Spanish Bread

This is a super late post. Things have been chaotic and yet exciting in my corporate world — I got a new job and will be starting in a few days. It hasn’t been easy to tender my resignation but I think it’s for the best. New people, new place, and new experiences.

Anyway, let me share with you another bread recipe which is one of hubby’s favorite. I was making Pandesal, then he requested for this. He said “for a change”… Ok!

The base bread is from the Pandesal recipe that I have been recently making. What makes this Spanish bread special is the sweet butter cream inside, recipe adapted from Jane’s Kitchen.

Ingredients:

Dough:

  • 4 cups plain flour (or bread flour)
  • 3 tsp instant dried yeast
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 5 tbsp softened butter
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup fresh milk

Filling:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup fine bread crumbs (for dredging)

Procedure:

  • Combine flour, sugar, salt and yeast. Lightly mix the dry ingredients with your dough hook.
  • Add egg, butter and oil.  Put your mixer into Speed 1 and let the egg, butter and oil mix with the dry ingredients
  • Place your fresh milk, evaporated milk and water in a microwavable container and heat it up for 45 seconds first (or until the liquid mixture is warm enough) before pouring it to  your Pandesal mix.
  • Once the Pandesal mix becomes overall wet, increase the Speed to 2 and knead for 15 minutes in the mixer.
  • Prepare a large mixing bowl (preferably stainless steel) and wipe the inside with an oiled kitchen paper towel.  Once the kneading is done, turn off the mixer and remove the dough hook and bowl out of the mixer stand.  Lightly oil your hands and remove the dough.  Tuck in the edges of the dough underneath to create a smooth top surface before placing it inside your oiled mixing bowl.  Cover the bowl with cling wrap.
  • If the weather is hot, just leave the bowl on your kitchen bench. If it’s cold, pour some hot boiling water in a container and place it inside your oven (turned off) on the bottom level.  Position your covered Pandesal dough on a rack above the hot water container, close the door oven and leave it there for 1 hour (same amount of time if it’s on the kitchen bench), until it doubles in size.
  • While waiting for the dough to rise, you can start preparing the filling. On a bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup butter and 1/2 cup sugar until creamy. Set aside.
  • Lightly flour your kneading area with a bit of flour.  Take out the risen Pandesal dough out of the mixing bowl and knead/punch down the air out of it.  If it gets too sticky, lightly flour your hands and pat the overall exterior of the dough.
  • Cut the dough in 4 equal pieces. Divide each portion into 5-6 equal pieces, depending on the size you want. I made a total of 20 pieces.
  • Flatten each dough into a rectangular shape. Brush the dough with the prepared filling leaving about a 1 cm from the edge. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Roll the dough from corner to corner.
  • Dredge the rolls into a bowl of breadcrumbs. Place them (seam side down) on a greased or non-stick baking tray. Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Set aside for another 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  • Preheat your oven 200C and bake the bread rolls on the top second rack for 10-15 minutes.
  • Serve.

I didn’t have a proper picture. This was before I had it for snack at work. Looks delish, doesn’t it?

 

Thanks for dropping by,
Alexa’s Mom

Pandesal (The Remake)

Hi guys!

These past weekends, I was busy “perfecting” my pandesal. Remember that I made Pandesal before? Click here if you missed it. Yes, it took almost a year before I tried to do it again. Now with the right ingredients and technique (for me at least. The previous recipe source just didn’t work out well for me *grin*).

Pandesal (Improved version)

Recipe from Busog! Sarap!

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups plain flour (I used bread flour)
  • 3 tsp instant dried yeast
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 5 tbsp softened butter
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup fresh milk
  • bread crumbs (fine)

Procedure:

  • Combine flour, sugar, salt and yeast. Lightly mix the dry ingredients with your dough hook.
  • Add egg, butter and oil.  Put your mixer into Speed 1 and let the egg, butter and oil mix with the dry ingredients.
  • Place your fresh milk, evaporated milk and water in a microwavable container and heat it up for 45 seconds first (or until the liquid mixture is warm enough) before pouring it to  your Pandesal mix.
  • Once the Pandesal mix becomes overall wet, increase the Speed to 2 and knead for 15 minutes in the mixer.
  • Prepare a large mixing bowl (preferably stainless steel) and wipe the inside with an oiled kitchen paper towel.  Once the kneading is done, turn off the mixer and remove the dough hook and bowl out of the mixer stand.  Lightly oil your hands and remove the dough.  Tuck in the edges of the dough underneath to create a smooth top surface before placing it inside your oiled mixing bowl.  Cover the bowl with cling wrap.
  • If the weather is hot, just leave the bowl on your kitchen bench. If it’s cold, pour some hot boiling water in a container and place it inside your oven (turned off) on the bottom level.  Position your covered Pandesal dough on a rack above the hot water container, close the door oven and leave it there for 1 hour (same amount of time if it’s on the kitchen bench), until it doubles in size.
  • Lightly flour your kneading area with a bit of flour.  Take out the risen Pandesal dough out of the mixing bowl and knead/punch down the air out of it.  If it gets too sticky, lightly flour your hands and pat the overall exterior of the dough.
  • Cut the dough in 4 equal pieces. Take one portion of dough and roll into a log. Cut into six pieces. Do the same for the other three portions of the dough. You now have 24 pieces of dough.
  • Roll each piece of dough in fine bread crumbs. Arrange on a baking tray at least an inch apart. Leave to rise for another hour.
  • Preheat your oven 200C and bake your tray of Pandesal on the top second rack for 10-15 minutes.
  • Serve.

I was really excited that I got it this time, so I did it for 2 weekends, making it my baon to work. On the first weekend, I actually did it twice. I failed the first time because the dough did not rise. The liquid mixture was not warm enough to activate the yeast. I forgot that the milk just got out of the fridge and was still cold. So I repeated the whole process, making sure that the liquid mixture is warm before adding into the dry mixture. Perfect!

Here are some tips for you: 

  • Yeast needs warmth to activate. Do not do the same mistake that I did! I do not have kitchen thermometer, so I gauge the warmth of the liquid by touching it. If it is hot but my finger can bear the heat, it’s good to go. You can use this guide if you want the best temperature for your yeast.
  • Knead the dough properly. There’s an art to kneading. Too little, and you may not distribute the yeast through the dough. The dough will then be too weak to be able to rise. Too much kneading may make the dough so tough that it cannot expand. The dough should feel smooth and elastic, not tight like a rubber ball, or soft like biscuit dough. (source)
  • Let the dough rest. Do not disturb the dough while it is rising. (source)
  • Use the proper container. The pan, banneton, or tray you use will make a difference. Too large, and the dough has nothing to push against when rising, so won’t rise upwards. Instead, it will spread and possibly collapse. (source)
  • You can adjust the size of the dough according to your preference. Personally, I like smaller pandesal, those that I can finish in two bites.
  • You can freeze Pandesal Rolls once they’re completely cooled down.  Seal them up in rows inside freezer bags and freeze them that way.  Take a packet out of the freezer and defrost them inside the fridge overnight, ready to be reheated the following morning for breakfast.
  • After the baking time (with the oven already off but still hot), you can leave the pandesal in the oven for another 10-15 minutes to make it brown and crispy on the outside.

Enjoy!

P.S. Sorry no photos, but trust me, this one is better and more authentic than my previous one!

Thanks for dropping by,

Alexa’s Mom

UPDATE (16 August 2014):

Here’s a photo of my freshly baked pandesal. I took it out of the oven about 10 minutes post baking time to make it tostado like this. It’s yummy with butter or margarine.

image

Alexa @ 9 months

Wow, I can’t believe she’s three-fourths of a year already! Time really flies by so fast!

Here’s some of the things that she can do now:

  • clap her hands
  • close/open fingers
  • listen attentively when mommy is singing to her nursery rhymes. She loves ABCs.
  • hold on to something, and stand on her own.
  • crawl on the floor for hours, and make daddy tired.
  • high five with mommy
  • kiss (with mouth wide open!)
  • make bubbles with her saliva
  • laugh so hard
  • scream at the top of her lungs!

She is still a toothless cutie. Her first pair of teeth is still yet to come out, maybe in a couple of weeks more. Can’t wait!

 

Thanks for dropping by,

Alexa’s Mom

Cinnamon Bun Ice Cream

Ice cream is my kitchen project this past week. I know, I missed to do it in summer, but rainy days cannot stop me!

I have watched several shows where ice cream was done using an ice cream maker. Well, good news! All you really need is a whisk to whip up your favorite ice cream!

This recipe from Rasa Malaysia has been sitting in my phone’s web browser for I think a month now, waiting to be tried and tested. Finally, I did.

Cinnamon Bun Ice Cream

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup condensed milk
  • 1/2 tbsp melted butter
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon powder
  • 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract

Procedure:

  • Prepare to make whipped cream. In a large bowl, whip heavy cream until stiff peaks formed.
  • In a seperate bowl, whisk sweetened condensed milk, butter, cinnamon powder and vanilla extract.
  • Mix well and fold in the whipped cream.
  • Pour into a 1-quart container, covered and freeze for 6 hours or until ice cream is set. Ready to serve as is, or on ice cream cone.

The taste is a perfect treat for cinnamon lovers, but it turned out to be a bit thick and dense. It took overnight for the ice cream to set. I searched the net on what went wrong and found these great tips which I would definitely try when I make ice cream again.

The Food Lab: Real Ice Cream Without an Ice Cream Machine.
How To Make Ice Cream Without a Machine

 

Enjoy and thanks for dropping by,

Alexa’s Mom

Thank Heaven for The WordPress Community!

My heart, thoughts and prayers go out to Baby Savannah and her family. I hope this post reaches as many people as possible so that more kind hearts will include Savannah in their prayers. Keep fighting little warrior, we are all looking forward to see you all well and healthy! xoxo

On The Upcycle~

Today, I put away the paint and the Mod Podge to speak from the heart.  When I began this humble little blog over a year ago, I really had no idea how wonderful the Word Press community would be!  You all have taught me so much, and although we have never met in the “real” world, your experiences and willingness to share, has helped me through some tough times.    As people we are all faced with different challenges every day and it really is all about the attitude we choose in order to get through it.  I am so grateful to anyone who stops by to read or leave a comment and if you have, you already know that I will gladly return the good will with a blog follow, and try my best to stop by all of these wonderful blogs to keep in touch.  I find myself snuggling…

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Mamon Cupcakes

Hello everyone!

It has been a very busy two weeks. Finally, I got my much needed me time last weekend, and that me time was mostly spent in the kitchen. June 12 marks the Philippines’ celebration of independence from Spanish colonization, so just to theme up to the occasion, I made some mamon (Filipino sponge cake) cupcakes.

Mamon is one of my favorite treats from the Philippines. Soft and not too sweet. It is one of the “pasalubong” Filipinos usually bring from the Philippines to their loved ones overseas.

Mamon Cupcakes

Recipe from Panlasang Pinoy

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cream tartar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 6 eggs, yolk separated from white

Procedure:

  • Combine cake flour and baking powder then mix well. Set aside.
  • Combine egg whites and cream of tartar then beat until the mixture becomes somewhat fluffy.
  • Gradually add sugar then continue beating until the texture becomes fluffier. Use high speed for this process; this should take around 4 to 8 minutes.

  • Add lemon juice and egg yolks then mix again.
  • Put-in vegetable oil then mix for a few seconds then gradually add cake flour-baking powder mixture. Continue mixing until the texture becomes smooth.
  • Heat the oven to 175 deg C.
  • Place cupcake liners on the mold then scoop some of the mixture into the liners. Continue doing this process until all the mixture is used-up.

  • Bake for 13 to 16 minutes or until it passes the toothpick test.
  • Remove from the oven and let cool.
  • Serve.  Makes about 18 cupcakes.

I wanted to take a photo of the cake after taking a bite so you can see the texture inside. I totally forgot the plan and almost finished it! See, only one bite left when I remembered to take the photo! *facepalm*

This is a very easy recipe. I will do this again when I have Filipino friends visiting us, they will be delighted for sure.

 

Thanks for dropping by,

Alexa’s Mom

Cheese Sticks

Got very little time to prepare snacks for yourself and your kids? This very simple and easy cheese sticks recipe is something that busy mommies (and even daddies!) can do in just under 15 minutes.

Cheese sticks

Ingredients:

  • slices of cheese, about 5 cm long & 1/2 cm thick
  • spring roll wrapper
  • cooking oil
  • water

Procedure:

  • Place spring roll wrapper like a diamond on a clean, dry surface.
  • Place 1 slice of cheese in the middle of the bottom half corner. Fold the bottom part of the wrapper over the cheese and roll until it reaches the middle of the diamond, showing the upper portion like a triangle. Fold over the left and right sides to the middle, and continue to roll until it reaches almost to the upper tip.
  • Damp the tip with water to seal the roll.
  • Place the finished roll on a plate seam-side-down to secure the corner.
  • Do the same for the rest of the wrappers and cheese slices.
  • Deep fry till golden brown.
  • Serve.

If you have kids who are big enough to help in the kitchen, let them do the wrapping with you to make it more fun.

Enjoy!

Thanks for dropping by,

Alexa’s Mom

Alexa @ 8 months

Here are some of the recent Instagram snapshots of Alexa.

Isn’t she adorable? Just last month when she learned to sit on her own. She’s growing up too fast, and always excited to try out new things (like bypass sippy cups and drink straight from the glass/straw, imitating mommy).

You can follow our Instagram here.

Thanks for dropping by,

Alexa’s Mom

Homemade Flour Tortillas and Tacos

Hello everyone! A very nice and relaxing Labor Day to y’all!

Since today is Labor Day, I made soft tacos for lunch, all homemade — I call it labor of love!

Tacos has always been a part of every celebration we have back home, together with pasta and pizza. We always buy taco shells from the supermarket. I’ve never thought of doing it from scratch, not until now.

I’m very proud of myself today! While I was heating the flattened dough on the skillet, my heart was filled with excitement as I saw the bubbles forming. And then I flipped it over, I almost jumped for joy! I did it!

Thanks to Pinterest, I found this very easy but great recipe.

Homemade Flour Tortillas

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cups water
  • 3 tbsps olive oil

Procedure:

  • Combine flour and salt in a bowl. Stir in water and olive oil to form a soft dough. Let it rest for 10 minutes.
  • Divide the dough into 8 or 12, depends on the size of tortilla you want, and roll each piece into a circle. If you’re making tacos, I suggest dividing it into 12, 8 pieces if you’re making burritos or fajitas.
  • Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium-high heat, and cook tortillas, turning when bubbles start to appear. The whole cooking process should take between 2-3 minutes per tortilla.
  • Wrap tortillas in a towel to keep warm. Serve immediately.

For the taco filling:

  • Ground beef or pork with taco mix. Cook as per taco mix’s instructions.
  • Cabbage or lettuce
  • Homemade salsa
  • Grated cheddar cheese

We usually do it the “serve yourself” way. That way, you can put whatever you want, and how much you want.

Enjoy!

Thanks for dropping by,

Alexa’s Mom