Amaranth and Garlic Crackers are vegan and gluten-free. The crackers are crisp, soft, nutty, with a tinge of sweetness from the fresh flour and very flavourful. They make wonderful guilt-free snacking option.




Autumn is here and heading to winter slowly. There is a thick carpet of fallen leaves on the pathways and the courtyard. Pear trees are prepping for winter and shedding leaves profusely.
Autumn shows us how beautiful it is to let things go.
Last month there was a riot of colours in the hills. Amaranth plants were in profuse bloom. The colourful flower heads referred to as tassels are deep pink to magenta in colour. Amaranth is a wonder plant. The nutrient rich tender leaves are perfect for salads. Bigger leaves are cooked and eaten.



Seeds ripen three months after planting. They are ready to harvest when the seeds begin to fall from the tassel.  The tassels are cut from the plant and dried on a clean cloth. Seeds keep falling off. The flowers heads are rubbed. A winnow is used to remove the chaff.


Dry seeds are dried in the Sun and stored.
We got some fresh amaranth flour from the village. We made crackers.


We used fresh Thyme, Rosemary and garlic from our garden.


The crackers are vegan and gluten-free. They make wonderful guilt-free snacking option.
Most of the ingredients in the crackers are seasonal and fresh and sourced locally. Like with anything we do, baking can also be made greener and less impacting.  We try to be sustainable and practical. And change comes in small steps.



The crackers turned out crisp, soft, with a tinge of sweetness from the fresh flour and very flavourful.


Amaranth and Garlic Crackers (Vegan and Gluten-Free)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Amaranth flour
  • 5 tablespoons oil
  • 2 tablespoons water + 1 more if needed
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 big clove of garlic crushed or grated
  • 3-4  sprigs of fresh Thyme
  • 1 sprig of Rosemary
  • ½ teaspoon salt

*If you do not have fresh herbs, use 1 tablespoon of Italian Spice mix. Adjust salt accordingly.

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
  2. Pick thyme leaves. Pick Rosemary leaves and chop them finely.
  3. Take all the ingredients in a large bowl.
  4. Mix well. The dough will be clumpy and sandy initially. Add more water only if needed.
  5. You can mix the ingredients in a food processor also.
  6. Transfer to the counter and knead till smooth.
  7. Divide the dough into two parts.
  8. Place one half in a parchment sheet. Cover with another parchment sheet. Roll out with a rolling pin to an even thickness of about 5mm.
  9. Cut with a sharp knife. Prick with a fork to prevent puffing up. This also helps in baking evenly.
  10. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden around the edges. Repeat with the remaining dough.
  11. Cool on the rack and store in an airtight container.






The morning arrived over the sleeping village. Drawn broke, splashing hues of grey that turned purple and yellow that turned gold as the Sun rose in the East. Retreating monsoon has been overly long. A clear sky after a long time felt like a rare sight.



 The Himalayas made an appearance after a long time and sight was majestic and mesmerizing.
A pleasant morning is no less than a celebration of myriad colours, sights, and sounds. Bees crowd the wildflowers and a constant hum is audible you pass by. 


A yellow bumblebee settles repeatedly on a yellow Dahlia perhaps by choice and is almost camouflaged.
Birds forage and their cacophony suffuses the air.  


While a  Rufous Sibia  quietly pecks the ripe pears.
The mellow Sun is soothing, healing and comforting.
In one corner of the kitchen counter, bread batter is covered and kept overnight. We check the batter of our overnight bread. It's bubbly and well risen. After giving it a vigorous stir, it is folded over in the mixing bowl itself and then transferred to the prepared pan. It is a high hydration dough and needs to be shaped with oiled hands once transferred to the prepared pan.
Make sure to sprinkle the greased pan generously with flour. You may also sprinkle the top of the loaf with wheat bran prior to baking.
Cold fermentation really helps dough develop flavor.



The bread is one of the most delicious breads. It has a very soft crumb.
We loved it with a generous spread of homemade peanut butter and Apricot Jam.
This is an amazing and very versatile loaf. You’ll love it with hot soup. It makes great sandwiches too!


Overnight No-knead Bread (Vegan)

Ingredients 

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons raw unrefined sugar
  • 1 ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon instant yeast
  • 2 cups cold water ( plus 1 tablespoon if the dough is too dry)
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil.
  • 2 tablespoons bran

Instructions

  1. The night before baking day, mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Add water and oil over the dry ingredients.
  3. Stir the ingredients with a large spoon until thoroughly mixed.
  4. Spray the top of the dough with oil. Cover with a plastic wrap.
  5. Let the dough rise overnight (12 to 18 hours)
  6. Grease one 8 ½ x 4 ½ inch loaf pan. Dust the greased pan generously with flour.
  7. Stir the risen dough vigorously.
  8. With an oiled spatula, with the dough still in the bowl, fold the dough over itself to form a loaf. This step develops tension and helps the dough to rise upwards uniformly.
  9. Invert the dough into the prepared loaf pan, seam side down. With oiled hands,   press and shape  the dough, spreading it uniformly in the loaf pan.
  10. Cover with a plastic wrap and let it rise and doubles, and crests over the lip of the pan.
  11. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
  12. Bake for 60 minutes or until the loaf turns golden brown. Tent with a foil if the top is getting too brown.
  13. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack.
  14. Slice when cold.
Note- If you are baking this bread in cold weather or even warm weather, let it sit on the kitchen counter overnight. If you are baking during summer, keep the batter in refrigerator for about 18 hours.

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