baking teensy: edition 1

Here is my teensy oven.

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I bought it from Carrefour for about NT$1800. The brand is Tatung. I have been baking in it for about two months and it has proved very reliable. Cooking times tend to be a little bit longer than a standard wall oven; I really don’t know why. Overall, however, it is a great little thing.

So far I have baked pies, scones and bread rolls.

Here are some recipes. I have amended them to suit the situation in Taiwan and have included where I found all the ingredients because some stuff proved hard to track down.

P1040037Vegetable and Tuna Pie

I really, really, really miss pies. They are just so tasty and something that I crave often. So I decided to have a go at making one. The result was excellent so here is the recipe for you to try, too.

what you need:

About 7 or so sheets of the square kind of puff pastry (I found mine in Carrefour in the frozen foods section)

1 can of concentrated vegetable soup (I used Campbell’s Creamy Mushroom soup from Welcome)

1 can of tuna in spring water, drained and flaked (both the small or the medium size is OK)

A handful of cheese (you can get small blocks of Mainland Edam from Carrefour or just use the grated cheese that you can find at most supermarkets)

1 carrot, diced

1 onion, diced

2-3 cloves of garlic, crushed

1 sweet potato or ¼ of a pumpkin, cubed and boiled

Asparagus, parboiled (boiled for a very quick time and then rinsed under cold water)

Green beans (done the same way as the asparagus)

A handful of frozen peas (thawed)

Dried herbs (such as basil, thyme, oregano, parsley)

Salt and pepper

how to do it:

Leave the pastry out of the freezer to thaw and preheat the oven to about 200 degrees Celcius.

Use oil or butter to grease your pie tin. I have made pies using one big or four small disposable tinfoil baking tins from Carrefour.

Cook the onion, garlic and carrot in a small amount of oil in a large frypan until the onion is clear.

Add the rest of the vegetables and the dried herbs. Cook for another few minutes.

Add the can of soup concentrate, about half the can of water and the can of tuna. Mix well.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Line the pie tin or tins on the sides and the bottom with one layer of pastry. Spoon in the filling mixture and top with cheese. Brush the top of the pie with a little milk so it will brown nicely.

Place the pie or pies on a tray in the middle of your oven. I cooked mine for around 1 hour but it could take anywhere from 45 minutes to just over 1 hour. Just keep an eye on the pastry and when it’s as crispy as you like it, take the pie out.

teensy tid bits:

You can add any kind of filling you like. Add some cooked chicken for a pie meat lovers will enjoy.

You can also wrap leftovers in the pastry sheets to make small parcels and bake them in the oven for 30-40 minutes. I am going to use leftover pumpkin risotto in just this way tonight.

P1040654Beer Bread Rolls

Mmmmmm, good bread. What a rarity in Taiwan! Can’t find any? Why don’t you have a go at making it yourself? Here is a recipe that is super easy to follow. And you can add in whatever you want to satisfy all of your yeasty cravings.

what you need:

3 cups flour (I used a mixed grain I found at Welcome and an organic wholemeal flour from an organic store)

3 teaspoons baking powder (I found this at Welcome in a pink packet containing very unhelpful separated sachets of powder)

1 teaspoon of salt

1 can beer (made up to 400 ml with water)

1 handful grated cheese

some pumpkin seeds or pepitas

how to do it:

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius.

Mix all the ingredients together in a big bowl with a wooden spoon. Do so quickly.

Spoon the mixture into four small baking tins or into one big loaf of pie tin (about 20 x 10 cm). I used some tinfoil disposable pie tins I found in Carrefour. Save them as you can wash them and use them more than once.

Top your bread with some more pepitas and a little grated cheese.

Put your bread in the oven on a tray in the middle. Cooking time will vary from 35 minutes to 1 hour. My four smaller buns took about 40 minutes. Test your bread is cooked by sticking a thin knife or skewer into the middle of the loaf (or loaves). If it comes out clean of dough then the bread is done.

teensy tid bits:

Try experimenting with different kinds of beer for different flavours. Just don’t use low-alcohol beer as it won’t work.

You can add anything you want to the bread at the mixing stage. I can’t wait to try rosemary, sage, cumin, paprika, sundried tomatoes, olives, granulated sea salt, capers, blue cheese, walnuts… Remember to save a few for the top of your bread.

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4 Responses to “baking teensy: edition 1”

  1. Lukey Says:

    Mean recipies K, that pie looks awesome! Im gonna make it!

    PS: Whats up with the oven? Dont they have ovens in Tainwan?

    Lukey!

    • jarofbuttons Says:

      Hey Lukey-Luke! I’m glad you liked the recipes. Pretty much no one has an oven in their house here. The style of traditional cooking means you don’t really need one. But these little ovens are really good. I am so surprised that such a teensy thing can heat up to 200+ degrees!

  2. Kim Cusick Says:

    Very cool! 🙂

    • jarofbuttons Says:

      Thanks, Kim. I just made some risotto and wrapped portions of it in squares of puff pastry to make little parcels of pumpkin-y goodness. Yum! I’m on a bakers roll at the moment.

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