The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

SD olive and cheese loaf, Queen Elizabeth cake and others

Kistida's picture

SD olive and cheese loaf, Queen Elizabeth cake and others

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. 




Benito's picture

Christi, that all looks and sounds amazing, but the one that really caught me eye is the hua juan.  I haven’t had one of those in years and seeing them makes me want to walk to Chinatown and buy one.  I’ll have to look at recipes to make them someday, I’ll need to get a steamer first though.

Nice baking this week!


Kistida's picture

There are many places with hua juan recipes and I think you can use stainless steel steamers too. Joy’s (Joyosity on Instagram) recipe is easy to follow: Usually I use a preferment in mine; will make it with my sd starter soon. 


  • 80g all purpose flour 
  • 80g water
  • A pinch instant yeast 


  • All of the preferment 
  • 250g all purpose flour
  • 30g cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3g instant yeast 
  • 15g sugar
  • 5g salt 
  • 135g milk
  • 2 tbsp light olive or vegetable oil 

Sesame oil glaze 

  • 1 - 2 tbsp sesame seed oil 
  • 1/2 cup scallions/spring onion (green parts only) finely chopped

 The many ways of shaping the dough makes the process more fun for me. :)

I enjoy making these snacks from home. Next on the list are steamed rice cakes - bai tang gao and huat kuey (this is in Hokkien). 

Benito's picture

Thank you Christi and I’ll look forward to your bai tang gao.

HeiHei29er's picture

Nice looking bakes!

I've seen the tangzhong pop up now in a few different bakes I've been looking at.  Is there a noticeable difference in the crumb with using it?

Kistida's picture

.. on how long it takes to consume the entire loaf. Before this, when I baked without it, I noticed the crumb gets dry by day 3. With tangzhong/yudane, the bread stays fluffy, soft and moist longer. If you prefer soft breads and usually finish a loaf within 2 days, I believe a good mixing while preparing the dough will give you the same soft crumb as well without the need to make a roux. 

HeiHei29er's picture

Interesting…. We’re usually 5-7 days to finish a loaf.  Might have to try this on the next pan loaf.  Thanks!