Ensaymada atsaka Cheese Roll

I started baking when I was ten.  But I never made bread because bread-baking is/was my mom’s arena, and truthfully I thought it was tedious to make homemade bread when it was readily available in the supermarket (and my mom made bread at least once a week!).  But when my mom stopped baking (presumably due to old age), I suddenly developed the desire to bake bread!  So I decided to just go for it!  That was in 2011.

So I’ve been baking bread since then.  So far, so good… except that I have not been successful in making ensaymada!  Actually I did get a good result once – with a no-knead formula, but I wanted to try the ensaymada recipe of my mom…

The ensaymada that is available these days is not the same as the ensaymada of my childhood.  The one that I grew up with is basically a soft bread rolled in a snail-like fashion with margarine (Star) and sugar on top.  The ones that are popular now are pale, airy, pillow-y, and less bread-y… and super duper cheesy!  These days, I like the “modern” ensaymada better even if I still yearn for the old-style once in a while.

So, anyway, this recipe is one of many from my mom’s recipe collection (I still don’t have her permission to share her recipes) and it looks pretty good.  I used half the dough to make cheese rolls and the other half into ube ensaymada.

Thank goodness for stand mixers!  I swear I would not have kneaded this dough successfully!!!  The dough was rather “wet” and even after about 12 minutes of kneading by stand mixer, it was still soft and pliant… but it passed the “window” test.

The cheese rolls were first to be baked.  It turned out much browner than I wanted.  But they were soft, pillowy, although the cheese stick inside melted!  I guess I have to find cheese that does not melt…

The ensaymada were better since I covered them with foil while baking.  Everyone declared the ube ensaymada the winner… except for the kid, who lobbied for the cheese roll.  For her, it was better than the ensaymada (and she proved it by eating half of the cheese breads!

I can proudly say now that I have succeeded!!!  Now on to the next recipe in her collection!

Chocolate-swirled Bread

This is another one of my mom’s recipes… which the kid loves!!!  I actually like it too, even if I am not a fan of chocolate per se.

Again, because I don’t have permission to share the recipe, I cannot write it here.  What I can say is that this loaf is basically a sweet bread recipe where the dough is flattened into a rectangle and butter is brushed on the dough.  A mixture of cinnamon and sugar is sprinkled lightly over the brushed butter and then a handful of chocolate chips is spread all over.  The sweet bread dough is then rolled tightly into a fat loaf and placed inside a loaf pan then baked!

After baking, the top is brushed with butter again so that the crust becomes soft!


Baking (Kneaded) Bread Again

I wanted to bake bread again… oh I know I raved about the no-knead bread but my mom’s recipes were all for kneaded bread.  And while I preferred hand kneading (as she does too, BUT age is a bummer!!!) the next best thing is to use a stand mixer to knead (I always finish off with hand kneading but the initial kneading by the stand mixer eases the load a LOT!)

When my brother told me that my mom (at eighty something) kneaded bread dough which my brother baked, OMG, it made me yearn for her bread!!!

So today I dusted off my bread recipe book (ha, I call it mine but most of the recipes there are hers!) and picked my favorite – her take on cinnamon rolls – the version that I like because her usuall cinnamon rolls had raisins…

Her Caramel Rolls – basically cinnamon rolls but with chocolate chips and/or nuts inside and a topping of cream swirled with thin caramel.

I love that I made bread again.  Thank goodness for heavy duty stand mixers!

I am already planning to make her potato rolls and her sausage buns.


Kamote Buns stuffed with Ube

We had some kamote (sweet potatoes) left.  Actually, I did it on purpose and asked everyone in the household to leave some for me to make bread!  I followed the recipe by Fleischmann’s, although I formed them into buns and filled them with ube halaya (purple yam “jam”)

I loved them!!!!  But the kid didn’t really care for them…  She thought it was a bit weird!

B’s Sandwich…

The kid has always been a picky eater!  When she was a toddler, she ate everything!  But one day, poof!  She suddenly refused to eat her favorite foods.  She only wanted plain white rice and nothing else!


We had such a difficult time trying to figure out how to coax her into eating again.  But her pediatrician said not to force her to eat because she could be traumatized so we let her set the pace even as we tried to convince her to eat more.

The good news is things got better.  Years passed and little by little she ate more and more.  Still, the kid is not adventurous at all.  But at least she will try new foods and decide if she is okay with it – it used to be she decided first that she didn’t like it!

Anyway, one of the foods that she absolutely did not like is the EGG!  It didn’t matter what kind or how it was cooked, she refused to eat eggs.

That is, until I made a savory “french toast”…

First, beat an egg with a pinch of salt and pepper in a wide bowl.  Heat a non-stick frying pan (with a little butter).

Then butter a piece of bread and place 2 thin slices of farmers meatloaf, and pile on a piece of toast cheese.  Top with another slice of bread.  Flatten slightly.  Dip the sandwich in the beaten egg; make sure both sides have been dipped in the egg mixture.

Place the sandwich in the pan and cook about a minute on one side and another minute on the other side, until both sides are lightly browned.  (while the sandwich is in the pan, I use the spatula to flatten the sandwich a bit more).

Slice the sandwich into 2 triangles.  Enjoy while the sandwich is hot!


Ube Bread Knots

There used to be a bakery about 3 blocks away from my childhood home where we would go and buy freshly baked bread from.  Our favorite was obviously the pandesal, followed closely by the so-called Spanish Bread.  Not so popular with my brothers but immensely liked by me was the Pan de Ube (Purple Yam Bread).  It was basically a “bun” sandwich which was filled with ube paste.  Now, whether the ube filing is the real thing or not was never an issue (before, that is).

Lately though, I have been “feeling” that the ube filling is not real at all, but just some sweet, purple-colored paste pretending to be ube.  Thus began my journey to make my own ube bread.  I started a couple of years back using straight method dough for bread but lately my go-to recipe is the no-knead recipe by Jeff Hertzbery and Zoe Francois!

As for the ube filling (halaya), store bought is fine (as long as you know they use genuine products) or make your own!

(First of all, ube is not taro, or sweet potato!)

1 kilo ube, steamed or boiled, then mashed
1 cup butter
1 cup condensed milk
1 cup thin coconut milk
1/2 cup thick coconut cream
1/4 cup sugar (or to taste)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Melt the butter;  Add the condensed milk, coconut milk and coconut cream.  Stir to mix.  Add the sugar and vanilla; mix.  Add the mashed ube and cook, over low heat, until thick, about 20 to 30 minutes, stirring constantly.  Take care not to burn the mixture!

(Note – purple food color may be added to enhance the color of the halaya, since the purple pigment of the ube varies greatly.  When the inherent color of the ube is insufficient, the end product is likely to be gray in color and will look unappetizing.)

Let the mixture cool before storing in the fridge.

To make the bread, roll out a piece of dough and spread some ube halaya.  Roll it up into a long strip and fold into a knot.  Bake at 375*F for about 15 minutes (longer for bigger pieces),




E’s Baking Day, Pandesal…

E has been baking up a storm – of loaves!

But this time around he wanted to learn how to make pandesal.  Of course I was more than willing to oblige.

Pandesal is bread that we grew up with.  Back then it seemed that all the neighborhoods had a panaderia that churned out freshly baked pandesal throughout the day.  In our neighborhood, it was about 3 blocks away.  It was open 24 hours everyday and during the school year, we would buy pandesal at 5 o’clock in the mornng.  But when school was out, we would take our dogs for a walk around the neighborhood at midnight and head to the bakery!  Aside from pandesal, I would buy Spanish bread and ensaymada!

Pandesal, literally, means salted bread.  It is ironic, though, because pandesal is actually a bit sweet.

I couldn’t find a no-knead recipe for pandesal so I improvised by using the basic no-knead recipe I’ve using but I added sugar!  I also substituted part of the water with an egg.

It was a success!  At least for my half of the dough… as pandesal I mean…

When E realized that making the pandesal was more complicated than he thought, he decided that his half of the dough would be baked as a boule!

He did say that he found it a bit weird because it tasted like pandesal but did not look like it!

Anyway, going back to the recipe, it is basically the no knead bread from “Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day” with sugar added and egg substituted for part of the liquid.  I halved the recipe, which makes about 20 to 24 pieces.  The beauty of it is, first of all, no knead!  Secondly, I can simply bake enough pandesal each day and store the dough in the fridge for the following days.

1-1/3 cups water
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon melted shortening
7g instant yeast
1 teaspoon fine salt
3-1/4 cups bread flour
6 tablespoons brown sugar

Mix everything together in a large container with a vent in the cover.  Leave the container at room temp for about 2 to 3 hours, until the dough rises and the top is flattened.  Store in the fridge overnight.

The following day, take out 1/3 or 1/2 of the dough with floured hands (cut with scissors).  Roll out and form a long cylinder.  Roll in breadcrumbs.  Slice the log into 8 or 12 pieces.  Arrange on a baking sheet that is oiled and sprinkled with breadcrumbs.  Leave to rise for about 30 to 60 minutes.  Meanwhile preheat oven to 400F.  Bake pandesal about 10 minutes.  To make sure bread is done, inner temperature should register 195F when tested with an instant thermometer.




Maple-Oat Bread, No Knead

I am always interested in no knead bread, so when I saw the e-book “Bread Toast Crumbs” by Alexandra Stafford, and read all the good reviews, I did not hesitate to buy it.  I was excited to try the recipes!

The first recipe I chose is this –

I felt it was perfect, since my mother had just given me a bottle of maple syrup, a souvenir from her recent trip to Canada.

I baked mine in loaf pans.  And, I can attest that this is a super easy bread to make, delicious to boot!!!

Of course I sent one over to my mom, after all, she gave me the maple syrup!!!

The recipe can be found online here.



Flat Bread… and Shrimp Curry!

The little girl likes flat bread.

When she discovered that I had bread dough in the fridge, she (sort of) requested her favorite flat bread.

And I am happy to oblige!  But then I couldn’t leave it at that.  The bread had to have something to slop up.

The perfect dish?  Curry of course!

The flat bread is easy – grab a small piece,flatten it and then cook it in a hot, lightly oiled frying pan… what’s important is to keep the flat bread warm.

As for the shrimp curry, clean and devein 500 grams of shrimp or prawns.  Set aside.  Sauté some ginger and sliced onions.  Add 2 to 3 tablespoons curry powder mix (I get mine from the local Indian store – they have a really nice chicken and seafood curry blend) and stir fry several seconds.  Add about 1-1/2 or up to 2 cups of coconut milk then add the shrimp.  When the shrimp is done, add sliced red bell peppers (I used a large red one that BFF gave me) and season to taste.  The dish is ok to serve at this point.  But I like to add about 1/2 cup coconut cream just to have extra creaminess.

So yummy!!!


Fried Bread

cheese. homemade bread. deep-fried.

what’s not to love!!!!

oh so yummy!

the bread is the same whey bread yesterday… as for the cheese, it is homemade and was given to hubby as a gift last Christmas (yes I know, it took a while to get through all the food gifts!)

deep frying the bread was a fantastic idea!  the resulting texture is different but yummy all the same!

I wonder what else I can do with the whey bread?