Today’s entry is about bread-making again.

Ever since I completed my bread-making course, I have been diligently dedicating a few hours a week to try out various types of breads that I have learned during the course. I realised that my previous perception on the tediousness of bread-making process has changed totally. In fact, I enjoy the process even more lately as I find it very exciting to go through each step and see its results. The end result – eating self-made bread – is always very satisfying although my skills are still not good enough.

I used to enjoy baking cakes and cookies as well although I hardly do so now simply because I don’t quite like eating them. I do like less sweet but rich chocolate cake once in a while but I have yet to learn how to make chocolate cake! Breads are definitely much healthier than cakes because cakes generally use a lot more butter and eggs. During the bread-making process, there are times for fermentation and proofing which could take up to one hour or longer each. I welcome such times as I get to clean up and get ready for the next steps without any stress. My kitchen is always kept very clean and tidy!

So far, I have tried raisin bread, red bean buns and foccacia. Although I have been able to produce nice tasting breads but their looks are still far from professional. There was always a strong browning effect on the surface of the bread which we did not encounter when using the commercial oven in the baking school. I have tried adjusting the oven temperature and baking time but I finally have a new discovery today! It turned out that it is better to use the “Superbake” instead of “Oven” function of my Sharp Healsio oven! See, that’s what makes bread-making interesting too!

Today, I baked two types of wholemeal breads by using the same recipe used for making wholemeal sandwich loaf. They turned out pretty well and by far my more satisfactory output except the look.

Above : Mini wholemeal raisins buns which have about 60% of raisin (i.e. 60% of flour weight)

This is my own creation – parsley and Italian herbs were added into the dough to give a different flavour to the bread. The dough was made into five small rolls and baked in the loaf tin, thus giving it a loaf-like shape. It turned out well with sesame and pumpkin seeds toppings. 😉


16 thoughts on “BAKER’S APPRENTICE @ WORK”

  1. Hi, can you share your experience with using the Sharp Healsio? It’s such a huge investment & I don’t anyone who actually has it. Thanks!

  2. Hi Mags,

    It is indeed a huge investment and quite frankly, if cost is a concern, it may be hard to justify.

    I bought the Sharp Healsio for a couple of reasons. I needed a proper baking oven and secondly, my husband and I were hoping that it being a water oven, will reduce the effect of dryness on the foods cooked. Well, we have not really proven this point since most of the food turned out to be ordinary so far.

    What I like about this oven is that it has a combination functions for steaming, grilling, baking etc. So, it is a multi-purpose oven and also user-friendly.

    Depending on you purpose(s), there are many other options that you can consider.

    If you have not seen in a demo on the Sharp Healsio, you may want to check with Best Denki to see if they are still running such demos in any of their outlets. I think this will help in your assessment on the oven. Sharp also provides a short course on cooking with the Healsio for customers who have purchased the oven but I did not attend.

  3. Hi, I bought the Sharp Healsio oven too. but I dont know how to use it to bake bread. however, i was successful when i used a bread machine. I think my temperature control is wrong. Would you mind sharing your receipe for the breads and buns and advice me on the settings of the sharp oven?

  4. Hi Jenny, setting of the temperature and timing for baking is very much based on the instruction on the recipes. I normally use the Oven function on the Sharp Healsio, set the temperature and timing accordingly with Pre-Heat. Put in the dough to bake only after the pre-heat is completed. Then, if there is situation like over-baked or under-baked, I will take note of that and try out some slight adjustment to the temperature or timing on my subsequent baking.

    As for the recipes, I am afraid I am not able to share with you because of the copyright from the baking school (Creative Culinaire) that I went to. However, there are many bread-making recipe books at the bookstores, or you should be able to find some online too.

    By the way, do you know that on the Sharp Healsio, there is also a function for Proofing? This is a necessary step for bread-making.

    I hope the above info helps.


  5. Can I use the same temperature for other type of oven that is stated on the receipe You mean you use the proofing function in the oven and not let it proof by itself


  6. Hi Jenny,

    Rightfully the temperature is the same regardless of the type of oven used. My observation was that the bread baked using a professional/industrial oven (during my lessons) looked nicer, as the browning was more even.

    I used the proofing function just to try it out and yes, generally, I let it proof by itself. I find bread-making process is a lot more tedious than cake-baking but I like bread-making better as there is always waiting time for fermenting and proofing, so it is more relaxing, and I can also make use of the waiting time to clean up. 🙂

    It has been sometime since I last baked though…..

    Did Sharp provide you a free lesson on how to use the oven. They offered me the lesson when I bought it, but I did not take it up. So if such a course is still available for you, it will be good for you to attend, if you can afford the time.

    Happy Baking…

  7. Hi Jenny,

    The only difference between Super Bake 1 and 2 is the amount of steam, as I understand. Super Bake 2 has more steam.

    I thought I had not used the Super Baker function before but I actually did probably for a couple of times. I am still not clear about the effects between the two functions but one thing I noticed from the recipes book that came with the oven is that generally Super Bake 1 is used when baking cakes while Super Baker 2 for cooking of dishes. Perhaps, you may want to try out the recipes given, and then make some observation on what the difference is. I have not tried the recipes yet.

    One observation I noticed between the Super Bake 1 and Oven functions is the browning effect, as written on my blog. Oven function also has less steam, if I remember correctly. Wished I had attended the free lesson!


  8. Hi Qing,

    can u tell me more about Creative Culinaire course. Which course did u take
    Is fairly expensive. Do you really benefit from it. Is it hand on?
    I dont know why sometimes my bread does not rise and sometimes is ok
    i uses the bread machine. So i am quite keen on the course except for the price

  9. Hi Jenny,
    The course at Creative Culinaire is hands-on right from the first lesson. You bake in a group of 2 or 3, and class size can be as large as 20 or more in the foundation course I took previously. Everything needed (except Apron) for the class is provided including ingredients, equipment and instructions. In the first lesson, you would be able to bake very professional-looking buns already, so I think you will learn quite a lot in class. The theory of baking is quite basic, so it isn’t so much about learning the theory but more on knowing and practising the bread-making process. The success or failure of rising (or leavening) is related to the leavening agent, flour, temperature and acidity and things can go wrong when baking bread so there is a need to learn what can go wrong as each occasion could be a different cause. I am afraid I can’t tell what could be wrong in your situations.


  10. Hi Qing,

    came to your space,while searching for Healsio baking and iam really glad .your recipes with Healsio is droolworthy,you have captured them very well too.please can you share about your Microwave experience with i hav just purchased the Healsio n very eager to use it.your reply is greatly appreciated.


  11. Hi Vinutha, thanks for visiting my blog.

    Sharp Healsio is a water oven which have many different functions such as bake, grill, roast, steam etc. except microwave function. For me, the oven has served my purposes well in terms of cooking and baking. The oven comes with a nice recipe book which you can try out if you like.


  12. Hi

    I am from India, healsio is pretty expensive here and I have heard bad reviews about baking cakes in Microwave. I am learning baking and want to bake good cakes, do you recommend healsio over traditional OTG (electric Oven)?

  13. Hi Mindgrinder,

    Thanks for visiting my blog.

    I have not used a microwave oven or traditional electric oven for baking, hence I am afraid I can’t comment about it. As you know, Sharp Healsio is a super-heated steam oven. I bought it not just for baking, but other purposes too like steaming, grilling etc. etc. It has served me well so far.

  14. Browning effect is acceptable but of course, can’t compare with commercial oven. So far, after 6-7 years of using the oven, I am still satisfied with it. The newer generation of oven should be much better now so I suggest you do more checking around since I am not a baking expert.

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