bread

Old-Fashioned Cinnamon Rolls

It’s almost Christmas, exactly three weeks from now. Time really flies when you’re having fun, or in my case, when you’re busy.

Having a day job and coming home to a very active toddler who knows that Mommy should be home by 7:30 pm, I’m in luck when I escape for an hour or two of me time to do some baking, get a massage, or go to my yoga class.

Just an update, Alexa is now 14 months old. She likes running after other toddlers and baby-talking to them. She had her share of bumps and falls, but she’s a strong little one… she would stand up, and attempt to do it again! *facepalm* .. and oh, she loves toothpaste commercials and brushing her teeth!

Today, I am sharing with you one of my favorite recipes, the Old-Fashioned Cinnamon Rolls from BettyCrocker.com. I have made Cinnamon Scrolls before, but I feel that this is much, much better!

Old-Fashioned Cinnamon Rolls

Ingredients:

Rolls

  • 3 1/2 to 4 cups plain flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 1/2 tsp instant dry yeast
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, room temp
  • 1 large egg
  • Cooking spray or oil to grease bowl and pan

Filling

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, room temp
  • 1/2 cup raisins (if desired)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped nuts, if desired

Glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp butter or margarine, room temp
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1-2 tbsp milk

Procedure:

  • In a large bowl, stir 2 cups of the flour, 1/3 cup granulated sugar, the salt and yeast with a wooden spoon until well mixed.
  • In a 1-quart saucepan, heat the milk over medium heat until very warm (around 45-50°C). Add the warm milk, 1/4 cup butter and egg to the flour mixture. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed 1 minute, stopping frequently to scrape batter from side and bottom of bowl with a rubber spatula, until flour mixture is moistened.
  • With a wooden spoon, stir in enough of the remaining flour, about 1/2 cup at a time, until dough is soft, leaves side of bowl and is easy to handle (dough may be slightly sticky).
  • Sprinkle flour lightly on a countertop or large cutting board. Place dough on floured surface. Knead by folding dough toward you, then with the heels of your hands, pushing dough away from you with a short rocking motion. Move dough a quarter turn and repeat. Continue kneading about 5 minutes, sprinkling surface with more flour if dough starts to stick, until dough is smooth and springy.
  • Spray a large bowl with the cooking spray or wipe with an oiled kitchen towel. Place dough in bowl, turning dough to grease all sides. Cover bowl loosely with plastic wrap; let rise in a warm place about 1 hour 30 minutes or until dough has doubled in size. Dough is ready if an indentation remains when you press your fingertips about 1/2 inch into the dough.
  • In a small bowl, mix 1/2 sugar and the cinnamon, set aside. Grease a 9×13-inch baking pan, set aside.
  • Sprinkle flour lightly on a countertop or large cutting board. Gently push your fist into the dough to deflate it. Pull the dough away from the side of the bowl, and place it on the floured surface.
  • Using your hands or a rolling pin, flatten dough into a 10×15-inch rectangle. Spread 1/4 cup butter over dough to within 1/2 inch of edges. Sprinkle with sugar-cinnamon mixture, raisins and nuts. Beginning at a 15-inch side, roll dough up tightly. Pinch edge of dough into the roll to seal edge. Stretch and shape roll until even and is 15 inches long. Using a sharp serrated knife or length of dental floss, cut roll into 15 (1-inch) slices. Place slices slightly apart in the pan. Cover pan loosely with plastic wrap; let rise in a warm place about 30 minutes or until dough has doubled in size. Remove plastic wrap.
  • Move the oven rack to the middle position of the oven. Heat the oven to 180°C. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately remove rolls from pan; place right side up on a cooling rack. Cool 5 minutes.
  • In a small bowl, stir glaze ingredients until smooth, adding enough milk so glaze is thin enough to drizzle. Over the warm rolls, drizzle glaze from the tip of a tableware teaspoon, moving the spoon back and forth to make thin lines of glaze. Serve warm.
This recipe yields 15 rolls, but because I stretched the roll longer to make the diameter about 3-inch, I was able to make 30 rolls. The size was just perfect, and I was able to share it with more friends!
Doesn’t it look yummy?
Try it and enjoy!
Love,
Alexa’s Mom
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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

Olive Oil Lemon Cake

Christmas is just around the corner. It’s our 3-month old baby Alexa’s first Christmas and what’s the best way to celebrate it but with our big family back home. Everyone’s excited to bite those cheeks!

Yes, THOSE CHEEKS!!! ^^

As early as the first week of December, everybody’s calendars are already booked for Christmas parties and a lot of Christmas shopping. Lighted trees and decors are up, and Christmas music fills the air.

“The tree is up, and the bestest gift is underneath it.”

Two weekends ago, we had our yearly Christmas gathering with friends. It was a potluck dinner. Our share of food were pancit palabok, brownies, and olive oil lemon cake.

This post is to share with you the Olive Oil Lemon Cake that I made. I love lemon squares, so I thought I could give this cake recipe a try. You can check out the source in my Pinterest board, Desserts.

Olive Oil Lemon Cake

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons unbleached white flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • fresh squeezed juice from 1/2 lemon, strained
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon sugar for topping cake

Procedure:

  • Preheat oven to 180 C. Line an 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ loaf pan with parchment paper.
  • Sift together flour, baking powder and salt into a small bowl. Set aside.
  • Place 2 inches of water in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer. In a heat-proof bowl – preferably the bowl of a stand mixer – combine eggs, sugar and zest, and place bowl over pot of simmering water, whisking until egg mixture is warm to the touch.
  • Remove bowl from pot and attach to mixer fitted with whisk attachment. If you’re not using a stand mixer, place bowl on counter and use hand mixer. Beat on medium until mixture thickens and becomes pale, about 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, whisk together olive oil, cream and lemon juice in a small bowl.
  • When the egg mixture has reached appropriate thickness, drizzle olive oil mixture over it and mix until combined.
  • Turn mixer to low and add dry ingredients, mixing until just combined. Stir in melted butter.
  • Pour batter into prepared pan, smooth batter and sprinkle with tablespoon of sugar.
  • Bake until top of cake is golden, about 50 minutes.  A bamboo skewer inserted into the center should come out clean. Let cool for 15 minutes in pan, then remove to rack to cool completely before cutting.

It’s an easy and delicious recipe. I love the rich, lemony flavor, and that it sounds so healthy (lemon + olive oil!). You should try it.

Gotta go, Alexa’s about to wake up… feeding time!

Enjoy the rest of the week!

Cinnamon Scrolls

Day 2 of the 4-day weekend.

Yesterday, I have finished unpacking all our clothes, and sorted them to what we will still use (for my clothes, I segregated them as well to maternity and non-maternity) and what we can already give away. Next would be ironing them, but that can be delayed for tomorrow. Today is baking day.

I love cinnamon. I love cinnamon bread rolls, and putting cinnamon powder on my decaf coffee frappucino (just the thought of it makes me drool). And when I saw the gorgeous photos of the Simple Sunday Cinnamon Scrolls post by Baking With Gab, I just can’t wait for Sunday to do this. Hence, I did it on a Friday morning!

Dough

  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 40g butter, softened
  • 3 cups plain flour
  • 7g package instant yeast
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 egg

Cinnamon Spread

  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened

Vanilla Drizzle

  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • 3 tsp water
  • ¼ cup icing sugar

Procedure:

  • Heat the milk in a small saucepan until it comes to a boil and starts to bubble up the sides, then remove from heat. Mix in your butter, stirring until it’s melted. Set aside to allow it to cool.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 cups of the flour with your yeast and sugar. Add water and egg, then the warm milk/butter mixture. Give it a good mix to ensure it is well combined.
  • Add in your remaining cup of flour (do it 1/3 of a cup at a time) and try to press the flour into the dough. You may not need all of the last cup of flour – when you have a cohesive lump of dough that is easily pulled away from the sides of the bowl, it’s ready.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, about 5 minutes. You can also do this with a few rotations of your mixer’s bread hook.
  • Cover the dough with a damp cloth and let rest for 10 minutes.
  • In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the brown sugar, cinnamon and softened butter. The softer your butter is, the easier it will be for you to make the delicious cinnamon paste.
  • After making the cinnamon paste and letting the dough rise for 10 minutes, roll out your dough into approximately 30cmx24cm (12×9 inches) rectangle.
  • Spread your dough with the cinnamon paste as evenly as you can. Try to spread it right to the edges of your dough.
  • Roll the dough up by taking one of the longer edges and folding it in on itself, over and over.
  • When you’ve got a cinnamon sausage, pinch the ends shut and cut into about 12 even pieces using a thin, sharp knife. Mine was long enough to be sliced into 13 pieces.
  • Grease a 23cm cake tin and assemble them so they’re cosying up against one another. Allow some gaps as they will expand. Cover with the damp cloth again and allow them to rise on a warm place for 15-30 minutes. The longer you leave them to rise, the puffier they will become.

before and after letting it rise for 30 minutes

  • While the scrolls rise preheat the oven to 190°C. Pop the scrolls in the oven for 20 minutes, or until browned.

  • Set your cake aside to cool a little. Serve warm, drizzled with runny vanilla icing. You can also sprinkle with some sugar and cinnamon on top for an added crunch.

The kitchen was filled with the smell of cinnamon, it was heavenly!

Hubby woke up just in time to have this for breakfast. It would be nice to have it with coffee, but for some reason, he’s cutting back on caffeine intake as much as I do.

It was really yum! Thanks Gab for the great recipe!

Have a wonderful weekend, guys!

P.S. Happy 48th birthday, Singapore! Thanks for being my home for 7+ years. 

Pandesal

Pandesal is one of Filipinos’ staple foods, a favorite to have with (or dunked in) their coffee either for breakfast or snack. It is a semi-sweet mini bun (despite its name meaning “bread of salt”) covered in bread crumbs. Bakeries would be open as early as 5:00 in the morning to serve their neighbours with “fresh hot pandesal“. It is delicious on its own, or with cheese, ham, corned beef, or whatever your favorite palaman is.

Today, I did my very first attempt at baking. I baked pandesal! I had all the ingredients except for the bread crumbs (pregnant lady too lazy to go out and walk to the store). The smell of home-baked bread filled the kitchen that hubby was asking me every 10 minutes if it’s already done. It was a bit crunchy though, I guess from lack of kneading or too much flour. But the taste was good! For a first-timer, I think I did well.

Here’s the recipe, thanks to Connie of Casa Veneracion:

Ingredients:

1 c. of lukewarm water
1 tsp. of instant dry yeast
1 tsp. of salt
1/4 c. of sugar
1/4 c. of vegetable oil
1-1/2 c. of all-purpose flour
1-1/2 c. of bread flour
additional flour for dusting
additional vegetable oil for greasing the bowl
1/4 c. of fine bread crumbs

Procedure:

  1. Pour the water into a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle the yeast over it. Leave for 10 minutes.
  2. Add the salt, sugar and vegetable oil to the yeast mixture. Stir. Add 3/4 c. of all purpose flour and 3/4 c. of bread flour. Mix.
  3. The dough will be wet and sticky at this point. Add the rest of the flour. Mix.
  4. The texture of the dough will be uneven at this point but it will start to come together. Dump the dough onto a lightly floured surface.
  5. Gather into a ball and start kneading. If the dough is too sticky, sprinkle with some flour but do so sparingly as adding too much flour will result in a hard and very dense bread.
  6. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes until the dough feels elastic.
  7. Brush the inside of the bowl lightly with oil. Put the dough in the bowl, turning it around to coat the entire surface with oil.
  8. Cover the bowl and place in a dark place, away from draft and direct light, to make the dough rise. You can do this inside the oven with the temperature off. Leave the dough for 1-2 hours to rise.
  9. After the dough has risen, transfer to a lightly floured working surface. Roll into a log then cut into four equal pieces. This is for convenience and easier handling.
  10. Take one portion of dough and roll again 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.
  11. Roll each piece of dough in bread crumbs. Arrange on a baking tray at least an inch apart. Leave to rise for 30 to 45 minutes.
  12. About 10 minutes before the dough is done rising, preheat the oven to 325F.
  13. Bake the pandesal for 25 to 30 minutes or until nicely browned outside. The pandesal should be lightly crusty outside but soft inside. Serve warm.

Practice makes perfect, so I will be doing this again. I want to achieve the authentic Filipino pandesal that we have at home.

Another idea popped into my mind. I want to make Pizza Pandesal! But let’s save that for another post.

Thanks for dropping by!