Ode to The Baker King

Posted by aBEE M. on 3/25/2011 06:06:00 PM in ,
After watching the series "Baker King" I decided I'll try my hands on some home-made bread. Baking is one of my many passion but this is the first time I've ever tried making BREAD! The closest I ever got to making bread was the time I made home-made pizza and some flat breads [Roti/Chapati] but I don't think that counts. So, I pulled out my favorite cookbook: "Simply Italian" [Sophie Bambridge] and navigated to the pane e pizza (bread and pizza), which is the same book I used when I made my home-made pizza. Technically speaking, to date, I have already made 2 batches of bread using the same recipe. The first batch I made wasn't exactly a success.
Italian Bread [first try], looks a bit rustic, with the floured top
Batch 1: Success?
For the first batch, I tried to follow the shapes that were shown in the book for classic Italian bread rolls (ciambellini, cylindrical, oval and round) but this is how it turned out. I had no idea what I was doing and just figured that maybe I should just make my own shapes and it turned out quite well. Also, If you look on the right column you'll see that one of the bread has a gaping top, I originally wanted to form that as an oval roll but couldn't figure out how to do it, no matter how I tried shaping it into a lemon, it wouldn't stay that way, so, I tried to shape it into a lemon and then didn't know what to do with the gaping slit in the middle, so i stuffed it with some cream cheese and Christmas ham and then decided to do it for some of the left-over dough, most of the rolls you see on top have cream cheese and ham stuffed inside. Overall, it turned out quite tasty. The book suggested that if you want to have a good crust to form on the bread, you have to create steam while the bread is baking, so during the baking part, I sprayed water in the oven every 15-20 mins. even though the book only suggested to spray a little water into the oven at the beginning. Anyways, The crust turned out well enough. The bread had a crusty outer layer and the inside was soft and creamy. The only problem was that after the bread cools down, it starts turning a bit tough. It somehow ended tasting like a baguette, good enough for me.

Anyways, a couple of weeks after making my first batch, i decided to do the second batch, and try making it softer (i guess). My aunt the baker suggested that the problem may have been on the yeast or during the kneading part. She said that if you keep adding flour while kneading, it'll turn tough after baking. So, for the second batch, i decided to increase the amount of yeast for the starter. Instead of using 1 Teaspoon of dried yeast, I increased it to 2 Teaspoons. Also, during the kneading part, I added as little flour as I could. I could already tell the difference while i was kneading the dough. This batch was lighter and fluffier that the first one and i could already tell how it would turn out.

second batch
For the second batch, instead of going for the rustic look, I wanted this to look prettier. Instead of dusting it with flour, i decided on an eggwash to give it that golden look. The shapes are so much cuter as well and the round rolls were easier to make because of the softer dough. During the baking process, I followed the same process with providing spritz of water but did it every 10-15 minutes, I also placed a bowl of water in the oven for the duration of the baking process.

cylinder rolls

just making fun shapes. I tried making a braid and made it into a donut braid instead.
For this batch, there are no filling. It's just plain ol' Italian bread rolls. But, I still ate it with cream cheese. This batch was definitely softer and stayed soft longer than the first batch. I must warn you, that for this particular recipe, don't expect cottony soft bread. It's not that soft. Anyways, I'll be looking through some other recipes for soft breads. So, for the next few days, I'll probably be Googling and watching some YouTube videos for Yummy bread recipes.

for the bread recipe, please click on the RECIPE TAB on the TOP of the page.


Fabulous @ 23!

Posted by aBEE M. on 3/23/2011 10:33:00 PM in , ,
I feel fabulous at 23... Last March 20, I celebrated my 23rd birthday and, thought of making something special for myself. At first, I wanted to make a 3-layered fondant cake with the topsy turvy theme from Alice in Wonderland, but, seriously, with only a day to make it and for someone who never made fondant before, I admit, it's a little ambitious. So, i decided to level it down a bit. I wanted to make a cake, which was easy to make, not that hard to decorate but still make it turn out like it was bought from the store.
I started with the idea of making a mini 3-layered cake, instead of the full-scale size. So, more or less i was headed to the cupcake department. I looked through "Hello, Cupcake" and "What's Up! Cupcake" for ideas, and there was one which i liked a lot. It was made of 1 mini cupcake, 1 regular sized cupcake and 1 jumbo cupcake, put on top of each other to give it a 3-layered cook look. But, the problem was, i dont have a muffin pan for the mini cupcakes and the jumbo cupcakes and i dont want to buy one for now. So, back to the drawing board. That's when i decided to look through my pans and see what i could use. I tried stacking the pans together to try and see what i can make, and tada! i decided on this.

The baking was the hard part. Instead of going with my usual banana cake, i decided to push through with a new recipe which my aunt provided (Carrot Cake with Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting). I started making the cake at 6 pm and finished the crumb coat frosting at around 8 pm [I cheated! I didn't make the frosting, i bought a ready made one from Betty Crocker]. I know it's really small and all but the frosting part was the hard part. I tried to give it a really clean finish, but seriously, I can't perfect that overnight. Maybe with more practice. Anyways, after doing the crumb coat, i topped it off with the second coat and decided on different colors for each layer. Bottom was Dusty Rose, Middle Part was Teal and the Top part was Pretty Purple. and for the finishing touch, i decorated it with gumpaste cartooney flowers with the cutest colors ever (violet and lime green). Finish product? I liked it a lot. It was absolutely adorable.

Bottom: Dusty Rose Middle: Teal Top: Pretty Purple
If you look closely, the cream cheese frosting is melting. It was sooo warm that day, the moment i took it out of the fridge, it started melting and i didn't have time to clean it up anymore. Oh well!

The blue candle started melting on the gumpaste flower. 


DONUT, Eat...

Posted by aBEE M. on 3/12/2011 12:32:00 PM in , , ,
Baker King has finally ended and let me tell you, the ending is quite unpredictably predictable? (oxymoron ...i know). As you may know, I've started out my love for Korean cooking with Korean Dramas (refer to  K(orean) Kraze), and one thing I've noticed about the plot[s], is that the bad guy always gets the girl! Maybe the writers think that its too predictable to let the good guy get the girl. But the weird thing is, they set the whole thing up so that the girl looks really good with the bad guy. Take "Boys over Flowers" as an example. The main character Gu Jun Pyo (Lee Min Ho) is the bad guy [rude, obnoxious, irritating], and then the supporting character Yoon Ji Hoo (Kim Hyun Joong) the good guy [gentle, supportive, really hot] and then add in the girl, Geum Jan Di (Goo Hye Sun). Now if you're familiar with the plot, Jan Di fell in love with Ji Hoo at first sight, but Ji Hoo was going through a rough time while Jun Pyo was making Jan Di's life miserable, fast forward to being star-crossed lovers and Jan Di chooses Jun Pyo. Another example would be "The 1st Shop of Coffee Prince." Choi Han Kyul (bad guy-main character) is cocky, self-centered and obnoxious, add in his cousin Choi Han Seong (good guy, very nice though not as cute) and add in the girl Go Eun Chan, and then fast-forward: Choi Han Kyul gets the girl. You get my point.

Anyways, getting back to my celebration of the end of the Baker King, I made some Donuts. Donut[s] is one of my all-time favorite food in the world. When I was little, my mom used to bring home some after work, and I've always loved it. My favorite flavor is hands down chocolate glaze (Dunkin Donuts). And like most things i do, i Google[d] the recipe. If you Google it yourself, the first one it'll give you would be a site called Secret Donut Recipe, Although I wouldn't call it a secret anymore. Anyways, while I was writing down the ingredients, I was a bit hesitant about the potato, I never really thought of a potato being used as an ingredient for Donut. The guy who made the website said, the potato is the secret ingredient, and I believed him.


Sauce Bowl (improvised cutter)

soda cap (improvised donut hole cutter) 
Like the guy who made the recipe, i also, don't have a donut cutter. So, i used a sauce bowl which is just about the right size i wanted, and a soda cap to make the holes in the middle. You can use whatever you want.
final count: 14 regular donuts 7 mini donuts, 14 regular donut holes and 7 mini donut holes
I couldn't make everything regular sized, so for the excess dough, i made mini donuts and instead of rolling out the donut holes to make more donuts, i cooked it the way it was. Now, as for the total count, the donut guy said it would yield around 10-12 donuts i think, i made more because i rolled out the dough a bit thinner than it was supposed to be (really up to you). 

Now, for the cooking part, make sure you have enough oil so it floats. You don't want to pan fry your donut (its not bacon), you'll end up with a donut that burnt on the outside and raw in the inside. And, never forget to turn the donut. you'll know when to turn it by checking the side of the donut, if it starts to get that golden brown color, then start flipping, if its not golden brown yet and you flipped it already, easy! FLIP IT BACK!

FINAL PRODUCT. (i made it with Vanilla Glaze)
For this batch,  the regular sized donut i made with vanilla glaze and the mini donuts and donut holes i flavored with cinnamon (picture: its in the zip-lock bag, i was too lazy to plate it). 

mini donut and donut holes (cinnamon flavored)
a closer look
Anyways, for the donut recipe, it turned out great. And, yes! the potato made all the difference. And as for my Korean Drama addiction, I'm feeding it as of the moment. After Baker King ended, I watched "Mischievous Kiss" to relay my moment of madness and my obsession with the ever gorgeous KIM HYUN JOONG (Yoon Ji Hoo in Boys Over Flowers / band: SS501).

for the Donut and Vanilla Glaze recipe, press THIS


Baby Corndogs and the Baker King

Posted by aBEE M. on 3/01/2011 09:55:00 PM in , ,
I've been craving for a corndog since forever! Why not just get one you ask? It's not that easy. You see, from where I'm at, the corndog they sell at the mall, are not that yummy and the microwaveable ones, isn't an option either (they're so expensive!) And so, like all the food I crave that I can't buy, I make them! So, last Sunday was a blessing, I finally found a store that sells cornmeal. Finally! I remember, when I was around 13 years old, I tried making it for the first time, the batter turned out so liquidy that it didn't stick to the hot dog and it just turned out like deep-fried hotdog. Anyways, this one turned out better than I thought it would.
the batter
fry baby fry!
Now, as you can see, I don't have anything interesting to tell you regarding the process. It went as smooth as a baby's bottom. Batter did not need that much mixing and all the measurements were just right. If you look at the picture of the finished product, you'll see that its not the smooth kind of corndog. That's because for most corndog recipes, you'd be asked to use cornflour or cornmeal that's been ground extensively. In this particular corndog recipe, I used medium ground cornmeal which consist of the cornflour and some corn kernels that weren't ground finely. It's really up to you as to which type of cornmeal you want to use.

finished product

I was able to make 16 baby corndogs. On the lower right part of the tray, I made some home-made honey mustard sauce.

Anyways, I was watching 6 more episodes today of Bread, Love and Dream (Baker King). And so far? More tears and more trials... But, finally he found his mom! Also, the girlfriend? I'm not sure if I like her. She's seriously disturbed. And I still think the hag and the side kick should be punished. Severely. I can't wait to finish the series. And to celebrate, I wonder what I should make? hhhhmmmm.... some bread perhaps?

a closer look at my baby!
For the baby corndog recipe and all other recipes of food you have read on  my blog, please visit the RECIPE tab.

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