rice cake confessional

adventures in eating

breadmaking asian style

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I told you I was on a cooking class kick.

I had 8 hours of cooking class this weekend. First, of course, was my weekly basics course at Palate Sensations followed by a breadmaking class at Creative Culinaire on Sunday. This was my first class at CC although I had heard great things about Chef Judy Kho who runs the school and the adjacent cafe. She is nothing if not passionate for baking. She is also super nice and super patient and while 5 hours of baking seem crazy long it goes by in a flash.

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Hello there, little dough ball. I like you and all of your friends.

Unlike the classes at Palate Sensations (PS), Creative Culinaire includes theory which is good and bad. Good because it’s good information, bad because sometimes you just want to start making stuff already and the theory stuff makes you antsy.

Today we made pandan red bean buns, sausage buns, ham and cheese buns, almond twists, and chocolate horns. I made up some of those names but you get the idea. Since this was our first class, Chef Judy had to do a lot for us. She made 2 of the main doughs we worked with including the dough for the ham and cheese (foreground) and the pandan dough (background).

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Keep an eye on that pandan back there.

We learned two types of doughs – direct and indirect. One of them all the ingredients go in at once. The other has several stages. Both involve lots of saran wrap, some crazy active yeast, and some punching.

Any self respecting baker has some good toys. In addition to the monster proofer they also have one of those gigantor mixers. It’s the press conference to your KitchenAid’s conversation.

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Did you like the Mariah Carey reference? No?

I told you to keep an eye on that pandan dough. Look at it. It’s downright beastly.

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After some hacking and rolling we got things back under control. Rolling things into balls is my favorite part. Take that giant dough ball. These are all 60g because baking is precise like that.

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You let ’em grow a bit more and then flatten ’em and add a ball of red bean paste (16g if you’re paying attention).

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At this point Chef Judy shows us how to make them pretty. Here’s the obligatory chef shot of the day.

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You can laugh at this point as most of my buns looked CRAZY. Mine are the four on the right including the one that looks like a slug in the middle and the other that looks like… um I dunno what it looks like but it’s ugly. The two round ones look okay. To whoever has to eat them, the ugly ones taste the same as the non-ugly ones. This picture, btw, is what they look like after their second rise (aka proofing).

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We added Italian herbs to the dough that Chef Judy made (the one in the foreground in the beginning) and rolled them up with some chicken ham.

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I added chilli sauce and cheese to mine and opted to leave out the mayo and mixed frozen veggies.

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The first picture in this post is me and my baking partner, Sheryl’s, dough. One important step in the breadmaking process – after the first rise and before the shaping – is the punching. You gotta evenly distribute the air and relieve some of your pent up rage. Here we are beating the ever living crap out of our dough.

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Afterwards you shape it into pretty knots and wrap hotdogs in it.

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Ha ha it looks like a face. A not amused face. I forgot to take a picture of the inbetween phases but here are our plain dough buns. They are a little bit over browned because ours went into the oven first. The two on the bottom left were later filled with chocolate custard.

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We did some crazy cutting to the wrapped up hot dog.

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And then we sprinkled pearl sugar and almonds onto the knots (note that these are sans hotdogs on the inside). These knots are not easy but fun to make after you figure it out.

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The red bean buns came out nice after a little egg wash and a sprinkling of sesame seeds.

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I was starving after 5 hours of baking so I ate one of the ham buns as a reward. Yum.

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Here’s a full picture of the bounty we took home.

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We each took home an even dozen which I will take to work to share tomorrow.

If you’re interested in taking a class check out the Creative Culinaire website. This class is the first class in the Hands On Art & Science of Breadmaking – Foundations series. It’s around SGD370for 4 classes that are each 5 hours each. Next round is happening in December.

Creative Culinaire: 17 Eng Hoon Street #01-03 Eng Hoon Mansions, Singapore 169767 (right down the street from the Tiong Bahru hawker center)

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Written by joann

October 18, 2009 at 11:37 pm

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