Category Archive: food & recipe

Japanese Kabocha Squash Pumpkin Cake Recipe

Today, I would like to share my very best, super-moist and yummy Pumpkin Cake recipe using Japanese Kabocha squash.

kabocha_pumpkin_cake_1

If you’re thinking about making a sweet pumpkin dish during the autumn season, this is definitely the recipe to choose!  It’s moist and truly delicious, making it perfect for giving family and friends something completely new at your Bonfire Night party or even for your Thanksgiving party.

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In Japan, ‘pumpkin’ refers to the green Kabocha squash, so when I moved to the UK, I was surprised to find that a ‘pumpkin’ was an orange vegetable! And that it wasn’t part of traditional English cooking at all!

Kabocha squash is much sweeter and has a more ‘meaty’ texture than pumpkin flesh, in the same way as a ‘floury’ potato. You can use it exactly the same way as the European orange pumpkin.

Ingredients
220 g Kabocha squash – steamed and made into a smooth paste and left to cool.  (Add a small quantity of milk or soy milk if necessary.)
150 g self-raising flour
150 g margarine – softened at room temperature
100 g castor sugar (depending on how sweet you would like it to be)
1 tbsp. castor sugar for the meringue
3 large eggs at room temperature
1/2 tsp. bicarbonate of soda
A small pinch of salt

One 20 cm cake tin

Preparation
1.    Preheat the oven to 170 degrees centigrade.
2.    Separate the egg whites from the yolks.
3.    Measure out all ingredients.
4.    Line the cake tin with baking sheet.

Batter
1.     In a mixing bowl, blend the margarine and castor sugar until white and fluffy – in 2-3 batches.
2.    Adding just one egg yolk at a time, mix the yolks evenly into the batter.
3.    Add the Kabocha paste and blend it into the batter.
4.    Add the rest of the dry ingredients and mix into a well-blended batter.

Meringue
1.    Put all the egg whites and 1 tbsp. castor sugar in a separate dry, clean and non-greasy bowl.
2.    Make the meringue using an electric mixer until it is firm and will stay in upright peaks.

kabocha_pumpkin_cake_9

Mixing everything
1.    Take approx. 1/4 portion of the meringue and mix it into the batter thoroughly.  (This will make the main batter slightly thinner.)

kabocha_pumpkin_cake_10

2.    In 2-3 stages, fold the rest of the meringue into the batter gently.
3.    Pour the mixture into the cake tin carefully. Then shake the cake tin gently to make the surface as flat as possible.
N.B. Take care not to agitate the mixture too much, to avoid releasing the air bubbles in the batter and getting a flat cake.
4.    Bake for 45 – 50 mins.
5.    Then remove the cake from the oven and check it is fully cooked by piercing it with a wooden skewer.  If the cake is properly cooked, you’ll see some small crumbs on the skewer when extracted.
6.    Cool on a cake-rack.

This Yummy Pumpkin cake is absolutely delicious when served hot or cold!

kabocha_pumpkin_cake_3

Honey Pollen Recipe: No-bake Chewy Honey Pollen Granola Bars

Anything home-made is my favourite snack while I’m knitting and I recently learned how to make these tasty honey-flavoured granola bars. They’re very easy to make and absolutely delicious, so I’d like to share one of my original and yummy granola bar recipes!

Bee Pollen Granola Bars

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honey_pollen_granola-bars

About Bee Pollen

I first came across bee pollen, which is a good source of protein by the way, at the Oliveology stall at Borough Market, which specialises in high quality Greek honey products, olives, and olive oils.

honey_pollen

There is something very Japanese about the subtle flavour. I like to sprinkle it on my morning cappuccino or a slice of toast, but it tastes even better with a cup of green tea.

honey_pollen_cappuccino

Honey products from Oliveology are all ethically produced and the welfare of the bees is the primary concern. What is so nice about Borough Market is that you can actually talk directly to the producer.

Marianna, the founder of Oliveology, told me their honey comes from small, independent Greek bee-keepers with many years of experience. These bee-keepers love their bees and protect and nurture them very carefully. In Greece there are many unspoiled areas up in the mountains, where the bees fly in the fresh air and feed on the extraordinarily wide variety of wild herbs and flowers.

The Oliveology bee-keepers never take all the honey away from the bees during the harvest, allowing them to keep and live on what they have actually collected themselves. This is much healthier for the bees than the methods used to make mass-produced honey, where all of the nutritious bee-honey is harvested and the bees are fed with a sugary syrup.

So I always feel reassured about buying the delicious and ‘bee-friendly’ honey products from Oliveology.

No-bake Chewy Honey Pollen Granola Bars Recipe

I hope my enthusiasm is contagious and that you’ll have lots of fun making your own granola bars with bee pollen!

Ingredients:
2 cups jumbo rolled oats
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds & sunflower seeds mixed
80 grams organic runny honey
40 grams light brown sugar
1 tsp. water
40 grams coconut butter, cut into pieces
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
A pinch salt
1/2 cup mixed dried fruit (I used a mixture of Goji berries and sultanas)
1 tbsp. bee pollen

Method
1.   Turn on the oven to 180 C (350 F/Gas Mark 4).

2.   Put the oats and seeds onto a non-stick baking tray and bake for 10 mins. – turning the mixture half-way through.

3.   Whilst they are baking, mix the honey, sugar and water in a bowl and gently melt in the oven for a short period (be careful not to let the mixture burn). Or melt in a pan over a gentle heat, stirring frequently to prevent the mixture caramelising.

4.   Add the vanilla extract to the melted mixture.

5.   In a separate bowl or pan, melt the coconut butter.

6.   Turn the oven off and transfer the oats and seeds to a large bowl.

honey_pollen_granola-bars_1

7.   Add the sugary mixture and dried fruit and mix thoroughly.

8.   Then mix in the melted coconut butter.

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9.   Place the mixture in a 20 cm x 20 cm baking tray or a 20 cm diameter quiche mould.

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10.   Spread it out gently and sprinkle the top with bee pollen.

11.   Press down firmly with a spoon to compact the mixture and leave to cool.

12.   When the mixture is cool, place it in the fridge to harden.

13.   Cut into equal pieces.

It’s delicious with a cup of green tea. Enjoy!

Non-Dairy Beetroot Chiffon Cake Recipe

Hi Everyone!

Before go into the yummy cake topic, just a quick shop announcement. There are no dispatch of items between 23rd Dec to 10th Jan. All digital items are delivered as normal.

Here’s a fabulous, ‘celebration cake’ recipe which I love to make on special occasions.  It’s called Non-dairy Beetroot Chiffon Cake, or ‘Pandan’ Cake in Chinese and it’s perfect for surprising your family and friends this Christmas.

Beetroot Chiffon Cake is super-scrumptious and will bring something new and completely different to your Christmas table!

It’s wonderfully light and moist because it’s made with vegetable oil and my recipe uses less flour and sugar than other cakes of a similar volume (not weight), so it’s also a healthier cake!

beetroot chiffon cake 1

Don’t panic!

Don’t worry – it’s not really made with beetroots, I always use my handy tub of Beetroot Powder. Beetroot Powder is a completely natural and healthy food colour and sweetener, and although you would expect it to make the cake pink, after baking the finished sponge is an attractive light yellow.

But I do sprinkle Beetroot Powder on the top for an eye-catching, vivid pink decoration which makes it a very appetising special occasion (less-fattening) treat.

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 70g granulated sugar (divide into two portions of 40g and 30 g)
  • 70g Self-Raising flour
  • 1 tablespoon Beetroot Powder (A small tub of versatile, natural Beetroot Powder can easily be obtained from Spice Mountain)
  • 60ml (or ¼ cup) water
  • a 20 cm Non-Stick Angel Cake Tin – my tin is 10 cm deep.

Preparation

  • Pre-heat the oven to 170ºC (fan-assisted)
  • Separate the egg yolks & egg whites and put the egg whites into a very clean and dry bowl to make the meringue.
  1. Add 40 g of sugar to a bowl containing the 4 egg yolks. Then use an electric whisk to whizz it until the sugar is completely mixed in.
  2. Into the egg yolk and sugar mixture, add the tablespoon of vegetable oil, the water and the beetroot powder. Make sure each one is completely mixed in before you add the next ingredient.
  3. Then sift the flour and add it very gradually into the mixture, stirring all the time. Try not to add too much at a time, to avoid the mixture being lumpy.

 

Make the meringue

  1. Whisk the egg white using a completely clean and dry whisk. Then add the sugar, one-third at a time. Mix until stiff.
  2. Using a hand whisk, scoop up approx. 1/4 – 1/3 of the meringue and whisk it into the cake mixture, making sure it is completely blended.
  3. Next, fold the rest of meringue gently and swiftly into the batter.
  4. Pour the mixture into the cake tin and bake for 37-40 mins. You can check whether it is completely baked by inserting a thin wooden skewer and if there’s a little clump of cake on it when removed, the cake is done.

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Cooling

  1. Remove the cake from the oven and place the tin upside-down on a cake rack to cool.  This will prevent the delicate sponge from sinking in the middle.
  2. When cool enough to handle, use a sharp knife to separate the edges of the cake from the tin and gently remove the cake.
  3. cut around the edge to take the cake out of the tin.
  4. Put the cake up right then cut the bottom then turn upside down to take the whole cake out.
  5. The bottom of the cake is now the top and all you need to do now is decorate your special Chiffon Cake.

beetroot chiffon cake 6

Decorating

  • Dust a small amount of Beetroot Powder evenly over the moist surface of the cake. (Be careful with the Beetroot Powder, as we all know how it can stain fabrics!)
  • As the top is slightly moist, the Beetroot Powder will turn into a glorious shade of bright pink!

beetroot chiffon cake

And that’s it – a pretty and delicious cake that is light and moist – perfect for those who find traditional Christmas Cake and Christmas Pudding a little on the heavy side!

Wishing everyone a Happy Christmas & a Prosperous New Year!

Kyoko x x x

Challah Recipe – Non-dairy, Extremely Moreish.

Challah bread.

Challah bread.

Today I would like to share my favourite bread recipe, which is challah. Challah is a Jewish bread which is eaten on Sabbath and holidays. Homemade challah is AMAZINGLY moreish and I make it ready for almost every Fridays.

Just a few pointers about this bread:

♥ It’s a firm dough so it would be better to use a mixer such as Kitchen Aid or Kenwood Magi Mix. Firm dough makes the braids look more prominent.

♥ A high sugar content (honey) in the dough makes the it rise slowly (on a cold day, the first rise will take nearly 2 hours at my place). So I would recommend starting the dough a day before. Start in the evening about 4pm. Then you can leave the dough overnight for the second rise. In the morning, all you need to do is to braid and let it prove before baking ready for Sabbath.

♥ The dough may rise significantly large overnight (depending on the yeast and temperature). So you would need to cover the bowl with oiled cling film and possibly place a plate over the bowl so that the dough will not explode out of it (this depends on the bowl you are using – I am using a deep bowl of approx 25cm depth).

♥ This page shows you how to make a 4-braid challah.

♥ The recipe is a modified version of The Bread Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum (great book BTW!). This is my version.

Ingredients:

Ingredients A

2 medium eggs + 1 extra for egg wash
warm water to make up to 240g when weight with eggs (see below for how to measure both eggs and water correctly and separately)

Place two small bowls on a weighing scale and set to zero. Then put eggs in one bowl, then in the other bowl, measure the appropriate quantity of tepid water.

1/2 -1 tsp active dry yeast (Less yeast means that bread will last a little longer but it will rise much more slowly. I use just under 1tsp).
10g honey

Ingredients B

500g strong white bread flour
8g salt
70g honey
25g sunflower oil

Preparation:

Step 1: Mix water, honey and yeast together from ingredient A. If your yeast needs to be activated leave the mixture for about 10 min until the liquid starts to fizz a bit.

Step 2: In a large bowl, whisk the eggs. Add the yeast mixture into the bowl and whisk it for about 1 min until it is slightly bubbly (pic 1).

Step 3: Sieve the flour onto the eggy-yeasty liquid (pic. 2).

Pic 1. Mix eggs and yeast solution until lightly bubbly.

 

Pic 2. Sift flour over the eggy-yeasty liquid to cover it.

Making the dough

Step 1: In the same bowl, add salt, honey and sunflower oil. Knead the whole mixture for 10 min either by hand or 6 min by machine (recommended).

Step 2: When the dough is nice and smooth, make it into a ball by keep folding into the centre (close any seam) and rest it in a large oiled or floured bowl and cover with a cling film.

Step 3: Let the dough rise to double its size.

Step 4: Tip the dough on a surface and remove gas by pressing it all over. Make the dough into a ball again and place it in a large bowl again.

Step 5: Let the dough rise for the second time to double it’s size. This time it will take less to reach the desired size.

Step 6: Tip the dough on a surface and remove gas by pressing. Flatten the dough to more or less a square. Like you would fold a letter, bring the top third into the centre line, then the bottom third on top of it (check this page on baguette section and see how the dough is folded like a letter).

Step 7: Weigh the dough and divide into four equal parts.

Step 8: With your palm, flatten the individual dough and fold length-wise three times again. Then roll it into a long tube of approx. 40cm with the centre slightly thicker than the ends.
Note: If the dough is tough and the dough bounce back even when you stretch, rest the dough for about 20min to allow the gluten strand to relax. You will then be able to roll easily.

Step 9: Braid the dough (see the video link above for how to braid the dough).

Step 10: Let the braided dough rise to double it’s size.

Step 11: Prepare oven: Approx. 30 min after braiding the bread, start and pre-heat the oven to 180C.

Step 12: When the bread is double the size, apply an egg wash (pic 3).
Note: I tend to use just the egg white only. I keep the egg yoke for other cooking and freeze 1/2 egg white for next time I make challah (or meringue).

Pic 4. Applying egg wash.

Step 13: Sprinkle poppy seeds (for me, more poppy seeds on the bread the better).

Step 14: Bang into the oven and bake for 15-20min (pic. 5). Then cover it with aluminium foil to prevent from surface being burnt, then bake for further 10-15 min.

Pic 5. Baking it.

Pic 5. Baking it.

When the bread is out of the oven, place it on a cooling rack. When the bread is cool enough (not cold, but slightly warm) wrap it with cling film to prevent it from drying. By doing this, the bread will keep moist over the weekend.

Enjoy!

Non-dairy Moist Green Tea Pound Cake Recipe

We had an on-off internet problem throughout the weekend and I am finally able to post this!

My mum used to make French style quatre-quarts when I was very small. Recently I tried to recreate the same thing but was horrified to see the amount of butter and sugar used! So you can guess that I changed the recipe completely and added maccha powder (green tea powder). The result is a light and relatively healthy pound cake. I have been eating this every day while perfecting it.

Green tea light pound cake

Green tea light pound cake

Super sweet cakes are not my cup of tea. This cake is something that is mild and nice to eat with something. But you can definitely add a little more sugar to increase it’s sweetness (see the recipe below).

A nice tea break.

A nice tea break.

The tip of this cake is to keep on whisking using an electric mixer. Very slowly drizzle the sunflower oil and soya milk mixture in order to prevent the nice bubbles bursting.

Ingredients:

3 medium eggs
100g cane sugar (I used Tate & Lyle Light Cane sugar)
140 g sunflower oil
40 g soya milk (I used alpro soya)
180 g self-raising flour
2 tsp maccha powder

Equipment:

Cake tin (mine is a very old cake tin 20 cm length, (12.5 cm width & 9 cm depth))
Electric mixer (either hand or something like kitchen aid type mixer are suitable)

Preparation:

  • Turn on and pre-heat the oven to 180C.
  • Line the cake pan with grease proof paper (for some reason I get much better result with using a sheet of grease proof paper than grease the pan and flouring it).
  • Sift the flour and maccha mixture once.
Flour and maccha powder to be sifted.

Flour and maccha powder to be sifted.

Step 1: Mix the eggs and sugar in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, whisk for 10 min until white and flully (pic 1).
Step 2: In a small jug, mix the sunflower oil and soya milk using a spoon so that you get a nice emulsion (pics 2 & 3).
Step 3: Very slowly drizzle the oil and soya milk mixture to the batter made in step 1. If possible keep on whisking (if not, add a little, then mix – repeat this process).
Step 4: When you get a nice fluffy even mixture of eggs, sugar, oil and soya milk (wet ingredient), stop mixing. Sift the flour and maccha powder (dry ingredient) into the batter. Carefully mix using a scraper not to burst any air bubbles.
Step 5: When you have mixed the dry and the wet ingredients so that there are no powder to be seen in the mixture, pour the mixture into the cake tin.
Step 6: Even out the surface by lightly tapping the bottom of the cake.
Step 7: Bake at 180C for the first 8 min then reduce the temperature to 170C and bake for further 25-30 min or until the skewer comes out with small crumbs of cake (if it doesn’t then it is definitely cooked so take it out of the oven quickly to prevent it from drying)

Pic 1.

Pic 1. Mix until the batter is white and fluffy

Pic 2.

Pic 2. Soy and sunflower oil mix. I thought it looked pretty.

Pic 3.

Pic 3. Mix it to make into an emulsion so that it is easier to mix later.

According to my husband, it tastes great with strawberries and blueberries on the side. Perfect for a gift when you visit your friends and families. A nice Japanese-style tea break. :D Enjoy!

Im addicted to so mant things. This is one of them.

I'm addicted to so many things. This is one of them.

This is how I eat it.

This is how I eat it.

This is how Wesley eats it.

This is how Wesley eats it.

Pesto & Pesto Salad Dressing Recipe

I love pesto like no tomorrow, especially when it’s made of parsley rather than basil. I think the taste of parsley pesto is slightly simpler and less herbal. This week has gone fast. I have managed to finish off one large chunk of it so it’s time to celebrate with yummy healthy food.

Pesto is so versatile because not only it can be used for pasta dishes but also it makes a wonderful savory bread, topping for fish, meat and vegetables etc. As there are not many ingredients in pesto, the higher the quality of the ingredients, the better pesto you would end up with. Here is my recipe:

PESTO - Makes 3 large table spoonful

Note: The amount here works for the mini food mixer (e.g. Kenwood). If you have a larger food processor like magimix you can double or triple the amount.

Ingredients

20g pine nuts – I tried sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and both of them make a wonderful pesto. I think the River Cottage Every Day recipe calls for pumpkin seeds.

1 clove of garlic

25g fresh parsley – I usually weight it first then wash it. This way I know I have measured the actual plant rather than water.

25g Reggiano Parmegiano

50-100ml extra virgin olive oil

1/4 lemon juice

salt & pepper

Mix them together

1) In a food mixer, put pine nuts, garlic and roughly sliced parmesan cheese (if you have grated it finely, you can add it later). Blitz them until they are all roughly chopped.

2) Add parsley in the food mixer. Blitz them until parsley is finely chooped and mixed with the rest of the ingredients.

3) Add extra virgin olive oil. Blitz them until the mixture is nice and runny. Note: I have read in other pesto recipe to add olive oil slowly once at a time. I am lazy so I don’t do it, but you can definitely try it. I think it would make the mixture much more homogenous.

4) Transfer the mixture into a bowl. Add lemon juice and salt and pepper to adjust the taste.

Pesto & Pesto Salad Dressing Recipe

Pesto & Pesto Salad Dressing Recipe

PESTO SALAD DRESSING - The quantity if not much but it dresses enough salad for two.

This is my regular stuff. It goes well with everything and I can eat so much salad with it. Highly recommended.

Ingredients:

1 tsp pesto (as above)

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar

salt & pepper to taste.

1) Mix all the ingredients at once.

After dressing the pesto salad dressing. I can eat so much greens with it.

After dressing the pesto salad dressing. I can eat so much greens with it.

Happy scrumptious weekend!

Moist Banana Honey Cake – So Easy & So Yummy

Danger! This cake is SERIOUSLY GOOD. I have made so many now and literally finished them before I give away to friends.

How are you all? It’s so hot in London. All my food goes off quickly. I don’t like it. This includes my bananas. I buy new bananas every week but the “fume” of the old ones ripen the new ones so it’s a bad cycle.

So, in the past couple of months I have been researching and improving on my banana cake recipe and I think I got it.

Moist Banana Honey Cake

The memory of banana cake goes back to when I was 13. This was when I first came to the UK and stayed in a boarding school. On of my friend who was a day girl at the time (i.e. she did not board but came to school from home every day) and her grandma baked banana cake for her to take to the class. The cake was so yummy with sweet banana with a tinge of caramel. So yummy that I used to look forward to it all the time. At the same time missed my family not being around.

Now I am a grown-up girl. I can make my own. So here is the recipe. As you have read above, it really is good so I do recommend making it when there are people around so that you don’t finish all of it by yourself.

This one is a pecan nut version. Really nice.

Ingredients:

150g self-raising flour
70g castor sugar (I used 20g light cane and 5g Splenda and it works really well)
2 medium eggs (chilled would be better)
100ml vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon (tsp) bicarbonate of soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
50g runny honey (use a good quality one as it makes a huge difference!)
2 ripe banana (approx 240-245g when mushed) mash them and sprinkle 1/2 lemon juice

Optional: 20g nuts blitzed to sprinkle over the cake to decorate (I have used pecan and pistacchio on separate occasions)

Any left over nuts can be used for this cake. Pistacchio add nice colour to the cake.

Preparation:

Preheat the oven (mine is a fan assisted oven) to 160C. Make sure you do this a bit before you start. This is because the cake is so easy to make and you want the oven to be at the right temperature when the batter is ready.
Grease the cake pan (20cm) and line with baking parchment (if it’s non stick, there is no need – I am often too lazy to line the tin..!)

Step 1: Mix flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt and cinnamon and leave it aside (dry ingredients).
Step 2: Put sugar and eggs in a bowl. Use an electric whisk until white and fluffy (about 5-10 min whisk at medium speed).
Step 3: Slowly drizzle the honey followed by vegetable oil while whisking into the batter.
Step 4: Sift the dry ingredients over the batter and mix carefully not to disturb the bubbles in the batter.
Step 5: When the dry ingredient is almost mixed, add the mushed banana. Again, mix carefully.
Step 6: Pour into the cake tin (optional: sprinkle with blitzed nuts) and bake for 35-40min or until the skewer comes out with small crumbs of cake.

I lined the whole pecan nuts to decorate...

Put the cake onto a rack and cool. You can eat it immediately or chill it.

Serving suggestions:
Have it with a good quality vanilla ice cream.

Goes well with a nice cup of coffee (or tea)

Have a nice banana afternoon :D

Black Sesame Bloomer

Some of you already know my recent baking craze. It is still there. In fact, it is getting worse (LOL!). My staple diet (this includes Wesley’s too), has changed from good old Japanese rice to bread. No potato, no noodles, no pasta, but BREAD (and sometimes cakes).

I am now baking so much that there aren’t enough people to eat my baked goods. Unfortunately Kumo and Wata prefers protein. So I take some of my bread and cakes to the porter’s lodge. I am so happy because they really appreciate it ;D

Black Sesame Bloomer

Today is my first recipe to be unveiled. I have lots more but I thought my black sesame bloomer will be a good start. I will be listing more recipes from now on and you can access to them by clicking the button with a bagel on it on the right column.

black sesame breadIn Japan, you see black sesame used in loads of cooking. Black sesame tofu, sweets, tempura batter etc… I love the nutty taste of black sesame. It goes so well both savory and sweet. I wanted to make this bread so that Wesley can take few slices to work and have them as either with margarine or jam / honey as much as for me to enjoy my afternoon snack time (LOL)!.

black sesame bloomer

Fermented white dough (the recipe below makes 340g) - this recipe is modified version of Richard Bertinet book of “Crust“.

Strong white flour 200g
Water 140g
Fresh yeast 5g
Salt 1/2 tsp

For black sesame bloomer

Fermented white dough 170g (see preparation below)
Strong white flour 200g
Tepid water 130g
Black sesame toasted 20g
Salt 1/2 tsp
Honey 20g

Preparation

1) For the fermented white dough, mix all the ingredients and knead for 10 min (or better, use a handmix with a pair of dough hook). This will be quite a wet dough. Shape the dough into a ball using extra flour so that it does not stick to the surface or your fingers. Return it to a slightly floured bowl. Cover with a plastic film and leave for 4 hours at room temperature or overnight in a fridge. After this time, the dough will have lots of bubbles and have lost its shape.

2) Grind the toasted sesame (photo below) until it becomes rough powder with some bits left. I use the traditional Japanese grinder (it’s really good BTW).

preparating black sesame

Making the dough and proving it

1) Mix the flour, water, salt , black sesame and honey together. Knead for 10 min until the dough is smooth and elastic.

2) Add 170g femented white dough. Knead for further 5 min.

3) Shape the dough into a ball and place it into a slightly oiled bowl (photo below). Cover with a plastic film. Prove until it has doubled its volume.

black sesame bread dough4) Deflate the dough and re-shape it into a ball once again. Prove again until it has double its volume.

Shaping and baking

1) Gently tip the dough onto a floured surface smooth side down. Shape the dough into a bloomer shape (a good video tutorial here). Place the bread on to a baking parchment on an oven tray. Cover with a plastic film and prove for 1 hour (or it has increased its size just less than a double).

2) Preheat the oven to 180C. Have the oven tray at the bottom (to put water – see later).

3) Slash the bread criss cross (the best way to do it is to slash 45 degrees angle from the surface).

4) When you are aready to bake, add 200 ml water onto the botton oven tray and steam the oven for 5 min.

5) Put the bread in the oven quickly so as not to let the steam excape. Switch off the oven for 5 min. This is to allow oven spring.

6) Switch the oven once again (at 180 C) and bake further 25 min or until the bread sounds hollow when you tap the bottom.

Eating

Leave the bread to cool on a rack. To keep it moist, cover it with a foil when cool.

The bread goes really well with good quality honey. Enjoy ;)

P.S. If you like the recipe, please re-tweet it (thank you!)

Comfort Baking

This week I have been baking a lot. It’s mainly because I haven’t been feeling well at all and tidying up and packing to prepare for moving home is very tiring. So I have been wanting to eat some fresh comfort food. It’s amazing how much successful baking make you happy.

These were really good. Being a J-boy, W was well impressed of my homemade bagels!

I never knew bagels were first boiled. It was so much fun :D

Did you also know that bagels make cats neck long?

I have been perfecting my croissant techniques.

One day I will be a top croissant baker... LOL!