Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Wholemeal Bread Using Prefermented/Sponge Dough


This is a two-step bread making process; the first step is to prepare the sponge dough and leave to ferment (rise and doubled in volume) and the second step is to incorporate the fermented sponge into the final dough. Taking the extra step is totally worth it when you bite into the soft and airy texture of the bread.  Since this is a small dough, it took me about 25 minutes  kneading (with hands) to achieve window pane stage.

Step 1:  Prepare Sponge Dough
35g lukewarm water
2g (1/4 tsp) caster sugar
2g (1/2 tsp) instant yeast
50g bread flour
  • Dissolve sugar in the water.  Add in yeast and stir until completely dissolved.  
  • Add yeast mixture into the flour and mix into a dough.  Then knead dough until smooth.  Place in a bowl or container and cover.  Leave to ferment until double in volume.

Step 2:  Main Dough
160g bread flour
40g plain flour (or bread flour)
5g wheat germ
5g wheat bran
15g milk powder
20g caster sugar
2g (1/2 tsp) sea salt
140g liquid (water + 1 egg)
all of the above prefermented dough
30g butter, softened

20g walnuts, chopped
10g chia seeds
20g sunflower & pumpkin seeds
  • In a mixing bowl, combine everything together, except butter.  With a wooden spoon mix until a soft and shaggy dough is formed.
  • Turn the dough onto the benchtop and knead for about 10 minutes or until it is less sticky and smoother.
  • Add in butter gradually.  Keep kneading until you get a smooth and elastic dough which doesn't stick to your hands and pull away from the benchtop.  Take a little dough and stretch to a very thin and almost transparent membrane without tearing to achieve the window pane stage.
  • Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl and cover with clingfilm.  Leave it to rise until doubled in size.
  • Punch down the dough to release trapped air.  Gently flatten the dough into a rough rectangle. Fold the rectangle into thirds. Give the dough a quarter turn and repeat the process. Or you can roll up the dough similar to a swiss roll after flattening it. 
  • With seam side down, place the dough into a lined loaf pan (20.5 x 10.5 x 7.5 cm).  Loosely cover with clingfilm and leave to rise until almost doubled in size. (To check if the dough is ready for the oven, gently press the dough with a finger; the indentation should spring back slowly but remain visible. If it springs back quickly, that means the dough needs to proof a little longer).
  • In a preheated oven at 180°C, bake for 30 - 40 minutes or until bread sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom
  • Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

[Weight of dough:  500g]

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Udon Mee Goreng

Mee Goreng

Mee goreng which means 'fried noodles' in Malay is a common dish found everywhere from mamak stalls to restaurants in Malaysia. It is traditionally made with yellow noodles (Hokkien) fried with prawns, meat, tomato, vegetables of your choice and flavoured with sweet soy sauce, tomato sauce and a little curry spice.  Instead of yellow noodles, I used fresh Udon noodles and omit the curry powder. 


500g fresh Udon noodles
1 big onion, cut into cubes
2 cloves garlic, chopped
150g minced pork (marinate with 1 tsp cornflour, dash of pepper, 1 tsp cooking wine)
1 bunch pak choy, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 spring onions
2 bird's eye chillies, sliced
1 large tomato, cut into cubes
5 fried tofu puffs, halved
fish balls
fish cake, sliced thickly
2 eggs
Cucumber slices, to serve

1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp kicap manis (or dark soy sauce)
1/2 tbsp tomato sauce
dash of white pepper

  • Heat about 1 tbsp of oil in a wok and stir fry the onion and garlic until fragrant. Add in chillies and marinated minced pork and fry until just browned.
  • Add in fish balls and fish cakes, followed by tofu puffs .  Then add in tomatoes.  Toss until tomato softens.
  • Add in a little more oil if desired. Add in the noodles and sauce and toss until noodles are heated through.
  • Move everything to the side of the wok and crack the eggs into the wok with a little more oil. Fry the eggs until slightly firm before mixing through the noodles. Lastly add in pak choy and spring onion and toss through the noodles.
  • Serve noodles with cucumber slices or a wedge of lime on the side.

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