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Condensed milk raisin bread

I’ve had some sweet condensed milk leftover since January and have been trying to use them up before they get moldy so today, as it is Saturday and I have the house to myself, I thought I’ll make some bread.

Ingredients:

1 cup boiled water cooled to lukewarm
2 tsp instant dry yeast
1/2 cup sweet condensed milk
1 Tbsp butter
1 tsp salt
3 to 3 1/2 cups strong bread flour

2 large handfuls of raisin, soaked in water.

For glazing:
1 Tbsp milk + 1 Tbsp water

Method:
1. In a large mixing bowl, mix water and yeast and stir. Add in the condensed milk, butter and salt. Stir well to mix.

2. Add in 2 cups of flour and stir until all the flour has been incorporated into liquid to form a sticky dough. Slowly add in the remaining flour and stir till it is not possible to stir. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured clean surface and knead vigorously. Once all the flour is kneaded together and the dough no longer sticky, I separated them into 2 smaller dough portions as it is easier to knead. Alternating between the 2 dough, knead each portion vigorously. Add more flour if needed.

3. Knead until the dough are smooth and elastic. Put together and knead a few more times.

4. Lightly grease a large mixing bowl with vegetable oil. Place the dough in the bowl. Ensure to turn the dough over so that the entire dough is oiled. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place.

5. When the dough has almost doubled in size, punch down and knead again for a few minutes. Drain the raisins and add the raisins to the dough. Divide into smaller portions (I divided into 4) and knead, then place in a non-sticky baking tray. Leave the dough to rise again till about 1.5x the original size.

6. Brush with milk/water and bake in a pre-heated oven at 180degCel for 45 min.
7. When ready, remove from the baking tray and tap the bottom of the bread to check that it is cooked. (if tapping produces a hollow sound, the bread is cooked).
8. Leave the bread to cool inverted on a wire rack.

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Soft pandan bread buns

Makes 8-10 buns

Recipe modified slightly from Kimmy cooking-pleasure’s blog.

Ingredients A

270 gm bread flour
1/2 tsp salt
50 gm castor sugar
2 tsp instant yeast
1 egg [set aside a little for glazing]
4-5 blades of pandan leaves (the green part only)
60 ml milk [add gradually]
25 gm butter
Ingredients B – Water Roux  [mix well]
1 tbsp plain flour
70 ml just boiled water
Method:
1. Prepare ingredients B – add flour to the water and stir till the flour has dissolved. Leave to cool a little and prepare Ingredients A.
2. Break up the pandan leaves into smaller pieces. Place in a blender and add the milk. Blend well. Strain the mixture to obtain the pandan/milk liquid. (I then added more water to the pandan residue and filtered again for use to make pandan pancakes as I didnt want to waste them!)
3. In a big mixing bowl combine the rest of ingredients A except the butter.
4. Mix together and knead till you get an almost smooth dough. Add the butter and continue to knead vigorously.
5. Place in a clean bowl and cover with a clean tea towel. Leave in a warm place to rise till almost double in size. Depending on weather conditions this can take between 1hr to 2hrs.
6. Punch down and knead vigorously for a few seconds. Then separate dough into small balls and place in a baking tray.
7. Cover again and leave to rise till about double in size.
8. Preheat the oven to 180deg C, add a small tray of water at the bottomost shelf of the oven.
9. Bake for 15-20min, until the top is browned.
10. After taking out from the oven, check that the bread is cooked – the buns should sound hollow when tapped at the bottom.
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Carrot and red lentils creamy soup

After having bright green soup for lunch and dinner over the past 2 days, it was time to change a colour. One of my favourite soup is carrot soup, and it is definitely a different colour to green, so, great!

Instead of the usual carrot coriander soup I make, I added some impromptu ingredients that made the soup creamier and with a bit more substance, not to mention higher nutritional value.

Makes: 4 regular portions

Ingredients:
3 shallots – roughly chopped
1 medium potato -peeled and diced into large cubes
3 medium carrots – peeled and roughly chopped
1 heaped Tbsp butter
4 – 5 Tbsp red lentils – rinsed
1 bowl of water
Juice of half orange
Large slice of ginger
Some fresh thyme leaves
salt to taste
Topping: coconut cream or coconut milk

Method:
1. Melt the butter in a saucepan.
2. Keep the stove on medium heat. Add onions and fry for 2 -3 minutes, add potatoes and fry for another 5 minutes.
3. Add carrots and thyme, and fry for 5 minutes.
4. Add water, orange and ginger slice
5. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer for 5 minutes.
6. Add red lentils and continue to simmer for another 10 minutes.
7. Add salt to taste.
8. Transfer to a blender and blend till smooth.

Stir in a 1 tsp of coconut milk/cream and serve hot with buttered toast. Oh so tasty, filling and healthy.

Carrot and lentils soup.JPG

 

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15-min Chickpea mint houmous

There are certain foods which if you’ve made it once, you never buy from shops again… for me chickpea houmous is one of them. Another is custard, which reminds me, it has been a while since I made custard for Zuppa Inglese or crumbles…next on my list.

I still have my jar of opened Tahini so finally bought a can of chickpeas last weekend. I also had some fresh mint which I bought for my spinach and mint pea soup, and because they go off so quickly, I added them to my houmous for a bit a variety.

Makes a bowl (fills 2 x 350g jam jars)

Ingredients:
1 can of chickpeas (drained weight ~240g)- I don’t bother removing the skins
2 heaped Tbsp tahini (Sesame paste)
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon
Fresh mint leaves ~2 tsp
A small clove of garlic
Salt to taste

Method:
1. Rinse the chickpeas 2 – 3 times and tip into a saucepan.
2. Add enough water to cover 2 inches above the chickpeas and boil for about 8 min.
3. Drain and transfer to the blender.
4. Add the mint leaves and garlic.
5. Blend till smooth.
6. Transfer to a big bowl, add lemon juice, olive oil and tahini. Stir to mix.
7. Add salt and stir well.

I have stored 1 jar in the freezer, they keep well. If stored in the fridge, they should be eaten within 3-4 days.

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Lunch for tomorrow with homemade bread, super healthy high in proteins, fibre and folate.

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Spinach and mint pea soup

Recipe adapted from ‘Delicious Soups’ by Belinda Williams.
Serves: 4 -6

Ingredients

2 Tbsp butter
1 onion, diced
2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced to about 1 inch cubes
800ml homemade vegetable stock or water
300g (2 cups) frozen peas
260g fresh spinach – washed ( original recipe called for 400g)
small bunch of fresh mint leaves (about a tbsp)
2 Tbs chopped coriander / cilantro optional
optional – 2/3 cups double/heavy cream
sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
topped with grated parmigiano or pan-roasted cherry tomatoes

Method:
1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over low heat.
2. Add onions and potatoes and cook for a few minutes until the onions have softened.
3. Pour in the stock and simmer until the potatoes are soft.
4. Add the peas and simmer for another few minutes until the peas are just soft. – don’t overcook the peas
5. Add fresh spinach and immediately remove the pan from the heat.
6. Blend the soup till roughly smooth, then add fresh herbs and continue to blend until smooth.
7. Stir salt and pepper.
8. Top with grated parmigiana

Spinach and mint pea soup.JPG

Lovely healthy tasty green soup, full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytonutrients. Packed and ready for tomorrow’s lunch, matched with my homemade toast bread. For some information on the benefits of spinach, here’s the BBC good food link.

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Condensed milk soft toast – 1 proofing

I had some sweet condensed milk (still have!) and itching to make some bread. I really like the 1-proof method to make Asian breads that are a slightly different texture to European bread.

For the original recipe click here.

Ingredients:
300g strong white bread flour
2 Tbsp caster sugar
2 Tbsp sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp instant yeast
large pinch of salt
200g full cream milk

2 Tbsp softened butter (I used Kerry’s Butter/vegetable oil blend)

1 tsp cocoa powder set aside (original recipe called for 2 tsp)

Method:
1. Place flour, sugar, condensed milk, yeast, salt in a large mixing bowl
2. Add milk gradually and mix ingredients together.
3. Start kneading until you get a slightly less sticky dough.
4. Add the butter and continue to knead vigorously until the dough is elastic.
5. Separate into one large and one small portion.
6. To the smaller portion add the cocoa powder and continue to knead to blend in the cocoa powder.
7. Roll and flatten the larger (non-cocoa) dough.
8. Roll and flatten the smaller cocoa dough and place the cocoa dough on top of the non-cocoa dough.
9. Roll both dough together.
10. Place in a loaf tin and leave in a warm place to rise till double in size. Cover with a clean tea towel.
11. When the dough is well-risen, pre-heat the oven to 150deg C with a small tray of water in the oven.
12. Bake for about 40mins.

Result:
I like the result very much! Soft, just a hint of sweetness. Doesn’t look as pretty as xingfuzhiwei’s product but still cute I think 🙂

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Simple breakfast I – oats with banana

It is Saturday (yay) and I have violin lesson at 9am. This involves a 45min cycle and it is cold, grey and drizzling… The photo is a bit deceiving, the sky looks clear but actually its white and covered with clouds.

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I need some solid healthy breakfast! I have also run out of cold milk, bread and limited time, so!

Serves: 1
Time needed to prepare and cook: 5 min

Ingredients:
1/2 cup quick easy oats
1 cup water

Toppings:
Condensed milk
Nutella
Banana

Method:
1. Place oats and water in a saucepan
2. Bring to a boil
3. Reduce heat to simmer for 1.2 – 2 min
4. Transfer to a bowl, top with whatever you like. I had sliced banana, drizzled with just a teaspoon of condensed milk and a teaspoon of nutella (to keep the sugar low).

Variations: try with fresh or dried fruits, honey or maple syrup, chopped nuts!

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Tasty and healthy!