Haw Berries & Kumquats

Posts Tagged ‘sourdough’

Introducing the Guide to Bread Baking in China

Five-grain multigrain sourdough from Hamelman

I have been baking sourdough bread for more than a year now, and it occurs to me that I’ve learned an awful lot in that time. Not only how to knead dough by hand, or how to shape a loaf using minimal counter space, or how to take care of a starter – but also [...]

Black sesame yogurt cake 黑芝麻酸奶蛋糕


Recently we’ve started ordering organic yogurt from Green Yard Organic Dairy, based in Yanqing County. Though it’s not as thick and creamy as unsweetened Herun Yogurt ( 和润酸奶), I’ve come to prefer Green Yard because it’s local, organic, and comes in a recyclable  paper carton. I loved Herun, which is also local, but it’s sold [...]

Therese’s Organic Farm, and a very large loaf

hamelman's pointe-a-calliere

…So now we receive weekly deliveries of organic vegetables of our choice, which can sometimes backfire as I like to order the unheard-of and un-tried specimens. In late spring we dabbled in not one but two kinds of thistles, which taste about as tough and prickly as they look.

Baking bread in China, and a country sourdough

chad roberston country sourdough crumb

People are always surprised when I tell them that I bake bread in China. It shouldn’t, though, come as a shock, because flour, water and yeast are integral parts of north China cuisine. To me, there’s even more incentive to bake bread while living in China: the challenge is exciting, and the rewards – delicious bread and a new skill – are priceless.

Hot cross buns, haw berry style

_MG_4668 - hotcrossbuns

Or hot pagan buns? Hot nihilist buns? As they rather lack that defining cross, perhaps they really shouldn’t be called hot cross buns. But they’re not quite in the spirit of nihilism, either, being full of candied haw berries (but of course), along with some of the most delightful raisins I’ve come across. Usually I’m [...]

Sweet, sesame buns


Tanghuoshao (糖火烧) are sweet brown-sugar buns generously swirled with roasted sesame paste. Baked in an oven, they have a crunchy, nutty outer shell, and a warm, soft interior melting with sugar and buttery sesame. A cousin of the savory roasted sesame buns (shaobing 烧饼 ), they make a fine afternoon snack or breakfast – for me, they were part of the weekly breakfast rotation during the summers at my grandparents’ house.

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