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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Light Rye Bread (Single Rise)

I know caraway is lacking in this recipe because there was none in the house. In any case, I don’t like chewy bits in my bread. This loaf does not offer the signature caraway taste of rye but if that is what you prefer, add 1 tsp of toasted and crushed caraway together with the flour.

Even with a single rise, the bread has a closed texture and is easy to slice to 1 cm thick.

Time : 3 hours (32C room temperature)

Credits: with modifications.


  1. 240g  Bread flour

  2. 100g  Rye flour

  3. 15g dry milk powder 

  4. 1 tsp  instant yeast

  5. 15g caster sugar   

  6. 7g pink salt

  7. 20g butter

  8. 40g honey

  9. 200g warm water (38C)


  1. In a mixer, combine bread flour, rye flour, yeast,sugar,salt. 

  2. Add butter, honey, water.

  3. Use a dough hook, knead until mixture is combined and forms gluten strands.

  4. The dough will be sticky and not completely pull away from the walls of the mixer. That is fine.

  5. Prepare a medium pullman box. Grease and dust.

  6. On a lightly floured surface, remove the sticky dough and roll it on the floured worktop. ( I use 2 pastry spatulas to move the dough until the dough is smooth ) 

  7. Transfer the dough to the pullman.

  8. Let it rise for 90 minutes.

  9. Preheat the oven 10 minutes before timeout.

  10. Mist the bread with a water mister.

  11. Stick the pullman into the preheated oven.

  12. Bake at 180C for 40 minutes.

  13. Cool the cooked bread for 10-15 minutes.

  14. Remove the bread on a rack and continue cooling until it is no longer warm to the touch.

  15. Slice and freeze extras.

Thursday, February 8, 2024

30 hours fermentation whole rye bread (No Knead)

I have put off baking for quite a while since I moved to a smaller place. It was a choice of view or space and I chose view. I had forgotten how I loved to bake.

Recently I read Exodus 12 where the Hebrews were told to bake bread without yeast and the baker in me got all fired up. Following that was 2 failed attempts at growing my sourdough starter with artisan bread flour. 

But good old fashioned instant yeast saved me from a baking depression. The first no-knead bread was a successful loaf baked after it was fermented in the fridge for 24 hours. Friends loved the open sourdough texture.

To take another notch up, I bought a medium sized black non-stick pullman. Artisanal shape was not good for hubby's sandwich thus my third pullman in the house. That's a lot for a 2-person household but I am not regretting it.

Since hubby loves rye, I got down to making this. I got this 48 hour recipe from my go-to kingaurthurbaking site. But climate here is warmer so the bread was baked in my fancy black pullman at the 30th hour mark. It was either that or an invasion of a giant dough crawling out of the pan.

The result was excellent. The bread is light, easy to slice (with another shiny bread knife from Phoon Huat for just SGD$3) with a thin crust with closed texture.  Oh, the mist spray bottle costs just as much!

So here goes! 

Credit here with modifications

Makes a medium loaf.


  • 280g King Arthur Flour (Artisan)
  • 160g wholemeal rye (Phoon Huat)
  • 40g dry milk powder
  • 1.5 tsp pink salt
  • 1.5 tsp instant yeast
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 340g water (lukewarm. Mine was 37 C)


  1. In a large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients.
  2. Add oil and water.
  3. Stir until no dry bits are left. Some effort is needed as dough thickens.
  4. Cover and leave it to ferment for 2 hours outside.
  5. Cover with oiled sheet. Send it to the fridge for 24 hours, covered.
  6. At the end of the 24 hours, bring out the dough to warm up. It will start to rise again
  7. Grease and dust the pullman if using.
  8. Lightly dust a worktop. Work on the dough and fold like a letter. 
  9. Transfer the dough to the prepared pullman to continue rising, fold edges facing down.
  10. While waiting for dough to rise, preheat the oven to 230C.
  11. When dough is 2 cm from the surface of the pan, mist and score the dough. I prefer to score then mist.
  12. Cover with the pullman cover if so wished. Remember to grease the inside of the cover. Alternatively, bake uncovered.
  13. Bake covered at 230C for 25 minutes. Remove the cover and bake for another 10 minutes.
  14. If the bread is baked uncovered, bake at 200C for 4 minute. 
  15. Remvoe the bread and cool it on the rack.

When totally cool, slice. 

Remarks : the bread has potential to rise more so a standard pullman may be good for a more open texture.

Sunday, January 14, 2024

Quiche Lorraine

One of Dr Seuss' books I read was 'A Cat in the Hat". In that story, the Cat went through a series of trouble to solve what was potentially a small problem.

I was given a tub of Crisco and that spawned a series of bakes on a what was supposed to be a quiet Sunday. I was like, might as well bake some cookies with it ... and then maybe a quiche while I am at it as well. I should have a picture of the things to wash in my sink to proof my 'Cat in the Hat' situation.

The result was a very rich quiche using some leftover Lancashire cheese. But quiches are a fail safe dish and I am sure any of your favorite cheese will please the crowd.

Credits: bbcgoodfood with modifications


Pastry :

170g flour

100g Crisco

1 yoke

3 tablespoons water


2 egg whites

2 eggs

150 ml of baking cream

70g of Lancashire smoked cheese, chopped

180g bacon bits, fried and drained dry


23cm quiche pan with removable base

Baking beads

Wax paper


Combine flour, Crisco, yolk and water.

Mix in the mixer or food processor until the dough comes together.

Roll out the dough on floured surface. It should be enough to line the pie pan with some overhang.

Line the pan with the rolled dough. Use a fork to prick holes. It prevents air pockets building up when baking.

Trim off the overhang.

Line with wax paper. Pour the beads on the paper. 

Chill for 15 minutes. This prevents shrinkage when baked.

Bake the pie crust with beads in a preheated oven at 180C for 15 minutes.

Remove the beads.

Bake again for another 5 minutes. This helps dry up the base and less permeable to egg filling poured on it later.

Set aside.

To making the filling, lightly fry the bacon until cooked.

Drain the bacon with a sieve and then on a kitchen towel.


Preheat the oven to 170 C.

In a mixer, mix whites, eggs, cream.

I added a small fist of cut overhang to mix (not to waste the crust. It works as a thickener while baking). 

Line the pie base with the prepared bacon, cheese.

Pour half the egg mixture (whites,eggs,cream) until half full.

Stick the pie pan into the preheated oven.

Carefully pour the rest of the egg mixture. This way the egg mixture does not spill during the transfer to oven and cause the quiche to stick to the pan.

Push the pie gently into oven cavity.

Bake at 170 C for 25 minutes.

Leave the pie to cool in the oven for handling.

Remove pie case and serve.

Verdict : 

The quiche is seriously rich and I only managed to eat 2 pieces out of 6. Goes well with some tart salad.

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Hakka Yong Tofu

As far as I can remember, come Chinese New Year, my father would make this signature dish. It requires an entire day's effort since everything was made from scratch. When all the ingredients were ready, father would bring out his iron meat grinder, clamp in to the table edge  and feed the fish meat and pork into the opening with one hand and crank the handle with the other. After some squishy sounds, finely ground wormlike meat would appear from the little holes and drop onto a basin to catch the prepared meat. It was quite disgusting to see the meat squeeze through the holes.

Meanwhile mum would labour over the sink peeling and chopping the water chestnuts. Mum did not have great knife skills and the mountain of water chestnuts was a great deal of work on top of the spring cleaning for the season.

I hated the entire process because father was fastidious about everything, including how the meat should be stuffed in the tofu, bitter gourds and tofu skins.

Oddly enough, making this became a Chinese New Year ritual once I have a home of my own.  Now, I used a food processor to blitz the meat in place of the grinder (long gone to the rags and bone man). Fish paste and minced meat could be bought off the shelf and the tedious task of peeling the water chestnuts was normally left to Pat who has excellent knife skills and patience of a saint.

Then I discovered the piping bag. In place of a mini spatula, the piping bag makes piping of the meat-water chestnut mixture into the tiny cavities of tofu puffs and tofu child's play.

My updated Hakka Yong tofu became my nieces' and daughter's childhood memories....

It is near Chinese New Year again, so it is yong tofu time!

Fish paste is hard to find nowadays so I have to make it from scratch. I have tried making fish paste out of batang though ideally it should be wolf herring (sai toh fish, but there is none at the markets), so the yellow tail will suffice. That was also what my father used because it was easy on the wallet.

Any, this is the recipe for my Hakka YTF:

2 yellowtail, filleted
4 cups of minced pork
4 cups of water chestnuts, smashed to  course bits (I love the crunch)
10 medium sheets of tofu skins, 10 tofu puffs, 2 medium sized tofu

Equipment I used:
Food processor
Air fryer


Preparing the stuffing:

Peel the water chestnuts. Use a hammer and smash the  peeled chestnuts to course pieces. Use a food processor if you wish. Reserve.

Now for the fish; hold a short knife in a vertical position and scrap the meat off the fish skin. Discard skin and bones.
Blitz the fish in a food processor until it is chopped and come together. Reserve.

Season with a generous amount of  pepper and a few dash of sesame oil to the water chestnut-fish-pork mixture. 
In a big bowl, combine fish, pork and water chestnut well (I used the mixer). Reserve the stuffing.

Stuffing the meat:

Transfer the meat to a piping bag.
Make slits on the tofu puffs and pipe the stuffing into it.
Use a spoon to dig out a hole on the tofu. Pipe the stuffing onto the tofu.
On a lightly washed bean skin, pipe the meat on one end of the skin and roll up the meat.

Cooking the meat:
Oil all the items with a brush.
Air fry the items at 200C for 15 minutes or when until each item is brown.

Presenting the dish:

Prepare a pot of chicken stock. Bring to a boil.
Cook the stuffed tofu, puffs in medium heat for 5 minutes.
Blanch some greens. Serve the greens, tofu and puffs in soup. 
Serve the crispy stuffed bean skin separately.

Tuesday, May 2, 2023

Salmon Quiche

Three things came together to make this quiche possible : a bag of salmon that I was in a hurry to finish, a bag of dirt cheap onions which I did not know what to do with it, frozen pastry puff.

Last week, I made 2 mini quiches which I would not pay myself to eat. The egg custard was so thick that the custard could not make its way around the quiche filling. My lack of planning meant I ran out of baking paper and I baked blind with nothing on it and effectively created a quiche shell that was like a crispy biscuit. Hubby was supportive enough to help finish the 2 mini quiches.

Fast forward a week. With the lessons learnt, I took pains to correct my earlier mistakes. Even with a ready to bake shortcrust, I still took 5 hours to assemble everything with a horrifying mountain of bowls and pans to wash. 

Nevertheless, don't try, won't know. I declare the quiche a success. 

I made 2 quiches, one a round 7 inch quiche, another a 10 x 4 inch quiche. I wanted a savory salmon and a lemon tart but 3 hours into the project, the work got tedious and I ditched the idea and made 2 quiches with the same ingredients.

So here was what I did. Takes about 5 hours including washing up, so give yourself plenty of time before the feast.

Base :

7 inch round quiche pan, removable base and 10 x 4 inch tart pan, removable base. Grease both pans. Set aside.

2 premade frozen pastry crusts.

Baking paper

Ceramic weights


1 piece of salmon, about palm size

8 medium size onions, skinned and thinly sliced

1 bowl of button mushroom, thinly sliced

1 fistful of smoked bacon


250ml cooking cream

3 eggs beaten with a pinch of salt


Any cheese such as cheddar, sliced


Preparing the crust:

Remove the shortcrust with a flat knife. Leave it on a clean worktop to soften until just malleable to work with, about 10 minutes (it was 35C outside the house).

When ready, carefully transfer the shortcrust to the prepared trays. Form the shell carefully. Trim off overhang. Prick holes. Put back to the fridge to chill.

At this point, I must explain my process. The process was a serial one instead of a parallel process. The pastry was done for the round tray then sent back to chill. Then I repeated the procedure for the other rectangular tray.

Par-bake the quiche base:

Preheat the oven to 180C. When oven is ready, take one of the tray with prepared crust out.

Line the pastry with baking paper. Pour the weights on the paper.

Bake at 180C for 15mins.

Lift the paper with weights. Prick the quiche base with a fork. This prevents puffing.

Return the 'naked' quiche back to the oven. 

Continue to bake at 180C for 5 minutes.

Remove the quiche pan. Prick holes and press down any puffy parts of the pastry. Leave to cool.

Repeat for the other quiche with its prepared pastry.

Quiche filling:

Meanwhile, cook the salmon until just cooked. Flake with a fork. Drain and reserve.

Fry the onions, mushrooms, bacon in flavoured oil. I used garlic oil (from Donki). Use any oil you fancy.

When onions are translucent and mushroom wilted, add salmon flakes. Season with salt.

Cook at medium high heat to reduce the moisture in the salmon mix. Reserve.


In a saucepan, add 250 ml of cooking cream.

Heat until the cream starts to steam. DO NOT let the cream boil.

Turn off the heat.

Whisk in the eggs, whisking to incorporate eggs and cream. Season to taste.

The goal is to get the consistency (nappé) that coats the base of a spoon.



Preheat the oven to 180C.

'Pave' the par-baked crust with cheese.

Gently transfer the salmon mushroom onion mix on the cheese. The mix should be level with the edge of the tray.

Pour the custard into the filled quiche.

Bake at 180C for 25 minutes or until center of the quiche is just cooked.

To serve:

Cool sufficiently before removing the quiche from the pan.

Serve with waldorf or anything tart to go with the richness of the quiche.

It is a labor of love. But I assure you it is worth it.