Monday, May 26, 2014

Charcoal bun with black sesame and fig 黑芝麻竹碳面包(无花果)


This charcoal bun recipe is very similar to the rye bun I baked a few days ago. I added bamboo charcoal powder to it, making it black in color, which creates a great contract when topped with either white sesame seeds or rolled oat. There are no taste to bamboo charcoal powder, but the buns still smell nice because of the rye flour used and the chopped dried fig imparts a very pleasant fruity sweetness and bite to it.
An occasional intake of bamboo charcoal is great for the body. Bamboo charcoal contains carbon, its negative ionic charge attracts positive ionic charges (of toxins and poisons) causing them to bind and then escorts them out of the body via the eliminative channel of the intestines. I might have eaten something dirty over the weekend which gave me bad bloating and flatulence, so I made this, hoping that it'll help relieve my poor tummy.
I have always baked my bread using an adapted and modified scalded dough method by Alex Goh which yield very soft and fluffy bread without adding any softener. It is easy and straight forward. You'll just need to scald 100g of bread flour with 70g of hot water, simply mix it with a spoon or folk, cover up, leave in chiller while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. When all the other ingredients are well combined and kneaded, add in the pre-prepared scalded flour and knead till evenly combined. The results are very worth the extra step taken. I have tried all sorts of method that claims to yield soft fluffy bread. This method, too, can produce bread with the same kind of fluffiness.
Here's the recipe
First, prepare the scalded dough
  • 100g rye flour
  • 70g hot water
Combine both with a folk or spoon. There is no need to knead. Just combine and leave in a container in refrigerator while you prepare the rest of the ingredients (about 15-20min). You can prepare this ahead and keep in the fridge for up to 24hours.

The main dough
*The ingredients are listed in the order they are added into my breadmaker
  • 40g (about 3tbsp) rice bran oil
  • 250g water
  • 2tbsp brown sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 2tbsp black sesame powder
  • 1tbsp bamboo charcoal powder
  • 300g high protein flour
  • 100g all purpose flour
  • 1tsp baker's yeast (instant active dry)
  • 3 dried figs, chopped (added in after 25min of kneading time in the breadmaker)
  1. I have kneaded the dough using the 'DOUGH' mode with my breadmaker.
  2. When all the ingredients has combined together, I add the scalded dough in pieces.
  3. After about 25min of kneading, I add in the chopped dried fig.
  4. The breadmaker would finish kneading and go through a proving phase (about an hour).
  5. Once it finishes its DOUGH mode, remove the dough from the breadmaker and punch it to remove trapped air.
  6. To make buns, divide the dough into 8 equal round portions weighing about 100g each. Makeit round and smooth. Let the dough proof for another 45min or until the dough doubles its original size. **I have always done this second proof in an oven (without turning it on).
  7. Brush top of loaf or buns with water and sprinkle with rolled oat.
  8. Once the loaf or buns are ready to be baked, preheat the oven to 165deg C, bake for about 20min.

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