Tag Archives: Bread

Apple Vanilla Custard Brioche-Bachour

25 May

Wow it’s May!!!! The days are longer and warmer. Been busy making chocolate. Just recently I had taken a brave step in participating in 2 craft fairs. The first being a fundraising one while the other was a school fair. Prior to both events, I was worried on whether I would sell anything as selling was not my strong suite. Furthermore I was worried about breaking even and connecting with people but with certain individuals encouragement I pushed on. In preparing for the craft fairs, there was late nights and panda eyes but it was well worth it. In the school fair, I noticed I did not need to do hard selling. If people are interested in your craft they will buy. I enjoyed it immensely as I got to promote how I made the chocolates and the process in which I made it and could see people’s reactions. At the end of the day, several boxes of chocolates were sold which was good to cover the supplies cost. Perhaps it is easy to please me but at the same time I was not aiming to make a huge profit as building, connecting and promoting my craft to people was what I was aiming for. Hopefully it will generate interest amongst individuals with sweet tooths. In terms of this experience it was a good one and one I would like to try again.

Aside from preparing for craft fairs, I spent the time honing in my skills on baking. Recently I had taken a 2 day weekend courses in laminating at Mon Paris Patisserie. In that class we made croissants, canneles and brioche. It was an excellent class as we covered the basics of lamination as well as got helpful tips

Brioche is a french style bread in which the key ingredients are eggs, flour and butter. The consistency is almost like a cake as it is very light and soft.

Vanilla Brioche

780 g bread flour
70 g sugar
15 g salt
300 g eggs
150 g egg yolks
56 g invert sugar
30 g whole milk
40 g fresh yeast
350 g unsalted butter

Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream
480 g whole milk
2 vanilla beans
120 egg yolks
120 g sugar (I only used 90 g)
57 g cornstarch
56 g unsalted butter

Apples to place on top.

Voila-fresh baked Vanilla Brioche!!!!

Result: MMMMMMMMM…..

Holidays Baking-Cinnamon Morning Buns w/Orange Zest and Pecans

1 Jan

Happy New Year!!!!! What a way to ring it in. Dim sum with family. Actually today was rather quiet. New Year’s Eve was better. Why? I spent the last day of the year snow shoeing on Cypress Mountain. It would be my first time and I enjoyed it. There was something about the glistening snow covered trees and the crunching of snow underneath my feet that brought me smiles. Perhaps it was the serenity and peacefulness that only nature could bring. I didn’t even mind the cold. All that was missing was a cabin in this winter wonderland.

The night before the actual adventure, I was all in a tizzy. Being a beginner, my mind was racing in all directions. Would I cramp up and have an accident? My nerves were a bit calmer on the day of. I was excited as my friends and I started up the trail. It was absolutely spectacular being on the mountain. The air was crisp, clean and cold and I marveled at the beautiful surrounding. Up and down we went admiring nature’s wonder. When we reached the look out point, the view was breathtaking

Nothing could be complete than something to nibble on the way to re-energize. In this case, it was my favourite bread of all time, the cinnamon bun. I had remembered a recipe that captured my attention before and decided to make it. Unlike most cinnamon buns whose components were fresh brioche, cinnamon and sugar and cream cheese frosting. This recipe added a warmth to it. It called for orange zest and honey. The orange zest added complexity to the brioche’s flavor profile and honey made the brioche less sweet. One bite and I was in love.

Cinnamon Morning Buns w/ Orange Zest and Pecans (adapted from here)

2 1/4 teaspoon yeast
1 1/4 cup warm milk
1 teaspoon plus 1/4 cup honey
4 large eggs and 1 egg yolk
4 cups flour (I used all purpose flour)
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup unsalted butter

3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground cardamon
1/2 cup honey
1 1/2 sticks butter
find sanding sugar for sprinkling

Notes: I had used a mug to measure the milk thus had a softer liquidy dough. As a result I increased the flour to approx 7 cups and by doing so, I approx. doubled the other ingredients with the exception of the eggs. For the filling, the butter was only softened and mixed with the honey, cinnamon, cardamon and sugar to make a creamy mixture in order spread onto the dough. Proofing required approx 3 hours. Results were fabulous. ***Make sure the dough is pliable and not sticky. A keeper of a recipe!

Matcha Honey Buns with Chestnut Cream

6 Nov

What a drag, its raining again in Vancouver. With all this rain and gloomy weather, I decided to bake again to warm up the house and my tummy :0. Yummmmm….bread gain. Nothing beats the aromas of warm bread in the household. One can’t go wrong when making bread and since I have a few packages of matcha and some freshly made chesnut cream, I decided to be adventurous and make some mathca honey with chestnut cream buns.

To make the buns, made a poolish. This consisted of warming up some milk and adding some sugar, 1/2 cup of the flour and yeast as a starter. Proof the poolish for about 1/2 an hour. After the poolish has proofed a bit, I added remaining ingredients to it. The remaining ingredients consisted of the remaining flour, sugar, green tea power, butter, milk powder, egg and honey. Once they are mixed together I began to knead the dough. Bare in mind, the recipe is quite moist thus add more flour if need be. I actually added another 1 1/2 cups of flour to 2 cups for the dough to be manageable. Thus use discretion. Once the dough kneaded enough and less sticky to the hands, proof the dough for 1 hour.

Once proofed punch down the dough. Knead again for about 5 minutes and divide the dough into 8 pieces. One could divide the dough into 10 pieces for smaller buns. Pat the dough flat and spoon the chestnut cream in. Squeeze the edges to seal the cream inside the dough after which roll them into balls.


Decorate with black and white sesames


Proof the buns for another 30-45 minutes until double in size.


Bake at 350F for 20 minutes. Once done brush with egg glaze.


Matcha Honey Buns

250 g bread flour
3 g green tea powder
8 g yeast
130 g water
20 g fresh milk (I used all milk)
10 g butter
10 g milk powder
1 egg
40 g honey


This recipe is a keeper. The chestnut cream played well with the matcha. As a suggestion for next time, dougle the sugar, egg, honey, matcha and milk powder in relation to the extra flour used.

Happy Bread Making.

Honey Green Tea Bun

16 Oct

Bread again!!! I just love the aroma of fresh baked bread. Crispy on the outside, and soft on the inside. It has been raining for a few days now and as the temperature drops, my solution was to stay at home and drink warm tea while flipping through recipe books.

I recently found a recipe from a Japanese bread cook book.  Unlike North American culture where the focus was  on sugar, the orients focuses less on sugar. The buns I made were Honey Green Tea bun and yummy. : )


Let the dough proof for about 2 hours or doubled in size. Punch down, knead and roll out the dough.  Once the dough  has been kneaded, separate into 10 pieces of dough. As a twist to this recipe,I added some azuki bean paste and black sesame to the buns. Allow the buns to proof a bit more until it reaches 1 1/2 in size.  Bake take at 350F for 25 minutes. Glaze with egg and honey wash.


Honey Green Tea Bun

250 bread flour (I used all purpose
3 g green tea powder
8 g yeast (I choose active yeast)
130 g water ( I substituted for milk)
10 g milk
10 g butter
10 g milk powder
20 g sugar
40 g honey
*Filling: (auzuki bean paste, black sesame paste or white sesame paste) optional


Results, the buns were perfect, very soft and rich inside. The black sesame paste and azuki paste really stood out and complimented the flavour and texture of the bun., One could have it for breakfast and could be accompanied by fresh fruit, tea or milk.  Definitely a keeper.

Enjoy the Fall weather, and watch the trees turn from green, to yellow, to red and orange; quite a sight to see!!!

Classic French Toast and Coffee Competition

10 Nov

Long weekend at last. This weekend allowed me to catch up on tasks I had set aside. Like a sloth, slow but steady, I soon gained momentum. First off the list was an event I visited during October. Told you I am slow. This event was in the first few years but brimming with optimism. Apparently each year baristas locally and internationally enter a latte art contest to win the coveted championship title. The event was held at VPL and drew in crowds, all silently waiting in eager anticipation of what the baristas will create next. Hot steam and whisping sounds of bubbling milk filled the air as baristas busily created their masterpiece. Next came cheering and camera flickering as each little creation of latte art made its entrance into the competition world and were warmly welcomed by spectators. Amongst the event were little stations set up to catter to the younger crowd. Little kiddies eagerly sat on chairs and happily painted away at their cups compliments of Blenz Coffee. There were even stations for the tea lovers. Here are some highlights of the competition:







After a day of hoping around in the cold, moist air nothing tastes as welcoming than a bite out of a steaming warm french toast; add some maple syrup and berries and that definitely hit the spot.


French Toast (adapted from here)

3 eggs
1/3 cup whole milk
cinnamon (to your preference)
1/2 stick butter
agave nectar (or honey)
4 slices thickly sliced bread

Happy Long Weekend!!!

Chocolate Pecan Cinnamon Rolls-Yum!!

1 Jul

Wow another beautiful weekend, summer is finally here and what a way to start it with a bang. 🙂 Since my family loved bread, especially chinese sausage rolls, I decided to make some bread again. I saw a recipe from another blogger and found it interesting. The recipe had chunks of chocolate in the rolls. So off I went recreating the recipe.

I first made the dough, proofed it until the dough doubled in size. The warm weather always helped the dough beautifully, think temperature. Once the dough doubled in size, I punched down the dough and proceeded to roll it out. Pecans were toasted and chocolate was chopped next. Butter, cinnamon, sugar, pecans and chocolate were spread on as toppings. As a tip, I used a piece of string for easier cutting. Proof for about another 1/2 hour and bake the rolls at 350 F for about 20 minutes. Honey was then drizzled on top of each bun.




The recipe for Cinnamon Buns can be found here. Mmmmmmm…warm bread with chocolate and toasted pecans. Nothing tastes better than that. This recipe would be a keeper for me. Next time, I might add in some maple sugar and walnuts that way you get a nice maple walnut flavour to the buns as well. Enjoy!!!

Delicious Focaccia

16 Jun

This has been a favorite bread of mine. To me nothing tastes or smells better than fresh baked bread; in this case, Italian cheese bread. When baked, a wonderfully aromatic cheesy fragrance filled the kitchen mmmmmm. I found a recipe from Intermezzo Magazine and have been using it eversince. Like all breads, I boiled some milk, cooled it and added the yeast. As a tip 1 cup of flour was added with the yeast mixture for a better starter. Now for my favorite part, Sundried tomatoes and grated Parmesan. Both ingredients were added to make the dough more flavorful. Kneading took 10-15 minutes and proofing took 2 hours. Once the dough had doubled in size, it was punched down and kneaded a few minutes more prior to placing the dough onto the baking sheet. Mozzarella, Genoa salami, red bell peppers and tomato Sauce served as topping. Bake at approximately 360F for about 20 minutes.


Focacca with Fresh Mozzarella, Basil and Tomatoes(Adapted from Intermezzo)

10 tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp yeast
1/2 tsp. sugar
2 cups water (I used milk)
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour ( I used a mixture of bread flour and all purpose flour)
1 tsp. salt
2/3 cup diced canned tomatoes (I chopped up sun dried tomatoes and added them to the dough)
10 ounces fresh mozzarella
1/2 cup roughly chopped bazil ( I used italian spice)

Topping: Genoa Salami, Tomato sauce, red bell peppers.

Focaccia really was versatile, as there are lots of combinations one could use. For me I have used pesto and sundried tomato with mushrooms in the pastt; however, I’m sure there are lots more combination out there. Nonetheless, it was delicious served warm or toasted the next day.

Mmmm Mmmm Bread: Cinnamon Bun and Coconut Buns

19 Jan

DSC_0144It finally snowed this week.  Yes!!! Some fluffy white stuff for once…boooo weeks after Christmas and New Years.   It had been rather cold and crisp in Vancouver lately as I waken to see the frost covered grass and pavement glistening.  The sight and sound of neighbours scrapping away at the icy sheet of white crystals off their car while huffing and puffing out clouds of steam, was enough to send shivers down my spine.  In light of the cold weather, I decided to make something warm today….bread.   Nothing smells as good as freshly baked bread right out of the oven…ahhh the wonderful aromas of coconut, cinnamon and sugar.  I have been craving cinnamon and sugar recently thus decided to make cinnamon buns.  In addition, I loved roasted coconut thus made coconut buns as well.  Unbelievably it took a few hours to proof, knead and shape the buns but the end result was well worth it.  Lovely and moist, the freshly baked warm aromatic buns were now in my tummy.

I started of the day proofing the bread dough using a recipe I found in an Intermezzo magazine.  It’s actually a pretty good recipe I must say.  Anyways…I made the dough, proofed it and split the dough into 2 portions for two different buns, Cinnamon Pecan and Coconut.



I rolled the dough out into a rectangle, spread on the filling, rolled it up and proof it  till 1 1/2 size in the oven.  As a tip, I placed a small bowl of hot water to encourage the proofing of the buns.  Once they were ready, I baked them at 350F for about 25 minutes until golden brown on top.  I then glazed the buns with blueberry honey.


Here was the recipe I use always as a base for sweet buns and for Cinnamon Buns.

Cinnamon Bun Recipe (This recipe could be used as basis for other sweet buns)

For DoughDSC_0163

1 teasp. dry yeast

1/2 cup plus 1 teasp. sugar

1 1/4 cups warm milk

2 eggs plus 1 egg yolk

1 teasp. vanilla extract

4 cups all purpose flour ( I used 5 cups)

1 teasp. salt

1 1/2 sticks butter

For Filling

1/2 cup dark brown sugar ( I used demera sugar)

1 tablesp.cinnamon

1 stick unsalted butter (I used 1/2 stick)

3/4 cup toasted pecans

(For Coconut buns, take out cinnamon, and add approx. 1 cup roasted coconut instead.  Subst. white sugar for brown sugar-I used 1/2 cup white sugar)

Note:  The buns came out really nice and soft.  They had a very pleasing aroma and taste.  I opted not to use a cream cheese glaze or icing as I felt the sweetness was enough with honey.

Bread…wonderful bread.

14 Sep

Just so happens I was itching to do some baking again today and felt an urge to make some bread. To me nothing smells better or tastes better than fresh bread baking in the oven and the aroma when it produces when baked. Wow….As I was strolling around in China over the weekend and was craving Chinese sausages thus I decided to I picked up some chinese sausages. This place was recommended to me by a relative. It is called the Dollar Meat Store located on Pender St. in Chinatown. Apparently it sold a variety of Chinese Bbq’d meats.  But what I was after the sausages.  So I have heard there was chinese sausages you get prepacked and then you get sausages which are hanged to dry.  As my relative stated the hanged dried ones were far more superior as it was more aromatic. So here we go. Just entering the store you see rows and rows of sausages, smoked bacon and duck. I decided to get some to make chinese sausage rolls.

Keys to bread making are kneading to develop the gluten,  proofing the bread for volume and baking.
As for the dough I used the basic sweet dough used for cinnamon buns, then added the chinese sausage and rolled it up in rolls.  I found that I quite liked the texture of the  buns.   I kneaded it, proofed it and then baked the buns.  When the buns were almost baked I brushed the buns with a little sugar, water and oil to promote a caramelized top.

Bread Dough

1 teasp. dry yeast

1/2 cup plus 1 teasp. sugar

1 1/4 cups warm milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 cups all purpose flour ( I used 5 cups flour)

1 teaspoon salt

1 stick of butter

1.  Warm milk and place yeast and 1 tsp. sugar.  Let ferment-yeast to bloom in the bowl.

2.  Add eggs, vanilla and remaining sugar and flour.  Knead.  Incorporate remaining butter bit by bit.  Add flour as needed.

3.  In the beginning the dough will be sticky, but as the dough develops gluten it will  become less sticky.  Knead for a good 15-20 minutes. 

4.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap and proof for 2 hours minimum.

5.  Deflate dough and knead some more.  Divide dough into portions big enough for rolling sausage in.

6.  Once again let sit for dough to increase in size till 1 1/2 size.

7.  Preheat oven to 375F

8.  Bake for 22-26 minutes golden brown.  Brush with sugar, water and oil mixture for glaze on the buns.

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