Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Yam Affair; Sweet Yam Bread Loaf & Flaky Spiral Yam Mooncakes

Call it anyway you like it, yam or taro, this root vegetable is one delicious ingredient that I love adding into my cooking. In fact I regularly steam up some yam kueh every month for my family since they liked it a lot. However, today I'm posting 2 other yam recipes; Sweet Yam Bread Loaf and Flaky Spiral Yam Mooncakes (芋头酥饼).

First up is Sweet Yam Bread Loaf. This recipe is created by yours truly and I have to say it's pretty successful. *thick skinned* Lol!:D
Although I do still need to brush up on my shaping technique ^_^", overall I am still very happy with this recipe. The bread turned out really soft and bouncy, and no long hours of waiting for the pre fermented dough! Sweet isn't it?! I experimented a couple times, first with purple sweet potato, and then with yam. Both gave very good results. I guess you can't really go wrong using root vegetables in bread baking, it usually yield very soft bread.

I used pre fermented dough technique but chilling it only up to 4 -6hrs in the fridge. I also chilled the mashed root vegetable in the fridge which I think helps removing extra liquid. However, bare in mind that the yam can come with different water content and thus may influence the dough. So the amount of water added to the main dough can be subject to change. Anyway, here is my recipe:

Ingredients for Sweet Yam Bread Loaf: (makes one 4"X4'X9" loaf pan)
Starter dough:
65g cake flour
1/2 tsp instant active dry yeast
40ml warm water
pinch of salt

In a mixing bowl, mix everything together and knead till it becomes a soft pliable dough. Place the dough into a small zip-lock bag and chill in the fridge up to 4-6hrs.

Main Dough:
All of the above starter dough
250g bread flour
10g skimmed milk powder
135g peeled, steamed, mashed and cooled yam (I chilled mine)
40g caster sugar
1 tsp instant active dry yeast
1/4 tsp salt
180 to 200ml water (add only as per needed)
30g unsalted butter, room temperature

  • Knead all ingredients of the main dough together, except the butter. Add pre-ferment dough piece by piece. Knead after each addition until soft and smooth. Add butter. Knead until stretchable and pass the window panel consistency.
  • Put the dough into a big bowl. Cover with cling wrap and let it prove for 30minutes till double.
  • Divide the dough into 6 equal portions. Flatten each portion with your hands to drive the air out. Roll it into square shape, cover and let rest for 20 minutes before shaping.
  • Flatten the dough to drive the air out. Roll each out into a rectangular sheet with a rolling pin. Fold about 2cm from both sides towards the center and roll it out again. Roll the dough up like swiss roll (the width should be the same as the tin) and out them into the mould. Repeat for the rest of the dough portions. Cover with cling wrap.
  • Let it prove for about 45 minutes or until the dough has risen to 80 to 90% of the depth of the loaf tin. You can either cover the lid or bake it open top. If open top, brush with egg wash. Bake in 175C for 30 to 35minutes.
Since yam (taro) itself has not much of a color, it's no surprise that bread baked with it will turned out looking like plain old white loaf. But there is a slight evidence of yam fragrance in the bread, nice! Although I did think about adding mashed sweetened yam as a filling, but later put it off the idea as I worry it will weigh down the whole loaf and hinder the rising of the dough.
Once you know how to gauge your dough's moisture balance and the kneading stage which you can reach the window panel, you are pretty much on your way to baking an excellent bread. It took me many failures to come to realize this and I believe there's no short cut to that. So don't despair if your bread didn't turn out as soft or nice, it happens. :P Just like the old saying goes; Don't give up, just bake and bake again! :D

Next up, I like to post up the Flaky Spiral Yam Mooncakes that I baked a week back. Somehow I fear that if I don't post this up sooner, it'll go out of "fashion" since Mid-Autumn festival is already way over!
You folks must be going "another spiral yam mooncake?!" Hahaha, I know, this is such a popular recipe among the bloggers this year! All thanks to Carol for sharing this wonderful, yes, super wonderful recipe for us to try.
I love this flaky skin mooncake with the creamy yam filling. And since I can control the sweetness of the yam filling, I made it mildly sweet which turned out just right. My parents & sister loved it and commented that I should bake this again next year. :)) I'm posting the recipe for my own future reference:

Sweet Yam Filling:
500g peeled, cut into chunks
80g caster sugar
30g unsalted butter
20g skimmed milk powder

Steam the yam chunks at high heat till soft. While still hot, mash the yam till creamy. Then quickly add in the sugar, milk powder and butter and mix till well combined. Let cool and chill in the fridge till needed.

Flaky Spiral Yam Mooncakes:
Water Dough:
200g plain flour
15g confectioner's sugar
70g ghee
105ml ice water

Mix everything together and knead till it comes together into a pliable soft dough. Cover and let rest for 20 minutes.
Oil dough:
170g cake flour
80g ghee
1/4 tsp yam essence (optional)
some purple food coloring

Mix cake flour, essence and ghee together till it's soft and pliable. Then add the food coloring and knead till the color is uniform. Cover and let rest 20 minutes or chill in fridge till needed.

Divide the water and oil dough into 10 equal portions and roll round. Cover the dough when not using to prevent from drying. Also weigh out 20 portions of 40 g yam fillings. 

Do check out my post on Purple Sweet potato Mooncakes for the steps in making them. 

Needless to say, I'll be submitting this to this month's Aspiring Bakers #11; "Mid-Autumn Treats!" hosted by Happy Home Baker
If you have not tried using yam to cook / bake before, all I can say is why not start todayIt's down to earth (literally), nutritious, healthy and all so delicious when you incorporate into your meal. So like I said, have a "yam affair", a yummy "yammy" one. :D

Update (26th Sept 2015): I baked this recipe again and decided to use Purple Sweet potato filling and Yam with chocolate truffle filling as well. 
Will include some of the steps here for a clearer picture:

  • After you have divide both the oil and water dough portions, take one of each. Flatten the water dough and place the oil dough in it.

  • Wrap the water dough around the oil dough and seal up nicely.

  • Use your palm and gently flatten it. The using a rolling pin and roll it out into a long oval shape, making sure you don't rip the dough.

  • Then gently roll up from one end to a swiss roll form. Repeat for the rest of the dough portions. Placing oil dough in water, seal, roll to oval shape and roll it to swiss roll form. Do till all the doughs are used up.

  • Next you take one of the swiss roll and roll it flat into a long flat dough as shown below:
  • You then again roll up from one end like a swiss roll. And repeat for all the dough portions.
  • Take one of the swiss roll and cut it into two equal portions.
  • You will repeat and then have 20 of these halved swiss rolled dough portions.
  • Now you flatten the halved dough and placed the rolled round filling in the center and seal it up nicely. If you are adventurous like me, you can even add chocolate truffles into the yam filling. Else try Purple Sweet potato paste, also peel 200 g , steam, mashed with 40 g butter, 30 g powdered sugar and mash till creamy thick. 

  • Bake in the preheated oven of 165C for 26-28 minutes.  Once baked, remove from oven and let cool over rack and enjoy while still warm. The pastry skin will be best on the day it is baked. Else re-toast in the oven at 150C for 10 minutes.
I actually love the filling a little chunky to give it that homey rusty taste. :) And that new chocolate truffle with yam paste turned out surprisingly yummy. :9 The older folks actually love the yam and sweet potato filling the best since it is not overly sweet. 
Do try this out and let me know how you like it!

Good Day All!


Edith said...

Wow that loaf is def fluffy. Beautiful, and is there any moon cakes left? I need to gate crash.

ann low said...

BeeBee, I like your bread and yam mooncakes. Look so good. Can I have some for tomorrow morning breakfast :)

ReeseKitchen said...

Bee Bee, the loaf is super nice....I meant by looking at it, since I cannot try...;p Handling those vegetables in the bread need super good skill like you la...I very worry of sticky-sticky texture, you know what I mean...hehe!

鲸鱼蓝蓝蓝 said...


Kitchen Corner said...

Very pretty yam moon cake! Nicely shaped and yummy texture too!

Janine said...

wow to both bakes! the bread looks so soft and fluffy goshhhhh. and the spiral moon cakes are so evenly spiraled - you don't need more work on shaping those for sure!

lena said...

hi bee bee, yes, the spiral yam mooncake is so popular that i think i shall try making it next year, my mum likes that a lot, we just bought from shops this year. Your bread..10/10! also thanks for your always lovely and supportive comments, will always appreciate that!! thank you!

shaz said...

Love the lovely colour of the mooncakes.

Quay Po Cooks said...

Bee Bee, you are incredible! you bread load looks so flufy and the moon cake is over the top! WOW!!!

My Little Space said...

Bee, both the bread and the pastry look amazingly delish. Wish Im your neighbour right now. haha....

Anonymous said...

Hi beebee

As I read thru ur recipes for various bread loaves, I noticed that u did not mention to cover the dough with cling wrap or a wet cloth for the second proofing. U only mentioned to let or ensure dough has risen about 80%-90% and then put into the oven and bake.

U did mention always for the first proofing, to cover with cling wrap.

I like to know whether it is necessary to cover bread dough with either a wet cloth or cling wrap on the second proofing?

Thank you.

Priscilla Poh

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Hi Priscilla, yes, you should cover your bread dough for second proofing.

Anthia said...

My son and I LOVE bread and I have decided to try my hands on some bread baking. Your bread look too good to resist. I am trying your Sweet Yam Bread Loaf and I hv a question. For the starter dough, does it stay the same size after chilling for 4-6 hours? and why some bread calls for 17 hours pre-ferment dough, while some calls for tangzhong? what difference does it make to the bread? I will be using a lot of your bread recipe. so keep them coming!!! Thank you so much for making them available to all.

Honey Bee Sweets said...

You are most welcome Anthia. 😊 There are so many methods of bread making so it calls for different methods of preparing the dough. There are bakers that believe the longer they age the pre dough, the better the end result will be. As for yourself, just try out and see which one suits your taste buds best. I love all breads, so I am always experimenting too. Glad that my blog is helpful to you, enjoy!