Apple Cinnamon Custard Pie

When weekends come, I usually like to bake some desserts to bring over to my mum's place to share with my parents and family members after dinner. Sometimes, there will be request for birthday cakes. These few weeks were not as challenging as there was no requests. So then, it depends on my mood for desserts. Recently, I was quite hooked on watching Korean dramas, so I'll choose to bake easier desserts. :p *confession* This weekend, I decided to make an easy apple pie.
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Recipe for Apple Cinnamon Custard Pie, modified from Alex's Irresistible Pastry.
(Makes a 9" pie)

Ingredients:
Shortcrust pastry
35g Icing sugar
75g Butter, softened
1 Egg yolk
130g Plain flour

Method:

1. Using a spatula, mix softened butter with icing sugar till light.
2. Add in egg yolk and mix well.
3. Stir in flour and mix till all incorporated.
4. Using a cling wrap, wrap the dough and refridgerate for at least 30mins.
5. Take out and roll between 2 sheets of plastic wrap to about 3mm to fit the 9"pie pan.
6. Chill in the fridge for about 20mins.
7. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 180C.
8. Line the pastry shell with parchment paper and baking beans.
9. Bake in the oven for 18mins, then remove the baking beans and continue baking for another 8 mins.
(My crust was a bit overcooked, therefore, it tasted bitter. The timing above has already been reduced to prevent overcooked.)

Filling
2 Green apples, sliced thinly (or any apple of your choice)
2 Eggs
100g Milk
30g Sugar
100g Whipping cream
1 tbsp flour
1 1/2 tsp Cinnamon powder (optional)

Method:
  1. Mix the ingredients well (except apples) and strain into the pie shell.
  2. Arrange the apples into the pie. Sprinkle with some cinnamon powder.
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  4. Bake at 180C for 25mins or until the custard set.
  5. Refrigerate before serving.
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    pie_applecustard04

Classic French Bread

I'm just so into bread baking lately. Experimenting with new recipes whenever time permits. Next up is Peter Reinhart's Classic French Bread. This recipe made four small loaves. The original calls for overnight fermentation in the fridge up to 4 days. However, after mixing the dough, I split into two. One batch, I baked on the same day, and the other batch, I baked on the 4th day from the fridge. 
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Recipe for Classic French Bread, adapted from "artisan breads every day" by Peter Reinhart.
(Makes 2 large loaves or 4 small loaves. I made 3 loaves)

Ingredients:
480g Bread flour (original uses 680g bread flour)
200g Plain flour
7g Instant yeast
14g Salt
454g Cold water (original uses warm water)

Method:
  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl. Use the paddle attachment and mix on the lowest speed for 1 minute. The dough should form a coarse shaggy ball. Let it rest, uncovered, for 5 mins.
  2. Switch to the dough hook and mix on medium-low speed for 2 minutes. The dough should be smooth, supple and tacky, but not sticky.
  3. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, then immediately refrigerate overnight or up to 4 days. [I divided the dough into half - one refrigerate and the other to bake the same day.]
  4. Same day bake: Do two sets of stretch and fold with 40mins resting time. After the second stretch and fold, rest for 15mins.
  5. Carefully transferred the dough onto a worktop. Divide the dough into two.
  6. Shape the dough round and placed it in a floured banetton. 
  7. Let it proof at room temperature for 1 hour or when increased to 1 1/2 times its original size.
  8. Preheat oven to 230C with cast iron pan. 
  9. Prior to baking, transfer the dough into a floured peel. Score the dough with a lame. 
  10. bread_classicfrench01
  11. Remove the cast iron pan from the oven. Transfer the dough to the pan. Cover it with a stainless steel bowl or a glass bowl.
  12. Bake for at 220C for 15mins covered, remove the glass bowl and rotate the pan, then continue baking for another 10-12mins uncovered.
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  14. Remove from the oven immediately and let it cool completely before slicing.
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  16. 4th day bake: Remove the dough from the refrigerator about 2 hours before you plan to bake. Gently transfer it to a lightly floured work surface, taking care to degas it as little as possible.
  17. Shape the dough round and placed it in a floured banetton. 
  18. Let it proof at room temperature for 1 hour or when increased to 1 1/2 times its original size.
  19. Preheat oven to 230C with a baking stone. After 10mins, placed a pan of water into the oven and let it boil.
  20. Prior to baking, transfer the dough into a floured peel. Score the dough with a lame. 
  21. Transfer the dough to the baking stone. Bake at 220 with steam for 15mins. After 15mins, remove the pan with water. Rotate the pan and continue baking for 10-12mins.
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  23. For a crispier crust, turn off the oven and leave the bread in for another 5 mins before removing.
  24. Cool the bread on a wire rack for at least 45mins or completely before slicing.
  25. bread_classicfrench09 bread_classicfrench10
Based on the crumbs, you can actually see that both methods of baking produced almost the same crumbs. However, the covered boule has more consistent crumbs. It could also due to the fermentation duration. The dough which was left to ferment for four days have strong yeast reaction smell. But after baking, it tasted good, like the previous boules. Overnight fermentation was supposed to be more flavourful. However, I really cannot taste the difference. You decide for yourself if overnight fermentation is what you like. What I know is, this kind of lean bread is definitely healthier and better than sweet doughs.
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Lavender Yogurt Bread

Breads are staple. But rice is not for me. I need to have my daily bread, but I don't have to take rice to survive. That's me. I've been using 吴宝春金牌土司 as my bread base for most of the breads I baked in the evening. It's the easiest bread I've done so far and the usual result is a soft bread.

With more time during the weekend, I would like to explore other bread recipes, especially those that required some preparation the night before. This Lavender Yogurt bread from Alex Goh's "The Art of Making Bread" is one of those recipe which required to prepare an "old dough" the day before. It was supposed to let it rest 24-48hours, but I used it within 12hours. Hmm...now I wondered what is the difference between an "old dough" vs a "preferment".

The bread was really very soft after baking. It is fluffy and light. The lavender smell filled the air when baking. Enjoy this as a sandwich or on its own.
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Recipe for Lavender Yogurt Bread, adapted from "The Art of Making Bread" 无添加剂面包 by Alex Goh.
(Makes 2 regular loaves)

Ingredients:

Laomian老面
100g Bread flour
70g Ice cold water
2g Instant Yeast
  1. Put the flour and yeast into a bowl. Add cold water and mix to form a dough.
  2. Cover with cling wrap and leave to ferment for 4 hours. (I ferment mine for 2 hours only)
  3. Remove the fermented dough from the bowl, place it into plastic container and press to degas it. Cover with cling wrap, keep it in the refrigerator for 24-48hours.
  4. If not use within 48hours, divide it into required weight, wrap it with plastic bag and keep it in the freezer. Use it within 30 days. 
  5. Before using, remove from the freezer, leave it at room temperature and let it thaw for 30mins.
Main dough
400g Bread flour
100g Plain flour
8g Instant yeast
1 tbsp (12g) Dried lavender
80g Honey
8g Salt
170g Laomian (refer to the top)
50g Cold eggs
150g Cold water (total weight of eggs and water should equate to 200g as sometimes, the eggs maybe heavier and you can use them all.)
100g Plain yogurt
80g Unsalted butter

Method:
  1. Put all the ingredients except butter, in the same order, in a mixing bowl. Using a dough hook, knead to form a dough.
  2. Add butter and knead until smooth and elastic. Leave to ferment for 45mins.
  3. bread_lavenderyogurt01
  4. Divide the dough into 8 portions and mould them round. Leave it to rest for 15mins.
  5. Flatten the dough, then make 3 fold. Flatten lightly and roll it up like swiss roll.
  6. bread_lavenderyogurt02 bread_lavenderyogurt03 bread_lavenderyogurt04
  7. Put the dough into the rectangular regular loaf pan.
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  9. Leave it to proof for 45mins.
  10. Meanwhile, heat up the oven to 220C.
  11. Bake at 220C on the lowest rack for 23mins. Tent the bread after 10mins if the top turns dark.
  12. bread_lavenderyogurt06
  13. Remove from the loaf pan immediately after baking. Cool completely before slicing.
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  15. Enjoy with butter.
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