Monday, August 15, 2011

Raisin yeast

It's been a little while since my last post.. and what have I been up to? ..., I've been creating a new life! ...Ok, let me explain... When I say "life", I don't quite mean something with arms and legs... I mean my own "Yeast"!

Creating my own yeast was something that I'd been always interested in but not been able to bring myself to go through all those "complicated" process. However, my "want" finally beat "lazy-me" and I decided to give it a try...

So... first of all, I read a quite a few stuff to know what is the best for a beginner, and came to a conclusion that "raisin" was the easiest. I got my jars out and sterilized them thoroughly in a boiling water for 30 minutes. After I got my jars ready, all the ingredients were placed... and the lid was back on... Day 1, obviously, no change in the jar...

Day 2..., some raisins were already up to the top, and the water started to have brownish colour....

Day 3-4..., more raisins were coming up and I started to notice bubbles around the raisins too.

Day 5..., most of the raisins came up to the surface, and I could definitely smell something like wine and cider.. I decided to leave it one more day.

Day 6...,
I declared that my raisin yeast was successfully done!

Now, let's make the bread! This time I opted for a very simple recipe (the most easiest method in which you used the yeast liquid straight to combine the flour and other ingredients.) to see if my yeast actually works. Having done the kneading I let the dough rest to rise with a hope of "please work, my lovely yeast...!" See? At this point, I was so attached to my yeast that it was almost like my baby...

To my amazement, on the following day I found my dough more than twice as big as the initial size! Yes, that's a great success! I made a caramel marble loaf and some buns with home made vanilla butter cream inside.

Both the loaf and buns tasted awesome. The bread rose so well that it looked just the same as the bread made with dried yeast. The best thing with this raisin yeast bread was that there was no yeasty taste that I sometimes find unpleasant when I make bread with commercial yeast.

Ooh well, my own very first yeast was a big success. My next step will be trying to use other ingredients other than raisins, and also to make a starter from the raisin yeast and keep feeding it to let it last for ever...

I'll be updating how my yeast experiment goes ;D

Here is how I did it...;

Raisin yeast:
Water 500ml
Dried raisin (non oil coated) 100g
Sugar 1 tbsp

1. Sterilize the jar which you are going to put the water and raisins.
2. Place water, raisin and sugar in the jar. Put on the lid and give a little shake. Place in a room temperature.
3. Shake the jar a couple of times a day and each time open the lid to give it a fresh air.
4. After a few days, the raisins start to come up to the top, and you'll start to notice some bubbles around the raisins as well as "wine-like" smell.
5. When all the raisins have come up to the top, and you hear "pop" as you open the lid, that's the sign of done!
If you noticed any strange smell or mould in the jar, unfortunately it's gone off..., so start again... Make sure that you sterilize everything you use including spoons or measuring cups.

Raisin yeast bread (straight method):
Flour 250g
Raisin yeast liquid 130g
Butter 50g
Egg 1
Sugar 30g

1. Combine all the ingredients and mix until it becomes a dough.
2. Place the dough on a floured surface and knead for 10 to 15 minutes until the surface of the dough is smooth.
3. Please the dough in a clean bowl and cover. Leave it until the dough has become twice the size of the initial size. (it might take more than a day depending on the yeast and temperature.)
4. Take out the dough on a floured surface, and punch it to get the air out.
5. -If you're making rolls, divide the dough into 6-8 pieces and shape into a ball. Place them on a tray and cover. Let it rest for 20 minutes.
-If you're making a loaf, reshape the dough into a round and place it back in a bowl. Let it rest for 40 minutes.
6. Take out the dough, and reshape it into whatever the shape you like. Cover the bread and leave it in a warm place. Prove until the bread has become twice the size of the initial size.
7. Preheat the oven to 180º. Bake for 15 minutes for rolls, or for 45 minutes for a loaf.

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Thursday, August 4, 2011

Vanilla butter cream Swiss roll

Because I've been making a lot of breads at work..., because I just wanted to make an authentic sponge cake..., or simply because I was craving for something soft and sugary yet creamy...whatever the reason is I had an urge of making this Swiss roll.

It is pretty simple. When you follow the recipe, I almost guarantee that you'll get a nice soft sponge that is easy to roll and goes with any fillings you like;D

This time I made my own vanilla butter cream. I wanted to make it really exquisite, so I used a whole vanilla pod. (from Vanillabazaar, seriously awesome stuff!) Using a ready made cream or jam for the filling is fine, but it's much more fun to make it yourself!

So here is my vanilla butter cream recipe...;
Butter 80g
Sugar 60g
Egg 1
Milk 60ml
Vanilla pod 1 (scrape the beans)

1. Cream butter until it's fluffy. In a separate bowl, beat egg.
2. In a pot, combine milk, vanilla beans and pod and sugar and put on a heat.
3. Keep stirring 2 and when it starts to boil, turn the heat off. Take the vanilla pod out.
4. Add beaten egg into 3. Keep mixing in order to keep the egg from being lumpy.
5. Add 4 into butter. Keep mixing until it's smooth.

And a few tips for a nice soft Swiss roll...

Egg 2
Sugar 30g
Flour 30g
Vanilla butter cream + coconut flake (2-3 tbsp) + a few drops of rum = Humm, awesomeness...

1. Pre heat the oven to 200ºc. Place a baking sheet in a cake tin.
2. Beat egg with a electric hand mixer. Add sugar and mix until it's VERY fluffy. (Make sure that the eggs have got a lot of air in and look sort of white.)
3. Sift four into 1. Fold in. NEVER mix, but FOLD IN! (Do it like drawing '8'  with a spatula. Do not let the fluffy egg disappear.)
4. Pour the mixture in the prepared cake tin. Make the surface smooth with a spatula. Hit the bottom of the tin against the work surface a few times to get the air out.
5. Bake in the preheated oven (200ºc) for 10 minutes.
6. When the cake is done, cover it with cling film and cool it down.
7. Spread the filling on the cake, and roll up carefully.

Aghaaah awesome cream and sponge..., that was a really nice sugar supply for the afternoon...

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