Monday, May 30, 2011

Hong Kong Breads

Of all the bread books that I have, I love this one the most! By far, it is the easiest to follow and there is really no daunting process in its recipe.

Currently this book is only available in Hong Kong or via book companies on websites. When I first started making bread, I wonder why was it always so many steps, from kneading, resting, rising, punching down, kneading and second rising again! By the time I did all these, I was ready to get my car keys and just run down to the grocery to get a loaf, all readily and uniformly cut.

I love all kinds of bread. From the French Baguette to the Italian Pane, Japanese Milk bread to healthy choices of Oat & Nut bread, I will buy anything to try. Despite baking so much bread myself, I am always on the look out for new breads in the market and funny that I don't own a bread machine to make things easier at home! I love to work the bread dough with my hands and trust the hands on feel and texture to tell me it is right.

This Book has 2 main recipes for the bread dough, namely Sweet Dough and Salty Dough. The method of making both types are the same and nothing fancy about it. The book's instructions is written in both English and Cantonese Chinese with individual pictures on how to form the dough and shape the buns. As with all books published in Asia, the explanation in English may not be very clear cut but for a seasoned bread maker and the help of the instructional pictures, one can roughly guess on how to go about it. True that this book deals mainly with the making of Buns rather than loaf breads, but to the Western palate, it imparts a new idea on taking the plain bread dough to another level of creativity and choice. Same as the evolution of a large cake to the fancy idea of a smaller version disguised as cupcake, these bread buns are potentially addictive to lovers of bread too and very fun to make with multiple and endless possibilities of fillings.

What I really like about this book is the idea of taking 1 bread dough and using it to make so many different types of buns. And also you can mix everything in one go, knead it once and let it rise once before and after the filling, no punching and double kneading required!! Instead of the usual peanut butter and jelly sandwich, why not make a coconut roll bun, sausage bun, cheese bun or even a curry meat bun? Once you master the making the dough, you just need to think up of fillings. The bread is equally delicious eaten plain. So, if you are in Hong Kong or able to find this book on the internet here, do give it a try. Simple, delicious and very versatile..... all the features of a bread dough that you will like!

These are the buns I made using this book.

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