Updated: Aug 19
There used to be an eatery in Singapore that pushed out awesome egg tarts with baguettes as crusts. Yes, the crusts are made of baguettes. As unique as it sounds, they stopped making the product that made them famous, somehow or rather.
Anyway, to end my miserable cravings, I decided to take matters into my hands. I tried several attempts but ended with kitchen disasters. Call it luck or fate, Khachapuri just came to my mind; it was more like a lightbulb moment.
To my surprise, it works like a charm. Not only does it satisfy my cravings, but I sorta make it better? Sorry, not sorry, for blowing my horn. Making the custard does take some effort, but it is well worth it in the end. Because life is too short to be eating mediocre Pastéis de Nata.
Unbleached All Purpose Flour, 40g
Whole Milk, 50g + 250g
Granulated Sugar, 240g
Star Anise, 1
Cinnamon Stick, 1
Green Cardamom, 3
Egg Yolks, 6
Pure Vanilla Paste, 1 TSP
Unbleached Bread Flour, 500g
Sea Salt, 10g
Demerara Sugar, 10g
Active Instant Dry Yeast, 6g
Whole Milk, 320g
High Quality Olive Oil, 20g + More For Greasing
Beaten Egg For Egg Washing, 1
Prepare the custard.
In a bowl, add flour.
Whisk in 50g of milk, 1/3 portion at a time, until smooth without any lumps.
In a heavy pot over medium-high heat, add sugar, water, star anise, cinnamon and cardamom.
Cook until it reaches 100 degree celsius or 212 fahrenheit.
*Do not stir or the sugar will crystalize.*
While the sugar mixture is cooking, on a sauce pot over medium heat, cook 250g of milk until bubbles start to form.
Add the steamed milk into the flour mixture while still whisking, 1/3 portion at a time until well combined.
Once the sugar reaches 100 degree celsius or 212 fahrenheit, immediately fish out and discard the spices.
Slowly stream into the flour-milk mixture while still whisking.
Whisk until well combined.
Continue whisking for another 10 to 15 mins or until cools down slightly.
Whisk in the egg yolks, 2 at a time, until everything is incorporated.
Lastly, whisk in the vanilla paste.
Pass the custard thru' a sieve and into a large bowl.
Discard any residue.
Cover and chill in the fridge overnight.
Prepare the dough.
In a large bowl, add flour, salt, sugar and yeast.
*Do not add the yeast directly onto the salt as it will kill the yeast.*
Mix until well combined.
Add in the milk and oil.
Mix until it comes together into a dough.
Once it becomes a dough, continue kneading the dough inside the bowl until all the nooks and crannies of flour are kneaded into the dough, about 8 to 10 minutes.
The dough should not be sticky or tacky. It should pass the window-pane test.
If the dough is too dry, add in milk, 1 TBSP at a time. If the dough is too sticky, add flour, 1 TBSP at a time.
Lightly grease the bowl with olive oil.
Transfer the dough back into the greased bowl, cover with cling film and chill in the fridge overnight.
The next day, take the dough out from the fridge and let sit at room temperature for at least 3 to 4 hrs or until doubled in size.
Weigh and divide the dough into 4 equal dough balls.
Form each portion into tight dough balls.
Cover and set aside for another 30 mins or until doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to the highest temperature setting with an inverted baking tray. If you have a baking steel, use it.
Roll a dough ball out into an oblong shape with about 1/4 inch thick.
Roll and tuck the sides to form a boat-like shape as shown in the video.
Transfer onto parchment paper.
Prick some holes with a fork including the ends as well.
*This is to prevent the dough from puffing and causing the ends to split.*
Brush the sides with some egg wash.
Carefully slide onto the hot inverted baking tray or baking steel.
Wack into the oven and par-bake for 5 mins.
Remove from the oven and carefully pour in the custard.
Carefully return to the oven and bake for a further 8 mins.
Remove from the oven and blister the custard with a blow torch.
Repeat the steps for the remaining dough.
Set aside to cool down slightly before slicing and serving.
Will you give this a try?