Monday, July 21, 2014

Celery Bread

Alex Goh has never fail to amaze me with his lovely breads, and he has done it again with this Celery Bread. If you have some celery in your refrigerator, forget about your stir-fry, just this once, make this bread instead. Or buy some celery and make this bread! You would be glad you did!

Full recipe makes 2 lovely loaves of Celery Bread.

This recipe uses the gelatinized starter, where the starter is mixed and left to refrigerate for at least 12 hours before it is mixed into the rest of the ingredients for the dough.

Some celery is blended with a little water to form a thin puree. According to the recipe, he says to add in the celery juice, which I'm not sure whether he meant only the juice, in this case, the puree needs to be strained to get the juice. Or he meant the whole blended puree, which is rather watery. Alex Goh's recipes are good, but his instructions are sometimes very vague, with no further explanations. So I have used the whole blended puree, why waste the good nutritious celery pulps? I've added it to the ingredients and proceed with the making of the bread.

There's chopped celery and chopped ham too. 

Both are kneaded into the dough before the first rise.

The risen dough.

Divide the dough into two, flatten them out to the length of the pans, roll them up tightly and place in the prepared greased baking loaf pans. Cover with greased cling wrap and left to rise until nearly doubled in size.

Bake in a preheated oven at 190C for about 30 minutes until golden brown.

Lovely  bread, could not wait to slice it! 

The texture of the bread is just wonderful. It is soft, moist, and very tasty! It has the light fragrance and crunch from the chopped celery and the ham, of course it makes anything tastes delicious!

Look at how soft the slices are! We finished the two loaves by the third day, and they are just as soft. Do not keep this bread for long at room temperature since it has chopped ham. 

Makes a very good sandwich bread. Yum! A definite keeper recipe! 

**notes : I have made some changes to the shaping of the dough (refer to my instructions below). Alex Goh has divided the dough into 8 small pieces and placed 4 pieces of rolled-up dough in each loaf pan. For convenience, I have however divided the dough into two, simply rolled them up and place each one in each loaf pan.
Celery Bread
(adapted from "Magic Bread", Alex Goh)
(A) : For the gelatinized dough
100gm bread flour
70gm boiling water

325gm bread flour
75gm plain flour
15gm milk powder
50gm sugar
8gm salt
8gm instant yeast

130gm celery + 60gm water ) blend till fine
90gm cold water
30gm cold egg

40gm butter

50gm diced celery
50gm diced ham

  1. Blend the celery with 60gm of water until pureed. (It will be a thin puree).
  2. To prepare the gelatinized dough (A) : pour the boiling water onto the flour, mix until well-blended to form dough. Cover and set aside to cool. Refrigerate for at least 12 hours.
  3. Mix all the ingredients from (B) until well blended. Add ingredients (C) ; cold water, egg and blended celery. Knead to form rough dough. 
  4. Add in butter (D) and knead to form elastic dough. Lastly, add in the diced celery and diced ham (E), knead gently until the ingredients are evenly incorporated into the dough.
  5. Place dough in a large oiled bowl, turn dough so that the oiled side is facing up. Cover loosely with greased cling wrap, and let it proof for 40 minutes, or until doubled in size. 
  6. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and gently deflate dough. Divide the dough into 2 equal-sized pieces and mould each piece into a round. Cover with greased cling wrap and let rest for 10 minutes.
  7. Working with one piece of round dough at a time, flatten and spread out the dough with your hands, roughly to the length of the baking pan, roll it up tightly like a swiss roll. Press the seams to seal, neaten the two sides by tucking a little of the two sides under the dough, and press the seams to seal. 
  8. Place dough in greased baking pan, cover loosely with greased cling wrap and leave to proof for 50 minutes or until dough is nearly doubled in size. 
  9. Preheat the oven at 190C, about 20 minutes before the baking time. Bake the loaves until golden brown, about 30 minutes.
  10. Remove loaves from pan and cool completely on cooling rack.


I'm linking this post with :

Friday, July 18, 2014

Delicious Chicken Bits

It's "July Potluck" at I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC), and I'm cooking with Madhur Jaffrey for this week's dish, Delicious Chicken Bits.

A very easy dish to make, simply marinade cubed pieces of chicken breast with ground black pepper, ground turmeric, chilli powder, ground cumin, dried thyme, garlic powder, red paprika, salt and a tablespoon of oil, for at least 10 minutes or longer. I left mine for 2 hours, keep covered in the fridge. Madhur Jaffrey's instructions are to fry the chicken pieces in a little oil until lightly browned and finish the cooking in the oven for another 8-10 minutes. My guess is, this method is to keep the chicken breasts moist, without drying them from over-frying. I was lazy to do that, and I fry the chicken pieces over low heat until they are cooked through, turning them a couple of times so that they do not dry out. I used two whole chicken breasts, did not weigh them but have used double the amount of spices listed in the recipe, may adjust to your taste. 

The chicken is really moist, soft and tasty. We had it with rice. And it is good when served warm or cold. 
Even a couple of hours later (there were some leftovers, two whole chicken breasts make quite a lot), the chicken is still tender and moist. According to Madhur Jaffrey, these chicken bits may be pierced with toothpicks and nibbled upon with drinks, added to salads or eaten at picnics. And from the photo in the book, it is "nibbled upon" with a glass of beer! Nice!

Delicious Chicken Bits
(adapted from "100 Essential Curries", Madhur Jaffrey)
Serves 6-8
550gm (1-1/4 lb) boned, skinned chicken breasts (4 breast pieces)
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon chilli powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon bright red paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt
vegetable oil

Step One
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Cut each chicken breast piece into thirds, lengthways, and then crossways into a 2 to 2-1/2cm (3/4-1in) segments. Put in a bowl. Add the black pepper, turmeric, chilli powder, cumin powder, thyme, garlic powder, paprika, salt and 1 tablespoon of oil. Mix well and set aside for 10 minutes or longer.

Step Two
Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a wok or large, non-stick frying pan over very high heat. When very hot, put in the chicken. Stir and fry quickly until the chicken pieces are lightly browned or turn opaque on the outside. Put in a baking dish, cover loosely with lightly oiled greaseproof paper which should sit inside the dish and directly on the chicken pieces, and bake for about 8-10 minutes or until the chicken pieces are just cooked through. If not eating immediately, remove the chicken pieces from the hot baking dish to prevent them from drying out.

I'm linking this post to I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC) for this week's "July Potluck"


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Leftover Meatloaf Stir-Fry

This dish was cooked a couple of weeks ago, when I had 2 thick slices of leftover meatloaf, which I made from Paula Deen's recipe, "Old-Fashioned Meatloaf", from my post, here. I was wondering what to do with the leftovers the next day, as heating it up as it is after a night's rest in the refrigerator is not as appealing as when it was freshly baked.

I have some leftover bell peppers too, and some celery stalks in my fridge. And from my pantry basket, some Russet potatoes and red onions. And I knew just what to do with the leftover meatloaf, it is going into a stir-fry dish! I sometimes cook a similar dish just like this one, with luncheon meat, chopped onions, and always with chopped potatoes, sometimes with bell peppers or fresh red or green chillies, depending what I have, and with some sprinkling of red pepper flakes when I want it to be a little spicy. This time I'm cooking the dish with leftover meatloaf and some veggies which I wanted to clear.

This is an easy dish to cook. Firstly, the chopped potatoes are fried in a little oil until browned and cooked. Remove and set aside. Then the onions are sauteed for a minute or two, followed by the pieces of meatloaf, breaking up the meatloaf into small chunks as you fry, stirring frequently until the meatloaf turns lightly brown, which takes about 5 minutes or so. Chopped celery are added in, stir-fry for about 2-3 minutes, then followed by the chopped bell peppers and the pre-fried potatoes. Stir everything to combine, season with salt to taste and a generous sprinkling of coarse black pepper (or red pepper flakes). Continue to stir-fry for a further 2 minutes until the bell pepper are cooked but still maintain their lovely crunch. Dish out and serve!

A simple and delicious way of using up those leftover meatloafs. And a great way of using any leftovers veggies in your fridge. Instead of leftover meatloaf, you can cook this with crispy fried dried anchovies, really good with plain congee or rice.

This is really yummy! The family finished this whole bowl, there's no leftovers!!  :)

Leftover Meatloaf Stir-Fry
(by kitchen flavours)
2 thick slices leftover meatloaf (or 1 whole can luncheon meat, chopped)
1 medium bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 medium stalk celery, chopped, (including the leaves, if any)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 medium Russet potaotes, peeled and cut to 1/4" dices
salt and black pepper to taste
red pepper flakes (optional)

  1. Heat a few tablespoons of oil, fry chopped potatoes, stirring now and then until they are brown all over and cooked through. Remove to a plate, set aside. 
  2. Remove excess oil from the saucepan, leaving behind about 1 tablespoon. Saute the chopped onions for a minute or two, add in the leftover meatloaf (or luncheon meat), breaking the meatloaf into pieces, cooked for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until meatloaf pieces turn brown.
  3. Add in the chopped celery stalks, stir-fry for about 2-3 minutes, add in the chopped bell pepper and the pre-fried potatoes. Stir everything to combine, and fry for another 2 minutes. Season with some salt and black pepper to taste, and for a spicier kick, sprinkle some red pepper flakes to taste. Dish up and serve. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

THB : Chocolate Angel Cake

This week at The Home Bakers (THB), our Bake #38, is Chocolate Angel Cake, selected by Zoe of Bake For Happy Kids. I am not a fan of sponge or angel cakes that has no oil in the ingredients, and the ones I've tried so far, here and here, are somehow too dry to my liking. So when I make this cake, I do not expect much from it, other than it's soft and dry airy texture. But I was pleasantly surprised that this cake is not as dry as I expected it to be.

I made half a recipe and baked in an 8-1/2" chiffon pan with feet, for 40 minutes. This cake uses only egg whites, with no oil or butter, with 2 teaspoons of water and uses cake flour for a lighter texture. The only changes I've made is to reduce the sugar to 1/2 cup (original amount for half a recipe is 1 cup), and the sweetness is just right. This cake uses some instant coffee powder and cocoa powder, which gives it a very nice choco-coffee mocha taste. While the cake is baking in the oven, the whole kitchen smells of coffee and vanilla!

It rises really well, the texture is soft, light, spongy and airy. And with a little moistness without any dryness at all, which is a plus in my books!

Really nice cake to eat on its own, but since I've expected this cake to have a dry texture in the first place, I have reheated some homemade chocolate sauce to eat with the cake, just before I sliced the cake for a "taste-test".

Half the cake was gone last night, we had slices of it with some chocolate sauce spooned over.
And am enjoying a slice now, without the chocolate sauce, it is good enough on its own, for my breakfast, with a cup of coffee.

For the full recipe and instructions, please visit the host of this bake, Zoe of Bake For Happy Kids. To view other members' bake, please visit The Home Bakers (THB).

Welcome to The Home Bakers

We are a group of home bakers who are currently baking from "Coffee Cakes" by Lou Seibert Pappas. This is our bake no. 38 and we have 22 recipes more to go. If you are interested to be a member and join in our bakes, you may drop me an email at

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Sister Jennie's Potato Bread (Bernard Clayton)

This is such a lovely bread. I like it's soft and moist texture, thanks to the star of the ingredient, mashed potatoes. I used 2 medium-sized Russet Potatoes, which makes slightly more than a cup of mashed potatoes. If you have some potatoes in your pantry and have some spare time on a weekend, make this bread, it is really nice!

The full recipe makes two really nice loaves.

The star of the ingredient : Mashed Potatoes.

And do not throw away the water from boiling the potatoes, use it to replace the water in the recipe. I used in total 4-1/2 cups of flour and used the stand mixer to do the kneading, which took about 15-20 minutes. The dough is a little sticky, so a light sprinkling of flour is needed to prevent sticking. After the first rise, the dough is bearable to work with, as it is no longer sticky but soft. 

During baking, keep a close watch, as it will turn brown quite quickly before the bread is done baking. I tent the bread with foil at about 25 minutes after it went into the oven, and continue baking for another 20 minutes until the bread is done. I like the nice golden colour of the crust.

Lovely bread with wonderful moist texture.

And soft!

Makes the perfect sandwich bread. And great with just a spread of salted butter, don't forget that cup of coffee or tea!

Our breakfast sandwich, with ham, slices of cheese and lettuce green! Yummilicious! We even had it with Sunny Side-up Eggs made into sandwich with lettuce green and our favourite mayonnaise-mustard-tomato sauce. 

Sister Jennie's Potato Bread
(adapted from "Bernard Clayton's New Complete Book of Breads")
1 cup plain mashed potatoes (instant flakes and water are fine)
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt (I use 1/3 teaspoon, as butter is salted)
1 package dry yeast (2-1/4 tsp)
1/2  cup hot water (120F -130F) (I use water from boiling the potatoes)
4 to 5 cups bread or all-purpose flour, approximately (I use in total 4-1/2 cups)
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature

Baking pans : 2 medium (8" x 4") baking pans, greased or Teflon

In a large mixer or mixing bowl combine the potatoes, eggs, 1/4 cup sugar, salt, yeast, warm water, and 2 cups flour. Stir into a rough batter. Kneading will come later.
Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and set aside until the batter doubles in volume, 1-1/2 hours.
Meanwhile, cream the butter with the remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Set aside
Remove the plastic wrap and beat down the batter. Stir in the creamed butter and sugar. Add the balance of the flour, 1/2 cup at a time, using a wooden spoon or a mixer flat beater. When the batter gets heavy, replace the beater with a dough hook. The dough will be a rough, shaggy mass that will clean the sides of the bowl. If the dough continues to be moist and sticky, sprinkle with small amounts of flour.
Place the dough in a mixing bowl and pat with buttered or greased fingers. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave until the dough has risen to above twice its original volume, about 1-1/2 hours. You can test if it has risen by poking a finger into it; the dent will remain if it is ready.
Punch down the dough, turn it out onto the work surface again, and knead for 30 seconds to press out the bubbles. With a sharp knife, divide the dough in half. Shape into balls. Let rest under a towel for 3 to 4 minutes.
Form the loaves by pressing each ball into a flat oval, roughly the length of the buttered pan. Fold the oval in half, pinch the seam tightly to seal, tuck under the ends, and place in the pan, seam down.
Place the loaves in a warm place, cover with wax or parchment paper, and let rise to double in volume, above the edge of the pans, 40 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375F, 20 minutes before baking.
Bake the loaves until they are golden brown, about 40 minutes. Turn the loaf out of its pan and tap the bottom crust with a forefinger. A hard, hollow sound means the bread is baked. If not, return to the oven for an additional 10 minutes. If the tops of the loaves appear to be browning too quickly, cover with a piece of foil or brown sack paper. Midway during baking and again near the end of it, shift the pans so the loaves are exposed equally to temperature variations in the oven.
(If using a convection oven, reduce heat 50 degrees).

Remove the bread from the oven. Turn out from the pans and place on a metal rack to cool before slicing.
This loaf will keep well for several days at room temperature. It will keep for 4 to 5 months at 0 degrees in the freezer.
It makes fine toast.



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