Oh, eventful times!
Where have I been in the last month, you may ask? Or rather, what have I been doing?
In the last month I’ve:
- Applied for and got a graduate job. Woohoo!
- Completed a thoroughly enjoyable work placement at the Jenny Craig head office.
- Been busy finishing my second degree (this one’s still in progress).
- Upped my “Insta” game. Click here for proof.
- Joined a new gym after a very, very, very long time of being a potato. Yup, that just about describes my fitness level at the moment…
Hmm, now – that was much less satisfying to list out than I thought – but rest assured, it was a whirlwind of a month!
In that time, I have amassed quite a number of new recipes which I’m glad to be able to share with you soon, starting first with my very latest recipe – SWEET BLACK SESAME SCROLLS.
In fact, I’m writing this post just an hour after tearing off my first piece (okay fine, I had two – maybe three- pieces). And if only you could’ve witnessed how soft and fluffy the scrolls were as I tore each of them off – Oh my, bread is a truly wonderful thing… but of course, you already knew that.
Onwards! Here’s a step-by-step picture story of how I made said scrolls.
You guys – at this point, the dough was so soft and so pliable. It was arguably the best dough I have ever made in my short life of just 23 years! Yes, I have made many a dough in my lifetime but by golly, this was something else. Oh, and it is completely my own recipe too, if you’re curious. One hundred percent experimental, and one hundred percent worth the risk. (Gosh, I love bread.)
Toast and blitz your black sesame with some sugar or maple syrup in food processor. Do this when waiting for your dough to rise, as it will take about 15-20 minutes to blitz it to a nice paste-like consistency!
People always ask me if I follow the recipes I find online. About 95% of the time, I do not.
Unless the concept of the dish is so completely unfamiliar to me that I have to do a little research before hand, I like to just get in there and experiment. That’s just the way I like to I cook! It brings me great joy to be able to ‘add a little more this, an extra pinch of that’, until I arrive at something wonderful. Over time as I got more familiar with cooking, the number of failed “experiments” in the kitchen lessened greatly, to my mother’s delight- Sometimes it looked as if a bag of flour had exploded all over the kitchen (and on one occasion, that actually happened). I could never ever forget the way she’d look at me with a very cross face and tell me that I had better clean up the kitchen before it was time for her to cook dinner. Ah, sigh. Those were simpler times.
(Thanks to my mother dearest for putting up with me all those years!)
At this stage, just coil the log up real tight, cut up into 12 pieces, and place in a round cake tin. Let rise again, for an additional 30-45 minutes.
The risen scrolls will look like this!
Then brush it with some milk and pop it into the oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Mmmmmm, scrolls.
Sweet Black Sesame Scrolls
Makes 12 scrolls
1.5 cup milk (I used rice milk)
1 tbsp sugar (half this if you’re using a sweet “milk” such as rice milk)
7g dried active yeast
3 cups bread flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp avocado oil (or olive oil)
Black Sesame Paste
1 + 1/4 cups black sesame seeds
1/3 cup sugar or maple syrup
Other: extra flour for dusting and extra rice milk for brushing over the scrolls (for a lovely golden brown colour).
Dough. Warm the milk up until warm to touch, pour into a bowl and stir in sugar and yeast. Cover and let sit for 5-10 minutes until yeast mixture becomes frothy.
Meanwhile, add two and a half cups of your bread flour into the mixing bowl of your stand mixer. Add in your salt and stir to combine. Next, add in your frothy yeast mixture and the avocado oil to the flour, mixing on low speed until the dough starts to form. If the dough seems too wet, add the remaining flour a little by a little until the dough starts to pull away from the edges of the mixing bowl. I used all 3 cups of bread flour but you may have to use less depending on your flour. Then turn the mixer to medium speed and let knead for 5-7 minutes. Your resulting dough should be tacky to touch but not wet- this is what we want! Now, lightly oil a clean large bowl and place your dough in it. Cover with cling wrap and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
Toast your sesame seeds on a pan over low to medium heat until fragrant – this will take around 3-5 minutes. Then add it to a food processor with the sugar or maple syrup and blitz until it becomes a paste. I let my food processor run for 15-18 minutes for a very fine paste. Set this aside.
When your dough has doubled in size, remove it from the bowl and place onto a surface dusted lightly with flour. Gently punch the air out of the dough before rolling it out into a large rectangle. Dust your rolling pin and dough with a little extra flour if needed. Using your hands as a measuring tool, the length of your rectangle would approximate the distance from your elbow to your fingertips while the width would be from your elbow to the top of your clenched fist. Spread your black sesame paste evenly across the dough. Standing with the longer side of the dough in front of you, start rolling the dough into a tight log. Cut the log into 12 scrolls (not including the two uneven end pieces), dusting the knife with flour in between cuts so your knife doesn’t stick to the dough.
Place scrolls into lightly greased large circular cake pan, making sure they’re evenly spaced out and barely or just touching. Cover and let rise for an additional 30-45 minutes. The scrolls should rise and expand in this time, eventually touching each other in the pan. Once risen, brush generously with extra milk (for colour once baked). Cover the cake pan with aluminium foil and bake in an oven preheated to 180°C for 20-25 minutes. Remove the foil after the first 10 minutes and brush again with milk. Return to the oven to bake uncovered for the remaining time, until golden brown. Let cool slightly before serving.