breakfast

Taho!

Luise is already 8 months… that means that I my last post was 8 months ago!

I chose to spend my time with the kids after work and on weekends that writing here have been somewhat ignored. The kids are growing up really fast! And because I will not be able to bring back time and I definitely don’t want to miss on their precious milestones, hubby and I decided that I quit my job and be a stay-at-home-mom.

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Aren’t they adorable?! Being a SAHM means having more time playing with them, fully breastfeeding the little chubby one, and more time for my kitchen experiments and DIY projects too! I’m actually excited that I will get to do what I really love, that my projects for the next months are already lined up. If all goes well, I will be sharing them with you.

Oh, I have also started to do meal planning and doing my grocery list weekly to save some money, since we’re now living on a single income. And first one on my breakfast list is my favorite, Taho! It’s silken tofu with brown sugar syrup and sago pearls. It’s usually peddled on the streets in the Philippines and the peddler would call out “TAHOOOOOOO!!!!”.

magtataho

Photo source: Magtataho

There is something similar here in Singapore, but it does not have the same sweetness which I miss. So I decided to make one, and I never thought that it’s actually very easy! Recipe adapted from Panlasang Pinoy.

Filipino Taho

Ingredients:

  • 600g extra soft tofu
  • 1 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup uncooked sago pearls
  • 4 1/2 cups water

Procedure:

  • Boil 4 cups of water. Put in sago pearls and cook in medium heat until transparent (I used small sago pearls and it took about 10-15 minutes to cook). Add 1/4 cup brown sugar and mix well. Turn off heat and set aside. Let it cool to room temperature.
  • Boil 1/2 cup of water. Add 1 cup brown sugar, mix well, and simmer till mixture becomes thick. Set aside.
  • Transfer tofu in a mug and heat in the microwave oven for a minute.
  • Top the tofu with brown sugar syrup and sago pearls.
  • Serve warm and enjoy!

For this, I used silken tofu which actually did not work for me. It should be softer and silkier, like melt-in-your-mouth soft. So a quick solution was I bought the Singapore version and added my syrup and pearls. Yummy!

What is your favorite childhood breakfast?

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

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. 

Pizza Pandesal

Flashing back to my childhood years, I would usually fry hotdogs (I was about 8 years old, that’s the only cooking method I know…) for my sisters and I to snack on after a long day in school. On weekends when my parents are at home, we would bond over making simple but special snacks such as Pizza Pandesal.

What is Pizza Pandesal? It’s pizza, with pandesal as the base bread, it’s that simple. But it brings a lot of memories to me…

Remember the Pandesal I made a few days ago? Here’s my post about it, just in case you missed it. Out of the 24 pcs, we had half of it left for the next day (05 Aug, hubby’s birthday). I thought of making breakfast for him. But instead of serving it with our favourite fillings, I thought why not give him a taste of what we do with pandesal as kids.

And so, the transformation of the plain homemade pandesal, to the simple but delectable Pizza Pandesal.

Ingredients:

  • Pandesal
  • Pizza or tomato sauce (I used tomato ketchup)
  • Cheese, grated (I used cheese slices)
  • Ham, bacon, or any meat you want
  • Onion, bell pepper, or any veggies you want

Note: It’s actually your choice to put whatever you want on your pizza. I used whatever is available in my kitchen.

Procedure:

  • Preheat oven to 350 F
  • Cut pandesal in half if too thick, and use the inner side to put your fillings. If pandesal is already small and thin (like mine), use the flat side (bottom).
  • Spread pizza sauce on the pandesal, then put the grated cheese over it.
  • Add your choice of fillings.
  • Bake for about 10-15 minutes, or until cheese has melted and the fillings are cooked.
  • Serve.

I am in love with my oven. I’m planning to practice some more baking during the 4-day weekend, which starts tomorrow… 3 days unpacking and clean up, 1 day baking — that would do. Just thinking about it… Whew! This is going to be another tiring (but productive) weekend!

Do this with your kids. I’m sure they will cherish every moment of it. I did.

Enjoy!

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!

Coffee Buns for Breakfast

Good morning!

Just sharing with you what I had for breakfast today. Since I (very much miss but..) cannot have my usual cup of coffee ‘coz it’s a no-no for pregnant women, I just had a coffee bun from Roti Mum. It has a small amount of caffeine (about 2-3 tsps per 12 buns) so I guess it wouldn’t hurt me and my little Alexa.

YUM! For a mom-to-be-on-the-go and not-a-morning-person-so-just-bring-your-breakfast-to-work kind of person like me, this is a delish option to kickstart your morning.

What did you have for breakfast?

Enjoy your day!

*For Roti Mum outlets, see their website.