Japanese Milk Bread

This bread is one of the most popular bread in Asia- especially Japanese and Chinese. It’s super delicate and soft, with a hint of sweet taste that you will instantly fall in love. If you are in Australia, you can find them in Bread Top before deciding whether you want to do a home-made version. The ingredients listed on the Bread Top website include “Wheat Flour, Eggs, Sugar, Condensed Milk, Butter, Yeast Gluten, Butter, Milk Powder, Improver, Salt.”. This is slightly different to the ones that I made, however, the taste is very similar (or better) as well.

Japanese Milk Bread

Another secret of making the fluffiest bread is also called- TangZhong, also known as, the Water Roux Method. Basically, all you need to do is heat some water or milk in a pot, then slowly add flour in until it turns into a thick, smooth but very sticky paste. You can do this in advance and save it in a tightly sealed container for a couple days. The purpose of Tang Zhong is to form a gel for the starches to hold the water together. This keeps the bread moist and will last longer as well.

Let’s get baking!
Recipe adapted from Christine Recipe.


Japanese Milk Bread

Yields: 4 loafs
Ingredients (Tangzhong):

50g of bread flour
1 cup (250g) of full-fat milk (or water)

Ingredients (Bread dough):

375g of bread flour
4 tbsp of caster sugar
1 packet (7g) of active dry yeast
(OR 2 teaspoons of instant dry yeast)
50g of cream
110g of full fat milk
1/2 cup of condensed milk
1 egg
1 tsp of salt
145g Tang Zhong
30g (or 4 tbsp melted) of butter

Other:
1 egg (for egg wash)

Method (Tang Zhong):

1. Bring flour and water/milk in a pan on low heat.
2. Constantly stir until your whisk leave trace behind.
3. Leave aside to cool or store in the fridge for later use.

Method (Bread dough):

1. Mix egg, butter, milk, cream and condensed milk until combined.
2. In a sepearte bowl, sift flour and add salt, sugar and yeast to combine.
3. Gradually add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients to combine.
4. Add 145g of Tang Zhong and knead.
5. The dough should be a little bit sticky but able to form into a ball shape.
6. Leave aside in a warm environment (e.g. microwave or oven) for around 2 hours.
7. Once the dough has doubled in size, punch the dough to release air bubbles.
8. Sprinkle bench top with flour and kneed the dough for about 5 mins.
9. Cut the dough into 4 pieces and roll the dough flat into an oval shape with a rolling pin.
10. Fold one side into the centre and same with the other side.
11. Flip it to the opposite side, using a rolling pin to flatten it out more.
12. Carefully scroll the dough and set aside in the bread baking tin.
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13. Once you scrolled 4 doughs, leave it aside for another 30 – 60 minutes until it double in size.
14. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 180 degrees on fan forced.
15. Once the dough finished proofing, brush egg wash around the bread dough.
16. Bake it for around 15 minutes or until the top is golden.
17. Remove from the baking tray and let it cool on a rack.
18. Serve by itself or with some butter/jam!

Smell that deliciousness.
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Philly Cheese Steak Jaffle

Who’s a Masterchef fan here? In last week’s Tuesday episode (Season 7, Episode 8), the top three contestants (Reynold, Ashleigh and Jessica) had to make jaffles (which is a fancier word for cheese toasties, in my opinion) to win the immunity pin. Are you wondering what was the winning jaffle like? The jaffle that won all three judges heart was named Jaffa Jaffle by Asheligh. The jaffle was filled with ricotta, dark chocolate, pistachio and cardamom. Find her recipe here.

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So as always, with my brain running 100 miles per hour like the contestants as well, I tweeted this on Twitter.

Surprisingly, Masterchefau’s Twitter responded: “Mmm sounds like a winning filling!”. I was so excited with that comment, I even shared it on my Instagram and Facebook page straight away! HAHA!

But on the serious note, I actually DID make it. For people who never heard of Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich, it is a classic and iconic sandwich that represents Philadelphia town in America.

Toasted Sandwich

So, I started doing research on how to re-create it as authentic as possible. The type of cheese they use in Philadelphia for the cheese steak is either Cheese Wiz or Provolone- which I did not have in hand. However, I still made a cheese sauce using the only cheese I have in the fridge- Perfect Italiano’s 4 Cheese Melt (romano cheese, cheddar cheese, traditional mozzarella cheese and easy melt mozzarella cheese). This cheese sauce is optional, you can add the shredded or pieces of cheese in between the onions, mushrooms and the steak before you put it in the jaffle maker.

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I also froze the piece of steak for 20 minutes so it hardens up a little bit which makes it easier to thinly slice it against the grain (not parallel to the muscle fiber), creating a ‘melt-in-your-mouth’ texture.
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HERE IT GOES!


Philly Cheese Steak Jaffle

Cost: Around $5-7 Serves: 2

Ingredients:

1 rib eye steak (freeze 20 minutes before slicing)
1 medium size onion
1/2 teaspoon of brown sugar
1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar
1 cup of mushroom (optional)
Cheese of your choice
(preferably a mix of cheddar and old english)
4 pieces of bread
Oil
Salt & Pepper
Spreadable butter for the bread

Cheese sauce (optional):
3-4 tablespoons (50g) of melted butter
2 teaspoon of plain flour
1/2 cup of full cream milk
1/2 cup of cheese

Method:

Caramelized Onion:
1. Slice or chop onion (depends how you like the texture)
2. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and fry onions until slightly brown.
3. Add 1/2 teaspoon of brown sugar, stir.
4. Add 1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar.
5. Cook until translucent and set aside.

Caramelized Onion

Sautéed Mushroom:
1. 
Add 1 teaspoon of oil. Fry the mushrooms until soft.
2. 
Add salt and pepper. Taste. Set aside.

Sauteed Mushroom

Cheese Sauce (optional):
1. Melt butter in a pan.
2. Add 2 teaspoon of flour (as a thickening agent) and stir until no lumps.
3. Gradually add 1/2 cup of milk while stirring the mixture.
4. Once it begins to thicken up, add 1/2 cup of cheese (or more).
5. Taste. Add salt if needed.
6. Take off the heat once everything is well combined.

Cheese Sauce

Seared steak:
1. Freeze steak for 20-25 minutes.
2. After 20 minutes, slice the steak as thinly as you can.
3. Add salt and heat a pan with 1 tbsp of oil.
4. Lightly sear the steak in a pan.
*DO NOT OVERCOOK*
4. The steak should still be rare because it will continue
to cook in the jaffle maker.

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To assemble:
1. Spread butter on a piece of bread.
2. Place bread with butter side down in the jaffle maker.
3. Pile onion and mushroom on top. Don’t be stingy!
4. Pour cheese sauce on top or place your pieces/shredded cheese on top.
5. Pile steak on top of the cheese.
6. Spread butter on another piece of bread to close the sandwich.
7. Close the jaffle maker and wait patiently for 5 minutes or more.
8. Open and check if the bread is toasted enough.
Serve with a side salad!

Philly Cheese Steak Jaffle
 This was one hell of a good sandwich.

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Homemade Butter!!

Hm…do I need to add more adjectives to the title? Like “homemade smooooth butter” or “homemade creammmmy butter”? Nah, just these two words “homemade butter” already makes me scream YUMMMM! If it doesn’t do that to you…then I think you don’t love butter enough.

Homemade butter

When people heard that I made my own butter, they went…”wow” “really?!”. But even before I started to do research on how to make my own butter, it wasn’t something that I thought I would ever make it myself as well. Because…it’s only like $3 – $5 to buy a whole tub of butter in supermarkets right?

Then the research process started…and then I realised how INCREDIBLY easy it is to make your own butter. They say you need to churn your butter, and even the word churn made me feel like I need some kinda special machine to “CHURN”. Nope, I was wrong. All you really need is a hand-held electric mixer, a shallow mixing bowl, milk/cream and ice water. Some even say that you can shake it in a jar until it seperate (yes, work that muscle). A blender will work perfectly as well.

Making butter from cream

After a messy 10 minutes, for the first time ever, I was holding a big ball of super soft and light-weight butter. Spread it on a piece of toast, and oh-my, it just melts in your mouth straight away! The texture was super soft and creamy. Never have I had so much butter in such a short amount of time.

Here it goes.


Homemade Butter

Cooking Time: 20 minutes Cost: AUS $4
Ingredients:

600ml pure cream (or more)
ice water (to wash the butter)

Tools:

Electric Mixer/ Blender/ Stand mixer
Mixing bowl
Sieve/Cheesecloth

Method:

1. Pour cream into mixing bowl and beat it for around 10 minutes.
Thickened cream
2. You will realise the cream starts to thicken and eventually split into buttermilk and butter.
3. Once it splits, scrape the side of the bowl and beat for a few more minutes.
Buttermilk and butter
4. Pour the mixture into a sieve and press it down to get all the buttermilk out.
(Alternatively, you can use a cheesecloth instead)
Squeeze out buttermilk
5.
Rinse the butter in ice water (to prevent it from melting) until the water turns clear.
(It took me around 7 washes.)
6. Add salt in and give it a good mix. Don’t add salt if you want unsalted butter.
7. Put in a sealed container, you can either freeze it if you made a big batch,
or just leave it on the counter so it is ready to use at all times!
Spread butter

ENJOY!!


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The Return of Writing- HOW TO SERIES

A lot of things happened in the past few months! Because of Alchemic Feed, I was exposed to an exciting opportunity to work in a commercial cafe kitchen as a COOK! For the coming weeks, I’m going to roll out a “How To” series- covering from the most basic cooking skills to help you, and myself, to learn, improve and explore to be our own personal home-cook chef. Ahhh, I’m excited.

WHAT’S COMING? ALCHEMIC FEED’S FIRST YOUTUBE VIDEO!

My ingredients and steps for the “How To” questions MAY NOT be the best way nor the most correct way. They will be based on my own research, experiences and other people’s opinions. There are many ways out there in this universe; so please feel free to comment on Alchemic Feed’s Facebook page <– (click) or Instagram (#alchemicfeed) to share YOUR WAY! I would love to hear how you do it too.

ALSO! Please don’t hesitate to ask me “How do I do this?” “How to cook a…?”, because I may not know it myself as well, and we can all mingle together. HAHA! I can not wait for this learning journey to begin.


HOW TO COOK
THE PERFECT SCRAMBLED EGGS? (TWO WAYS)

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Ingredients:
1 dozen eggs
1 bunch of Chives
2 tbsp unsalted butter
Splash of Milk/Cream
Salt & Pepper

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(The SMOOOTH WAY)

Direction:

1. Beat two eggs in a bowl with salt and pepper.
3. Heat butter in a pan over low heat until butter slowly foams.
4. Pour in the egg. When the egg starts to cook, gently push it with a spatula/wooden spoon.
5. Remove from the heat if the eggs cook too fast.
You want to maintain that soft egg texture.
6. Add chives for an extra kick.
7. The size of the egg curds depends on how much you stir the egg.
Aim for a slightly undercooked, velvety texture.
8. If desired, add a splash of milk/cream/butter to stop the cooking process.
9. Taste and season. Serve on toast.

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(THE CREAMY WAY)

1. Crack 2 eggs into a bowl with a nob of butter.
2. Pour in the pot over low heat and continuously stir the egg.
3. Keep mixing, your arm will be sore!
4. Remove from the heat to catch up with the stirring to avoid egg overcooked.
5. Add chives and keep stirring for a smooth egg custard.
6. Remove from heat and add milk/cream/butter.
7. Season with S&P and serve on toast.

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YUMMM.

Photography, videography & post-edit: Eyes of Ed
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