Category Archives: Breads and Buns

100% Whole Wheat, Eggless, Spicy Masala Buns – with Flax Seed- Sesame Seed – Mint

Baking might be an addictive affair. It is discouraging to see a flopped recipe. But, I feel, the aroma that the kitchen brings out, with baked goods, is one of the main reasons that make Baking, as addictive as it is. Why would one want to bake again and again, to make unsuccessful baking, successful, as though that is the only way to attain salvation??!!

After a change in the yeast brand, my bread/bun baking, has become better than before. I am working on making them more moist – as they turned out dry a few times. But, I assure, they taste excellent. My recent raisin bread too, turned out a bit dry. But, tasted awesome.

To tackle dryness, I have started incorporating buttermilk to buns. As such, while baking eggless goodies, I try to substitute with yoghurt. I prefer Dinner Rolls/Buns to be baked with butter. Though, quite recently, while I baked a butterless buns, (recipe from a cook-book I had), they came out really well. Shall bake it again, and confirm the recipe.

This time, I wanted to bake buns, with the excess mint leaves (I had dried indoors) and chillies and pepper…. something salt and spicy. These whole wheat buns, came out good. That’s why I couldn’t resist sharing them immediately.

100% Whole Wheat Eggless Spicy Soft Masala Buns – with Flax Seed- Sesame Seed

Ingredients

  • whole wheat flour – 300 gms (2 heaped up cups)
  • unsalted butter – 100 gms (melted and warm)
  • cane sugar – 12 gms (2 tsp)
  • powdered sea salt – 7-8 gms (1 1/2 tsp)
  • active dry yeast – 7-8 gms (2 tsp)
  • warm buttermilk – 1 cup
  • warm water – as needed to make a fine dough
  • Milk – 2 tbsp- for milk wash

For the Masala

  • flax seeds – 4 tsp
  • sesame seeds – 4 tsp (2 tsp for the powder and 2 tsp to sprinkle on top)
  • dried mint leaves – 1 1/2 cups approximately
  • dry ginger powder – 2 tsp
  • pepper corns – 2 tsp
  • red chillies – 4 no.s
  • oregano (optional) – 1 tsp

Method of Preparation

Making Spice/Masala Powder

  1. Dry roast flax seeds and sesame seeds. Roast 2 tsp of the sesame seeds and reserve the rest 2 tsp for the milk wash.

2. Dry roast, dried mint leaves – a bit of roasting helps in blending well

3. Dry roast pepper corns and red chillies (as I had some home made chilli flakes, I used it too.) 4 chillies would be needed for the recipe. Since I also used the left over chilli flakes, I took 2 red chillies

4. Dry roast oregano for a very short time – oregano is optional. I added, to boost the flavour. But, the mint and others are sufficient to punch in the flavours. I roasted it a bit, again to blend well. If you don’t have oregano, use carom seeds

5. Blend all the roasted ingredients, with dry ginger powder to a fine dry mixture.

6. The blended powder weighed approximately 42-45 gms

Making the dough

  1. In a wide bowl, add whole wheat flour, yeast, masala powder, sugar and salt
  2. As I had no doubts with my yeast, I directly added to wheat flour. Otherwise, proof yeast with warm water, to check whether it is still alive
  3. Add melted butter, which is still warm
  4. Warm the buttermilk and add to the flour mixture
  5. No cold liquids, as the yeast would become inactive
  6. Start kneading the dough, by kitchen machine or by hand
  7. Add enough warm water, if needed. My dough needed more water
  8. Knead for 10 minutes, to a soft dough

kneaded dough

9. Place in a greased bowl and close it. I don’t use cling wrap at home. So, just close with any lid, but keep it in a moist place. I always place my yeasted dough in the oven, with the light on. I also place a bowl of hot water below or beside. This helps create a warm environment, if you live in a cold place or air-conditioned environment

10. Keep the dough for 1 hour to rise or until double

doubled

11. Once doubled, knock the dough and knead for a couple of minutes

12. Grease a baking dish or tray, or place parchment paper on the baking tray

13. Make 8 equal portions and roll into fine balls

14. Place on baking tray, spaced apart

15. Keep these buns, to rise again for 30 minutes

ready to be baked

16. Preheat oven to 220°C

17. After they rise, brush the top of the buns with milk and spread sesame seeds

milk wash

18. Bake the buns in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until hard crust is formed

Remove from the oven and let them cool

buns done

Serve with the spread of choice. Tasted good with cream cheese spread and also with tangy coriander chutney.

My good bread – a success story!

 

dough and bread

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I am truly a happy home-baker today. After years of trying to bake bread that has helped my family practice yogic patience, this time my bread had the better taste of sourdough bread. It is a chunky bread, due to the whole wheat flour. I made a little compromise with 100 gms of white flour to 500 gms of whole wheat flour.

I’ve forever tried to bring in almost the same softness of white bread in my whole wheat bread, with the addition of eggs, butter, flax seeds or yoghurt. All these variants have certainly altered the texture of the bread and given unique flavors to home made 100% whole wheat bread.

A rustic bread with just 2 hours of leavening and 2 hours raising (in hot climate), has been the best ever breakfast bread that I have made. Yes, that was the best best I relished in terms of taste of rustic bread to me, but I’m not sure, it would be appreciated as a blog post. My quest for better baking, if not for the best bread has never faded. It’s still on.

But, this time I decided to become a bit more professional to strike a balance with whole wheat bread. A Big Thanks to so many bloggers out there in the world wide web, who have helped me learn so much about the process of baking bread. So, this is not my invention, but my discovery of baking good bread which has already been analayzed by so many unknown friends throughout the world.

Now, I chose to take up the two basic necessities of baking bread –
1. Patience
2. Endurance

Apart from these two – the most important techniques –
1. Giving enough time for leavening – i.e. giving enough time for the leavening agent, which is yeast to grow well. This helps in softening the bread.
2. Knead the flour well – kneading dough by hand, strengthens the gluten strands that gives bread its structure.

I came across these beautiful articles on bread making very recently –
a. http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-sourdough-bread-224367

Here, I was pleasantly struck by the intricate details.
b.

Flour, yeast, water and salt – a traditional loaf needs only four ingredients. So why are calcium propionate, amylase, chlorine dioxide and L-cysteine hydrochloride now crammed into our daily bread? Andrew Whitely, Britain’s leading organic baker, reveals how our staple foodstuff was transformed into an industrial triumph, but a nutritional and culinary disaster. http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/food-and-drink/features/the-shocking-truth-about-bread-413156.html, 

 

That was a shocking revelation of the hazards of quick leavening agents used by bakers for lessening the time spent in bread preparation. That was an eye opener for sure.

Special thanks to both the bloggers for such useful information.

I chose to try the basic bread recipe suggested by www.independent.co.uk  . A small change was made. I left the dough to raise overnight, instead of 2 hours suggested by the blog.  I think that made a lot of difference. The yeast had sufficiently grown and the bread had beautiful pores as a result.
Making Bread

 

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Ingredients

  • whole wheat flour – 500 gms
  • white flour (maida) – 100 gms
  • active dry yeast – 8 gms
  • sea salt – 5 gms
  • olive oil – just enough to grease the bowl and bread baking tray
  • warm water – 400 ml – 150 ml to soak yeast initially and extra 250 ml to knead

 

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Method of Preparation

 

1.Soak yeast in 150 ml (app. 1 cup) warm water for 10 minutes. Always do this to check for its active ability. If yeast does not grow/turn foamy in warm water, might be the yeast is not in good condition for bread baking. Do not use it.
2. Measure whole wheat flour, white flour and salt in a dry bowl.
3. Mix the foamy textured yeast water and extra warm water to the dry flours and mix with spatula.
4. Transfer to a clean surface and start kneading well with hands or kneader of a food processor for about 10-15 minutes. Kneading with machine might involve less time.
5. The dough should be moist and never dry. Add more water if needed.
6. While kneading, we can feel water getting absorbed into the dough and the dough becomes softer and stiffer. Keep scrapping off sticky dough from the surface and incorporate into the dough.
7. Grease a big bowl with olive oil and place the well kneaded dough inside.
8. Cover with a moist towel, aluminium foil or plate and place in a warm room overnight.

 

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9. The next morning you may notice the wonderful growth of yeast by raising of the dough.

 

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10. Knock the dough back to its sticky self.
11. Sprinkle little flour on a clean surface and start making a smoother dough, by folding for a few minutes – not as long as the first procedure. (search the web for ‘folding bread’ and you’d get to know the art of it)

 

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12. If you’d like to bake a single big loaf, fold into into one dough. If one prefers two smaller loaves, divide into two halves and roll into rectangulars.
13. Place the rolled bread in greased tins and let it raise for two hours.

 

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14. While the bread has doubled or raised a bit (some breads tend to raise in the oven), make slits in top and sprinkle little flour to avoid  drying of bread while baking.

 

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15. Preheat oven at 230 degrees C and place the bread tin for baking.
16. After preheated, reduce the temperature to 210 degrees C and bake for 30 – 40 minutes till the bread sounds hollow while tapped. Alter temperature according to your oven.
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17. I have had this problem of bread getting baked brown on top but the covered bottom area remains a bit doughish. I took out the almost done bread out of the tin and placed on a wire rack and let it bake for another 10 mins and it was done.

 

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18. Cool it, Cut it and enjoy it. Freshly baked bread tastes wonderful just out of the oven.

the beautiful crust..

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This one was certainly worth the effort!