Monday, May 26, 2014

Petit Pains Au Lait - French Milk Bread | We Knead to Bake #17

Its been slightly longer than needed since I baked bread. I was running short of instant yeast and used it miserly. It was like I had almost given up baking bread. But now I have hoarded quite a bit of yeast and it was perfect when it was time to bake bread for Aparna's We knead to Bake where this month we were given delicious French milk bread rolls  a.k.a Petit Pains au Lait.

These small milk rolls bread is light but has little and no so huge amount of butter and has milk as the only liquid. They look pretty and shaping these is like an art. I am no artist but I have tried shaping them to the best of my abilities. As usual I halved the recipe but psst.. ended up baking twice. But they definitely got over within an hour.


Warm Milk: 1/3 cup + more as needed
Instant Yeast: 1/2 tsp
Sugar: 2 tbsp

All Purpose Flour: 1/2cup + 1/3 cup
Bread Flour: 6 tbsp = 1/3 tsp vital wheat gluten + 6 tbsp of all purpose flour

Salt: 1/8 tsp

Butter: 30 gm or 2 tbsp 

Pearl sugar for topping : Optional (I didnot use)


Put the milk, yeast and sugar in a bowl and mix well. Add flour and salt to this and mix until it looks crumbly. You can do this in a food processor bowl or otherwise. Add butter and knead till you have soft smooth,elastic and non sticky dough. You can add more milk if you want to get the required consistency.

Shape into a ball and place in an oiled bowl, turning once to coat it with oil. Cover loosely with a wrap and let it rise until double. This should be done in 1.5 hours.

Turn the dough onto the worktop or kitchen counter. Optionally dusting your palms with flour, gently deflate the dough and divide into 5 equal pieces. Let these rest for 15 minutes.

Roll out each piece into a circle of 4" in diameter. Slowly roll up the circle from end, jelly roll style into a cylider. Pinch the seam closed neatly, place on a greased/lined baking sheet with the seam side down. Cover loosely ad let them rise for an hour until almost double. 

Here as I said, my rolling out into circles was not correct and hence I ended with uuneven /different shaped rolls. Also I flattened them slightly especially at the centre so that the edges will look rounded when they rise. 

Brush lightly with milk and using a pair of sharp scissors, make diagonal cuts on the top . Sprinkle with pearl sugar. I didnot go this topping though it definitley increases the taste of the rolls.

Bake in a preheated oven at 200C/400F for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Let them cool on the rack. Serve them warm or at room temperature with coffee or tea.

Yum rolls. First time I made these rolls my daughter snatched these right from the baking sheet. They were just sweet with a firm crust and soft or light crumb.Lets see how others baked theirs. Hop over to Aparna.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Corn Bhel | Perfect Summer Snack

I remember seeing two or three bhuttewallas in Bangalore when I came first. It was my first winter here and was seeing a streetside grilled corn and vendor was very new. But definitely times change. I remember the steam corn vendor stall at a popular supermarket that I frequented and these days I also see ready to eat corn packets  and even instant steamed corn on cob in a nice packaging. 

I know they are timesavers. I too have enjoyed them . But all it takes is just few minutes for you to steam your frozen corn and add salt and seasonings of your own rather than buy preservative laden ready to eat ones. Even frozen sweet corn now comes in various spiced up versions.

The lure of such things is very big though most of the time (truthfully) I prefer to steam corn in my own kitchen anytime. Recently I tried out corn bhel and it was pretty easy and very filling. You can actually add whatever items you need with the spices you like. 


Frozen Corn : atleast 1 cup
Tomatoes: 1 medium size deseeded and chopped into smaller than bite sizes
Onion: 1 medium finely chopped

Lemon juice :as per taste (avoid if using dried mango powder or raw mango pieces)

Spice Powders as per taste:
Chaat Masala: 1/2 tsp +/-
Salt & Black salt: as per taste
Chilli Powder: 1/4 tsp +/-
Cumin Powder: a pinch (optional)


Raw Mango: few pieces based on taste
Potaotes: boiled peeled and chopped
Sprouts: raw/lightly blanched

Steam corn in a steamer or other appropriate dish for 5-10 minutes while you get other ingredients chopped and ready. You can also blanch corn in salted water for few minutes instead of steaming but I prefer steaming.Else microwaving for 3 minutes also works wonders.

Add to it tomatoes -deseeded and chopped, finely chopped onions and other additions as you prefer. I added chopped raw mango pieces after lightly peeling the mango. This adds a touch of colour and tang. Add salt, chilli powder and chaat masala as per taste and mix well. Do add the cumin powder and black salt based on how spicy you want your chaat.

On the other hand if you do not have chaat masala, definitely add black salt, cumin powder and even a pinch of amchur or dried mango powder.

Add lemon juice, mix well ,taste again,adjust the spices and serve as a healthy snack or side.

This is very filling snack and perfect for those tetimes when you crave for something and dinner is a long time away. You can add several optional ingredients like sprouts, potatoes etc and even experiment with different seasonings and the regulation chutneys that are a part of bhelpuri, the popular streetside snack.

As always there are several versions for several tastes but make sure you make your own version and given here is my way. I suppose being a salad this qualifies for Lisa's NCR: Vegetarian soup,stew & salads this month.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Chocolate Walnut Bars | Baking Partners #23

Aah its good to be back. I loved the break of almost two months and now its back to grind. And with the chocolate walnut cookie bars its a perfect comeback post. This month the Baking Partners group chose bar cookies as the theme and out of the three recipes suggested by Suja of Kitchen corner I went with Chocolate Walnut Bars from Faye Levy's Chocolate Sensations. The recipe is pretty easy and I halved it and as usual replaced the egg yolks with flax eggs.


Walnut CookieDough:

Walnuts: 1/2 cup

Egg yolks: 1.5 ~ 2  OR Flax Eggs : 2 tbsp flax seeds with 4 tbsp of water

Sugar: 1/4 cup
Salt : 1/8 tsp
Vanilla; 1 tsp
Lemon zest: 1 tsp  or Lemon Juice: 1-2 tbsp
Chilled cubed butter: 100 gms or 1/2 cup or 8 tbsp
All Purpose Flour : 14 tbsp + additional 2 tbsp

Chocolate Jam Filling:
Dark/ semi sweet chocolate: chopped up 6 tbsp
Raspberry/ choice of preserves/ jam : 4 tbsp + more if needed

Crumble top:
Sugar: 1 tbsp
All Purpose Flour: 2 tbsp
Walnuts: 2 tbsp
Walnut cookie dough from above : 2-4 tbsp 

Finely process the nuts and set aside. 

For egg yolks , i have used flax egg - 2tbsp flax powdered with 4 tbsp water .Make the flax egg in the processor/ small mixer and to this add sugar, salt, chilled cubed butter, lemon zest/juice and vanilla and process together. Add the nuts and flour and process till you get a mass. 

Turn the mass onto plastic wrap and bring together as a dough and chill it for an hour in the fridge.

For me I got a little sticky dough and added another 2 tbsp of flour ,wrapped it and chilled it overnight.

Next day before baking remove 2-4 tbsp of dough and chill it and spread with hands the remaining dough onto an appropriate baking dish.

Spread the jam on the dough and then sprinkle chocolate shavings/chunks atop it. 

Make the crumble top by using the remaining cookie dough along with the other ingredients. Sprinkle the crumble dough atop the chocolate 

Bake in a preheated oven at 350F/180 Cfor about 20-30 minutes or more until the top lightly browns and becomes firm.

Remove and let it cool for a bit. When lukewarm, cut the dish into bars and serve with tea  or as a dessert.

Yum bars. Mine turned out a little bit crumbly though. but still I could cut them into bars and enjoy them.
Lets see what others have baked this time for Baking Partners. Lets hop over to Swathi's post .

Thanks for visiting my Blog

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