Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Old Fashioned Buttermilk Bread




Summer is at the peak. Heat has sucked up all the energy leaving listless and restless. Trees wear a withered look, the ground is parched, grass dry and almost dead. Thirsty birds throng our bird pot. A pair of Koel drinks
water and looks relieved.


By evening, clouds begin to gather in the sky. Soon they spread all around. Air is heavy and vaporous.  It becomes humid. We pray that a good downpour happens. Many times before, the clouds gathered and got dissipated by the strong breeze leaving behind just dust. But as the evening progressed, there was lightening and thunder and it rained in torrents. The parched Earth drank up the water leaving a heavenly petrichor. It rained for hours and all the woes were forgotten and washed away. 
There was a jar of buttermilk in the refrigerator. We were loving it tempered with roasted cumin and a pinch of asafoetida. As the weather changed, we decided to use it and bake a buttermilk bread.


Buttermilk bread has an incredibly soft crumb and a great taste. It toasts well.
We toasted it and enjoyed with a generous amount of butter and hot tea.


Buttermilk Bread

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup oatmeal
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • ¼ cup warm water
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 ¼ teaspoon instant dry yeast
  • ¾ cup buttermilk

Instructions

  1. Whisk together first three ingredients in a deep bowl. Add oil. Mix well
  2. In another bowl, take water. Add sugar and stir it till it dissolves. Add yeast. Cover and keep for 5-6 minutes. The yeast should turn frothy.
  3. Heat buttermilk till just warm (keep stirring while heating). Add to the yeast mixture.
  4. Mix dry and wet ingredients and knead for 6-7 minutes to get a smooth and supple dough. If the dough feels hard or dry, add more warm water and knead for another 3-4 minutes.
  5. Transfer dough to a greased bowl. Turn around so that it is evenly coated with oil. Cover and keep in a warm place for 1 hour or till double.
  6. Punch again and roll it into a rectangle. Starting with shorter side, roll up tightly, pressing dough into roll. Pinch edges and ends to seal. Place in greased 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. Cover with a kitchen towel.
  7. Keep in a warm place to rise for 1 hour or till dough crests slightly above the lip of the pan.
  8. Bake in a preheated oven at 190 degrees C for 25 to 30 minutes or till the top turns golden brown.
  9. Remove from the pan. Cool.


Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Olive Oil Chocolate Banana Cake (Eggless)



Heat is showing the greatest effect on Bananas in our kitchen. They are ripening at a phenomenal speed. A day ago, half a dozen of the fruit was bought. The Same day, we went to a village in the periphery of the Jim Corbett Park. It was hot but serene. The breeze was cool. The forest was mesmerizing. The trees stood tall donning new leaves. The sound of the birds was soothing. Every time when there was a movement in the grass, we hoped to see some animal. But we had to be content with the distant sound of a barking deer and a peacock that we spotted by the side of the road.


We stopped by a village. There, an old man gave us a bunch of pahari bananas. The bananas were small, sweet and had a very distinct taste. We were hungry and ate up half the bunch. 


We returned home in the evening, exhausted and happy after a forest drive. The blackened bananas had to be salvaged. We decided on baking an Eggless Banana Chocolate Coffee Cake with olive oil. We also used the local bananas in the cake. The Cake was delicious. Soft, moist and chocolaty.



Olive Oil Chocolate Banana Cake (Eggless)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • ¼  cup cocoa
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee powder
  • ¾  teaspoon salt
  • 4 very ripe sweet bananas
  • ¾  cup warm milk
  • ¾  cup Caster Sugar
  • ¼  cup + 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar

Instruction

  1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees C. Grease and line one 9 inch round cake pan.
  2. Whisk together all the dry ingredients (first six ingredients) in a large bowl.
  3. Take milk in a glass. Add vinegar, stir and let stand for 10 minutes. It will curdle.
  4. Puree the bananas in a blender.
  5. Add sugar, olive oil, vanilla extract and caster sugar and blend to get a smooth mixture.
  6. Add curdled milk and stir well.
  7. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Arrange some banana slices on the top (optional)
  9. Bake for 55 minutes or till the cake shrinks from the sides and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  10. Remove from the oven. Remove from the pan after 5 minutes. Cool on the rack. Slice when cold.






Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Orange Marmalade Rolls | #BreadBakers


 There was storm last night.  Our tiny lawn got covered with leaves of all shapes and sizes from the trees around. There were leaves floating in the fish pond too. The breeze, however, was cool and soothing. We sat under the Magnolia tree and loved the aroma of the buttery flowers above. We collected the fallen flowers while cleaning the lawn.


Later in the day, a bird call got our attention. It was a different call. We spotted an Asian Paradise   Flycatcher (female) in our birdbath. It was a great feeling to see a new visitor of the season.


After all the cleaning, bird watching, and a light lunch, we got down to baking Orange Marmalade Rolls or Malta Marmalade Rolls as I used homemade marmalade made from our local citrus Malta.


Malta is very juicy, and sweet. It grows in our hills and the best part is that it is not sprayed with any chemicals. One can use the peels without any doubts.
This recipe had been in my mind for quite some time. When our group #BreadBakers decided to bake for the mother's day, I got down to baking these rolls. Recipe is adapted minimally from www.thepioneerwoman.com


We loved the super soft cottony rolls wrapped around a thick layer of marmalade and butter.


We enjoyed with tea, we loved them plain and relished with banana and mango shape. Next day, the rolls tasted even better. Marmalade got soaked into the crumb and the rolls were juicy. My mom loved them with her hot tea.


Orange Marmalade Rolls  

Ingredients

Rolls

  • 1 cup milk
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon instant dry yeast
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter (softened)
  • 4 tablespoons orange marmalade

Glaze

  • ¼ cup icing sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 teaspoons melted butter

Instruction

  1. Take milk, vegetable oil and sugar in a deep pan. Heat till very hot. Turn off the heat just before it begins to boil. Let it cool till warm. Add yeast, stir and keep for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add 1 cup of flour and stir well. Cover and keep for 1 hour.
  3. After 1 hour, add baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add remaining 1 cup flour and stir really well to get a smooth wet dough.
  4. Keep the dough in the refrigerator for 1 hour. It is easier to handle the dough when chilled. 
  5. Generously dust your counter with flour. Transfer dough to the counter. Roll out into a rectangle as thin as possible.
  6.  Spread 2 tablespoons of softened butter evenly on the rolled dough. Now spread marmalade.
  7.  Beginning at the end farthest from you, roll the rectangle tightly towards you. When you reach the end, pinch the seam together and keep the seam side down.
  8. Cut the log with a sharp knife. Cut ½ inch rolls. This log will give around 8 rolls
  9. Grease one 9 inches round cake pan. Use a non-stick pan for the rolls to come out easily.
  10. Arrange the rolls in the pan. Cover and keep for ½  hour to rise or until double.
  11. Bake in a preheated oven at 190 degrees C for 20 -25 minutes or till the top becomes golden.
  12. Remove from the pan after 10 minutes.
  13. In the meantime prepare glaze. Mix all the ingredients together to get a very smooth and pourable glaze. Adjust the quantity of icing sugar to get the right consistency.
  14. Drizzle glaze over warm rolls. Enjoy!
Linking to BreadBakers
This month's BreadBakers' theme is Mother’s Day or May Day inspired bread, hosted by Julie who blogs at Hostess at heart . Julie chose a lovely theme. It inspired us to bake beautiful breads. Thank You Julie for the beautiful theme. Do visit Julie's blog for the her bakes

 Here's what our creative bakers came up with.

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our of lovely bread by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated after each event on the #BreadBakers home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to [email protected]

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Eggless Chocolate Coffee Cake (Wholegrain)



There was a birthday in our family last week. We decided to bake an eggless chocolate coffee cake. Helping hands got together, the pan was readied, batter beaten to a silky consistency and in went, a very chocolaty batter suffused with a deep coffee flavour.

While the cake was baking, we went out to enjoy the fresh air. It is a blessing to get some showers in the midst of summers. The breeze was soothing and the petrichor intoxicating. The showers were mild but it was a great relief from the scorching heat.


We sat on the dusty stairs, talking, enjoying the pleasantness of the weather.


We saw some White Cheeked Bulbuls in our bird bath enjoying a dip one after the other.


The timer chimed and a heavenly aroma of cake wafted through.

We love simple, no fuss cakes. Few ingredients, easy steps and a great outcome. This is one such cake.


We loved the taste, texture and the flavour.

Eggless Chocolate Coffee Cake (Wholegrain)

Ingredients

Cake     

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 cup sugar (powdered)
  • 3/4 cup yogurt
  • 1/3 cup olive oil or any vegetable oil
  • Vanilla extract 1 teaspoon
  • 4 teaspoons heaped instant coffee powder
  • 1/4 cup toasted walnuts chopped into small pieces

Chocolate Sauce

  • 75 grams dark chocolate
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon butter


Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Grease and line one 8 inch round cake pan.
  2. Sift cocoa powder. Whisk together first six ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. In another bowl, beat yogurt till smooth. Add sugar and beat well
  4. Add vanilla extract and oil and beat till you get a smooth and shiny mixture.
  5. Mix instant coffee powder and four tablespoons warm water. Stir to dissolve coffee granules. Add to yogurt mix.
  6. Now add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Stir till well incorporated. If the batter feels too dry, add more beaten curd to get the right consistency.
  7. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 55 minutes to 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  8. Remove from the oven. Remove from the pan after 5 minutes. Cool on the rack.
  9. To prepare chocolate sauce, melt chocolate in a double boiler. Add milk and butter. Stir briskly to get a smooth shiny sauce.
  10. Spread the sauce evenly over the cooled cake. Sprinkle toasted walnuts.
  11. Slice and serve.

My Tip:
If you want a lighter crumb, take all-purpose flour in place of whole wheat flour.


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