November 29, 2009

KBB Getting Doughy with Baker's Percentage

Roti Menul-2 by Arfi Binsted 2009

I am slowing down again, yes I know. So sorry if you keep coming back to find only old posts. I just can't help myself sitting in front of the computer for hours to write however much I want it. This recent condition keeps me away from computer.

After 5 years and a half from our last child, I begin feeling morning sicknesses, although gladly I never vomit, but more of headaches and upset stomach. I am more like to eat heaps of firm tart mangoes and under ripe strawberries rather than my favourite fried rice. Strange things happen and if it's true for women to crave strange things in their pregnancy?

Yes, I am pregnant. It's about 7 weeks now. Feels like the first time given that my youngest daughter is now 5 years and three months.

The worst part in my trimester pregnancy is that I am sick of computer and have been just using my iPhone to connect with everyone on Facebook. It took me two weeks to eventually finish this post (I have to keep nibbling tart mangoes to get rid of the headaches and upsetting stomach)! However, I am feeling better after I got a one-day Taoist Self-Healing for Women on Sunday workshop last week, organized and tutored by Tamara Bennett of Smiling Dragon, my tai chi instructor in Tuakau. Although it still does not stop me from keeping away from computer, I can deal with morning sickness quite well.

But, don't worry, Andrew, I'll do my best to host  DMBLGIT next month for sure. Make sure you guys send me some great photos of yours, alright?

I am still doing cooking and baking, you see. I still make bread once a week for my loved ones, for I am not a bread eater so much (I prefer rice than bread, typical Asian I suppose). Last batches of bread I made I used from calculating on BsP (Baker's Percentage) that has become the task of KBB.

Klub Berani Baking is a club that I founded, has been two years old, and now on the 14th task of its bi-monthly challenge. This time, we're getting doughy. And it is not your usual pick-a-recipe-and-make challenge, but most valuable of all is that we are asked to use a Baker's Percentage formula to compute the ingredients to suit our needs.

What is Baker's Percentage? Well, if you google, you'll find out a large amount of articles that you can relate to an understanding how to compute bread ingredients, but perhaps, you'll find this article from the The Artisan may be of help. The thing is that baker's percentage is using percentage which is more a ratio measurement than the real percentage. For instance, if we're using the BsP below for White Bread variation 1 adapted from Peter Reinhart's 'The Bread Baker's Apprentice' book, when you use 500g flour (100%), then you will use 9g salt (1.8%), 38.5g sugar (7.7%), etc.

Baker’s Percentage
Bread flour
Granulated sugar
Powdered milk (Dried Milk Solid)
Instant yeast
Egg, slightly beaten at room temperature
Butter, room temperature

It is not as hard as it looks and quite a basic math. I am sure everyone will be able to do this. The results that I can see from using this formula is a more well-balanced bread with softer texture.

I made a lot of sweet buns from this formula while the process takes the same path as your usual bread making.


Mix together the flour, salt, powdered milk, sugar and yeast in a 4-quart bowl (or in the bowl of an electric mixer). Pour in the egg, butter and water and mixt with a large metal spoon (or on low speed of the electric mixer with the paddle attachement) until all the flour is absorbed and the dough forms a ball. If the dough seems very stiff and dry, trickle in more water until the dough is soft and supple.


Sprinkle flour on the counter, transfer the dough to the counter, and begin kneading (or mix on medium speed with the dough hook), adding more flour, if necessary, to create a dough that is soft, supple, and tacky but not sticky. Continue kneading (or mixing) for 6 to 8 minutes. (if the electric mixer, the dough should be clear the side of the bowl but stick ever so slightly to the bottom.) The dough should pass the windowpane test and register 80oF. Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.


Ferment at room temperature for 1.5 to 2 hours, or until the dough doubles in size (the length of time will depend on the room temperature).

Remove the fermented dough from the bowl and divide it in half for sandwich loaves, into eighteen 2-ounce pieces for dinner rolls, or twelve 3-ounce pieces for burger or hot dog buns. Shape the pieces into boules for loaves or tight rounds for dinner rolls or buns. Mist the dough lightly with spray oil and cover with a towel or plastic wrap. Allow to res for about 20 minutes.

Shaping. For loaves, shape like rolling a Swiss roll but pinch the crease with each rotation to strengthen the surface tension. Pinch the final seam closed with the back edge of your hand or with your thumbs. Lightly oil two 8.5 by 4.5-inch loaf pans and place the loaves in the pans. For rolls and buns, line 2 sheet pans with baking parchment. Rolls require no further shaping. For hot dog buns, shape into a pistolet without tapering the ends. Transfer the rolls or buns to the sheet pans.

Mist the tops of the dough with spray oil and loosely cover with plastic wrap or a towel. Proof the dough at room temperature for 60 to 90 minutes, or until nearly doubles in size.

Roti Sobek by Arfi Binsted 2009

Preheat the oven to 350oF for loaves or 400oF for rolls and buns. Brush the rolls or buns with the egg wash and garnish with poppy or sesame seeds. Sandwich loaves also may be washed and garnished, or score them down the centre and rub a little vegetable oil into the slit.

Roti Gulung by Arfi Binsted 2009

Bake the rolls or buns for approximately 15 minutes, or until they are golden brown and register just above 180oF in the centre. Bake loaves for 35 to 45 minutes, rotating 180 degrees halfway through for even baking, if needed. The tops should be golden brown and the sides, when removed from the pan, should be golden. The internal temperature of the loaves should be close to 190oF, and the loaves should sound hollow when thumped on the bottom.

Roti Menul by Arfi Binsted 2009

Cooling. When the loaves have finished baking, remove them immediately from the pans and cool on a wire rack for at least 1 hour before slicing or serving. Rolls should cool for at least 15 minutes on a rack before serving.

Roti Menul-3 by Arfi Binsted 2009

Aku suka tekstur roti ini, lembut. Untuk dijadiin roti tawar kayaknya emang perlu nambahin garam, tp untuk roti manis garamnya perlu banget dikurangi. Ternyata emang pake BsP takaran jadi lebih mantap. Aku mau pake BsP terus deh kalo bikin roti.

Oh, just an update from my garden:

I am so happy to hear there are cicadas in the garden again, bees are buzzing on the lavender bushes, and birds been peeking if there are any ripe fruits. My strawberries have been pecked, but no worries, more to come! Although Onewhero is a bit grey and windy, we are looking forward to enjoying more homegrown fruits in Summer.

my summer garden

This is my roses collection. I have about 35 rose bushes. They are ranged from climbing roses, floribunda, hybrid tea, and David Austen English roses. I love roses and never fail myself smelling each bloom whenever I am scrolling along the roses beds. Their fragrance makes me happy.

my roses collection

Have a great day, my friends!

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November 13, 2009

A Reflection and Chocolate Truffles

First time blogging, it was in 2005. The food blogging space was really quiet, especially in the part of the world I am living in. I thought I was alone, until one day I read an article about blogging food in New Zealand on a culinary magazine. That was the first time I knew and went to Barbara's blog. I wrote to her and reflected how happy I was to find another fellow food blogger in New Zealand. Then, I came to know Emma, Bron, Nigel, and Tim. We were like one group of foodies who 'visits' one another in a regular basis. Until then, who starts to giving up, I am not sure. It seems that we were lost somewhere in different paths.

We had New Zealand Blogging By Post (NZBPP) back in 2006, organized by Emma of Laughing Gastronome. I sent my Rich Fruit Cake and other stuffs over to Tim (from Take3Eggs--blog is no longer I could trace) and I got a parcel from Bron. First time to taste homemade macarons, Bron's home-mades.  Perfect for our Morning Tea as it was arrived in the morning. I had read other fellow bloggers who sent away their goodies and received theirs from others. It was the surprise like a Christmas day that brought the NZBPP so special, moreover everyone got to taste homemade goodies specially made for this case. I wonder if we can do that again?

I reflect back because I have seen some positive sides on blogging. That we can taste other blogger's homemade goodies, as well as weaving friendship through writing and passion for food. And if you enjoy my photographs and food styling (given that I am self-taught and never been trained), it is a bonus.

Now, food blogging in New Zealand seems taking on a spotlight where many food-lovers are highlighting various lifestyles, food passion, interests, cultures, and culinary professionalism, it should be offering more positive knowledges and widening our culinary horizon to be brought to the next level, if you dare. We should understand where our food is coming from. Once, perhaps you have never cooked artichoke in your life before, and not even know what it is. With an instant type on a search engine, voila, you would find many recipes and what's more is that you will even know the Latin name of it and how to grow it.


Back then, I and Barbara had met for several occasions: at the Halal Bihalal (Muslim Gatherings) in Auckland (you can tell that we're foodie bloggers as we took photos of food rather than people or others); then Barbara and husband Bryant drove down to our small farm to have lunch with us on a Lovely Sunday. As an Indonesian-born Kiwi, I still keep my Indonesian traditional flavour in many of my cookings. Barbara and Bryant did not mind at all. They were just lovely.

Then, we met down to whitebait at our good friends' river house in the Te Kohanga. Sue Dwen made whitebait fritters, freshly caught from the river. How wonderful was that? I was quite feeling a lost that someone so close like Barb when she decided to move back to Australia with her family. Although we are still keeping in touch with each other from any devices (we GTalk too, you see), it is never the same as having her and Bryant here with us.

When Gilli of So Simple came one day to see us and sampled my plum cheese, I know exactly that I can always make more friends through blogging. Mary Longmore from the Sunday-Star Times phoned me on this blogging thing few weeks back for she was going to write an article about the rapid growth of food blogs in New Zealand. When I heard this, I was like 'Wow, we're a big family now!'.

I got a surprise one day when the lovely food writer and author of Sweet As, Alessandra Zecchini, left a comment on my artichoke post that now she encourages me to keep writing and blogging (Thanks, Alessandra). I also have a help from Christelle Le Rue, when I organized books for love to raise funds for cancer kids in Indonesia. She donated her books which was a very generous thing she does for Indonesia. I told you why I love High-Profile culinary gurus in New Zealand: they are so down to earth and generous!

Well, to celebrate the growth of food blogs in New Zealand, here's some chocolate truffles you may want to gobble down with your favourite wine or champagne or even espresso? I used to use my own Bailey's Chocolate Truffles recipe for many occasions for after-lunch/dinner sweet meat, but this time I use Nigel Slater's chocolate truffles recipe to make these imperfect balls, taken from his book Real Food. I like it that way, though. For Nigel's style is so homey and generous that you cannot find that kind of cooking, shapes, soul or imperfectness in restaurants. All that kind of imperfectness that creates the atmosphere itself perfect.

Chocolate Truffles-1 by Arfi Binsted 2009

Chocolate Truffles
by Nigel Slater. Real Food.

Nigel wrote: "How horrible it would be to live in a world without chocolate", and "I am convinced the best truffles are those made from nothing more than chocolate and cream", and so I agree. Totally.

450g fine chocolate
275ml whipping cream
cocoa powder for dusting

Chop the chocolate finely; the pieces should be about the same size as gravel. They will melt more successfully if they are all of roughly equal size. A large, heavy cook¹s knife will make the chopping easier than using a small one.

Put the chopped chocolate in a large heatproof bowl. If the bowl is warm it will help the chocolate to melt. Bring the cream to the boil in a small pan. Just as it reaches boiling point, remove from the heat and pour slowly into the chocolate, beating gently with a wooden spoon. The chocolate should all melt into a thick, glossy, dark-brown cream. If there are lumps left, then you will have to put the bowl over a pan of hot, almost simmering, water until they melt. But take care not to overheat it, which will result in the mixture separating and curdling.

Place the basin of chocolate in the fridge to stiffen. Depending on the temperature inside your fridge, the mixture will need about an hour to thicken. (It should not set solid, although if it does, just melt it over hot water and refrigerate again.) Now you have a choice: thick, solid, luxurious truffles or softer, lighter ones. If you prefer, as I do, an unwhipped truffle with a rich texture, then leave the mix as it is. If you like a soft, airy truffle, beat the mixture with an electric whisk for a minute or so until it starts to change colour. It will become paler and fill with air. Overwhipping will curdle the truffle mixture.

Chocolate Truffles-2 by Arfi Binsted 2009

Using two teaspoons, scoop out balls of truffle and drop them into the cocoa powder. The size is a matter of choice. I like a large truffle; others may prefer to make a smaller one that can be eaten in one go. Roll them lightly into rounds if you wish, though I prefer them as rough-textured lumps. Roll the truffles in the cocoa, then leave them in a cool place for an hour to set. Makes about 500g.

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November 07, 2009

Truthfully Saying

I have been writing and re-writing what's the best words to put my feelings together and describe them, but nothing rights are coming up. I give up. I am not going to think about it anymore. I just don't care if I am IN the crowd or not, I am NOT going to try to put myself IN the crowd doing whatever people doing without enjoying it or to try to impress you or others; I will still be here: writing whatever I please, photographing whatever I enjoy. Comments or no comments, I have decided I am quite happy with a small group of constant friendly readers rather than a huge group of fans that I haven't really got time to know which is who, who is which. From now on, I am going to write not to try to impress you or a group of popular people in this blogging world (as if they care?), but me only to watch my own progress. I am writing out of my passion, interests, and joy on food and food photography. I don't mind if you like it or not.

chilled water

Cheers to the new HomeMadeS.

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