Whole Wheat Coconut Muffins are coconutty and delicious and make a great accompaniment to a cup of tea. Chocolate adds a lovely twist to the muffins.


Our hills abound in autumn vibes at this time of the year. The colours, flavours, fragrances, flowers, bees and butterflies make the days so beautiful and mesmerizing and the warmth of the Sun is soothing and comforting.




Sitting on the carpet of green and gazing at the endless valley is a monotony we love. Sometimes, doing nothing is also relaxing and rejuvenating. Himalayas form a spectacular backdrop against the azure sky and birds play some soulful music. We hear the ripe pears falling with a thud and see some Yellow-throated Martens feasting on them. 




A barbet calls loud and clear from some nearby tree. A Rufous Treepie swoops down, catching the insects midair.



There is some kind of placidity and mirth that permeates the soul. Autumn is really delicious. When the heart is so happy and the soul so contended, you want to add more joy to your day and bake something special. Our most special bakes are rich in the purity of ingredients. It is the guilt-free indulgence that makes them special. 



We baked Eggless wholegrain coconut chocolate cupcakes.



 Chocolate always makes everything better, so a dark chocolate piece was placed atop every muffin before baking. The flavor of coconut and the chocolate was simply divine.




Whole Wheat Coconut Muffins

 Ingredients

  • 1 ¼ cup whole wheat flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/3 cup thick curd (not runny)
  • ¼ cup oil
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup to 1 ¼ cup unrefined sugar
  • ¼ cup desiccated coconut
  • ½ cup warm milk 
  • 12 pieces of dark chocolate

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add desiccated coconut. Keep aside.
  3. In another deep bowl, whisk curd until smooth.
  4. Add oil, sugar and vanilla extract.
  5. Add dry ingredients in three shifts adding warm milk after each addition.
  6. If the batter feels dry, add more milk. The batter should not be too dry or runny.
  7. Pour into the 12 cupcake moulds filling halfway through. The moulds should not be more than 2/3  full.
  8. Place a piece of dark chocolate on top of the batter in each mould.
  9. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until the top of the cupcakes turn golden.
  10. Remove the muffins from the oven after 10 minutes.
  11. Remove from the moulds when cold.

 

 Japanese Milk Bread Buns are soft and sweet buns with spicy tones of ground cinnamon and citrusy notes of the candied orange peels. Buns taste amazing with butter.



Autumn is about blue skies, a million wild cosmoses, wild daisies, chrysanthemums, warm hugs of the Sun, cool breeze, colourful butterflies and all that makes the heart joyful and soul contented. Crisp weather, gorgeous scenery and tranquillity, colours of Autumn lift your spirits.




Fog tinted trees stand in the forest. Dew makes the leaves studded with pearls, and the drops keep rolling down from the leaves making sonorous notes as they fall on the vegetation below.  Mornings are misty, cold with the snow-capped peaks shining on the horizon.



Pear trees are shedding leaves, a wee bit early, as the ripe pears are still hanging on the bare branches. Birds keep pecking the juicy fruit. A loud thud every now and then indicates that a ripe pear has fallen down. Pears get camouflaged in the grass and kids love to spot them and get home the trophy. Sliced pears smeared with chilli garlic salt taste lovely.


Wedge Tailed Green Pigeons visit the pear tree quite often especially during morning hours and seem to love perching on the branches after having their fill of the sweet fruit.

As we enter the late autumn, our baking timetable changes and the bakes have to be done with baking before the afternoon. The Sun is warmest and makes the dough rise like magic. Yesterday, we baked Japanese Milk Bread Buns using the Tangzhong technique.


This is the Asian bread technique that has origins in Japan’s Yukone (or Yudane) and was popularized across Asia by Taiwanese cookbook author Yvonne Chen. Using Tangzhong in bread makes them soft, retains moisture, bread does not get crumbly after a few days and it also increases the shelf life.




A small part of the yeast bread recipe’s flour and liquid is cooked into a slurry. This is then added to the remaining ingredients. Typically, tangzhong calls for using 6% of the flour and 45% of the liquid in the slurry. Cooking the slurry into a paste pre-gelatinizes the starches in the flour. This means that the dough will now absorb more water. Tangzhong, distributes itself throughout the dough during kneading. It keeps the bread soft and fresh.

We made regular bread rolls with a teaspoon of ground cinnamon and finely chopped homemade candied orange peels. Sweet buns with spicy tones of ground cinnamon and citrusy notes of the peels made it really delicious. Buns taste amazing with butter.




Japanese Milk Bread Buns

Ingredients

Tangzhong

  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • Dough
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons milk powder
  • ¼ cup unrefined sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast
  • ½ -3/4 cup warm milk
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon chopped candied orange peels

Instructions

  1. To make the tangzhong, mix all the ingredients in a saucepan. Make sure there are no lumps.
  2. Cook on low heat whisking constantly. Cook till the mixture is thick and the whisk leaves lines on the pan. Let tangzhong cool.
  3. For dough, mix all the ingredients except candied peels and knead a soft and elastic dough. Start kneading with ½ cup milk and add more only if needed.
  4. Shape the dough into a ball and transfer to a greased bowl. Turn around so that it is evenly coated with oil. Cover and keep in a dry warm place to rise for 60-90 minutes or until almost double.
  5. Deflate the dough and sprinkle chopped candied peels evenly on the dough. Let dough rest for 20 minutes.
  6. Grease one 9 inch round cake pan.
  7. Divide into 10 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball. Arrange the rolls in the pan. Cover and let the rolls rise for 40-60 minutes or until puffy.
  8. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees C for 20-25 minutes.
  9. Remove the rolls from the oven. Let them cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Transfer to the rack to cool completely.
Linking to  #BreadBakers

The theme for the event this month is baking with Tangzhong. Our host this month is Karen from Karen's Kitchen Stories. Her blog has an amazing collection of breads.











·                Easy Cinnamon Rolls from The Wimpy Vegetarian

·                Eggless Nasturtium Greens Sandwich Bread (Tangzhong Method) from Cook with Renu

·                Hokkaido Hot Dog Buns from Palatable Pastime

·                Japanese Chocolate Milk Bread from Passion Kneaded

·                Japanese Milk Bread Buns from Ambrosia

·                Japanese Milk Bread Rolls from A Day in the Life on the Farm

·                Pineapple Buns (Bolo Bao) from Karen's Kitchen Stories

·                Sourdough Pumpkin Babka from Zesty South Indian Kitchen

·                Tangzhong Kolaches from A Messy Kitchen

·                Tangzhong Loaf With Cinnamon Sugar Topping from Sneha's Recipe

·                Tangzhong Pumpkin Cinnamon Buns from Magical Ingredients

·                Tangzhong Sourdough Bread from Food Lust People Love

 


#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.



 Dalgona Coffee Vanilla Cupcakes have a delicious combination of coffee and vanilla. The cupcakes are moist and delish and make a great teatime treat. 


The Sun rises early in the hills. As it climbs up, the East part of the hill gets illuminated with its rays. Every tree wears gold and the Poplar tree becomes a giant chandelier as its leaves twist and twirl in the morning breeze. A great Barbet screams and dives down into the valley and disappears into the other side of the hill where the Sun has not yet reached and is dark, grey and cold.

Our morning walk comes to an end as we reach the outer periphery of our fields. A pair of Striated Laughing Thrush are huddled together on a branch of the pear tree.  The pair croons softly and sweetly.




Back home, daily chores begin. An energizing morning walk gives a good start to the day. In the second half, we made Dalgona coffee and vanilla cupcakes.




Dalgona coffee took the food world by storm last year. Our favourite beaten coffee got so much attention and popularity that every coffee lover made it hot or cold or used it in some avatar.




We used it in our favourite Eggless  Vanilla Cupcakes.

The cupcakes get a brown coffee top that goes very well with vanilla.




 Dalgona Coffee And Vanilla Cupcakes (Vegan)

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons coffee
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 1-1 ½ teaspoons water
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 cup unrefined sugar
  • 1 cup plant-based milk (room temperature) or milk for a non vegan version
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider / white vinegar
  • 1/3 cup neutral oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. In a large mug, take the coffee powder, sugar and add water. Beat till creamy, pale and thick. Keep aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients. Keep aside.
  3. In another large bowl, take milk, add vinegar. Stir and keep for 5-8 minutes.
  4. Add oil and vanilla extract to this mixture and mix well.
  5. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Oil one 12 cavity cupcake tray or line them with paper liners. Or, take 12 silicone cupcake moulds.
  6. Add the dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until well incorporated.
  7. Fill up ½ of the prepared cupcake moulds with the batter.
  8. Now add beaten coffee to the remaining batter. Mix well to get a batter of uniform consistency.
  9. Add the coffee batter on top filling the mould to ¾ of its capacity. We have vanilla batter in the bottom and coffee batter on top.
  10. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
  11. Cool in the rack. 

 Spicy Onion Buns are a perfect bake for cold rainy days. Warm garlicky buns with spicy tones taste heavenly with just butter. Spicy Onion Buns make a great accompaniment to a cup of hot soup



Our rendezvous with clouds, fog, rain and rainbow continues for the third consecutive month. Rain falling in a rhythm on soft grass, on green ferns, through leaves, on the forest, on the pond, on the roof feels like a lullaby. It is monotonous, sonorous and soothing. Rain is a balm for the soul.




Clouds of myriad hues look like blotches of paint on the sky, seeping into each other, creating shades and tints that are magical. Sometimes, the Sun peeps through the gaps in the clouds, filling up a patch of the forest in chequered light.  A huge rainbow after a downpour definitely becomes a show stopper making us run out with our cameras to capture its beauty. Monsoon is magical and mesmerizing.




On wet and cold days, the heart craves to have something, spicy and savoury that would compliment a cup of hot soup. 




Spicy Onion Buns are a perfect bake for rainy days. Warm buns with spicy tones taste heavenly with butter. The buns make a great snacking option too.



One can adjust the spiciness according to preference. The buns fill up the home with a heavenly aroma while baking.




Spicy Onion Buns (Vegan)

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • ¼ cup minced onions
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 -2 tablespoons Italian spice mix
  • 1-2 teaspoons chilli flakes
  • 1 green chilli chopped finely (optional)
  • 1 ¼ cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons unrefined sugar
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 2 tablespoons plant-based milk/milk (non-vegan version)
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a wok. Add onions. Sauté until the onions turn translucent.
  2. Add minced garlic. Sauté for another 3-4 minutes. Turn off the heat.  Let the mixture cool.
  3. Whisk together flour, salt, spice mix, chilli flakes, chopped chillies in a large bowl.
  4. Add fried onions and garlic. Mix well.
  5. Add sugar to warm water. Stir. Add yeast. Stir. Cover and keep for 10 minutes or until frothy.
  6. Add this mixture to the bowl with flour mixture. Knead for 8-10 minutes to get a very smooth and soft dough. Add more water if the dough feels tight or hard.
  7. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl. Cover and keep in a warm place to rise for 1 hour.
  8. Line a baking tray with a parchment sheet. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
  9. Punch the dough and knead for 2-3 minutes. Cover and let rest for 5 minutes.
  10. Pinch out small pieces of dough and shape them into buns.
  11. Place on the baking tray keeping enough distance as the buns will expand and rise.
  12. Cover and keep in a warm place for 30-45 minutes or until double.
  13. Brush the top with milk. Sprinkle poppy seeds.
  14. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the top turns golden.
  15. Cool on the rack. Enjoy warm buns with butter.




We baked the same buns with Whole Wheat flour.




Whole Wheat Spicy buns are soft, fluffy, very flavoursome and delicious. It makes lovely snacks for kids. It is nutty, substantial and filling. It is tastier than the regular buns.





Whole Wheat Spicy Buns (Vegan)

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons oil
  • ¼ cup minced onions
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 3 ½ cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 -2 tablespoons Italian spice mix
  • 1-2 teaspoons chilli flakes
  • 1 green chilli chopped finely (optional)
  • 1 ½ - 1 ¾  cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons unrefined sugar
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 2 tablespoons plant-based milk/milk (for non vegan version)
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds


If you want really soft buns, then I recommend that you go for overnight autolyse. Mix flour and salt mentioned in the recipe, add sugar to warm and make a dough that is neither too tight nor too soft. Cover and keep in the refrigerator overnight. Take it out in the morning and let it come to room temperature. Add some drops of water to yeast to get a paste. Add to the dough. knead for 2 minutes. Now add spice mix, chilli flakes, chopped chillies and fried onions and garlic. Knead to get a smooth dough.

If you find autolyse method cumbersome, you may avoid it.

Follow the instructions as above.


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 #BreadBakers home page. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.

This month's Bread Bakers theme is Spiced Savory Breads and our host is Renu of Cook with Renu

 


Hemp and Honey bread has a beautiful nutty taste and sweetness of honey. Slices are soft and delicate. Slather the slices with butter or cheese spread and you’ll love the amalgamation of sweet, nutty, and salty tastes.



 Rains in the hills are charming. The sky becomes a canvas for the clouds to play with colours. It is about dripping leaves, the smell of the Earth, muddy puddles, earthworms, mist rolling down the hills, croaking of the frogs, screeching of the cicadas, soggy biscuits, warm quilts, and endless cups of steaming ginger tea.




In the middle of all the drama, when the Sun manages to sneak out of the clouds, we run and place our dough on the rock slab to make it rise. The dough is heavy with hemp seeds but nevertheless, it does rise. Heavenly aroma suffuses the air as the loaf rises and turns golden. We thank the skies while slicing the bread.

 


A baker must experiment. Experiments give birth to new recipes. Baking is such an engaging activity. It knocks the creative faculty of the mind, making one think out of the box,  bringing together all the ingredients to create new edible goodness.

A packet of hemp seeds at home spurred me on to try using them in our bread. Hemp grows in the hills and hemp seeds are the seeds of the hemp plant Cannabis sativa. Hemp seeds are small brown seeds rich in protein, fiber, and healthy fatty acids including omega-3s. Hemp seeds are rich in an array of vitamins and minerals.




Roast the hemp seeds until they splutter and crackle and a lovely aroma emanate. Let them cool. Grind to a fine powder. Sift to remove the hard shells. Remember, we are adding these to our whole wheat bread. Hard shells will cut the gluten network and not let the loaf rise high. Add to the dry flour.

Hemp and Honey bread has a beautiful nutty taste and sweetness of honey. Slices are soft and delicate. Slather the slices with butter or cheese spread and you’ll love the amalgamation of sweet, nutty, and salty tastes.

 


 

Hemp and Honey Whole Wheat Bread

Ingredients

  • 3 ½ cups whole wheat flour
  • ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon hemp seeds / ¼ cup hemp flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 ½- ¼ cup warm water
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons instant dry yeast
  • ¼ cup oil

Instructions

  1. Roast hemp seeds on low flame until they crackle and splutter. Keep the roasted seeds on a plate to cool. Grind into a fine powder. Sift the powder. Throw the hard shell. Measure ¼ cup.
  2. If using store-bought hemp flour, there is no need to sift as it is a fine flour.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, hemp flour, and salt.
  4. Add honey to 1 cup warm water. Stir. Add to flour mixture. Mix with hands to get a slightly wet dough. Add additional ¼ - ½ cup water if the dough is dry. By the end of mixing, there should be no dry pockets.
  5. Cover and keep for 1-3 hours.  The dough will become smooth and soft.
  6.  Sprinkle yeast and add few drops of water and knead for 8 to 10 minutes till dough becomes soft and gluten is well developed. You may take a break in between kneading. It is very important that all the ingredients are uniformly incorporated and dough becomes smooth.
  7. Drizzle oil and knead further. Stretch the sides and pull it to the center. Repeat the stretch and fold method for another 5-6 minutes. By the end of kneading the dough should feel wet, sticky, and elastic.
  8. Transfer the dough to a greased bowl. Cover and keep in the warm corner of the kitchen to rise for 1-2 hours (depending upon the warmth of the kitchen) until double in volume, puffy, and light.
  9. Grease one 8 ½ x 4 ½ inch loaf pan. Dust with flour.
  10. Punch the risen dough. Transfer the dough onto the kitchen counter generously dusted with flour. Roll out the dough into a rectangle no wider than the loaf pan you are using. Roll the dough towards you tightly. Pinch seams and sides to seal.
  11. Transfer the shaped loaf into the prepared pan. Cover and let it rise until double. Poke with finger, if the dough is firm and springs back immediately, it needs more time to rise. If the shallow impression remains, the dough is ready.
  12. By the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
  13. Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped at the bottom.
  14. Remove from the oven after 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and cool on the rack.
  15. Slice when cold.

Linking to #BreadBakers

Welcome to this month's Bread Bakers. Our host this month is Kelly, of A Messy Kitchen. 

She chose the theme, Favorite Breads.

Be sure to check out all the favourites baked this week!

BreadBakers


 

 

 

 Chewy and moist on the inside and crisp on the outside, Seeds Nuts and Oat Cookies make a healthy snack option. You'll love to take them on journeys. It's a healthy indulgence!



We made Peanut Butter at home recently. Homemade peanut butter is pure and healthy, sans additives, hydrogenated fats and flavouring agents. We love to sweeten it with Jaggery. When there is a stock, of peanut butter at home, it opens up possibilities of endless bakes. 



Have you tried my Peanut Butter Brownies yet? These are scrumptious and addictive. Peanut and chocolate always make a winning combination. You will also love Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups.

With the recent batch of peanut butter that was made, we baked Mixed Seeds Nuts Oat Cookies. There were a lot of seeds and nuts lying in the pantry. These cookies are such a delicious way of using them. Mildly sweet, chockablock with nutrition and taste, these cookies are a breeze to make. Just take out all the seeds and nuts that you have. Add them in. You can make them in different combinations of nuts and seeds retaining the measurements given.



Chewy and moist on the inside and crisp on the outside, Mixed Seeds Nuts and Oat Cookies are delicious, nutritious and substantial. Take them on journeys, picnics or enjoy them with your tea. Kids love them and it is such a healthy snacking option.


Mixed Seeds Nuts Oat Cookies (Gluten-Free)

Dry Ingredients

  • 1 cup oats
  • 3 tablespoons amaranth flour / coconut flour / oatmeal / almond meal
  • 2 tablespoons flax meal
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Wet Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 4 tablespoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons unrefined sugar
  • ¼ cup peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Add-ins

  • 2 tablespoons black currants
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cashews
  • 1 tablespoon chopped walnuts
  • 2 tablespoon dark chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven at 180 degrees C
  2. Line a baking tray with a parchment sheet.
  3. In a bowl whisk all the dry ingredients.
  4. In another large bowl whisk all the wet ingredients.
  5. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Mix well with hands. Add all the seeds, nuts and chocolate chips. Mix well.
  6. Pinch walnut-size portions of dough. Roll into a ball and then flatten in your palm.
  7. Arrange the cookies on the tray. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Turn off the oven as soon as you see the edges browning.
  8. Transfer the cookies to the cooling rack. Enjoy!

 

 

Fruity, flavourful, and mighty tasty, Peach Cobbler is the best bake that can be made with fresh ripe peaches.


With some rainy days that we had in the last weeks, summer is far from over, with some of the best weather still to come. Heaps and heaps of stone fruit from the orchard make it a delicious summer. Colourful, tasty, sweet, juicy, summer fruits get along great with sunny weather.




 Our Peaches are blushing. An early variety of peaches are ready to be harvested. A ripe peach is a treat in itself. Soft, juicy, and flavourful, Peaches make a great addition to the bakes.




We baked Peach Cobbler some time ago with the ripest peaches we could gather from the orchard. Peach cobbler has delicious fruity tones and warm notes of cinnamon. It is a great dessert. Serve it with ice cream or whipped cream. If you do not have these options, serve with warm custard. It is a burst of great taste and flavours.

 


Peach Cobbler

Ingredients

Filling

2 tablespoons granulated sugar / unrefined sugar

1 tablespoon corn flour

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

2 cups peeled and sliced peaches

1 pinch salt

Cake

  • 2 large free-range eggs
  • ¾ cup (149g) unrefined sugar
  • 3 tablespoons (43g) melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ¼ cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon (scant) salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoon unrefined sugar + 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder for sprinkling on top

Instructions

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Line the bottom and grease one 9 inch cake pan.

Filling 

 Whisk together sugar and cornflour and salt. Add peach slices. Drizzle lemon juice. Toss well. Keep aside.

Cake

  1. Whisk together eggs, sugar, melted butter, and vanilla extract. Whisk until light and fluffy. These are wet ingredients.
  2. In another bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, and salt. These are dry ingredients.
  3. Add  dry ingredients to wet in three rounds followed by milk, beginning with dry ingredients ending with milk and stirring thoroughly after each addition.
  4. Pour batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with sugar cinnamon mix.
  5. Arrange the peach slices and spoon the juice on top.
  6.  Bake the cobbler for 50 -55 minutes until the fruit is bubbling and the cake is golden.
  7. Remove the cobbler from the oven after 5-6 minutes. Remove from the pan. Let it cool.
  8. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.

 Note: I have used whole wheat flour. Feel free to swipe with 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour for a lighter crumb.

 Plum squash is tart-sweet and very fruity. It makes a refreshing summer drink



We are in Plum Heaven. Summer in the hills is about colours and flavors. It is this time of the year we desperately wait for. Our Plum trees are laden with fruit. Plums are beginning to ripen and we love to -make a daily visit to our orchard to collect the ripe ones.




Summer days tend to get quite hot in the hills. Especially the afternoons when the Sun is overhead.  Every year, when the plums ripen and it’s a hot day, we make a  big batch of Plum Squash to beat the heat. 



Plum squash is tart-sweet and very fruity. Make sure to use the ripe sweet plums for making squash. I have used unrefined sugar. You may use regular sugar. One can adjust the thickness to suit taste by adding more or less water.




Plum Squash (Vegan)

Ingredients

  • 7-8 ripe sweet plums
  • Water
  • Sugar (to taste)

Instructions

  1. Take plums in a pressure cooker. Add a glass of water. Water should be enough to cover the fruit.
  2. Cook for a whistle. Open the lid and let it cool.
  3. The plums would have become mushy. At this stage, it is very easy to remove the stones and the skin.
  4. Use hands to remove skin and stone or use a strainer. Do not squeeze or press the skins and stones too hard because the skin and the seeds have the maximum tartness.
  5. Add sugar to taste.
  6. Add water to get the consistency of choice. Do not dilute it too much.
  7. Pour into the glasses. Add ice cubes (optional). Enjoy!

Note: if you want to spice up your squash, add ¼ tsp of roasted and powdered cumin seeds and a pinch of black salt per glass.

 


 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


bread bakers logo

 

 






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


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