Wholegrain Pizza crust turns out soft and chewy at the centre and a little crisp at the edges. It is nutty, healthy and hearty and with loads of veggies, the pizza is filling has no guilt quotient.  




With weather a little nippy, it is nice and pleasant and does not feel like early summer. Profuse blossoms bring butterflies and it is a pleasure to see the burst of bright colours everywhere.

Forest looks like a bunch of different hues of green. Some bright, some dull while some verdant. 


Salubrious clime and warm weather make wild Marigolds grow like huge bushes laden. Every branch is heavy with golden flowers. The ground is dotted with wild strawberries. 


It is the season of colours.

Weekend meals ought to be interesting. Younger members of the family want to eat pizza for lunch. Pizza and health are two terms that do not pair well. However, with a wholegrain crust, a pizza becomes healthier.  A topping with lesser cheese, homemade sauce and lots of seasonal veggies definitely add to the health quotient.


We decided on making pizzas for lunch. Since it is wholegrain base, It works better baking the bases before topping. This cooks the pizza base properly and it does not feel soggy, doughy and underbaked with sauce and topping. 


Making pizza bases in advance is also convenient as it saves time and work. Topping the bases before the meal takes lesser time.
The crust turns out soft and chewy at the centre and a little crisp at the edges. It is nutty, healthy and hearty and has no guilt quotient.  


This is family pleasing meal that is healthy too.
We made Pizza sauce at home. If you wish to make Pizza sauce at home, HERE is our recipe.

For Pizza topping you may get some ideas HERE.


Wholegrain  Pizza Crust


Ingredients

  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons instant dry yeast
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons unrefined sugar
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • ½ cup to ¾ cup warm water

Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine all the first five ingredients.  Add half cup water plus a little more. Mix everything until evenly combined. If the dough seems hard and dry add more water until it becomes soft but not very sticky. Do not knead the dough. Just mix everything till evenly combined. 
  2. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes.
  3. After 30 minutes, knead the dough until smooth and elastic. It will take about 6-8 minutes. If the dough feels stiff, add more water and knead again. Cover and let the dough rest for 45-60 minutes or until it doubles in volume.
  4. Punch the dough and divide into 6-8 pieces. Shape each piece into a ball. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. 
  5. Roll out each piece into round pizza bases. I made longish bases to fit three into the baking tray at a time.  Arrange them on the prepared baking tray. Cover and let rest for 30-40 minutes or until these become very puffy.  In the last stages of rising, preheat oven to 190 degrees C. Line one baking sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Prick the pizza bases with a knife or a fork and bake for 8-10 minutes or until you see a slight change in colour at the edges.
  7. Repeat with the remaining pieces.
  8. Whole Wheat Pizza bases are ready. You may spread sauce and toppings of choice. Bake for another 8-10  minutes or until the cheese is melted and the crust is browned.
  9. Note: It is convenient to prepare pizza bases in advance if you are planning to have pizzas for a meal. It saves a lot of time if you have bases ready. All you have to do is to spread sauce and toppings of choice and bake for another 8-10 minutes.


Multigrain Crackers are soft and cheesy. The crackers make a hearty and healthy snack





Snacking has got a bad reputation, thanks to our tendency to choose empty calorie-laden snack food from the market to ease in between meals hunger.

However, when stomach growls with hunger and the next meal is hours away, healthy snacking holds off hunger and keeps the energy levels high. A healthy snack should have enough whole grains, fibre and proteins to keep you satiated but not becomes a meal.

Yesterday was a cloudy day. A warm breeze blew across the valley howling and growling and sweeping away all the fallen leaves. 


It was amusing to watch a babbler trying to balance on a branch shaking vigorously.  


Far away on a Sagwan tree, a hornbill let out loud calls.  

Our last batch of crackers was baking in the oven and we prayed that the storm should subside or else the power supply would go. Yes, we still have power cuts and we don’t have an alternative supply in case of one. This is the thrill of living in a remote village. We pray to God for small things and feel the prayers answered. This time too, we escaped the power cut and our cheesy crackers baked to perfection.  We thanked God as we gorged on the crisp crackers with tea.


These are multigrain crackers. All the leftover flours collected in corners of small packets were used in the recipe. Oats make crackers soft. Millets add a lovely flavour.  Cheese does the magic and kids love it.



Multigrain Cheese Crackers

Ingredients

  • ½ cup ragi flour
  • ½ cup oatmeal
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter / clarified butter (ghee)
  • 2 cubes cheddar cheese
  • Water

Instructions

  1. Whisk together four ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. If you do not have oatmeal, just pulse in a mixer/grinder oats to get a fine powder.
  3. Cut butter into small cubes. Grate cheese or cut into small cubes. Add to the dry ingredients. Mix well with hands to get a mixture that looks like bread crumbs.
  4. Add just enough water to the mixture and mix to get a firm dough.  Cover and keep for 10 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
  6. Cut the dough into two pieces.
  7. Roll one piece between two parchment sheets. Roll out evenly and roll out thin. Cut into small squares or into any shape of choice.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes or until the colour begins to change. Be very watchful after 15 minutes as the colour of the crackers is already brown due to millets.
  9. Remove from the oven and keep to cool.
  10. Repeat with the second piece.
  11. Store the baked crackers in an airtight container.




German Osterbrot Easter Bread is filled with black currants, golden raisins, almonds and citrus peels. It is sweet, soft and has a cakey texture. The hot loaf is brushed with apricot jam and sprinkled with almond slivers.



Finally, Spring is in the air. Warmer days and cold nights, clear skies and bright mornings. A fragrant breeze carries the delicate aroma of the inflorescence from the wild. Tiny buds of wildflowers are excited to open up, dew perched on the arms of the new blades of grass shine like diamonds in the rays of the morning Sun.



A Purple sunbird pokes its bill into the yellow trumpet.


She lets out sonorous “cheeps” in between.


 A gentle breeze cradles a Myna on the Bougainvillea branches.
Everything is so fresh, so new and so bright. It is like a new beginning.
Our Sunday morning is generally dedicated to baking and kids love to participate in the task. Black currants have been washed clean and soaked to plump up. Almonds have been chopped. A German Easter Bread is being baked.



 We had a lot of homemade candied peels and the complete batch of peels had been chopped fine. Peels add such robust flavor to sweetbreads.  The dough has been sitting in the warm corner of the balcony. After the first rise, it is punched and black currants, almonds and peels are added. The second rise happens faster and after a cross has been scored on the surface, the bread goes into the oven. The sweet aroma wafts through as the bread turns plump and golden.


German Easter bread is usually shaped like a boule and scored with a cross. It is filled with black currants, golden raisins, almonds and citrus peel. It is a sweet and flavourful bread with a cakey texture.


The bread is glazed with apricot jam as soon as it comes out of the oven and is sprinkled with slivered almonds.



I had a jar of homemade apricot jam made last year. We brushed the hot loaf liberally with the jam.


German Osterbrot Easter Bread 

Ingredients

Sponge

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon instant dry yeast
  • 2/3 cup milk (room temperature)

Dough

  • 1 ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons unrefined sugar (powdered)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon instant dry yeast
  • 4 tablespoons butter (room temperature)
  • 4 tablespoon orange zest/lemon zest or candied citrus peel chopped
  • 4 – 5 tablespoons warm water
  • ¼ cup black currants
  • ¼ cup golden raisins
  • ¼ cup chopped almonds
  • 2 tablespoons candied cherries for decoration (optional)

Instructions

  1. Wash black currants and raisins. Soak them in water to plump up (optional).  Keep aside.
  2. Soak almonds in hot water for 10 minutes. Remove skin and chop them.
  3. Mix all the ingredients for the sponge. Knead for 3-4 minutes. Bring the dough together into a ball. Cover and keep for 2 hours in a warm place or until puffy.
  4. In another large bowl take the sponge, flour, yeast, salt and sugar. Add 2 tablespoons of warm water and mix well till all the ingredients are incorporated. Let it rest for 15 minutes.
  5. Add butter into the dough and knead for 5-6 minutes. The dough will become soft smooth and satiny in the last stages of kneading. Knead for another 2-3 minutes and bring it together as a loose ball. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes.
  6. Now punch and add black currants, raisins, almonds and zest. Shape the dough into a boule (round loaf). Stretch the top and pull it down towards the bottom. Repeat the process to get a boule with a tight surface. Transfer it to a baking sheet lined with parchment sheet.
  7. Cover and leave it to rise for 45-60 minutes or until double in size.
  8. In the last stages of the second rise, preheat oven to 180 degrees C.  Score a cross on the loaf with a sharp blade. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the top turns golden brown.
  9. Brush hot loaf with apricot jam and sprinkle almond slivers. You may drizzle some glaze made with icing sugar and sprinkle some candied cherries.
  10. Slice when cold.
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. You can see all our lovely bread by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated after each event on the Bread Bakers home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. This month Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla has selected Easter breads from around the world as our theme.


She wrote: "We're posting after the actual holiday. I know. However, as everyone is home, sheltered-in-place to help flatten the coronavirus curve, maybe people are delaying Easter celebrations with friends and family. I know I am!"
If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send an email with your blog URL to Stacy at [email protected]

You’ll love the Easter Breads baked by our members





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