Sunday, November 22, 2009

Chef Alex's Magic Bread

I had such a tiring day at ICA on last Tuesday. I was there since 10am, and didn't get the papers done until past 6. A torturously long 8+ hours!

Well, just a day before I am due to leave for another work trip, I discovered to my horrors that my passport is just 1 week shy of the required 6 months validity. After making a few checks, I decided to get a Temporary Travel Document from ICA. The doc was supposed to be a couple hours job, but I brought my luggage along thinking it would give me plenty of time to get into the airport and any possible delays at the Immigration department.

The first to get the TTD was the pass the interview. For this, I waited 2 hours for my number to be flashed on the board. When I entered, I the office still talking to another elderly couple. So I back out and waited patiently outside the door.

During the 3omin wait outside the door, I saw several numbers behind me already went in and out of the door. I was quite frustrated that I am still waiting despite having a earlier number.

Finally when the couple left the room, I quickly entered, only to find that the office is not in the room. So again I back off and waited at the door. I peeped my head in and out checking if the officer is back. Finally I decided to do my feet a favour by waiting in the interview room.

Then another guy who walked past saw my sitting alone, and asked why I am in the room. I explained, then he walked away without a word.

15min later, another staff entered. Only then I learnt that the officer had gone off for break without logging off. Alamak, I was made to wait for nothing just becos of someone's silly negligence!!!

Then, the canteen was closed for renovation - so I have no means to get lunch/refreshment in the long hours there. Most people walked out to the nearby coffeeshop but it is difficult for me with the full pack luggage. Good detox day for me, I console myself.

To cut the long story short, the day at ICA must have been 1 of the more stressful one in my 30 plus years! At the end of the day, I just have to call up to make arrangements to cancel my flight and hotel reservations.

When I got home in the night, I head to the kitchen to make bread. I need my therapy!

Fortunately, this recipe didn't disappoint me.

Basic Sweet Bread dough
Recipe from Alex Goh "Magic Bread"
100g bread flour
70g boiling water
300g bread flour
100 plain flour
80g sugar
6g salt
20g milk powder
9g instant yeast (I used 23g fresh yeast)
175g cold water
60g cold egg (I replaced with cold water)

60g butter

1) Add boiling water from A into flour, mix until well blended to form a dough. Cover and set aside to cool. Keep it into fridge for at least 12 hrs. (I only left it in fridge for 1 hour)

2) Mix B until well blended. Add in C and knead to form rough dough. Add in A and knead till well-blended.

3) Add in D and knead to form elastic dough
4) Let it proof for 40mins. (mine took over 90min, thanks to the year end rains and cold nights. Just make sure the dough double in size, no matter how long it takes.)
5) Divide the dough into required weight and mould it round. Rest it for 10mins and ready to use.

I made them in my new pullman loaf pan (baking time 50min @180C). Based on the calculations, I should need 665g of dough which it didn't really filled up the pan. I think it's becos I didn't wait long enough for the 2nd proof. They should have raised to at least 80% of the pan before putting into the oven. I waited for over an hour, then decided to call it a night while keeping my fingers crossed.

When I sliced the bread, the centre part is a bit dense, without the airy holes like the sides. Luckily it is only the centre... The overall bread is still good.

On the way to the airport on Wednesday, I brought the whole loaf to my parents. My mum told me over dinner just now that my dad finished up the bread on the very same day. He said the bread is too good... he had to have bread for dinner.

Music to my ears!

It is a great combination - sweetness from bread + spiciness from the otah!

For the extra dough I made them into sausage roll for Sheen. You see, i am still practicing hard on the shaping. Thanks to blessedhomemaker's help, I am making some progress in the pleating.

It's a wonder how much happier one can get after a breadmaking session! Magic indeed!


Art of Eating said...

Is this Alex Goh new book "Magic Bread" ?

Popular book fair coming, can go there for a hunt

Cookie said...

Yes, the book is "Magic Bread". Have you got them?

The bread stay soft even on 3rd day!!!

Art of Eating said...

I haven't. Probably I'll wait till the Popular book fair in early Dec to grab them and add into my Alex Goh collection ;)

Blessed Homemaker said...

Your bun shaping has improved :)

Anonymous said...

the texture of the bread in the picture..
omg magic indeed! youre tempting me to get the boook!

Cookie said...

Blessed Homemaker
Initially I thought so... but after checking out your picture, I realised I need to roll them a bit more longer.

I tried it out again with the sufficient proofing - it turn out to be even better!

Alex Goh's recipe is really trustworthy!

BTW, I saw it is avail at library too!

Art of Eating
Haha, i am likely to go to the fair as well... thought of getting some of the malaysian recipe books. I find that these suits our local palate better.

Anonymous said...

Dearest happy cup,
just baked 18 sausage rolls and a loaf of bread by doubling your recipe-very very soft bread and easier to make then tangzhong recipe.Excellent and thanks again for sharing the recipe!

Cookie said...

Hi Lara,
Glad that u like the recipe.

It is still my fav bread recipe; I just used this recipe to make hot cross bun this morning!

Anonymous said...


I tried the same recipe of yours and the dough was very soft and sticky. Was your dough overly soft and sticky as well?

Cookie said...


The flour can have different water absorption which is why the dough can turn out rather differently.

Occasionally mine can be abit more soft and stickly - i overcome this by adding more flour as i knead. But be careful not to over-add the flour as the bread may become too dry then.

PS: will be helpful if you leave a name, even if you choose to post anonymously. :-)

Anonymous said...

Hi cookie

Anonymous said...

Ur recipe was so helpful