4th July Cheesecake Macarons

♫ Oh say can you see ♫

4th-july-cheesecake-macaron

I made this recipe using frozen egg whites (which I then defrosted, of course)! Another thing to add to my already overstuffed freezer! And now if you make lemon curd or choux pastry or something and have leftover egg whites you can just dump them in the freezer for A Future Macaron.

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I’m just approaching the end of my first year here in the US and baking ALL the thematic events.

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I prefer French macarons (where the meringue is made by whipping the egg whites with sugar before it is incorporated with almond flour) over Italian macarons (where the meringue is whipped with hot sugar syrup and folded with a blend of almond flour and egg white). Italian macarons are favoured by professionals due to its stability and hence batch-to-batch consistency. But I just think French macarons are easier to make at home since I don’t have to touch hot sugar syrup (which still scares me), and I don’t have a stand mixer. You just have to get over the learning curve with French macarons.

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The cream cheese frosting is my favourite I’ve tried so far! It’s not too sweet, due to the equal ratio of butter to cream cheese. But this time I added milk powder, which adds stability so I can cut down on the sugar, and also adds a DELECTABLE milky cookie-like flavour to the frosting.

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Don’t the macarons kind of look like the Pepsi logo?

4th-july-macaron-both-colou

I couldn’t decide if I liked red on top or blue on top better so I made a gif with both (although staring at the flashing colours too long makes me nauseous).

The macaron recipe’s originally from here (although that website is now down so who knows). Just a good French macaron recipe which I’ve used before. I used the cream cheese frosting which I always use, but this time I added some milk powder so I can cut down on the sugar while keeping the frosting somewhat stiff, an idea I got from The Scran Line!

Ingredients (makes about 23 1.5 inch macarons)

Macaron

  • 58g almond flour
  • 115g powdered sugar
  • 72g egg whites
  • 36g sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1g salt
  • Food colouring (red and blue if you’re following the USA patriotism/4th July/Independence Day theme, and a bit of black to darken the red)

Cream cheese filling (will make more than you need, but I always think it’s better to overestimate filling)

  • 113g (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature/softened
  • 113g (1/2 block) cream cheese, room temperature/softened (the block kind not the tub kind, preferably Philadelphia brand)
  • 100g powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 25g milk powder (doesn’t matter if skimmed or full fat)

Method

Macaron

  1. Process almond flour and powdered sugar until fine (this step might be optional if your almond flour is fine enough) and sift.
  2. Combine egg whites and beat until small bubbles form. Gradually incorporate sugar, vanilla, and salt, while beating. Whip until stiff peaks.
  3. Dump in dry ingredients at once and gently fold until the dry ingredients are just incorporated with the egg white.
  4. Divide the macaron batter (macaronage) into two bowls. Fold in red food colouring with a bit of black food colouring in one bowl, and blue food colouring in the other bowl. Fold until the macaronage flows like lava, and if you drip a bit back into the batter the drip disappears into the batter after a few seconds.
  5. Pipe the batter onto baking paper placed on a baking tray to form rounds. You might want to print a template out underneath if, like me, you can’t estimate sizes.
  6. Drop the baking tray from a couple of inches in the air onto the counter to burst air bubbles in the macaron rounds.
  7. Let dry for 30mins, or until the macaron rounds are dry to the touch.
  8. Bake at 150°C for 16-18 mins, or until you can cleanly peel the baking paper away from the macarons. (Bake the ugliest batch first to test out the timings)
  9. Cool on pan before removing.

Cream cheese filling

  1. Beat the butter until creamy. Add the cream cheese and vanilla, and beat until light and fluffy.
  2. Sift in the powdered sugar and milk powder and incorporate into the cream cheese frosting. Then beat the frosting on high speed until frosting is fluffy and pales in colour.
  3. When the macaron shells have completely cooled, match each red shell with a blue shell of similar size. Then fill the macarons.

Notes

  • Processing your almond flour helps keep your macaron shells smooth. I find that even the almond flour that’s sold as “fine almond flour” isn’t quite fine enough for macarons, but that could be dependent on brand. Large chunks of almonds could also cause your shells to crack. But yeah I didn’t have a sieve with a fine enough mesh in my current kitchen so the shells ended up a bit bumpy anyway.
  • The source I got the macaron recipe from claims that she didn’t have to let the macarons dry before baking, but I have never succeeded in getting a good batch of macarons without letting them dry first. They just end up cracking with no feet. So I’d really recommend letting them dry before baking. If you live in a humid country (like me when I was in Singapore) you could try being in an air conditioned room with a dehumidifier to speed up the drying.
  • I like to mix red food colouring with a bit of black food colouring for the shells to come out more red than pink.
  • Try to dry the macaron shells on the trays that they will be baked on. If, after they are dry, you transfer the shells onto the baking sheet and are not careful, the “skin” on the top of the shell may crack, which may cause a crack in the macaron shell after they are baked.
  • I always thought that macarons tasted better after a night in the fridge once it’s filled. The shells absorb a bit of the moisture and flavour from the buttercream which makes the whole thing taste better and have a chewier texture. But they taste fine on the day as well.
  • If room temperature for you is pretty hot and your frosting gets runny, just stick it in the fridge for like 30 mins for it to stiffen up to a pipeable consistency. This is as opposed to adding powdered sugar to stiffen it up (what I used to do) which just makes the frosting too sweet. Macarons are served chilled anyway, so as long as the frosting is a good consistency chilled there’s no need to overly stiffen the frosting with icing sugar.
  • This might be TMI but blue food colouring turns your poop green, who knew. Probably because it combines with the yellow bile in the stool. The red didn’t seem to have an effect, unfortunately.
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Matcha Turtle Melon Pan (Turtle Shaped Bread)

The cutest.

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I’ve made melon pan before, and now it’s time to LEVEL UP.

matcha-turtle-bread-melon-p

They grow up so fast.

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Melon pan is basically bread covered with a cookie dough, giving the bread added sweetness and crunch. It doesn’t contain melon, it just kinda looks like one?

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It’s kind of similar to concept to Hong Kong’s pineapple buns or Mexico’s conchas.

I used black sesame seeds for the eyes because I didn’t want to deal with chocolate melting in the summer heat.

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Shhhh they’re having a meeting.

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Here’s a gruesome cut straight through the turtle.

The turtle shell recipe is from Cooking with Dog, and the bread recipe is the recipe I always use for Asian-style bread.

Ingredients (makes 7 large buns)

Tangzhong

  • 125g white bread flour
  • 100g water

Bread

  • 280g full fat milk
  • 5g instant yeast
  • 15g honey
  • 20g sugar
  • 410g white bread flour
  • 8g sweetened condensed milk
  • 10g salt
  • 40g softened unsalted butter, room temperature
  • Black sesame seeds

Cookie dough

  • 50g softened unsalted butter
  • 70g sugar (plus some extra to coat)
  • 50g beaten egg
  • 160g cake flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tbsp matcha powder

Method

Tangzhong (starter, prepare the night before baking)

  1. Place the white bread flour in a large bowl.
  2. Boil some water, and pour 100g of the water into the bowl.
  3. Mix with a large spoon until well mixed. When cool enough to touch, knead the tangzhong well until all the flour is well incorporated and the dough ball is smooth.
  4. Wrap the dough well in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Bread

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the milk, yeast, honey, sugar, bread flour, sweetened condensed milk, and tangzhong. Knead well until smooth.
  2. Add the salt. Knead until the salt is well incorporated.
  3. Add the softened butter and knead until the bread reaches windowpane stage.
  4. Cover and let the bread rise until doubled in size (about 1h).
  5. While the bread is rising, make the cookie dough (recipe below).
  6. When the dough has doubled in size, knock down the dough.
  7. Weigh the dough and split into 8 pieces (the extra bun is for the head and legs of the turtle).
  8. Shape 7 of the pieces into rounds.
  9. Roll out the cookie dough and cut out rounds of cookie dough large enough to cover the buns (I used about 26g of cookie dough per bun). Coat each cookie dough round with some sugar.
  10. Cover each bun with a round of cookie dough (this might be easier to do if you roll out each round on some cling film).
  11. Cut criss-cross patterns onto the cookie dough.
  12. Pinch off a bit of dough from the last bread dough piece to form the head of the turtle. Pinch off four smaller pieces for the legs. Place the dough pieces under the “body” piece.
  13. Place two black sesame seeds on the head for the turtle’s eyes. Press the sesame seeds in gently so it stays in place.
  14. Cover and let rise until doubled in size (about 40 mins). Meanwhile preheat the oven to 170°C.
  15. When the buns have doubled in size, bake for about 15-18 mins, or until the bread sounds hollow when you tap the bottom of the buns.
  16. Transfer the buns to a wire rack and let cool completely.
  17. Eat within the day preferably, as the cookie dough softens over time.

Cookie dough

  1. Whisk the butter until creamy. Gradually add the sugar to butter and beat it until fluffy and pale.
  2. Gradually add the egg to the sugar/butter mixture. (Wet ingredients)
  3. In another bowl, add the baking powder and matcha powder to the cake flour and sift it. (Dry ingredients)
  4. Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mix. Add the next third. Mix. Then add the last of the dry ingredients. Mix. (Don’t over-mix)
  5. Shape the dough into a cylinder shape in clingfilm. Put in the fridge until ready to use.

Notes

  • This is the melon the bread is supposed to resemble. Yeah I kinda don’t really see it.
  • When dividing the dough, it’s much easier to use a weighing scale so you get evenly sized buns (nobody likes uneven buns).
  • All timings listed are a general guide. It’s better to follow the description (eg doubled in size) rather than the timings, as the timing depends on many factors like the activity of your yeast, or the surrounding temperature.
  • If you’re using active dry yeast instead of instant yeast, you might have to activate the yeast first. Warm up the milk that was supposed to go into the bread till it’s about body temperature, and then add the yeast into the milk. When the mixture is foamy (about 5-10 mins later), add the yeast-milk back into the bread at the step where the milk is supposed to be added.
  • Kneading the butter into the dough after it’s already been formed helps with the structure of the bread, since butter inhibits gluten formation (apparently).
  • Letting the tangzhong sit overnight is technically optional, but it gives a much better flavour if you allow the tangzhong to rest.
  • If my cookie dough doesn’t look like it’s covered in sugar…it’s because I forgot that step. And so my bread noticeably didn’t have the extra crunch that the sugar would have given.

Strawberry Ice Cream with Balsamic Vinegar and Black Pepper

Strawberry ice cream that actually tastes more like strawberry than cream.

strawberry-balsamic

A quick post! The balsamic vinegar used in the ice cream helps play up the acidity and brightness of the strawberries, and the black pepper genuinely brings out the strawberries’ fruitiness. Usually when the recipe makes a schmancy imaginative claim like that I don’t taste it but this time I actually do!

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Personally I thought the quantity of jam used in the ice cream was too much and there was too little black pepper so I’m going to reflect that in the recipe below.

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Once again this recipe is from the Salt and Straw’s Ice Cream Cookbook!

Ingredients

Ice cream base

  • 1/2 cup sugar (100g)
  • 2 tbsp dry milk powder (12g)
  • 1/4 tsp xanthum gum (see notes)
  • 2 tbsp light corn syrup (45g)
  • 1 1/3 cup whole milk (315g)
  • 1 1/3 cup heavy cream (300g)

Strawberry puree

  • 10 oz/1 pint/283g ripe strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 1/4 cup honey

Assembly

  • 1/4 cup honey balsamic vinegar (see notes)
  • 1/2 cup strawberry jam
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Method

Ice cream base (the day before)

  1. Combine the sugar, milk powder, and xanthum gum into a small bowl and mix well.
  2. Pour the corn syrup and whole milk into a saucepan and stir well. Add the sugar mixture and whisk until smooth. Heat over medium heat, stirring often and adjusting the heat to prevent a simmer, until the sugar has fully dissolved (about 3 mins). Remove the pot from the heat.
  3. Whisk in the cream and transfer the mixture to an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to combine with mashed potato mixture.

Strawberry puree (preferably at least 2 hours before)

  1. Preheat the oven to 300°F/150°C.
  2. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and spread the strawberries evenly over the pan. Drizzle the strawberries with honey.
  3. Bake for 15 minutes, then stir the berries and continue baking until they just start to caramelise, about 20 minutes more.
  4. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
  5. Transfer the strawberries and all the juices in the pan into a blender and puree until smooth. Store in an airtight container in the fridge until cold.

Assembly

  1. Whisk together the strawberry puree, vinegar, black pepper, and the ice cream base together in a large bowl.
  2. Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and churn until a soft-serve texture.
  3. Stir the jam with a fork to loosen the jam, and alternate spooning layers of the ice cream and jam in a freezer-friendly container. (If you use a wide and shallow container, like me, just do 2 layers of each).
  4. Cover the ice cream with parchment paper (I think this is to prevent freezer burn), pressing it to the surface of the ice cream so it adheres, and cover with a lid.
  5. Freeze the ice cream until solid.

Notes

  • Xanthum gum is a thickener/stabiliser commonly used in vegan/gluten-free baking, so that’s where you might find them in the supermarket. I got the Bob’s Red Mill brand.
  • If you’re using an ice cream maker which bowl needs to be frozen beforehand, make sure to cover the bowl with clingfilm so ice crystals won’t form in the bowl and cause your ice cream to have a sandy texture. Also to be safe, freeze the bowl for at least 2 days and at the coldest setting your freezer will go.
  • My ice cream maker takes about 20-30 minutes to reach soft-serve consistency.
  • I couldn’t find honey balsamic vinegar so I just mixed some honey with my regular balsamic vinegar. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • I decreased the amount of jam from 3/4 cup to 1/2 cup and increased the amount of black pepper from 1/8 tsp to 1/4 tsp.

Mashed Potatoes and Gravy Ice Cream

Perfect for Thanksgiving?

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It all starts with Yukon Gold potatoes cut up into tiny tiny cubes.

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The potatoes are then combined with egg yolk, sour cream, and butter to make a puree which would eventually go into the ice cream base.

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The “gravy” is a white chocolate-chicken stock abomination.

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If I were to describe this ice cream in one word I’d choose “divisive”. I personally kind of liked the novelty of it and it didn’t taste bad by any means, but a savoury ice cream was a little too weird for some of my decidedly not-so-adventurous friends.

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The predominant flavour is that of chicken stock followed by white chocolate. I couldn’t really taste the potatoes – the potatoes in the ice cream came through more in texture, with the tiny potato chunks in the ice cream base.

Also check out how disturbingly similar to actual mashed potatoes the ice cream looks.

I got the recipe from Salt and Straw’s Ice Cream Cookbook, another stop in my current ice cream phase.

Ingredients

Ice cream base

  • 1/2 cup sugar (100g)
  • 2 tbsp dry milk powder (12g)
  • 1/4 tsp xanthum gum (see notes)
  • 2 tbsp light corn syrup (45g)
  • 1 1/3 cup whole milk (315g)
  • 1 1/3 cup heavy cream (300g)

Mashed potato mixture

  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter (28g)
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 5 oz (140g) Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch dice
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tbsp sour cream
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup water

White chocolate gravy (will make more than you need)

  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp chicken stock
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube
  • 1/8 tsp xanthum gum
  • 1/8 unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt

Method

Ice cream base (the day before)

  1. Combine the sugar, milk powder, and xanthum gum into a small bowl and mix well.
  2. Pour the corn syrup and whole milk into a saucepan and stir well. Add the sugar mixture and whisk until smooth. Heat over medium heat, stirring often and adjusting the heat to prevent a simmer, until the sugar has fully dissolved (about 3 mins). Remove the pot from the heat.
  3. Whisk in the cream and transfer the mixture to an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to combine with mashed potato mixture.

Mashed potato mixture (the day before)

  1. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until the butter turns a light golden colour, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add 1/2 cup water, the corn syrup, and the diced potatoes. Raise the heat to high and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture begins to boil.
  3. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, cover the pan, and cook stirring occasionally until the potatoes are very tender, about 20-25 minutes.
  4. Take the pan off the heat and let the mixture cool, uncovered, to room temperature.
  5. Add the egg yolk, sour cream, and salt to the potatoes in the saucepan.
  6. Immediately use a stick blender to blend to form a very smooth mashed potato puree.
  7. Combine with ice cream base, blend briefly to combine, and keep in the fridge until fully chilled, at least 4 hours, or preferably overnight.

White chocolate gravy

  1. Combine the corn syrup, cream, chicken stock, and chicken bouillon cube in a medium saucepan.
  2. Set over medium-high heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until it comes to a boil and the bouillon has dissolved, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. While the mixture is still hot, add the xanthum gum and cocoa powder and blend using a stick blender until the cocoa is well mixed (about 30s).
  4. Add the white chocolate chips and the salt, and let the mixture sit until the chocolate is mostly melted (about 2 mins). Blend again until the chocolate is completely melted.
  5. Transfer the gravy to a heatproof container and let cool to room temperature.
  6. Set aside until ready to combine with ice cream. If you made the gravy ahead of time, refrigerate the gravy and you might have to warm the gravy slightly so it’s drizzle-able but not hot enough to melt the ice cream.

Assembly

  1. Transfer the ice cream mixture into your ice cream machine and churn until soft serve consistency.
  2. Transfer a layer of ice cream to a freezer-friendly container. Then drizzle on a layer of white chocolate gravy. Repeat with a layer of ice cream and then a layer of white chocolate gravy. (If you use a wide and shallow container, like me, just do 2 layers of each).
  3. Cover the ice cream with parchment paper (I think this is to prevent freezer burn), pressing it to the surface of the ice cream so it adheres, and cover with a lid.
  4. Freeze the ice cream until solid.

Notes

  • Xanthum gum is a thickener/stabiliser commonly used in vegan/gluten-free baking, so that’s where you might find them in the supermarket. I got the Bob’s Red Mill brand.
  • If you’re using an ice cream maker which bowl needs to be frozen beforehand, make sure to cover the bowl with clingfilm so ice crystals won’t form in the bowl and cause your ice cream to have a sandy texture. Also to be safe, freeze the bowl for at least 2 days and at the coldest setting your freezer will go.
  • My ice cream maker takes about 20-30 minutes to reach soft-serve consistency.

Watermelon Bread

Doesn’t actually contain watermelon.

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So my friend was in Japan and sending me pictures of the Isepan bread festival and one particular bread caught my eye. WATERMELON BREAD. So fun so cute.

watermelon bread (1)

This design isn’t exactly a novel idea and other bakeries in Singapore have done it before. But my interest has been PIQUED.

watermelon bread (2)

I didn’t actually use watermelon in the bread because I thought the watermelon taste would be too delicate to really taste through the bread. Instead I used ground up freeze-dried strawberries.

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But in the end I chickened out and was concerned that the amount of freeze dried strawberries needed for the flavour to get through would impact the texture of the bread too much. So I only used enough to slightly colour the dough. Also, freeze dried strawberries are kind of on the sour side and I didn’t want the bread to get too sour.

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I went back to the old faithful Hokkaido milk bread recipe which I’ve used many times before. I just changed it to a pure white bread recipe for the colours to really shine.

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It’s just a really easy dough to work with and manipulate and the end result is SO FLUFFY due to the use of tangzhong (a water roux commonly used in Asian bread).

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I think it would be possible to achieve the colours without using food colouring – using freeze-dried strawberries and perhaps beetroot juice for red, matcha powder for green, and maybe a bit of charcoal powder to darken the colours. But to me if you want the cartoonish bright vibrant colours the only way to go about it is to use food colouring.

This YouTube video is good to help with the shaping, and the original recipe for the bread is from here.

Ingredients (for 11x4x4 inch/28x10x10 cm) loaf pan

Tangzhong

  • 125g white bread flour
  • 100g water

Bread

  • 280g full fat milk
  • 5g instant yeast
  • 15g honey
  • 20g sugar
  • 410g white bread flour
  • 8g sweetened condensed milk
  • 10g salt
  • 40g softened unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 tbsp freeze-dried strawberries (increase if you want the flavour to actually come through)
  • Red, green, and black food colouring
  • 1/2 cup raisins

Method

Tangzhong (starter, prepare the night before baking)

  1. Place the white bread flour in a large bowl.
  2. Boil some water, and pour 100g of the water into the bowl.
  3. Mix with a large spoon until well mixed. When cool enough to touch, knead the tangzhong well until all the flour is well incorporated and the dough ball is smooth.
  4. Wrap the dough well in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Bread

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the milk, yeast, honey, sugar, bread flour, sweetened condensed milk, and tangzhong. Knead well until smooth.
  2. Add the salt. Knead until the salt is well incorporated.
  3. Add the softened butter and knead until the bread reaches windowpane stage.
  4. Weigh the dough and divide by weight into four pieces
    1. 50% of weight (this would be the red dough)
    2. 18% of weight (white)
    3. 24% of weight (light green)
    4. 8% of weight (dark green)
  5. Knead the freeze-dried strawberries, red food colouring, and a bit of black food colouring into the largest dough piece. The black helps the colour be more red than pink.
  6. Knead green food colouring into what would be the light green dough.
  7. Knead green food colouring and a bit of black food colouring into what would be the dark green dough.
  8. Knead the white dough. This helps knock excess air out so all your dough pieces rise at roughly the same rate.
  9. Cover the dough balls with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size, about an hour.
  10. While the dough is rising, plump up the raisins by adding enough water to the raisins in a bowl to completely submerge the raisins.
  11. When the dough has doubled in size, knock down the dough.
  12. Roll out the red dough into a rectangle, with the width of the rectangle just slightly shorter than the length of your bread pan.
  13. Give the plumped up raisins a slight squeeze to get rid of excess liquid and distribute across the red dough.
  14. Roll up the red rectangle from the short edge.
  15. Roll out the white dough so it is longer than your red dough log and wide enough to wrap around the red dough log. Wrap the red dough log with the white dough and pinch to seal the white dough. Pinch off any excess dough off the ends.
  16. Roll out the dark green dough so it is slightly longer than the white dough log. Using a sharp knife, cut out strips of dark green squiggles.
  17. Roll out the light green dough so it is longer than your white dough log and wide enough to wrap around the white dough log. Lay out the dark green squiggles over the light green dough and roll the dark green squiggles gently into the light green dough using a rolling pin.
  18. Flip the green dough so the dark green squiggles are facing the board. Wrap the green dough around the white log and pinch to seal the green dough. Pinch off any excess dough off the ends.
  19. Place the green log into your bread tin.
  20. Cover the tin and let rise. If you’re planning on keeping the bread a square shape, let it rise until the dough is about 85% the height of the pan. If you’re planning on the bread to have a domed top, let the dough rise to about 90% the height of the pan.
  21. If you’re keeping the bread a square shape, close the lid on the bread tin. Bake in a preheated 390°F/200°C oven and bake for about 30 mins or until the bread sounds hollow when you tap on the top of the bread.
  22. When the bread is done, remove immediately from bread pan and let cool on a cooling rack. Let the bread cool completely before cutting.

Notes

  • All timings listed are a general guide. It’s better to follow the description (eg doubled in size) rather than the timings, as the timing depends on many factors like the activity of your yeast, or the surrounding temperature.
  • If you’re using active dry yeast instead of instant yeast, you might have to activate the yeast first. Warm up the milk that was supposed to go into the bread till it’s about body temperature, and then add the yeast into the milk. When the mixture is foamy (about 5-10 mins later), add the yeast-milk back into the bread at the step where the milk is supposed to be added.
  • Kneading the butter into the dough after it’s already been formed helps with the structure of the bread, since butter inhibits gluten formation (apparently).
  • Letting the tangzhong sit overnight is technically optional, but it gives a much better flavour if you allow the tangzhong to rest.
  • Spiraling the bread dough is key in ensuring the bread has a soft fluffy texture.