Crunchy Bottoms

Striking the caloric balance. Barely.

Monthly Archives: February 2012

Dark Rye 35% with Raisins and Walnuts

It’s been far too long since anyone here has heard of anything popping out of my oven. The friends I meet during the week don’t count since they happily keep mum with all the bread I’ve been chucking at them.

Truth is, I haven’t had much inspiration for the stove. Life has been dull and uneventful, and I feared my food will turn out far from pretty. But see, I need my bread every day, even if I have to resort to spree-ing at Paul (post on that soon) so that I may have breakfast the next few days. I haven’t been home long enough to bake my favourite carbohydrate, let alone harbour thoughts of it. But finally, inevitably, tasting some of the loaves that Paul had to offer was the very reason why I got fed up and threw together a pre-ferment for home-made bread the next day.

Meet my Dark Rye version 3.0.

The first post I did on my Dark Rye was a 55% loaf (percentage of dark rye flour to total bread flour), was more earthy, tacky, dense, and took 40 minutes in the oven. I decided to give it multiple facelifts, finally refining it into what I think is the best dark rye loaf anyone could ask for: light, more nutty than earthy, studded with crunchy walnuts and sweet raisins, a killer crust, and took only 25 minutes to bake.

Of course, here’s the mandatory crumb shot:

I usually bake more than my family can finish in a week and give a couple of loaves away. But this, I’m not sharing. Unless you make a pilgrimage to my place where I’ll be smearing toasty slices with salted butter and sipping a good ol’ cup of coffee.

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Hong Kong (2011): Tim Ho Wan – Cheapest 1 Michelin-starred Restaurant

I wish I could say that I’m almost done with my Hong Kong posts, but I’m not. I just happened to have gotten the easier ones out of the way first.

I put this one off for quite a while because I’ve been pacing back and forth restlessly, mulling over how best to present to you the cheapest 1-Michelin starred restaurant on the face of the planet. Should I wax lyrical? Burst into colourful prose? Throw around a several handfuls of hyperboles?

So I sat back down, and sighed, and decided I’ll do the usual boring thing of letting pictures speak for themselves. I know, how very original of you Christine.

You see, at other places there are queues, and then at Tim Ho Wan there are queues.

Now if I had been ill-prepared, thinking I could skip into a Michelin-starred restaurant without reservation and without even going early, then I very much deserved to squat in the line.

But we were early. We knew there would be a wait, and that the queues were legendary, so we got up at the crack of dawn, and found ourselves at the back of a queue anyway – at 9.15am, 45 minutes before the shop even opened at 10. No reservations allowed.

They have another outlet, but rumour has it that this original outlet is still the best.

The rest of the 45 minutes was spent lolling around in the summer heat, and as luck would have it, when it opened, every single person in front of us fit into the tiny shop, except for us. Only 20 people in at a go. Can you imagine that?! We passed the next half an hour slobbering with our faces plastered to the glass windows watching everyone else eat. It was excruciating. The lady staff outside passed us a slip of the menu in English, in what I think was pity, and we calmed down enough to order.

You can leave to walk around once you have taken your queue number, but if you’re not around when they call for you, your table goes to the next number. No way we were risking that.

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