I went to the High 5 Bread Town last week for a cooking session with none other than Chef Ismail himself!
One clue that this isn’t going to be your regular boring cooking demonstration is when Chef Ismail gave the cue for heart thumping music to play and got us to exercise…with High 5 bread as “weights”. I got so into it that my adrenaline was pumping like a fireman attempting to put out a 5 story blaze. Lame analogy but it’s either this or something NSFW.
Anyway, we started off the session by kneading and molding fresh dough and making shapes with it. It’s like playing with Play Doh! I attempted to make a heart shaped one while my teammates went for abalone and a vaguely phallic looking thing that she twisted so hard it fell on the floor. Heh!
It’s a good thing that wasn’t for eating though – it’s for getting a feel (pun intended) for the high quality dough that High 5 uses for its bread.
Steaming hot coffee with slices of soft and fluffy High 5 bread was served to give us an experience of dipping the freshly baked bread into coffee.
This is a breakfast staple for a lot of Malaysians on the go. It sure brings back those childhood memories!
After a short speech by Dato’ Jackson Tan, the Group Managing Director of Silver Bird Group Bhd (yes, it’s the same company that makes those delicious cakes) we donned our aprons and got into the gist of it.
The proper cooking session started with the Mini Pizza. You can choose either wholemeal or white bread and chuck it in the oven while waiting for it to heat up to golden brown.
Chef Ismail here shows us how to do it. He had his own special tomato base made with plum tomatoes, diced onions, chopped garlic, chopped parsley, thyme, oregano, tomato paste, black pepper and olive oil.
I made mine with extra tomato base (which we nicked from the good chef’s table) on High 5 wholemeal bread with half covered with chicken sausages and the other half with onions. I also added some diced capsicum and topped it off with grated mozzarella cheese and a sprinkling of chopped parsley.
This was sent to the oven and after a couple of minutes…
It tasted really good, and I didn’t regret using the wholemeal bread as the base as it provides that extra texture to the thing.
Next up is Sardine Curry Puffs. Okay, this one ups the ante a little since it requires motor coordination skillz and a bit of expertise.
Chef Ismail made it look easy and I was determined to make this one come out right.
I opted for High 5 white bread this time and used a rolling pin to thoroughly FLATTEN the slice of bread. You need to make the bread into pastry. I didn’t have the right technique apparently, since Chef Ismail had to come over and teach me how to really work that bread into a 1 mm pastry like base.
Now comes the tricky part – you shouldn’t overfill the the curry puffs. After cutting off the crust, you put some filling into the curry puff before using a mixture of flour and water to seal off the curry puff. I applied the flour paste liberally – on the sides and to the entire other half of the slice of bread before rolling it up and submerging it into hot oil.
I am pleased to report that my Sardine Curry Puff turned out golden brown and tasty to boot!
The last recipe we did was High 5 Bread Tuna Canapés. Canapés, for the uninitiated, is another word for the little morsels of food you see served at atas functions with champagne. As soon as Chef Ismail went into the part about being sophisticated while eating canapés, mine promptly flew out of my fingers and went God-knows-where. FML. >.<
Anyway, the High 5 Bread Tuna Canapés is very easy to make and it requires no cooking! All you need is basically a cutter to cut the pieces of bread into round shapes before buttering it and adding some tuna, cherry tomatoes and a sprinkling of spring onions.
It is an art form – you’re supposed to decorate the canapés and I guess I wasn’t really good at that.
Anyway, there was a prize for the best group amongst the gaggle of bloggers and media that was there. I did the speech, much to the woe of my teammates as I described how Kimberly dropped her dough, KY made a curry puff that expanded due to the overfill and how I somehow managed to eat a canape while at the same time unintentionally doing a Wright Brothers on it. Michelle and Nicholas‘ team won. Congrats! =D
Here’s a video of Chef Ismail working his magic. It’s quite long but good for the recipe!
There is also a contest where you can win iPads amongst other things called Jom Rasa & Menang. It’s really easy to enter!
Just look for the sticker on any High 5 bread products – there are different requirements depending on whether it’s sandwich bread, sausage rolls, buns, or cream rolls. After you buy it, fill up the entry form and enter the barcode displayed on the High 5 bread before dropping off your entry at the contest box located at bread stands in retail outlets or mailing it in. You can get more information and the contest form at http://www.silverbird.com.my/contest.php.
The High 5 cooking session with Chef Ismail was really fun! I liked how all the recipes bring out the essence in High 5 bread and now I have my own recipe arsenal to add to my repertoire of cooking! Thanks for the hospitality High 5! I really liked the Mini Pizza that I made. I guess you can say it’s the best thing since sliced bread.