Friday, January 8, 2010
This is the perfect time to check out blogs. Most bloggers will do a roundup of their favorite posts in the previous year, so we will get to know the annual mainstream of their baking or cooking without actually going through the long archive.
Apparently most bloggers would have chosen the best of their baking from photos or their tasting memory. It is the fact that no bloggers can blog about their food without tasting them first right? They have done the filtering, rest assured. So when they present the best 10 of the year, I am pretty sure they are really the best 10 they have been happy with.
Meanwhile, I enjoy seeing those roundup photos, mostly because there are a whole series of nice photographs being lined up next to each other like a nice tapestry or a sweet table calendar I got from my Finance colleague every first month of the year. Very eye pleasing!
I didn't do a roundup of my posts but sort of running through what I kept in my mind (and in my computer of course!) and I noticed I didn't bake any bread at all the entire year. Would be nice to start a new year with a bit of change. I have been following some bread baking blogs and that should remind me of getting a copy of Peter Reinhart's The Bread Baker Apprentice soon. This book seems like the holy grail of bread baking no one should miss.
As I was flipping through Dean Brettschneider's Global Baker, I had noticed there was bread I wanted to bake. And without any delay, I decided to start scaling the flour...
FIG AND CINNAMON SCONE TWIST
Makes 2 loaves with the length of 29cm
- Dried figs – remove stems and finely chop > 200 grams
- Dark rum > 50 ml
- Ground cinnamon > 2 teaspoons
- Softened butter > 50 grams
- Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and stir well.
- Cover with cling film and chill overnight.
2. Egg Wash:
- Egg yolk > 1
- Water > 2 tablespoons
- Mix both together and whisk briefly.
3. Fruit Glaze
- Fruit jam (apricot, mango, strawberry, etc.) > 4 tablespoons
- Water > 3 tablespoons
- Mix fruit jam and water in a saucepan and bring to boil. Stir constantly.
- Strain through a sieve. Set aside.
- All purpose flour > 380 grams
- Caster sugar > 30 grams
- Baking powder > 25 grams
- Salt > ¼ teaspoon
- Butter – cut into small pieces > 60 grams
- Milk > 190 ml
- Egg > 1
- Sift the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl.
- Rub butter pieces into flour mixture until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
- Separately, whisk milk and egg together and pour into the flour mixture.
- Use a wooden spoon to mix until it forms a soft dough.
- Place dough on a floured surface and knead for 20 seconds. Do not overknead as the dough will become too elastic.
- Cut the dough into 2 pieces to make 2 small loaves.
- Shape each piece into a square and roll with a rolling pin into a 25 cm square.
- Spread filling evenly on top of each dough sheet, leaving 1 cm free at the top edge. Brush this edge with egg wash.
- Roll the dough sheet up from bottom to top edge to form a log.
- Starting about 1 inch from top of the log, use a sharp knife and make a single length way cut down the middle of the loaf all the way through.
- Take the 2 strands - one in each hand, with the cut side of each strand facing up – twist around each other. Brush the two strand ends with egg wash and press firmly together. Place the loaf on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
- Repeat for the second loaf. Place on the baking tray well apart from the other loaf.
- Preheat oven to 180C.
- Brush loaves with egg wash and rest for 10 minutes.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes. Turn the tray halfway through to ensure even color.
- Remove loaves from baking tray and brush with fruit gel.
- Cool on a wire rack.