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THE NEWBIE BAKER and Basic Dough

So i am getting more inquiries these days regarding my hands on classes and yes, there's still a pandemic and more positive cases have been reported lately so folks, as much as i really want to teach you, it is not happening anytime soon.

It is so sad. I miss talking to people who were mirror images of the NEWBIE baker me, way back oh dear, it is embarrassing to say, mga 30 some years ago. My handle on baking was tested on really fire and stove! I remember looking at my Aunt's oven and turbo broiler as she bakes something that looks like a cake but doesn't taste like one. Hahaha.

So yes, she has an oven but they never used it for anything else other than chicken. Nothing else. I was a teenager minding my own business but had some free time and saved up money to buy ingredients so i bought a Betty Crocker cake mix. It said in the package that i can make cupcakes out of it, and since i don't see any cake pans but muffin tins only (my aunt used it for Puto), i baked my very first cupcakes!!!

Yehey, it was successful. I mean, first time ever to use an oven and it was absolutely yummy! I didn't know my brother gave some to her girlfriend. The following day, he gave me the same cake mix and ingredients and asked me to bake some more.
I want to skip this part of my youth. It was traumatizing enough that i think i avoided looking at the oven for the rest of my college years...seriously, i hated every bit of what looks like a muffin pan. I for the life of me cannot remember what went wrong. For years i would ask myself every now and then, what exactly i did that made the cupcakes turned into 5 day old biscuits. Rock hard inedible. 

The whole batch went to waste, i guess what made it more disturbing was i wanted to impress my brother's girlfriend and it didn't work out. Hiyang hiya ako sa kuya ko, sometimes nagtatago ako para hindi ko siya makita. Nakakaiyak talaga.

I think the next time i baked again was many years later, graduate na ako ng college or maybe graduating. This same brother brought me a mini oven from Oman where he was working and i started making Cream Puffs, Brownies, Cookies. It was small but bigger than our regular toaster oven. Next and this i remember, i was already working in OB Montessori at that time when i tried my hand on baking breads...

Okay, this part alone deserves a whole volume because as far as i can remember, i used up about a sack of flour which i relish to this day, because a sack in those days cost only P400.00 😊😊😊. I can write every bread i baked if i have to but nah, what's important is what i learned and how i used that knowledge. 
I guess this is the reason why my ebook has been an inspiration to many budding bakers out there, i really appreciate your feedback.

Back to the Pandemic baking, my sister asked me what a Universal Dough is. I said, i don't call it Universal but Basic dough. To call it Universal means, ALL KINDS OF BREADS CAN BE MADE OUT OF THIS DOUGH, which is impossible.

For example, a Pandesal dough which i teach can be called ONE BASIC DOUGH, which you can use to make at least 12 to 15 different kinds of breads, it depends on what you as a bakery manager can come up with.

You can use this basic dough to make; Malunggay Pandesal, Kamote Pandesal, Tuna Pandesal,Corned Beef pandesal, Dinner Rolls, Loaf Bread, Hamburger Buns, Hotdog Buns, Spanish Bread, Pan De Ciosa, Pan De Limon, Mongo Bread, Cinnamon Rolls (cheaper version), Ensaimada (with margarine and sugar version), Pan De Coco and a whole lot more. 


The formula for a special ensaimada with lots of egg yolks and butter is different. The formula for a baguette or French Bread, as well as for Focaccias and Pizza Crusts is also different so i do not use the term Universal dough. I prefer using the word Basic, one dough many variations (please see archive). This is what most bakeries do, mix a whole 25 kg sack of flour and create as many variations as possible.

Below are just a few examples, although i limit myself to 4 variations since i do not have a helper these days. Also since i send about 70% of my breads to my sister, my batch is usually 1.5 kg so sometimes i can make up to 5 variations kung sinisipag ako..hahaha.

Here you can see i made Pandesal in the pan, Loaf bread, Cinnamon Rolls and Dinner Rolls with cheese inside and a sweet buttery topping. 4 variations, different make-up as we call it, but just ONE DOUGH.

My favorite, sayang isa lang ginawa ko. I chopped up some fresh Rosemary leaves, scattered it in the dough with some Rum soaked raisins and it was so good!!! The sweetness of the plump raisins combined with the herb is great as a stand alone slice for snacks or you can toast them with a pat of butter.

Here's another one, ( you just need to learn how to make 1 dough guys, and you can make all these yourselves) of my favorite and my niece's too. Mix sugar and butter together and place it on a piping bag. If you want to add vanilla, that's fine too.

Round some dough, 25 to 30 grams each and flatten. Place cubes of cheese inside. If you want it buttery, use frozen cubes of butter and work fast.

Pipe the sugar and butter mixture on top before baking and there it is.... for those who do not like their bread sweet, leave this part out...

If there is a variation that is always PRESENT every time i bake, it is this one. Winner all the time, kahit every week mo na ginagawa, they will still text or send you a message saying they loved the cinnamon rolls. I have reduced the amount of sugar and syrup on this one since i don't want to be a part of their Metformin popping dilemma so just enough sweetness to make it through the day... 

Be creative, use different pans but make sure the pan is not too large or too small or it won't look pretty like this. 

If you want to learn even 1 basic dough, get a copy of my ebook for now...

To those who dream of baking their own bread someday, you can do it. As long as you have the time and patience, with the help of my ebook, i guarantee that you will not go through what i went through 😂


Anonymous said…
bought your ebook way back 2012, went to Germany and forgot all about it. Now that the Pandemic is restricting all of us to our homes, i appreciate it so much Shirley.. i hope that someday i can meet you when i come back home...

Ella R.
Shirley said…
To Ella, i think i remember you so thank you and i also hope we can meet someday...feel free to send me your questions if you have any...

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