snack

Chia Seeds as Egg Substitute

Hello there!

Holidays had passed and now it’s already February of 2015! January just flew by like that.

And because the holidays have made us gain those extra pounds, I want to try my best to eat healthier starting this new year. I thought of replacing some of my baking ingredients with healthy alternatives, like mashed avocado for butter, applesauce for sugar, or chia seeds for eggs.

I started off with replacing eggs with chia seeds. I saw it before on TV and in Pinterest but never really looked into it. Who would have thought that these tiny seeds have such great nutritional value! Here are 10 reasons why you should add chia seeds to your diet:

Combat Diabetes

Chia is being studied as a potential natural treatment for type-2 diabetes because of its ability to slow down digestion. The gelatinous coating chia seeds develops when exposed to liquids-can also prevent blood sugar spikes.

Get More Fibre
Just a 28-gram or one-ounce serving of chia has 11 grams of dietary fibre — about a third of the recommended daily intake for adults. Adding some chia to your diet is an easy way to make sure you’re getting a good amount of fibre, which is important for digestive health.

Stock Up On Omega-3
Chia seeds are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, with nearly five grams in a one-ounce serving. These fats are important for brain health. “There’s better conversion of omega 3s into the plasma or into the food than with flax seed,” said researcher Wayne Coates.

Stronger Teeth And Bones
A serving of chia seeds has 18 per cent of the recommended daily intake for calcium, which puts your well on your way to maintaining bone and oral health, and preventing osteoporosis.

Don’t Forget Manganese
Manganese isn’t a well-known nutrient, but it’s important for our health: it’s good for your bones and helps your body use other essential nutrients like biotin and thiamin. One serving of chia seeds, or 28 grams, has 30 per cent of your recommended intake of this mineral.

Plenty Of Phosphorus
With 27 per cent of your daily value for phosphorus, chia seeds also helps you maintain healthy bones and teeth. Phosphorus is also used by the body to synthesize protein for cell and tissue growth and repair.

Pack In The Protein
Chia seeds also make a great source of protein for vegetarians and don’t have any cholesterol. One 28-gram serving of these super seeds has 4.4 grams of protein, nearly 10 per cent of the daily value.

Fight Belly Fat
Chia’s stabilizing effect on blood sugar also fights insulin resistance which can be tied to an increase in belly fat, according to Live Strong. This type of resistance can also be harmful for your overall health.

Get Full. Faster
Tryptophan, an amino acid found in turkey, is also found in chia seeds. While tryptophan is responsible for that strong urge to nap after a big Thanksgiving dinner for example, it also helps regulate appetite, sleep and improve mood.

Improve Heart Health
According to the Cleveland Clinic, chia seeds have been shown to improve blood pressure in diabetics, and may also increase healthy cholesterol while lowering total, LDL, and triglyceride cholesterol. All good news for your ticker!

Now you ask, how can chia seeds replace eggs in your recipe? Very quick and easy!

For one egg, combine 1 tbsp chia seeds with 3 tbsps water in a small bowl. Let it sit for about 15 minutes until it forms a thick gel. You can use this for cookies, cakes, and muffins.

Interesting, isn’t it? I tried this with my oatmeal cookie recipe. I just had to extend the baking time by about 10 minutes as the dough is a bit more moist than the original recipe, but it was good. I couldn’t tell the difference.

If you are not into baking, you can add chia seeds to your smoothie or your breakfast oatmeal for that extra pack of nutrients.

So, don’t forget to grab that bag of chia seeds on your next trip to the supermarket!

Thanks for dropping by,

Alexa’s Mom

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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

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

Choco Chip Oatmeal Cookies

I am not a fan of oatmeal per se, but when they are turned to cookies, I LOVE!

Why haven’t I thought of making this recipe earlier when, every time I open the kitchen cupboard, I would see that big bag of quick cook oats! Thanks to Erwan Heusaff’s website for featuring this perfect oatmeal cookie recipe. I didn’t do his flavored version, but I did add some semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Be warned: Erwan is sooo hot that you would want to play his videos over and over and over again!!! I did, haha!

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Adapted from The Fat Kid Inside

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup cooking oil
  • 1 tbsp low fat milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup instant or quick cook oatmeal
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Procedure:

  • Pre-heat oven at 180 deg C.
  • Mix all ingredients except oatmeal, flour and chocolate chips in a medium-sized bowl
  • For crisp cookies, do not put in milk. For chewy cookies, add 1 tbsp milk. (I opted for the crisp cookies)
  • Gradually add in the oatmeal and flour. Once well-combined, add in the chocolate chips and mix until distributed evenly.
  • Drop about tablespoonfuls of dough onto a greased baking sheet, 2 inches apart.
  • Bake until light brown for about 10-15 minutes.
  • Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

I love the crispness of the cookie, with just a hint of sweetness to it. I also made a version of it without the chocolate chips, so we have some snack variation.

Do try this recipe out! Other easy dessert recipes that I recommend for you to try are my brownies and chocolate crinkles. They are my go-to recipes whenever I am in need of a fast sweet fix.

Enjoy!

Thanks for dropping by,

Alexa’s Mom

Guacamole Dip and Movie Night

Tonight is movie night… at home! My sister and I whipped up this very easy guacamole dip to go with tortilla chips just as everybody’s cozied up in the living room to watch “Frozen.”

Easy Guacamole Dip

Recipe from AllRecipes.com

Ingredients:

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 ripe tomato, chopped
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • salt and pepper to taste

Procedure:

  • Peel and mash avocados in a medium mixing bowl.
  • Stir in the rest of the ingredients.
  • Chill for half an hour to blend in flavours.
  • Serve with tortilla chips. Great also for tacos, burritos, or burgers.

guacamole

Easy as pie! I never thought guacamole could be so effortless and so fast to make. Just under 10mins + the 30-min chilling time, you can have something to spice up your snacking! Talk about spicing up, you can also add some jalapeños for that extra kick!

Enjoy and have a great weekend!

Cinnamon Pretzel Sticks

Last night before going to bed, I was browsing through the internet and stumbled upon Auntie Anne’s baking kit which features different pretzel recipes.

Then I remembered the left over pretzel dough which I popped into the freezer last week. I took it out of the freezer and put it on the kitchen counter overnight to thaw. I didn’t want it to go to waste.

When I woke up at 12nn today (yes, I do sleep that long during weekends), not only did it thaw but it also rose and got bigger.

Just in case you missed, here’s the link to the soft pretzels recipe and cinnamon sugar from last week.

Procedure:

  • Knead the dough a few times for about 3 minutes on the lightly floured countertop
  • Cut into pieces (I made about 20) and rolled and stretched it to about 1 inch wide by 5 inches long.
  • Preheat the oven at 220 degrees C.
  • Poured about 3 cups of hot water into a small bowl and mix with 2 tbsps of baking soda. Whisk until dissolved. Quickly dip the dough until it is fully covered with the solution. Shake off excess water then transfer to a lightly greased baking pan.
  • Bake the pretzels for 15-20 minutes until golden brown, turning it 180 degrees once at the 10-minute mark to bake evenly.
  • Melt about 3 tbsps butter in the microwave. Prepare cinnamon sugar.
  • After pretzels has cooled, brush the top with butter and sprinkle generously with cinnamon sugar.
  • Serve.

I think it turned out better than the pretzel bites.. and it would be even more delicious with caramel sauce. (I will try to do that again someday!)

Enjoy!

Soft Pretzel Bites

A lazy Monday to all!

It’s always difficult to get up on a Monday morning and prep for work especially if you have slept so much over the weekend. Although I have done some DIY-ing which I can’t wait to finish (or HAVE TO finish before the big tummy pops!). I’ll keep you posted on that.

We had our gyne appointment last Saturday morning, and doctor has confirmed that I am already on my full term and baby Alexa may come out anytime soon. Nervous but excited!

After the fuss of researching on what to put in my hospital bag, doctor told us we don’t need to bring anything but the hospital admission letter, our ID’s, and our marriage certificate. Everything else is provided by the hospital. But of course, we need to bring our mobile phones and cameras to capture this important moment, and whatever else that we feel is essential to bring. At least knowing that would make our life easier.

Anyway, it seems like I cannot pass the weekend without doing some baking so I squeezed in some time to bake some pretzel bites which I wanted to learn to do even before I had the oven, ‘coz I love Auntie Anne’s pretzels but don’t buy them often ‘coz it’s kinda pricey.

I did two varieties from one dough: Salted soft pretzel bites AND Cinnamon sugar soft pretzel bites.

Ingredients for the soft pretzels:

  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 2 1/4 active dry yeast (I used instant active dry yeast)
  • 85 grams (1/3 cup) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 4 1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • Vegetable oil
  • 3 quarts (12 cups) water
  • 3/4 cup baking soda
  • 1 whole egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon cold water

Additional ingredients for Salted soft pretzel bites:

  • Coarse sea salt

Additional ingredients for Cinnamon sugar soft pretzel bites:

  • 2 tbsp. sugar mixed with 1 tsp cinnamon

Procedure:

  • Combine the water, sugar, yeast, and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix with the dough hook until combined. Let sit for 5 minutes. (I used instant active dry yeast, so it’s added to the flour and no need to sit for 5 minutes)
  • Add the salt and flour (4 1/2 cups first) and mix on low speed until combined.
  • Increase the speed to medium and continue kneading until the dough is smooth and begins to pull away from the side of the bowl, about 3 to 4 minutes. If the dough appears too wet, add additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time.
  • Remove the dough from the bowl, place on a flat surface and knead into a ball with your hands.
  • Oil a bowl with vegetable oil, add the dough and turn to coat with the oil. Cover with a clean towel or plastic wrap and place in a warm spot until the dough doubles in size, about 1 hour. (As with the previous recipes which require rising, I put the bowl inside the oven with temperature off.)
  • Preheat the oven to 220 degrees C.
  • Bring the water to a boil in a small roasting pan over high heat and add the baking soda.
  • Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a flat surface. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces.
  • Roll each piece into a long rope measuring 22 inches and shape. Cut the dough into one inch pieces to make the pretzel bites.
  • Boil the pretzel bites in the water solution in batches, about 15 bites at a time. Boil for about 30 seconds. Remove with a large slotted spoon.
  • Place pretzel bites on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Make sure they are not touching.

Next procedure for Salted soft pretzel bites:

  • Brush the tops with the egg wash and season liberally with the salt. Place into the oven and bake for 15 to 18 minutes until golden brown.
  • Remove to a baking rack and let rest 5 minutes before eating. Serve with cheese sauce. (I did not do the cheese sauce ‘coz I have a store-bought cheese sauce at home.)
  • To make the cheese sauce:  Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and cook 1 minute. Whisk in the milk and cook until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and stir in the Cheddar cheese until smooth and all of the cheese is melted.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Next procedure for Cinnamon sugar soft pretzel bites:

  • Bake the pretzels for 8 minutes, then remove from the oven and immediately place the pretzel bites on a cooling rack.
  • Brush with the egg wash and sprinkle the tops generously with cinnamon sugar. You want to do this over the cooling rack and not on the pan you bake the pretzel bites on or else the sugar will stick to the bottom of the pan and burn.
  • Put the pretzel bites back on the first pan and continue baking for an additional 8-10 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.
  • Serve with Salted Caramel Sauce.

I tried to do the salted caramel sauce (‘coz apart from cinnamon, I also love caramel!), but I unfortunately failed! I was doing well until I added in the butter. It was a complete mess! *disappointed*

Not my photos. My pretzels did not turn out to be as eye-candy as theirs. (Click on photos for source.)

I find making pretzels to be a bit tedious, so next time maybe I would prefer to just buy from Auntie Anne’s. Or maybe yesterday just was not my day. (Still disappointed with the burnt caramel sauce!)

Have a lovely week ahead!

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!