Batter bread is an easy to bake bread. The beauty of batter bread is that it has a beautiful crumb and it’s a lot chewy and rustic than the regular sandwich bread.



Bread baking is one of the most gratifying experiences. The pleasure of creating a loaf from scratch and enjoying the homemade goodness is an exhilarating experience. Baking bread is all about love. When you bake a loaf, you ensure the purity of ingredients, you ensure there are artificial colours, flavours, dough conditioners, and preservatives. And it is such a happy feeling to see your family loving and enjoying the bread made at home.


Baking bread is easy. Starting with the most basic bread recipe is the key to gaining confidence. Practice is the key to learn the nuances.


A Batter bread or a no-knead bread requires no special tactics and steps. No kneading, no punching, no shaping. All you need to do is throw everything together into a large bowl and let the yeast do the magic.


Of late I have developed a liking for the no-knead bread. The beauty of a no-knead batter bread is that you get a beautiful crumb, and it’s a lot chewy and rustic than the regular sandwich bread.


Beginner's Sandwich Bread / Beginner's Batter Bread (Vegan)

Ingredients

  • 3 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • ½ tablespoons salt
  • 1 ½ tablespoon unrefined sugar
  • 1 teaspoon instant dry yeast
  • 1 ½ cup warm water

Instructions

  1. Generously grease one 8 ½ inch x 4 ½ inch loaf pan. Dust with whole wheat flour.
  2. Take all the dry ingredients in a large deep bowl. Mix thoroughly. Add water and oil. Mix with a ladle until moistened and there are no dry ingredients in the bowl. The batter will be stiff. Cover and keep in a warm place until double (it may take between 1 hour to 2 hours depending on weather).
  3. Stir down batter with a spoon. Empty into the prepared pan. With oiled fingers, press the dough evenly in the pan and level the top (make it smooth). Cover and keep to rise until it crests up to the lip of the pan (almost double in volume).
  4. Bake in a preheated pan at 175 degrees C for 35-40 minutes or until the top turns golden brown and the pan sounds hollow when tapped at the bottom. Cover with a foil if the top is browning too fast.
  5. Remove the pan from the oven. Remove bread from pan after 6-7 minutes. Brush the top with butter.
  6. Slice when cold and enjoy the homemade goodness.





Uniquely dense pudding like texture, dark colour, decadent, rich and robust taste, the Caribbean Cake is a moist boozy dessert, very festive, delicious, and addictive. Its citrusy notes and flavours are just out of the world. 



We woke up to a frozen world last week. It snowed heavily for the second time in less than a month’s span. Everything around was a pristine white. The lawn, the fields, the plants all covered with delicate snow luscious and pure. Every season adds beauty to the landscape. While Spring and autumn do it with myriad hues and colours, snow does it with white and transforms everything magically. The orchard looked enchanting with the trees holding fluffy snow in their tender arms.




 There was snow on the roof, there was snow on the wall and the ground was a series of humps and mounds beneath which the wild bushes and jutting rocks lay hidden. A soothing silence very meditative and calming enveloped the world.



 When it is dangerously cold outside and  all you can do is watch the endless white vista from the chilled window, baking is one an option that is really healing and pleasurable. It is beautiful to sit around the warm oven watching your bake change shapes and size and giving out the lovely aroma.


With a lot of dry fruits left after baking an Eggless Fruit Cake, we decided to bake Caribbean Christmas Cake. The dry fruits for the cake were soaked in rum a week ahead. We also used a lot of homemade candied orange peels. When baking, my home was fragranced  with cake's citrusy notes


In Caribbean culture, Caribbean Christmas Cake is a must have at Christmas time. A cousin of the British Pudding, this decadent cake is made using rum-soaked fruits, eggs, butter, brown sugar, and other natural ingredients. As with all the recipes, there are slight variations across cultures, but the basic recipe and preparation are almost the same.


After baking, the cake is ‘wined’. The cake is brushed with wine for 2-3 days.  I used our homemade beet wine. You may use rum also. It is best to eat cake a day after baking. The cake will be dense and less sweet.
Recipe adapted from www.cupcaree.com

Caribbean Christmas Cake

Ingredients 

For rum-soaked fruit

  • 1 cup dark rum
  • ¾ cup golden raisins
  • ¾ cup chopped figs/prunes
  • ½ cup black currants/cranberries
  • ¼ cup candied citrus peels

Caramel

  • 4 tablespoons jaggery or sugar
  • 3 tablespoons water

For the Cake Batter

  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ cup + 2 tablespoons demerara sugar/ brown sugar/unrefined cane sugar
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Zest of an orange
  • 1 cup  whole wheat flour/ all-purpose flour (if you prefer a lighter texture)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground  mixed spices (cloves, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon)

Instructions

  1. Soak all the dry fruits in rum for at least three days (or up to a month).
  2. To make the caramel, take jaggery or sugar in a thick bottom steel pan or a non-stick pan. Cook over medium heat. The jaggery/sugar will melt and will caramelize. Keep stirring till you get a dark caramel. Turn off the heat and add water. Stir till the caramel dissolves. Keep aside to cool.
  3. Blend the soaked dry fruit along with the soaking liquid until a thick but smooth consistency with a little chunkiness. Set aside.
  4. Grease and line one 8 inch round cake pan. Preheat the oven to 150 degrees C
  5. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and spice mix.
  6. Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add one egg at a time and mix well. Add zest and vanilla extract and mix well.
  7. Fold in the flour mix.  Stir in fruit puree and caramel. Mix well until all the ingredients are well incorporated into the batter. The batter will be thick.
  8. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 90 minutes or until the top turns golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Tent with a foil if the top is browning too fast.
  9. Remove from the oven and let the cake cool in the pan for 30 minutes.
  10. Remove from the pan and cool in the rack. Brush the top with two tablespoons rum.
  11. When the cake  cools completely, store in an airtight container for at least a day before eating.





No-Knead Milk bread is a delicious bread with a great crumb. Long fermentation gives the bread a great taste and structure. 


It’s a cloudy day today. Cloud covered sky looks silent and empty. Birds are all puffed up looking twice their size as they carry on their morning ritual of foraging.



The gingery aroma fills the room as the tea is boiling. Our limbs are numb and holding a hot glass of tea gives immense relief. Coils of smoke drift up from the sleepy village.



Sitting around the fire while cooking and eating is the greatest relief that winter can offer to the villagers.
Our dough for the milk bread is rising. Light dinner of soup and bread fit the bill on cold days.
Milk bread is really easy to bake.


Once the dough is mixed, it is left to rise. Long fermentation gives the bread a great taste and structure. If you are baking the bread in a hot place, place your dough in the refrigerator until it doubles. Bread baking is about instinctive baking. The dough should double in volume either on the counter (in cold areas) or in the refrigerator (in hot areas).


We loved our No-Knead Milk Bread. It has a great crumb. Enjoy with butter, jam, soup or a simple veggie. It makes great sandwiches too.


No-Knead Milk Bread

Ingredients

  • 1 ¼ cup milk
  • 1 ½ teaspoon honey
  • 1/3 cup water (at room temperature)
  • 2 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon bran (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon yeast

Instructions

  1. Bring milk to a boil. Turn off the heat. Add honey and water and stir to mix. Let the milk cool.
  2. In another large and deep  bowl, mix flour, bran, salt, and yeast.
  3. Pour cold milk over the dry ingredients. Mix with a whisk, ladle or with hands until just combined. Cover the bowl and let rest for 20 minutes.
  4. Stretch and fold the dough over itself a few times in the bowl itself. Cover and leave to rise for 2-4 hours. (if your place is hot, 2 hours should be sufficient. In a cold place leave to rise for 4 hours or until double)
  5. Gently fold the dough again. Cover and leave for 1 hour.
  6. Grease one 8 ½ x 4 ½ inch loaf pan.
  7. Now scrape the dough onto the floured counter and gently press with your fingers into an 8 inch round disk. Now fold the edges to get a rectangle. Flatten the rectangle. Now roll tightly to get a log not longer than the size of your loaf pan.
  8. Gently place the log into the prepared pan, seam side down.
  9. Cover and leave to rise for 1 hour or until the dough reaches the top of the pan in the middle.
  10. During the last stages of rising, preheat oven to 200 degrees C.
  11. Bake for 40 -45 minutes or until the top turns brown and pan sounds hollow when tapped at the bottom. Cover the loaf with a foil if it is browning too fast.
  12. Remove the pan from the oven.  After 5 minutes, remove from the pan. Cool in the rack.
  13. Slice when cold.
This recipe of milk bread is from Lazio region of Italy. The dough is typically shaped into rolls for sandwiches, according to Jim Lahey, The author of the books My Bread and My Pizza.







A gust of wind shakes the branches of the cherry tree and we get a pink shower as the petals come down dancing, twirling and spinning all around and settle on the dew-laden grass.


Wild cherry is in bloom these days and is adding to the beauty of Autumn. 


The winter chill is setting in. The Himalayas make an appearance off and on when clouds dissipate revealing the majestic peaks from one end to the other.


A sunny day entails endless chores both inside the house and outside. There is a rush to complete the work and drag a chair outside to sit in the Sun, soaking in the pleasantly delightful warmth that is a blessing in the late Autumn.



Watching butterflies on flowers seems like a fantasy, so beautiful so vivid and so charming.


Weekends are for baking and this weekend, we baked an Eggless Vanilla Cake. A cake with half a can of condensed milk,  has a lovely crumb and a great taste. 


 Our friendly neighbour gave us some homegrown pomegranates. We used one for the pretty pink glaze to dress up the cake in the colours of autumn.

 


Eggless Vanilla Cake / Eggless Condensed Milk Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 3 tablespoons unrefined cane sugar
  • ½ cup milk (warm)
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ½ cup + 2 tablespoons condensed milk ( ½ can)
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon  vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven at 170 degrees C. Grease and line one 8 inch cake pan or grease generously and dust one medium size bundt pan.
  2. In a large bowl, take the first five ingredients and whisk well.
  3. In another large bowl, add butter to warm milk and leave to melt.
  4. Add remaining ingredients and mix well to get a uniform mixture.
  5. Add dry ingredients. Mix well until incorporated and you get a smooth batter.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the top turns golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  7. Remove from the oven after 5 minutes. remove from the pan after another 5 minutes.
  8. Cool on the rack. Slice when cold.

Note: if using a silicone bundt pan, leave it in the pan to cool.

Autumn is casting its magical spell. The color of the sky is a deep shade of blue, mornings are magical, noon is balmy, evening calm and cold and night still, starry and chilly.
As the morning Sun  pours it’s gold and warmth into our world, foraging and feeding of the birds and bees begin. The serrated Himalayas loom large in the horizon and look white as fresh snow fills up the nook and crevices.


Chestnut-bellied Nuthatch creeps up in the trunk of the apple tree.
A  Blue Capped Rockthrush perches on a stump after swooping down for insects.


 It’s a heavenly autumn morning. Watching birds is like meditation to me. I love the Autumn sunrise, sunsets, and the birds.
We collected fresh coriander and some fresh green chilies growing in the fields Weekends are so relaxing and the pace of life gets lazy as there are no deadlines. We decided on early brunch. With most of the ingredients homegrown, we plan to make Bedmi Parathas with potato tomato curry and yogurt.


Bedmi Paratha is made with urad daal (Black Gram Lentils). Soaked daal is ground coarsely. Turmeric, chili powder, asafetida, and fennel give it a burst of flavours.


 It makes a great breakfast option with just plain curd. Parantha is soft and robust in Indian flavours. 



The parathas are great to pack in the lunch box for kids to take to school.  These are ideal to take on picnics and journeys. Pair with curry and enjoy a sumptuous meal.


Bedmi Paratha (Vegan)

Ingredients

  • 2 bowls whole wheat flour
  • 1 bowl soaked urad daal  (Black Gram Lentils split and skinned )
  • 1-2 green chilies
  • 2 tablespoon finely chopped green coriander
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon asafetida
  • 2 teaspoon fennel (mildly roasted and crushed)
  • 1 – 1 ½ teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon oil

Water for kneading
Oil for cooking
Dry flour for rolling parathas

Instructions

  1. Soak Urad dal overnight or for a minimum of 2-3 hours. Add chopped green chilies and grind coarsely.
  2. In another deep bowl, take flour and add all the remaining ingredients. Mix well.
  3. Add ground dal and add water just enough to get a soft dough. Start with very little water and keep on adding water as you need.
  4. Cover the dough with a kitchen towel and let rest for 30 minutes.
  5. Apply some oil to your hands and knead for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Heat the tawa (hot griddle). Take a small portion of dough. Roll into a ball and then flatten it. Dust with flour and roll it into a parantha.
  7. Carefully place the parantha on tawa. When tiny bubbles appear on the surface, flip it, apply oil and cook till golden. Repeat on the other side.
  8. Serve hot parathas with curry and yogurt.


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 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.



BreadBakers


This month, the Bread Bakers are making Indian Flatbreads/Parathas, a theme chosen by Renu from Cook With Renu.
And don’t forget to check out all the amazing Indian Flatbreads/Parathas done by our talented bakers.






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