Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Has the magic gone?

Recently I was crushing on Alex Goh's baking books. I went on to bake twice more using his recipes. The first one was French Baguette from his The World of Bread book. My girl likes to eat baguette with chicken curry and I bravely ventured to bake baguettes for her dinner.

My mother would laugh her head off if she saw these loaves of bread. I had no baking stone and I did not use water bath to create steam. The baguette turned out not great looking as my oven has uneven heating. Taste wise, it's just okay. The dough was made using straight dough method. I've come to realise that bread made using sponge dough and/or gelatisnised dough tastes a lot better.

The kids weren't crazy about the bread. We had leftovers. I had baked each of us one loaf! What was I thinking?

After the slight disappointment from the baguettes, I decided to seek out Alex Goh's other book, Magic Bread. By the way, when I was raving to you guys in this post about Magic Bread by Alex Goh, did you think such a book actually existed? I mean magic bread sounds so um, fake, made up, right? I looked for the book in the library and managed to get a copy!

The best part? The instructions are in English and Chinese!

from Magic Bread

Magic Bread has a recipe for a basic sweet bread dough and I decided to bake Butter Sugar Bread. This recipe uses gelatinised dough together with the main dough.

in goes the gelatinised dough

My sweet buns looked nothing like what was shown in the book. But I love the taste. So good. So addictive.

I used some of the dough to make a loaf bun and it came out very soft inside.

So in conclusion, Magic Bread beats World of Bread, taste wise. In terms of softness, magic bread does have a bit more fluffiness. Magic Bread is no longer sold in Singapore and it is very unlikely you can get it anywhere except Malaysia. If you live in Singapore you can borrow it from the library. Just give me a chance to return the book first!

To be honest, I'm not a big fan of soft white bread. Singaporeans love soft white bread. I prefer the tougher, wholegrain bread. I feel the direction of my learning journey needs to go towards rustic wholegrain.


Jane McLellan said...

Interesting exploration. I look forward to your wholewheat experiments!

Bethany said...

What is the thermometer for?

Projects By Jane said...

Hi Bethany,
The thermometer is to check the dough temperature. The ideal temp(for Alex Goh) is 28-29 deg C. This ideal temp varies from baker to baker.

Knowing the dough temp lets me know if the next step - bulk fermentation will be shorter or longer than what's recommended. Higher temp = shorter time. It also helps me during the "autopsy" if the bread turns out poorly. (what not to blame) Lastly, if the bread turns out great and I want to bake it again and get the same result, achieving that same dough temp will be the key.

Projects By Jane said...

Hi Jane McLellan, I'm starting a seed culture today. So exciting.

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