Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Pumpkin Hummus | Fall Twist to the Classic Dip

What to do with leftover pumpkin puree. ?

I had tried pumpkin in breads, cookies, pasta and even butter and smoothie. But still when I see another bowl of puree in the fridge or counter top I feel like eating my brains. Tomorrow I tell myself, but the tomorrow never comes. 

But wonders of wonders. This time I did it. I had little less than 1/2 cup pureed pumpkin after making bread and thanks to this post I got few ideas. And without wasting any time I turned the puree into a spicy hummus courtesy this recipe here

Chickpeas: 1/2 cup presoaked and cooked or 1 cup cooked
Garlic Cloves: 2 small minced + more if you can stand raw garlic 

Lemon Juice: 1-2  tbsp  as per taste
Water: 2 tbsp 
Tahini: 1-2 tbsp 
Pumpkin Pureed: 1/2 cup (I used a little less)

Powdered Cumin: 1 tsp
Salt & Cayenne Pepper: as per taste

Olive Oil: 2-3 tbsp 

Place chickpeas, garlic and tahini in the bowl of the blender. Process until smooth adding lemon juice and water. Add in the pumpkin puree and powdered spices and salt and blend drizzling olive oil through the nozzle of the blender.

Taste and adjust the spices and salt as well as the sourness (lemon juice). Serve as a dip or side or even as a spread.

You might need to add more lemon juice and possible cayenne/chili based on your taste and how you want the raw garlic taste to disappear. You can roast the garlic prior to blending as well. The measurements can be adjusted based on taste. 

Other Versions:

Thursday, October 24, 2013

100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread | We Knead to Bake #10

I have baked breads with wheat in them. I have also read that if the wheat is more than 50 % of the total flour required in the recipe then you can call it a whole wheat bread or rolls or whatever. So despite the fact they were whole wheat rolls the breads had refined /all purpose flour in them. 

This changed this time when I made a 100% whole wheat sandwich bread  for We Knead to Bake #10 courtesy Aparna. The original recipe is from Peter Reinhart 's Whole Grain Breads. I have followed the recipe to the 'T' and the entire process went smoothly without any glitches except the wet soaker and extra flour added. This did affect the way the bread looks. Top of the loaf looks slightly rustic.But otherwise it was a perfect sandwich bread.Soft crumb and crust that is normally expected from the commercial bread -brown and soft. The taste is  great. The texture is slightly crumbly as well.


Whole Wheat Flour: 1 3/4 cups
Salt: 1/2 tsp
Water: roomtemp: 3/4 -1 cup
Apple Cider Vinegar: 1 tbsp

Whole Wheat Flour: 1 3/4 cup
Instant Yeast:1/4 tsp
Milk: 3/4 cup +
Apple Cider Vinegar: 1 tbsp

Final Dough: 
All soaker
All sponge
Vital Wheat Gluten: 1.5 tsp(optional)(I left it out)
Salt: 1/2 -3/4 tsp 
Whole Wheat Flour: 1/3 cup + few tbsp as needed. (needed almost 1/3 cup)

Instant Yeast: 2 tsp
Vegetable Oil /Melted Butter: 2 tbsp
Honey :2 tbsp


 Mix together, all the dry ingredients with vinegar and 3/4 cup water till the flour is hydrated. You may need few tbsp more than 3/4 cup water and your intention is to get a manageable yet sticky dough . Leave it overnight or from 12-24 hours. 

Here I added first 3/4 cup of water and then another 2-3 tbsps. But this made the soaker very moist and resulted in a very sticky dough. So make sure you add just enough water to get a manageable sticky dough.

Mix together all the dry ingredients with vinegar and knead to form a dough by first adding 3/4 cup of milk an then spoonfuls if needed. Knead it to get a soft dough which need to refriegerated overnight or atleast 8 hours. On the day on bread making remove the sponge from the fridge atleast two hours before and let it come to room temperature. You can even see it rising a bit during this time.

This went off very well for me as I added just enough extra milk and kneaded to get a soft manageable dough which I refrigerated overnight.

Final Bread Dough:

Divide the soaker and sponge into pieces and add to the bowl of blender/food processor. Add in all other ingredients except the whole wheat flour and blend together to get a mass. Let it rest for 5 minutes atleast.

To this add the wheat flour and little extra if needed and blend for 3-4 minutes to get manageable non sticky soft smooth dough. The dough should pull away from the sides of the bowl.

 It is here that problems cropped up for me.Since the soaker was very sticky, I ended up adding extra flour to get the final dough and used up almost 2/3 cups total or double of that mentioned to get a manageable dough. May be this affected the final look of the bread as mine looks amateurish. :(

Transfer the dough to a greased bowl, turning once to coat and let it sit until doubled for about 1-1.5 hours. This again went beautifully for me. The dough took just about 45 minutes to double. This despite it being chilly all day with intermittent rains. 

Turn over the dough gently onto a floured surface. Shape the dough into a loaf with the width little lesser. You can check the video at the Kitchn for this incase of doubts. Its really helpful, Thanks Aparna.

Transfer to a greased and floured loaf pan an let it rise until it is higher than the loaf tin.

Bake in a preheated oven at 350F/ 180C for 40-45 minutes until the top is golden brown.

Take out and within 5 minutes remove from the loaf and onto a wirerack. The bread when thumped should sound hollow.Let it rest completely for two hours atleast before slicing. You can refrigerate it if not consuming it the same day.

Enjoy the slices with your favourite toppings and spreads.Healthy and Perfect with almost anything.

Lets see how the challenge went off for others. Hop over to  Aparna's to catch up with the others.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Creamy Chickpea Soup | Easy Lazy Soup

Winters always call for soup. These days its getting chillier and I love making soups. Filling soups but easy ones. I had planned to make a simple chickpea soup mostly Morrocan style like Serrouda but I found this one here whic seemed a spiced up version of the original one. Its quick and easy and easy and I made it in a pressure cooker. You can have it as such if you are lazy to puree but then it won't be a soup. It will be just a thin watery stew with chickpeas. 

Chickpeas/Kabuli Chana : 1/2 cup pre soaked

Olive oil: 2 tsp + 1-2 tsp for garnish
Onion: 1 small finely chopped
Garlic: 1 small clove minced/grated

Ground Cumin: 1/2 tsp + as per taste
Ground Coriander: 1/4 tsp + as per taste
Salt: as per taste

Lemon Juice : drizzle
Fresh Mint

Heat oil in a deep pan or pressure cooker. Add in onions, and cook till tender and transparent for a few minutes . Add in garlic and spices and cook till fragrant. Add in chickpeas,salt and water and bring to boil.  

If it is a pot then reduce the heat to simmer and cook till the chickpeas are tender for about 1 hour. If it is a pressure cooker, cover and cook for two or three whistles.

Puree the soup in batches if needed and put back on medium heat. Add in the remaining oil and lemon juice and adjust the salt and seasonings. 

Serve in bowl garnished with chopped fresh mint and optionally more lemon juice/ olive oil.

Simple filling and easy soup for everyone. Even those who feel soups are work or plain lazy :). 

Now I was supposed to send it yesterday for No Croutons Required as the theme this month is blended soups. I missed the deadline as we are ahead in time but since the linky tool is yet to be closed I thought why not - let mine be the last but never the least in the blended soup heaven at Tinned Tomatoes.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Whole Wheat Spicy Pumpkin Bread & Rolls | Welcome Fall - Baking Partners #16

Its fall in US and pumpkin season. Pumpkins here are available year round though and since common we don't value it at all. I know people who don't prefer a pumpkin. We can turn them into several dishes and obviously this includes breads as well. This time for the Baking Partners Challenge, we were given three lovely breads with pumpkin . What a great way to welcome fall . 

Of the three recipes suggested by Tamy of Three Sides of Crazy I chose the yeast based pumpkin bread from King Arthur Flour Website and made it spicy and healthy.  I had also gone through the reviews in the KAF site and chose to do a little twist on the original recipe with the addition of whole wheat flour and garam masala. As usual I halved the recipe as the original yielded 12 big rolls and large loaf. 

Warm water: 4 tbsp
Instant Yeast: 1 pkg

Warm Milk: 1/3 cup 
 Egg: 1 or Ener G : 1.5 packed tsp + 3 tbsp water
 Pureed Pumpkin: 3/4 cup
Vegetable Oil: 1 tbsp

All Purpose Flour:  3.25 cups as per the recipe
All Purpose Flour: 1 cup + 2 -4 tbsp as needed
Whole Wheat Flour: 1.5 cup + 2 tbsp

Brown Sugar: 1 tbsp
Salt: 1 tsp
Garam Masala Powder: 3/4 -1 tsp heaped as per choice

In a bowl, mix yeast and water and let it froth for 5-10 minutes.

Add in milk, egg/Ener G egg, pureed pumpkin, 1 cup all Purpose Flour, 1cup whole Wheat flour, oil, salt, sugar and garam masala  to the mix and beat for 2 minutes.

Add in the remaining whole wheat flour and apf start with 2 tbsp and knead in till you get a pliable dough. Turn over to a floured surface and knead adding as much flour as needed to get a smooth elastic dough.

Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, turning it once to coat with oil and let it sit covered with a plastic wrap until doubled for  an hour or so. Mine took about 45 when it became huge and lovely.

Turn out the dough gently into a lightly oiled work surface, divide into half . Shape one half ino a loaf and other into 6+ rolls and place in a well greased loaf pan and baking dish respectively. Cover and let it rise until doubled again for another 45 minutes -1 hour. Mine done under 30 minutes when Istarted preheating the oven at 375F/ 190 C.

Bake the rolls for about 15-20 minutes and loaf for another 5-10 minutes more till they are golden brown on the top.Remove from the oven and also move the loaf and rolls from their baking dishes to the wire rack to prevent their crusts from becoming soggy.

Serve with your choice of accompaniments. They are perfect for sandwiches and can also mop up a stew or gravy. 

I have also tried them with mozzarella slice and pizza sauce. A really quick and tasty pizza bites they make. If you have gone with the spices mentioned in the original recipe -cardamom &ginger then you can just use them with a sweet cream cheese or jam or whatever you prefer. 

Next time I make , I will go for slightly more garam masala. I went for 3/4 tsp and still don't find it that hot. May be its personal choice. Any way lets check out how the other Baking Partners welcomed Fall and Pumpkin. Hop over to Swathi's Post 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Garlic Bread Sticks | Soft, Quick and Easy

There are days when I have that urge for bread baking though lesser time. So I first go through my bookmarks for the easier ones and bake the bread. One such is the recipe as usual from KingArthurFlour site and I just turned these easy bread sticks into garlicky ones and that also satisfied my daughters hunger for pizza. ;)

Usually we classify dishes as one pot rice or one pot meal, one dish chocolate cake like that. This one can be descibed/categorised as one baking sheet bread . 

How ? Read on..


Luke warm water: 1.5 cups
Olive Oil : 3 tbsp for more for drizzling
Salt: 1.25 tsp 
Garlic paste:  1.5 - 2 tsp 
All Purpose Flour: 3.5 cups
Instant Yeast : 1 tbsp
Pizza dough flavour: 4 tsp (I didn't use this as I don't have it)

Pizza Seasoning: to sprinkle on top

Lightly grease an 18' x 13' baking sheet and also also drizzle 1-2 tbsp f olive oil on this.

Combine all the ingredients in the blender/ food processor and beat at high speed for about 1 minute.

We will get a sticky batter which we can scoop onto the prepared pan and spread it to the edges using oiled fingers.

Using a pizza cutter/ sharp knife, score the dough vertically into 3/4' or 1' wide strips. You will get around 13' long strips.

Now score the dough horizontally or lengthwise so that you are getting 6.5' long strips.

Cover the pan and let it rise  until puffy for about 60 minutes.

Once ready drizzle the dough with olive oil ,sprinkle with pizza seasoning or your choice of herbs.

Bake the bread for about 20-25 minutes till light golden brown in a preheated oven at 375F/ 190 C.

Remove from the oven, carefully lift it out of the pan and onto a rack and let it cool for another 2-3 minutes based on how much warm/heat you can handle.

Using scissors/ sharp knife, cut the bread along the scored lines.

Now comes the crucial part of deciding how soft or hard you want your bread sticks to be. 

Place the bread sticks with their sides up back onto the baking sheet, close together and bake again for 5 minutes for slightly soft bread sticks or 10 minutes for crunchier ones.

If you want really soft bread sticks, don't go for the second bake. Serve immediately after baking after cutting into sticks.

Simple soft bread sticks perfect for snack time. You can even replace the refine flour with whole wheat flour for healthier sticks. 

Friday, October 4, 2013

Bean N' Rice Burrito | Hearty Mexican Meal

They always say fashion trends revive or circulate  or rather old trends make a comeback into limelight. 

For me its same with food/cuisines. Old favourites make a comeback sometimes. Now that there are several Mexican restaurants in my neighbourhood, I am in Mexican frenzy. Not ordering but cooking.. 

Okay, make that "not just ordering, but cooking as well".

Anyways, now Mexican is a family favourite with this one topping the list. This one recipe or dish is a wholesome one with my favourites - rice, beans, tomatoes and tortillas. 

This one is a nice change from the usual or routine fare of dal, roti, subji or even flavoured rice or whatever you make at night. This require slightly more prep time if you are preparing all the ingredients from scratch as I did, but its totally worth it. 

I had already posted my tortillas, salsa and sourcream. So I will be posting the Kidney bean rice that I adapted from here.

Basmati rice: 1 cup atleast
Water : as needed to cook the rice appprox. 2 cups
Vegetable Stock: 1/2 cup atleast but quantity to be adjusted with water (optional)

Olive oil: 1 tbsp
Onion: 1 finely chopped
Green Pepper: 1 medium chopped into bite sized pieces
Garlic: 1 -2 cloves minced/grated

Chilli Powder:1 tsp+/- tsp as per taste
Cumin Powder: 1 tsp +/-
Red chili flakes: 1/8 + tsp

Red Kidney Beans: 1/2 cup pre soaked and cooked

Tortillas: 4 + as needed

Salsa: 1-2cups

Sour cream /Cheese : optional


Cook rice till done adding enough water and stock.

Stock definitely imparts flavour to rice and enhances the final dish.  Fluff it up using fork and keep aside to cool. Cook the beans with salt and then drain off the excess water. You can use this water along with stock while cooking the rice.

Heat olive oil in a deep pan and saute the finely chopped onions and green pepper till the raw smell disappears. Add in the crushed garlic and saute for another minute or so. Make sure its not burnt. 

Then add in the chilli and cumin powders along with red chilli flakes and salt and saute till raw smell disappears. Then stir in rice and beans and cook till heated through and the flavours mix well. Adjust the salt and seasonings.

Your rice is ready to stuffed up as a burrito. You can prepare and keep this rice ready so that dinner time includes just reheating the tortilla and filling it.

Spoon few tablespoons of rice in the tortilla. Top with salsa and optionally shredded cheddar or any Mexcian blend. Fold the sides and ends over the filling and serve with more salsa, sourcream  and more cheese. 

A simple yet full meal. While preparing the rice, I was wondering whether the rice will be good enough for the burrito. I love tomatoes and have heard that Mexican rice always include tomatoes apart from salsa. So this rice was a bit different or 'hatke' for me. But trust me the burrito was awesome. All the ingredients -rice and the salsa contributed to the dish but held their own as well.

Thanks for visiting my Blog

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