Foodiva's Kitchen: Happy Bread

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Happy Bread

You have a masterpiece inside you, you know. One unlike any that has ever been created, or ever will be. If you go to your grave without painting your masterpiece, it will not get painted. No one else can paint it. Only you.
~ Gordon MacKenzie
*Update*: I have made a video for this bread here!

First of all, let me clarify that this bread is not a masterpiece that came out of my usual daydreams and doodles. No, I first spotted this on Eva Toneva blog and while she called it 'Holiday Bread', I decided even back then that I would rename it 'Happy Bread' because it made me light up inside just looking at it! My penchant for unusual-looking breads had me bookmarking this recipe immediately.




It wasn't until my beautiful cousin, A, tweeted from Australia yesterday announcing that she had lost her bread virginity (by successfully producing her first crusty baby) that I remembered all about my Happy Bread. The original baking instructions were in Bulgarian, so I figured I'd get it all sorted with Google Translate. What eventually came out in English read like a bad script for a dream sequence rather than a baking method. Something had gotten 'lost in translation' and for the life of me, I couldn't figure out how the dough pieces were sculpted and arranged...


But wait, this was Google Translate, listing more than half the world's languages under its service (though you'd have to be a pretty good decipherer as well to use it). I thought I'd fare a little better if I translated the recipe into Malay, my mother tongue. And I was right, it made a bit more sense. Just to make sure though, I also translated it into Bahasa Indonesia, German and then French and got a much better picture overall. Gawd, the pros and cons of technology!


So this post had me rewriting the original instructions to something I would understand for future usage. Just so you know, the original ingredients and their amounts remained the same (except for the sesame seeds topping, which was optional, anyway). All that translating effort must have killed off any every iota of creativity in me :-s.

If you can make cinnamon rolls, you can make this Happy Bread.

Despite that and the minimal effort required to actually make the bread, it turned out dashingly well and totally earned its new name. Wouldn't the sight of something this soft, this buttery and this swirly cheer you up immensely too?



Last weekend saw a continuation of our Eid celebrations, or rather gave us the excuse to continue our gatherings and incorrigible feasting. We also celebrated a birthday in the family at the same time, so the kids were given the Sunday off from wearing their colorful traditional costumes and donned their neon swimming gear instead.

 We had the wet and wild corner outside....

...and the zen-n-techy corner indoors.


Anyway, I hope you're all having a great week so far. Ease off any strains you may have by listening to this lovely song by The Corrs entitled Dreams



This post also goes to Yeastspotting!

Happy Bread
(Adapted from Eva Toneva)
Ingredients:
2 teaspoons dry instant yeast
1 tablespoon sugar or honey
100ml warm milk
500g all-purpose flour, plus extra for kneading and flouring
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
150 ml warm milk (extra)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon vinegar or lemon juice
100 g butter, melted and cooled

Glaze
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons milk

Method:
1. Dissolve yeast and sugar in 100 ml warm milk, cover and leave in a warm place to rise 10 minutes.
2. In another bowl, sift the flour and salt together. Make a well in the middle and add beaten eggs into it, the remaining warm milk, olive oil, vinegar and yeast mixture. Knead the dough with your hands or in your mixer until it separates from the sides of the bowl. Remove dough, place on lightly floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes until it becomes a soft, pliable dough. Place in a greased bowl, cover with a towel and leave to rise in a warm place until doubled in volume - about an hour.
3. Punch risen dough and transfer on a floured surface, divide dough into 2 equal parts. Divide each of these again into 4, so you have 8 pieces of dough altogether.
4. Roll each piece of dough out into a roughly rectangular shape with a thickness of 3-5 mm. Brush cooled, melted butter over each piece. Set aside remaining butter for later.
5. Place one piece of rectangular dough over another one and start to roll into a cylinder. Do the same with the rest of the dough; you will end up with 4 cylindrical rolls altogether.
6. Cut each roll into three pieces in this way - slice at both ends of the roll about 1.5 inch long each, and put these two pieces aside. Then cut the middle part of the roll into 4 triangles.
7. Preheat oven to 180C. Grease or line a large baking tray. In the middle of the tray, arrange the cut ends of the rolls around each other to form a circle, placing the cut sides down. Arrange the cut triangles to completely surround the middle circle. Cover with towel and leave the dough to rise in a warm place for about 30-40 minutes.
8. Beat the yolk with the milk with a fork to form a glaze and brush top of the bread with the glaze. (You can sprinkle with sesame seeds or other dry toppings at this point.) Bake bread for 20-30 minutes, reducing the temperature to 160C after 10 minutes in the oven.
9. Brush bread with melted butter as soon as it comes out of the oven, cover with a towel and leave to cool for 10-15 minutes before eating.

85 comments:

yummychunklet said...

How pretty! Now I'm glad I didn't make buttermilk fantails because they would've paled in comparison to your bread!

Aarthi said...

That bread looks so pretty...You have made it pretty

Sandra said...

Wonderful looking bread Maya, you are always full of dreamy recipes, even if you saw it on very talented Eva's website..beautiful, and very delicious looking! Love your photos!

Tina said...

This bread looks like one big toasty flower! You did an awesome job shaping the swirls. This would be hard bake and then "save for the guests"-someones hands would have to be slapped away more than once. Great post!

Dzoli said...

Masterpiece without doubt.Sitting at your corner and ripping pieces off.Heavenly:)

the [sugar] apothecary said...

My goodness! The things you do for us, Maya. Translating from Bulgarian, French, Malay, and German?! It came out amazing! I love the color and glorious poof of the mini rolls, and your family is just too cute. Looks like a wonderful time :)

Sarah-Jane - SiliconeMoulds.com said...

that's seriously pretty bread ! Bookmarked - I need to give this one a try for sure !

Christine's Pantry said...

Great looking bread. Love this.

Cucina49 said...

LOL at the comment on the Bulgarian translation--Google translator is a good but imperfect tool. This looks delicious!

Lizzy said...

Wow, Maya, this is fabulous!!! I'm so glad you went the extra mile to figure out how to make this incredible bread...truly amazing!!!

Kim - Liv Life said...

I love the name Happy Bread! And I love the look, simply beautiful. This would be an immediate hit in my family!

SweetSavoryPlanet said...

What a beautiful presentation of this bread! This would be a hit at the holidays.

createwithmom said...

this looks like a delicious bread lovely presentation
lovely pictures of the fun time Maya
salaams Akheela

Peggy said...

This bread definitely lives up to it's name! I couldn't stop smiling while looking at it!

Beth Michelle said...

This is most definitely a happy bread. Its so so pretty!!

Cher said...

The sight of your "happy bread" made me... happy...
I love the story of the bread's journey as much as the bread itself.

Erin said...

Oh My God Maya!! I am in awe! That bread looks incredible. you say it isn't much work, and your pictures look easy. But I can't imagine mine looking that pretty. I can see why you call it Happy Bread - looking at this just makes me Happy!

Lilly said...

Maya you did it again!! This bread is the prettiest I’ve seen so far! And you say you’re not a baker at all? You sure? Can I request you to make it again but now with some custard or chocolate filling and ship it over to me?
I hope you’ll have a great week!

Adora's Box said...

What an apt name. It made me so happy just to look at it. I would be so much happier though if I were to eat it.
I can just imagine how delicious it is. What lovely photos. You have sunshine, so lucky. There's news of snow here this October. Yuch!

Carolyn said...

It's SO gorgeous, I love the swirly wreath pattern. I am pinning this one.

Kathy - Panini Happy said...

Happy indeed! This is such a beautiful presentation.

Michael Toa said...

Looking at this bread makes me happy. It looks glorious! I hope you are well Maya. It seems like ages since I was last here. I hope you're having a great week so far as well. Mine's been busy but enjoyable.
Love the corrs. I was obsessed with them when I was in middle school.

t said...

Good looking bread!

http://initialed.blogspot.com

Alina---Explora Cuisine said...

I never saw a more beautiful bread than yours! who cares about food when you have this beautiful bread, right? :) I'm gonna try it out soon :) thank you Maya!

Manu said...

Maya, this is the most beautiful bread I have ever seen! I think Happy Bread is a perfect name for it! :-)
I would almost feel sad to break it apart, but I could not resist it... it looks delicious!!! Bookmarked!

I would LOVE for you to be my neighbour!!!! LOL ;-)

Reem | Simply Reem said...

What a beautiful bread Maya.
This made me smile and drool together.
Lovely

Wok with Ray said...

OMG, Maya! How intricate, complex, sophisticated! In other words. . . It's a Hot looking bread! Grrr! LOL! :)

Nami | Just One Cookbook said...

Oh my... See, I told you Maya! I don't know how I can describe your talent anymore. But I think I don't need to, because look at this. It's not *just* bread, okay??? Amazing!!!!!

Foodiva said...

Hi everyone, thanks so much for your wonderful comments on this bread. I hadn't realized calling it a Happy Bread would make others very happy too!

I'm slightly preoccupied with my cousin's wedding this weekend, but I'll get around to responding to your comments soon. You lot really make me laugh, in fact I'm grinning away like a goon right now (it's all due to happiness, don't worry)...LOL.

E San Thai Kitchen said...

wowww!!! so adorable...

Vicki Bensinger said...

Wow I can't believe I've never been to your blog. Your writing is wonderful and your Happy Bread is the most cheerful, whimsical bread I've ever seen. I only hope that when I make it, the bread will look as cheerful as yours.

So glad to have found you. I will be sure to follow you now so I don't miss a single post.

By the way, how many languages do you speak?

Anncoo said...

WOW! I love this bread, is so pretty!

Spicie Foodie said...

Love the quote and this beautiful bread. The name is so fitting too. Hehe, those translations from Google translate are hilarious sometimes. The translation of your step by step photos are so helpful, probably more clear than G.Translate:) Wow, you speak a lot of languages! It looks like it was a great b-day party. I want to go to the wet and wild corner and pretend I'm a kid;)

Yuri said...

Oh my God! I'm speechless. This is the prettiest bread I've ever seen. Must.make.soon!

Joy said...

The bread is happy indeed :D

Winnie said...

Creative and very very pretty bread.
I absolutely love it !

Susan said...

I don't know how I missed this post, but this is a wonderful idea! I really want to bring this to my sister-in-law's for Thanksgiving! Inspired & lovely!

hobby baker said...

Wow. Yes. Very Happy Bread! And beautiful too... ☺

cityhippyfarmgirl said...

Absolutely stunning bread!

Johanna GGG said...

brilliant post because I can take in so much with a toddler bothering me - gorgeous bread

Elaine said...

Oh, my! I saw you tweets about this, Maya, but haven't had a chance to look at your post until now. I can certainly see why you call this Happy Bread. It is gorgeous!

Eva Toneva said...

Wonderful and really happy is your bread, Maya! Thank you for your confidence. Despite the inaccuracies of the translator, you is great! Regards

Salome said...

He publicado esa receta en Mis Favoritas de la semana, puedes verlo aquí
http://blocderecetas.blogspot.com/2011/09/mis-favoritas-sano-y-rico.html
Espero que te guste!

kisa said...

simply delicious! I have to try to
thousand besosssss

Silvia said...

Feliz acaba de hacerme a mi de tan solo verlo....MAravilloso.
Vengo a través de Salomé y ya lo tengo traducido y en favoritos.

Encantada de conocerte.

Un saludo desde Barcelona

glenna said...

as a bread lover/baker this took my breath away.

Rosita Vargas said...

Luce absolutamente impresionante,me encanta ,pasos a pasos de lujo,felicitaciones,abrazos.

Jen at The Three Little Piglets said...

Just gorgeous! And Eva's pictures are always stunning! I always love seeing what she'll do next.

Yolanda said...

Just by looking at your cake, one can turn to be happier than before. It looks so gorgeous!

Cheers!

Magic of Spice said...

Such a gorgeous bread Maya...almost too pretty to eat :)
Hope you had a great weekend, hugs

Cheap Ethnic Eatz said...

That is so gorgeous and how clever the assembly. Glad this one id not get Lost in Translation ha ha.

Terike said...

Nagyon szép! Gratulálok!
http://szanter.blogspot.com/

Foodiva said...

Wow, I'm blown away by the many wonderful comments on this bread...and some in languages I have to use Google Translate to understand them as well! I'm so glad this bread made many other people happy too, I mean, that's the whole point of sharing food, right? To bring absolute joy.

Thank you so, so much, everyone! :-))

Foodiva said...

Oh by the way, Michael...middle school? Really? I think I may have inadvertently aged myself by 20 years just posting up that video! LOL.

Thanks, my friend (yes, we're STILL friends)!

Foodiva said...

Eva Toneva, thanks for dropping by! What an incredible honor, as you were the inspiration for me making this beautiful bread. You are SO talented, and when I grow up (blogwise), I want to be just like you!

MC said...

This bread makes me smile too. Thank you!

Jenny VintageSugarcube) said...

That is the most beeeeeutiful bread I've ever seen. And I love, love, love the Corrs. Beautiful bread + Beautiful music = grand day.

My Italian Smörgåsbord said...

how did you find the original post, by the way? :) I mean... it's in bulgarian! so amazing you managed to do this masterpiece translating from a language you don't know. brava!! and yes, the pictures really put a smile on my face, thank you. Barbara

Mary said...

This just might be the most beautiful bread I have ever seen! I'm in awe of it and I have now pinned it to try soon. Thanks for doing all that initial translating work!

Carlie said...

the bread looks yummy! I was wondering what time of pan you are using. what the dimensions of the pan? and I hope I don't mess converting the measurements to cups and such. Thanks for sharing this fun bread!

Paradise Lost said...

I made this last night.

It was good but did not rise enough. Not sure if I didn't use enough yeast. or if my milk was too hot and killed it. I am going to try again.

I wasn't sure how to get the pretty flower shapes you did. Any advice on that?

Foodiva said...

Carlie, hi! The pan dimensions I used are 10-inches in diameter. You can use up to a 12-inch pan because the bread will expand in the oven. It'll just bake wider, not taller the bigger the pan diameter is.

Foodiva said...

Carlie, hi! The pan dimensions I used are 10-inches in diameter. You can use up to a 12-inch pan because the bread will expand in the oven. It'll just bake wider, not taller the bigger the pan diameter is.

Foodiva said...

@ParadiseLost Sorry to hear that your first try with this bread wasn't up to what you'd expected. Yes, if your milk was too hot, the yeast would be killed off and the dough won't rise properly.

As for the flower shapes, I actually made a video on the 'how-to' a few months back. Here's the link, hope it'll be clearer for you :): http://foodivakitchen.blogspot.com/2011/12/white-chocolate-and-cranberry-wreath.html

Food Frenzy said...

Congratulations! This post was one of the top 5 viewed posts on Food Frenzy for February 2012.

Jasmine said...

I just made the dough and it's in its first rise. CAN'T WAIT to taste the finished product!!! It looks fantastic!

Jeannie Tay said...

Hi! I saw your very lovely Happy Bread on Pinterest and immediately repinned to try! Can't wait to make this soon!

Maureen @ Orgasmic Chef said...

Your recipe for Bulgarian Pitka bread is SO much easier than mine. I had dough and butter and layers sliding all over the kitchen.

that said, it's fantastic to eat!

Joan said...

I love this! I am doing this!

Joan said...

Love this recipe and the pretty bouquet! I am doing this and will credit you! www.sewwhatscookingwithjoan.com

Maya Mohd said...

Joan, great stuff. I'm pleased you'd want to make this bread. I hope you'll be successful with it! :)

Licia said...

E' una meraviglia!! Mi sono unita ai tuoi lettori con piacere,ritornerò presto!!

Licia said...

Meravigliosa!!!

tasteofbeirut said...

I would call it FUN bread! I want to make this soft and delicious brioche asap! Thanks for the idea!

Sweet and That's it said...

This is the most beautiful bread I've ever seen.
Thank you so much for your fantastic pictures and step by step tutorial.
I was "scared" by its beauty but your fotos showed me I was wrong! THANK YOU SOOO MUCH!

Lonna Berridge said...

The bread is beautiful! I am so Happy that I happened upon it while surfing in pinterest! I love to make yeast breads and will try it as soon as I translate the measurements. Thank you for all your work and sharing with us!
Lonna

Anonymous said...

do u think i could recreate this using the crecent rolls that come in the tubes?

Maya Mohd said...

Dear Anonymous, yes of course you can create this with those crescent or puff pastry rolls. Make sure you give some space for the rolls to fluff up!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for taking the time to translate this great recipe and then sharing it with us. I have just started to get into baking and am really enjoying making great and beautiful recipes and it is recipes like this that inspire me to keep at it. I cant wait to try this, just have to figure out how to convert the grams to cups. Thanks again!

Faizura Aini said...

I just came across your site a week and I was so excited to know you are from Brunei :)I am too...I have been reading your posts and I must say you are sooo talented and such a foodie. Just dropping in to wish you all the best and hope you keep blogging, you are really good at it.

Edafe Onerhime said...

This bread makes me happy too :)

Misbah said...

Asalamelikum. what a beautiful bread :)

Miriam said...

Muito Lindo, adorei!!!!

Bom Dia!!!!

Jana Videnova said...

Hey Maya, i just used your recipe to make this bread and realized in the end why it looked so familiar (I'm from Bulgaria!) :)
Next time when you need help with translating from bulgarian, don't hesitate to ask me!
Yana

marie, the ©EpicureanPiranha said...

How lovely! Thanks so much for posting this recipe and for showing how you made it ~ I'm going to bake this today!

~ marie, the EpicureanPiranha

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