Cheesy Sambal Milk Bread

Cheesy Sambal Milk Bread - Eat Cho Food
Cheesy Sambal Milk Bread - Eat Cho Food
Cheesy Sambal Milk Bread - Eat Cho Food
Cheesy Sambal Milk Bread - Eat Cho Food
Cheesy Sambal Milk Bread - Eat Cho Food
Cheesy Sambal Milk Bread - Eat Cho Food
Cheesy Sambal Milk Bread - Eat Cho Food
Cheesy Sambal Milk Bread - Eat Cho Food
Cheesy Sambal Milk Bread - Eat Cho Food
Cheesy Sambal Milk Bread - Eat Cho Food
Cheesy Sambal Milk Bread - Eat Cho Food
Cheesy Sambal Milk Bread - Eat Cho Food
Cheesy Sambal Milk Bread - Eat Cho Food
Cheesy Sambal Milk Bread - Eat Cho Food
Cheesy Sambal Milk Bread - Eat Cho Food

I’ve never ran a marathon before and I don’t really see myself completing one EVER. But after a month of constant workshops I think I can imagine what running one would feel like. Okay maybe a half marathon. At least a 10k! Each weekend for the last month I’ve been practicing my public speaking skills and praying to the dumpling gods that my dough was going to be workable that day. We went up all the way to Sea Ranch and back into the city, lugging bins and SO MANY tote bags filled with essentially a pop up dumpling restaurant. I haven’t had a gym membership since I left my full time job, but I’ve been making up for it by carrying that damn cooler everywhere and standing for hours. I can’t tell if that’s why my back hurts or if I’m finally transitioning into my grandma self.

I’m now on a little dumpling hiatus. My next workshop is not until August 10th, but you should totally buy your tickets now! It’s going to be a wonton party! In the meantime I’m going to spend some quality time with bread dough and work on some easy week night meals! My pleating fingers could use a break and our freezer is literally bursting at the seams with dumplings from recipe testing and workshop leftovers. Someone come over and help me eat all of them! Oh, yeah! Reuben’s parent’s are coming into town this week! So I’ll have some extra taste testers and bellies to fill with dumplings!

I better get working on their welcome treat! Should it be bread???! Milk bread is without a doubt my favorite bread. It probably was before and I never officially declared it until now. Close second is an excellent sourdough, but I could eat milk bread all day everyday. There is something so lovely about it’s airiness and softness that other breads just don’t compare. Challah? Brioche? Maybe. Those breads are like cousins to the milk bread. I haven’t done a side by side comparison… yet. But I’m pretty sure MB would come out on top!

There are a whole bunch of ways to make milk bread. There is the tangzhong method, which requires you to create a quick started by cooking flour and water into a paste. I used in this recipe. And some people like to use dry milk powder in place of some of the actual dairy - planning on trying out that method soon! I’ve grown super fond of the recipe I’m sharing today because you literally throw all the dough ingredients in the bowl of your stand mixer, walk away for 15 minutes while it does all the work for you, and that’s pretty much it! Easy peasy. Flavor-wise, it’s pretty comparable to other methods I’ve tried. However, the key to a better bread flavor is to allow your dough to rest longer. You can either let the dough rest at room temperature for 1-2 hours or pop it in the fridge overnight for it to cold ferment. The result is a bread that tastes less yeasty and has a softer and fluffier texture.

Once you’ve mastered the art of milk bread, the world of flavor combinations is limitless! Today I’m sharing a version filled with cheese and spicy sambal. Are you drooling yet?! Cheese and sambal sound like an unlikely couple, but if you think about it, sambal is just a spicy chili and garlic paste that’s quite similar to Calabrian chilis. Italians pair Calabrian chilis with cheese and carbs all the time! So it’s not surprising that when you roll milk bread dough up with cheese and sambal it ends up tasting like an amazing spicy pizza bread. I’m obsessed with it. The best part is tearing off a chunk while it’s still warm and slathering on some salted butter. OMG. I want to make another one now! Imagine an avocado toast or and egg in a hole using this bread! WOW. I wish I thought of that sooner! Hurry! Bake a loaf and test those carby ideas for me : )


Cheesy Sambal Milk Bread

makes 2 loaves

materials:

1 cup heavy cream
1 cup milk
1 egg
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup cornstarch
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups bread flour
1 package of instant yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup sambal
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese + more for topping

to make the buns:

  1. Combine heavy cream, milk, egg, sugar, cornstarch, flours, yeast, and salt in the bowl of your standmixer fitted with a dough hook. Mix at medium speed (speed setting 4 for KitchenAid) for 15 minutes until a smooth and slightly sticky dough is formed. Stop to scrape down the sides every few minutes. Once dough is form, place in a large bowl lightly greased with oil. Cover with a damp kitchen towel and allow to rest in a warm place for 2 hours or in the fridge overnight, until the dough has doubled.

  2. Line 2 loaf pans with parchment paper.

  3. Scrape out the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Divide into 8 equal pieces. Take one piece of dough and roll it out into a roughly 5”x7” rectangle. Spread 1 tablespoon of sambal on the dough, keeping a 1/2” clean border around the edges. Sprinkle some cheese on the sambal. Fold both the 7” long edges over towards the center and roll the dough into a log. See photos above. Place log in the loaf pan. Repeat process with remaining pieces of dough until each loaf pan is fill with 4 logs. Cover loaves with a damp kitchen towel and allow to proof one last time for 1 hour.

  4. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Brush the tops of the loaves with milk and sprinkle on or grate a bit of cheese on top. Bake in the oven for 45-50 minutes until the tops are deeply golden brown.

  5. Remove the loaves from the oven. Allow to cool in the pans for 10 minutes and then remove to allow to fully cool on a wire rack.

  6. Enjoy with a slice of butter or plain as is!

White Cheddar Sriracha Mac and Cheese

White Cheddar Sriracha Mac and Cheese
White Cheddar Sriracha Mac and Cheese
White Cheddar Sriracha Mac and Cheese
White Cheddar Sriracha Mac and Cheese
White Cheddar Sriracha Mac and Cheese
White Cheddar Sriracha Mac and Cheese

How’s Fall going for you?! I’ve been consistently wearing a cozy sweater each day because it’s actually chilly, foggy, and refreshingly brisk… just like how Fall should be. Way to be seasonally appropriate for once, San Francisco. We’ve roasted 2 squashes in the last week and I just watched Hocus Pocus for the first time in like 15 years. So, I think I’m doing Fall pretty right!

One of my favorite Fall foods to make is Mac and Cheese! Correction, I like to eat mac and cheese all year round but there is something about this time of year that inspires me to whip up a big cozy pot of cheese and carbs. I’m historically a mac and cheese purist. Please hold on all the vegetables (especially broccoli!), pesto (isn’t that just like a pasta dish at that point?), and buffalo chicken. I might tolerate some truffle oil. At the end of the day, I just want el dente pasta, 1-2 decent cheeses, some crunchy breadcrumbs (not always necessary though), and the perfectly creamy, but not to goopy cheese sauce. I’m not a “load it up” type of person. But that’s just my personal preference. You may disagree and that it totally okay!

I’m just slightly breaking my keep it simple rule with this White Cheddar Sriracha Mac and Cheese because today is my favorite little brother’s birthday! Happy Birthday, Wai! His real name is Tyler, but we refer to each other in our Chinese names : ) He’s turning 24 and is probably busy studying away about the brain or some highly technical medical procedure because he’s the smarty pants in our family and is doing the whole medical school thing. I’m such a proud sister! Anyways, why am I making him a mac and cheese for his birthday? Well, last year he asked me if I had a mac and cheese recipe on my blog so that he could make it to bring to a Friendsgiving. I DIDN’T HAVE ONE AND I WAS HORRIFIED. This was the first time my brother even asked me about a recipe and up until then I wasn’t even sure if he trusted me as a food authority. Also, why the heck don’t I have a recipe for one of my favorite foods?! I was super disappointed and ended up pointing him in the direction of a pretty good standard mac and cheese recipe. So it’s taken me almost a year to finally share a mac and cheese recipe. I’ve gotten distracted with other noodles and dumplings along the way.

This mac and cheese is simple in its foundation, but the little details of it are inspired by my brother. The fact that this is a stove top macaroni makes life a whole lot easier if you’re a hard working medical student constantly on the go! You could make it all in one pot if you wanted to! My brother has always been a spicier person than me, in terms of food and also maybe personality, lol. Sriracha adds a nice spicy kick and mellows out the sharpness of cheddar. This mac consists of 2 really good cheeses, both of which I think you should always have in your refrigerator. Sharp Cheddar for snacking and grilled cheeses. Pecorino Romano (or Parmesan works too!) for adding that salty cheesy bite to pastas, salads, or soups. The toppings are optional, you could literally eat this straight out of the pot. I might have done that with a few spoonfuls. To make life feel a little fancier, add the bread crumbs and green onions (my brother shares my love and passion for green onions). Drop them from high up in the air and pretend like you’re making a slow-mo segment for Chef’s table. It’s your birthday. Be fancy! Oh, and if you want to really make this into a true Tyler Cho Mac and Cheese, add in some cubed chicken breast or fried chicken skin! That was just venturing out a little too far from my Mac and cheese comfort zone.

Happy Birthday, Brother!


White Cheddar Sriracha Mac and Cheese

serves 4-6

materials:

16 oz pasta shells
6 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup AP flour
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
3 cups milk
4 cups sharp white cheddar
1/3 cup pecorino romano
3 tbsp Sriracha - or more if you like it really spicy
1/4 panko bread brumbs
1 tbsp olive oil
green onions for garnish

steps:

  1. Cook your pasta according to the package directions. Drain, rinse with cold water, and set aside.

  2. In a large pot or saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Once melted, whisk in flour, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper. Mixture will resemble a thick paste. Carefully pour in milk while continually whisking. Whisk constantly for 4-6 minutes until thick and smooth. Reduce heat to low and mix in cheese and Sriracha until melted.

  3. Add pasta into the cheese sauce and toss until evenly coated.

  4. Heat olive oil in a small pan over medium heat. Add in bread crumbs. Stir the panko. Toast for a few minutes until golden brown. Stir every 20 seconds so the panko doesn’t burn. Remove from heat and top the mac and cheese with bread crumbs and green onions.

  5. Enjoy!

Notes: If you prefer a baked option, instead of stovetop, cook your pasta for 2 minutes less. Combine pasta with cheese sauce and place in a baking dish. Combine bread crumbs with olive oil and top your mac and cheese. Bake for 20 minutes at 350 until bubbly and golden brown.