Monday, 11 May 2015

Soft and Fluffy Healthy Wheat Bran Oat Bread

This soft and fluffy wheat bran oat loaf is another one of my new creations which my family quite enjoy it.  To those who have yet to try making your very own homemade bread, I can tell you that it's super easy especially when you use bread machine and understand your basic dough.  Once you have mastered the technique of bread making, there's no turning back!  From there, you can experiment and try something new that suits your family taste buds. What I usually do is to do some minor adjustment or variations and experimenting with flour, water and adding family's favorite ingredients.
This wheat bran oat bread is based on my previous Raisins Oat Bread and I am glad that this experiment is quite a success.  It's soft, light and fluffy, has a good amount of fiber and delicious!  
Now let me show you how easy it is to have your very own homemade bread which is healthy and enjoyed by your family.  

Healthy Wheat Bran Oat Bread
Ingredients for 2 loaves
- 290ml water
- 5tbsp wheat bran
- 5tbsp rolled oat 
- 4.5tbsp sugar
- 1.5tsp Himalayan salt
- 3tbsp olive oil
- 350gm unbleached wheat flour (all-purpose flour)
- 150gm unbleached bread flour (high protein flour)
- 5 tbsp milk powder
- 1.5tsp tsp instant yeast

- 1.5tbsp softened butter (add in when smooth dough is formed)

Method :
1)  Put all measured ingredients except butter in the bread machine pan in accordance to the above sequence or in the order recommended by the bread machine manual .

2)  Select dough if you are baking the bread in the oven.  (I used dough method function).  Otherwise, select basic white bread.  Please take note different machine has different functions.

3)  Add 1.5 tbsp softened butter when smooth dough is formed but kneading is still in the process.

4)  Remove dough from bread pan when you hear beeping sound.

5)  Put the dough on a lightly floured surface and roll out the dough with a rolling pin into an oval shape.  Then, roll from the top to the bottom. Flatten and roll again into oblong shape.  Pinch the seals at both ends and bottom.

6)  Place the shaped dough into greased and lightly floured loaf pan.  Cover with damp cloth and let it proof for another 1 hour or more for a second time proofing.

7)  Once they are doubled in size, bake in a preheated oven at 170°C - 180°C for about 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown; depending on individual's oven.  Do adjust the temperature and timing accordingly.

8)  Remove and cool on wire rack.
Isn't this wheat bran oat bread is better than the commercial wholemeal bread and all white bread ?
It has higher content of fiber than some of the standard commercial bread and best of all, it's without any preservative!!
The texture suits us perfectly; it's a bit chewy, light, soft and fluffy
The texture and flavor suits our taste buds too
This healthy bread recipe is a keeper and should you have any doubts, you can leave your message at  simply beautiful and healthy living Facebook page and I will try my best to assist you in your homemade bread making.
~Happy bread making and have a fabulous week ahead~
Click the above logo for simply beautiful and healthy living Facebook Page


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Thursday, 30 April 2015

How to DIY Vanilla Extract and Having a Neverending Supply of Vanilla Extract in your Pantry (Homemade Vanilla Extract)

Talking about vanilla.  Do you know the difference between vanilla essence and vanilla extract?  I am sure those who are not into baking may not know the difference.  Well I never favor commercial vanilla essence.  The fragrance is too strong to my liking and smells like perfume to me.  Very fake!  Moreover I believe, commercial vanilla essence is sweetened too.  So, prior to my decision to DIY my own homemade vanilla extract, I either omitted the use of vanilla in my baking or if I needed it, I only use premium quality commercial vanilla extract.  There is quite a big difference between vanilla extract and vanilla essence.
So, what is the difference between vanilla extract and vanilla essence/flavor? Vanilla extract  is produced by soaking the vanilla pods or beans in a mixture of alcohol base like vodka and/or water. Whereas for vanilla essence, it is chemically produced  and often give a synthetic taste to your baking.  Vanilla essence is much much cheaper than the natural vanilla extract.  So, if you need to buy commercial vanilla extract, do look at the label to confirm that it's vanilla extract and not vanilla essence or flavor.
However, I am glad to say that I have no regrets to DIY my homemade vanilla extract.  It's so easy to do and you only need 2 ingredients and 3 simple steps to be a proud owner of  your homemade vanilla extract!  It's advisable to buy premium grade vanilla beans as the quality of your vanilla extract depends on the quality of your vanilla beans.  
When choosing vanilla beans, avoid beans which are smoky, brittle, dry or mildewed.  Good quality beans should have a rich aroma.  Always choose plump beans with a thin skin to get the most seeds possible.  To test, gently squeeze the bean between your fingers and it should be soft and pliable enough to wrap around your finger without breaking.  The pods should be dark brown and almost black in color.
Now, it's time to DIY your very own homemade Vanilla Extract :
Recipe and info source : Beanilla
Ingredients  :  
- 8oz glass bottle or jar
- 7 vanilla beans (I actually added about 9 beans to a cup)
- 1 cup Vodka 70 proof/35% alcohol

Method :

1)  Slice each bean and place in a bottle.

2)  Pour 1 cup of Vodka into the bottle.  Make sure the vanilla beans are completely submerged.

3)  Shake it once or thrice a week.

4)  Wait for about a minimum of 8 weeks.

This is about 4 months old.
I actually made 750ml of extract!!!

A neverending supply of homemade vanilla extract and to give away as gifts too!
Harvest it into small dark bottles, if you prefer.


To receive new updates, do LIKE SIMPLY BEAUTIFUL AND HEALTHY LIVING FACEBOOK. Sorry to inform that for the time being, I have disabled comment box as I won't be able to return visit to my fellow bloggers who are kind enough to drop me a line or two. The comment box will be enabled when I am not so tied up with my work schedule. However, you may contact me by leaving message at SIMPLY BEAUTIFUL AND HEALTHY LIVING FACEBOOK. My sincere apologies for any inconvenience caused. Thanks for visiting my blog and have a nice day :)

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Easy and Cottony Soft Raisins Oat Bread Using Straight Dough Method

For those who have been following me should know that I am crazy over homebaked bread and have been baking my own bread for my family members and friends.  If you are still new and hesitating whether to try your hands in baking your own bread, no more procrastinating.  Give yourself a try and you will be happy that you did it.  Homebaked bread is anytime healthier and yummy than commercial bread as you can adjust the taste according to your taste buds. 
Well, do give this easy peasy and cottony soft Raisins Oat Bread a try.  You may bake this whole process in your bread machine or knead the dough inside your bread machine and bake it in the oven.  Do it whichever method you feel comfortable.  
This recipe has gone through several trials and errors and finally I am glad to share it with my followers and readers. 

Easy Raisins Oat Bread
Ingredients :
- 288ml water
- 5 tbsp instant oat
- 5 tbsp milk powder
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp Himalayan salt
- 3 tbsp softened butter
- 400gm unbleached bread flour
- 1/2 cup raisins (or any measurement as per your requirement)
- 1 tsp instant yeast

Method :
1)  Put all measured ingredients in the bread machine pan in accordance to the above sequence or in the order recommended by the bread machine manual. You may add dried fruits when smooth dough is formed.  Also take note that different machine may have different functions.

2)  Select dough if you are baking the bread in the oven. (I used dough method functions). Otherwise, select sweet or basic white bread.  Please take note different machine has different function.

3)  Remove dough from bread pan when you hear beeping sound.  

4)  Put the dough on a lightly floured surface and shape it into a rectangular shape.

5)  Place the shaped dough into greased and lightly floured loaf pan.  Cover with damp cloth and let it proof for another 45 minutes or more for a second time proofing.

6)  Once they are doubled in size, if you prefer a glazed and glossy crust, glaze it with egg wash or butter.

7)  Bake in a preheated oven at 170°C - 180°C for about 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown; depending on individual's oven. Do adjust the temperature and timing accordingly.

8) Remove and cool on wire rack.

Healthy bread for your family
To all my fellow bloggers who are always kind enough to drop me a line or two, please take note that I have disabled the comment box as I feel guilty not returning visit to your cyber home.  Will enable the comment box once I am able to return visit.  Thanks for all your previous lovely and sweet comments.  

To receive new updates, do LIKE SIMPLY BEAUTIFUL AND HEALTHY LIVING FACEBOOK. Sorry to inform that for the time being, I have disabled comment box as I won't be able to return visit to my fellow bloggers who are kind enough to drop me a line or two. The comment box will be enabled when I am not so tied up with my work schedule. However, you may contact me by leaving message at SIMPLY BEAUTIFUL AND HEALTHY LIVING FACEBOOK. My sincere apologies for any inconvenience caused. Thanks for visiting my blog and have a nice day :)

Friday, 13 March 2015

Easy Peasy and Hassle-Free Apple Cinnamon Muffins

Yes, I am back after being MIA for about a month due to unavoidable circumstances.  Well... work and family is still my top priority and especially when there's a deadline to meet and you are rushing for an urgent project.  
To my fellow bloggers, I will visit your cyberhome as soon as possible whenever I am available and here's a very easy to follow muffins for those who are always in a hurry to prepare something healthy yet yummy for your family.
 

Apple Cinnamon Muffins
Adapted from Cupcakes & Muffins (page 220) with minor modification in red
Ingredients :
- 250g  all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp baking soda
- 1.5 tsp (1 tbsp) ground cinnamon + extra, for dusting
- 110g caster sugar
- 2 eggs lightly beaten
- 250ml milk
- 160ml light olive oil
- 2 ripe pears (apple) peeled, cored and diced



Method :
1)  Preheat oven to 200. Prepare 18 paper liners in standard muffin pans.
2)  Whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and sugar in a large mixing bowl.
3)  Combine egg, milk and oil, then stir into the dry ingredients until just combined.
4)  Gently fold in two-thirds of apple.
5)  Spoon into prepared pans and top each muffins with remaining apple.
6)  Dust with extra cinnamon and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown and the center of a muffin springs back when pressed.
7)  Cool in pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Apple and Cinnamon ~ complement each other beautifully
Quick yet yummylicious muffins just perfect for breakfast or tea-time


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