Saffron Buns

DSC_1135

I have to confess. This is part this theme and part a desperate attempt to somehow make it fit into the theme because I couldn’t do it last month as part of the mega marathon. Aren’t they cute? These are Swedish saffron buns and they are so aromatic. As I was telling you yesterday, I have this major fear of forgetting ingredients and letting them go waste. Last year my parents visited Kashmir and my mom went slightly overboard in buying saffron. When I say slightly, I mean ‘I have to gift this to every person of my acquaintance so let me buy the entire supply from the valley’ level overboard. And to her credit she did gift it to almost every person of her acquaintance (you should be friends with my mom, it is so beneficial) but she did prepare for contingencies which left her with quite a few extra cute boxes of saffron. Naturally, I was part inheritor of those boxes and so now I have around 3 boxes of saffron sitting in my fridge and staring at me every time I open it. While I know saffron doesn’t spoil easily, I am still kinda sorta uncomfortable looking at them all the time. So for the past one years, the husband has been wondering as to why all the sweet dishes in the house are orange in colour and I am yet to get through box one. 

Hence you can imagine how insanely happy I was to spot a bread recipe with saffron. I intend making his a weekl dish at home and thankfully the daughter loved it. Yay! And I am sure the husband will like it once he has them. Yes, I had them for lunch, don’t judge me. Anyway this recipe is from Gayathri’s blog and so egg free. Yum is the word.

DSC_1148

Makes 6 pieces

Recipe adapted from here

WHAT WE NEED

Saffron                        a pinch

Hot water                    1 tbsp

All purpose flour       1 1/2 cups

Sugar                            2 tbsp

Instant yeast               1 1/2 tsp

Oil                                  2 tbsp

Curds                             3 tbsp

Milk                                1/4 cup + for wash

Raisins                           12

WHAT TO DO

  • Add the saffron strands to the hot water and set aside
  • Mix the flour, sugar and yeast in a large bowl
  • Add the milk, curds and oil to the bowl
  • Add the saffron water and mix well
  • Knead for 10-12 minutes till you get a soft pliant dough
  • Cover and set aside in a greased bowl till the dough doubles in volume
  • Punch down the dough and divide it into 6 parts
  • Roll each part into a 12″ rope and twist the ends to form the ‘S’ shape
  • Transfer all the 6 portions of the dough to a greased baking tray
  • Keep a raisin at the two ends of the ‘S’ for each portion
  • Set aside for 20-25 minutes
  • Preheat the oven to 200C
  • Brush the dough with milk just before baking
  • Bake for 20 minutes or till the top is nicely brown
  • Let it cool for 10 minutes
  • Enjoy with some jam or butter or both!

DSC_1153

This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme ‘Picnic Dishes’.

BMLogo

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#76

Za’atar Pull Apart Bread

DSC_1138

Today is the final day of this Mega Marathon. It has been an awesome one month with the frangrance of yeast wafting around my kitchen and sometime my entire house. It has been a month of constantly cleaning the mixing bowl and measuring cups to start the bread for the next alphabet. I was tempted to go with Zopf for this last bread of the month but the pull apart bread has been on my to-bake list for ever now. So I did some realignment and adjustment and finally came up with zaatar pull apart bread.

DSC_1145

I first tried tweaking another recipe and wanted to make a savory monkey bread type of pull apart in which I stuffed zaatar flavoured paneer. The taste was amazing but the pull apart kind of went fell apart. The individual rolls tasted great but due to all the butter coating the dough they simply did not stick to each other and literally fell apart. So I abandoned that and then found this recipe in which the filling was simply zaatar and olive oil. That sounded more manageable and so I went ahead with it. But I did not want to take any more risks and so I topped the dough with cheese just before going in to bake so that it holds the various pieces of dough together. In doing that I had to sacrifice the look of the bread and the rolls are not individually visible in the bread. Maybe I am better next time.

Country – England

Makes one 10″ loaf

Recipe adapted from here

WHAT WE NEED

For the dough

All purpose flour             1 1/2 cups

Instant yeast                     1 tsp

Sugar                                  1 tsp

Olive oil                             1 1/2 tsp

Salt                                      1 tsp

Curds                                  1/4 cup

Milk                                     4-5 tbsp

For the filling

Zaatar spice mix               5-6 tbsp

Olive oil                              5 tbsp

Milk for glaze                    2 tbsp

Mozzarella cheese           2 tbsp (optional)

WHAT TO DO

  • Mix all the ingredients for the dough and knead well for 8-10 minutes till the dough becomes soft and pliant
  • Set aside in a covered greased bowl till the dough doubled in volume
  • Mix the zaatar spice and olive oil in a bowl and set aside
  • Once the dough has doubled, divide it into 4 quarters
  • Divide each quarter further into 4 pieces
  • Roll out 1 of the 4 pieces into a 6″ diameter circle
  • Apply the zaatar and olive oil mix on the circle
  • Roll out the next piece and place it on the first piece and apply the zaatar mix on it
  • Repeat the process for the other 2 pieces and you will have a stack of 4 circles with zaatar mix in between all of them
  • Roll up the 4 circles together into a log and pinch the ends together to seal

IMG_5436

  • Repeat the process for each of the other 3 quarters of dough
  • You will have 4 logs of dough
  • Cut each log into 4-5 pieces making diagnol cuts like a ‘V’
  • Grease a 10″ round pan
  • Place all the cut pieces in the round pan with the cut side facing up
  • Cover and set it aside for an hour to increase in size

IMG_5437

  • Preheat the oven to 200C
  • Brush the top of the dough with milk or egg wash
  • Sprinkle the cheese on top
  • Bake for 10 minutes
  • Reduce the temperature to 190C and bake for 15-20 minutes or till the bread is nicely brown
  • Cool in the pan for 5 minutes and demould the bread and cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack
  • Serve warm
  • Enjoy!

 

This is my post for the Mega Marathon under the letter ‘Z’.

 

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 75

Yang PaBbang

DSC_1187

We are almost at the end of our baking mega marathon. I was quite worried at the beginning because I wasn’t as prepared as I should have been and the strategy was to bake almost everyday. But surprisingly I enjoyed this month immensely. My routine would be to finish the day’s cooking by 7 in the morning and then start with kneading the dough. I would leave it for the first rise and get my daughter ready for school. Once I dropped her off, I would return and shape the dough for the second rise and then bake the bread and click the photos before the natural light went away. Then I would write the blog post for the day and edit the pictures. I am so used to this routine, to this extremely thereupetic alone time simply kneading the dough and feeling the wet shaggy mixture turn into a soft pliant dough, to watch in awe every time the dough rises and chew my nails nervously every time it doesn’t rise as fast, to hover around the oven till the nicely golden brown is reached and grab it out before it runs a risk of turning black. I have a feeling I am going to miss all of this. I hopefully will continue baking breads, just not so many at a time.

Today’s bread is a delightful Korean bread which is both stuffed and topped with vegetables. It also takes lesser time than other breads because it needs only one rise and is baked soon after which makes it perfect for a faster bake. The original is not vegetarian but Varada posted a vegetarian version of it. I followed the recipe except I used half all purpose flour and half whole wheat flour and I changed the vegetables. I did not have capsicum and so I replaced that with some corn and olives and the result was some absolutely yummy bread which I had for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

DSC_1198

Country – Korea

Makes one 12″ loaf

Recipe adapted from here

WHAT WE NEED

For the dough

All purpose flour               1 cup

Whole wheat flour            1 cup

Instant yeast                       1 tsp

Olive oil                               2 tbsp

Salt                                       1/2 tsp

Lukewarm milk                 1 cup

For the filling & topping

Mozzarella                          1/4 cup

Onion, small, chopped      1

Olives, pitted & chopped   2-3 tbsp

American corn,  cooked     1/4 cup

Cayenne pepper                   1/2 tsp

Salt & pepper
WHAT TO DO

  • Mix all the ingredients for the dough and knead well for 5 minutes till the dough is soft and pliant
  • Cover and set it aside in a greased bowl for it to double in volume, around an hour or so
  • Mix all the ingredients for the filling and set aside
  • Preheat the oven to 190C
  • Grease a 10″ loaf pan
  • Roll out the dough into a rectangle of 12″ breadth
  • Place 3/4 of the filling in the middle and close it lengthwise to seal the ends of the dough
  • Transfer the dough to the loaf pan
  • Top the balance ingredients on the dough
  • Bake for 45 minutes or till it is nicely brown and leave it in the oven for another 15 minutes
  • Take out and let cool 
  • Enjoy!

DSC_1212

This is my post for the Mega Marathon under the letter ‘Y’.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 75

Xacuti Khara Bread

DSC_1135

Not surprising that I spent the maximum time trying to figure out a bread for the alphabet, X. I almost gave up and was reconciling myself to doing something other than bread when I came across the dish called, ‘Xacuti Chicken’. Upon further reading, I discovered that it is a dish popular in Goa, India and Xacuti is a spice mix used to make the chicken very aromatic and tasty. So I figured I could add that to a bread and make a xacuti bread but then the country clause of our marathon kicks in and I didn’t want to violate that. Then finally, a couple of days back an idea struck me as I was putting my daughter to sleep. These days most ideas find this time to strike because I have to be very quiet and perfectly still else the daughter wakes up at the slightest shrug. I remembered having read about the Iyengar bakery khara bread recipe at Veena’s blog and so this grand idea was born. My bread would totally be Indian because both xacuti and khara bread are from here. Yay! Purists would surely debate this culmination of west and south India but that is how creativity and innovation works, no? The bread is very aromatic and my daughter and I loved it. The husband? Let’s just say he is a purist. 😉

DSC_1145

It is said that time and temperature are ingredients for a good loaf of bread. While it is comparatively easier to play around with time, it is not so with temperature. Since most of the blogs and websites are from the western countries there are innumerable tips about how to keep the dough warm when it needs to rise. But there are few tips on how to cool down the dough in the excessive tropical heat to ensure it rises well. Like I mentioned yesterday, I am having trouble with the dough rising to be double its volume because of the excessive Bangalore heat. My first idea was to use room temperature water instead of lukewarm to knead the dough and that paid good dividends. Obviously using cold water is out of question but I needed to reduce the temperature further for my dough to rise nicely. I remembered reading about a wet towel leading to better rising dough. So then I hit upon an idea by which I soaked a kitchen towel in cold water and squeezed out the excess water. I covered my dough bowl with cling wrap and threw the cold kitchen towel over it for 20-25 minutes. That helped beautifully and the dough happily bulked up making the world a brighter place for me. I did not want to keep the towel on for too long because I was worried the temperature would drop too much and adversely affect my dough. I kept watch and checked every 5-7 minutes and by 25 minutes the dough rise was good enough for me to remove the towel and let the dough rise a bit more for the balance 35 minutes. 

DSC_1150

Country – India

Makes one 8″ loaf

Recipe adapted from here

WHAT WE NEED

All purpose flour                     1 1/2 cup heaped

Instant yeast                             1 tsp

Sugar                                          1 1/2 tsp

Salt                                              1/2 tsp

Water                                          6 tbsp

Milk                                             1/4 cup

Olive oil                                      1 tbsp

Xacuti spice powder                1 – 1 1/2 tsp

Milk for brushing the dough  2 tbsp
WHAT TO DO

  • Mix all the ingredients together except the milk for brushing the dough
  • To figure out how much xacuti spice you need, I suggest you first add 1 1/2 tsp with the rest of the ingredients
  • Hold back 1 tbsp water.
  • Taste the dough and if you think you need more, add another 1/2 tsp along with the 1 tbsp water to mix well
  • The spice tastes stronger in the dough than in the finally baked bread. So keep that in mind while tasting the dough
  • Knead the dough for 8-10 minutes by hand
  • Cover and set aside in a greased bowl till it doubles in volume
  • Take out the dough and flatten it into a rectangle
  • Roll up the dough from the short end into a tight loaf
  • Grease an 8*3″ loaf tin and transfer the dough into it
  • Cover and set it aside for an hour
  • Preheat the oven to 200C
  • Brush the top of the dough with milk
  • Bake for 40 minutes or till the top is nicely brown
  • If you tap the bottom of the loaf tin, it should sound hollow
  • Cool completely before slicing
  • Enjoy as is or with some butter!

NOTES

  1. I used a home made xacuti spice mix in which I reduced the number of red chillies used. If you are using a store bought one, then you could try mixing it with some onion powder / garlic powder / mixed herbs to tone down the hotness quotient if you wish.

DSC_1186

 This is my post for the Mega Marathon under the letter ‘X’.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 75

Water Bread / Pan de Agua

DSC_1183

We are nearing the end of the month and end of the awesome Baking Mega Marathon in which we baked dishes for each alphabet from A to Z from various countries across the world. I was not fully prepared for this marathon and was very nervous of baking and clicking and posting on the same day and having so much bread to eat. But I have enjoyed each and every aspect of this month and had an absolute ball with all that baking. Even though my fellow blogging marathoners are spread across the world, with the regular commenting on each others’ blogs, I feel like we are so close and chatting across the hall as we each bake a delicacy in our respective kitchens.

This bread marks another ‘first’ for me. It is the first time that I baked in a oven that was not preheated. I have been so used to preheating the oven before baking anything that I was surprised to see a baked dish, that too bread, could be baked in a cold oven. If you have not tried it before you would be skeptic too but the results are awesome. So do not miss out.

DSC_1187

I was not able to get too much information about the origin or history of this bread except for the fact that it is popular in Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico and named ‘Pan de Agua’ or ‘Water Bread’ because of the differing baking method. It is a regular bread in terms of ingredients and proofing but when it comes to baking it is completely different. This bread is first kept in a cold oven with a cup of hot water below it for ten minutes. Thereafter the oven is switched on and the bread is baked. This method allows the bread to rise and gives it a beautiful crunchy crust that is to die for. The bread can be eaten as is or with butter or even used to make sandwiches.

DSC_1222

Country – Dominican Republic / Puerto Rico

Makes two 12″ loaves

Recipe adapted from here

WHAT WE WANT

All purpose flour              2 1/2 cups

Instant yeast                      1 tsp heaped

Sugar                                   1 1/2 tsp

Salt                                       1 1/2 tsp

Lukewarm water              1 cup ( See Notes)

Boiling hot water              1 cup

Milk for glaze                    2 tbsp

Cornmeal / flour to dust the baking tray
WHAT TO DO

  • In a large bowl, mix together the flour, Yeats, sugar, salt and lukewarm water
  • Knead well for 8-10 minutes by hand to form a soft and elastic dough
  • Cover and set it aside in a greased bowl till it doubles in volume, around 2 hours
  • Take out the dough and divide into 2 equal parts
  • Shape each part into a 12-14″ oblong loaf 
  • Transfer both to a baking tray dusted with cornmeal or flour
  • Slash 3-4 times on the top with a serrated knife and brush the top with milk
  • Pour the boiling water in a shallow baking dish and place it in the bottom rack of a cold oven
  • Immediately put the baking tray on the middle rack and shut the oven door
  • After 10 minutes, switch on the oven at 200C and bake for 30-35 minutes or till the top is nicely brown
  • Slice it after it has completely cooled
  • Enjoy with butter or as is!

NOTES

  1. Since it is peak summer in Bangalore, where I live, I have been having issues with the dough taking too long to rise because of the heat. So in this recipe I used room temperature water to knead the dough instead of lukewarm water which helped in faster rising of the dough. If you are baking when the outside temperature is 35C or more, it would be better to use room temperature water to knead.
  2. In order to capture maximum steam within in the oven, it is necessary to shut th woven door as soon as both the loaves and boiling water have been placed inside. So, it is advisable to have the loaves ready, slashed, brushed with milk before pouring the boiling water in the baking dish 

DSC_1244

This is my post for the Mega Marathon under the letter ‘W’.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 75

Vienna Bread

DSC_1141

It is surprising that there are more choices for bakes in alphabets like F, V, W which one would consider as tougher as compared to H, J, etc which were thought to be easier. I actually had a choice between 2-3 different breads for V and W which I did not expect when I started out. So I picked breads in which I got to do something different, something new that I have not done before. So, I picked Vienna bread for today which involves making a sponge and resting it an hour before starting on the dough. I have baked with instant yeast and with sourdough but this, I found, was somewhere in the middle and thought it would be interesting to see how this shapes up. The sponge, at the end of the hour, was so frothy and alive that I knew I would get a good loaf. Thankfully I was not disappointed and I got a nice crust and chewy crumb. Do try it.

DSC_1137

Vienna bread is a type of bread that is produced from a process developed in Vienna, Austria, in the 19th century. The Vienna process in part used high milling of Hungarian grain, cereal press-yeast for leavening, and care and thought in the production process.

In the 19th century, for the first time, bread was made only from beer yeast and new dough without old dough. The first noted or applauded example of this was the sweet-fermented Imperial “Kaiser-Semmel” roll of the Vienna bakery at the “Paris International Exposition of 1867”. These sweet-fermented rolls lacked the acid sourness typical of lactobacillus, and were said to be popular and in high demand. A shortage of beer yeast for making sweet-fermented breads developed when beer brewers slowly switched from top-fermenting to bottom-fermenting yeast, so the Vienna Process was developed by 1846. 

DSC_1168

Country – Austria

Makes two 10″ loaves

Recipe adapted from here

WHAT WE WANT

For the sponge

Lukewarm water                                 1/4 cup

Lukewarm milk                                    1/4 cup

Instant yeast                                          1 tsp

Sugar                                                       3/4 tsp

All purpose flour                                   1/2 cup

For the dough

Sponge, above

All purpose flour                                    1 cup

Unsalted butter, melted & cooled       2 1/2 tbsp

Salt                                                             1 tsp

Milk for glaze                                           2 tbsp

Caraway seeds / poppy seeds/sesame seeds to sprinkle

WHAT TO DO

  • Mix all the ingredients for the sponge to be smooth and creamy
  • Cover it with cling wrap and set aside for an hour
  • After an hour, the sponge would be frothy and alive
  • Add salt, butter and flour to the sponge and knead to a smooth dough
  • Cover and set it aside for 2 hours till the dough doubles in volume
  • Divide the dough into 2 equal parts and shape each part into an oblong
  • Set it aside for an hour
  • Preheat the oven to 230C
  • Slash the loaf 3-4 times with a serrated knife or blade
  • Brush the top with an egg wash or milk wash
  • Sprinkle with caraway seeds / poppy seeds / sesame seeds
  • Reduce the temperature to 220C and bake for 10 minutes
  • Reduce the temperature to 190C and bake for 25-30 minutes or till the top is nicely brown
  • Let it cool completely before slicing
  • Enjoy!

 

NOTES

  1. While baking, I noticed that the edges were brown at the bottom after the first 10 minutes itself. So I poured 1 cup of water in a baking dish and kept it in the bottom rack of the oven below the bread. This helped slowing the baking of the bottom till the rest of the bread was baked. If you face a similar issue, you can use this trick else bake the loaf as is.

DSC_1174

This is my post for the Mega Marathon under the letter ‘V’.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 75

Sourdough Bread with tomatoes and thyme

DSC_1157

It is said, there comes a day in the life of every bread baker, when you make a successful sourdough. Finally that day is here for me and I have a beautiful bread for it. I tried making the sourdough starter thrice before and had to abandon it each time when the smell was too much to bear within a day. Disheartened I gave up till I met Gayathri who encouraged me and also answered my dozen silly questions and made me patient enough to wait to get a beautiful sourdough. And life looked up! I will write separately about actually making the starter. It has been amazing trying to bake with the starter and I am glad to get reasonably good results. 

DSC_1181

It is not exactly known how sourdough bread came about. One of the oldest sourdough bread was excavated in Switzerland dates back to 3700BC but the origin of sourdough bread is supposed to be thousand years earlier most likely in the Fertile Cresecent ( Jordan, Iraq, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Cyprus, Israel, Palestine, etc.). Sourdough was the leavening used for bread production for most of human history. Baker’s yeast is only 150 years old. Isn’t that absolutely fascinating?  Sourdough remained the usual form of leavening down into the European Middle Ages until being replaced by barm from the beer brewing process, and then later purpose-cultured yeast. Bread made from 100% rye flour, popular in northern Europe, is usually leavened with sourdough. Baker’s yeast is not useful as a leavening agent for rye bread, as rye does not contain enough gluten. French bakers brought sourdough techniques to Northern California during the California Gold Rush. For simplicity sake, I will assign Switzerland as the country of origin for this bread.

DSC_1200

Country – Switzerland

Makes one 8″ round loaf

Recipe adapted from here

WHAT WE NEED

Cherry tomatoes                 12

Thyme sprigs                        2

Sourdough starter                100 gms

Whole wheat flour               100 gms

Water                                       60 ml

Salt                                            4 gms

Cayenne pepper                     1 tsp
WHAT TO DO

  • Mix the starter, flour and salt and set aside for 30 minutes
  • Cut the cherry tomatoes into halves and pluck the thyme leaves from the stem and dice them finely
  • Mix the cherry tomatoes, thyme leaves and cayenne pepper with the flour mixture 
  • Stretch and fold the dough every 15 minutes for an hour and a half
  • Cover it with cling wrap and set aside for 5 hours
  • Transfer the dough to a floured surface and shape it into a ball
  • Keep it covered with cling wrap in the refrigerator overnight
  • Preheat the oven to 250C
  • Transfer the dough to a baking tray
  • Slash the dough on top 3-4 times and bake for 15 minutes
  • Reduce the temperature to 230C and bake for 10 minutes
  • Remove the loaf and brush the top with clarified butter / ghee
  • Reduce the temperature to 210C and bake for 5-6 minutes or till the top is nicely brown
  • Cool completely before slicing
  • Enjoy!

NOTES

  1. If you don’t have fresh thyme, you can use 2 tsp of dried thyme
  2. Stretch and fold means lifting one side of the dough and folding it over the opposite side. Every 15 minutes, stretch and fold one of the four sides of the dough in rotation.

DSC_1209

 This is my post for the Mega Marathon under the letter S.

 

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 75

Nan E-Barbari

DSC_1189

This bread marks a milestone in my baking life. I bought the book ‘Hot Bread Kitchen’ just by looking at this bread on the cover almost a year ago. Ever since I would glance at it every once in a while and sweep my hands over the images trying to feel the texture of the bread through the pages. But I kept postponing the actual bake. I was very scared and somehow convinced I would make a mess of it. I read the recipe a few hundred times and would sigh every time as I slammed the book shut.

But I knew if I did not do it during this mega marathon, I would not get a better chance. I am baking breads almost every day for the past fortnight and felt a tad more confident, mostly due to very encouraging comments I got for my efforts so far. So I dived in and tried this phenomenal looking bread. Guess what, it turned out tasting simply divine.

DSC_1197

Nan-e-Barbari is a Persian flatbread and is known to be one of the thickest flatbreads. It is usually almost 3 feet in length and nearly one foot in breadth. It is served with cucumbers, olives and feta cheese though I totally recommend biting into its crispy crust as soon as it is baked. The crisp crust is on account of a glaze applied over the dough before baking which is called the ‘roomal’. The roomal or glaze is nothing but a mixture of flour, sugar, oil and water heated to form a thick paste and this glaze is what gives the nan its to-die-for crisp crust. The traditional barbari oven is specialized for baking barbari breads. The oven, always built within wall, is a masonry, brick-domed, wood-fired oven with a circular hearth and relatively flat dome. A typical barbari oven has an internal floor diameter of 300 centimeters (118 inches) and internal dome height of 60 centimeters (23.6 inches), which renders it a low-dome oven. If you are interested, you can read this very detailed account on this bread here.

DSC_1208

Country – Iran

Makes two 10″ breads

Recipe adapted from ‘The Hot Bread Kitchen Cookbook’

WHAT WE NEED

For the dough

All purpose flour                           2 cups

Lukewarm water                           1 cup

Instant yeast                                   1 tsp heaped

Salt                                                    1 tsp

Olive Oil for greasing

For the roomal

All purpose flour                           1 1/2 tsp

Sugar                                                1/4 tsp

Cool water                                       40 ml

Olive oil                                           4-5 drops

Toppings

Sesame seeds, caraway seeds and carom seeds to sprinkle

 

WHAT TO DO

  • Mix the flour, lukewarm water, yeast and salt together and knead for 8-10 minutes by hand until smooth and elastic
  • Transfer it to a greased bowl and cover with cling wrap and set aside till the dough doubles in size, about an hour
  • Grease a baking tray or line it with parchment paper
  • Take out the dough and divide it into 2 equal portions
  • Take each dough portion and roll it into a rectangle approximately 10″ in length and 3 inches wide and place it on the baking tray
  • Loosely cover it with cling wrap and set aside for 30 minutes
  • In a small saucepan, combine the ingredients for the glaze – flour, water, oil and sugar.
  • Turn on the heat at medium and whisk the mixture using a fork till it becomes a paste, less than a minute
  • Set aside to cool
  • Preheat the oven to 235C
  • Lightly oil your fingers and make indents in the dough almost resembling 4-5 straight lines vertically
  • With a brush, spread the roomal / glaze generously on the dough
  • Sprinkle the sesame seeds, caraway seeds and carom seeds on top
  • Bake for 18 minutes by which time the top should have turned golden brown. Else wait for a minute or two more
  • Set it on a wirerack and let cool slightly
  • Serve with cucumbers, olives and feta cheese or have it as is
  • Enjoy!

DSC_1137

NOTES

  1. The recipe prescribed bread flour for the dough but I used all purpose flour.
  2. The toppings can be other seeds of your choice – nigella seeds, black sesame seeds, cumin seeds, etc.
  3. The bread stays good at room temperature if wrapped well in plastic upto a week. To store for longer time, freeze it

DSC_1154

This is my post for the mega marathon under the letter ‘N’.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 75

Montreal Bagel

DSC_1254

We have touched the half way mark today in this mega marathon with 13 bakes done and another 13 to go. It is turning out to be a crazy, chaotic, enthralling and breathtaking adventure. For a long time, I was sure of baking Massa Sovada, the sweet bread from Portugal for today. But, as I dwelt further into it, I realized two things – one, it seemed like a bread to be made on a large scale. Most recipes started with 10 cups of flour and 8-9 eggs. Since I am baking almost everyday to keep up with this mega marathon, I am in no condition to bake a single bread that large or even half of it. Secondly, it seemed to be too eggy. I am fine with an egg or two in a recipe but 8-9 eggs seemed to be on the higher side which would most certainly make the husband frown and the daughter whine. Finally I found a replacement in this yummy Montreal Bagels.

This is an awesome find because I was planning on baking the bagel for a long time and also, I would get to try the cooking the dough in boiling water which is almost unique to the bagel recipe. Montreal bagels are thinner, sweeter, denser, smaller with a larger hole as compared to a New York bagel. These are always baked in a wood fired oven. Since I don’t have access to that, I shall bake it in my regular oven. The most popular varieties are black seed(poppy seeds) and white seed (sesame seeds). I could not find black poppy seeds and so used the regular white one. I also omitted the eggs since I wanted an eggless version.

DSC_1240

Country – Canada

Makes 7-8 bagels

Recipe adapted from here

WHAT WE NEED

Whole wheat flour               125 gms

All purpose flour                  125 gms

Honey                                      3 tbsp

Butter / Oil                              15 gms

Lukewarm water                  130 ml

Instant yeast                          1 1/2 tsp

Salt                                           1 1/2 tsp

Sugar                                       1 tbsp

Water for boiling                   3 litres

Honey / malt syrup                1/3 cup

Sesame seeds and poppy seeds to sprinkle

WHAT TO DO

  • Blend together the lukewarm water, yeast, sugar and salt
  • Add oil/ butter, honey and mix well
  • Add the flours and knead into a stiff dough, 8-9 minutes by hand
  • Place it in a greased bowl, cover and set aside for 20 minutes
  • Divide the dough into 7-8 pieces
  • To make the honey syrup, boil equal parts water and honey together till the honey melts into the water
  • Shape the dough into 7-8 bagels by rolling each piece of dough into a long rope and pinching the ends together to form a circle. Set aside for 15 minutes
  • You need to pinch the ends together properly else they will split when put in boiling water
  • Preheat the oven to 230C
  • Heat the 3 litres of water and add the honey syrup to it
  • Keep two dishes or cups with the sesame seeds in one and poppy seeds in the other
  • Grease a baking tray and keep aside
  • Once the water is boiling, slowly lower one bagel at a time and 2-3 in a batch
  • Once the bagel rises to the surface of the water, turn it on to the other side and let it cook for 20-30 seconds.
  • Take it off and transfer it to the bowl of either one of the seeds
  • Turn over and let the seeds stick to both sides
  • Transfer it to the baking tray. Repeat the process until all bagels are transferred to the baking tray
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes or till golden brown
  • Serve warm
  • Enjoy!

DSC_1260

This is my post for the mega marathon for the letter ‘M’.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 75

Landbrot

DSC_1177

My initial choice for today’s post was Lavash, the Armenian flatbread. But something did not feel right. It did not seem connected to the rest of the breads that I was baking. But I was also not able to find another bread to replace it. So with a heavy heart I decided to go ahead with Lavash. But I kept postponing the actual bake so much so that it was almost time and I did not have anything ready.

Then one day, I hit paydirt. I chanced upon this awesome dense rye bread from Germany and I knew this had to be it. With my new found love for rye, I was excited to bake this one. What made it even better was this is a bread that needs a starter. I have not made such loafs before and was planning on exploring that too during this mega marathon. So, with multiple ticks for this one, I went ahead with full gusto and was rewarded with a chewy loaf which I am munching now as I type this. Bliss!

DSC_1187

Before we proceed to the recipe, I have to talk about German bread culture. I was aware about the Italian and French breads but do you know that breads are seeped in the culture of Germany. It has more than 300 bread varieties and 1200 bread rolls and baked goods across the country. Take a moment to let that sink in. Germans mostly use rye and wheat for their breads which are classified based on the proportion of these two flours in the loaf. Most people are aware about Germany’s most famous bread -the ‘pumpernickel’ but German breads are usually classified into 7 different types –

Breads made with wheat –Weizenbrote, Breads made with a mixture of wheat & other flours – Weizenmischbrote, Breads made with Rye –Roggenbrote, Breads made with rye & other flours –Roggenmischbrote, Breads made from whole grains –Vollkornbrote, Rolls & other mini breads –Brötchen & Kleingebäck, Speciality breads –Spezialbrote. As per this classification, what we are baking today is a Roggenmischbrote that has a mixture of rye and all purpose flour.

Landbrot, simply put, is ‘bread of the land’ and is sometimes mixed up with ‘Bauernbrot’ which is ‘farmer’s bread’. I could not get a clear picture as to the distinction between these two because some talk of the two as synonyms while speak of them as completely different. So, I researched quite a few recipes and came up with one of my own in which I made a starter with rye and all purpose flour and left it to ferment for 24 hours and used it to make the loaf the next day. The result was a dense chewy loaf which I will totally recommend you have. Now on to the recipe –

DSC_1204

Country – Germany

Makes one 10″ diameter loaf

WHAT WE NEED

For the starter

Rye flour                  106 gms

All purpose flour    120 gms 

Lukewarm water    235 ml

Honey                        1 tbsp

Instant yeast             1 tsp

For the dough

Starter made as above (roughly 250-260 gms)

Ry flour                      175 gms

All purpose flour       32 gms 

Lukewarm water      Upto 200 ml

Salt                                7 gms

Instant yeast                1 gm
WHAT TO DO

  • To make the starter, mix all ingredients for the starter in a bowl and keep covered with a cling wrap for 18-24 hours
  • Once the starter is ready, mix it with all the other ingredients for the dough except water
  • Slowly add the water to the dough mix. Depending on how your starter has turned out, the water requirement will differ
  • Add 150ml water first and add little by little as much as you need to knead it into to a smooth dough
  • Cover  and let it rest for 30 minutes
  • Take out the dough and shape it into a round loaf 
  • Grease a 10″ round pan and transfer the loaf to the pan and set aside for an hour 
  • Preheat the oven at 250C with a pan of water at the bottom rack
  • Dust the loaf with some rye flour and slash the top of the dough at 3-4 places with a knife
  • Bake the loaf for 10 minutes and remove the pan of water
  • Bake at 215C for another 35-40 minutes or till the top crust turns nicely brown
  • Slice it once it completely cools down
  • Enjoy as is or with some butter!

DSC_1210

This is my post for the mega marathon for the letter ‘L’

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 75