Friday, June 26, 2015

Singapore's Roti John

I was looking for something different and, dare I say it, a bit on the healthier side for dinner this week. So when this sandwich (courtesy of Honest Cooking) filled with a veggie omelet, cucumber, curry, and hot sauce appeared on my Facebook feed, well, I just knew I had to make it.

But here's the thing -- the recipe calls for serving all those luscious veggie bits on a baguette. This is not the type of bread commonly found in Corozal. What to do? Of course, make my own.

I've made baguettes in the past, but wanted to see what other recipes were out there to play with. I landed on this one (courtesy of Food Network). 

After mixing together all of the ingredients, proofing the dough for about 30 minutes, it was time to shape the baguettes.

Whatcha' think?


Looking pretty fine, if I don't say so myself.

After resting for another 25 minutes, it was time for the oven, which was pre-heated to 450 degrees. I had put an oven-proof pan on the bottom rack during the pre-heat and, when ready to bake the bread, threw some ice cubes into the pan, quickly put the bread in, and shut the oven door.

The baguettes only needed about 15 minutes in the oven before they were done.


Ooooh...ahhh! Immediately out of the oven, the crust was nice and crispy. However, it started turning soft as the bread cooled. I'm fairly sure the reason this happened is that I should have cranked the heat up in the oven during the pre-heat stage, then lowered the temp down once the bread was put in. 

As I plan to make more of these in the future, there will be plenty of opportunities to perfect the crust.

Moving on...time to make the Roti John.

Here's what went into the prep:


On the cutting board, there are thin sliced cucumber, onion, and green pepper. Behind the cutting board, there's a bowl with some mayo mixed with a good hit of sriracha. Next to that is the bowl containing small chunks of onion, green pepper, and mushrooms. Next door is the bowl containing four lightly beaten eggs. Oh, and of course one of the baguettes.

With the prep out of the way, it was an easy thing to saute the chopped veggies, then add some curry powder, and chopped cilantro. When that mixture cooled, I mixed in the eggs.

The veggie/egg mixture was then ladled into a non-stick pan and the sliced baguette was pressed gently on top to sop up some of the egg. In about a minute, the egg mixture was done, so I flipped the baguette over to warm the other side.

When done, I finished the sandwich by schmearing the mayo/sriracha mix on one side of omelet, layered on the sliced onions, green pepper, and cucumber.

Voila!


In spite of the baguette not having a crispy crust, this sandwich was awesome! Having two textures of the veggies -- thin sliced and chunks -- was a treat, and that mayo? What a great pop of flavor. I will definitely be making this again. 

It's actually the type of sandwich I would love to see in some restaurant here. It's full of flavor, nothing is fried, and is easy to pull together using ingredients that are readily available. And while baguettes are not something everyone wants to make, I think this combo could work even on a toasted bun.

White Sandwich Bread

My bread baking bonanza continues. A couple of weeks ago, I knocked out a batch of focaccia, then shortly after decided to make ciabatta. Still looking for a challenge, I decided to try my hand at white sandwich bread.

I found this recipe created by Julia Child. There is nothing wild or crazy about the ingredients or the technique. If you have ever made a loaf of bread, you'll recognize the steps of proofing the yeast, adding the flour, a bit of butter, and salt and mixing everything together to form a smooth and elastic ball of dough.

There are two proof cycles for the dough, which will take a total of about 2 - 2 1/2 hours. I will say by the end of the second cycle the bread puffed nicely above the lip of the loaf pan.

The bread bakes in a pre-heated 375 degree oven for about 30 minutes.

This is what mine looked like straight out of the oven:


It had good coloring and a nice, uniform shape. When the loaf had cooled, I sliced it to take a look at the crumb.


Not as uniform as I would like, but it was my fault in how I formed the loaf. The overall taste was good, far better than store bought. However, I was bit underwhelmed. Maybe it's because we don't normally eat white bread for sandwiches, so am not accustomed to the taste. I will say it does toast up well and, spread with a bit of homemade butter, it makes a nice snack.