Je t’embrasse Salutations from Silicon Valley, California

31Mar/150

Homemade Bubble Tea

The other night my girlfriend and I had the inspiration to create homemade bubble tea. In an effort to reproduce my favorite Roasted Barley Milk Tea, we stumbled upon several tips and tricks, and even a pretty decent Regular Milk Tea recipe. Although we chose to make each piece of this recipe individually, I realized afterwards that much (if not all) of these recipes can be done in parallel, greatly decreasing the total time spent producing a cup of Boba.

Base Milk Tea Ingredients:

Tapioca Ingredients:

Now, if you buy everything exactly as it is on the above list, you will notice that the following directions are really just taken off each individual package. But of course, for your benefit, I have combined these (and a few of my own) directions here for you.

Roasted Barley Milk Tea Directions:
Starting with your 1L of water in a saucepan, and 2T of roasted barley (preferably inside a tea-infuser, so that you don't have to filter it later), bring the barley to a boil, and continue to just barely keep the boil going over medium-high heat for 5 minutes. Remove the tea-infuser or filter the barley from the water, and add the 9 Ceylon Black Tea bags to the barley-water. Reduce heat to minimum, and allow tea bags to sit for 3-5 minutes. Squeeze and remove tea-bags. Whisk in a heaping 1/4 C of non-dairy creamer, and 1/4 C of sugar (additional sugar to taste). Set aside for 2 hours, or cool over an ice bath.

To cool via an ice bath, prepare a large bowl with ice that can fit the bottom of your saucepan in it. Continually stir the tea as the ice gradually cools the pan to a more manageable temperature. Boiling-temperature to ice-cold should be possible with about 10 minutes of work.

Sugar-Water Directions:
To make a sugar-water mixture (to keep the pearls in once they are cooked), simply bring to a boil 1 cup of water with 1 cup of sugar. Stir continuously, and once boiling, remove from heat and allow to cool completely. It will be runny, and the consistency of a thin syrup.

QQ Pearl Directions:
Prepare a medium bowl with about 4 cups of cool water (not iced cold) in it. In a large pot (you need a lid) bring about 20 cups of water to a rolling boil. Add the 2 cups of tapioca pearls to the water, and wait for them to rise to the top of the water. Once floating, cover the pot with the lid, and continue to boil for 8 minutes. Turn off heat, and leave for another 8 minutes. Strain pearls from hot water and place in cool-water bowl that you prepared earlier. Let stand for 1 minute. Strain pearls from cool-water, and place in sugar-water that was prepared earlier.

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26Dec/100

Christopsomo (Greek Christmas Bread)

This recipe comes from my mother, via the "Sunset Cook Book of Breads" (1984).

Ready for Last Rise
Ingredients:
2 Tbps Active Dry Yeast
1/2 Cup Warm Water
1/2 Cup Scalded & Cooled Milk
1 Cup Butter
4 Eggs, beaten
3/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
2 teaspoons crushed Anise seed
1 teaspoon salt
7 Cups all-purpose flour

Directions:
Mix yeast with warm water & set aside for about 5 minutes. Mix together yeast mixture, milk, butter, eggs, salt, sugar, and anise thoroughly before adding flour. Gradually add flour one cup at a time mixing/massaging the flour in evenly.

Kneed the dough until the elasticity of it pushes back, and the dough is smooth. Roll into a ball in a large greased bowl, making sure to get the surface of the dough covered in the oil/grease. Set aside to rise (for the first time) in a warm/moist location. (Or if you are lazy like me, put it in an empty oven, with some almost-boiling water in a adjacent pan)

Ready to EatWhen the dough has doubled in size (1-2 hours) punch it down & divide it up into 2 even halves. Additionally cut off about 1 Cup worth of dough from each, and set aside (will be used later to decorate). Kneed each half into a smooth round, and place on a flat baking sheet. Shape the 1 Cup of dough into two equal-length ropes, cutting down each end of the ropes to create the traditional Greek cross shape. Finally, garnish the holes with walnuts or candied cherries, and wipe the top with an egg-white to add shine.

Once shaped, let rise again (the last time) until almost double in size. At this point, place in a 350-degree oven for about 45 minutes. (If you are me, and have risen the bread IN the oven, no worries, just turn on the oven to 350, and add 10 minutes for it to preheat WITH the bread already in there)

Alternatives:
You can make this same recipe into a single large loaf, but it is a bit unwieldy, and relatively hard to find a non-pizza pan for.

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