Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Soft Potato Buns #BreadBakers

These soft potato buns are made with cooked mash potatoes. They are light, fluffy and just sweet enough to qualify as sweet bread, especially with the vanilla custard crosses.

Food Lust People Love: These soft potato buns are made with cooked mash potatoes. They are light, fluffy and just sweet enough to qualify as sweet bread, especially with the vanilla custard crosses.


Years ago, when we first moved to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, I was delighted to discover the hypermarket chain Carrefour there. I first fell in love with Carrefour’s clean, bright, well-stocked stores in their native France and again when a branch opened just outside of Rio de Janeiro, when we lived in Brazil. My friends and I would drop the kids at school, drive two and a half hours there for a big shopping trip, then turn around and drive back home. Good times!

One thing that Carrefour does very well wherever they do business is offer high quality local products and traditional flavors, as well as imported French specialties. The best of both worlds.

In KL and Singapore, the in-house bakery made sweet soft potato rolls very much like the ones I am sharing today. They were baked on enormous sheet pans, then divided into groups of nine and bagged up warm. Nothing made us happier than to arrive just as a fresh batch came out.

Often we’d buy two steamy bags because that first one didn’t even make it home; it was quickly devoured as soon as we got in the car.

Soft Potato Buns

This recipe was adapted from one in Singaporean Chef Agnes Chang’s book I Can Bake which I found on the blog Bake for Happy Kids and adapted further. My elder daughter has been making it for the last couple of years, always preparing the dough and leaving it to rise slowly overnight, because you want these buns for breakfast! If you don’t have time to cook homemade custard, you can certainly substitute store-bought or, as in Chef Chang's original recipe, custard made from powder.

Ingredients
For the dough:
5 1/3 oz or 150g peeled potato
2 3/4 cups or 350g bread flour
1/3 cup or 80ml water used to boil the potatoes
1/3 cup or 66g sugar
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
30g milk powder
1 large egg
1/3 cup or 75g butter, softened, plus a little extra for dough bowl

For the egg wash:
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons milk
pinch of salt

For the custard:
1⁄4 cup or 55g fine (caster) sugar
1⁄3 cup or 42g all-purpose flour
1⁄8 teaspoon salt
1 cup or 240ml milk
2 egg yolks
2 teaspoons butter
1 teaspoons vanilla extract

Method
Boil your potato in enough water to cover. When the potato is tender, strain out the water, setting it aside to cool a little. Mash the potato until smooth and set aside to cool as well. You should end up with about 3/4 cup or 162g of mashed potatoes.

In the bowl of your stand mixer, proof the yeast with the sugar, the tepid potato water and 1 cup or 125g of the bread flour. When the yeast bubbles up, you know it’s good and can continue with the next steps.



Add in the rest of the bread flour, mashed potato, egg, powdered milk and salt.

Use the bread hook and mix all the ingredients until they form a soft dough. Continue with the bread hook, kneading the dough until it is smooth and stretchy. Add in the butter, a few slices at a time, and continue kneading until it is all incorporated into the dough.



Butter a mixing bowl with room for the dough to double that will fit comfortably in your refrigerator. Put the dough in the buttered bowl and cover with a damp towel or cling film. Put it in the refrigerator for the dough to rise overnight.



Meanwhile, make your custard. If you are doing homemade, I use the method on this post. With the ingredient amounts above, you will have much more than you need for the buns, but trust me, it will get eaten and quickly. You might even have enough for a small personal banana cream pie.

Take the dough out of the refrigerator, punch it down and give it another quick knead in the bowl. Divide the dough into 12 even pieces. My dough weighed 778g, so each ball was about 64g. Roll each into a ball and place in a baking pan lined with baking parchment.



If you are so lucky as to have a proofing bag, use it. If not, use a new plastic garbage bag and pop the baking pan inside. Keeping it full of air, pinch the opening closed and secure it with a clip. Leave the buns to rise for 45-60 minutes or until nearly doubled in size.



When the buns are almost fully risen, preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C.

To make the egg wash, whisk the egg yolk with the milk and salt. Use a soft pastry brush to apply the wash to the tops of the buns. With a piping bag, make a cross with the custard across each bun. Bake in the preheated for about 18-22 minutes or until the buns are well risen and golden.

Food Lust People Love: These soft potato buns are made with cooked mash potatoes. They are light, fluffy and just sweet enough to qualify as sweet bread, especially with the vanilla custard crosses.


Remove from the oven and cool for about 10 minutes in the pan. Slide the buns and parchment out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Or eat the soft potato buns warm and in your car for the whole Southeast Asian Carrefour experience.

Enjoy!

Food Lust People Love: These soft potato buns are made with cooked mash potatoes. They are light, fluffy and just sweet enough to qualify as sweet bread, especially with the vanilla custard crosses.

Many thanks to our Bread Baker host this month, Karen of Karen Kitchen Stories, for our great theme of “make ahead bread” and all of her behind the scenes work. Check out all the other lovely breads we are sharing today:


#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our of lovely bread by following our Pinterest board right here.  Links are also updated after each event on the BreadBakers home page. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.
BreadBakers

Pin these Soft Potato Buns! 

Food Lust People Love: These soft potato buns are made with cooked mash potatoes. They are light, fluffy and just sweet enough to qualify as sweet bread, especially with the vanilla custard crosses.
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Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Cider-braised Pig Cheeks with Apples #FoodieExtravaganza

These cider-braised pig cheeks with apples are a triumph of slow cooking at its tender-making best. Both the pork and the apples are melt in your mouth delicious, a perfect bowl of Autumn on a chilly day.

Food Lust People Love: These cider-braised pig cheeks with apples are a triumph of slow cooking at its tender-making best. Both the pork and the apples are melt in your mouth delicious, a perfect bowl of Autumn on a chilly day. For the two tart apples, use a variety like Granny Smith or, if you are so fortunate, Cox’s Orange Pippin. The two sweeter apples can be whichever you prefer for eating straight out of your hand, for instance, Royal Gala or Red Delicious . If you don’t have pork stock (or a pork stock cube to dissolve in water), you can substitute chicken or vegetable stock.


I’ve been reading about pig cheeks for ages, without every actually coming across any. Apparently, along with their bovine counterpart, pig cheeks became a trendy cut for chefs, presumably originally, because they were inexpensive, yet divine when treated properly, that is to say, cooked long and slow. Well, like all ingredients that become trendy – I’m looking at you, oxtail and marrow bones – the price goes up.

Imagine my delight then, to find a package labeled “Pig Cheeks” in the frozen section of the pork department in my Dubai grocery store. And it was relatively affordable.

Cider-braised Pig Cheeks with Apples

For the two tart apples, use a variety like Granny Smith or, if you are so fortunate, Cox’s Orange Pippin. The two sweeter apples can be whichever you prefer for eating straight out of your hand, for instance, Royal Gala or Red Delicious . If you don’t have pork stock (or a pork stock cube to dissolve in water), you can substitute chicken or vegetable stock. This recipe is adapted from one of Nigel Slater’s in his Guardian newspaper column.

Ingredients
Fine sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
2.2 lbs or 1 kg pigs’ cheeks, cut in chunks
4 medium sized red onions
4 apples - 2 tart, 2 sweet
2 1/2 cups or 600ml pork stock
1 large can dry cider 440ml – I recommend Strongbow
Flat leaf parsley to garnish

Method
Warm the oil in a large Dutch oven over a moderate to high heat. Sprinkle the pigs’ cheeks with salt and pepper, then brown then in the oil. You will have to do this in batches, removing the browned pork to a bowl as you go.



Pig cheeks, or I should say, the pig cheeks available in Dubai (imported from Kenya) are very fatty. Nigel doesn’t mention this at all so perhaps my so-called pig cheeks were some other fattier cut, but never mind. Once the fat is rendered, we are going to pour it off and continue apace.

While the cheeks are browning, peel the onions, quarter them then cut them into thick slices.



Once all of your cubed cheeks are golden, pour off most of the rendered fat. Turn the heat down and add the onions to the pot. Sauté them until soft and translucent.



Preheat your oven to 325°F or 163°C.

Once the onions are tender, remove the Dutch oven from the stove. Add the cubed pig cheeks to the pot and give the whole thing a stir.



Cut the apples into quarters, removing the cores as you go. Add them to the Dutch oven and top with the stock and the cider.

Food Lust People Love: These cider-braised pig cheeks with apples are a triumph of slow cooking at its tender-making best. Both the pork and the apples are melt in your mouth delicious, a perfect bowl of Autumn on a chilly day. For the two tart apples, use a variety like Granny Smith or, if you are so fortunate, Cox’s Orange Pippin. The two sweeter apples can be whichever you prefer for eating straight out of your hand, for instance, Royal Gala or Red Delicious . If you don’t have pork stock (or a pork stock cube to dissolve in water), you can substitute chicken or vegetable stock.


Put the pot back on the stove. Over a medium flame, bring the liquid to a quick boil. Remove from the stove, pop the lid on tightly and put the pot in the preheated oven.

Braise the cheeks, covered, for 2 1/2 hours, stirring them gently, and checking the liquid level about half way through. Add a little water if they look like they are going dry.

When your cooking time is up, remove the lid and bake the cheeks uncovered for about 20-30 minutes or until the liquid is lovely and spoon-able, like a good stew - not too thin.

Check the seasoning, adding a little more salt and pepper, if needed.

Sprinkle with some chopped parsley for garnish. Serve in warmed bowls, making sure every one gets some pork, onion and apple in each.

Enjoy!

Food Lust People Love: These cider-braised pig cheeks with apples are a triumph of slow cooking at its tender-making best. Both the pork and the apples are melt in your mouth delicious, a perfect bowl of Autumn on a chilly day. For the two tart apples, use a variety like Granny Smith or, if you are so fortunate, Cox’s Orange Pippin. The two sweeter apples can be whichever you prefer for eating straight out of your hand, for instance, Royal Gala or Red Delicious . If you don’t have pork stock (or a pork stock cube to dissolve in water), you can substitute chicken or vegetable stock.

Check out the other apple recipes my Foodie Extravaganza group is sharing today. Many thanks to our host, Kelley from Simply Inspired Meals.

Foodie Extravaganza is where we celebrate obscure food holidays by cooking and baking together with the same ingredient or theme each month.

Posting day is always the first Wednesday of each month. If you are a blogger and would like to join our group and blog along with us, come join our Facebook page Foodie Extravaganza. We would love to have you! If you're a spectator looking for delicious tid-bits check out our Foodie Extravaganza Pinterest Board!

Pin these Cider-Braised Pig Cheeks with Apples!

Food Lust People Love: These cider-braised pig cheeks with apples are a triumph of slow cooking at its tender-making best. Both the pork and the apples are melt in your mouth delicious, a perfect bowl of Autumn on a chilly day. For the two tart apples, use a variety like Granny Smith or, if you are so fortunate, Cox’s Orange Pippin. The two sweeter apples can be whichever you prefer for eating straight out of your hand, for instance, Royal Gala or Red Delicious . If you don’t have pork stock (or a pork stock cube to dissolve in water), you can substitute chicken or vegetable stock.
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