Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Vegetable Steamed Buns - #BreadBakers

The Bread Bakers are turning off their ovens in favour of steaming this month with a steamed buns theme. It's perfect for me since I have not been able to use my oven since March 31. My stove has decided to be extra efficient and have the cooking gas last almost twice as long. Wonderful, really. It just that there isn't enough gas remaining to get the oven to the desired temperature. We can only cook on the stove top. Normally a tank of gas lasts about 7 months. This one was bought almost 13 months ago. Clearly, there's some kinda sorcery involved too.

Onto the steamed buns!

I've been obsessed with these little steamed buns for years now.  I first saw a cheeseburger filled version over on Willow Bird Baking. I didn't own a steamer so I just lusted. Three years later, baozi was the theme for Sourdough Surprises and I just had to try. Still no steamer but I rigged one with a plate. Not perfect but good enough for me. They tasted great but my shaping was horrible. It's a couple years later and my shaping is still horrible. They look good after the I've just shaped them but once they rest and then go into that steamer, they take on a shape of their own. I don't own one of those special bamboo steamers but I used a metal steamer basket that I had hanging around.

Scroll down to see what everyone else steamed this month!

Vegetable Steamed Buns
Yield: 12 buns
Dough adapted from Yi Reservation

230 grams all purpose flour
25 grams sugar
20 grams cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon oil
120 ml water
1 1/2 cup steamed vegetables.
(I used callaloo, a Jamaican green leafy vegetable)


Whisk together flour, sugar, cornstarch, yeast, baking powder, and salt. Add the oil and then stream in the water. Knead for 10-15 minutes until you have a soft, smooth dough. The dough should not be sticky nor should it be dry. If it is sticky, sprinkle in more flour. If it feels dry, add a teaspoon of water at a time until it is soft and smooth.

Allow the dough to ferment at room temperature for 45-60 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.

When the dough has doubled, divide the dough into 12 equal pieces. Roll into balls and let rest for 5 minutes. Roll out each ball into a 4 inch wide circle. If the dough resists, let it rest for a bit. Each circle should be thicker in the centre.

Add approximately 2 tablespoons of filling to each circle leaving about an inch uncovered around the edges. If you're great at pleating, pleat away! If not, seal as best as you can, it will still taste great.

Place the buns on squares of parchment and let proof for 30 minutes. You may have to seal them a bit more after proofing.

Steam over high heat for 15 minutes. Do not open lid while steaming. Enjoy warm.


#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our of lovely bread by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated after each event on the #BreadBakers home page. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.

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Monday, July 31, 2017

Corned Beef Stuffed Muffins - #MuffinMonday

I've mentioned before (and by before, I mean a million times) that a typical Jamaican breakfast is savoury.  Some of my favourite sides include fried breadfruit, fried plantains, and fried dumplings.  Fried, fried, and more fried. Twice fried plantains are a huge favourite but when my mother would make fried dumplings, I would be in heaven!! For years, I resisted kneading dough and so I never made dumplings. Now that I do knead, the frying aspect gets in the way. Oil is always too hot or not hot enough. Breadfruit and plantains require much less finesse since they're ready to eat before frying.

Some days there would be a surprise inside the dumplings. My mother would take a piece of dough and wrap it around some corned beef, and then fry it. BEST dumplings ever. I decided to recreate that for Muffin Monday this month. Now the dough for a fried dumpling is very simple. Flour, baking powder, and salt are standard. You can then add water or milk or both. You can also add a splash of oil or some butter too. Some add a little bit of sugar. I decided to add onion, garlic, and pepper to my muffin. For the stuffed fried dumplings, you can sauté the corned beef in onion, garlic, and whatever you choose before stuffing it but that's extra work that I don't believe in.

But let me back up for a bit. I'm sure that you're reading "corned beef" and not picturing the corned beef that I used. When you say corned beef in Jamaica, you are referring to a strange looking thing that comes in a can. But the strange looking meat is delicious! I love sautéing it with various seasonings and adding mixed vegetables. That's the typical way to serve it. Corned beef sandwiches are popular too.

Now whenever I'm craving corned beef stuffed dumplings and not in the mood to fight with hot oil, I can just whip up some easy muffins. Want more muffin inspiration this Monday? Scroll down to see what the other muffin bakers made for you today.

Corned Beef Stuffed Muffins
(Yield ~ 10 muffins)

240 grams flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
a dash or three of black pepper
40 grams onion, finely diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
240 millilitres milk
60 millilitres oil
1 egg
1/2 - 1 tablespoon of corned beef per muffin


Preheat the oven to 400F and prep a muffin pan - grease or line it with cupcake liners.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and black pepper. Stir in the onion and garlic.
In a separate container mix together the milk, oil, and the egg.

Slowly combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients until just mixed.

Fill each cup about a quarter full with muffin batter and then top with some corned beef. Cover each with additional muffin batter.

Bake approximately 15 minutes or until the muffin is golden and toothpick inserted comes out clean. Best eaten warm!

Muffin Monday

#MuffinMonday is a group of muffin loving bakers who get together once a month to bake muffins. You can see all our of lovely muffins by following our Pinterest board. Updated links for all of our past events and more information about Muffin Monday, can be found on our home page.

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Thursday, July 20, 2017

Savoury Avocado Muffins - #CIC

It's almost 2 am and I was getting ready for bed when an email popped up on my phone. It was  Pinterest notifying me that someone had posted to the Bundt Bakers board. (Side note, it's been way too long since I've participated in Bundt Bakers. Out of my control. Held hostage by a strange oven.) So I thought, "It's Bundt Bakers time already? What's today's date?" It's the 20th! And my post for CIC has not been written. Why oh why does the date always sneak up on me in some way? At least I'd already made these muffins.

So bedtime is delayed while I talk about these muffins. The winning combination for this month's Crazy Ingredient Challenge was avocado and cumin. Another non-crazy one but for some reason, I just could not think of anything to make. Salads aren't my thing.I thought of doing some sort of wrap but couldn't decide on a filling. Funny story - right after I made these muffins, I made some breakfast. I fried some breadfruit (my breakfast staple), tossed some cumin into an omelette and topped said omelette with avocado. Where was that idea when I was trying to think of things to make?!! The next day I tossed some cumin into a mock guacamole. Too easy, but again, that idea would have helped to jump start my thinking. I could have made burgers!

Avocado is usually suggested as a way to replace fat in baked goods. I'd never tried it before and it did work here. I want to try again with some other recipes but the truth is, during avocado season, we eat so many per day that it's hard to set aside one or two to bake with. I had to hide the one I used here. Yes, I hid it from myself. Hid it in the crisper with all the vegetables. I only open that drawer on Sundays. I don't dislike vegetables, I just don't eat them often. Don't judge me too harshly.

Remember to check out the links to the other CIC creations below!

Savoury Avocado Muffins 
Yield: ~ 10-12

240 grams flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
300 millilitres milk
100 grams avocado
1 egg


Preheat the oven to 400 F. Line or grease a muffin pan.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, cumin, salt, basil, and cayenne. In a separate bowl, mash the avocado and whisk in the milk and egg.
Gently stir the avocado mixture into the dry ingredients. Don't over mix - just stir until it has just come together. Alton Brown recommends ten strokes.
Scoop the mixture into the muffin pan.
Bake 15- 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.
Enjoy warm with a little butter!

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