Saturday, March 27, 2010

Burger Bun


We bought some burger patties some time backHamburger Bun and they are still sitting in the freezer. Hubby has always wanted to make our very own burger bun to go with it. We really enjoy DIY everything nowadays as it is healthier and tastier (may be not!). Last night, we made our own pork chop with Parsley-Garlic Chimichurri Sauce. It turns out very delicious.

I found this beautiful burger buns recipe from Beautiful Burger Bun. For the toppings, instead of using plain sesame seeds, I used a mixture of sesame seeds, poppy seeds and sunflower seeds.


  • 3/4 to 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast


  1. Mix and knead all of the dough ingredients—by hand, mixer, or bread machine—to make a soft, smooth dough.
  2. Cover the dough, and let it rise for 1 hour, or until it's doubled in bulk.
  3. Gently deflate the dough, and divide it into 6 pieces. Shape each piece into a round 1" thick (more or less); flatten to about 3" across. Place the buns on a lightly greased baking sheet, cover, and let rise for about an hour, until very puffy.
  4. If desired, brush buns with melted butter. Or brush lightly with egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water), and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  5. Bake the buns in a preheated 375°F oven for 12 to 15 minutes, till golden. Cool on a rack.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Walnut Brownies


It has been a while since I last bake any cakWalnut Browniese. Since walnut brownie is our favourite cake, I have decided to bake it from scratch rather than using any cake mix. After browsing through some recipe sites, I have finally come to the conclusion to try the “Absolutely Best Brownies” recipe by CountryDayz in 

According to the recipe contributor "These are the easiest and most delicious brownies that I have ever eaten. They are so moist and super quick and easy to make. For best results, use a Dutch processed cocoa. For less cake-like brownies, use all-purpose flour instead of self rising."

Since I only have all purpose flour, I am using all-purpose flour and 1 teaspoon baking powder instead of the self-rising flour.


  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour an 8x8 or 9x9 inch baking pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, beat together the butter and sugar. Add eggs, and mix well. Combine the flour, baking powder, cocoa and salt; stir into the sugar mixture. Mix in the vanilla and stir in walnuts if desired. Spread evenly into the prepared pan.
  3. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges are firm. Cool before cutting into squares.

I couldn’t believe how easy it was to bake walnut brownies from scratch. Above all, this recipe is much less fattening than any other brownies recipes out there. The brownies came our nice and fudgy. They also had a nice crisp outside and moist center. Super yummy delicious!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

100% Stoneground Whole Wheat Bread

This recipe is adapted from Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods and make 2 loaves of bread.100% Stoneground Whole Wheat Bread


  • 2 Tb Yeast, Active Dry
  • 1/4 cup Warm Water (110 degrees) 
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tb Honey 
  • 1-1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 3 Tb Vegetable Oil 
  • 1-3/4 cups Warm Water (110 degrees) 
  • 5-6 cups Whole Wheat Bread Flour


  1. Dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup warm water.
  2. Allow to proof 3-5 minutes.
  3. Combine next 4 ingredients and add to yeast mixture.
  4. Stir in flour, mix well. Knead 10 minutes.
  5. Let rise 1 hour and 45 minutes. Punch down. Let rise 40-60 minutes until double.
  6. Punch down and let rise a third time until double.
  7. Shape into 2 loaves and let rise until double.
  8. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake 45 minutes.

Optional: If you like sesame seeds or poppy seeds, roll dough on damp towel and in seeds before putting in pans.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti

Cranberry Pistachio Biscoti

Biscotti have always been our favourite tea time snack to go with our favourite cup of coffee. Another reason for loving biscotti is that these biscotti are lower in fat than other cookies/ muffins as they do not contain butter/oil. Hubby just loves the eggy taste in the biscotti.

Back in January, I baked Cranberry Walnut Biscotti. In February, I baked Cranberry Cashew Biscotti. Baking biscotti seems to become a monthly affair for me.

For this month, I am going to bake Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti. I just found out from a Canadian friend that they love to bake biscotti as an alternative to all other rich baked goods during the Christmas season. For Christmas, bakers love to use cranberry and pistachio in their biscotti for the nice colour combination. For hubby and I, we do not mind the type of nuts that go into the biscotti as we enjoy the texture of biscotti, crispy and crunchy.

Despite some biscotti recipes use oil/butter, the true original Italian biscotti do not consist this ingredient. The binding factor should come from eggs instead!

The recipe for this biscotti comes from Joy Of Baking.


  • 2/3 cup (135 grams) granulated white sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cups (245 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (60 grams) shelled, unsalted pistachios, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup (75 grams) dried cranberries or cherries


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Combine sugar and eggs and mix until thick, pale and fluffy texture is obtained. (When you slowly raise the spoon, the batter will fall back into the blow in slow ribbons). At this point beat in vanilla extract.
  3. In a separate bowl, whish together flour, baking powder and salt.
  4. Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and beat until combined.
  5. Fold in the chopped pistachios and cranberries.
  6. Turn out dough onto parchment lined baking sheet and form into a log about 12 inches long and 3 1/2 inches wide.
  7. You may have to dampen your hands to form the log as the dough is quite sticky.
  8. Put in the oven and bake for 25 minutes or until golden firm to touch.
  9. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes.
  10. Cut on diagonal with serrated knife into 3/4 inch thick slices. Never use a bread knife to cut.
  11. Place the biscotti, cut side down on the baking sheet.
  12. Bake for another 10 minutes, turn slices over and bake for another 10 minutes or until golden brown.
  13. Remove from oven and let cool. Store in an airtight container.

This recipe makes about 16-20 biscotti. Overall, the biscotti texture is good and still taste eggy. However, between the 3 biscotti recipes that I have tried, I still prefer the Cranberry Cashew Biscotti recipe for the lemony taste as well as the texture of it.

Biscotti have a long shelf life and thus, it can be made well ahead of time for any occasions. It can be a perfect Christmas gift as well.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins


I just feel like baking something todLemon Poppy Seed Muffinay since it’s Friday. I have always enjoyed staring at all the pretty muffins at the cafe and studying the types of muffin available. Lemon and poppy seed seems to be a perfect combination in baking.

Since I have a pack of poppy seeds sitting in my baking cabinet for weeks waiting to be opened, I just thought of trying to bake some lemon poppy seed muffins today. If it turns out well, I shall bake it next week for my friend’s bridal shower.

This recipe is extracted from and it yields 15 medium muffins. Instead of using 2 cups all purpose flour, I substituted 1 cup of all purpose flour with 1 cup of whole wheat bread flour. I am always a fan of whole wheat rather than white flour. As for the lemon juice and lemon zest, one standard size lemon is sufficient for this recipe.


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup poppy seeds
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup plain/lemon flavoured yogurt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest 
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease a muffin tin.
  2. Combine the flour, 3/4 cup white sugar, poppy seeds, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl mix the eggs, yogurt, vegetable oil and lemon zest. Blend well and pour over the flour mixture. Mix until just combined. Do no overmix!
  4. Spoon batter evenly between the prepared muffin cups. Bake at 400 degrees F for 18 minutes.
  5. Combine the lemon juice with the remaining 3 tablespoons white sugar. Stir into sugar dissolves.
  6. Once the muffins are baked pierce the tops several times with a toothpick. Slowly brush the lemon juice and sugar mixture over the tops of each muffin. Let muffins cool in pans for 10 minutes before removing them from the tin.

At first, I was kind of worried when checking through the oven window as the muffins look pretty plain and dull. However, the lemon juice and sugar mixture was a real saviour. It gives the muffin a nice glaze. I also read from some websites mentioning that the sugar mixture actually helps to extend the life span of the muffin too.

The final muffins are moist and refreshing. Most probably I will be baking these muffins next weekend for my friend’s bridal shower. One more good thing about this recipe is that it uses less oil and incorporates some healthy yogurt for more calcium.


To get the most juice from a lemon, it should be allowed to reach room temperature, or microwaved for a few seconds prior to juicing. Using your palm to roll the lemon on a hard surface can also help improve juice yields. If you only need a little juice, some people pierce the end with a fork, squeeze the amount needed, cover the holes with tape and then store in the fridge.