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Wholemeal Nian Gao Loaf Bread

A few days ago, I finally tried my hands at making homemade nian gao (年糕)! I love eating nian gao, but I was quite hesistant of buying store bought ones, as I wonder if they would be laden with preservatives and weird ingredients. So I was quite glad at the simple ingredients needed and recipe!

However, it was quite disastrous because I lined the container with banana leaves too thinly, and the mixture sort of leaked out into the container haha.

So anyway, since I have made quite a bit of nian gao, and I happened to see this Mochi Loaf Bread recipe in 1 of my recipe books, I decided to try! So if you have any extra nian gao left from the CNY, do give this a try!


This bread loaf is soft and chewy. The texture can be described as "绵密", and both the husband and myself love it!

Since I've added in the nian gao, I have also decided to reduce the sugar drastically. I wonder if that's the reason that my loaf doesn't have a super brown crust.

So while we "indulge" in our favourite food once in a while, I have also decided to make this a healthier choice by using wholegrain flour, demerara sugar, coconut oil, desiccated coconut topping and also reduced sugar.

yield: 1 x 450g Loaf Breadprint recipe

Wholemeal Nian Gao Loaf Bread

prep time: 2 hour and 15 MINScook time: 20 MINStotal time: 2 hours and 35 mins


  • 220g bread flour + 30g Prima superfine wholegrain flour*
  • 5g sugar
  • 100g nian gao, steamed for 5 mins if it has hardened
  • 25g coconut oil
  • 130g water
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp instant yeast
  • 30g-50g dried cranberries
  • Desiccated coconut, optional


  1. Place all ingredients (except cranberries) into bread machine bread pan, to knead into dough. I am using Panasonic SD-P104, Mode 9 Bread Dough. This includes kneading + first proof. If you are using mixer, mix all ingredients together (except cranberries). Proof for about 45mins to 1 hour till it doubles. You can add in the cranberries after the dough comes together, or you can place them in the dough during shaping later.
  2. After first proof, remove the dough and let it rest for about 10 mins. The dough is quite sticky, so dust your work space well with plain flour. Also dust some flour onto the dough. Punch out air and roll out the dough into a rectangular shape. Ensure the length is just nice for your bread tin.
  3. If you have not placed the dried cranberries into the dough, you can do it now. Slightly brush the dough with water. Sprinkle the dried cranberries (you might use less than 30g). Swiss roll the dough up and placed into bread tin.
  4. Let the dough proof again for about 45 mins to 1 hour. Preheat oven to 180C. Just before baking, brush the surface of the dough lightly with water or milk. Sprinkle desiccated coconut and press onto dough gently to "secure" the coconut.
  5. Bake in preheated oven at 180C, middle rack, for about 20 mins.
  6. Let cool completely before slicing or placing into air tight container.

    -  I like to use Prima's range of unbleached bread flour and wholegrain flour. You can substitute 30g of wholegrain flour with other wholemeal flour of your choice, plain flour, top/cake flour or bread flour. Do note that most top/cake flour will be bleached. Prima has unbleached version of top flour.

    -  If you prefer a sweeter loaf, you can use 10g-15g of sugar. Any type of sugar is ok. I am using demerara sugar as it is unrefined sugar and carries some nutritional values than refined sugar. You can also use coconut sugar here for low GI.

    -  I am using coconut oil as I love the fragrance, but you can choose to use any kind of oil you prefer.

    Recipe adapted from Carol Hsu

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