Wednesday, June 30, 2010

100630 - my first dough baking experience 1.5 hrs

Inspired by this VERY easy looking easy finger bread recipe, I can't wait to try using doughs to bake or steam bread. After some research on my manual (I don't think I've ever used any other manuals so much), I decided I had three choices to make the dough:

option 1: basic - dough cycle: takes 2h20m
Option 2: pizza dough cycle: takes 45 min
Option 3: basic - bake rapid cycle (break the cycle to take out the dough): takes 1h15m-1h20m

As I don't have much time on a Wednesday night, I decided to try the pizza dough cycle which takes the shortest time.

'Pizza'-'Dough' (45min)

Dry yeast 1 tsp
Bread flour 475 g (I used plain flour)
Salt 1 tsp
Dry milk 1 tbsp
Sugar 1 3⁄4 tbsp
Olive oil 2 tbsp
Water 330 ml

(finally a recipe without butter which I never stock at home!)

After exactly 45 minutes the machine beeped. I took out the dough which was very soft and warm and quite sticky to my hands (normal for a soft dough) and placed it on a floured surface. I kneaded it a little and cut it into 9 pieces. Then I rolled each piece out using hands (I didn't care about the shape) and spreaded different things in each piece. No. 1 and 2 was strawberry jam, No 3 and 4 was some Chinese preserved veggies in my fridge, No 5 and 6 was simply oil and salt, No 7 and 8 was dry italian herbs and shredded cheese, No 9 was honey. I was trying to get varieties to try all the tastes. And I tried to make two of each variety so I could see the difference between baking and steaming.

So after making them I put No 1,3,5,7,9 on a piece of greaseproof paper on an oven tray at the lowest level of the oven, and No 2,4,6,8 on a piece of greaseproof paper in a steam pot. The oven was preheated to 50 degrees and the steam pot wasn't preheated. Then I started to steam on high and bake at 170 degrees. After the water started boiling I reduced the heat. Then at about 10-15 minutes I stopped both the steam pot and the oven and took everything out. Here's how they looked like when I stopped cooking:

The baked ones:
The steamed ones:
Like all the people have said, they're SOOOO much better than the bread machine loaves. I don't like the thick crusts that the bread machine loaves produce, and oven baking doesn't seem to create thick crusts, and steamed ones are even better - no crust at all.

And I like the fact that I can add any type of flavours into the rolls so I can produce tastier end products. I love the jam rolls and the honey rolls. They're just as sweet as I wanted. I also like the other slightly salty rolls. They make the rolls so much more interesting.

A few minutes after they were out, the baked ones were still as nice as they just came out - puffed. But the steamed ones seemed to have shrunk a little, and don't seem to be as puffed any more. See below pictures (I took a piece off each roll to have a taste so now they all look ugly).
So I guess, if I want to bake, I can bake them immediately after I've shaped the rolls. But if I want to steam, I may need proofing before heating them up.

I started at about 5pm and everything I made was ready to eat at 6:30pm (45 min pizza dough cycle,30 min making rolls, 15 min baking/steaming). I'm so happy it didn't take long. Compared to using bread machine to make loaves, or making the Chinese buns in our traditional way, 1.5 hours is very very short.

And even better: the pizza dough cycle can be delayed! So I can time it to finish in the morning when I wake up, and use only 45 minutes to make fresh tasty breakfast! Well 45 minutes doesn't sound short for preparing breakfast but if what I get is freshly baked jam rolls or honey rolls, that's heaven!

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