Have you ever felt like you have been burned out from blogging? After blogging for so many years, since 2005, i felt like i am running out of juice. Lately, i have a lot of aches and pains, my friend said that i could be suffering from 'A G E', i asked if it was serious and she gave me a straight face which made me want to run to ER and ask if i really have 'A G E'. I felt so silly when she broke up and laughed her heart out, then she said that i am not young any more and that struck me that she was pulling my leg, yes, i am suffering from 'age'. After 6 decades of standing improperly, the poor muscles must be off-balanced and causing all these aches and pains. I am not defeated yet, running out of juice maybe but, i am still cooking and baking.
I love making sweet breads and when we were in Cancun, Mexico, i saw these attractive bread selling in all the bakeries there and had to look for the recipe. This attractive bread is Conchas, they are Mexican shell-shaped pastries. The lightly sweet bread has a sugar-shell pattern on top. “Conchas” have existed since the early 1930s as it was cited in print in Texas newspapers, so we don't have to go to Mexico to enjoy these bread, just go to TEXAS, but TEXAS is 14 - 18 hours away, so i have to make some and i did. I made them with this sweet bread recipe which have never failed to produce the best sweet bread ever. This recipe has been passed on to all my friends and they all loved it, it has now been like a song lyrics to me when anyone wants the recipe.
1 egg plus milk/water to make 1 cup/250 ml
2 tbsp oil
2 tbsp powdered milk
1 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
3 cups bread flour/ unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp instant yeast
6 tbsp softened butter plus 1 tsp salt
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon/green tea powder/cocoa powder
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
Put the ingredients according to the order in the list of ingredients, into the Bread Machine bowl.
Select the dough function and press 'start'.
Let the machine churn and using a spatula, aid the loose flour to be churned up by the machine. if necessary, add a little water at a time so that all the loose flour is no more visible.
As soon as a dough is formed (My breadman will rest for 10 mins, for other machines, press pause and let dough rest for 10 mins and after 10 mins, press start again). The machine will beep when dough is ready.
While the bread is churning in the bread machine, prepare the topping.
Stir in flour until mixture is the consistency of thick paste.
Divide into 3 equal parts.
Stir cinnamon into one part, green tea powder into the second part and cocoa powder into the third part.
Remove dough from bread machine bowl onto a clean counter.
Scale dough into portions, i scale mine into 55 gm portions making 12 portions.
Shape the portions into rounds, line them up and leave to rest for 20 mins so that the gluten can relax.
Starting from the first round, flatten into a round cirle, put 1/2 tbsp salted butter in the center, gather the edges up and seal the seams. Cup the round with the palm of your hand and roll it against the countertop to create tension and to form a very smooth round. Put it onto a lined baking sheet and continue this procedure for the rest of the rounds.
Now divide the flavored topping dough into 4 equal pieces.
Pat each piece into a 3-inch circle.
Place 1 circle of flavored topping dough on each ball of bread dough, shaping it down over the ball.
Make 5 or 6 cuts across the topping, using a table knife, to form a shell pattern.
Cover and let rise until double — about 40 minutes.
Preheat an oven to 180C/350F.
Bake for about 10-12 minutes.