24-hour Soft Sourdough Rolls

Here is another recipe I totally rushed so you can have it for Thanksgiving, if you wish to try it. And I hope you do as it is so easy to make and so good! The 24 hour time frame is just mostly waiting, not actual hands on time so don’t be scared because of it. This bread develops lovely flavors because of the long fermentation times and in moderate amounts, is better for you than regular store bought bread.

This recipe makes a whopping 40 (or 24, or 32, depending on how you divide them) dinner rolls, 20 each in 2 13”x9” baking pans. Feel free to halve the recipe if needed, but I figured since I am going to be waiting 24 hours, I might just as well make enough to share with my mom when my nieces and nephew comes over.

One thing to keep in mind is that your starter has to be active, or just fed 8 hours ago, for this recipe to work. I did try it with discards, since it will be resting for a long while, but it did not work out to be as soft as the ones using an active starter.

For the sweetener, you can use 1/2 cup of honey if you want, but I just wanted some maple syrup mixed in this particular recipe. You do not taste the honey or the maple syrup in the baked roll, but it does contribute to the bread’s softness, texture, and overall taste.

Guideline: 1. I fed my starter Sunday night, around 8 pm, set it on the counter overnight to get ready for tomorrow. The next morning, at 7 am, I prepared the dough and let it rest until 7-8 pm. Then at 8 pm, I shaped them into balls, placed in the pan, covered and let rest until the next morning. Tuesday morning, I preheated the oven at 7:30am. Then baked them until done. It was done before 9 am.

2. If you want these to be baked in the afternoon, just do the same thing but feed the starter 1 day prior, in the morning, then prepare the dough that evening. Let it rise overnight, shape it the following morning, let rest until late in the afternoon, then bake.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups whole milk or evaporated milk

2 cups active sourdough starter

7 cups bread flour

1/2 cup melted butter

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup maple syrup

2 large eggs

1 tablespoon sea salt

1/4 cup melted butter, for brushing on baked rolls

Procedure:

1. Place all ingredients, except the 1/4 cup melted butter for brushing the rolls later, in the bowl of a stand mixer.

After the dough is mixed for a few minutes…

2. Mix with a dough hook for 15 minutes. If you are using a Kitchenaid, stop after 8 minutes, rest for 5 to 10 minutes, then continue for 7 more minutes.

After 15 minutes, it’s smooth and stretchy.

3. Transfer to a greased bowl, cover and let rise on the counter for 12 hours, or until doubled and airy.

4. Punch down dough, weigh it, and divide it into even pieces. You can make 12, 16, or 20 pieces fit per 13”x9”pan. I like to make 20 pieces, so there is more to share…and eat!

After 12 hour rise…

6. Place in one of two generously greased 13”x9” pan. Repeat with remaining dough, keeping others covered to prevent them from drying out. Fill both pans, cover and let sit for another 12 hours on the counter. You want them to fill the baking pans, and look really light and airy. I left them in the microwave with the convection rack in place to accommodate 2 baking pans.

5. Shape into little balls by pulling edges into center, pinching it and rolling the dough, pinched side down on the counter to tighten the surface of the ball.

Light golden after 20 minutes of baking.

7. Preheat oven to 375F. Bake rolls for 25 minutes, or until browned and internal temperature registers 200F in an instant read thermometer. I baked this for 20 minutes, buttered them all and baked for 5 minutes more.

Perfect!

8. Remove from oven and brush with butter. I just grab a stick of butter and gently run it through the buns long enough to coat them in melted butter.

9. Serve warm with plenty of additional butter, jam, or stuff with turkey, cranberry sauce and enjoy!

Japanese Potato Salad

Try this Japanese Potato salad as a side for your Holiday meals!

Do you like potato salad? I know I LOVE starchy potato salad in all it’s variations!

This is a very tasty, Japanese style potato salad recipe. The potatoes are steamed to a point that it is soft enough that you can mash them, but you don’t, so you have some smooth mashed potatoes (from mixing) and chunks at the same time. Add in some ham, chopped boiled eggs, sliced cucumbers, and sliced carrots and this is nothing like your average potato salad! 😋

Serve it as a side to your main meals like any other potato salad. I sometimes grab a bowl of this straight from the fridge and eat it while watching TV, or reading. Or try it as a sandwich filling between two super soft and milky Japanese style pullman bread – yum!

Ingredients:

3-4 potatoes, peeled, cubed, and steamed until soft

1 cucumber, thinly sliced

1/2 cup carrot, thinly sliced

¼ cup sliced onions

1 – 2 cups chopped ham

2 hard boiled eggs, roughly chopped 

1/2 – 1 cup Kewpie Japanese mayonnaise

1 tsp white vinegar 

1 tsp hot mustard 

1/2 – 1 teaspoon salt

Paprika, to serve

Procedure:

1. Steam the cubed potatoes until fork tender. Set aside to cool.

2. Thinly slice the cucumbers, onions, and carrots. I use a mandolin or a food processor to do this. I used Persian Cucumbers in this recipe as they are thin skinned and small enough that I just wash and slice them. Makes life easy!

3. Place sliced vegetables in a bowl and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt. Toss gently and set aside for a few minutes until it weeps. Then grab a handful of veggies, squeeze tightly and place in another bowl. Repeat with the remaining salted vegetables.

4. Chop ham into bite sized pieces. They look nice when the sizes are identical, but if not, that’s okay too! It’ll still be delicious!

5. Now grab a big bowl, and mix everything together. Mix well, taste and adjust seasoning if needed.

6. Refrigerate until cold. Sprinkle with paprika just before serving. Serve and enjoy!

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Electric Lunchbox #71: Creamy Scalloped Potatoes

Here is a perfect side dish for a small Thanksgiving meal! Creamy scalloped potatoes!

You start by making the sauce over the stove as I was never able to get a good consistency with my usual “dump everything in the ELB bowl and steam away” method.

If you want to make this in advance , you can prepare it in the bowl and cover with the plastic lid in the fridge until needed. Then switch out the lid with a piece of foil and steam until done.

This dish is creamy, starchy, cheesy, and just delicious! Feel free to add bacon bits if needed, for extra yumminess. It’s the holidays so indulging is a given. 😊

I am thankful for every little blessing in life (family, health, happiness), this year specially, as even though we are in the midst of a pandemic, I am still able to work and keep donating to the causes I care about. Please try to help others in need if you are able to. A little kindness goes a long way and I think everyone needs a little understanding nowadays.

*NOTE that this recipe uses regular sized measuring cups, NOT the tiny ELB cup, unless specified.*

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Ingredients:

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon flour

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese plus 1-2 tablespoons for topping

Big pinch of salt

Dash of pepper

1 medium potato, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick

*I just use a Japanese slicer for a single potato. If I need to slice a lot, the mandolin or food processor is brought out.*

Procedure:

1. In a small saucepan over medium low heat, melt butter and add flour. Stir constantly until it comes together.

2. Slowly pour in milk and keep stirring until it becomes thick and smooth.

3. Add cheese and stir until melted. Add salt and pepper and stir. Set aside.

4. Place a few slices of potato on the bottom of a greased medium or large ELB bowl.

5. Pour about a tablespoon of the cheese sauce over and use the back of a spoon to even it out.

6. Repeat layering the potatoes and cheese sauce, until all are used up, ending with sauce.

7. Top with a tablespoon or two of grated cheese.

8. Cover with a piece of foil and set on the ELB base.

9. Add 3 ELB cups water to the base, cover and let steam until done, about 1 hour.

10. Carefully open the ELB, remove the bowl and let cool on a wire rack. *I removed mine too early and it fell apart…so forgive the photos!*

11. Gently run a knife along the edges and carefully transfer scalloped potatoes to a dish and serve, warm or at room temperature.

12. Enjoy!

Electric Lunchbox #70: From Scratch Rum Cake

After I posted the Bacardi Rum cake, I got some messages telling me that instant pudding mix and yellow cake mix is not readily available where they are.

Hhhhmmm….let’s see what I can do with that. So I tried making a rum cake from scratch. 🤔

This time, unlike all the other testing for this recipe, I used Malibu Rum (coconut is one of my favorite flavors!). But…you can barely taste the coconut or the rum in this recipe. Even with the added glaze. So, bad choice. Next time I’ll stick with Bacardi.

You can definitely add coconut flakes to the batter (1 tablespoon or so) if you are going to use the Malibu rum. And if you want a more pronounced flavor, try adding 1 teaspoon of coconut flavoring too.

OR you can also replace the rum with the original BACARDI, and sprinkle the greased bowl with pecans before pouring in the batter.

The cake looks pretty and is fluffy, so that was great. It tastes really good with a tender crumb too.

This cake rises high so I only recommend using the big ELB bowl when preparing it.

This is it’s own Rum Cake. It doesn’t taste like the original Bacardi rum cake made with boxed mixes, but it is delicious and light. If you want a more strongly flavored cake, use the optional glaze.

If you do not have buttermilk, you can use 2 1/2 tablespoons milk and 1/2 tablespoon white vinegar. Let that sit a few minutes until it curdles, then use in the recipe.

I hope you like this recipe! I made use of ingredients that, I believe, is accessible wherever you are, so that anyone can prepare this. And it’s super easy to make.

*NOTE that this recipe uses regular sized measuring cups, NOT the tiny ELB cup, unless specified.*

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Ingredients:

1/4 cup butter, softened

1/3 cup sugar

1 egg

3 tablespoons buttermilk

2 tablespoon rum (I used Malibu Rum)

3/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

Glaze:

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon water

1 tablespoon butter

2 tablespoons Malibu rum

Procedure:

1. Grease the big ELB bowl and set aside.

2. In a small bowl, cream butter and sugar until thick. Add egg, buttermilk, and rum. Mix well.

3. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir until blended.

4. Pour into the prepared bowl. Smooth top and drop on the counter a couple of times to get rid of air bubbles.

5. Cover with foil and place in the ELB base. Add 3 ELB cups of water to the base. Cover and let steam until done, about 1 hour.

6. Carefully open the ELB, remove the foil and insert a skewer in the middle of the cake. It should come out clean.

7. Cool on a wire rack.

8. Prepare glaze if using: In a small saucepan, place sugar, water, and butter. Heat over low heat, stirring constantly. When sugar is dissolved, remove from heat and add in the rum. Stir.

9. Pour the glaze over the cake, 1 tablespoon at a time, waiting until it absorbs before adding the next.

10. Enjoy!

Brentwood Mochi Cake

Looks really delicious doesn’t it?

I had mentioned working in UCLA Brentwood with amazing coworkers a few times already. I miss them everyday as they are willing to teach you everything they know, work wise AND in the kitchen. They’re some of the best laboratory scientists in the world, and they cook and bake real well. We always have potlucks and celebrate everything we can.

This is my supervisor Sandra Bovey’s recipe. I am including a photo of the actual recipe that was handed out (one of multiple copies that were shared on many occasions) plus a variation that I made in muffin cups.

I hope you enjoy this dessert as much as I do!

These are all you need to make Mochi Cake.

Some changes for this particular recipe:

Use 1 tablespoon baking powder instead of 2 teaspoons

1 tablespoon ube flavoring

1 tablespoon pandan flavoring

Divide batter into 3 bowls. Leave one as is, flavor one with ube, and the last with pandan. Pour into greased muffins cups. I made 8 of each flavor with a surplus of 2 mini muffin tins of ube and pandan.

Sprinkle with sesame seeds. I used a mixture of white and black sesame seeds just because I have it on hand. 😊

Bake in a 13×9 pan for 60 minutes.

Muffin tins: 35-40 minutes. Makes 30 muffins.

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Electric Lunchbox #69: Bacardi Rum Cake

This is a holiday staple for me since I first tasted it at UCLA Brentwood over a decade ago. I immediately got the recipe from my then supervisor, Sandra Bovey. She is an awesome cook/baker, as is almost everyone in that department. Lucky us! 😊

I can bring this cake to any party, informal or not, and it will be a hit! I just switch out the simple bundt pan for a fancier one, and it looks, well, fancier. Everyone wants the recipe after they try it and when they get it, they immediately make it, showing me photos of their bake. Happy times, specially around the holidays!

So I figured, since we are close to the holidays, I’ll try to make it in the ELB. I scaled down the recipe and oh my goodness! So delicious! Dangerously easy! I also changed the proportions to cups and spoons instead of weighing it like I did the couple of times while testing, all to make it much more simple for you guys to make. And eat!

Here it is! Bacardi Rum Cake in the ELB! The glaze is kind of optional for me as the cake tastes totally fine without it. Try it both ways!

IF the cake lasts too long to become stale (IF!), this tastes great toasted lightly. Or do as I was told and make it into a decadent french toast!

*NOTE that this recipe uses regular sized measuring cups, NOT the tiny ELB cup, unless specified.*

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Cake:

1/4 cup pecans or walnuts, toasted and cooled

2 tablespoons Bacardi rum

2 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons oil

1 egg

3/4 cup yellow cake mix

3 tablespoons instant vanilla pudding mix

Glaze:

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon water

2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon Bacardi rum

Procedure:

1. Grease the medium or large ELB bowl. Sprinkle in the nuts and aside.

2. In a small bowl, combine Bacardi rum, water, oil, and egg.

3. Stir in yellow cake mix and vanilla pudding mix. Stir until combined.

4. Pour batter over the chopped nuts in the prepared bowl. Be sure to get every last bit in. It is going to be so good!

5. Cover with foil and place in the ELB base.

6. Add 3 ELB cups water in the base, cover, and let steam until done, about 1 hour.

7. Carefully remove the cover and insert a skewer in the middle of the cake. It should come out clean.

8. Cool completely on a wire rack.

9. Meanwhile, combine all sugar, water, and butter in a small saucepan. Stir over low heat until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and stir in Bacardi rum.

10. Pour glaze over cake, a tablespoon at a time, letting it soak in before adding more.

11. Serve and enjoy!

Filipino Menudo

This Menudo recipe is a Filipino dish that makes it’s appearance on everyday lunch and dinner tables to fiestas and special occasions. It is tomato based and has a little sauce that make it perfect with white steamed rice, and LOTS of it!

You can use cubed chicken breasts or pork meat in this dish. I have not tried nor heard of a beef version though. Please let me know if you know of a Filipino menudo recipe made with beef!

When I was a kid, I remember this dish having *chopped liver when served, but I do not really like liver nor is it easy to find where I live now, so I left it out. If you want to add it, of course feel free to. I’m sure it will taste closer to the authentic version my aunts used to cook!

I usually add *sliced hotdogs to this dish too. My son loves hotdogs (I mean, all kids do right?!) so if I have it, it definitely goes in the recipe too. I just didn’t have any on hand this time.

Ingredients:

5 tablespoons canola oil, divided

1 pound pork or chicken breasts, cubed

3 potatoes, peeled and cubed

2 carrots, peeled and diced

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 Onion, diced

1/2 cup Tomato sauce

1 1/2 cups chicken broth

2 tablespoons soy sauce

*1 cup chopped liver, optional

*1 cup sliced hotdogs, optional

1 bell pepper, sliced

1/2 cup frozen peas

1/4 cup raisins

Salt and pepper

Procedure:

1. Season cubed chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Set aside.

2. In a wok or saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken and let cook until lightly browned about 4-5 minutes, without stirring. You want that caramelization as it adds so much flavor to the dish. Give it a quick stir and let sit again until most of it is lightly browned.

3. Remove chicken pieces to a plate and set aside.

4. Add another 2 tablespoons oil to the pan and heat up. Pan fry the potatoes and carrots until lightly browned. Remove to a plate and set aside. *You can skip this step but my Tita Saning who showed me this recipe did it this way, so I am sharing this step too. Kind of like honoring her memory. I miss those times. ❤️

5. Heat up the last tablespoon of oil and saute the garlic until fragrant. Add the onions and saute for about 3-5 minutes, until golden.

6. Add in the tomato sauce, chicken broth, and soy sauce and bring to a boil. Add the chicken pieces, potatoes, and carrots. *If using liver and hot dogs, add them too*

7. Let simmer over medium-low heat until meat and potatoes are done, about 20-25 minutes. Taste, taste!

8. Add the bell peppers, peas, and raisins and simmer until heated through, about 5-10 minutes more. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

9. Serve hot over freshly cooked rice. Fish sauce on the side is optional, but highly recommended! 😋

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Electric Lunchbox #68: Pumpkin Pie

Still on my infatuation with pumpkin…this time we’ll be making a pumpkin pie! A personal sized, good for 2-4 servings, piece of a Thanksgiving tradition.

That serving number depends on your desire to share though, and if it is a single serving for you, then that is totally fine too! 😊

*NOTE that this recipe uses regular sized measuring cups, NOT the tiny ELB cup, unless specified.*

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Crust:

1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs

1 teaspoon brown sugar

2 tablespoons melted butter

Filling:

3 tablespoon brown sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon each of ginger, cloves, and nutmeg)

1 large egg

1/4 cup canned pumpkin

1/4 cup evaporated milk

Procedure:

1. Line the large or medium bowl of the ELB with parchment cut to fit.

2. For the crust: mix all ingredients together and press onto the prepared bowl. Set aside

3. For the filling: Mix everything in a small bowl until combined. Pour over crust and cover with foil.

4. Place in the ELB base. Add 3 ELB cups of water to the base, cover and let steam until done, about 1 hour.

5. Carefully remove cover and check if pie is done, it should be firm and not jiggly.

6. Cool on a wire rack completely and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

7. Turn out onto a dish, remove parchment paper then invert on a serving dish.

8. Pipe with whipped cream if desired, before serving. (I didn’t have any on hand so I did without.)

9. Enjoy!

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