Archive for the ‘Bread’ Category

Cheesy cauliflower pasta

Posted: March 27, 2016 by nietize in Bread, Pasta, Vegetarian
Tags: ,

From Bon Appetit



Serves 2

On a sheet pan, drizzle a head of chopped cauliflower and six skin-on garlic cloves with some olive oil, salt, pepper, and red chili flakes. Roast at 425°, tossing occasionally, until the cauliflower is caramelized and crisp, about 30 minutes. Once cool, peel the roasted garlic cloves

In a large bowl, combine a cup of grated Parmesan, three tablespoons of butter, a pinch of salt, two tablespoons of toasted pine nuts, and a quarter-cup of toasted breadcrumbs. (Pro tip: Toast stale bread until lightly golden, then use a food processor to pulse into crumbs. Store in a large resuable plastic bag in the freezer and never not have breadcrumbs again.)

Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook a pound of short pasta (like cavatelli). Drain the pasta, reserving about a cup of the cooking liquid (I usually end up using around quarter-cup). Toss the hot pasta with the cauliflower, garlic cloves, Parmesan butter mixture, and enough pasta water to mix it all together. Garnish with a handful of torn parsley leaves.


Pizza margherita

Posted: January 20, 2013 by nietize in Bread, Italian


BBC GoodFood
Serves 4


300g strong bread flour
1 tsp instant yeast (from a sachet or a tub)
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil , plus extra for drizzling

100ml passata
handful fresh basil or 1 tsp dried
1 garlic clove , crushed

125g ball mozzarella , sliced
handful grated or shaved parmesan
handful cherry tomatoes , halved

handful basil leaves (optional)

Make the base: Put the flour into a large bowl, then stir in the yeast and salt. Make a well, pour in 200ml warm water and the olive oil and bring together with a wooden spoon until you have a soft, fairly wet dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 mins until smooth. Cover with a tea towel and set aside. You can leave the dough to rise if you like, but it’s not essential for a thin crust.

Make the sauce: Mix the passata, basil and crushed garlic together, then season to taste. Leave to stand at room temperature while you get on with shaping the base.

Roll out the dough: If you’ve let the dough rise, give it a quick knead, then split into two balls. On a floured surface, roll out the dough into large rounds, about 25cm across, using a rolling pin. The dough needs to be very thin as it will rise in the oven. Lift the rounds onto two floured baking sheets.

Top and bake: Heat oven to 240C/fan 220C /gas 8. Put another baking sheet or an upturned baking tray in the oven on the top shelf. Smooth sauce over bases with the back of a spoon. Scatter with cheese and tomatoes, drizzle with olive oil and season. Put one pizza, still on its baking sheet, on top of the preheated sheet or tray. Bake for 8-10 mins until crisp. Serve with a little more olive oil, and basil leaves if using. Repeat step for remaining pizza.

Gloriously nutty soda bread

Posted: October 7, 2012 by nietize in Bread

Waitrose recipe

250g plain wholemeal flour, plus extra for dusting
250g plain white flour
25g essential Waitrose Butter
150g Dorset Cereals Gloriously Nutty
25g Waitrose Golden Caster Sugar
1½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 x 284ml cartons buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 190ºC, gas mark 5. Place the flours in a large bowl then, using your fingertips, rub in the butter.

Stir in the Dorset Cereals Gloriously Nutty, sugar and bicarbonate of soda. Make a well in the centre, pour in the buttermilk and quickly bring together to make a very soft and sticky dough.

Tip the dough onto a heavily floured surface and, with dusted hands, roughly pat the dough into a 20cm round. Transfer to a non-stick baking sheet and cut a deep cross in the top. Bake for 35–40 minutes until dark brown and completely cooked through. Transfer to a wire rack, cover with a clean tea towel and leave to cool before slicing.

And the gf steps in to do the stuff I don’t normally do on this blog! It is or at least it seems to be since I didn’t make it quite a simple recipe but it’s really good. I love the nuts and fruits in it.


For the burger
540g/1lb 3oz minced beef chuck steak
2 tbsp paprika
1 onion, chopped
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 free-range egg yolk
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper

12 chestnut mushrooms, sliced
a good handful of grated mature cheddar
1 tbsp butter

To serve
½ iceberg lettuce, shredded
4 ciabatta rolls
1 beef tomato, sliced

Place all the burger ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir to combine. Using your hands, shape into four equal-sized patties. Leave in the fridge overnight to firm up the patties.

Preheat the grill to hot. Cook the burgers under the grill for 15 minutes, or until cooked through, turning once.

Meanwhile, sauté the mushrooms in butter till cooked. Add the grated cheese and cook till it’s melted.

Before serving, cut the ciabatta rolls in half and toast under the grill on both sides. Top the bottom halves of the ciabatta rolls with the lettuce, followed by a slice of tomato. Arrange the burger on the tomato. Add the cheese mushroom mixture on top of the burger. Top each burger with the other halves of the ciabatta rolls and serve.

French Toast with Grilled Bananas

Posted: January 31, 2011 by lainey in Bread, Breakfast, Fruits, Vegetarian

Ingredients (serves 2)

6 slices of stale bread (I used Tuscany soft grain country bread from Trader Joe’s)

1 cup of soy milk (you can use regular milk if you want)

2 eggs

pinch of salt

pinch of nutmeg and cinnamon



1. Beat the eggs with the milk, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt

2. Heat up a frying pan with some butter.

3. Place bread into egg mixture (do not soak for too long or the bread will fall apart) and place on frying pan, fry each side till golden brown.

4. Grill some bananas ( I used a blow torch).

5. Serve french toast with grilled banans, strawberries and drizzle with good quality maple syrup.

I love french toast breakfast. This is my favourite breakfast to make when I want to be fancy on weekends. And I always prefer the home-made versions because I can regulate the amount of sugar/butter I use. I think this is a healthier version of french toast than what we get outside. And way more affordable too.

Cauliflower rarebit

Posted: August 7, 2010 by nietize in Bread, British, Eggs
Tags: , ,

From Home Food
Serves 4

8 thick slices ciabatta
1 garlic clove
800g cauliflower, cut into small florets
120g grated gruyere cheese
120g grated cheddar cheese
1 tbsp dijon mustard
2 eggs beaten
2 tbsp beer
4 tbsp cream

Turn on the grill and toast the ciabatta. Cut the garlic clove in half and rub the cut slices over one side of each slice of ciabatta

Bring a saucepan of water to the boil and cook the cauliflower for about 5 minutes, or until it is tender when you prod it with a knife. Drain it very well.

Mix the cheeses, mustard, egg, beer and cream together. Put the toast on a baking tray and arrange some cauliflower on top of each piece. Divide the cheese mixture among the pieces of toast, making sure you coat all the cauliflower.

Put the rarebits under the grill and grill them until they are brown and bubbling.

No Knead Baguette (in Singapore)

Posted: February 7, 2010 by nietize in Bread

From My Bread: The Revolutionary No-Work, No-Knead Method by Jim Lahey.


3 cups (400 grams) bread flour
1/2 teaspoon table salt
3/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon instant or other active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups (350 grams) cool 55-65F water
additional flour for dusting
20 pieces of the any combination of following: whole garlic cloves, whole olives, halved cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt or kosher salt
1.  In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, table salt, sugar and yeast. Add the water and, using a wooden spoon, mix until you have a wet, sticky dough, about 30 seconds. Cover the bowl and let sit at room temperature until the surface is dotted with bubbles and the dough is more than doubled in size, 10 to 18 hours

2. When the first rise is complete, generously dust a work surface with flour. Use a bowl scraper or rubber spatula to scrape the dough out of the bowl in one piece. Fold the dough over itself to her three times and gently shape it into a somewhat flattened ball. Brush the surface of the dough with some of the olive oil and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon of the coarse salt (which will gradually dissolve on the surface).

3. Grab a large bowl (large enough to hold the dough when it doubles in size. you could also use a large pot) and brush the insides of the bowl with olive oil. Gently place the dough, seam side down into the bowl. Cover bowl with a towel. Place in a warm draft free spot to rise for 1 to 2 hours. The dough is ready when it is almost doubled. If you gently poke it with your finger, it should hold the impression. If it springs back, let it rise for another 15 minutes.

4. Half an hour before the end of the second rise, pre-heat the oven to 500F, with a rack in the center. Oil a 13″ x 18″ x 1″ baking sheet.

5. Cut the dough into quarters. Gently stretch each piece evenly into a long, thin, baguette shape approximately the length of the pan. Place on the pan, leaving about 1 inch between the loaves. Embed the garlic cloves, olives or cherry tomatoes into the loaves, about five pieces per loaf. Drizzle, tab or brush olive oil on each loaf. Sprinkle sea salt or kosher salt over each loaf, remember to go light on the olive loaf since the olives are salty.

6. Bake For 15 to 25 minutes, until the crust is golden brown. Cool on a pan for five minutes, then use a spatula to transfer the baguette to a rack to cool thoroughly.

Note: The baguette may become a bit soggy in just a few hours because of the salt on the surface. If that happens, reheat the loaves in a hot oven until crisp.

Thanks, lainey for the recipe! I am glad that I didn’t give up on the recipe after my first attempt which ended in a crispy piece of dough (which at least went well with fish soup). Just a few pointers to note about the bread:

(a) Singapore is so bloody warm and humid; the first rising only requires around 2 hours and the second rising 30 minutes.

(b) Be liberal with the olive oil.

(c) There’s no need to sift the flour.

(d) Don’t use sundried tomatoes as the topping, it gets burnt really quickly.

(e) Push the toppings deep into the dough, or else, they will start rolling around when the dough rises in the oven.

All in all, I am quite happy with my second attempt at bread making; at least there’s a decent finished product. Some improvements to be made, for instance, the bread crust isn’t crispy enough though I am not too sure whether it’s a question of overcooking or undercooking the bread dough. More experimentation is required. Like lainey, I think I need to get Jim Laney’s book as well! Next up, back in London, no-knead ciabatta!

No Knead Baguette

Posted: February 4, 2010 by lainey in Bread, Breakfast

lI love steamy kitchen’s bread recipes. Firstly, she gets her super cute 4 yr son to help out. That’s always reasurring for a newbie baker like me – if he can do it, so can I! So I tried her no knead baguette recipe which she took from Jim Lahey’s book. There’s something about baking bread. Having to plan a day in advance, the mess, the rising of the dough, staring at the monstrous bubbles, the smell the apartment fills with when the bread is baking….it’s such a magical- domestic- goddess-y process.

So I woke  up at 6 (yea I wake up at 6 for bread but not anything else) on a Sunday morning to bake bread for a special breakfast for the husband. It was lovely, I had time to do yoga during the second rise, and spend some good “me” time that’s not sleeping or working.

I will definitely make this bread again, lots of improvements to make it perfect but just for today, our four baguettes will make us satisfied.

Oh, and I think I need to go buy Jim Lahey’s bread book.

New York Times’ No – knead bread

Posted: September 9, 2009 by lainey in Bread, Breakfast


My friends, C & J, are European and do not like American bread. As a result, C bought J a French Oven and a Kitchenaid Mixer for Christmas and they’ve been making their own bread since. Since I have my very own Le Creuset now, I thought I would give it a try, because well, supermarket-bought bread is just not very appetizing and Clear Flour, though fantastic, is too much of a treat for us to go daily. So I found out that lots of food bloggers out there have tried Bitten’s no-knead bread recipe (which I believe help soar sales of Le Creuset French Ovens everywhere around USA) but decided that Steamy Kitchen’s post about the process, with her little boy doing each step, was easy to understand and extremely accessible for a visual learner like myself. I was so hesitant until I saw her little boy making the bread, and I decided – so can I!


Some notes about my experience:
1) I have a 3.5 Qt French Oven while it’s recommended that we use a 5qt or above. To improvise, I simply cut the dough into half after the first rising and split up the second rising process – so I made 2 cute little loaves of bread instead of 1 big one. I find that more accessible for a 2-person family.

2) Like Smitten Kitchen, I did not have instant yeast in the refrigerator but have some active dry yeast. Smitten Kitchen recommends 1/3 tsp of active dry yeast to replace 1/4 tsp of instant yeast. Anyone who knows me at all knows that I suck at estimating anything. I don’t have a 1/3 tsp measuring spoon so I used 1/4 + 1/8 tsp of active dry yeast. I think that’s pretty close to 1/3 (6/24 + 3/24 = 9/24 ; 1/3 = 8/24) .

3) I don’t have non-terry cloth towels at home. After reading a lot of comments, I decided the best way to make the bread is to put the dough on parchment paper for the second rise. Parchment paper works perfectly, because you just lift the parchment paper with the dough to put in the French Oven, and after the bread is done, you lift the parchment paper out and it’s easy to remove the paper then. None of those sticky fingers that’s pertinent in so many comments about the bread-making process.

Somehow, my second loaf is prettier than the 1st because I did try remove the dough from the paper the first time round and simply did the paper plopping antic the second time round.

4) Finally, Le Creuset says its French Ovens can only handle 400 F but everyone thinks it can do so for 450 F. Some bloggers wing it with the plastic knob on the cover, but I’m poor and I don’t want to risk it. So I found some advice and it’s really simple to just remove the knob with a screwdriver (I don’t even have a screwdrive, I used a knife) and just stuff the hole with some aluminum foil. Minimum fuss for a paranoid gal.

5) The bread is fabulous with just some butter. Seriously, butter elevates it to another level altogether.


Onion soup

Posted: August 31, 2009 by nietize in Bread, Soup
Tags: ,


6 yellow onions, chopped
2 tsp of fresh thyme
1 good knob of butter
beef stock 3 cups
1 bay leave
1/2 tbsp of brandy

In a large saucepan, or a Dutch oven, at low heat melt the butter and add the onions and 1 tsp of salt. Cover and cook for 1 hour, constantly stirring to ensure that the onions do not get burnt. Remove the lid and continue cooking for 20 minutes until the onions are soft and silky.


Add the beef stock, 1 tsp of the fresh thyme, the brandy and the bay leaf and bring to the boil. Simmer for 20 minutes. Season to taste.


Pour the soup into a grill proof bowl, place a slice of ciabatta bread on top and top it with gruyere cheese (or cheddar cheese). Place the bowl under the grill for 5-10 minutes until the cheese is brown, bubbling and crispy.

Meanwhile, take 1 tsp of fresh thyme and dress it with extra virgin olive oil. Drizzle the mixture over the cheese after the cheese has been grilled. Serve.

One of my all time favourite soups. The above recipe is adapted from a number of recipes including Jamie Oliver’s onion soup.

The traditional French soup recipe involves a number of extra steps like cooking the onions in the oven till they are brown and stick but I chose to omit all that because it just takes too long and my version is lighter on the palate. That said, do cook the onions for the amount of time stipulated above to release the natural sweetness of the onions.