Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Cha Siu Bao

This cooking project was so much fun. Probably cause I got to do it with my friend Jessica...oh and the help of our two cute daughters :)  These are a very popular Asian food.  We ate a lot of them when we went to China last year and let me tell you we nailed the recipe and they tasted so authentic. 

Jessica did make the meat mixture before our afternoon project to allow the flavours of the meat to be enhanced.  We made the dough in an afternoon and put all the buns together that same day. 

Once all the buns were filled we put them onto cookie sheet covered in parchment paper and we did an egg wash over the buns.  This helps them to get a nice brown colour while cooking. 

Now they are ready to hit the oven. 

They come out looking deliciously golden brown on top :) 

What a fun day of cooking! 

Pork Filling

1.5 pound piece pork belly

1/2 teaspoon 5 spice powder
2 tablespoons  honey
2 tablespoons Shaoxing cooking wine (or sherry)
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon thai chili sauce
1 tablespoon Chinese dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon kiwi, pureed
2 teaspoons oyster sauce
2 cloves garlic, grated

Mix the ingredients for the marinade together in a Ziploc bag. The maltose is a little tough to incorporate but it’s okay if there are some lumps as these will eventually dissolve, just make sure there are no big clumps.

If your pork belly has skin, use a sharp knife to remove it. Add the pork belly to the marinade and push out as much air as possible so the meat is completely surrounded by marinade. Let it sit in the fridge for at least 2 days, flipping the bag over every to ensure it’s evenly marinated.

To roast your char siu, preheat the oven to 275 degrees F and move the rack to the upper middle position. Set an elevated wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet and lay the marinated pork belly on the rack, saving the marinade for later. Put the pan in the oven and let it roast for 1 hour or until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees F. Remove the pan from the oven, then move the oven rack to the top position and turn the heat up to “broil”.

Baste the pork with the reserved marinade, then broil it until dark and glossy with the edges just slightly charred. Flip the meat over and baste again, allowing the second side to color and char as well.

Slice your finished char siu.

Jany Lou's Buns
Note: This recipe makes quite a bit of dough, serving size ~40-50 buns
-3 cups water
-1/2 cup sugar
-2 pkg instant (quick rise) yeast
Add above ingredients together and let sit for 10 minutes (Dissolve sugar in water).
-7 tbsp olive oil
-2.5 tsp salt
-2 eggs (beaten)
Add above to first mixture and stir.
Add 7-8 cups flour, stir mixture together and knead until dough is smooth and not sticky

Let dough rise for 1 hour and punch down once.
Tear off a small ball of dough from the batch (size of a mandarin orange/lime -smaller buns OR size of orange -bigger buns)
Flatten the ball in your hands and gently stretch it out (leave the middle a bit thicker than the edges)
Put a spoonful of filling in the middle of the flattened dough
Pinch together the ends in a circular fashion to seal the dough around the filling. Give the ends a little twist to seal it. (This makes the bun shape)
Turn the bun over and put pinched side down on a baking sheet (I use parchment paper on top of the baking sheet)
Before baking the buns, brush a little egg wash on top of the buns. This will make them brown nicely and shiny (I beat a whole egg)
Bake at 350F for ~20 min until the buns are nicely browned. Don't over bake, since the bottom of the buns can get hard/burn.
Cool on rack if not going to be served immediately (otherwise bottom will get soggy)

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Pumpkin Monkey Bread

With fall in the air I just couldn't wait any longer to make one of our favorite fall treats!  Pumpkin Monkey Bread.  This year I did make two in loaf pans but also I decided to try making a batch in a muffin tin.  They turned out great and were a hit this morning for breakfast.  I found the recipe over at Barbra Bakes however I did make a few changes. 

2 ¼  tsp yeast
½ cup water, warm
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons table salt
1 cup unsweetened canned pumpkin puree
1 large egg
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

Brown Sugar Coating
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), melted

1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 or 2 tablespoons milk


  1. In a mixing bowl, put together the warm water, yeast and 1 TBSP sugar. Let sit for 10 minutes until the yeast is frothy.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the butter, sugar, salt, pumpkin and egg.  Add mixture to yeast mixture.
  3. Add  flour and knead dough with the dough hook until dough clings to the hook and almost cleans the sides. About five minutes.
  4. Turn dough onto lightly floured counter and knead briefly to form smooth, round ball. Coat large bowl with nonstick cooking spray. Place dough in bowl and coat surface of dough with cooking spray. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm, draft free place until dough doubles in size, 60 to 90 minutes.
  5. While dough is rising, mix brown sugar and spices together in bowl. Place melted butter in second bowl. Set aside for the sugar coating.
  6. Remove dough from bowl, and pat into rough 8-inch square. Using bench scraper or knife, cut dough into 64 pieces.
  7. Roll each dough piece into a ball. Working one at a time, dip balls in melted butter, allowing excess butter to drip back into bowl. Roll in brown sugar mixture, then layer balls in a muffin tin that has been lined with muffin cups (I use the silicone muffin liners), staggering seams where dough balls meet as you build layers.
  8. Cover pan tightly with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator overnight. (If you want to bake it immediately, let rise for 30 - 45 minutes in a warm, draft-free place before baking.)
  9. Approximately one hour before you want to bake your Monkey Bread, remove it from the refrigerator and let the dough come to room temperature and the dough will begin to rise. (It will have risen some in the refrigerator overnight.)
  10. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Unwrap pan and bake until top is deep brown and caramel begins to bubble around edges, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool in pan for 5 minutes.
  11. For the icing: Add a small amount of milk or cream to icing sugar until a desired consistency is reached.
  12. Drizzle icing over warm monkey bread, letting it run down the sides of the bread. Serve warm.

Substitute 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon plus 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg and 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves for 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice.
Overnight method: I made the overnight pumpkin bread for Thanksgiving morning. I made the dough about two weeks ahead of time. After the first rise, I shaped the dough in to balls and froze them spread out on a cookie sheet covered with plastic wrap. Once they were frozen, I put them in a Freezer Ziploc. Then the afternoon before Thanksgiving I let them thaw in the bag on the counter, it took about an hour, then dipped them in butter and the sugar mixture and put them in the greased bundt pan. I put it in the fridge overnight and in the morning proceeded with the recipe as written.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Apple Picking

This weekend we packed up the family and headed out to the apple orchard.  It was such a beautiful day it felt like it could have been a hot July day.  

We had to make sure the apples tasted yummy before we filled up our apple bag :)

LOTS of people had been there already and gotten the lower apples so in order to get the really good apples we had to be creative.  

Eben learned a trick to get the apples all shinny so he worked on polishing them up for us.

And what is a trip to the orchard without taking a family photo!  

 When I asked everyone what they wanted to do with our apples each of us had a different apple treat that they wanted so we will make

Apple sauce for Eben, apple Crisp for daddy, apple Nachos for Lady J and apple pizza for mama.   Looks like I will need to do a blog post on our apple pizza :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...