"The only stumbling block is fear of failure.
In cooking you've got to have a what-the-hell attitude." - Julia Child

Sunday, May 29, 2011


Mamamia! These buns are absolutely to-die-for. Very soft and with the perfect sweetness - you will end up feeling proud of yourself for making it. If you have never made buns before, this recipe will be a great one to start off with. It is very easy to make, but all you need is patience!

I used a dough hook to knead the dough, which really helps! The instructions below is by hand.

Adapted from happy home baking

(make around nine 60g portions)

150g bread flour
150g cake flour
5g active dry yeast
3g salt
125g milk
1 egg
60g castor sugar
50g butter
(1 egg, beaten for glazing)

1. Mix all dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Add in milk, egg and butter. Mix into a dough.

2. Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface. Knead the dough until the gluten is fully developed (see tip below) and the dough is elastic, smooth and non-sticky. It will take about 25 mins to knead the dough by hand. Initially the dough will stick on to the work surface. Do not be tempted to add more flour or even give up kneading! After continuous kneading, the dough will no longer stick to the work surface.

3. Place the dough in the mixing bowl and cover with a damp towel or cling wrap to seal in the moisture. Allow the dough to ferment(or proof) until double in bulk. This will take about 1 hr. To test whether the dough has been fully proofed, press a finger into the dough and withdraw quickly. It should leave a deep impression and spring back very slowly. For an insufficiently proofed dough, the impression will spring back instantly.

4. Take out the dough and punch out the gas produced. Let the dough rest for about 15 minutes. Cover with a damp towel or cling wrap.

5. Divide the dough into 60g portions. Shape and add fillings as desired. Arrange dough in a greased or lined pan. Let the dough proof for the second time for about 30-45mins. Cover with a damp towel or cling wrap.

6. Brush the top with egg wash. Add almond flakes on the top of the buns, as desired.

7. Bake for about 15 minutes in a preheated oven at 190 degC. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack.

To check whether the dough is fully developed, take a small piece of the dough and stretch it with your fingers. If it can be stretched into a thin layer without tearing easily, the dough is fully developed.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


Corn muffin is synonymous to Kenny Rogers Roasters. It is the first impression you get when eating at KRR, and of course the mac and cheese and roasted chicken too.

The dense texture with a hint of honey is just right and makes these muffins to-die-for. This recipe calls for frozen corn, but I used Del Monte's Fresh Cut Whole Kernel Corn instead.

Adapted from Food.com

makes 18 muffins

1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup honey
2 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup flour
3/4 cup cornmeal
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup frozen corn (I used Del Monte's Freshly Cut Whole Kernel Corn)

1. Preheat oven to 200C.

2. Mix butter, sugar, honey, eggs and salt into a large bowl.

3. Add flour, cornmeal and baking powder and blend thoroughly.

4. Add milk while mixing.

5. Add corn to mixture and work into mixture.

6. Do not mash corn, the whole kernel is baked into the muffin.

7. Fill the muffin pan with muffin cups and fill 2/3 full with batter.

8. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes until muffins are light brown.

Thursday, May 5, 2011


Home made buns are simply irresistible. These raisin buns are delicious on its own or toast these buns and smothered with butter and you got yourself a wholesome breakfast, which reminds me of the raisin toasts that I dearly miss in Australia.

Making breads/buns needs a lot of patience, but the outcome is surely satisfying. I used a mixer with the hook to knead the dough, but you can knead it with your hands by following the instructions below.

Recipe adapted from Her World Cookbook Vol. 53
by Rohani Jelani


100ml water, at room temperature
1 level tsp sugar
2 level tsp instant yeast
550g high-protein flour
1 level tsp salt
1 level tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 level tsp allspice (optional)
100g sugar
70g softened butter
130g raisins or sultanas
150ml cold milk mixed together with 50ml cold water

1. Mix the room temperature water and tsp of sugar in a cup and stir in the yeast. Set aside for 10 minutes until the mixture is frothy.

2. Measure the flour, salt, cinnamon, allspice (if using) and 100g sugar into a bowl and mix in the butter with your fingers. Add the raisins, the frothy yeast liquid and almost all the milk/water mixture. Mix with your hands to get a soft dough, adding the remaining liquid only if the mixture looks dry.

3. Once dough comes together, turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead well until smooth. Cover and leave to rise until double in bulk - about 1 1/2 hours. Then punch down the dough and leave to rise for a second time. This should take 40 - 60 minutes.

4. After the second rising, turn out the dough and knead for a few minutes to expel any large air bubbles. Form into 2 loaves or small buns.

5. Place the loaves in lightly greased loaf tins or arrange the buns on lightly greased baking trays, leaving enough space around the buns for them to expand. Set aside, for 20 - 40 minutes depending on the size of the loaves/buns, until they feel well-risen and spongy to the touch.

6. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 220C. The tops of the buns can be brushed with a little milk or beaten egg for a shiny brown finish, but they look just as nice and more 'natural' if left unadorned. Sprinkle the loaves/buns liberally with water and bake in the hot oven.

7. After 10 - 15 minutes, turn heat down to 190C and continue baking (timing depending on size of loaves/buns) until the loaves/buns sound hollow when tapped on the underside.