One of the things I like to eat here in Australia are meat pies. They fit in your hand, are a full meal in one, are served warm, and with a drink can be very satisfying. I’m also fond of pasties for the same reason. I mean, a food you can eat with one hand and a book or magazine in the other is tops for me.
Japanese Curry Bread is one of those delightful concepts where they took a good thing to an entirely new level. Instead of baking the stuffed bread, they dip it in egg, coat in panko bread crumbs and deep fry. Result: Crispy, savoury stuffed doughnut filled with comfort food. How could I not try this? I’ve technically eaten something like this in the Mini Stop shops back in the Philippines, but the dough left my mouth feeling dry; too much baking powder, perhaps? Nevertheless, they were filling, and cheap. But that’s all the way over across an ocean, and I’m in the Land Down Under. So, after my brother-in-law introduced me to a manga called Addicted to Curry, I resolved to make my own. I’m not as obsessive about curry as the folks in Addicted to Curry are, so I use the pre-packaged Japanese roux.
I’m lazy, so mashing bananas until they’re of a suitable consistency doesn’t appeal. However, I do love banana bread, and the kids don’t always get to eat all the bananas I buy for their lunch boxes. Blending the wet ingredients together also mixes them together more thoroughly. I like the use of soured milk or sour cream; it gives the banana bread a slight tang. If you don’t like it you can definitely substitute plain milk.
The picture above was taken only after half the loaf was eaten. Kinda forgot to take the photo; warm banana bread is irresistible. I bet these would make utterly delectable banana cupcakes.
So, I spent a rather insomniac night craving doughnuts, so I bounced around the Internet, gazing hungrily at doughnut recipes, because I’ve never made doughnuts before.
Well, okay I was also looking up ideas for making black forest truffle balls, because I am seriously, seriously missing me some Red Ribbon Black Forest Cake. ;_; (The last one I had, ever, was thanks to Ford Prefect42 and Akilika! Thank you~! I treasure the memory . )
So thanks to that, I ended up on a blog called Let The Baking Begin! Aaaaaaaaand in the manner that one usually ends up Trapped In TVTropes, by the time I resurfaced, it was 5 am in the morning.
Thanks to that I have a nice recipe for latkes that I want to try sometime. And a recipe for home-made soft cheese.
I am casting the puppy eyes at Rhys to help me make these doughnuts. And possibly fried elven bread – a more savory, salty, as addictive as popcorn bread that I make.
I probably should explain that one a bit more.
When I was a teen/early twenties I was able to get my hands on the Leaves from the Inn of the Last Home Dragonlance sourcebook. To my delight, they had recipes, and one of the recipes was for a travelling fried flat bread sometimes referred to as elven bread because the Kagonesti made the things. Being simple it was one of the first things I made out of the book. Yes, I didn’t make Otik’s Fried Potatoes; I wasn’t very good with spices at the time. Shocking, I know.
(Mutters: I haven’t seen the book since we last moved house. grumbles!)
Baked it was a bit dense and got hard very quickly (we guessed it may have to do with the flour) but my mom and I decided to try the fried version, which is the one favoured by ‘adventurers and wilder elves’, hence the resulting name.
It was good. We ended up with a chewy, addictive bread, but still lacking something.
Flour was cheap. So was oil. Over the next while, we made batches of the fried bread, tweaking and adjusting. My brothers were happy to eat the experiments anyway and we hadn’t had any problems with the amount we made.
I found the notebook I wrote the resulting recipe in (It’s got oil splatter on it, hahaha) so I’m sharing it now. It’s a deep fried, salty, chewy bread, that we make into small balls and eat like popcorn while watching movies or reading books.
Elven Fried Bread, inspired from the Dragonlance recipe
2 cup water
4 cups flour
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon yeast (I use a granulated yeast) / 1 packet yeast
1/4c (plus more for your hands) olive oil (I tend to use extra virgin olive oil)
Mix 1 cup water, at body-temperature warmth (what I call ‘blood-warm’, since it’s actually warmer than body temperature and hotter than lukewarm) with sugar, and dissolve. Add the yeast and let it grow in the water.
Dissolve the salt in the other cup of water. In a bowl, sift the flour and make a well.
When the yeast has bubbled, pour into the flour and mix to make into a sticky dough. Add about a handful of olive oil and mix it in – this helps make the dough flexible and chewy, as well as adds flavour, and has the side benefit of helping keep the bread from sticking too much to the bowl. You’ll end up with a very sticky, stretchy dough. If you want to knead it you may, but I tend not to.
Cover with a damp cloth and set in a warm place to rise for 1-2 hours.
Heat enough cooking oil for deep frying.
Oil hands and pinch off enough bread dough to make a 2-3 cm wide flat circles and slide into the hot oil. Or balls the size of quarters / 20 Australian cent pieces. Fry on both sides till golden brown, drain in a colander with a paper towel on the bottom. Best while hot.
The original version sounds a lot like American Fried Dough.
Now if y’all will excuse me I’m gonna make a batch of this stuff, because writing it up made me hungry hungry hungry.