Tag Archives: WKTB

Tingmos – Tibetan Steamed Buns


The July challenge in the ‘We Knead to Bake’ group was to make Tingmos or Ting Momos, which are Tibetan steamed buns, flavoured with ginger, garlic, sprong onions and coriander. Even though these are yeasted breads, they are steamed rather than baked, reminiscent of bao, char siu buns and dim sum rather than the traditional western breads.

Typically eaten at breakfast, these buns are ideal to sop up hot, spicy gravies and sauces. The suggested accompaniment is Sepen, a Tibetan hot sauce. But I decided to cook these for lunch and so I served them with a dish of spicy chilli bean pork with bamboo shoots and mustard greens. The hot and slightly sweet pork, with the bitter leaves gave an excellent contrast to the garlic-and-coriander tingmos.

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Maritozzi Con La Panna (Roman cream buns)

 The June bread challenge set for us in the We Knead to Bake group was ‘Maritozzi Con La Panna’ – which is an Italian sweet bun, sort of like a brioche. They have an orange and vanilla flavour and are traditionally filled with whipped cream or with a glaze or even dusting of icing sugar. We decided to forego both versions, and they tasted brilliant even served as-is with our evening tea/coffee. The combination of orange with vanilla was very nice, and the raisins and toasted pine nuts provided an interesting texture with each bite.

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Gibassier, a delightful french bread with orange and anise

This month, the ‘We Knead to Bake’ challenge set by Aparna was to make some Gibassier. This is a sweet bread, almost a pastry, from the Provence region of France. At first glance, the flavours of orange and anise seemed a delightful combo, and I wanted to make this straightaway. Then I read the recipe, and realises it was not as straightforward as the other breads I have made. In fact, this is the most complex bread recipe I have ever made so far. And that was daunting, but exciting at the same time.

Gibassier, a french bread with orange and anise

Gibassier, a french bread with orange and anise

The key challenge here was the soft, super enriched dough, and the use of a pre-fermented starter dough or ‘Biga’. So this called for some careful planning and preparation. And the recipe also introduced me to a new ingredient; orange blossom water. I’d never used it before, but was intrigued. I must admit, we had problems with the rise on the first proving. After two hours, there was no sign of any activity. So I left it overnight and by morning it had become a monster!

Don’t know if I will go through the whole hassle again, but in the end, it was a great experience (though the journey was trying) with an excellent end result. The house smelled divine, with aromas of orange and anise wafting through the kitchen as the bread baked. and the breads tasted perfect, slightly warm, with a hot cup of coffee.

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Komaj, a Persian bread with dates, turmeric and cumin

I recently joined a bread baking group on Facebook, called ‘We Knead to Bake’. This is run by Aparna from ‘My Diverse Kitchen‘ and it is essentially a group of like-minded bread enthusiasts, who get to do a common new bread recipe every month and share their results.

This month’s selection was Komaj. These are Persian buns, made with turmeric and cumin in an enriched dough and stuffed with chopped dates and cardamom. They’re a lovely combination of sweet and savoury, and despite my initial misgivings, actually turned out to be a wonderful treat. They are apparently meant to be served with tea, and I can imagine them making a perfect addition to any afternoon tea party.

Komaj; Persian bread with dates, turmeric, cardamom and cumin

Komaj, a Persian bread with dates, turmeric, cardamom and cumin

Komaj; Persian bread with dates, turmeric, cardamom and cumin

Komaj, a Persian bread with dates, turmeric, cardamom and cumin

The recipe that Aparna provided is is taken from Greg and Lucy Malouf’s  book, Saraban – A Chef’s Journey Through Persia. An unusual thing about this recipe is that it calls for three rounds of proving of the dough rather than the usual two. I did a few modifications when made this. I chose to go with a round cookie cutter to shape the buns, but a lot of people have used heart-shaped ones too. I reduced the sugar in the dough by a third and also avoided the final dusting of icing sugar. Instead, I opted to go for just a final dusting of toasted, crushed cumin.

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