Monday, July 29, 2013

No Knead Whole Wheat Parker House Rolls | Healthy Snacking Anytime

Kneading is therapeutic. I have been very vocal about it in most of  bread post. But there came a time when I didnt have enough time and wanted to bake bread. 

Did I tell you, these days I am on a bread high. I want to bake bread on most days and touch wood they come out nicely and moreover give the house a warm bakery aroma. The aroma actually makes me happy.

But since I am slightly busy these days, I don't have enough patience to knead or time. I know, you might ask what is another 30 minutes spend in therapeutic kneading. 

 These days, I want the results quick quick in an instant without much work.  Believe me, no knead technique also gives me the much needed (kneaded !? :D) high. You mix the batter, cover it, go out, come back and bake it. By the time the family comes home you are done and have a warm loaf or rolls waiting to be gorged on.Moreover I make the batter in fridays, take out and bake on saturdays. Ha Heaven!. Your work is done. No time spent in worrying what is to be made for snack time or breakfast.

Anyway, coming back to the post, I tried no knead parker house rolls from TastyKitchen and they turned out wonderful. Whats more they were healthy too with whole wheat flour in them.

A Parker house roll is actually a dinner roll shaped differently.You flatten the dough piece into an oval and fold in half and brush/dip with butter. The roll got its name from Parker House Hotel in Boston in 1870s and its still being served there. Well, there are several stories on their origin, but this no knead one is a sure hit with me.

All Purpose Flour: 1/2 cup
Whole Wheat Flour: 1.5 cups
Salt: 1/2 tsp
Sugar: 2 tbsp
Instant Yeast: 1.5 tsp

Vegetable Oil: 2 tbsp
Water: 3/4 cup

Melted Butter: 2 tbsp +/- for dipping/garnishing/drizzling


Mix in a deep bowl all the dry items. Stir in the oil and water. Mix well and you will get a sticky moist sticky batter like dough. Do not over mix. Barely 13 times or less is enough.

Keep the dough covered with a plastic wrap and let it sit until doubled for another 1-2 hours.

Punch down the dough and let it rest for a few minutes again.Here you can halve the dough,freeze one portion of the dough for later use and work with the other half.

Whatever you decide, it is better to work with separate pieces as the dough is very sticky.The dough freezes well and can be refrigerated up to a week. The dough can turned to become cinnamon rolls,scones,monkey bread etc or whatever way you want to use, as  it is the basic bread dough

Place the one half of the dough on a well floured surface and roll it out into a 1/2 " thick circle. Using a cookie cutter, cut circles of the dough.

Take a circle, stretch it lengthwise within fingers to make it look oval shaped, dip one half in melted butter, fold over in half and place in a well greased/ buttered baking tray.

Repeat this with other dough circles, placing them close to one another in the baking pan.Cover the rolls and let them rise until doubled.

 Bake for 20 minutes in a preheated oven at 375F or until they are golden brown. Take out brush will more melted butter if needed and serve warm.

Yum rolls, perfect from the oven, and healthy ones too.They will be golden thanks to the wheat flour.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Savoury Kugelhopf | We Knead to Bake #7

A Kugelhopf of gugelhupf is the German term for a marble or bundt cake. It traditionally consists of a soft yeasted dough with raisins, eggs, nuts etc baked in a circular pan with a central tube. Rather the bundt pan with which we are familiar is derived from the kugelhopf pan. All this time I didn't know about the savoury version of Kugelhopf aux Lardons (Kugelhopf with ham and walnuts) from Alsace, France. Thankfully Aparna made a vegetarian version of this for this months We Knead to  Bake and here it is.

The ham has been replaced by tomatoes and bellpeppers and this makes it colourful or a jewelled. Eggs are there in this recipe but can be replaced and I have used Ener G egg replacer as usual.

All Purpose Flour : 3-3.5 cups
Instant Yeast: 2 tsp
Salt: 1 tsp

Unsalted Butter: 6 tbsp /75 gms room temp

Milk: 3/4 cup
Eggs: 2 or Ener G Egg: 1 tbsp powder + 4-5 tbsp water

Oil: 1-2 tsp
Onions: 1/3 cup chopped
Tomatoes: 1/3 cup chopped and deseeded
Green bellpepper: 1/3 cup chopped
Thyme: 1.5 tsp +/-
Pepper: 1.5 tsp
Salt: as per taste

Cheddar Cheese: 1/3 cup diced

Walnuts: 1/3 cup + more for garnish

In a food processor pulse for a few times flour,salt and yeast.Add in butter little at a time and pulse again.
Add in milk and egg and pulse again till we get a sticky sort of dough. Do add tablespoonsfuls of flour and continue pulsing till the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.

Still the dough might be sticky. Do not add more flour though. Pat the dough into a round and keep it covered in an oiled deep bowl turning once to coat with oil until it doubles in volume which is almost 2.5 hrs!

Meanwhile prepare the filling or stuffing. Finely chop onions, tomato and bellpepper. Make sure you remove the pulp of the tomato before chopping.Heat oil in a deep pan and saute the tomatoes and bellpepper adding a pinch of salt and pepper for 1-2 minutes while the raw smell goes but they're still crunchy and colourful. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and keep aside. Add more oil to the pan if needed and saute onions adding little salt, sugar, pepper and thyme. Once golden brown remove from fire and mix in with the bellepepper and tomato. Do the taste test and add more salt and seasoning if needed.

Once the dough is doubled deflate it gently and flatten it. Flattening helps in stuffing the bread.Spread the filling on the dough along with diced cheese and walnuts, fold it over to cover the filling and knead it gently so that the filling is evenly spread. 

Turn the dough into a log and place it in a greased bundt pan which has already been sprinkled with walnuts

Here for me atleast the dough became tough to manage with the filling pouring out from every side of the dough. Somehow I turned it into a log. Instead of the bundt cake I had gone for smaller muffin pan and even mini bundt pan.

So I pinched pieces of the dough placed in a walnut studded muffin pan. For the mini bundts, I pinched pieces, rolled them out and placed the piece circularly in the mould and pinched the edges together to close the circle.

Once this is done, let the dough sit covered in plastic wrap until it rises again for another hour or so.I went for 2 hrs again but still the dough rose but didn't exactly double.

Bake in a preheated oven at 190C for about 20-25 minutes or until the tops are golden brown and they sound hollow when tapped.This is how it was for me as I went for smaller sizes. If going for an 8" bundt pan, then go for 35-40 minutes at 200C.

Cool for 5-10 minutes and then invert these on a wire rack to wait until consumption.

Snack on the mini bundts or kugelhopf muffins whatever you call them. Perfect with tea or with anything or as such anytime. 

They look crispy but were soft with a little crunch of the nuts while biting. Atleast thats what I got. But since they are yeasted cakes, I suppose I got it right. I had a perfect tea with  savoury cakes. They can also be consumed for breakfast, and also served with soup for dinner.Now lets see whats happening with others. Drop in at Aparna's and enjoy the stories on kugelhopf.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Whole Wheat Kulcha | Punjabi Bread in Wheat Goodness

Kulcha is a leavened bread made from refined or all purpose flour and is a typical bread from Punjab in North West India. Whle Naan is yeast based, kulcha is made using baking powder and soda with yogurt/curd thrown in. As usual there are several variations to the recipe though most of them are using apf. For a long time I have been planning to make it though the flour gave me jitters. While going out and all we normally get this bread and also its stuffed version, but I had never tried it at home. 

Recently while going through the bookmarked recipes, I found an excellent Whole Wheat kulcha from VegInspirations and tried it out. By the time I am writing this post, I had already made and enjoyed kulcha a couple of times.

It is said that if you replace atleast 50% of flour or maida with wheatflour  then it can be qualified as wholewheat product. Thus this becomes a healthier version with more wheat flour though it still contains little apf.

Whole wheat Flour: 2 cups
All Purpose Flour: 1/2 cup
Baking Powder: 3/4 tsp
Baking Soda: 1/4 tsp
Sugar:1 tsp
Salt: as per taste

Fresh Cilantro: a small bunch chopped (can use methi/fenugreek leaves or choice of herbs)

Yogurt/Curd: 1/2 cup
Vegetable Oil: 2 tbsp
Water:  as needed

In a wide bowl, mix together the flours, baking powder and soda, salt and sugar. Add in the chopped fresh herbs/cilantro and mix well.

Make a well in the centre and add in oil and yogurt.Knead to form a soft non sticky dough adding water if needed.Keep the dough covered for an hour atleast.

Divide the dough into equal sized pieces - should get atleast 8+ based on the size.Roll each ball using little wheat/refined flour into a circle of desired thickness. Cook the bread circle on both sides in a hot griddle/tava till brown spots appear.

 Dab dollop of butter/ghee and serve warm with a gravy of choice.

You can store excess dough in the refrigerator wrapped in cling film and make the bread fresh every time you need them.

Yum kulchas exactly the way I liked them.I like them thick though my family wants them thin. Either ways they are different from the normal roti. They are  bready and chewy thanks to the baking powder and soda along with yogurt.You can see the texture on breaking open. Healthier kulchas now easy way.Do enjoy

Monday, July 15, 2013

Four Seasons Merlot | Warm Up Chilly Nights

"Give me books, French Wine, fruits, fine weather and little music played out of doors by somebody I do not know
      -John Keats

The quote sums up the post entirely. A nice wine with a perfect meal is truly a manna for those who enjoy the drinks.  I am not one who enjoys chilly nights with a wineglass.But for a long time I have been planning to cook with it thus overcoming my aversion.

And thats the reason why I joined Four Seasons Team GingerClaps. But when I got a bottle of Four Seasons Classic Merlot , I turned to my friends who enjoy their wine and know a thing or two about it.

What is Merlot ?

The wine got it name from the Merlot grapes which is a primary grape in French wines and can be abundantly grown in our own Western Ghats.Thus making it a perfect Indian wine. The dark colour of the grape  or the French word for it "Merle" gave it its name Merlot.

 Red Wine is a wine variety made predominantly from grapes along with other fruits. Merlot is a still ,dry red wine meaning it is a non sparkling wine made mostly from grapes and all the sugar in the grapes have been converted to alcohol.Or in other words "dry" is the opposite of "sweet".

 In general, Merlot is  perfect for cooking as its not too sweet. You can use it in sauces, soups and desserts and it blends in perfectly.

 Taste & Texture:

 Wine Tasting is a process in itself.You follow the 5 S steps -see,swirl,sniff,sip and savor

You see the colour of the wine. It tells you the type and percentage of grape use. For red wines the colour might vary according to the grapes.

You swirl the wine in glass . This releases oxygen and makes it more aromatic. It also helps see the various colours it can take.

After this visual tasting comes the sensory tasting. You sniff the wine which tells you how it might taste in the mouth. 90 % of taste is in smell.

Next take a sip and let it warm your mouth. This releases more aroma and you can feel the wine travelling inside.

You can savor it slowly taking time to appreciate the taste and texture.

Merlot is ruby red in colour and had a sharp aroma. It is medium bodied and is fruity or berrylicious. The body of the wine refers to the texture or its ability to coat the mouth and linger there.

The older the wine finer the taste will be. Aging increases its quality.Ofcourse a wine is perishable and ability to age is influenced by variety of grape, vintage, winemaking style etc.

The bottle I had was just few months old and was slightly sharper. But my friends assured me that a few months down it will be fine.Also another thing we noted that there was no cork or stopper. I had heard about the winecork /bung/stopper which seals off the content but it was not there in this bottle.

A 750 ml bottle of Merlot is aptly priced at Rs.650/-. It is worth what you are paying for. Remember always buy wine per bottle than per glass.

Enjoy your drink with your food. Merlot pairs well with all Indian dishes especially rich gravies. I have read it goes well even with a bar of Kitkat!.

No matter what your food is Merlot is perfect for your evening and enjoy and savor each drop.

More information on Merlot and other Indian wines  is available at Four Seasons Wineyards. And don't forget to like  your Merlot in Facebook.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Pinkberry | Lighten Up with a FroYo

On 2nd July 2013, Pinkberry opened its Frozen Dessert Bars in Bangalore,Chennai and Mumbai.

PinkBerry is a  Frozen Yogurt Dessert brand from US famed for its tart yogurt. Originally from LosAngeles, India is the 19th country where it has opened its has opened its first 3 franchises along with JSM Corporation who manage the HardRockCafe,

Started in 2005, by Hwang and Lee Pinkberry has grown into a brand favoured by celebrities like Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian. All thanks to its tart yogurt especially pomegranate which is their popular  flavour ever since they introduced it in 2008. In India they have introduced lassis in their menu along with their regular flavours of original, pomegranate and chocolate.

My favourite!?
 Salted Caramel flavour with or without toppings. 

BTW, did I tell you about the toppings!?

Take a look at the varied toppings ranging from simple gems, fresh fruit pieces,jelly bears, etc to red velvet bits, brownie bits, granola  etc.The toppings are free and as far as I know unlimited. 

Did you know they serve a Dhokla Yogurt too. with  khatta meetha or mixture topping. Not to mention the cucumber and cherry tomato toppings as well.

Unfortunately I couldnot have the dhokla yogurt as I went there prior to the official opening and they had just prepared 3-4 of their popular flavours. The crowd was out of control  that day with socialites in minis and make up to common citizens in their casual wear and with kiddies turning up just to sample the yogurt and check out the new brand.

The staff on service were amicable and patient despite this pullout and I could even take pics from inside the serving area.I was told that the brand will source most of items locally though flavourings will be imported from US.

And Price? 
The prices range from Rs.75 for a small cup of froyo to Rs.160 for a large glass of Dhokla yogurt. Taxes extra.

Value for Money?!

You have to pay for the quality and the brandvalue. Still Unsure whether to go ?
For the salted caramel flavour I would say yes, go for it. You can check out the place, have a nice low fat dessert (as compared to icecream)  mix and match with the toppings , spend time with your family or friends in a healthy way.

The restaurant area has cozy tables and chairs, just enough or as needed for a dessert bar.

 But who says you have to sit and eat!

Have a Fro Yo on the Go! 

Thanks for visiting my Blog

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