Saturday, March 28, 2015

Cheesy Salad on Weck Rolls | We Knead to Bake #26

Kummelweck or Kimmelweck Rolls are hard and crusty bread rolls topped with caraway seeds and coarse sea salt for the punch. These are similar to kaiser rolls with a caraway seed topping instead of the poppy seeds. Hot favourite in Buffalo and Western NewYork, they are a simple to make and make super burger buns. This is what I found out as I baked these rolls for We Knead to Bake this month as suggested by Aparna. Only that I halved the recipe and since I didnt have shahjeera/caraway seeds and Aparna had allowed us to choose any same family seeds, I went for cumin seeds.

Instant Yeast: 1 1/4 tsp
Warm Water: 4 tbsp
Warm Milk: 4 tbsp

Oil: 1 tbsp
Honey: 1.5 tsp
Egg White: 1/2 optional (I didn't use)

Salt: 3/4 tsp

Bread Flour: 1.5 to 1.5 cups + 2 tbsp  (1 cup Bread Flour = 1 cup Refined Flour + 1 tsp Vital Gluten)

Caraway seeds & Coarse Sea Salt

Mix  together water and milk and stir in yeast. Keep aside till frothy.

In the processor bowl add yeast mix, oil, honey, optional eggwhite and stir.

Add in the salt and about 1.1/4 cups of flour and knead adding as much flour as needed till you get a smooth and elastic dough that is not sticky.

Shape the dough into a ball, and place it in an oiled bowl. Cover loosely with cling wrap and let it sit until doubled in volume for an hour or so.

Deflate the dough an shape into a round and let it rise for another 30 minutes. 

Divide the dough into 4 pieces and shape each into a smooth ball and lightly flatten it. Place it on lined and greased baking sheets. Lightly brush with oil and loosely cover the dough balls. Let them rise for another 30 minutes of so. 

Brush the top with oil/butter/water/eggwash and then cut slits on top like a plus. Sprinkle the top with coarse sea salt and then caraway /cumin seeds followed by a fine mist of water. Bake the rolls in a preheated oven at 220C for about 5 minutes after which mist the rolls again and continue baking for another 15-20 minutes until the tops are golden brown. 

Cool on wire rack and enjoy as burger buns.  

I had simple tomato cucumber salad with me which I stuffed in the slit buns along with a cheese slice and yum... it made the day. 

The buns are crusty outside but soft inside and are perfect as burger buns. The spice seeds do make the buns special.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Nutty Cheese Crackers | Easy N Tasty

Sometimes routine life gets soooo boring and you feel like you want to do something different. Especially bakewise.. Past few days I have baked several sweet and savoury breads that I wanted to bake something else that I had not done for a long time. Then I found and adapted the yummy easy to put together crackers which had cheese and also walnuts in them.


Shredded cheese : 1 cup
All Purpose Flour:1/3 cup
Oat Flour/Brown Rice Flour: 1/3 cup
Whole Wheat Flour: 1/3 cup
Extra Virgin Olive Oil: 3 tbsp
Ice cold Water: almost 2 tbsp

Salt: 3/4 tsp
Spice/Seasoning of your choice: 1/4-3/4 tsp
Walnuts: 8 tbsp

Pulse walnuts coarsely in the mixer and add in cheese, flours, oil, water, salt and seasoning. Process until mix is soft and sticks together when pressed between fingers. Cover and chill for an 1 hour to overnight. You can replace the oat/rice flour with wheat flour if needed.

Preheat the oven to 375F and line baking sheets with foil or parchment.

Take out the dough and roll out within parchement to 1/8" thick rectangle on the sheet. Cut into 3/4" squares and poke hole in the middle of each square with the other end of a skewer.

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until they start browning at the edges.

A very easy and simple recipe. You can play around with the flours and get different flours. Safe for beginners and obviously a refreshing change from routine. You can have these for anytime or all the time if you are unmindful of the 'cheesy' calories. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Orange Blossom Brioche Rolls | Baking Partners March 2015

Brioche is a bread which always makes me feel that I am doing something different. or rather a different cuisine. Ofcourse its French. Its just that I get the French feeling more than the bread baking feeling. Also this time around it was Moroccanish as we all baked a Orange scented brioche for Baking Partners chosen by Swathi. The recipe is adapted from Dominic Ansel's : The Secret Recipes cookbook.

What surprised me was the texture of brioche. It was light and airy. Whereas the ones I had tried earlier were definitely airy but slightly tighter or not as airy as this one.It was more commercial brioche like from the brioches I had tried. As usual I halved the recipe and mine is as follows. But definitely the orange extract I added also doubled up as the colour as it gave my dough a bright orange colour. I baked these in floral muffin tins and they retained the colour and shape.


Bread Flour: 1 cup (1 cup All Purpose Flour + 1 tsp of Vital wheat gluten)
Salt: 1/4 tsp
Sugar: 2 tbsp
Instant Yeast: 1 & 1/8 tsp
Eggs: 2 (Ener G Egg: 1 tbsp Pkd Powder + 4-5 tbsp water)
Milk: 1.5 tsp

Cold Unsalted Butter: 5 tbsp diced small

Orange extract: 1/8tsp (optional) (I added and it coloured the dough)
Grated orange zest: of 1 orange
Orange Blossom water: 1/2 tsp

Combine flour, salt,sugar, yeast,milk and eggs and mix well using hand or processor.

Mix well until combined kneading for around 10-15 minutes so that  gluten is developed and it leaves the sides of the bowl and it passes the window pane test. (You stretch the dough and it lets you see through without breaking it)

Add cold butter and incorporate well.

Add the orange extract,zest and blossom water and mix well so that the dough is flavoured and we get a smooth sticky and shiny mass of dough,.

Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with a wrap pressed directly on top of the dough (to prevent a skin forming) . Let it sit at room/warm temperature until doubled in size about 1.5 hours.

Remove the wrap and punch down by folding. Cover again with the wrap pressed directly on the dough surface and refrigerate overnight to relax the gluten.

When you are ready to bake the next day, transfer it to a floured counter and divide into small pieces shaping it the way you want and placing it in appropriate pan/sheet which is greased and lined. I went for floral shaped muffin pan.Let these puff well for an hour. 

Brush with an egg wash (I forgot!!!) and bake them for 10 minutes until golden brown in a preheated oven at 400F/200C.

Let these sit in the muffin pan for another 5 minutes after which remove these onto a wirerack and enjoy as such.

What came out of the oven was airy and light brioche. It was like a feather in hands and was spongy when cut open. I loved it with nutella whereas my husband liked it as such. 

A little research and found that there are two ways of making brioche. Its the addition of butter that makes all difference. When butter is added after the gluten is developed as in here it gives rise to airy and light ones as in here. Whereas when butter is added along with other ingredients then it become more cakey or soft bread like and tighter as in the previous cloverleaf rolls.

With all this gyan hop over to Swathi's and see who all baked the brioche.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Onion Mustard Monkey Bread | Twisting Traditions

Monkey bread , a sweet sticky yeasted pull out  bread or breakfast pastry is quite popular. I too have tried my hand at this and you can get an orange cardamom version here. Originally from America, no one is quite sure about how it got its name.

But as long as the bread is perfect you can add your own version to the existing stories. I have tried a savoury twist to the sweet bread adapting the recipe from Food & Wine. It came out as a perfect all time snack. 

Butter : 8 tbsp or 1 stick or 100g
Milk: 1.5 cups
Sugar: 2 tbsp
Instant yeast: 1 envolope or 2.24 tsp
All Purpose Flour: 4 cup
Salt: 1 & 1/2 tsp

Onion: 1 medium finely chopped
Mustard: 3-4 tbsp
Chives/ Spring Onion/Scallions: 2 tbsp
Chopped Thyme: 1tsp . Or dried 1/2 tsp
Salt: a pinch


Melt 3 tbsp o f butter in a saucepan. Add milk and sugar and heat until just warm. Transfer to a bowl, stir in the uyeast and let it sit until foamy, 5 minutes. Stir in the flour and salt until a sticky dough forms. Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and knead unil smooth.

Oil the bowl and return the dough into it, turning once to coat and let it sit wrapped in plastic sheet until doubled for an 1 hour. Heat 1 tbsp  of butter in a skillet/pan/kadai, add onion and cook until softened,stir in the mustard,chives and thyme. Add remaining 4 tbsp of butter to this and stir until melted. Season lightly with salt. Transfer to a large bowl to cool slightly.

Meanwhile butter a 10-inch bundt pan lightly. Punch down the dough and divide into 2 pieces. Roll each piece into a 12-inch log and cut into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball. 

Add the dough balls into the buttery onion  bowl so that they get coated with the onion mixture. 
Arrange the balls in the bundt pan. Repeat till all the pieces are over. Cover loosely with a plastic wrap and let it stand until risen about another hour.

You can make uptil this step and refrigerate the dough and bake it within 2 days letting it rise slowly in the fridge.
Preheat the oven to 425°F or 218C. Bake the bread in the lower third of the oven for 18-20 minutes, or until golden. Cover the pan loosely with foil, reduce the oven temperature to 375°F/180C and bake for 20-30 minutes longer, or until risen. Let the bread cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Set an inverted plate on top and turn the bread out onto it. Set another plate on top and invert the bread so it's right side up. Break into rolls or cut into slices. Else simply break out pieces... attack.. forget the manners.. !!

 I went for initial temperature of 210C and when it became golden at the top, after 16 minutes, covered with a foil and then continued baking at 150C for another 15 -20 minutes. Keep an eye after 15 minutes.

A Simple and delicious savoury bread. It could be overtly buttery if you are using total 8 tbsp of butter. You can make adjustments regarding this and go for less butter. I reduced it very much still the rolls turned out soft savoury and perfect.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Masala Mathri | Holi Snacking is on...

Holi or Basant Panchami celebrated throughout India is a festival I love and also hate. I love watching others getting drenched in colours but hate to do so myself. I also love seeing people getting high on Thandaai. Its a n alcoholic drink traditionally prepared on Holi. You can find the non alcoholic version here.  

But I am definitely interested in Holi snacks and preparations. There are even specific foods that are made on Holi. Atleast thats what Google aunty showed me. Well its definitely an occasion worth celebrating with thandai and  snacks. Eventually after playing holi and getting messy and colourful, hunger is something thaty needs to be taken care of and what better than mathris.

Mathris/ Mathis are flaky crunchy Rajasthani snacks made using flour, ghee and cumin seeds. They are tea time snacks and also prepared during weddings or festivals. When prepared during wedding they are also called 'suhaali'. A spicy version or Masala Mathri has spices added to it. I tried the spicier version I found here and they turned awesome. 

All Purpose Flour: 2 cup
Wheat Flour: 1/2 cup
Salt: to taste

Hot Ghee/Clarified Butter: 2 tbsp

Warm water: just enough to knead

Oil: for deep frying

Black Pepper powder: 1 tsp 
Kasuri Methi (Dried Fenugreek Leaves ) : 1 tsp hand crushed
Hing/asafetida: 1/4 tsp

Coarsely Powder:
Coriander Seeds : 1 tsp
Cumin Seeds: 1 tsp
Fennel Seeds: 1 tsp

Sift all purpose flour in a bowl and mix well with wheat flour and salt. 

Add in hing and coarsely powdered spices, crushed kasuri methi and fresh grated pepper and mix well.I coarsely powder all the spices together except hing which is in powder form with me.

Add hot ghee to it and mix well till it resembles coarse sand.Add in just enough water and knead into a tight dough. Rest the dough for about 15 minutes.

When ready turn the dough onto a counter and roll it out into a thin sheet. Normally or rather traditionally, the dough is divided into small pieces and each piece is rolled out into a thick small disc or poories. I rolled out into a  thick rectangle and cut these into rounds using a cookie cutter.

Pierce each round with a fork so that they turn crunchy after frying. 

Deep fry each in oil on  medium-high heat. Serve with hot tea or coffee.

Yum yum and yum. I know you will think of oil and calories, but sometime we should foresake these. Afterall you are running and jumping and getting all worked up during celebrations. For the very health conscious fellas out there, do try baking these. 

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Black Forest Buns | We Knead to Bake #25

I remember going 'oooohh' on black forest cake. Layers of chocolate cake with whipped cream and cherries(whole/compote) in between garnished with more cherries,cream and chocolate shavings.More than anything I was intrigued by the name.I used to believe that it was the chocolate shavings that gave rise to the
name black forest and used to wonder why not brown forest.

Later whenever I took a bite I imagined myself near the Black Forest Mountain range in  Southern Germany. I even used to be jealous of the locals there thinking they would be having the cake all the time.

Only recently I got to know it was named after the speciality liquor of the Black Forest region. The authentic Black Forest which is rated as a Top Gourmet Cake gets its flavour from this liquor distilled from tart cherries.Though ofcourse when the cake got popular worldwide, they were manufactured without alcohol  but cherry preserves.

This time for We Knead to Bake, Aparna gave us the yummilicious Black Forest Buns. A fuss free yeasted bread made fancy due to the use of cherry/berry compote and chocolate sponge cake. Easy to make and Gourmet to taste.


Water: 1/2 cup
Milk: 1/2 cup
Butter: 50gm or 4 tbsp
Sugar: 4 tbsp
Egg: 1 OR Ener G egg = 1.5 pkd tsp of energ + 2 tbsp water

Salt: 3/4 tsp
Instant Yeast:1.5 tsp
All Purpose Flour : 3 cups to 3.5cups

Cherry / Strawberry compote/preserve/jam: 3/4 cup
Crumbled chocolate spongecake : around 2 cups

chopped and melted semi sweet chocolate or choc syrup or your choice.

Heat water and milk on medium in a saucepan till quite hot but not boiling. Pour this liquid into a large bowl and add butter. Stir until the butter is melted. Then add in the sugar and stir until it dissolves. Once it starts 
cooling down and  becomes luke warm add the yeast and egg. mix well. Then add about 1 cup of flour and mix well. You can do this process by hand or in the processor. 

Add salt and more flour as much is necessary and knead to get a smooth elastic nonsticky dough.In between if the mix becomes difficult to mix in tun it onto the work surface and continue to knead another 10 minutes or so till it becomes elastic and nonsticky. Mine was slightly sticky but workable.

Place the kneaded dough in an oiled bowl turning to coat with oil. Cover loosely and allow the dough to double in volume for about 1-1.5 hours.Now place the dough on a flat surface and roll it out into a 18" x 12" rectangle.

Spread the cherry compote/strawberry jam over leaving a 1/2 " all around. Sprinkle the cake crumbs atop this. Roll the dough away from you,as tightly as possible starting with the 9" edge like jellyroll sealing the edges using water if needed.

Cut into 1.5" pieces and you will get 12 pieces. Place each piece in separate moulds or a baking sheet with just enough space between them to expand.Too much distance will make these spread rather than become tall which is what we want. Cover loosely and allow to rise for another 1 hour or till double.

Bake in a preheated oven at 350F/180C for 25-30 minutes. Remove and cool completely. Garnish with more cherries. Drizzle with melted chocolate and serve.

Perfect Gourmet Bread Buns. We are definitely taken to black forest land thanks to compote and cake. Bake these to taste for yourself. I am going for another batch as the first batch got over right from the oven.
Hop over to Aparna's to see who all baked this treat.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Magnum Choco Cappuccino | Cruuunnnnnnnnncchy.... Ummmmmmmmmmmm aka Heaven on Earth

I believe chocolate is your best friend. Nothing could beat chocolate to pick you up from various mood swings, depressions, celebration .. whatever in life you can celebrate with chocolate..

I loooove chocolate and last year went UMMMMMMMMMM... on a Magnum. I personally thought nothing could beat the chocolate truffle flavour..

That was till I discovered chocolate's best friend .. Coffee.

 This year Magnum has launched its ultimate flavour the choco cappucino... for all those who love their coffee and chocolate. 

 I never liked coffee- even now I prefer tea to coffee. But when it comes to baking its coffee that I want especially while baking with chocolate. 

The friendship between chocolate and coffee is such that each enhance the other and make it all the more better for you.Thats what was shown in the MasterClass by Asia's best Pastry chef Janice Wong and  World Barista Champion and authority on Coffee , Fritz Storm. 

The champion pastry chef Janice Wong, founder and owner at 2am.dessert bar, Tokyo spoke about the varieties of chocolate, difference between Belgian and Swiss chocolate, vowed up with her simple yet complex  chocolate creation and also on how to enhance a Magnum. 


Given below is her creation -Magnum Choco Cappucino with Chocolate Water Mouse.

We were also fortunate enough to get a taste of chili chocolate dessert. And mind you it was not just your chilli powder but fresh birds eyes chilies. We took a bite of the very simple sweet looking dessert thinking where's the chili, and a second later fresh red chilies exploded in mouths. Despite of being used to the Mexican and other chili chocolate combos, this one definitely takes the cake (umm spice). No wonder Janice Wong is Asia's best Pastry chef.

World Barista Champion Fritz Storm traced the journey of coffee from seed to cup, how each coffee is different and what we can do to enhance it. He gave us tips to enhance our daily cuppa and vowed with coffee martini and coffee champagne .

Martini .... 

I am leaving few pics on how they worked together to tantalise the sense.

In the midst of this the Star of the moment - magnum Choco Cappucino was launched with all of us going UMMMMMMMMMMM.. Wait lets do it one more time...

Open the wrapper,
Take a lovely bite and feel the CRUUUUNCH its just Belgian chocolate shell  studded with caramel sugar exploding in your senses, exposing a creamy vanilla icecream with ripples of chocolate coffee sauce. Which then you savour and go UMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM

Don't believe me, Go get your own MAGNUM CHOCO CAPPUCINO.. 

Its out there at all retail stores, starting March 1st,2015 . Go get your piece of Heaven on Earth at just Rs.90/- 

Thanks for visiting my Blog

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