November 2017

Viewing posts from November , 2017

Weekend Cooking: Khaliat Nahal (Beehive)

To me, cooking is a way to destress after a long week slogging at the office.  Making bread, however, is what I find most enjoyable.   When a bread recipe appeared in Saudi Food Eman’s Facebook feed, I knew I had to try it ASAP.  I mean, bread stuffed with cream cheese and drizzled with syrup? Sign me up!

Because I was adamant about using my breadmaker for this, I had to make a few adjustments to the recipe.  I didn’t notice that the recipe uses a lot more yeast relative to the flour (which was really silly in retrospect, but ah well that’s how we learn), so after letting the Dough cycle run its full course, my dough literally looked like foam.  While I managed to save the dough by adding more flour, the bread turned out heavy and had a strong yeasty taste.  At this point, I still didn’t realize that the cause was my overproofing the dough. I instead blamed it on the plain flour I used, and switched to bread flour for my second attempt.

While the dough was a lot less wet this time around, and the bread was a lot fluffier, the yeasty flavor remained.  Finally it dawned on me that I was using the same amount of yeast but a little more than half of the flour compared to my roti paung recipe.  Since the whole point of using a ton of yeast is to cut down prep time, I must have been letting the dough sit for far too long.  I then realized waiting for my normal breadmaker Dough cycle to fully finish isn’t suitable for this recipe, so I simply let the machine do just the kneading and took it out right after, without resting the dough.  True enough, this dough rises so fast, the earlier rolls doubled in size by the time I finished working on the last few.

The results? Lovely rolls which were bite sized and fluffy, with no unpleasant yeasty taste.  I also loved the amazing combination of exotic flavors and textures.  Creamy cheese inside fluffy bread, topped with crunchy, herby black seeds (habbatus sauda) then drizzled with sweet syrup infused with the distinct flavor of saffron.  I just couldn’t stop eating this.

Try it out!

Read More

Weekend Cooking: Eman’s Oven-baked Chicken and Rice

It was another one of those weekends when the freezer was full of stuff and Kak’mbang sent out her SOS.  I needed to help her clear at least one whole chicken, so I decided to try this recipe by Saudi Food Eman.  I found it interesting how good she claims the dish to be despite using so few ingredients, so I decided to give this a go.

This took me a few tries to get right.  The chicken Eman uses is way smaller than the mutant birdies we have here, which required me to do a lot of guesswork for the cooking time. I also had to adjust the water and salt quantities before finally getting the perfect taste and texture for the rice.  Rudy got me this amazing ThermoPro TP-20 food thermometer which alerts me as soon as the breast meat hits the optimal temperature, so I no longer had to guess how long I needed to leave the chicken in the oven.  If you don’t have a thermometer, be sure to weigh your chicken and use a roast timer to estimate your cooking time.  Because the chicken is butterflied and we’re cooking at very high temperature, you can check for doneness at the halfway point.

Overall, a great dish which is super easy to make.  Give it a try!

Read More