Rustic Bread

September 15th, 2010

Rustic BreadI get really annoyed when I buy bread only for it to sit in the breadbin and get mouldy. I don’t know why buy I just feel that I need to buy bread in case I’m too lazy to cook dinner so Jules could just make a sandwich or something.

But seldom does that happen.

So this weekend, as I was too lazy to leave the house due to the weather forecast being unpredictable, I made my own bread… and I thought… what was all my grief about? If I need bread, I should just make it!

It’s really easy! OK, it takes ages to wait for the dough to be ready… but once all the waiting is done and you bang it in the oven… the smell and the taste of nice warm bread… heaven…


500g strong white bread flour
1tsp salt
1 sachet of 7g quick action yeast
300ml warm water
1tbsp olive oil

> Stir in the flour, salt and yeast in a bowl. Make a well in the middle and pour in the warm water and olive oil.

> Mix them together and tip the dough out on a lightly floured worktop and knead the dough for five minutes until smooth,

> Shape the dough into an oval shape and place it on a lightly oiled baking tray. Cover and leave it for 40 minutes or until it double in size.

> Preheat the oven to 220C or gas mark 7.

> Lightly punch the dough to let the air out and reshape the dough. Allow to prove for 30 minutes. Use a sharp knife to make five slashes on top of the dough, dust with flour and bake it for 25 minutes – until the loaf has risen and it sounds hollow when you tap the bottom of the loaf.

> Let it cool on a rack before slicing.

Nothing beats the taste and smell of freshly baked bread… errm… apart from the smell of rendang simmering away… or ayam percik on the BBQ… or Nasi Lemak cooking away…

OK… I’ll stop now.

Oh… here’s Bubba Bee enjoying a slice of my bread :)


Leek and Potato Soup

September 14th, 2010

And what goes nicely with rustic bread? Lots…

One of them is leek and potato soup. Easiest soup ever to make!


3 leeks, chopped
3 large potatoes, cut into chunks
2 cubes chicken stock

> Put all the ingredients in a pot, with the water covering the chopped up leeks and potatoes. Bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat and let it simmer until the leeks and potatoes are soft.

> Using a hand blender, blend until the soup is nice and smooth.

That’s it really. Enjoy!

Nasi Lemak

September 3rd, 2010

Moo was asking for nasi lemak recipe on facebook… which made me realize that I haven’t made it for ages!

Nasi lemak is one of Malaysian’s favourite dish… if not ‘the’.

Again… everyone has their own way of cooking nasi lemak and this is mine… healthier version… in my head at least as it contains no additional salt ;)


1 1/2 cup rice
400ml (1 tin) thick coconut milk
1 cup water
1tsp fanugreek (halba) seeds
1 inch ginger, bruised
2 clove garlic, sliced
3 shallots, sliced
2 lemongrass, bruised

> wash the rice and put it in a saucepan.

> add all the ingredients into the saucepan and cover. Put the saucepan on the hob on high heat and bring to boil.

> turn the heat right down and let it simmer until all the liquid has evaporated. Flake the rice with a fork and now it is ready to be served.

Nasi lemak is usually accompanied by prawn sambal, hard boiled egg, sliced cucumber, crispy fried ikan bilis (whitebait) and peanuts. However, hubby doesn’t like seafood… so instead of making prawn sambal straight away, I made sambal without any prawns first. Then I fried some chicken breast for hubby and add the sambal on top… and as for me… I added prawns to my sambal :)

So here’s my sambla recipe.


10 dried chillies or 7 fresh red chillies
1 capsicum
4 garlic cloves
1 red onion or 10 shallots
1tsp belacan
100g molasses or grated palm sugar
1tbsp tamarind pulp
1/2 cup water

> If you’re using dried chillies, remove the seeds from the chillies and soak them in hot water for 15 minutes. For fresh chillies, deseed and chop.

> Place the chillies in a food processor and add chopped capsicum, garlic, onion/shallots and belacan, and blend untils smooth. Add a bit of oil or water to keep the blade moving.

> Heat wok/frying pan over low heat and pour some oil. Add the chilli mixture and stir fry until the oil separates.

> Mash the tamarind pulp in water and squeeze and strain to obtain the juice. Add the tamarind juice and sugar and simmer until it reaches a jam-like consistency.

Now you can add prawns or ikan bilis to the sambal; or as I mentioned, you can fry some chicken and add the sambal on top. Delish…