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SAVOURY

Flat Dogs

 

Yield: depends on how many dogs you have and size.
Bake at 180°C for 25 minutes or until golden brown.
 

Ingredients

12 fl oz Water
4 ½ Cups Unbleached White Bread Flour
1 ½ tsp Salt
2 tsp Sugar
30g Butter
2 tbsp Skimmed Milk Powder
1 1/2 tsp or 7g of Easy Bake Yeast 
Filling
1 Can of HotDogs
Glaze
1 Egg beaten

Method

Pour in water into the bread machine.
Sprinkle over the flour, ensuring to cover the water.
Add salt, sugar, skimmed milk powder and butter in separate corners of the bread pan.
Make a small indent in the centre of the flour (but not down to the liquid) and add the yeast.
Set bread machine to dough setting and let the bread machine do all the work.
Once dough setting has finished turn out onto a floured surface and portion into medium egg-size pieces.  Roll out each dough ball into a square/rectangle (depending on the size of your hot dogs).
Roll each hotdog so it is neatly covered with the rolled out dough, seal the dough around the hotdog.
With some sharp scissors cut the rolled hotdog lengthways at a slight diagonal through the hotdog but not all the way through, leave a 1cm gap at the bottom of the dough.
Now separate and lay each cut section in opposite directions so the alternate, left-right. left right until all the cut sections are now flat.
Place on a baking sheet, then cover and allow to rise for another 30-60 minutes.
Glaze with the egg wash and bake at 180°C for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Suggestions

The dough mix can be plain or add a complementary flavour, I like to have a herb or sun-dried tomato dough.
Ideal for lunch boxes, snacks on the go, movie nights.
I find them best served warm with a dip on the side.

Bao

 

Yield: 10 to 12 medium Bao
Steam for 12 minutes
 
Ingredients
1 cup Warm Water
2 tsp (6g) Active Dry Yeast
2 1/2 cups (381) Bread Flour
1/2 cup (78g) Corn Starch
5 tbsp (70g) Sugar
2 tsp (12g) fine Sea Salt
2 tbsp (28g) Pork Fat or Butter
Method
Mix the yeast with the warm water, cover and leave for 10-15 mins or until you see it has bubbled.
In a bowl or stand mixer mix all your dry ingredients and combine.  Now on a low mixing setting with a dough hook or gentle stir technique slowly add the yeast mixture and stir until you get a shaggy dough and if the dough seems to dry then you can add a tbsp of water at a time until it forms. Mix for approx 2mins.
Now slowly whilst still mixing add the butter or pork fat a bit at a time and let it mix until the fat or butter is incorporated. This might take some time and your dough might fall apart, do not worry just keep on mixing until all the fat or butter is combined and it will reform to a single dough ball.
Now on a medium setting mix the dough for about 8 to 10 minutes until the dough is completely smooth.  Your dough is now ready to put onto the work surface and you may want to kneed for a few mins more, the dough should my slightly tacky but ultimately smooth and now you need to gently shape the dough into a ball.
Now put the dough in a warm place, covered with a damp cloth and leave to rise for about 1 to 2 hours or until 2 ½ times in size.
Once risen beat the air out of the dough and place on a lightly floured surface and shape into a thick even log shape.
Cut the log-shaped dough into about 10 to 12 pieces, remembering the smaller the dough balls the smaller the Bao buns will be and you really want them to be a medium to large size.
Now pat them into a rounded flat circle and with the rolling pin roll start to roll from the centre outwards, turn about ⅛ and repeat the rolling technique, do this until you have turned the dough to its starting point, you are aiming for about 4 to 5 inches in diameter.
You should see a small mountain-like bump in the middle of the dough, this is what you want as this will be where you place your filling.
Now hold the dough flat in one hand and put a little more filling than you would into the centre and now here comes the seal and pleating method.
This is going to take some practice and do not expect to get it right the first time.
With the dough in the palm of one hand and your thumb holding down the filling, with your other hand lift one side of the dough up and pleat and twist, pleat and twist whilst pushing the filling down with the thumb on the other hand (told you it was not easy and your need some practice) and continue to do this until you have closed the bun.
Pinch and twist the last remaining piece of the dough and check for any open pleats, if you find any simply pinch them shut and repeat this process with the rest of the dough balls.
Now get your steamer ready and either place some cabbage leaves under each Bao bun or a square of parchment paper (this is so they do not stick to the bottom of the steamer when cooking).
You want to either add hot water to the bottom fo the steamer or boil from cold until you are getting a rolling boil then add the Bao in your steamer basket (your need to do them in batches as your only get about 4 Bao in the basket as they need room to puff up, cover and steam for 12 minutes.
DO NOT REMOVE THE LID, yes it is tempting to do so but if you do they will go flat.

Suggestions 

Traditionally the Bao is filled with pork but you can put any filling you like in them.
Make sure your filling is at room temperature and not hot. Your filling mix should be wet but not soggy if you make the filling to wet it will soak through the dough.
When making the filling ideally you want to make your juice turn into more of a paste and to do this add some flour to the juices and stir in until it comes together.
DO NOT add a thickening agents to the mix as it will continue to thicken when steaming and potentially make your filling a congealed mass that will not be edible (well I would not want to eat it).

Lentil Pâté

 

Ingredients

1 cup Dried Brown or Green Lentils
3 cups Water
2 Garlic Cloves, peeled and left whole
½ to ¾ tsp Salt, plus more to taste
4 tbsp Butter
1 cup peeled and thinly sliced Shallots (about 4 bulbs)
¼ cup Bourbon or Cognac (booze-free option: Apple Cider)
2 tsp chopped fresh Rosemary (from at least 2 sprigs)
½ tsp grated Nutmeg
1 pinch freshly ground Black Pepper

Method 

Place the lentils, water, and garlic in a medium saucepan. (The water should be about 2 inches above the lentils; add more as needed.)
Over a medium-high heat, bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat to medium-low and cook at a simmer until tender to the bite, 30-40mins.
Season with ½ tsp of the salt.
While the lentils cook, in a separate saucepan melt the butter over medium-high heat.
Add the shallots, stir to coat with the butter, and cook until thick, jam-like and caramelised, this normally takes about 20-25mins and lower the heat if the shallots begin to char.
Now add the booze (or apple cider), and increase the heat to allow it to evaporate for about 2-3mins.
Now add the rosemary, nutmeg and then remove the garlic cloves that are in with the lentil and add them to the mix, add the remaining salt and turn off the heat.
Drain the lentils and transfer to a baking sheet too cool in a single layer for 10mins.
If you have a hand blender you can now blend the shallot mixture or if you have a food processor now is the time to transfer the mixture to the bowl of a food processor or stand blender and blend, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.
Add the lentils and blend until you have a creamy mixture with as few lumps as possible.
Season with the black pepper to taste, add more salt if needed.
Scoop into ramekins and place in the refrigerator for at least 45mins.
Enjoy.

Suggestions 

Serve with toast or a baguette, or with carrot and celery sticks.