Managed to spend this week blessing friends with fresh loaves of bread. I don’t know if it’s a blessing for them or whether it’s unfortunate having to be my guinea pigs. I’m glad they happily received the breads and have gone through a few slices already.
Still not making perfect breads but I think breads in general are very forgiving. Overproofed and too wet dough can be chucked into a loaf tin and baked into a loaf. It’ll still be edible even if not perfect to look at. Breads are delicious however imperfect and if all fails, slap on some butter and it’ll be good to go.
Also decided to treat the neighbours, and delivery people, and cleaners, in our block to some homebaked cake – Pandan Butter Cake this time. Our ‘circuit breaker’ has been extended further to 1 Jun so why not try to add a little cheer to everyone’s day, no matter how small?
Left them in the lift as usual so let’s see how many disappear by end of today. It’ll also be interesting to see whether they go as fast as the last time since fewer people should be moving around. Lol.
It’s a blessing to give. I know not everyone is as fortunate as we are during these circumstances. I hope that all of you are doing well and getting through this pandemic a day at a time. Sometimes, that’s the easiest way – to take each day as they come and not think too far ahead. I know that it also means that many things we had planned are being put on hold. Some are time sensitive, some are not. It can be very stressful to the mind and the emotions. If anyone is struggling, know that I am here if you need a sounding board – promise all said will be kept confidential. Alternatively, reach out to your local support lines, there are many who are able to do phone and/or online video support. Sending everyone a great big *hug*!! Every day that passes is another day closer to the light.
Earlier this week, we were blessed with a beautiful fruit basket from my dearest PeaYJ. She prepped me to receiving some ‘vitamins’ for myself and the family, and I was scratching my head wondering what she meant by vitamins.
Sure enough, just as we were about to sit down for dinner, the delivery man came and had this bountiful box of fruit to give to us from PeaYJ. Giant mangoes, Mikan oranges, pears, avocadoes, a papaya, and two ready-to-eat Taiwan pineapples. Oh the pineapples proved to be incredibly sweet and juicy. Best we’ve ever had. Thank you PeaYJ for your generosity!!! ❤
Also, my sweet hubsy gifted this to me:
For no reason other than ‘You deserve it’. It was delivered yesterday and I stood there staring at the wrapped box wondering when I’d ordered something from Tang’s. I seriously almost panicked at how bad my memory was proving to be when I saw that my name and address was on the delivery bag. Then, I saw Florian’s number below and instantly felt a wave of relief wash over me. AHHH! Best hubsy ever!!! I’ve been pining after this for years and now that I’m baking bread more often, I have this beauty to see if it helps level up my sourdough game.
I just baked a fresh Matcha Cranberry Loaf in this this morning and it turned out pretty awesome! Will take a picture of the crumb and share it with you in another post if you like.
Other than baking bread, I made cashew chicken for the family one dinner. It’s Florian’s favourite and while not 100% authentic, this was enough to quell the cravings for now.
I used Mark Wiens’s recipe but did not have a bulk of the chillies he was asking for. I only used two pieces of bird’s eye chilli for the entire dish. Could have put a couple more but did not want it too spicy for everyone. Also, I didn’t have spring onions. I made ours much healthier without deep frying anything – kept it more to a stir fry. Cashews were baked in the oven too. I’m sure it would have tasted even better with more oil and with the chicken crispy and deep fried but I thought this was great as it was.
Also baked fresh Earl Grey scones one morning. I prepared the dough the day before and baked it first thing so that it could be eaten at breakfast. I tweaked the recipe from BBC Good Food which was quick and straight forward. Just remember to touch the dough as little as possible.
Earl Grey Scones (Makes 18 petite scones or 12 large scones)
340g plain flour
¼ tsp salt
15g baking powder
85g butter, cubed and kept in the fridge so it is cold
splash of vinegar or lemon juice
1 bag earl grey, tea leaves only
1 yolk + 1 tbsp cream, to glaze
- Preheat oven to 200 deg C if baking straight away.
- Add splash of vinegar or lemon juice into milk. Allow to stand for 10min.
- Whisk flour with salt, earl grey leaves and baking powder.
- Add in butter and mix with paddle attachment, on low, until mixture resembles bread crumbs. You can also get your hands stuck in and rub butter into the flour.
- Add sugar.
- Add soured milk (or buttermilk) in and once mixture comes together, remove from bowl and hand knead to make it homogeneous. Do not overmix!!
- Roll out on lightly floured tables, or between two pieces of cling film like I did, to about 2/3″ thick. Use a 2″ round cutter dipped in flour and cut out circles. Dip cutter in flour after every round or two.
- Place cut dough on lined baking tray. Here you can either wrap and chill until ready to bake, or you can brush with glaze. Then bake in oven for 10-12min until tops are golden brown.
I’ve always thought the best thing about high teas were really the scones, if they managed to get them right. Afternoon teas are really expensive so now, I can have my scones and none of the other fluff, with some butter (clotted cream would be even better but don’t have any) and jam, and eat to my heart’s content!