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Keep calm and bake on

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Staying at home for the past months has brought out the inner baker in many people. Even before the pandemic, baking served as a therapeutic way of managing fears and anxieties. And it isn’t just about enjoying something warm and delicious. Baking involves all the senses and requires one’s full attention, forcing the baker to focus on the recipe and mute their inner dialogues. It gives people a semblance of control.

That is why The Maya Kitchen encourages pandemic bakers to continue their new baking hobby even as the country gradually emerges from quarantine. Baking is not only meditative, it also unleashes creativity as bakers experiment with substitutes, and troubleshoot baking problems. It teaches patience while waiting for the dough to rise or the cake to bake. Baking can also offer a chance to bond with loved ones — cooking together or sharing the spoils.

In support of this, The Maya Kitchen offers these easy-to-follow recipes.

PANDESAL

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 teaspoons yeast
  • 1 ½ cups warm water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons shortening
  • 4 ½ – 5 cups sifted MAYA All-Purpose Flour
  • breadcrumbs, as needed
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INSTRUCTIONS

Dissolve yeast in ¼ cup of water.

In a bowl, combine the remaining water, sugar, salt and shortening.

Add 4 cups of the flour and the yeast mixture. Mix well then transfer to a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic. Use the remaining flour for dusting the table and your hands if the dough gets sticky.

Place dough on a greased bowl, cover and let it rise until double in bulk.

Preheat the oven to 350°F/177°C.

Place the risen dough on a floured surface. Flatten with your hands to form a rectangle of about 16 x 3 inches. Starting at one end, roll up the dough with the right hand while sealing with the left hand to form a cylindrical strip of dough. Roll the dough in bread crumbs. Let it rest for 15 to 20 minutes.

Cut dough into pieces about 1 ½-inch thick. Place in a baking sheet cut side up. Let the dough pieces rise until light, for approximately 1 hour.

Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Yield: 2-3 dozens

COFFEE HOTCAKES

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pack MAYA Fluffy n’ Tasty Original Hotcake mix, 200 grams
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • ½ cup brewed coffee cooled (or dissolve 1-2 tablespoons instant coffee powder in ½ cup water)
  • unsalted butter
  • maple syrup as needed

INSTRUCTIONS

Mix all ingredients in a bowl until slightly lumpy (do not over mix).

Pour ¼ cup hotcake batter mix onto pre-heated, lightly greased pan or flat skillet. (As much as possible, try to make your pancake round)

Cook until bubbly then turn to cook the other side.

Serve with butter and syrup.

Yield: 5 to 6 hotcakes

CARAMEL CHOCO FUDGE BROWNIES

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pack MAYA Chocolate Fudge Brownies prepared according to package directions
  • Caramel layer:
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • ¾ cup sweetened condensed milk
  • ½ cup light corn syrup
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Chocolate ganache:
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chopped
  • Assorted nuts chocolate chips, for topping

INSTRUCTIONS

Bake brownies according to package directions. Set aside.

In a nonstick pan, heat up caramel ingredients until thick (Softball stage 200-220°C). Pour this over the prepared brownie.

In a microwavable bowl, heat up cream for about 30 seconds. Add in chocolate. Microwave in 20 second bursts until chocolate is melted and ganache is smooth. Spread top caramel layer. Top with desired nuts, chocolate chips and other toppings.

Set aside to set. Cut into bars. Serve.

Yield: 16 bars

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