Roti tawar is a common type of yeast bread in my home country. Type of yeast bread such as baguette, ciabatta, and foccacia are not very common there like those of in the Western countries. Every loaf-shaped plain yeast bread is usually called roti tawar. Sometimes the term roti tawar is used inconsistently since there are roti tawar manis (sweet plain bread), roti tawar coklat (chocolate plain bread), and roti tawar keju (cheese plain bread).
The figurative meaning of roti tawar is unsweetened bread. This type of bread has small percentage of sugar in the composition, unlike other type, roti manis (sweet bread) that composed of much bigger portion of sugar. Roti tawar is like common white or whole wheat bread that can be found anywhere in the U.S. supermarket. The neutral taste of the bread allows people to enjoy it with sweet jam or salty cheese.
I brought my bread recipe book from home when I moved to the U.S. seven years ago, yet I never tried this recipe before. I always wanted to get a proper roti tawar loaf pan before I try any roti tawar the recipe but I never tried too hard. There are too many options out there, and I am too picky and too frugal. Hehe... So one evening when I was feeling like trying a new recipe, I tried this one.
Ingredients: 8 gr instant yeast
100 warm water
300 gr all-purpose flour
200 gr whole wheat flour
100 gr water
50 gr sugar
40 gr butter
20 gr powdered milk
8 gr salt
Combine yeast and warm water. Stir and let sit for 15 minutes.
Mix dry ingredients, add yeast mixture, add water slowly until well blended (stop adding water if the dough is sticky enough). Add butter. Mix until smooth and shiny. Let the dough rise for 10 minutes.
Divide the dough to 2. Roll dough out into a basic rectangular shape. Evenly spread the cheese. Roll up dough and form into 1 loaf. Do the same thing for the other dough.
Place on a greased loaf, seam down. Place the dough in a warm place and allow to double in volume (about 90 minutes). Glaze with egg yolk (if desired) then sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Bake at preheated oven 350 degrees F for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown.
My plan for having a bread for a week almost didn't work.
I baked this bread because there was still space in the oven. I tried to optimize the use of our oven on that scorching hot day. The position of our apartment unit, which is on the third floor makes the heat is more unbearable. I thought by baking the cabbage rolls I prepared for a church potluck and the bread together, I could minimize adding heat in the apartment. Moreover, I knew I would be busy during the week and it would be a stretch if I had to bake in the evening.
We've been getting a lot of summer squashes from our CSA, so I searched for zucchini cake recipe and found one from the recipe book my friend Jenny gave me as a graduation gift. Alas, I didn't have enough zucchini, so I mixed it with yellow summer squash. I had low expectation on the bread because I'd tried several different recipes and they ended up undercooked in the middle and burnt on the crust. Surprisingly this recipe was a winner and a keeper.
Hubby told me that he liked the bread so much. He couldn't stop nibbling it since it came out of the oven eventhough it was almost midnight when I finished baking. I told him that he would be bread-less if he had finished it before Friday. For once, he obeyed me The bread lasted until Friday. I stored it in the refrigerator because the week before our steam buns got rotten days after I made them. I forgot that the weather had been so hot, thus perishable goods had shorter shelf life than those of in winter time.
Zucchini and Summer Squash Bread Adapted from: From Amish and Mennonite Kitchens
Ingredients: 3 eggs
1.5 cup sugar
2 cups mixed of zucchini and summer squash, grated
1 cup cooking oil
2 tsp vanilla (I didn't use this) 3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1/2 cup chopped nuts (I used almond meal because that's what I had)
Preheat oven at 325'F.
Beat eggs and sugar until foamy. Stir in zucchini, summer squash, oil, and vanilla.
Gradually add dry ingredients. Stir in nuts.
Pour into greased bread pans. Bake for 60-80 minutes.
I made this chicken ring for a church potluck last month. The original recipe used salmon instead of chicken, but most of my church friends didn't eat seafood. I don't know how people could live without seafood :), but big chunk of land of this country makes seafood underexposed. Anyway, chicken also worked great for the ring.
I need to make some notes for myself for this recipe: The crust for the ring is similar to biscuit; so do not to overdo the dough. Since the ring tastes best when it's fresh from the oven, baking it right before dinner time. I prepared the ingredients for the filling the night before then make the crust the morning before church.
Crust: 2 cups flour
2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt 3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp soda
1/3 cup butter room temp, cut
1 cup milk
Combined dry ingredients. Add in the butter then stir in the milk with a fork until dry ingredients are incorporated. Knead for a few seconds to a smooth dough.
Roll out on a floured surface to a rectangle about 15"x10"
Slightly beat egg with fork, setting aside 2 Tbsp of the egg. Stir chicken, salsa, mayo, and cheese into remaining egg.
Spread crust with filling and roll up jelly roll fashion, beginning at long side.
Shape into ring on a greased pan, folding one end into the other.
With serrated knife, cut 2/3 of the way into the ring at 1 inch intervals.
Turn each slice on its side to reveal the filling and brush pastry with reserved egg wash.
Bake in preheated oven at 375F 25 - 30 minutes
I made this bread because I still had half pack of cheddar cheese that would get bad soon had it not been used immediately. I used my old recipe with small twists. I added more herb and didn't use egg wash this time. I loved the matte surface on the bread. Also, since I was tired from a long day at work, I chose the simplest shape, round, then arranged them on a rectangular pan.
When I made something similar in the past and showed it to my friend, she said it looked like "pillow bread" she grew up with. I had never heard of the name, but I liked it. So this is also roti buantal!
Knowing that we loved apple butter, our brother bought us a jar from Rise 'n Roll, a local bakery close to an Amish village in Indiana. Since we got back from Indiana, hubby asked me a few times if I wanted to bake bread for the apple butter. His last request was more like a threat: he would eat the apple butter by itself if there's no bread. Haha... He could have gotten bread from a store, but he sweetly waited on my homemade bread.
So one night when he had choir practice, I pulled out my Mennonite recipe book. I found a recipe I exactly needed: white bread. Yeah, I run out of whole wheat flour. Since the CSA season has started, we barely need to go to grocery store. Since grocery shopping is not our favorite thing to do, we like to wait until our grocery list gets long before we do the shopping. I like it that way, at least for now. I love seeing my pantry and refrigerator somewhat empty. That way we know what things need to be used before they get rotten or expired. When I said too bad that it's a white bread, he replied, "at least it's homemade".
White Bread Adapted from More-with-Less Mennonite Cookbook
Ingredients: 1 pkg. dry yeast (7gr)
1/4 c. warm water
1/4 c. sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbs butter
1/2 c. warm water
2 1/2 cup flour
Dissolve dry yeast in 1/4 C warm water until bubbly.
Combine all ingredients, beat with electric mixer until well combined. Add more flour as needed until the dough is not sticking to the side and bottom of bowl. Knead with hand for about 3 minutes.
Place in a bowl, cover with damp cloth. Let rise for 1/2 hour.
Punch down, shape, and place in a greased loaf pans. Cover and let rise until doubled.
Bake at 350'F for 30-35 minutes.
Hubby requested bread for the Nutella he just got from the store. Nutella has been my favorite bread spread since I was little, and I've converted hubby to love it too. I never got bored of it when I was little because it was kinda pricey at that time so we rarely bought it. When mom bought Nutella, we would treasure it. For us now, Nutella is of course more affordable primarily because it is a local product. There was a period when I was getting too much of it. We had not had it for a long time, then suddenly hubby got back on the Nutella track. Haha...
Honey Oatmeal Bread Source: KitchenAid Cookbook Ingredients: 1 1/2 water
1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup butter
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
4-5 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup quick oats
2 tsp salt
2 packages dry yeast
1 egg white
Cook water, honey, and butter over low heat until mixture is very warm. Place and mix the whole wheat flour, 3 cup all-purpose flour, yeast, and salt in a mixer bowl.
Add warm mixture to dry mixture, mix for about a minute. Add egg and continue mixing.
Gradually add the remaining flour until the dough reach right consistency (dough start to clean side of bowl).
Place dough in a greased bowl. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk.
Punch down the dough and divide in half. Place in greased baking pans. Let rise until doubled in bulk.
Brush the top with egg white and bake at 350F for 30-40 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
These past two weeks have been unbelievably super hot! I think winter has never reached its peak this year. Not even close. I don't mind with the skipping winter, but I am worried about what has changed the natural pattern. I hope it's a fluke, and won't cause anything catastrophic for the environment.
70s degree Fahrenheit means fun for me. Yes, I do mind the sweat, but I love wearing shorts, tank tops, and flip-flops. Hot weather also means perfect time to bake bread. So while waiting on hubby's going home from a choir practice, I bake this cheese bread. I knew the hot weather especially in our west-facing apartment would be great for proofing the bread. Yet the bread rose much faster than I expected. I was afraid it tasted sour because it was over fermented, but my friend said it tasted great.
Cheese Bread Recipe is taken from Kitchen Aid manual book
Ingredients: 2 packages dry yeast
1 cup warm water
2 cup whole-wheat flour
2 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tbs sugar
2 tsp salt
2 Tbs butter
1 cup warm low-fat milk
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp dried basil
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese for the filling
Dissolve yeast in warm water.
Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in mixer bowl. Gradually add yeast, butter, and milk for about 2 minutes.
Add the herbs and 1/2 cup cheese and continue mixing until well blended.
Place the dough in a bowl (or use the mixing bowl used earlier), cover with damp cloth. Let rise in warm place for about an hour or until double in bulk.
Punch down the dough. Divide in half. Roll each half to a big elliptical shape. Place 1/2 cup of shredded cheese in the middle the cover the filling like blanketing a baby.
Place in a greased baking pans. Cover. Let rise for about an hour or until doubled in bulk.
Bake at 350F for 30-40 minutes.
My current job requires some site visits, which include mostly surveying and sometimes soil and water testing. The site now is still a wooded area with some trails got cleared out. Since we haven't submitted the permit application for disturbing the area, the trees along the trails were only pushed down, not completely removed from the ground, so people can walk on them. Therefore, even the cleared trails are still very rough. We have to walk through fallen trees and branches and climb walls of stacked fallen tree trunks and steep slopes. Our heavy surveying equipments often make our hike more difficult, but bearable. When branches or standing trees block our survey shot, we also have to do some cuttings using a machete. My friend usually does the most of the cutting and I help some. No wonder I usually have a great sleep the night after a site visit
Eventhough site visit can be tiring, I enjoy it and learn so much from it. Other than learning what those engineers do, I also enjoy small things I find on the site. On my last two visits, I found countless Trilliums and other wildflowers. Unfortunately, ticks and snakes are trade-offs of the spring beauties
When the weather was still much colder than it is now, we could spend the whole day working on the field. My friend and I liked to have a lunch break at an arboretum nearby. We packed lunch from home to be frugal. Since it was like a picnic, I preferred to bring sandwiches from home so I don't need to worry about warming my food. For the sandwich bun, I usually side aside a little part from the dough bread I made weekly for hubby. One day we saw deers passing the arboretum, very close to where my friend and I were.
I don't think I will need to go to the field often now since my part is almost done. When I do, I am just glad that I get a chance to have a break from staring at my computer
Snow is currently visiting us here in the Tennessee Valley. I had been happy that this year's winter had missed our area, but I knew it was too good to be true. A magnolia tree outside my office has started budding, and so have other trees, shrubs, and groundcovers I observed during my field work. I feel sorry for those plants that bloomed too early because of the warm winter. They may get killed by the frost right now.
I am glad it is Saturday, so I can bundle up and have a long breakfast on this cold day. On weekdays, I usually have my quick oatmeal breakfast while preparing my lunch box. Hubby has his own breakfast time since he usually gets up before I do Anyway, here is what I made: apple scone! This type of Scottish quick bread is my new favorite baked good to make. Scone is not only tasty, but also simple and quick to make. In addition, scone is mildly sweet, perfect for a cup of hot sweet tea or coffee.
I will share the recipe when I make more scone in the future. Now it's time to go back to work and finish some chores. Have a great weekend!
We had sweet potatoes piling up in our pantry. Some started to sprout, so I knew I had to steam them very soon. Hubby and I like steamed sweet potato. Sometimes I don't bake so we can have sweet potato for snack or for hubby's breakfast. Oh they taste so good and so sweet. Yesterday while taking care of my beloved hubby that was under the weather, I thought of making sweet potato bread for him. He lost his appetite due to the cold. I thought he liked my bread and loved sweet potato, so he would like them being combined. He needed to eat more to get his strength back. It's going to be a bread that he never had before, so hopefully it would be appetizing and tickle his appetite.
I found a recipe that I knew I could tweak. The original one called for purple sweet potato -one commonly found in Asian countries. Our sweet potato is the orange one, or people often call it yam. I steamed a big one and used only half of it and let hubby eat the rest. It is funny to thing that we now love sweet potato. I used to make a joke of my mom's loving steamed purple sweet potato. That root vegetable seems to be "old school" and uncool in this fast-food world. Now that I am away from my country, I appreciate fresh food much more than I did before. Yes, I love that veggie that I liked to joke about, both the orange and purple ones.
So, I altered the recipe to fit the ingredients I had. I also adjusted the directions to make it simpler. The result? The best bread I've ever made! It tasted good although I couldn't taste the sweet potato. I also love the texture and the Winnie-the-pooh color.
Sweet Potato Bread
Ingredients: 8 gr yeast
80 gr lukewarm water
125 whole wheat flour
275 all-purpose flour
200 gr mashed steamed sweet potato
2 egg yolk
40 gr butter
40 gr sugar
50 gr water
Choco chips or any filling as desired
Egg wash: 1 egg yolk 50 ml fresh milk
Dissolve yeast in lukewarm water, let it sit for 10 minutes. Mix all of the ingredients in a mixing bow except the filling and egg wash ingredients. Mix until well blended then knead the dough for about three minutes.
Place the dough back to the mixing bowl. Cover with damped towel. Let rise until double.
Punch down the dough. Divide the dough to 16 small balls. Flatten each ball and fill with chocolate chips or whatever you use for the filling.
Place on a greased 10" spring form. The gap will be gone as the dough rises. Place the dough in a warm place and allowed to double in volume (about 90 minutes).
Glaze with egg yolk then sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Bake at preheated oven 350 degrees F for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.