Friday, July 25, 2014

Gibasier -French Festive Breakfast Bread | We Knead to Bake #19

Gibasier (zee-bah-see-ay) is a French Breakfast bread especially during Christmas time. Infact it is one of 13 traditional French Christmas desserts and is served after the Midnight Mass to signify the Last Supper of Christ and his 12 apostles. 

The buttery breakfast bread was the chosen one for this month We Knead to Bake by Aparna from Baking Artisan Breads & Pastries. It can be baked as a round loaf or smaller single serve breads with snips that give it a really festive look. Made of orange blossom water and filled with candied orange peel, sprinkled with snowy powdered sugar, definitely I felt festive while baking and loved it first bite onwards.As usual I went for half the recipe and made mini portions.


Bread Flour: 3/4 cup (i went for all purpose flour)
Milk: 1/4 cup
Instant Yeast: 1/32 tsp 

Egg: 1 Ener G Egg: 1.5 pkd tsp of EnerG + 2tbsp water + another 2 tbsp optionally

Olive Oil: 1 tbsp
Orange Blossom Water: 1 tbsp
Warm Water/Orange Juice: 1 tbsp

All the biga from above

Bread Flour/ All Purpose Flour: 1 cup + 10 tbsp
Granulated Sugar: 4 tbsp
Salt: 3/8 tsp
Instant Yeast: 3/4 tsp + 1/8 tsp

Butter: 3 tbsp butter

Anise Seeds: 1 tsp
Candied Orange Peels: 4 tbsp
Orange Zest: 1/2 tsp 

Make the big the previous night by mixing all the ingredients together to get a slightly stiff but smooth dough. Add little more milk if too stiff.

Transfer to an oiled bowl and cover with a plastic wrap loosely. Let it stand overnight at room temperature for about 14-16 hours. By this time it would have risen and have a fermented look.

Bread Dough:

Put the egg(Ener G), olive oil and orange blossom water in a processor bowl and run few time to mix well. Add warm water and mix. Mix all the liquids together with Ener G Egg and olive oil and run a couple of times.

Add the chopped up biga pieces, flour,yeast, sugar and salt and blend together to get a smooth dough.

Add the chunks of butter - just soft and not too soft- to this and knead till the butter is incorporated before adding the next chunk. knead well until the dough is soft and supple.

Add the candied peel, zest and anise seeds and knead till incorporated. Shape into a round and place in a well oiled bowl turning to coat well. Cover loosely and let it sit until doubled up for about 2 hours.

When done, turn the dough into smaller equal sized portions, shape into round portions and let it rest for another 15-20 minutes.

Then take each portion and roll it into a oval or semicrircle. I went for oval (or looking similar :) ) and then halved it so as to get two semicircles. Take each semicircle and make three cuts, one in the centre and two at equal distances from the centre one on either side by pushing the scissors straight into the dough. Then using scissors, make 4 snips at equal distances along the arch.

Lift the piece, stretching it a little so that the slits spread and open and place it in a lined baking sheet . Repeat with remaining portions of the dough and let the gibassiers rise until puffy for about 30-45 minutes.

Bake in a preheated oven at 180 C for about 15-18 minutes until golden brown on top. 

Take out and while still hot, brush it with melted/clarified butter(ghee) and immediately sprinkle powdered sugar atop.

Serve as a breakfast pastry or anytime snack. Perfect with tea and definitely give a festive feel.Never before I have felt so festive or Christmassy while sprinkling the powdered sugar over the bread. 

Lets hope all thos who baked felt the same.Peep in over at Aparna's

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Apple Foster Shortcakes | Baking Partners July

I love making short cakes. Or atleast I enjoyed making and consuming when I made my strawberry short (cup) cakes. I don't know much about the technicalities whether it is  perfectly turned out with this much width,diameter, height etc.The prep definitely takes less time and everything can be done under an hour or in other words you can fit these into your schedule which has a workout and badminton session and small small routine daily chores before your kid comes back from school @ 3.

So this time during the Baking Partners challenge short cakes were chosen by Reeni & Swathi I was more than happy and thought of a twist with apples which I had in hand rather than berries.The risk definitely paid off and I enjoyed the easy eggless short cakes adapted from KingArthur Flour, with caramelized apple in foster sauce. Now foster sauce is usually alcoholic and paired with bananas. But me being me went for a simpler apple version I found here.As usual I halved the recipe.

All Purpose Flour: 14 tbsp
Cornstarch: 2 tbsp

Salt: 3/8 tsp = 1/4 + 1/8 tsp
Baking Powder: 1.5 tsp
Sugar: 1-2 tsp (I went for 2)

Cream: 1/2 cup - 10 tbsp

Melted Butter: 1 tbsp

Coarse Sugar: to topping

Sift together flours, salt, baking powder and 2 tsp of sugar. You can use 1 cup of pastry flour against the mixed flours. I used the substitute mentioned in the recipe.

Add enough heavy cream to moisten the dough. I used 25% Amul cream and it worked well.

Turn the dough into a lightly floured surface and pat it into a 4" circle about 3/4" thick.Using a 2.5" biscuit cuter cut into rounds. Combine the scraps and roll out again until you get 5 rounds.

Dip these into melted butter and place them on a parchment lined baking sheet. Sprinkle generously with coarse sugar.

Bake in a preheated oven at 210 C or 425F for 15-20 minutes or until puffy and golden brown. Take out and cool for a bit while you make the foster sauce.

Apple Foster:
Apples: 1 atleast Peeled and sliced.

Unsalted Butter: 2 tbsp

Demerara/ Brown Sugar: 2-4 tbsp based on sweetness preferred
Cinnamon: 1/4 tsp
Salt: very small pinch (Omit if using salted butter)

Cornstarch: 1/4 tsp heaped
Water Or Apple juice: 4 tbsp

Melt Butter in a pan and saute apple slices in it. Cook until fork tender for a few minutes. Add the sugar,cinnamon  and salt and cook until the sugar starts melting for another minute. Mix together water/juice with corn starch and add into this. Cook stirring until thickened for few more minutes. Take off heat and cool which might thicken it more.

Apple Short Cake:

Split each shortcake horizontally. Place  one half / bottom on the serving plate. Top with apple slices and little liquid/sauce onto the cake. Top with the other half and serve topped with whipped cream/ icecream. Drizzle sauce atop the cream before serving.

Delicious and yummy Apple Foster Short cake is ready to serve. Dig on.. BTW Lets see who all enjoyed their yummy shortcake challenge

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Pasta Trapanese | Sicilian style Pesto Pasta

I always thought that pesto is green in colour.So actually our chutney is Indian Pesto and we could definitely try chutney pasta ?!. And like there are different types of chutneys/ sauces there can be different pestos some with  different colours as well. I suppose anything pounded into a paste and seasoned accordingly to be used as a sauce/spread or dip can be called pesto. After all the word pesto came from Italian "Pestare" which means 'to pound' . 

The one I tried and loved is different  in colour and coming from Trapani in Sicily, Italy. Pesto Trapanese is slightly red in colour thanks to the presence or hint of tomatoes, and uses almonds instead of the traditional pine nuts. Here also there are several variations but the one I went for was Jamie Olivers recipe with addition of chilli flakes added to the pesto courtesy Lidia Bastianich. After all pesto is from Italy.

Pasta : for serving 2 atleast

Almonds: 4-5 tbsp
Garlic: 1 small clove
Fresh Basil: large handfuls
Fresh Parmesan Cheese: 2-4 tbsp as per taste
Tomatoes: 2-3 big tomatoes (I used a mix of mostly yellow and red cherry/big tomatoes)

Extra Virgin Olive Oil: 2 tbsp +
Salt & Pepper : as per taste


Lightly toast almonds and keep aside. You can blanch these if you like. I have seen few versions with blanched almonds. I used almonds with the skins intact.

Powder the almonds first in the blender and then add garlic,basil, salt , pepper and cheese to it. Adding olive oil whizz this into a fine paste. Add the tomatoes and give a final blend. You can go for a coarse consistency. But I went for a slightly finer one. 

Prepare the pasta -penne or spaghetti as per instructions. Toss the hot pasta and pesto together. Adjust the seasonings and serve as a meal garnished with chilli flakes or basil as desired.

A simple recipe yet it has nuts herbs and right amount of fats. I have used the cheese and oil to a minimum and more basil. Also while googling one view I read advocated for smaller quantity of tomatoes. So mine is not red in colour as seen in other places and I also used yellow tomatoes along with red ones. The pasta is quiet healthy if you are using whole grain or  whole wheat pasta.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Spicy Potato Biscuits | Aloo Paratha in a different Avatar

Normally there are no leftovers especially if there are potatoes in the dish. But somehow I ended up having potato filling for the aloo parathas or potato stuffed whole wheat breads.On any other day I would have converted this into pan fried tikkis but this time I thought I would try out a bookmarked recipe of potato cheese biscuits. 

I made changes in the original  recipe from here and avoided cheese except for a small paneer cube which I grated into the filling. A simple and straight recipe and turned out excellent as well.

All Purpose Flour: 1.5 cups
Baking Powder: 1.5-1.75 tsp
Baking Soda: 1/2 tsp
Salt: 1/4 tsp

Chilled Butter: 2 tbsp cubed

ButterMilk: 9 tbsp

Potato Filling: almost 1-1.25 cup

Mashed Potatoes : 1 cup +
Onions: minced: 4 tbsp
Fresh Cilantro : 2 tbsp chopped
Salt: as per taste
Green chilli Paste/ Sauce/Minced fresh green chilli : as per taste
Paneer/ Cottage Cheese: around 2-3 tbsp grated

All mixed together.

1 tbsp chilled water + 1 Egg White : for brushing on top.(I used buttermilk)

Combine flour, soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl.

Cut in the chilled cubed butter and pinch and fluff with hand or two knifes till you get a coarse sand texture.
Make a well and add in the potato filling along with buttermilk and stir in until moist.

Turn the mass onto a lightly floured surface and lightly knead for around 5 times till you get a rough dough. Roll out the dough into a 3/4" thick circle and cut with a 3" cookie cutter.

Place on a lined/greased (optional) baking sheet and continue to cut out biscuits. Reroll the scraps and cut out  biscuits as well. 

If using egg white combine it with 1 tbsp chilled water and brush on top of the biscuits.I went for buttermilk.

Bake in a preheated oven at 400F/ 200C for around 20-15 minutes or more until the top browns.

Perfect with tea and anytime snack if you are a pud lover. You can use your choice of filling and try variations and even go for half wheat flour to make it more healthier. A simple and quick snack with my favourite potatoes is definitely mouthwatering for me.

Thanks for visiting my Blog

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