurri, chopped onion and green chilis.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours and salt. Add this to the wet ingredients. Mix by hand or with a spatula until a dough forms, adding 10-20g of water, if needed, to make a slightly sticky dough, with no dry bits of flour.

Shape the dough into a ball (in the bowl or on a lightly greased counter), lightly greasing the dough surface with olive oil. Cover and let the dough rest for 4 - 6 hours at room temperature or up to 24 hours in the fridge.

After resting, gently deflate and shape the roti dough into a log or disc. Divide into 10 to 12 pieces, weighing about 75 to 95g each. Fold and roll each piece into a ball. Lightly grease each dough ball with oil, cover and let them rest for 15 to 20 minutes.

Flatten a ball into a disc and roll into a circle of about 3 to 6mm (1/8 to 1/4 inch) thick. Transfer to a parchment or silicon lined bake sheet.

Cover the rolled out roti with a damp tea towel to prevent drying and keeping a piece of parchment between each piece to prevent sticking. Roll out the rest of the roti dough.

At this point, extra rolled out roti may be frozen for cooking later. Simply stack the pieces of roti between parchment paper and double wrap tightly in clingfilm. Then, place them in a resealable bag and freeze for up to a month. Thaw them slightly on the counter for about 15 minutes before cooking.

Preheat a frying pan, skillet or tawa over medium heat. When the pan is heated, transfer a roti onto the skillet and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes, until the brown spots begin to develop all over the base of the roti. Flip the roti and cook the other side for 3 to 4 minutes, until brown spots appear as well.

For thicker roti (6mm or more in thickness), cook on medium low heat instead - 4 to 5 minutes on each side.
Transfer the cooked roti to a rack to cool slightly before serving. Cover with a tea towel while cooking the rest of the roti. Serve these rotis warm. :)

The next bake happened because of leftover eggnog. Since making the small pastries in my last post, I prepared a batch of dough to freeze and of course, to use up eggnog! The initial plan was to make a loaf of bread but I split them in two and made them into two batches of pastries. They aren't as rich but the subtle notes of nutmeg and cinnamon from the eggnog were worth it. And using eggnog in the Tangzhong sure made these buns soft and yummy!

Eggnog bread / buns

100g eggnog
20g all purpose flour

All of the Tangzhong
160g eggnog
3g instant yeast
1 large egg
20g sugar
3g lemon zest
130g Kamut flour
280g all purpose flour
6g salt
40g unsalted butter

50g dark chocolate (70%), melted
15g unsalted butter, melted
5g cocoa powder
20g chocolate hazelnut spread
A pinch of salt

Citrus sugar
30g sugar
20g lemon and orange zest
A pinch of salt
30-50g unsalted butter, for lamination

Egg wash
1 large egg
1 tbsp eggnog or milk / cream
A pinch of salt

Once the dough is fully developed, let it proof at 25-26°C for 1 hour. Then, divide the dough into smaller batches (if not using all 800-ish grams of it).

For same day bake: Cover/wrap the dough, freeze it for 1 hour followed by 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

For a later bake: Cover/wrap the dough, freeze it. Remove to the refrigerator the night before bake-day.

Tip: to prevent shaped buns from tipping or falling apart too much during the final proof or during the bake, use paper muffin cups. Flatten or widen each muffin cups a few minutes before rolling out the dough.

01042022 here are some fridge buddies to show you how the muffin cups are used:

For chocolate swirl buns
Mix the filling ingredients and set aside to cool. Roll out the dough, spread the filling with an offset spatula. Next, either letter-fold, fold in two or roll the dough up into a log.

Spreading the dough on opposite sides and then rolling both ends toward the middle will produce something these (these were filled with masala sugar):

Letterfold or fold in two, slice and then braiding the dough will produce the braided buns in the top row. Rolling one way or from opposite ends toward the middle will produce the buns on the bottom row (chocolatey fillings here):

For citrus morning buns (middle row), spread softened butter on 2/3 of the rolled out dough. Then, letter-fold the dough. For more layers, use remaining butter and fold the dough in two (there are other ways to incorporate layers of butter here but it would require lots of writing... so it's obvious I made a lazy version here). Cover or wrap the dough and chill it for 15-20  minutes (not too long otherwise the butter will become too hard).

Once chilled, roll the dough to flatten it to about 6 to 8mm thick, making sure to keep the rectangle in shape. Brush a thin layer of egg wash and sprinkle the citrus sugar all over the egg wash, keeping a 1" edge free of filling. Start rolling the dough from the opposite end of this edge. Roll the dough snugly (not too tight as the middle might rise during the bake) until the edge with only egg wash. This will help seal the dough log. Let the dough rest over the seam for 5 minutes before slicing into rolls.

Place shaped buns/pastries on the paper cups and let them proof at room temperature (22-24°C) for 45 to 60 minutes. Brush egg wash halfway through the final proof or just before baking.

Bake at 180°C for 15 to 20 minutes until the buns/pastries are golden brown and cooked through.

Until next moon, happy baking everyone :)

- Christi

Kistida's picture

I made brioche buns and smaller loaves of sourdough recently. Smaller bakes are fun!

Instead of my usual braided loaves, the brioche with sourdough discard and Tangzhong were made into little buns (or pastries). These were not 2:1 or 3:2 (flour:butter) brioche; 50-70% butter versions. I used just 30% eggs, 30% butter which came out soft and buttery, thanks to the use of Tangzhong and Kamut. The second batch used 25% of each.

These buns were made using 50-60g of dough each, small enough for me to enjoy two at once. A little extra work was making the easy pastry cream to fill the buns.

Brioche dough with tangzhong and sourdough discard 1

100g milk
20g all purpose flour

SD Discard
130g SD discard
1/4 tsp baking soda

All of the Tangzhong
All of the SD discard
40g milk
150g eggs
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
60g sugar
290g all purpose flour
120g Kamut flour
5g vital wheat gluten
3g instant yeast
8g salt
150g unsalted butter, cubed/flattened pieces

Egg wash
1 large egg
1 tbsp heavy cream
a pinch of salt

The first batch were baked as two separate days (left the second half of it in the freezer for 3 days):

First half of the dough (photo above)
- Biscoff spread braided buns
- masala sugar braided buns
- sugar pie/bun (brioche tarte au sucre) - flatten the dough ball to about 3 to 4" in diameter, toward the end of the second rise, brush with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. Then, gently dock the dough with fingertips or blunt end of a chopstick dipped in cream. Dab each cavity with a little cream and place a piece of cold butter in each of them. Shor-cut version: after sprinkling with sugar, poke the dough with pieces of cold butter to create the cavities. Like my failed attempts at flattening Barbari bread, these were got very puffy when baked :p

Second half of the dough:

- pastry cream with rum raisins,chocolate chips and blueberry jam (bit into the jam one before taking the photo, ha!)

Brioche dough with tangzhong and sourdough discard 2
- with lemon zest rubbed into the sugar before mixing
- not as rich as the previous batch, but it's a version I would use if I feel like using more than 50g of butter in my dough.

100g milk
20g all purpose flour

SD discard
120g discard (100% hydration)
1/4 tsp baking soda

All of the Tangzhong
All of the SD discard
30g heavy cream
100g eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp lemon zest (1 lemon)
48g sugar
3g instant yeast
120g Kamut flour
195g all purpose flour
5g VWG
6g salt
100g unsalted butter, cubed/flattened pieces

Second batch was made into a dozen of these:

- cinnamon sugar twists - filled, rolled and sliced, then flatted, pulled and twisted to expose the swirls
- brioche tarte au sucre (can't help it, these are just so easy to make and tasty, I'd make them with any enriched dough)
- hazelnut chocolate twists

Masala or cinnamon sugar filling
- brush a thin layer of egg wash before sprinkling the sugar filling

15g all purpose flour
20g unsalted butter, melted
60g sugar
8g (1 tbsp) ground cinnamon or masala mix
A pinch of salt

Easy pastry cream
150g milk
80g heavy cream
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp lemon extract
40g sugar
1 tsp lemon zest
1 large egg
15g cornstarch
A pinch of salt
20g unsalted butter, cubed

Preparing the dough:
Dry ingredients
Rub lemon zest (if using) into the sugar. Then, whisk together with flours, salt and instant yeast in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.

Wet ingredients
Prepare the sourdough mixture. Stir baking soda into the sourdough discard (this neutralizes the sourness especially in old discard). Cover and let the it rest for about 15 minutes before use.

Prepare the Tangzhong, making sure the mixture reaches approx 65°C before removing from heat. Stir in fridge-cold milk, eggs, starter discard and vanilla extract.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Mix on stirring speed until a dough forms, making sure no dry bits of flour remains, about 4 to 5 minutes. Cover and let the dough rest for 30 minutes.

Add 2-3 pieces of butter to the dough. Mix until these are absorbed before adding the next pieces of butter. Repeat until all the butter has been added to the dough. Gradually, increase the kneading speed to 2 to develop the dough, stopping every 2 minutes to scrape the bowl and to turn the dough. This process may take 15 to 20 minutes in order to achieve windowpane stage, where the dough is smooth, shiny and elastic. Do not add any more flour.

Shape the dough into a boule, then, transfer it to a greased bowl, cover and let it proof for 45 minutes to 1 hour at room temperature (20-22°C) or until nearly doubled in size.

Then, deflate the dough on a lightly floured counter, fold it in half, then in quarters and reshape it into a flattened disc. Wrap in clingfilm and place it in an airtight container, resealable bag or on a baking sheet. Proceed with the desired next step based on when the dough will be shaped and baked:

To bake the same day: place the sealed dough in the freezer for 2 hours followed by 3 hours in the refrigerator before dividing and shaping.

To bake the next day: place the sealed dough in the freezer for 2 hours followed by an overnight in the refrigerator before dividing and shaping the next morning.

To store and bake another day: place the sealed dough in the freezer for up to a month. Thaw the dough in the refrigerator overnight before dividing and shaping.

Divide and pre-shape the dough pieces into boules, chill for 30 minutes, roll out dough. Add fillings and final shape. Cover with plastic.

2nd proof: 1 to 1.5 hours (at 21-22°C), until puffy and not quite doubled in size.

Preheat the oven 20 - 30 minutes before baking.

For small rolls (50-60g), 180°C 15 to 20 minutes.
For 9x5” loaf (about 600 to 800g), 180°C 45 to 50 minutes.

Preparing the pastry cream:

Milk mixture: In a saucepan, bring half the sugar and 2/3 of the milk to a gentle simmer (about 77 to 80°C), whisking or stirring to prevent burn spots on the base of the pan.

If using zest, rub zest with sugar before adding the milk. Whisk/stir until all the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla/lemon extract.

Egg mixture: In a mixing bowl, stir together remaining sugar, cornstarch and salt. Whisk in eggs and the remaining 1/3 milk. Mix until well combined.

Tempering of the egg mixture: Slowly add half the warm milk mixture in a thin stream to the egg mixture while whisking continuously to avoid any lumps. Pour this egg-milk mixture back into the rest of the milk in the saucepan, stirring continuously.

Place the saucepan back on the stove and cook over medium-low to medium heat, whisking constantly until the cream begins to thicken, about 2 to 5 minutes. Once it thickens, continue to whisk, pausing every few seconds to check for bubbles and the temperature as it approaches 93°C. When it begins to bubble, set a timer and continue whisking for 1 minute. This step helps neutralize a starch-dissolving protein in the egg yolk.

Remove from heat and whisk in butter until melted, one piece at a time until thoroughly combined. Strain (if there are lumps) the cream into a bowl or tray. Cover with cling film over the entire surface of the cream to avoid it forming a skin. Let the cream cool completely at room temperature or in the fridge.

Once cooled, whip it with a whisk or spatula gently, not too vigorously to avoid thinning the cream. Pipe or spread the pastry cream in pastries. It may also be mixed with whipped cream or milk to use as a filling.

The extra pastry cream leftover from the bakes above went into these two tarts (3.14 pi day yesterday): coconut cookie crust layered with chocolate ganache, pastry cream, more ganache topping and garnished with a little whipped cream and glazed berries.

Next, my current favorite sourdough loaves! These sourdough same-day bakes are easy to fit in my schedule and I like how small and easy to handle they are.

Sourdough loaf with Semola and AP
50g starter (100% hydration)
180g semola flour (semola rimacinata di grano duro)
20g all purpose flour
5g sugar
140g water
4g salt

Add-ins up to 80g

With jeera and cheese

Laminated 3g jeera and 50g Swiss cheese before coil folds
(similar to my other post)

And this one with spelt, AP and 50g pork floss mix (shredded meat cooked until a cotton candy-like texture) with seaweed and sesame seeds

Total BF at 22-23°C approx 6.5 to 7 hours
Final proof 24-25°C 2 hours, freezer 1 hour
Bake at 230°C 20 minutes with lid/steam, 25 without.

Until next time, happy baking! :)

- Christi

Kistida's picture

This is the easiest (from a lazy person's pov: me) sourdough bread!

I've made the yeasted version of pain brié multiple times and have always wondered, using the old dough method (Pâte fermentée) must've been the only way considering no commercial yeast (discovered mid-1800's) was available as far back as the 14th century when such breads were made. So, I prepared a stiff starter and used it for the loaves.

Sourdough Pain brié
Stiff starter (60% hydration)
10g starter (100% hydration)
184g water
310g all purpose flour
10g sugar
1g salt

all of the starter
140g milk or 125g water
200g all purpose flour
80g spelt flour
5g vital wheat gluten
8g salt
50g unsalted butter

Prepare the stiff starter in a large mixing bowl. Cover and leave it to ferment at 21-23°C for 12 to 16 hours.

Whisk flours, salt together in a medium bowl. Add milk or water to the starter and slowly pinch the starter apart. Gradually add the flour mixture while mixing with a spatula or by hand. Mix until dough forms with no dry bits of flour. Do not add more milk or water. Cover and rest 30 minutes.

Add a few pieces of butter. Pinch and fold until they are absorbed before adding the next pieces of butter. Once all the butter is added, continue kneading the dough for 15 minutes on the counter. Do not add any flour. Spritz the counter with water if humidity is low (especially in the winter) and the dough surface appears to dry too fast. The dough will gradually become smooth and soft, but it will not feel like doughs with higher hydration. Dough temperature 24-25°C.

Shape the dough into a boule, lightly grease with oil and transfer it to a bowl. Cover and let it rise: First proof: 2 hours 21 - 23°C

Divide the dough into 3 to 6 pieces. Shape each piece to a boule, cover and let them rest for 15 to 20 minutes.

Shape each piece to batards or boules (No extra flour needed). Transfer to baking sheet. Cover with damn tea towels (spritz the top of the towel and then cover with damp another towel). Final proof: 1 hour 21-23°C

Preheat the oven to 190°C halfway through the final proof.

Score 3 to 7 parallel lines on each shaped loaf.

Place ice cubes or a source a steam beside or beneath the baking rack.

Medium loaves: 3 x approx 300g 200°C 15 minutes with steam, 10 - 15 minutes without steam or until internal temperature is at least 90°C.

Smaller rolls: 5 x 180g 190°C 30 to 35 minutes until internal temperature is at least 90°C.

Let the baked loaves cool in the oven (turned off) for at least 3 hours before slicing.

So, why did I say this is the easiest sourdough bread?
Low hydration, easy to handle.
Knead therapy? With little bit of time and some elbow grease, kneading this dough felt so good!
No sticky hands; well, sticky for a little while only.
Very easy to shape.
No need to check on the dough during its short first rise
Tight crumb - characteristic to this bread. The dough used to be pounded to achieve tight crumb
Once the starter is ready, buttery bread will be ready within 3-4 hours, all done at room temperature

The next loaf takes more time and effort but it was worth it!

What's great about rum raisins? They make amazing chocolatey treats! When I came across Maurizio's cherry & chocolate sd recently, I figured I'll have to do something with the jar of rum raisins I keep. So, instead of tempering chocolate, I just melted chopped dark chocolate with espresso powder and salt over steaming water real quick, drizzle onto a baking sheet and let it set for a few minutes. Then, sprinkle pat-dried drunken raisins all over the set chocolate followed by a thicker layer of dark chocolate on top. Let this set and within an hour or so, I get this super-easy and not-so-neat version of very tasty Jamaican rum raisin chocolate. Of course I've to make about a 1/8 sheet pan sized bar because some of that had to be "taste-tested".

Chocolate Sourdough with Rum Raisin Chocolate
200g lukewarm water, about 30°C
200g all purpose flour
70g Kamut flour
9g vital wheat gluten
15g sugar
70g starter (100% hydration)
5g salt
8g cocoa powder
1/2 tsp espresso powder
8g coconut oil
100g rum raisin dark chocolate

Bulk ferment 6 hours at 23°C
Cold retard overnight at 4°C
Score and bake at 230°C for 25 minutes with steam (or lid) and 20-25 minutes without until the internal temperature reads at least 90°C.

Last few pieces had lovely swirls!

During a lil hiccup in my braided masala loaf recently, Benny asked me to share some braiding methods. Here are some easy lattice-like braids. Once the simple over-and-under method is mastered from left to right followed by right to left (or the other way 'round), the logic of the braiding is quite easy.


6 strands, braided like a 4-strand





Here's an easy challah made with sd discard that was braided using 6 strands but in the form of a 4-strand braid.

Challah loaf
100g milk
20g all purpose flour

All of the Tangzhong
214g starter discard
50g honey
20g heavy cream
2 large eggs
210g all purpose flour
110g Kamut flour
3g instant yeast
5g salt
50g unsalted butter

Mix until the dough reaches windowpane stage, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Proofing time was longer than usual since my kitchen was cooler that day.
First proof 2 hours 20-21°C
Second proof 21-22°C 1 hour 30 minutes, 1” above the rim of glass 9”x5” pan.
Bake at 180°C for 45 minutes, covering with foil in the last 15 minutes, until internal temperature was 94°C. Let the loaf cool slightly in the pan, for about 10 minutes before removing to a cooling rack. Brush with a little butter and let the loaf cool completely before slicing, at least 3 hours.

That's all for now! :)

- Christi

Kistida's picture

Here's another spiced loaf! On days when I feel like having a lil bit of rice, I usually make jeera, chicken or a simple biryani. Since I've already made a jeera (+cheese) loaf recently, I figured why not try making a bread version of biryani just to dip or drench the bread in some curry. :)

Biryani spiced sourdough with turmeric swirls
225-230g water
185g all purpose flour
70g atta flour
50g Kamut flour
5g vital wheat gluten
1/4 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
10g sugar
80g starter (100% hydration)
6g salt
5g onion oil (from caramelized onions)
50g caramelized onions

Caramelized onions
4-5 small to medium onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup olive oil
a pinch of salt
1 bay leaf
3 cloves
- toss onions in salt. Cook over medium low heat with oil until onions begin to turn brown on the edges. Add bay leaf, cloves and cook until onions are golden brown. Strain onions and oil, allow to cool. Discard bay leaf / cloves.

The dough is split to about 60-40%. And *turmeric is added to the smaller portion. It's easier to just add turmeric to the whole dough and mixing just partially so a marbling effect can be produced during stretch and folds or coil folds.

Autolyse 1 hour
Dough temp after mixing: 24.5°C
Bulk fermentation 5 hours at 21-23°C; stretch & folds x 3, Caramelized onions were laminated in, followed by coil folds x 2.
Preshape, overnight cold retard
Score and baked at 230°C for 25 minutes with DO lid on, then 20 minutes without lid.

The baked loaf was then left to cool for about 3 hours before slicing (I read somewhere it's ideal to slice when the loaf is 32–43°C?).

*be sure to use oiled hands for this step, and have vinegar and baking soda nearby to clean any turmeric stains.

The next loaf is the black goji berry loaf. It's just a lil twist from a citrus loaf where the juice is now replaced by goji berry tea.

Black goji berry sourdough with candied citrus peels
220g goji berry tea
218g all purpose flour
80g Kamut flour
15g sugar
5g orange zest
74g starter (100% hydration)
6g salt
6g coconut oil
50g candied citrus peels, chopped

The bakes below were lil snacks for the lunar new year.

Nian gao (mochi cake) with coconut and candied citrus peels - I had to include more of those candied peels since I prepared so many!

Makes one 1/8 sheet pan
Dry ingredients
180g glutinous rice flour (Mochiko)
45g tapioca flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
100g sugar
1/8 tsp salt

Wet ingredients
2 large eggs
350g coconut milk
20g dark molasses
20g coconut oil, extra for brushing

50g candied citrus peels, chopped
60g unsweetened desiccated coconut

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease a 1/8 sheet pan with coconut oil and line with parchment paper.

Melt coconut oil in a small pan and let it cool slightly. In a measuring jug, lightly whisk eggs, molasses and coconut milk. Whisk in coconut oil.

Whisk all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour in the wet ingredients. Mix the ingredients together with a spatula or whisk until a smooth, runny batter forms. Strain this batter to remove any lumps.

Stir in desiccated coconut and candied citrus peels.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and gently tap the pan on the counter to remove large air bubbles.

Place the pan on a larger baking or cookie sheet and bake in the preheated oven on the middle rack for 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and gently, brush the top of the cake with coconut oil.

Return the cake to the oven and continue baking for 15 to 25 minutes until the middle of the cake has set and the edges are golden brown. A toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake should come out clean.

Remove from the oven and let the cake cool for at least 30 minutes before transferring it to a cooling rack. Let the cake cool completely before slicing. Like the cassava cake, this cake should be kept at room temperature for its chewy texture. It should be refrigerated after 2-3 days, but this makes the cake less chewy and slightly dry.

Butter cookies (plain, coffee, matcha)
- I lack piping skills so it was hard to make these into uniform shapes. Fun to make, even more fun to eat! :D

Makes about 40 to 50 3cm cookies
120g unsalted butter, room temp
1g salt
45g icing sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
45g cornstarch, sifted
95g all purpose flour, sifted
Optional: 1-2 tsp milk, or liquid add-ins

Coffee version: 1 tsp instant coffee/espresso powder and 1/4 tsp cocoa powder bloomed in 1 tsp boiling water or, 1 tsp espresso + 1/4 tsp cocoa powder

Matcha version: 3g sifted matcha powder + 1 tsp hot water

Whip butter with salt and sugar for 8 to 10 minutes until fluffy. Mix/fold in vanilla and cornstarch. Gradually, fold in flour in 2 additions. Fold in add-ins and transfer the dough into a piping bag.

Pipe cookie dough onto parchment lined cookie sheets, each cookie about 2-3cm circles. Bake at 150°C until the edges are lightly brown, about 20-30 minutes, depending on the size of the cookies (mine took about 25 minutes)

Pinwheel cookies
- a variation of the butter cookies, easier to make of course, just roll, freeze, slice and bake!

Plain dough
220g unsalted butter
150g sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
350g all purpose flour, sifted
10g cornstarch
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Chocolate add-in
20g dark chocolate, chopped
1/2 tsp cocoa powder
1/4 espresso powder
1 tsp heavy cream or milk

Matcha add-in
1/2 tsp matcha powder, sifted
1 tsp heavy cream or milk

Prepare the plain dough like any cookie dough. Divide the plain dough to 4. Use a portion to mix with the chocolate mixture and another with the matcha mixture.

Wrap and flatten each portion into discs, chill for about 30 minutes. Then, the portions between two layers of parchment before rolling them out into nearly the same size (approx 12" x 6"). Stack the dough rectangles on top of each other and then roll the layers starting from the longer edge into a long, tight spiral. Wrap the dough tightly and chill for about 1 hour (or freeze up to 3 months!)

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Slice the cookie dough into 1/2" thick slices, rolling the dough log during the cut to maintain the rounded shape. Should the dough soften too much after slicing, chill the sliced cookie for about 15 minutes before baking.

Bake for 10-13 minutes, until each cookie is slightly puffy and the edges are just starting to brown. Cool the cookies completely before storing in airtight containers.

That's it for now, enjoy! :)

- Christi

Kistida's picture

It's the 21st day of 2022, I hope everyone is doing great and keeping up with each resolution-.. I made one this year: I need to drink less coffee this year! I decided to revisit my old habits like making masala tea from scratch. Normally, we would use Assam, Ceylon or even Darjeeling but I've English breakfast for now. The very first loaf of sourdough I made this year only happened the day before yesterday, also thanks to masala tea.

Let's lay blame on the goodies consumed between 24 Dec to 1 Jan for the lack of baking since 2022 began. This little break gave me time to reset (and lose some weight ha!), and shorten a list of Chinese New Year to-do's (this is happening in less than 2 weeks *gulp*)

The starter (Prune) came out from her chilly hibernation and was fed 1:2:2 and then 1:4:4 just before preparing the dough. The proofing time seemed longer than expected but the loaf turned out okay, no discernible sourness, soft crumb with bits of caramelized crust, despite a flaw in the shaping.

Right after baking, with brushed on butter

Masala swirl loaf

100g masala tea* or milk
20g flour

All of the Tangzhong
60 - 70g soured milk
25g honey or sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
160g starter (100% hydration, 10 hours at 21°C)
70g all purpose flour
60g atta whole wheat flour
6g salt
50g unsalted butter,

50g dark brown sugar
1 tbsp (approx 7.5g) masala spice
10g malted milk powder (optional, I used it for a creamy feel)
2 tsp all purpose flour

Egg wash
1 egg
2 tsp milk
A pinch of salt

Masala spice
1 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves or allspice
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground ginger

Soured milk: Add 1 tsp lemon juice to 1/3 cup milk. Cover and let it rest for at least 15 minutes.  

Flour mixture: Whisk together the flours, salt and yeast in the mixing bowl.

Egg mixture: In a measuring cup or bowl, whisk together egg, honey and vanilla extract.

Prepare Tangzhong and wet ingredients. Remove Tangzhong from heat and stir in soured milk followed by the egg mixture - Tangzhong is ready once the mixture gelatinizes at about 65°C; so when it is mixed with cool or room temp soured milk (60g) followed by the egg mixture, the temperature too low to denature the egg mixture (egg white coagulates at 62 - 65°C) or even the starter, yet warm enough for the dough.

Add wet ingredients to the flour mixture, followed by starter discard. Mix on low until a dough forms, it’ll be sticky at this stage (if it's not, try adding the rest of the soured milk). Cover and let the dough rest for 15 minutes.

Next, add a tablespoon of butter and mix on low until the butter is absorbed. Flip the dough and add the next tablespoon of butter and repeat mixing until all the butter has been added and absorbed. Increase mixer’s speed to medium low (speed 2 on the KA Artisan) and knead the dough for 10 to 15 minutes - stopping every 3 minutes to scrape the sides of the bowl and turning/flipping the dough for even kneading (I believe this step is not required if using a spiral hook). After 15 minutes, the dough should be very smooth, no longer sticky and passes the windowpane test. After mixing, at room temp 22°C, the dough temp was 24.5°C

Transfer the dough to a lightly greased counter. Stretch and fold the dough on all sides and form a boule. Transfer the dough to a grease container or bowl, cover and let it rise for the remaining bulk ferment, about 2 1/2 to 3 hours at 23-24°C.

Mix all the ingredients for the filling in a small bowl. Set aside. Mix egg wash and set aside.

Transfer the risen dough to a lightly floured counter. Gently deflate and stretch or roll the dough to a rectangle about 15” in width and 10” in length.

Brush egg wash over 1/3 of the width in the middle and sprinkle 1/3 of the filling on top of the egg wash. Fold the dough starting from the 1/3 on the left to the middle. Egg wash the folded dough and sprinkle with 1/3 of the filling. Then, fold the dough from the right to the middle.

The folded and filled dough should be about 5” in width and 10” in length now. Gently, roll the dough to about 6” wide and 15-16” in length.

Bottom half, braiding or twists: Sprinkle the bottom half of the dough with flour. With a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut about 6 to 10 strips. Braid or twist each strip to any desired design. Pinch the ends of the braids and brush a bit of egg wash in them.

Top half of the dough: Brush egg wash on the top half of the dough. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/3 of filling, leaving about 1” at the edge clear.

Start rolling the dough from the edge without any filling toward the braided/twisted strips. Do not roll too tightly after reaching the mid section leading to the braids. Let the rolled dough rest on the ends of the braids for 2-3 minutes to seal it. Transfer the dough to a buttered 9” x 5” loaf pan. For 9x4x4 loaf, this recipe will yield a taller loaf.

Cover and let the dough proof once again until the top of it reaches at least 1.5” above the rim of the pan. At 23-24°C, this took 3.75 to 4 hours.

45 minutes into the final proof, preheat the oven to 160 / 180°C, glass or metal pans.

When the dough is ready, gently brush the top with egg wash.

Bake the loaf for 50 to 60 minutes at 160°C or 45 to 50 minutes at 180°C, tenting it lightly with aluminum foil after 30 minutes. Bake until crust is golden brown and the internal loaf temperature registers at least 93°C/200°F.

Remove the loaf from the oven, brush the top with butter and let it rest in the pan for 5 minutes. Then, remove the loaf and brush butter all over the sides (optional). Let it cool completely in the cooling down oven, about 2-3 hours or overnight.

Sliced the loaf the next morning. The gap between the braids could've been prevented if I had just made a single braid or braided at an angle.

These were the last 4 slices!

*Masala tea1
Makes 1 large mug or 2 cups

240g (about 1 cup) water2
2 black tea bags or 1 tbsp heaped loose leaves
300g (about 1 1/4 cup) milk or 1:1 milk and 10% cream/evaporated milk
6 green cardamom pods or 1 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
6 whole cloves or 3/4 tsp ground cloves
3” cinnamon stick
1/4 tsp ground ginger
Optional: 1 bay leaf
Optional: sugar, jaggery, maple syrup or honey, to taste

If using, store-bought masala teabags, just skip the spice prep and prepare with water onward.

Crush cardamom pods and cloves with a knife (or mortar & pestle). Break or unravel cinnamon bark into 2 or 3 pieces lengthwise.

Place all the spices, black tea and water in a small saucepan. Bring the water to a boil (100°C) , then remove from heat, cover and let the tea steep for at least 15 minutes, up to 3 hours (or more for deeper, more intense flavors).

Remove bay leaf (if using). Stir in milk and heat the tea to a simmering temperature of about 85 to 93°C over medium heat. Then, reduce to low heat and let it simmer with stirring for 5 to 10 minutes - this prevents a skin from forming over the simmering milky tea. Remove from heat and stir in desired sweetener, if using.

Pour the tea through a fine mesh strainer into mugs. To aid cooling down and to froth the tea a little bit, pull the tea in two mugs (eg. stainless steel travel mugs or pitchers). Pulling about 3 to 5 times cools the tea to a suitable drinkable temperature.

There are many, many different masala tea recipes out there. Being able to adjust the spice content makes it easier for me to enjoy this tea. Personally, I find certain store-bought versions a lil bit too strong and not great when they're using spice oils in them. Adjust spice content and add other spices like black peppercorns, fennel, nutmeg, star anise, fresh ginger to your taste. :)

These are some of the small-batch bakes around Christmas-New Year:

Swiss meringue kisses with a few iced gems using left over pasta frolla dough
Pseudo chocolate truffles - coconut cookies coated in tempered dark chocolate and drizzled in white chocolate
Crostata with mixed berry jam made in pasta frolla crust and topped with Swiss meringue to hide uneven edges (sneaky!)
Baked yogurt oatmeal - a little bit of healthy eats in the morning to start our binge-eating last days of 2021.
Rich fruit cake with citrus peels, dates, raisins, walnuts, overdose of Frangelico - this cake was overly rich and drenched, the first single slice made me dizzy and red. I will have to revisit this with a shorter feeding period and skip the dates..
Tourtière - one of hubby's favorite. I've made this a few times with tweaks here and there. But I need to make it again with some other type of filling, probably with Malay-Indian influence.

Alright, until next moon, have a happy, happy weekend :)

- Christi

1: masala chai = masala tea. It's wrong to say, "Masala chai tea" or "chai tea"
2: water for tea, coffee - hard water makes bad tea/coffee.

Kistida's picture

Here I am, listening to this today, enjoying a strangely warm December afternoon while counting the days/hours until we head home (I'm somewhere near Boucherville) and going through my increasingly short Christmas bake list.

Normally, around this time I'd have done the basic stuff like preparing and freezing pasta frolla, tourtière crusts, or cookie doughs, gathering stuff for a cake or two, but not this year. This year, hubby's work took over and gave me a LOT of time to catch up on my readings and chill time :D So, we'll probably end up with the boozy fruit cake (she's missed a feeding!) and a tiny few goodies, if I can manage the time. And there's no time and room in the fridge for turkey now so the he'll have to be happy with just tourtière with bouilli (assuming all the winter veges are available) this year. :D

These few bakes were made just a few days before we left on this trip and I thought I'll post them here as probably the last post for 2021. :) I didn't even get to make Benny's whole wheat sd loaf yet!

This loaf was inspired by Maurizio's Jalapeño-Cheddar Sourdough Bread. Cumin is one of the most common spice I use besides turmeric and garam masala. I really enjoy having jeera in rice or broths or curries and was really curious how cumin would blend with cheese in this loaf.

Jeera / cumin & cheese sourdough
70g sourdough starter (100% hydration)
240g water (I used 30°C)
240g all purpose flour
5g vital wheat gluten
70g atta flour
15g sugar
6g salt
5g coconut oil
80g cheese (I used Havarti)
3g jeera / cumin seeds

Room temp: 20°C
Autolyse 1 hour
Bulk fermentation 5 hours at 20-22°C; stretch & folds x 3, add-ins were laminated in, coil fold x 2.
Preshape, overnight cold retard at 4°C
Score and baked at 230°C for 25 minutes with DO lid on, then 20 minutes without lid.

I made the mistake of preheating the DO in the oven at 250°C instead of 230°C and the DO was just too hot at the start of the bake. Must remember to use several layers of parchment or add a bake sheet beneath that rack! And I absolutely loved the use of cheese with jeera seeds here! :D

And here's the very last piece

The next bake a last minute bake to use up leftover citrus syrup, sd discard (switched the starters to 100% WW) and I subbed the egg for yogurt and skipped the tangzhong. It does stay soft for up to 3 days!

Citrus loaf with yogurt & SD discard
130g milk (30°C)
60g plain yogurt
80g citrus syrup*
140g sourdough discard (100% hydration)
3g mixed citrus zest (orange + lemon)
2g instant yeast
220g all purpose flour
10g vital wheat gluten
100g atta flour
6g salt
30g coconut oil

*Syrup at thread stage - this was leftover from making candied citrus peels. Assumed sugar concentration 80%; 64g.

Brushed with milk and baked at 180°C for 50 minutes. A light brush of butter all over the loaf after removal from the loaf pan.

This last bake, was an attempt at recreating flapjacks with less sugar and butter. I wanted a version that wasn't too buttery or sugary, so a little bit of tapioca starch was added in to aid with binding but these came out crumblier, harder to cut, slightly healthier (HA!) and tasty!
The broken bits were mixed with some chocolate and left to set. Then, used as breakfast cereal. In a way, this was a version of homemade granola!

Chocolate, walnut and coconut flapjacks
60g unsalted butter
60g coconut oil
60g maple syrup
40g brown sugar
250g rolled oats
1/4 tsp salt
10g tapioca starch
20g unsweetened desiccated coconut
30g toasted walnuts, chopped

Chocolate topping
100g dark chocolate, chopped
20g unsalted butter
a pinch of salt
1/8 tsp light olive oil
Optional topping: coconut, walnuts

Make the flapjacks
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease a quarter sheet or 20cm/8" square pan with butter and line the base with parchment paper with overhands on 2 sides.

In a large saucepan, heat butter, maple syrup and brown sugar over low heat. Stir until all the butter has melted, then remove from heat. Do not allow this mixture to boil. Let it cool slightly for about 3 to 5 minutes.

To the butter mixture, add rolled oats, salt, tapioca starch, coconut and walnuts. Fold in the mixture until everything is evenly coated in the warm syrup.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and flatten with the back of a spatula or base of a glass (lightly oiled).
Bake at 180°C for 15 to 19 minutes until the edges begin to turn golden brown. For crispier/firmer bars, bake until 20-22 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let the flapjack cool in the pan for about 30 minutes. Then lift it out with the parchment overhang onto a cooling rack and let it cool completely. With a sharp knife, slice the flapjack into bars or squares, or proceed with chocolate topping, then slice after the chocolate has set.
There will be bits falling off here and there. Keep those bits to mix with chocolate!

I tried cutting with a bench scraper instead of a "sharp knife" at first.

Make the chocolate glaze
Melt chopped dark chocolate, butter and salt over a bain marie, stirring constantly. Once all the chocolate has melted, stir in oil until the mixture is thick and glossy.

Options to add chocolate glaze to the flapjacks: dip flapjacks in it or drizzle the chocolate on using a fork or a resealable/piping bag. Another method: pour glaze all over cooled flapjack, let it set, then slice.

Lay each glazed bar on parchment or silicone mat. Optional topping: add coconut or chopped nuts over the chocolate as it sets.

Chill the bars for about 30 to 60 minutes to set and firm up the chocolate layer.

Until next time or next year, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year :)

- Christi

Kistida's picture

It's the last day of November. How time flies! :D I've been meaning to update my lil space here with my recent bakes but I never got to touch my laptop while I'm managing books (so many!), household stuff, (very late) knits, and some spinning and yoga. But, there are some bakes, of course.

Ah, a citrus-y sourdough loaf! I made a second batch of candied citrus peels as a bunch of them were included in the dark fruit cake that is now getting sloshed in the fridge - hopefully it turns out edible for Christmas.

Made two of these loaves, first one without walnuts and I haven't got a clue why I bothered making it the hard way - with a separate dough made a very light blue. The second version of this citrus loaf has more candied peels and walnuts, a much easier and nuttier loaf:

Sourdough loaf with candied citrus peels & walnut
60g starter (100% hydration)
100g water
100g orange juice
15g honey
75g spelt flour
225g all purpose / bread flour (75%)
6g salt
5g coconut oil

30g mixed citrus peels, chopped
20g toasted walnuts, chopped

Total bulk ferment: 5.5 hours at 23 - 24°C.
Final proof: 1 hour at 23-24°C, cold retard 5 to 16 hours at 4°C.
Bake at 230°C Dutch oven lid on 20 minutes. Lid off, with baking sheet below DO, 20 minutes.

(I think at this bake temperature with the DO, my loaves are getting really dark bottoms, I should place something beneath it next time)

Tedious loaf below, the plain one above looked and tasted better with walnuts and more peels!

Here's the tedious loaf again, looked on by Prune the starter on the left.

Next make/bake: cevapi together with somun and ajvar. I made these just because they sound so fun. Of course, I had to make sure the flatbread turned out right before the cevapi and the ajvar (seeing how I made fat buns instead of Barbari bread before). After the second batch of these flat breads, I was happy to make the rest. Oh, these made a lovely meal!

For somun, I like them plain or with a little bit of cumin/jeera seeds.

Adapted from: and I let the dough proof twice before shaping.


with yogurt and sourdough starter - makes 4

120g plain Greek yogurt
100g all purpose flour
20g sourdough starter
5g sugar

All of the starter
65g all purpose flour
75g atta / whole wheat flour
1g instant yeast
5g salt
5g sugar
75g water
5g ghee or olive oil
Ghee or olive oil to grease shaped dough

without starter - makes 5

120g plain Greek yogurt
10g sugar
150g water
280g all purpose flour
70g atta / whole wheat flour
2g instant yeast
7g salt
5g ghee or olive oil

Optional topping: cumin, caraway, sesame seeds

Prepare the dough as you would any bread, adding oil and salt last. For the first proof, let the dough rise for 60 minutes at 25-28°C (I used the oven)

Then, transfer the dough to a lightly wet counter. Stretch and fold the dough on all sides and then form a boule. Return the dough to its proofing bowl, let it rise again for 60 minutes at 25-28°C.

Transfer the dough to a floured counter and gently divide the dough into 3 to 5 equal pieces (or 2 for larger breads), then gently stretch and fold each piece of dough into a boule.

Grease hands with ghee or oil, then gently grease each shaped dough ball before transferring it to a lightly floured parchment paper. Repeat with the rest of the dough, leaving 3-4 inches between each dough ball.

Cover the dough balls with two layers of damp tea towels for about 45 minutes at room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 250°C about 30 minutes into the second rise.

Flatten each dough ball gently with wet fingertips into a disc, without deflating the middle of the dough too much, keeping the thickness to about 1cm or 0.5inch.

Optional: Make a criss-cross patterns over the top of the dough with the wet blunt edge of a knife or lightly floured silicon dough scraper. Cover with and let the shaped dough rest for 10 minutes.  

Spritz the tops of the dough once or twice with water, sprinkle cumin, caraway or sesame seeds over the top (if using).

Place the dough in the oven, reduce the oven temperature to 230°C and bake for 8 minutes. Then, lower the heat to 200°C and continue baking for another 5 to 10 minutes.

As a shortcut, I've also baked these at 230°C for 13 to 18 minutes.

The bread will puff up, turn a golden brown with dark brown spots and the internal temperature should reach between 96 - 99°C.

Remove from the oven, and then transfer the loaves onto a cooling rack, cover with a tea towel and let the loaves cool (this softens the crust).  

For crusty loaves, return the loaves to the middle rack of the oven as the oven cools down, leaving the oven door slightly ajar.

I'll also include how I made cevapi and ajvar here as a reference. There are many ways to make these and I'm pretty sure the next batch I make will have other spices in the cevapi. For this batch, I tried to stick with a simpler recipe.

Cevapi, (or ćevapi or ćevapčići)

Makes about 28-30 little sausages


50g bread crumbs (from my leftover whole wheat sd)
1 large egg
2 tbsp milk
250g minced pork
250g minced beef
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
3 - 5g salt*
1/4 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 cup chopped raw onions, to serve

In a large mixing bowl, mix bread crumbs with egg and milk. Cover and let the breadcrumbs hydrate for about 15 to 30 minutes.
Stir fry onion and garlic with olive oil until lightly golden. Remove from heat and allow to cool before adding to the breadcrumbs.
To the breadcrumbs, add the rest of the ingredients, starting with 3g salt. Mix by hand or with a large spatula until evenly combined. Cover and let this chill for about 30 minutes.
*Taste test: remove about 1/2 tbsp of the mixture, gently flatten into a small patty and cook over medium heat on a frying pan until cooked through. Taste test the cooked patty. Season the rest of the mixture with additional salt, pepper or spices, if needed.
Cover and chill the mixture for at least 2 hours to overnight.
Shape into sausages about 6 to 7.5cm (about 2.5 to 3 inch) in length 1.5cm (about 1/2 inch) thick, either by hand or through a disposable piping bag. I used a piping bag at first, but found out after 20 sausages that it's actually easier by hand.
Place the shaped sausages in the fridge or freezer until ready for cooking (I baked these, there are recipes for grilling these)
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Brush oil or melted butter on the grill insert of a baking sheet. Place the sausages about 5cm / 2inches apart on the grill.
Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until they are cooked through and lightly browned on the outside, or until the internal temperature is at least 77°C (170°F)
Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.

2 red bell peppers
1 medium eggplant
3 to 5 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
Virgin olive oil
1 tbsp garlic oil (or more)
1 tsp rice wine vinegar
salt, to taste
ground black pepper, to taste
paprika, to taste

Prepare the garlic oil first; this is the same method used while preparing garlic and garlic oil for garlic fried rice. :)
Add enough olive oil in a small saucepan to cover the chopped garlic. Fry over medium low heat while stirring continuously so the garlic pieces brown evenly.
When the garlic becomes lightly golden, remove the saucepan from heat. Let the garlic continue to cook in the hot oil until golden brown.  Pour the garlic through a wire mesh strainer. Set both the garlic (now crispy) and strained garlic oil cool until ready to use.

Preheat your oven to 230°C (450°F).
Line a quarter baking sheet with baking/parchment paper.
Cut the eggplant into large pieces and red peppers in halves. Arrange these on the baking sheet.
Bake for 45 to 50 minutes ensuring that the peppers and eggplant pieces have softened completely and their skins slightly charred.
Transfer the eggplant and pepper pieces into a large bowl. Cover the bowl with clingfilm, prick a few holes with a needle or fork and set aside for 30 minutes.
Once cooled, remove and discard the skin from the eggplant. Peel the peppers, discard the core and seeds.
Transfer the remaining pepper and eggplant into a food processor

Add the half of the fried garlic, 1 tbsp garlic oil and rice vinegar to the food processor.
Pulse the contents of the food processor until smooth. Taste test and add more fried garlic and oil, if desired.
Then, transfer the mixture to a medium saucepan.
Over a medium-low heat, simmer the sauce for around 30 to 45 minutes, while stirring continuously. The sauce should thicken slightly as it simmers.
Season with salt, ground black pepper, paprika and more garlic oil (if desired).
Remove from the heat and allow to cool before serving.
To serve, drizzle or spread ajvar in a halved somun, add a few cevapi go with chopped raw onions and more ajvar, stuffed into a somun. I added chopped lettuce to the mix on one occasion and a bit of kimchi with the ajvar on another. :D

The next bake is something I make only once or twice a year, probably because it disappears faster than the process of making it. This bakes in a 1/8 sheet pan, just enough for 2 - 3 people. This batch was topped with coconut and coconut oil was used in the batter.

Mini chocolate sheet cake

90g all purpose flour
20g unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
25g dark chocolate, chopped
50g brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 large egg
90g buttermilk or plain yogurt
40g unsalted butter, melted
30g coconut oil, melted
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
90g strong brewed coffee, hot

Chocolate Glaze
30g unsalted butter
10g cocoa powder
40g semisweet/dark chocolate, chopped
2 tbsp milk, more if required
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
25g powdered sugar (optional)
A pinch of salt
Optional: 2 tsp coffee liqueur or rum, 1/4 tsp instant coffee, 2-3 tbsp chocolate chips or toasted walnuts/pecans, shredded coconut

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease and line a 1/8 sheet pan. Set aside.
Dry ingredients: in a large mixing bowl, sift together all purpose flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and whisk in chopped dark chocolate, sugar and salt. Set aside.
Wet ingredients: in a medium bowl or measuring jug, whisk together egg, buttermilk/yogurt, melted butter, coconut oil and vanilla extract.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined with a spatula. A few streaks of flour is fine at this time.
Add in the hot coffee and whisk the batter until smooth. The batter will be thin.
Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 13 - 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few crumbs.

While the cake is baking, prepare the chocolate glaze.
In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Stir in the chopped chocolate, cocoa powder, milk until the mixture is well-combined, smooth and pourable. Adjust with 1/2 to 1 tbsp of milk, if necessary - the glaze will set as it cools.
Remove the pan from heat and whisk in vanilla extract, powdered sugar (if using) and optional toppings.

Immediately when the cake is removed from the oven, prick holes all over the top of the cake with a tooth pick. Then, pour the glaze all over. Use an off-set spatula to spread the frosting to the edges of the pan.
Let the cake cool for at least 30 minutes before serving or let it set completely for 1-2 hours in the fridge.

Use a plastic disposable knife or a warm knife (run a sharp knife under hot water and dry it) to cut the cake for clean cut edges.

Other bakes include these two snack cakes:

(do not open the oven to spy on the cake, like I did! My cake slices had waists!)

Coconut & matcha swirl yogurt cake


180g all purpose flour
20g cornstarch
1/4 1/2 tsp baking powder try 1/4
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp sea salt
100g sugar
60g unsalted butter, cubed, soft
60g coconut oil, soft or melted
1 large egg
80g Greek yogurt
100g coconut milk/buttermilk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
20g unsweetened desiccated coconut

Matcha batter
10g coconut milk/buttermilk/soured milk
2g matcha powder

Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C for glass). Grease and line a loaf pan.
Egg mixture: in a medium measuring jug, whisk together the egg, yogurt, buttermilk/soured milk and vanilla extract. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, sift together all purpose flour, cornstarch, baking soda and baking powder. Whisk in salt and sugar. Add soft or melted butter, melted coconut oil to the dry ingredients and mix on low for 30 seconds.
Add roughly 1/4 of the egg mixture and mix on medium low to medium speed until the batter is pale and fluffy, about 1 minute. Stop the mixer once or twice to scrape down the sides of the bowl and to turn the batter from the bottom with a spatula.
Next, add half of the remaining egg mixture with desiccated coconut (if using) and mix on low speed until just combined, about 20 seconds. Then, add the last of the egg mixture and again, mix on low for 20 seconds. Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in from all sides with a spatula until the batter is smooth.

For matcha swirl batter:
Transfer 1/3 or 1/2 of the mixed batter to a separate bowl.
Mix coconut milk (or the subs) with matcha powder in a small bowl until a paste forms. Mix about a tablespoon of batter with the paste. Then, add this to the batter and mix until it achieves a uniform green color.

Mixing plain and matcha batters, a few ways:
- Alternate adding dollops of each batter into the pan. Run the back of a knife or skewer through the batters.
- Add the plain and matcha batter alternately from the same spot to create zebra effect.
- Pour matcha batter into the plain batter and swirl the bowl around before pouring the mixed batter into the prepared pan

Carefully tap pan on folded tea towels twice to release any large air bubbles.

Bake at 180°C for 45-50 minutes (for metal loaf pan, 180°C), 45 to 50 minutes (for glass pan 160°C), until a toothpick inserted comes out clean, or with the slightest crumbs clinging to it.
1/8 sheet pan: 180°C 16 to 20 minutes.

Remove the loaf pan from the oven and let the cake cool in the pan for about 5 minutes. Then, lift the cake from the loaf pan with the parchment overhang to a cooling rack.

Light fruit cake

90g all purpose flour
10g cornstarch
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
50g sugar (60g too sweet)
50g unsalted butter, melted
30g coconut oil, melted
1 large egg
10g molasses
50g plain yogurt
1/4 tsp vanilla/lemon extract

Mixed fruits
50g pineapple juice
100g pineapple, chopped
30g raisins
30g candied mixed peels, chopped
30g unsweetened desiccated coconut
Optional: a pinch of cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg

Syrup (optional)
12g sugar
20g pineapple juice

Icing sugar glaze
5g pineapple juice, strained
20 - 25 g icing sugar
1g unsalted butter, melted

Mix and soak the fruits in pineapple juice for at least 4 hours to overnight in the fridge.
Be sure to let all ingredients reach room temperature before preparing the batter.
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease and line a 1/8 sheet pan or 9x6” casserole, leaving overhang of parchment on the sides of the pan for easy cake removal later.
Flour mixture: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together all purpose flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar.
Yogurt mixture: In a small measuring jug, whisk egg, molasses, yogurt and vanilla/lemon extract together.
Fold in melted butter and coconut oil into the flour mixture, for about 20 seconds.
Add yogurt mixture with about 1/2 of the fruit mixture to the batter. Fold into the batter for about 15 seconds.
Add the rest of the soaked fruits including any soaking liquid. Fold in until there are no more flour steaks visible and the batter is smooth.
Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake the cake for 30 to 35 minutes until a skewer comes out clean (begin testing at 28 minutes). Tent the cake with foil if browning too quickly).
Optional syrup: While the cake bakes, heat pineapple juice with sugar the microwave or over the stove on low until all the sugar dissolves.
Remove the cake from the oven and gently prick holes all over the cake with a tooth pick. Spoon or brush syrup all over over the cake.  
Leave to cool in the pan for 20 minutes before lifting it out from the pan (with the parchment paper overhang) and let it cool completely on a wire rack.
Optional glaze: Add pineapple juice and melted butter to 20g icing sugar. Gently mix until evenly combined. For a slightly thicker (and whiter) glaze, add the remaining 5g icing sugar and mix until evenly combined. Transfer glaze into a small ziplock bag. Cut a small tip in one corner and drizzle the glaze over the cooled cake. Let the drizzle set for about 30 minutes before slicing the cake. 

Almost did another 4-recipe post, didn't I? tee-hee

- Christi

Kistida's picture

While reading about types of flat breads (made just a few so far like naan, chapati, Barbari bread, puran poli and qatlama patir), I came across interesting ways to make obi non. Some of these use chopped onion in the starter as it boosts fermentation and provide a lovely flavor.

The articles can be found here:
They're in Russian but Google helped translate. :)

For my small batch of 3 or 4 breads, I decided to use some atta flour and more water was added in the dough to make it soft enough. Also, yogurt or soured milk add extra flavor to this bread :D

Obi non
Stiff starter (12 hours)
20g starter (100% hydration)
80g whole wheat flour
44g water
1g salt
10g onion, chopped fine

All of the starter
60g whole wheat flour
200g all purpose flour
10g sugar
110g water
80g plain Greek yogurt
1g instant yeast
6g salt
15g ghee

Milk wash
Sesame, caraway seeds

It took me 2 days to make these as I prepared the starter early in the day, the dough at night. After mixing the dough ingredients with the stiff starter, I left the dough to chill overnight as it was getting late. Preparing the starter at night would have been better. The first proof should take 1.5 to 2 hours (longer if using only sd) at 26-28°C

After the first proof, divide the dough to 3 or 4, shape into boules. Cover and let these rest for 15 minutes.

Final shape: gently flattened discs to about 15-20cm in diameter with wet fingertips. Then, gently press a circular indentation in the middle, so that the border is thicker and puffier.

Cover and let the dough discs rest for their final proof for 45 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180° or 200°C about 20 minutes into the first proof.

Lightly brush oil over the middle of the dough. Then, if the middle is puffy again, press with fingertips or base of a glass into the middle of each dough until a deep indentation forms (this prevents it from rising during the bake), followed by designs with chekichs, fork, spoon, cookie cutter, pinching with fingertips, or even a toothpick. Optional: score or leave light indentations on the border.

Cover and let the shaped dough rest for 10 minutes.

Brush with cream or milk and sprinkle sesame or caraway seeds.

Bake at 180°C with steam for 20 minutes, followed by 5 to 10 minutes without steam until the top of the loaf is golden brown. Or
Bake at 200°C with steam for for 15 minutes, followed by 2 to 5 minutes without steam until the top of the loaf is golden brown.

Brush baked loaves with melted butter or ghee and let them cool for at least an hour before serving.

The next bakes were honey-lemon loaves. I made 3 of these in a week while preparing candied citrus peels (I've yet to start on the fruit loaf). They had lemony scent and hint of honey that we enjoyed! Also, I wanted to see if I can create vertical lines with the swirls too! A bit tedious, but it was like making monkey bread. :)

Honey Lemon sandwich loaf with butterfly pea swirls
(& lines!)
20g all purpose flour
100g milk

All of the Tangzhong
40g cream
30g milk
35g honey
1 large egg
110g starter (100% hydration)
10g sugar
Zest of 1 to 2 lemons
1/4 tsp pure lemon extract (optional)
240g all purpose flour
80g Kamut flour
5g vital wheat gluten
2g instant yeast
6g salt
40g unsalted butter
10g light olive oil

Butterfly pea tea
3g butterfly pea petals + 100g freshly boiled water.
Steep 15 to 20 minutes while preparing dough.

For butterfly pea blue swirls:
Divide dough in half.
Plain dough: add 15g milk
Blue dough: add 14g butterfly pea tea

Honey Lemon sandwich loaf with matcha swirls


20g all purpose flour
100g milk

All of the Tangzhong
40g cream
40g milk
35g honey
1 large egg
100g starter (100% hydration)
10g sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
1/4 tsp pure lemon extract (optional)
240g all purpose flour
80g Kamut flour
5g vital wheat gluten
2g instant yeast
6g salt
40g unsalted butter
10g light olive oil

For matcha swirls:
Mix 2g sifted matcha powder + 4g milk into a paste. Mix this into 350g of dough.

Divide each dough into 8 equal pieces. Roll each into dough balls, cover and let them rest for 15 minutes.

Roll each piece about 15cm/6". Overlay the colored dough over the plain dough. Roll the dough out to about 10cm/4" wide and 20cm/8" long. Roll each pair up, then divide them in two. Place them in alternate directions in 2 rows in greased loaf pan.

They were baked at 180°C with lid for 25 minutes, followed 25 minutes without. Loaf was tented with foil in the last 10 minutes

The next bake took a long time! All because I wanted to make bubble buns (from this post), with espresso mochi in them. These turn out bigger and less cuter than bubble buns though!

Almost-bubble buns with espresso topping and mochi filling (ha!)
The dough is from that recipe.

Small batch espresso mochi filling
80g mochiko/glutinous rice flour
20g tapioca flour
2g espresso powder
a pinch of cocoa powder
40g brown sugar
10g vegetable oil or melted butter
140g milk
For dusting: cornstarch

Bring water in a steamer to a boil while preparing the batter.

In a medium bowl, whisk together glutinous rice flour, tapioca starch, espresso powder, cocoa powder, brown sugar and milk.

Stir in oil or butter and mix until well combined and there are no lumps. Strain the mixture, if necessary to remove lumps.
Transfer the batter to a greased bowl and place this in the steamer.

Steam the batter over high heat for 20 minutes, making sure the lid of the steamer is wrapped tightly in a towel to prevent condensation from dripping into the bowl.

The mochi is done when the mixture changes from a solid color to slightly-translucent.

Remove from the steamer, and let it cool while covered for 5 minutes.

Then, transfer the mochi to an oiled counter and knead it (with gloved hands) for 2 minutes until it is smooth.
Wrap the mochi with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Once chilled, slice the mochi into smaller pieces with a silicon dough scraper and dust each lightly with cornstarch to prevent sticking.

Skipping ahead of preparing and the first proof:
After dividing the dough into 40 equal pieces (20-30g each) and resting them, they were each filled with roughly a teaspoon of mochi and rolled into little balls. They were then arranged on parchment lined bake sheet with about 3cm/1" distance between them. Cover and let these proof at room temperature until they're puffy and are now stuck to one another. Pipe cooking topping over each bun (I managed to stick to one swirl this time). Bake at 180°C for 15 minutes until edges are golden brown and the internal temperature is at least 88°C. Turn off the oven, leave the oven door slightly ajar and leave the buns to continue baking in the cooling oven for 5 to 10 minutes. Then, remove the buns from the oven and let them cool completely on a cooling rack.

The latest bake was from last night using leftover syrup from making candied citrus peels. This bake felt rushed as I started preparing quite late in the evening. The baked loaf burst on one side during the bake - I believe I rolled the doughs a bit too tightly and should've used steam in the bake. (Lesson learned: do not make anything while half asleep!)

From the photo here, was the loaf under-proofed?

Orange and chocolate sandwich loaf
70g starter discard (100% hydration)
50g plain yogurt
80g milk
100g citrus syrup
250g all purpose flour
125g Kamut flour
2 tsp orange zest
2g instant yeast
6g salt
1 large egg
40g unsalted butter
10g light olive oil

Chocolate dough
15g melted dark chocolate
2g cocoa powder
120g dough

The chocolate dough was letter-folded with plain dough. Then, turned 90° and rolled out to about 20cm/8" wide and 46cm/18" long. The dough is then rolled into a log and left to proof a second time until it filled about 80% of the pan. Baked at 180°C 45 to 50 minutes. It was tented with foil in the last 10 minutes and reached an internal temperature of 98°C. Then, I left it overnight to cool on a rack.

That's it for now! :D

- Christi

30 Nov 2021 update: Made the orange chocolate loaf with SD discard. I added a lil bit of baking soda into the discard as this was a mixture of stiff and liquid starter from multiple feeds. The doughs were letter-folded once, sliced and braided to fit a 9x4x4 Pullman pan.


20g all purpose flour
100g milk

All of the Tangzhong
30g cream
45g milk
1 large egg
120g starter discard with 1/8 tsp baking soda  (100% hydration)
235g all purpose flour
5g vital wheat gluten
80g Kamut flour
3g instant yeast
20g sugar
6g salt
40g unsalted butter
10g olive oil

Chocolate dough (to 1/3 of the dough)
15g dark chocolate, melted
2g cocoa powder


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