Kimbula Banis | Sweet Buns

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My usual modus operandi in any country theme is to look for the breads available there and try to bake atleast one such dish. I chanced upon this awesome sweet bun recipe and knew I had to make it. It is simple, tasty and makes for a perfect snack for kids.

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This dish is supposed to look like a crocodile and hence the name ‘kimbula’ which means crocodile. So usually these buns are longer and bigger. But I wanted to give these for my daughter’s snack box and so made them smaller and figured these could work as baby kimbula rolls. What say?

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Recipe adapted from here

Makes 15-18 buns

WHAT WE NEED

170 gms All purpose flour

20 gms Milk powder

1 egg

4 gms Instant yeast

15 gms Brown sugar

25 gms Sugar + for sprinkling on top

12 gms Unsalted butter

65-70 gms Warm water

 

WHAT TO DO

  • Mix all the ingredients together, except water
  • Add the water slowly to form a soft and pliant dough
  • Knead for 2-3 minutes and keep covered in a bowl till it doubles in volume. It should take around 1 hour
  • Take out the dough and roll it with a rolling pin to a long rectangle
  • Cut the dough into small triangles with a dough scrapper or knife
  • Roll each triangle from the broad side to the narrow side
  • Line a baking tray with parchment
  • Transfer the rolled dough to the baking tray and set aside for half hour
  • Preheat the oven to 180C
  • Sprinkle sugar generously on top of the dough buns
  • Bake for 20 minutes or till the top is golden brown
  • Serve warm
  • Enjoy with some tea!

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This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme, ‘Sri Lankan Cuisine’.

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Pane di Lino / Ground Flaxseed Bread

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This is the first post for 2018 and I wanted it be a bread. This week I am posting three recipes for the New Year Challenge in which we post dishes that reflect our goals and resolutions for this year. Mine have to revolve around bread. So I will be posting three posts related to bread.

One of my resolutions has been to completely stop buying bread from the store. I have reached closer to that goal in the past six months. Now the husband and daughter have become more discerning and want variety in the bread though they were content with the same store bread for all these years. So I tried this wheat bran and ground flaxseed bread which has an amazing texture in the crumb and crust.

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Adapted from here

Makes one 9″ loaf

WHAT WE NEED

370 gms All purpose flour

25 gms Ground flaxseeds

10 gms Wheat bran

1 tsp Instant yeast

1 tsp Salt

300 gms Warm water

1 tsp Oil

WHAT TO DO

  • Mix all the ingredients together and form a wet dough
  • Cover and let it rest for an hour
  • Stretch and fold the dough on all sides and place it in the bowl seamside down
  • Cover and let it rise to double in volume which should take around 3-4 hours depending on the weather
  • Fold the dough over itself and let it rise again for 1-2 hours till you see it start rising again and increasing in volume
  • Take a Pullman loaf tin and grease the tin and cover with oil or butter
  • Take out the dough and shape it into a log
  • Transfer it to the loaf tin and cover with a cling wrap
  • Let it rise till the dough reaches nearly the top of the loaf tin which should take around 2-3 hours
  • Preheat the oven at 250C
  • Cover the tin with its lid and bake at 230C for 30 minutes
  • Reduce the temperature to 220C and bake for 15 minutes
  • Take out the pan and unmould the loaf from the tin
  • Let it cool completely on the wire rack before slicing it
  • Enjoy!

NOTES

  1. If you want to eat the bread as is without any butter, etc. then add another 1/2 tsp salt
  2. In hindsight I thought a darker colour on the crust would have been nicer. Maybe another 3-4 minutes in the oven would have achieved that

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This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme, ‘New Year Challenges’.

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The year that was….

Another year is at an end and 2018 is on the anvil with loads of promise. Every year when Valli asks us to write about the Best of the Year, she gives pointers like – best recipes, most liked ones, etc. But what I end up doing is write about my entire life in that year because this blog is my life journal. So you have to read about the boring details of my life because you chose to click here.

When I read my old posts, I am transported back to the time I made the particular dish, my kitchen and the mood then – probably my daughter tugging at the apron wanting to butt in on the dish or the husband hungrily asking if I had any more clicks left or could he eat already or my maid waiting impatiently to clean the mixing bowl and gettin on with her job or the rare occasion when it is just me, the dough and some soothing music in the background.

This year was pretty uneventful on the personal front – I stayed in one house for the entire year!! I made some amazing friends in my apartment complex and so has the daughter. She seems to have settled in her new school and I spent quite some time figuring out how to dress her up in various avatars as demanded by the school. I am convinced parenting was easier when I was a kid. Sigh!

On the blog front, this year has been promising. The reason I started this blog was to document my bread baking and I kind of lost the plot somewhere along the way. This year I have managed to bake quite a few loaves and learn a lot about baking in general and breads in particular. The highlight definitely was the April Mega Marathon when I baked 26 breads, one for each letter of the alphabet.

I also baked bread for this year’s Bake-a-thon in December.

Another highlight was our September Mega Marathon when I blogged about 26 Protein Rich Dishes

Thanks to Valli, who started the exploration of a country’s cuisine every month, I learnt about cuisines of USA, Morocco, Greece, Lebanon and Caribbean. I am hoping to do better on this front in 2018.

I know I shouldn’t but I do love certain bread recipes I made more than the others. There are a few I am partial to and simply cant help loving them a wee it more than the others. So here are my favourite recipes of the year that i blogged about –

1. Boule

This bread is special because it is the first one I baked with bread flour and the results were awesome to say the least.

2. Rewena Paraoa

I loved making a starter with the humble potato and that led to an amazing flavourful loaf. It was so much fun learning new methods and ingredients in bread baking.

3. Pain d’epi

You can’t bake bread and not be a fan of the French. The diversity and variety there is beyond imagination. This bread made me excited and a wee bit proud of my efforts in baking bread. It was on my list to bake for a long time and achieving it made me estatic.

4. Sourdough Brown Bread

I started baking with sourdough this year and this has been one of my better loaves to come out of those experiments. Also, whole wheat flour has lent a lovely flavour and texture to ṭhis beautiful loaf.

5. White Bread

I have been trying to get a hole-y bread forever now. Though I still haven’t, this loaf gave me hope that I can achieve it someday. This looks like an important step ahead in that direction.

6. Raisin Yeast Water Bread

Yeast water is an absolutely new discovery that I made this year and it is a huge ocean of knowledge in itself. This loaf is made from my first raisin yeast water to get some commendable results. Looks like an exciting area of exploration.

So that was my year. How was yours?

Happy Baking!

This is going to the Best of the Year hosted by Srivalli

Bake-a-thon Round Up

We come to the end of another Bake-a-thon, which is my favourite event of the year because I have legitimate reason to mix flour water salt and yeast and get all excited and worked up at the same time. My original plan was to have all recipes in this theme as sourdough baking but I am guessing I still have sometime to go before I can be competent and confident enough to publish those efforts.

So this time is about breads – sourdough and yeast breads, not to mention yeast water breads.

Here is a recap –

1. Raisin Yeast Water Bread

2. Rosemary Fougasse

3. White Bread

4. Cornell Bread

5. Sourdough Brown Bread

6. Pullman Loaf

7. Apple Yeast Water Bread

8. Khobz Dyal Zraa’

9. Whole Wheat Bran & Seeded Bread

10. Roasted Garlic & Potato Bread

11. Crusty Cloche Bread with Maize Flour

12. Cinnamon Rolls

13. New Year’s Eve Pizza with Cauliflower Crust

Happy Baking!

Crusty Cloche Bread with Maize flour

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I have been trying to bake with different flours for sometime now. Not all experiments are successful but each is definitely a learning experience. I found some maize flour in my local supermarket quite suddenly one day. I knew that I should grab it before it disappears again and I did. I was not quite sure as to what I should make with it but I picked it up anyway. Even if I don’t get great breads with these different flours, I know I can always use them up to make dosai or rotis and so they won’t be wasted.

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Ever since I discovered crackling crusts can be made by covering the dough while baking, I have been to heaven. I love the crackling sound when I cut into the loaf and the texture it gives the crust. So when I chanced upon this recipe which has baking with a cloche and uses maize flour, it simply had to be done. Another interesting part of the recipe is that it needs no preheating and is baked in a cold oven. The only issue I faced was that the dough was too small and cloche too big and so it did not rise as much as I thought it would but nevertheless it was a delicious bread, more so when toasted with olive oil.

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Recipe adapted from here

Makes 1 medium loaf

WHAT WE NEED

200 gms All purpose flour

65 gms Maize flour

175 gms Warm water

1 tsp Instant yeast

3/4 tsp Salt

1 tbsp Olive oil

2 tsp garlic / onion powder / mixed dried herbs (optional)

 

WHAT TO DO

  • Mix all the ingredients to form a dough
  • Let it rise till double in volume
  • Shape the dough like a ball
  • Transfer to a baking tray and cover it with a cloche / any large oven safe bowl
  • Let it rise for 45 minutes or nearly double in volume
  • Sprinkle the dough with some flour and slash the top
  • Place the baking tray with the cloche covered in the cold oven
  • Bake covered for 30 minutes
  • Remove the cloche and bake uncovered for 10 minutes
  • Take it out of the oven and let cool completely on a wire rack
  • Enjoy!

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This is part of the Bake-a-thon 2017

Roasted Garlic and Potato Bread

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If you don’t know already, let me tell you that roasting garlic is one of the most amazing things you can do in the kitchen. It lets out a lovely aroma that delights the senses, works up your imagination and appetite and lends a wonderful flavour to the dish. So when I saw this awesome bread with roasted garlic and mashed potato, I knew I simply had to do it. It turned out so light and flavourful that even the daughter and husband were asking for seconds.

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It takes a little longer to make this bread because of the additional step of roasting garlic and mashing potatoes but it is definitely time well spent which rewards you with an amazing loaf. I have used all purpose flour for this loaf but you can replace upto 50% of it with whole wheat flour or other flour of your choice. But the bread will be denser than a loaf made entirely with all purpose flour.

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Adapted from New Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes

Makes one large loaf

460 gms All purpose flour

340 gms Warm water

1 1/2 tsp Instant yeast

2 tsp Salt

2 1/4 tsp Sugar

110 gms Mashed potatoes

1 garlic head

 

WHAT TO DO

  • Preheat the oven to 200C
  • Wrap the garlic head with its skin in foil and bake for 25-30 minutes
  • Take it out and squeeze out the garlic pulp and set aside
  • Mix the water, yeast, salt, sugar, mashed potatoes and garlic in a large bowl
  • Add the flour and mix it to ensure no dry flour remains
  • Cover and set aside till it rises and flattens or collapses, around 2 hours
  • Refrigerate for 2-3 hours
  • Take out the dough from the bowl and dust it with a little flour and shape into a ball
  • Let it rest for an hour
  • Preheat the oven to 250C
  • Sprinkle some flour and slash the top of the dough
  • Cover and bake for 20 minutes
  • Take the cover off and bake for 10 minutes
  • Unmould the loaf and let cool completely on a wire rack
  • Enjoy!

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This is part of the Bake-a-thon 2017

Whole Wheat Bran & Seeded Bread

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All my life, I have been a staunch supporter of all purpose flour when it comes to baking bread. It makes a lovely light loaf and easily beats all other flours in terms of taste. Call it destiny or old age, of late I have started enjoying whole wheat loaves a lot. I love the chewy texture and the flavour it brings along. Though I still maintain that the case against all purpose flour is mostly making a mountain of a molehill, whole wheat flour features a lot more in my breads these days.

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If you remember, I had written about how imperative it is for me to finish a pack of wheat bran that I had bought and forgotten. So I have been trying to add it to many bread loaves just to get done with it. I have significantly modified the whole wheat sandwich loaf recipe from the New Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes. So I figured this is a good loaf I could add bran to. I also topped it with some seeds to get the daughter to eat them. Both these ingredients are optional and the bran does make it a comparatively dense loaf but it is a healthier loaf and the little extra dense-ness is a small price to pay. Else it can be replaced by whole wheat flour. I forget about the dough during proofing and ended up over proofing it which can be seen in the loaf. So don’t do that and bake the loaf at the appropriate time.

 

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Makes one 8″ loaf

WHAT WE NEED

140 gms All purpose flour

110 gms Whole wheat flour

30 gms Wheat bran

1 1/2 tsp Salt

1 tsp Instant yeast

26 gms Honey

20 gms Oil

226 gms Warm water

Mix of seeds

 

WHAT TO DO

  • Mix all the ingredients except the seeds and form a dough
  • Cover and let it rise till it flattens or collapses which should take around 2 hours
  • Refrigerate for 2-3 hours
  • Take out the dough and sprinkle some flour on it and shape it like a ball by pulling the dough back on all 4 sides
  • Grease an 81/2″ * 4 1/2 ” pan
  • Pull the dough to form an oval shape and drop it in the loaf pan
  • Cover and let it rest for 90 minutes
  • Preheat the oven at 250C with an empty tray at the lowest rack
  • Sprinkle some flour and slash the dough on top
  • Pour 1 cup hot water on the empty tray in the oven
  • Bake the loaf on the middle rack for 50-55 minutes till it is richly brown
  • Let it cool completely on a wire rack before slicing
  • Enjoy!

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This is part of the Bake-a-thon 2017

Khobz dyal Zraa’ – Moroccan Wheat Bread

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Another awesome part of baking bread is the scoring of the dough before baking. Scoring is simply slashing the dough top so that we are able to control where the bread expands from. When you score the bread with a pretty design it adds a delightful artistic side to the loaf, a treat to the eyes and you are in awe of it even before biting into the first slice. Though it appears easy, scoring requires a little confidence and quite a bit of practice. The tool used to score dough is called lame and it is basically a regular blade mounted on a stand. As usual, this is not available in India and so I fashioned myself one in order to be able to score the dough well. This is my first effort with my new tool and it doesn’t look too bad for a first attempt, right? Despite a slightly misshapen loaf, that is.

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Bread is an integral part of Moroccan cuisine and they have a wide variety of breads, both dough raising and flat breads. I picked the whole wheat bread which has an equal amount of whole wheat and all purpose flour. This bread is a relatively flat bread and needs only one rise which makes it a comparatively faster bake. But because of the low hydration, the air pockets are not huge but small and uniform throughout.

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Recipe adapted from here

Makes 1 large loaf

WHAT WE NEED

135 gms All purpose flour

135 gms Whole wheat flour

1 1/2 tsp Instant yeast

180 gms Warm water

1 tsp Salt

1 tbsp Oil

1 tbsp Honey

 

WHAT TO DO

  • Mix the all purpose flour, whole wheat flour and salt together
  • Make a well in the middle and add the yeast
  • Add the oil, honey and water to the yeast and mix it first
  • Then mix with the flours to form a dough
  • Knead for 6-7 minutes till you get a soft pliable dough
  • Set aside for 15 minutes
  • Grease a baking tray and sprinkle some semolina
  • Press down the dough with the palm of your hand to make a 1/4″ thick circle
  • Cover with a kitchen towel and set aside for 1 hour
  • Preheat the oven at 250C
  • Sprinkle some flour on top and slash the dough in any pattern of your choice
  • Put the dough into the oven and reduce the temperature to 220C
  • Bake for 10 minutes
  • Turn the tray around and bake for another 10 minutes or till the loaf acquires a rich brown colour
  • Take it out of the oven and cool on a rack
  • Enjoy!

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This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme, ‘Moroccan Cuisine’.

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This is part of the Bake-a-thon 2017

Moroccan Zaalouk

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We try and explore the cuisine of a different country each month in our Blogging Marathon and I try to take up the theme, if only to bake a new kind of bread from a new country every month. This month’s cuisine is Moroccon and as I was browsing through various recipes, I realised how similar it is with Indian cuisine. I found this recipe for an eggplant and tomato salad called Zaalouk which is quite similar to Baingan Bhartha made in India. Coincidentally the husband picked 2 large eggplants on his trip to the supermarket and I decided to kill multiple birds with one stone.

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This is a salad in Moroccan cuisine and is said to go very well with bread. I simply topped it on my toasted homemade bread and I have to tell you it is divine. I would have frowned on having baingan bartha for breakfast but this zaalouk with bread is a treat. The key difference between the two is the amount of tomatoes used in the dish. While we use 1 or 2 tomatoes for an entire eggplant, this dish calls for 3-4 making the taste significantly different, not to mention delicious.

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Recipe adapted from here

Serves 4-5 people

WHAT WE NEED

2 large Eggplants

5-6 Ripe tomatoes

4-5 Garlic cloves

1 tbsp Cumin seeds

1 tsp red chilly powder / paprika

Oil

Salt

Water

 

WHAT TO DO

  • Rub some oil on the eggplants, poke a few holes with a fork and roast them on high flame till they are cooked
  • Remove the skins and mash well
  • Heat 2-3 tsp of oil in a pan and add cumin seeds
  • Finely chop the garlic and add to the pan
  • Add finely chopped tomatoes and chilly powder and let cook for 5-6 minutes on low flame
  • Add the roasted eggplants and mix well
  • Add salt and a little water and simmer for 5-7 minutes
  • Garnish with fresh coriander and serve hot
  • Enjoy with some bread!

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This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme, ‘Moroccan Cuisine’.

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Apple yeast water Bread

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I have been reading up on making yeast water with different fruits and seeds and it is such an exciting concept. During one such binge, I came across this beautiful recipe in Facebook of a bread with apple yeast water and bread flour. I simply had to try it. So I immediately cut up an apple and put it into a bottle with twice the volume of water and I was rewarded with some fizzy yeast water that I used to make this bread.

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I have ranted quite a bit about bread flour not being available in India and how much I would love to bake with it. During my visit to Mumbai, I caught up with one of our blogging group members, Kalyani who gave me the best gift ever – bread flour!! I was so thrilled and excited. One part of me wanted to bake with it immediately and the other part wanted to just preserve it till the end of time. Finally I baked this beautiful bread with it and it turned out quite good that even the husband eagerly ate it.

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I have blogged about making raisin yeast water previously. Apple yeast water can be made with the same procedure by just replacing apples for raisins.

Apple yeast water starter is made by feeding one part of the sourdough starter with flour and apple yeast water in equal weight and let it double in 4-6 hours.

Makes 1 loaf

WHAT WE NEED

218 gms Bread flour

50 gms Spelt flour

68 gms Semolina

200 gms Water

35 gms Apple yeast water

75 gms Apple yeast water starter (100% hydration)

15 gms Salt

 

WHAT TO DO

  • Mix the bread flour, spelt flour and semolina with apple yeast water and water and refrigerate for 8-10 hours
  • Add the apple yeast water starter and mix well
  • Set aside for 15 minutes
  • Add the salt and mix
  • Slap and fold the dough for around 10 minutes and set aside in a greased bowl
  • Stretch and fold the dough 3 times within 2 hours, cover and set aside to double in volume
  • Refrigerate for 16-18 hours
  • Take the dough from the refrigerator and shape it into a ball by stretching the dough on all four sides and pulling it under
  • Proof the dough for around 2 hours or overnight in the refrigerator
  • Preheat the oven to 250C
  • Transfer the dough to an oven safe bowl with a lid
  • Before closing the bowl, slash the dough in 2-3 places on top
  • Bake at 250C for 20 minutes
  • Remove the lid of the bowl and reduce the temperature to 230C and bake for 15 minutes or till the top is a nicely brown
  • Take the loaf out of the bowl and cool on a wire rack
  • Let it cool completely before slicing
  • Enjoy!

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This is part of the Bake-a-thon 2017