Friday, June 11, 2010

Cheesy Garlic Bread

This is the third time within a week that I've made this wonderful cheesy garlic bread ! The bread is very can serve it along with lots of things or eat it on itself as a light meal or snack and I guarantee that it would make your meal perfect or even better.

The first time I made it last weekend is for going along with my shrimp in sherry butter sauce. And it turned out to be a big hit for my daughter ! She asked if I could make it again when she didn't even finish the first piece on her plate yet and completely ignored everything else served on that meal.. Two days later, I made it for her school lunch and no doubt that she finished all packed in her lunch box. Then the next day, the first thing she said is to ask if she could have the bread for her breakfast..and before I could answer, she then quickly added that she really really loves my bread..:) That's why I ended up making it three time in a week !!

The dough is very plain and super easy to work with ( you could knead the dough by hand but I didn't due to my laziness!)  an use hand to knand it requires only few ingredients to make. The cheesy topping is a mixture of butter, cheese and thyme..And that's all you need for making this fabulous bread ! 

Ingredients: ( make one 9 inches rounded piece of bread )       

For the dough :

200 g white strong bread flour
2 tbsp milk powder
2 tbsp + 1/2 tsp caster sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1.5 tsp active dry yeast
1/2 cup luke warm water
2 tbsp canola oil

For the topping :

18 g butter, softened
2 garlic cloves, crushed
a few sprigs of fresh thyme

Method :

1. Mix 1/2 cup of water, 1/2 tsp sugar and yeast in a small bowl, leave until bubbles appear on surface for 10 minutes. Stir together the flour, 2 tbsp sugar, mlik powder and salt in a mixing bowl, add the yeast mixture and the oil and mix to form a ball , then knead with a dough hook for about 15 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. Place it into a lightly greased bowl, cover the dough with cling film / tea towel and let it rise for 1 1/2 - 2 hours, or until double.

2. In the meanwhile, make the topping by mixing all ingredients together and set aside. Punch the dough down and push out the air bubbles. Roll the dough out into 9 inches round and fit it into 9 inches rounded baking tin ( lighty greased and line the base with pacherment paper ). Spread the topping over and cover the dough, then let it rise again for another 30-45 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

3. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until the top is golden. Leave the bread in the tin for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack..Slice and serve while it's warm !

Ps. This bread has been sent to yeastspotting hosted by Susan of Wild Yeast..


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Shrimp in Sherry Butter Sauce

Although I don't eat prawn/shrimp myself but I don't mind either to cook something about it, especially when I want to break from feeding my people with meat/poutry. Anyway, we are lucky to live in the country that many kinds of seafood are available and affordable, so I normally plan to have at least once a week of seafood meal and luckily that none of my family members has a problem of consuming it.

I've found this recipe on and was keen to give it a try...It seemed complicated when I had a look through a recipe for the first time but after the second scan, I realised that nothing is difficult except it requires some time for making a stock !

The recipe doesn't say what to serve it with but from the reviews, lots of people have chosen pasta to go along with and that's the way I decided to serve my family the completed meal..

And a verdict ? It's not a 'wow' or 'hit' dish for my tasters but there was no complaint I thought it's probably not worth an effort to make a stock by yourself  and would be easier to use an instant / ready-to-use stock instead... Anyway, I've found another way to enjoy the dish is to eat it with a big chunk of ( homemade cheesy garlic ) bread !!

Recipe could be found here.  


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Spiced Fruit Loaf

It'd been more than a week without playing with a dough and that made me feel like missing I decided to have a (soo short ) break from baking cake and sweet and made something with yeast!

I was inspired to make this loaf by the recipe I've seen in April issue of bbcgoodfood magazine.. In fact, I wanted to follow the original recipe (by James Martin) to begin with but then I changed my mind and made it in my way using James' recipe as a guideline..


285 g  strong white flour , plus extra for dusting
7 g sachet fast action yeast
35 g caster sugar
1/4 tsp salt
90 ml warm milk
1 egg , beaten
30 g unsalted butter , melted, plus extra for greasing
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
60g sultanas +  raisins
40g dried prunes , chopped
40g pitted dates , chopped 
40g glacé cherries , chopped
juice 1/2 orange
some milk to brush
1. Soak the dried fruits in the orange juice for about 30 mins, then sieve, reserving the juice.

2. Put the flour, yeast, caster sugar and salt into a large mixing bowl with the spices and mix well. Add 30 ml of the reserved orange juice to the warm milk ,then pour into the flour mixture together with the beaten egg and the melted butter. Using dough hook to mix everything together to form a dough. If the dough is too dry, add a little more warm water; if it's too wet, add more flour.

3. Knead the dough with the hook until the dough becomes smooth and elastic about 15-20 minutes. Turn out onto the working surface and gradually mix in the soaked fruits. Knead gently until incorporated. At this point the dough might become sticky because of liquid from the fruits, so add some flour ( I used about 1/4 cup) if it's too wet to deal with. Transfer to a clean, lightly greased bowl and cover loosely with a clean, damp tea towel. Leave in a warm place to rise until roughly doubled in size , 1-2 hours depending on how warm the room is.

4. Knock the dough back by kneading for a few secs. Grease 2lb loaf tin with butter and line the base with parchment paper ( easy to lift out the loaf after baked ) . Use a little flour to help you shape each half into a smooth oval, then pop it into the tin. Cover loosely with a greased cling film and tea towel and leave to prove in a warm place for about 30-45 mins. Meanwhile, heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.

5. Brush the top with some milk ( if you want it shiny, then use egg+milk instead ) and bake for 25-30 mins until the bottom sounds hollow when tapped , then cool in the tins for 5-10 minutes before turning out and slicing.

Ps. this bread has been sent to yeastspotting hosted by Susan of Wild Yeast.

Spiced Fruit Loaf on Foodista

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Ultimate Butter Lemon Bars

What do you do when you happen to wake up in the middle of the night and couldn't manage to go back to sleep? For me, I confess shamelessly that I would lie in bed and think about what to cook/bake..then using the apps. on iphone to search or look for some interesting recipes! Sometimes, I ended up making thing that I came up with during the night instead of a thing that I already planned ahead to

Since summer is just around the corner, so I felt like making something refreshing to welcome a hot weather and I couldn't think about anything better than citrus !

The other night when I couldn't go back to sleep after a quick visit to the toilet at 3 am. so I played with my iphone and used epicurious apps. to look for some recipes about lemon curd and my attention was caught by this lemon bar..

It's a combination of shortbread and lemon curd..plain and simple, yet classic and I thought it's worth giving a try! So the first thing I did once got out of bed in the morning is baking these bars !

Honestly speaking, I'm not a big fan of sour I decided not to judge the bars by myself and I instead let my tasters do the job..One said the lemon curd topping is so sour while the others didn't complain about it..anyway, all in all, they said it's nice and that's the (happy) end of the story!

Recipe could be found here.