Wednesday 30 December 2015

Beurre And Sel Jammers

In a couple of hours time here in Singapore, it will be the last day of 2015..... I guess this post will be my last for the year.... And let me end the year with a post on my attempt at baking these yummy beauties.. They are called jammers and used to be sold at a cookie boutique ran by the amazingly talented Dorie Greenspan and her son in New York City. Unfortunately, the stall, Beurre and Sel, has since been closed.. No worries since Greenspan has kindly shared the recipe, so we get to taste them. That's a good thing. 
Before I leave you with the pictures and recipe, I would like to thank you for dropping by here... For those who have attempted the recipes from this blog, thank you for the trust and feedback.. As far as baking, cooking and blogging are concern, it has been a good year for me... I hope I'll be able to maintain the stamina to carry on sharing more great recipes with you. Happy New Year and may 2016 brings more joy and happiness for all of us! Muahh!

Beurre And Sel Jammers

125g unsalted butter, room temperature
56g caster sugar
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
1 large egg yolk, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
138g all-purpose flour

  1. Using an electric mixer at medium speed, beat butter in a large bowl until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add sugar and salt, beat until well blended, about 1 minute. Reduce speed to low, beat in egg yolk and vanilla. Add flour and mix just to combine. Dough will be soft and sticky. 
  2. Place dough between sheets of parchment or waxed paper. Flatten dough into a disk. Roll out dough, occasionally lifting paper on both sides for easy rolling, until 1/4 inches thick. Freeze dough in paper until firm, at least 2 hours.
  3. DO AHEAD: Dough can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and keep frozen. 
50g all-purpose flour
35g caster sugar
1/8 tsp fine sea salt
40g chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup thick jam, such as lingonberry, apricot, orange marmalade, and blackberry (I used homemade strawberry compote. Refer to recipe below.)

  1. Mix flour, sugar, and salt in a small mixing bowl. Using your fingertips, rub butter and vanilla into dry ingredients until no large lumps remain and butter is well incorporated. Streusel will be sandy and hold its shape when pressed between your fingers. Cover and chill. 
  2. DO AHEAD: Streusel can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled.
  1. Arrange a rack in middle of oven. Preheat to 180°C. 
  2. Using cookie cutter, cut out rounds of frozen dough from freezer. Place rounds in bottom of muffin cups and gently pat to flatten. (I had to dap my finger with flour as the dough was quite sticky.) Continue cutting frozen dough into rounds; gather scraps and repeat process of rolling out, cutting and patting. Cover muffin tins with foil and chill in freezer until dough is firm, about 30 minutes or up to 2 days. 
  3. Spoon about 1 teaspoon jam into the center of each round of dough. Using your fingers or a small spoon, sprinkle 1-1 1/2 tablespoons streusel around edges of each cookie, trying not to get any in the jam. 
  4. Bake cookies, in batches if needed, until sides and streusel are golden, 20-22 minutes. Let cool in tins for 15 minutes. Run a small knife around edges of muffin cups; gently remove cookies and let cool completely on a wire rack. 
  5. DO AHEAD: Cookies can be baked 2 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature .
Adapted from recipe by Dorie Greenspan.
Source: Bon Appétit.


500g ripe strawberry, hulled
4 tbsp caster sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice
few drops balsamic vinegar (optional) - I didn't add.

  1. Cut the strawberries in half or in quarters if large, and put in a pan with the sugar and lemon juice. 
  2. Heat gently until the sugar dissolves, then bring to a simmer. Cover the pan and cook the strawberries for 3 mins or until dark red and syrupy. 
  3. Cool, then add the balsamic vinegar, if using. The compote can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Recipe by BBCgoodfood.

Notes & modifications:
  1. The above jammers recipe is half the original recipe and I converted it into metric measurement. I used mini muffin pans and the recipe yielded about 18 pieces. The jammers turned out too big to my liking. In future, I would just fill up about half the cavity, so I should get more than 20 jammers.
  2. The dough is quite challenging to handle in this humid weather as it becomes soft & sticky quite easily. So instead of rolling the dough, you may want to just scoop it using a spoon into the muffin pan. Then pat the dough with your floured finger.

Tuesday 29 December 2015

Roasted-Potato Bread

I baked roasted-potato bread last week.... It's been a long time since I last baked a rustic bread. I wish I'm able to bake it more often, but, the problem is, baking any kind of bread entails a long process.... it takes hours from the mixing to the the baking stage and if you want to bake one which uses a pre-ferment dough, it can take days...

Given that I'm often out of the house either for work or running of family errands, baking bread at home is a luxury....  Last week, I started mixing the dough for the potato bread before going to bed and thought that I would be able to bake it in time for breakfast the next morning. Alas, it was not meant to be... I had to leave the house in the morning and only managed to bake it in the afternoon. 

I love baking breads that involves the use of starter dough or an overnight proofing... this method always produces breads that are  more fragrant and have more intense flavour than the straight-dough method. With the addition of whole-grain flour and roasted potato, this potato bread has even more robust and distinctive flavour, something that's always absent in those soft & fluffy store-bought breads... My eldest daughter and I had the bread with kacang pool while the rest had it with scrambled eggs. Everyone liked it.

This recipe is taken from a book that my husband bought for me many years ago. Although he does not bake, he knew that the book was a good one after browsing it. He was so confident that he did not even consult me before paying for it. Indeed, the book by Jeffrey Hamelman is an excellent book. It is thoroughly researched and has very detailed explanation on all you need to know about baking bread. It should be a textbook for all bread-baking students. Another great feature of this book is, besides giving the recipe in US and metric measurement for bulk baking, it also includes recipe that's designed for home baking.

So if you have not tried baking rustic bread before, I would encourage you to try making this... The recipe below is half the recipe designed for home baking. Take a look at the videos that I recommend below so that you'll have a better idea of the correct way of handling the dough. Also, you may want to read more bread-making tips by Peter Reinhart, another bread-making guru, which I shared before.


Pâte Fermentée  (Starter Dough):
136g (4.8 oz) bread flour
88g (3 oz) water
1/2 tsp salt
1/16 tsp  instant yeast (I used a pinch.)

Final Dough:
250g (8.8 oz) bread flour
68g (2.4 oz) whole wheat flour
190g (6.7 oz) water
1/2 tbsp salt
1/2 plus 1/8 tsp (2g) instant yeast
115g (4 oz) baked potatoes (The recipe recommended Yukon Gold, I used Russet.) - mashed or cut into small pieces
all of the above pâte fermentée

  1. The day before baking the bread, mix the pate fermentee in a medium bowl until just smooth. Cover and allow to sit for 12 to16 hours at about 20 deg C. (I placed the bowl in the fridge. Before mixing the final dough, I removed the bowl of pate fermentee from the fridge & left it in room temperature for about 30 minutes before proceeding with the next step.)
  2. Add all the ingredients to the mixing bowl, including the potatoes, but not the pâte fermentée. In a spiral mixer, mix on first speed for 3 minutes in order to incorporate the ingredients. As the dough is coming together, add the pâte fermentée in chunks. If necessary, correct the hydration by adding water of flour in small amounts. The dough should feel slightly stiff, but since the potatoes hold a fair amount of moisture, which they will eventually contribute to the dough, be careful not to add too much water as the dough mixes. Finish mixing on second speed for 3 - 3 1/2 minutes. The dough should be supple & the gluten moderately developed. 
  3. Place the dough into an oiled bowl, cover, and let it rise until doubled, about 90 minutes, with one stretch & fold after 45 minutes. (Watch this video on how to stretch & fold bread dough.)
  4. Divide the dough into two pieces and form it into two boules (French for balls) or batards, and let rise for about 75 minutes. (Watch this great video on how to shape & bake bread.)
  5. Preheat the oven to 230 deg C (450 deg F) & pre-steam the oven. 
  6. Score the loaves and bake them for about 40 minutes. If the loaves are turning dark too quickly, lower the temperature by 10-20 deg.
  7. Cool completely on a rack before slicing.
Recipe is from Bread, A Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes by Jeffrey Hamelman.

Monday 21 December 2015

Pastry Pockets with Nutella Filling

It feels like a long time since I last posted here.... Been pretty busy this past month... spent the first part of the holidays decluttering the house, which has not been an easy task especially since we have lived in this house for 20 years now.... We also spent a week in UAE for a family getaway.... that, was truly awesome since we had not gone for a holiday outside SE Asia for the longest time! It was also an eye-opening experience for the family as this is our first (except for my husband) visit to the Middle East. Now we are back to continue with the decluttering  before the school term starts in two week's time. Oh no!!

So today's recipe is inspired after I tasted some addictive pastry pockets from Tim Hortons when we were in Dubai. They are basically doughnuts, cut in rectangles & filled with Nutella... but they taste so good, especially when I had them with the hot cardamon chai. Just talking about it makes me want to have it right now! Haha.. 

If you had made doughnuts before, this would not be too difficult... the only messy part was when I tried to pipe the filling..... but believe me, the mess is all worth it! For the dough, I used the potato doughnut recipe which I shared before as I just love its soft & fluffy texture. Do try making these gems.... I know it's not something out of the ordinary but anybody who tries them would definitely have only good things to say.... just don't let them talk about the calories. :D

I went overboard with the filling for this piece... hehe..

Pastry Pockets with Nutella Filling
250g high protein flour (bread flour)
25g milk powder
5g instant yeast (1 tsp)
50g sugar
100g potato
50 ml cold water (I added 3 tsp more water. See note no. 1)
2 egg yolk
40g butter
1/4 tsp salt
vegetable oil for deep frying
Nutella spread (for filling)
icing sugar for coating the pockets

  1. Steam, microwave or roast the potato. Leave to cool slightly. Remove the skin and blend with the cold water until it becomes a smooth puree. Leave to cool. (I peeled & cut the potato into big pieces & roasted them until cooked & soft. I roasted them because I was also roasting some potatoes for my roasted-potato bread.)
  2. Combine flour, milk powder, yeast and sugar in a mixing bowl. Add the blended potato and egg yolk and mix using the dough hook for about 2 minutes. 
  3. Add in butter and continue mixing for about 2 minutes. Finally, add in salt and mix for another 3 minutes until the dough is smooth & elastic.
  4. Remove the dough from the bowl and shape it into a ball and place it in a clean & greased bowl. Cover the dough with a cloth & leave it to prove for about 45 minutes.
  5. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board and knead for 4 minutes or until the bubbles are out of the bread. Leave to rest for 10 minutes.
  6. Roll out the dough evenly into about 1 cm thickness. Using a knife or pizza cutter, cut the dough into rectangle or diamond-shaped pieces. Place the cut pieces onto a floured tray. Cover with tea towel & leave to proof for about 35 minutes.
  7. Deep fry in medium hot oil till golden brown.
  8. Fill up a piping bag with Nutella spread. Using a small plain nozzle, make a hole on one side of the fried pastry & pipe the filling. Finally coat  with fine sugar.
Notes & modifications:
  1. The mixture will look very dry at first, just carry on mixing until a soft dough is formed. If the mixture is still dry, add some more water, one teaspoon at a time until it forms a smooth & soft dough. I think the amount of water needed will depend on the type of potato used. Previously when using this recipe, I did not have to add more water but this time, I added 3 teaspoons.
  2. I started mixing the dough late at night. So after step 3, I placed the dough in an air-tight bowl & left it in the fridge. The next morning, I took the bowl out of the fridge & left it in room temperature for about 30 minutes. Then I continued with step 5.
  3. The above recipe is half the original recipe & it yields quite a lot of pastry pockets. So for small serving, you may want to start with half the above recipe. But I must warn you, these pockets are quite addictive! 
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