This is the first out of three posts sponsored by Panasonic; we will be sharing our very own creations in these posts.
As an expression of love and gratitude towards our loved ones, we also attempted to serve these 3 dishes as a 3-course meal to our families.
Here’s for Starters – Laksa Bread Cups.
Bread-making has got to be one of the most therapeutic things one can do in the kitchen. I recall those times in LCB when I would volunteer to be in the bread section of our restaurant classes – simply because I love seeing how amazing a fluffy thing like bread could be created out of almost nothing!
And, as a purist – I embrace the idea of making dough from scratch; when I was in Sydney, I kept a biga for a long time and even convinced my mom to bring some of it home when she visited. Therefore, the idea of making bread using a bread machine has never once excited me enough to want to try it….not until I was given the chance to bring one home a couple of weeks back as part of our nomination for “Best Cooking Blog” in SG Blog Awards 2014.
So here I have with me, a new kitchen toy —
Second from left, we have a brand new Panasonic SD-P104 Bread Maker. What I like about this new toy is how sleek and compact it is – extremely helpful in space management given the tiny shoebox-type of living we find ourselves in today! (Yes, I have heard enough of lamentation from our bride-to-be, K, who finds no space in her new kitchen when I offered to buy her an air fryer.)
And so, with this shiny new toy sitting in the kitchen, K and I put on our aprons and experimented with some self-composed recipes; these recipes were inspired by our love for local food…for as much as we appreciate haute european cuisine, local fare is where our heart lies. We also had the following objectives in mind when creating the recipes —
1) Easy to Replicate – no complicated steps of rolling/moulding/shaping; idiot-proof bread making for all gender and ages
2) Convenience – no need for a working top/surface, no speckles of flour everywhere; completely mess-free
3) Efficiency – no re-inventing the wheel; simple and quick
4) Something Close to the Heart – flavours that generation after generation of Singaporeans can relate to and enjoy together
In the coming week, you will see a series of 3 recipes we invented using the Panasonic SD-P104 Bread Maker.
First of the series is our Laksa Loaf —
One of the unique features of Panasonic SD-P104 Bread Maker is that it comes with separate compartments for yeast and for dry ingredients. This is a new feature that allows yeast and ingredients to be added at a later stage after the dough has come together; this paves the way for a good foundation. The following is my personal take on the benefits of the respective compartments:
Yeast Compartment (Right)
Besides requiring food (sugar) and moisture (water), yeast requires optimal temperature of 26-27 deg Celsius in order to be activated. Because heat is generated during the process of kneading, it is better for yeast to be added as late in the process of kneading as possible to allow more control over the temperature at which the yeast is exposed to – thereby allowing fermentation to perform its best.
Dry Ingredient Compartment (Left)
We all want our bread to rise fabulously – fluffy and soft on the inside regardless of how crusty it is on the outside. Adding wet/dry ingredients as late in the process of kneading as possible will help ensure the bread does not turn out too dense. If wet ingredient(s) are to be added (ie. cheese, chocolate), this same function will sound a music when it is time to add the ingredients – the only difference is that one needs to be on stand-by beside the machine versus the auto-dispension function of dry ingredients of this machine.
Loaf of Laksa Bread – Fresh out of the machine, it was so aromatic we could smell it way before we entered the kitchen. The result of several tweaking of recipes is a loaf that captures the essence of a good laksa (balance of coconut flavour, spiciness and herbs). I like how the bread is flavourful yet not over-powering in taste – best enjoyed lightly toasted on it’s own (with butter as an option).
Recipe (1 loaf = 8 slices, 15min of preparation, 2hours of baking)
Bakers flour – 280g
Unsalted Butter – 10g
Granulated sugar – 24g
Laksa Paste – 100g
Coconut Milk – 100g
Water – 100ml
Instant Yeast – 5g
Dried shrimp, chopped – 20g
Laksa leaves, chopped – 3-5 stalks
1) Prepare laksa mix by simmering laksa paste, coconut milk and water for 6-8min. Bring laksa mix down to 25 deg celsius (use ice bath)
2) Put flour, butter, sugar in the bread bucket and then pour laksa mix into bread bucket – try to keep the liquid to the sides/border.
3) Put yeast into the yeast compartment
4) Put dried shrimps and laksa leaves into dry ingredient compartment
5) Select menu ’2′, raisin ‘Yes’ and press start
As I was rather impatient to get the recipe right, I tried to pop a new loaf in minutes after the last one was done and this was what greeted me on the screen. The beauty of a smart machine like Panasonic SD-P104 Bread Maker is that she knows she is hot and is aware she needs time to cool down – such mechanisms enable the machine to ‘run a longer race’ rather than ‘burnout’.
Thumbs up for the easy trouble shooting guide – took a mere 1 minute for us to figure out what was the problem.
As part of this series, K and I decided to share the love by serving our creations as a 3-course meal to our families.
For the Laksa Loaf, I came up with the idea of creating bread cups – something very dear to my childhood; my mom and I used to build bread cups using Gardenia loaves and filling them with all sorts of ingredients before topping it with cheese and popping them into the oven; those were wonderful memories that played a huge part in making me who I am today.
Recipe (8 Laksa Bread Cups, 30minutes to prepare)
Laksa Loaf, from above recipe – 1 loaf sliced into 8
Boiled Prawns, peeled and deveined – 16 pieces
Fishcake, sliced thin – 40 slices
Tau Pok, sliced – 16 strips
Quail egg, hardboiled with liquid centre – 8
Laksa Paste – 120g
Beansprouts – for garnish
Laksa leaves, chopped – for garnish
1) Prepare prawns, quail egg. To achieve a liquid centre for the quail egg, put it into boiling water for 2min and 15 sec and immediately immerse in iced/cold water.
2) Coat both sides of a slice of bread with a light layer of butter or olive oil and gently tug/fold it into your muffin mould. Next, pop it into your oven at 180deg C for 7mins or until the bread takes the form of a cup when de-moulded.
3) Assemble the bread cups.