Flax meal bread is soft, delicate, nutty, sweet and delicious. It is packed with the goodness of flax seeds. 


 

Forest has its own flavours. The scent of wet earth, the mossiness of the ground, the fragrance of wildflowers, the smell of leaf litter, of fungi waking up from summer slumber and many more, smells that intoxicate the senses. The smell of the forest is healing. 

Rains arrived a wee bit early this year. Waking up to the rain drumming on the roof, cupping hands around  a hot glass of tea, running out to enjoy the splashes of sunlight escaping from the monstrous clouds, the warmth and freshness, the sinking puddles, and a rainbow across the heavily clouded sky are the elixirs of the hill life.




Wild daisies have been lining the pathways, always laden with bees buzzing on them. 



The hardy Dandelions have decided to occupy every gap in the cobbled pathway and paint it yellow.




A pair of Spotted Grosbeak  comes every morning without fail for its share of wild cherries that are ripening slowly.




The cherries are turning red and attracting more and more birds.

Rains in the hills bring down the temperature. Baking bread gets fraught with difficulties. Electricity plays truant and the whole exercise of baking is a challenge.




I stole some warm moments from a sunny morning that made my dough rise. We baked a small breakfast loaf with flax meal. Sometimes a good loaf makes your heart sing and for me, it was this loaf that turned out soft, sweet and gorgeous. In fact, we did not feel the need to spread butter or jam or anything on the slices. The bread is simply delicious.



Isn't that crumb gorgeous?




Flax Meal Breakfast Bread

Ingredients

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons instant dry yeast
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ cup flax meal (ground flaxseeds)
  • ¼ cup oil.

Instructions

  1. Dissolve honey in half a cup of water. Add yeast. Cover and let rest for 7-8 minutes.
  2. Whisk together flour, salt and flax meal.
  3. Make well in the centre. Add yeast mixture and oil. Mix and knead. Add water little by little till you get a smooth and satiny dough that is a little sticky.
  4. Transfer dough to a greased bowl. Turn around once so that it is coated with oil all over. Cover and place the bowl in a warm place to rise for one hour or until almost double.
  5. Grease one 4 ½ x 8 inches loaf pan.
  6. Remove the dough with a dough scraper onto the floured counter. Roll out into a rectangle with the width same as the width of the pan you are using. Roll the dough to form a log. Transfer it to the pan. Press gently to level it. Cover and leave it to rise for another fifty minutes to an hour or unless it crests above the rim of the pan.
  7. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C during the last stages of rising. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Tent with a foil if the top is browning too fast.
  8. Remove from the pan after 5 minutes. Cool in the rack. Slice when cold.
  9. Enjoy.

 Linking to #BreadBakers

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page


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Welcome to this month's Bread Bakers. This month’s event is Breakfast Bread hosted by Zesty South Indian Kitchen


·                Breakfast Garbage Bread Making Miracles

·                Danish Crisps A Messy Kitchen

·                English Muffins Culinary Adventures with Camilla

·                Flax Meal Breakfast Bread Ambrosia

·                Fresh Cherry Chocolate Sourdough Bread Zesty South Indian Kitchen

·                Multigrain Blueberry Bread What Smells So Good?

·                Montreal-Style Bagels Karen's Kitchen Stories

·                Rhubarb Strawberry Spiced Sourdough Bread Cook with Renu

·                Sausage Stuffed Sourdough Crescent Rolls Food Lust People Love

·                Spicy Masala Veggie Paratha Magical Ingredients

·                Sourdough Angel Biscuits Palatable Pastime

·                Sourdough Crepes A Day in the Life on the Farm

·                Sourdough Discard Pancakes Sneha’s Recipe


 Eggless Wholegrain Chocolate Fudge Cake is insanely chocolaty and delicious. The cake is dense and fudgy. It is s delicious dessert cake.



A whistling Thrush perched atop a sloping roof sings loud and clear. Her notes are sonorous and fresh like the Spring itself.   Spring is the new beginning, a symbol of rebirth and life. Buds blossom, grass grows and the brown shrubbery gives way to juicy green tender shoots. The forest drapes in all the shades of green and sway in mirth as the fragrant breeze pass by. Spring is about warmth, colours fragrances, flowers and butterflies.




Spring invokes many a sweet memory. Our garden in the foothills was a riot of colours in spring. Bougainvillaeas, calendulas,  aster, phlox, marigolds, dahlias, daisies and a dozen others made it an enchanted garden and the magician was our Dad who was blessed with green fingers. 




Mellifluous strains of Sitar melded with the scented air and wafted through early morning as he played his sitar for hours.  It was pure bliss, sheer magic, absolutely calming and rejuvenating!

It was one such beautiful day in Spring, the temple bells chimed in the distance, it was neither too cold nor hot, the garden was a slice of heaven, it was the New Year of the Hindu calendar, day of fasting and praying when dad quit his battle with his disease and decided to leave. We were never prepared for his adieu from the world. In spite of his waning health, we convinced ourselves that he would live on. The grief was maddening, a wrenching pain that shattered and changed our lives forever. A phenomenal father, husband, grandfather, a man of boundless compassion, our mentor, guide, forever friend was gone forever.

Dad made our lives richer with his bountiful love, generosity, and the gift of good values. The grief over a father’s death never ends. My daughter who has grown up in his arms,  tells me, “life goes on, so move on, he won’t come back”. Every journey comes to an end. The circle of life completes. One has to accept.

Memories don’t age, memories don’t fade and memories don’t erase. Memories like sunshine fill up the heart with warmth and joy. We celebrate his being in our life. And we celebrate his birthday with elan every year. And his favourite Eggless Chocolate Fudge Cake is baked and shared, songs sung, his memories lived and enjoyed sometimes in the veil of tears. “You may be gone from our sight but you are never gone from our heart”, we tell him.




Eggless Wholegrain Chocolate Fudge Cake is insanely chocolaty and delicious. Use a good quality dark chocolate. The cake is dense and fudgy. Do not bake it in a small size pan. I have used whole wheat flour for the recipe. You may use all-purpose flour for a lighter crumb.




Drizzle ganache on the cake if you are baking for some special occasion and decorate with chocolate barks or chocolate hearts. I have given instructions for making chocolate hearts at the end of the recipe.

Eggless Wholegrain Chocolate Fudge Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • ¾ cup unrefined sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 stick butter (100 grams approx ½ cup)
  • 100 grams dark chocolate

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Grease and line one 7 inches round cake pan.
  2. Sift all the dry ingredients (the first four ingredients)  twice and keep aside.
  3. In a pan add water, sugar, and heat on medium flame. Stir till sugar dissolves.
  4. Melt chocolate and butter in a double boiler. Mix to get smooth consistency.
  5. To this add warm sugar solution and mix well.
  6. Add the dry ingredients to the wet mix. Mix gently to get a smooth batter. Do not over mix.
  7. Pour into the prepared pan.
  8. Bake for 25-30 minutes. The cake should be firm and a toothpick inserted in the centre should come out clean.
  9. Cool on the rack.  Enjoy plain or pour and spread some ganache on top and enjoy a fudgy chocolate cake.

 


Chocolate Hearts

To make chocolate hearts, take a broad strip of parchment paper. Melt dark chocolate in a double boiler. Pour it on the parchment paper. With a flat spatula, spread it evenly. The chocolate layer should be thick. Keep it in the refrigerator.  Once the chocolate hardens, press a heart-shaped cookie cutter and carefully remove the chocolate hearts. Keep the chocolate hearts on a plate and keep the plate in the refrigerator until you use them.




                


Giraffe Print bread is light bread with a hint of chocolate. It is a pleasure to slice the loaf and discover the patterns inside. It is best enjoyed with a chocolate spread or peanut butter. 


We are perpetually living in winters this year. Unexpected and unanticipated rain over the last fifteen days has plummeted the temperature. The brown blanket of the dry foliage has got replaced by green. Ferns have sprung up around the corners, under the big trees and in all the crevices. Nature has its own ways of healing. The dryness of winters has been compensated.

Sky laden with clouds seems to be melting and dripping causing heavy showers. A water hole made for the birds gets brimmed with fresh water. 




A jungle myna alights from a nearby tree, inspects around and dashes into the sparkling pool. 

A Grey Winged Blackbird removes leaves from the wet ground continuously till it reaches the wet mud and  is rewarded by a fat earthworm.




A drongo is nesting on the tallest Pear Tree. She sits on her tiny cup-like nest and drives away all those who perch on the nearby branches. This policing continues all day.

In our baking studio, it’s a hectic day. A Giraffe Print Bread is being baked. For bakers, the dough becomes a medium to play with and to unleash creativity. This bread is special as it requires a lot of precision. It is important to have a weighing scale.



To make the pattern, we need one plain dough and one cocoa dough.  Both the dough will be divided into four pieces. One piece of each dough will be larger than the other three. The weight of the dough may differ slightly from that mentioned in this recipe. So weigh the total dough and divide accordingly. A few adjustments in dough weight will work fine.

The pictorial steps will help to shape the bread.

















Giraffe Print Bread

Ingredients for the plain dough

  • 250 grams all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup warm milk (1 -2 tablespoons extra)
  • 2 tablespoons unrefined sugar/brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soft butter
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon instant dry yeast

Ingredients for the cocoa dough

  • 330 grams plain dough
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 3-4 teaspoons water/milk

Instructions

  1. To prepare the plain dough, mix sugar and yeast to warm milk. When sugar dissolves, add all the remaining ingredients and knead for 6-7 minutes. If the dough feels hard, add 1 tablespoon of the extra milk and another if the dough is tight.  Cover and let rest for 20 minutes.
  2. Remove 330 grams of the plain dough. Shape the remaining dough into a ball and transfer it to a greased bowl. Cover and keep in the refrigerator.
  3. Make a paste with cocoa powder and water/milk. Knead into the 330 grams of the plain dough until well combined. Shape into a ball and transfer to a greased bowl and cover with a cling wrap.
  4. Remove plain dough from the refrigerator and keep both the bowls, one with plain dough and the one with the cocoa dough in a warm spot to rise for 45-50 minutes or until double.
  5. Divide the cocoa dough into 4 pieces.  1x90 grams (one piece)   3x80 grams (3 pieces).
  6. Divide plain dough into 4 pieces. 1x50 grams (one piece)      3x40 grams (3 pieces)
  7. Roll the dough into balls.
  8. Now we have one large piece and three small pieces for each dough.
  9. Roll out the largest piece of cocoa dough into a rectangle as long as the baking tin you are using. Working on the long side of the rectangle, roll up. Pinch to seal all the open ends of the roll.  Similarly, make rolls with the remaining cocoa dough balls. 
  10. Roll out the largest piece of plain dough into a rectangle as long as the largest cocoa roll. Place the cocoa roll on the white rectangular dough. Pull up the sides of the plain dough, over the cocoa roll. Seal all the edges.  Repeat with the remaining pieces, until you get 4 rolls.
  11. Cut all the rolls into half. You will have 8 pieces. With one sharper and one open end.
  12. Grease one 8x4 inch loaf pan. Place three small rolls in the bottom, two big rolls in the middle and three small rolls on top.  Place the rolls in such a way that the ends are alternating. Cover and keep in a warm spot to rise until double. (after placing the rolls, there will be a lot of empty space in the pan on either side).
  13. Bake in a preheated oven at 175 degrees C  for 20-25 minutes.
  14. Let cool down in the pan for 10 minutes. Remove and cool in the rack.
  15. Slice when cold.
Recipe adapted from - www.foodieyuki.com

Linking to #BreadBakers
BreadBakers

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.


We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. Our host this month is Kelly. She chose to bake bread with surprises inside. It is a very interesting theme.

Check out the bread with surprises here-



·                Broccoli Bread from A Day in the Life on the Farm

·                Cheesy Chicken Stuffed Bread from Making Miracles

·                Cinnamon Apple Surprise Bread from Food Lust People Love

·                Giraffe Print Bread from Ambrosia

·                Leopard Print Milk Bread from Karen's Kitchen Stories

·                Paw Print Bread from Passion Kneaded

·                Peek-a-boo Panda Bread from Culinary Adventures with Camilla

·                Picasso Floral Surprise Loaf from A Messy Kitchen

·                Swirl Bread from Zesty South Indian Kitchen

·                Swirl Sourdough Whole Wheat Bread (Chocolate, Garlic & Herbs) from Cook with Renu

·                Whey Watermelon Bread from Sneha's Recipe

 


 Herbed Tomato Garlic Bread has all the homegrown ingredients. The bread has a burst of flavours. The crumb is super soft. It tastes amazing when toasted and had with cheese spread or with oodles of butter.



We are living through difficult times. The world is in the grip of the worst disaster. The ongoing pandemic has thrown the world in fear and anxiety. The news of the suffering of friends, near and dear ones, of people known and unknown has created a feeling of helplessness. Staying at home has become a necessity for safety. There are lockdowns and curfews.  This is a reality that is completely unimaginable.

To quell the feeling of hopelessness that has pervaded everywhere, it is important that we resort to activities that involve and keep us occupied. Be it gardening, reading, baking, cooking, music or anything else it is important to keep occupied. Also, it is also the time to reach out in whatever possible way to those suffering. The smallest of help will also make a big difference. And keep the hope alive. Hope is a valuable tool in protecting from stress and burnout. Hope has a positive impact on physical and mental health.



It is time to pray. “True prayer is neither a mere mental exercise nor a vocal performance. It is far deeper than that – It is a spiritual transaction with the creator of heaven and Earth.” (Charles Spurgeon)

Prayers can heal the sick, Prayers can comfort those anxious and sinking into depression. It is time to send prayers to the universe for the health and healing of the pandemic ridden world.

 It is this time that pushes us to be creative and prepare meals that are not only healthy but also use minimal ingredients and with things available around.



Tomato season is almost over and the plant has some last small size tomatoes hanging from the shaggy branches. These look like cherry tomatoes.  We decided to bake bread using all the tomatoes along with homegrown garlic. Some homemade spice mix was added to the dough.




The bread was a burst of flavours with a lovely red tinge from the tomato puree.  The crumb was super moist and fluffy. It tastes amazing when toasted and had with cheese spread or oodles of butter.

We used tomatoes with skin as the tomatoes were homegrown. If you are not sure of the source, remove the skin as farmers spray a lot of pesticides.




 

Herbed Whole Wheat Tomato Garlic Bread (Vegan)

Ingredients

  • 8-10 cherry tomatoes/small size tomatoes
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons instant dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons unrefined sugar
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2-3 tablespoons Italian spice mix/herb mix of choice or fresh herbs
  • 4-5 buds of garlic minced
  • ¼ cup warm water

Instructions

  1. Wash the tomatoes. Cut each into four. Blend to get a fine puree. If the seeds are too many, pass through the strainer. You should get 1 cup plus a little extra puree.
  2. Add sugar and yeast to the puree. Stir well.
  3. Heat oil in a wok. Add minced garlic. Stir and turn off the heat.
  4. Take flour in a large bowl or in a large plate. Make a well in the centre. Add tomato puree, garlic oil and salt and herb mix. Gently mix everything to get a shaggy dough. If the dough feels dry, add warm water.
  5. Knead for 7-8 minutes to get a smooth, shiny and little sticky dough. Transfer dough to an oiled bowl. Turn around once so that it is evenly coated with oil. Keep in a warm area for 1- 1 ½ hours or until double.
  6. Grease one 8 ½ x4 ½ inch loaf pan.
  7. Punch the risen dough. Shape into a log.   Place it gently into the prepared pan.
  8. Cover and keep to rise until the dough doubles (almost).
  9. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees C for 30-35 minutes or until the loaf turns brown and the bottom sounds hollow when tapped.
  10. Remove from the pan after 7-8 minutes. Cool in the rack. Slice when cold.

 

 

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Bread is mildly sweet, soft and very delicious.  It toasts well and has all the goodness of ripe pumpkin.



Pumpkin grows aplenty in the hills. The creeper is made to climb the roof of the houses. The green pumpkins are eaten all through the summer. During rains, when there is an abundance of growth, the creeper becomes luxuriant and spreads all around. The young shoots are eaten as green veggie. And a lot of pumpkins are left on the creeper to be ripened. The leaves wither and the plant dries once the season is over. Ripe Pumpkins are kept on the roof in the Sun all winter before snowfall. These are then used over the months.

Ripe pumpkin is gently sweet and a beautiful shade of orange. It is highly nutritious and low in calories. And, there is something about the flavor and texture of fresh pumpkin puree.  It makes a great addition to the bread. It makes the regular bread a little sweeter and richer.

Homemade bread has an appeal far beyond just taste. Making your own bread allows you to increase wholesome grains and decrease sugars and play with ingredients of choice.




I baked bread with pumpkin puree. It turned sweet, soft and delicious.




You may add a pinch of cinnamon and a little extra sugar to the dough.  Toasted slices with butter is a heavenly treat.

 

 


 

Whole Wheat Pumpkin  Bread

Ingredients

  • 2-3 slices of ripe Pumpkin (peeled)
  • 3 ½ cups whole wheat flour 
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons unrefined sugar (powdered)
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 2-3 teaspoons water
  • 2 teaspoon instant dry yeast
  • Water (if needed)

Instructions

  1. Wash and dice pumpkin. Steam or roast.
  2. If steaming, add very little water to the cooker and steam until the cooker gives out a whistle. Blend to get a smooth puree.  Do not add extra water.
  3. If roasting, preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Place the slices in the parchment lined baking tray. Drizzle some oil. Roast for 40-60 minutes or, until a fork or a knife easily passes through. Let the slices cool. Puree.
  4. Measure 1 cup puree and reserve 3-4 tablespoon extra.
  5. Dissolve yeast in 2-3 teaspoons water.
  6.  To the puree, add yeast, sugar.  Stir and let rest for 5 minutes. Add oil and stir well.
  7. Sift whole wheat flour with salt in a large bowl.
  8. Make a well in the center. Add pumpkin puree.  Mix together all the ingredients. Knead for 7-8 minutes.
  9. Whole wheat flour drinks a lot of water. If the dough feels dry or hard, add the remaining puree. The dough should be really soft and supple. I Used 1 cup plus a little extra puree and a little water..
  10. The dough will feel sticky initially but will come together and become soft and supple. Stretch and fold a couple of times. By the end of kneading, the dough should not be very sticky but quite soft.
  11. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl. Turn around once so that it is evenly coated with oil. Cover and keep in the warm corner of your kitchen for 1 hour or until double.
  12. Grease one 8 ½ x 4 ½ inch loaf pan.
  13. Punch the risen dough and shape it into a loaf. Gently transfer the shaped dough into the loaf pan. Cover and keep to rise for 40-45 minutes or until it reaches the rim of the pan.
  14. During the last stages of rising, preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
  15. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the top turns golden and the loaf pan sounds hollow when tapped at the bottom. Tent with a foil if the top is browning too fast.
  16. Cool in the rack. Slice when cold.
Linking to #BreadBakers


Our theme is this month  is whole grains, and our host is Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm

 

 

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