Easy Crusty Baguette

After a long tiring weekend, my family just wanted to have light dinner and I also didn’t want to cook. So I thought of making vegetable soup and some bread to go along with it. A very hassle free recipe which gives a soft chewy baguette in just two hours. No need to pay attention or need to knead several times. If you have stand mixer then the work will be done easier and if not then kiss your magic hand. ūüôā
A very easy and quick recipe for Baguette.
Baguette

Ingredients:
1 cup+ 1 Tblsp whole wheat flour
1/2 cup bread flour
3/4 tsp active dry yeast
3/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup lukewarm water(110F)
1/2 tsp sugar
2 tsp garlic powder
1 Tblsp dried rosemary

Method:
In a stand mixer bowl pour yeast, water and sugar and let it ferment for five minutes.
After five minutes add rest of the ingredients. Attach dough hook and knead for five minutes. The dough should be soft and pliable.
Cover the bowl with cling wrap and keep it in a warm place for 40- 50 mins to rise.
After 45 mins punch down the dough. Place the dough on the floured board and shape into a loaf. Cover the loaf with a towel. At the same time preheat the oven at 450 degrees F. While the oven is getting ready, the dough will be set for second rise.
When the oven is ready slash two cuts on the dough with a knife. Mist some water on the dough. Slide the dough into the the baking pan. Spray mist occasionally. Bake for 20- 22 mins until golden and sounds hollow when knocked.
Cool the baguette on cooling rack. After 10 mins slice the baguette diagonally.

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Home Made Bagels

When I came to US I first got the taste of bagels. No shame to admit that bagel was totally new to me. I just loved it and literally eating everyday. And with the veggie cream cheese…Yum. I was eating so frequently until I learnt that one bagel has 67gms of carbohydrates and with cream cheese. Wow…too many calories. OMG!!! is it like four slices of bread in one go? This is too much, I need to stop. But the taste wouldn’t leave me. With many trial and error now I make wonderful, tasty and healthy bagels in my own kitchen. And the approval stamp came from my kids.They just love them.

Home Made Bagels
My recipe is as follows…

Ingredients:
3 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup bread flour
1 Tblsp molasses/sugar( i use molasses)
1 Tblsp oil
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1 1/2 cup water ( 80-85 degree F)

For boiling bagels:
6 cups water
2 Tblsp molasses/sugar
1 tsp baking soda

For sprinkles:
2-3 Tblsp mixed seeds( caraway, sesame, dill, black poppy)

Method:
I use stand mixer to knead. It saves lots of time.
In a separate beaker mix yeast, sugar/ molasses and lukewarm water.Let it stand for 10 mins to ferment.
Mix all the dry ingredients in a stand mixer bowl. After 10 mins pour the fermented water into the bowl and knead for 3-4 mins. Make sure every bit of the flour has been incorporated. Cover the bowl with cling wrap and place it in a warm place for it to rise. After two hrs the dough will be double in amount. Pour the dough on floured surface. Start kneading it by turning into a ball from the edges. Do not put pressure. Just gently form into a ball. Divide the dough into 6-8 balls equally. Shape the balls and cover them with damp kitchen towel for another 20 mins for the second rise.
At the same time preheat the oven at 500 deg F for 25 mins. Place the baking sheet/ stone in the middle rack.
When you have about 10 mins left for the preheat, boil a pot of water for boiling bagels
When the water starts boiling turn the gas to medium heat. Add sugar and baking soda.
Punch 2 cm diameter holes in the middle of the bagels with your index finger stretching outwards. Drop bagels one at a time and cook one side for 1 minute and then flip the bagel and cook the other side for 30 secs. Repeat the same with the other bagels. Place all the cooked bagel on the floured parchment paper or towel. Sprinkle the seeds on the bagels.
When the oven is ready transfer the bagels to the baking stone or sheet with the help of the pizza peeler or wide mouth spatula. After 5 mins turn down the oven temperature to 480 degrees. Bake bagels for 20-25 mins till they are light golden brown.
Cool them for 15-20 mins before slicing. Serve with cream cheese/butter/jam.

Minty Mint Chutney

We Indians love all kinds of chutneys. Chutneys can be made with different herbs (like coriander or mint) or vegetables. It is an integral part of our meal. Back in India my grandmother and my mother used to grind herbs and vegetables on a flat stone mortar with a rolling pestle. And with all the spices added in the paste.Yum..an impeccable taste it used to be. The taste still lingers. ūüôā Chutneys are so versatile, you can use them in any cuisine. Use it boldly and freely on salads, subs, marination, tortillas, sandwiches even on pizza and quesadilla, etc. My husband LOVES to eat it on pizza.

There are many ways to make Mint Chutney.You can also mix some coriander leaves. Some recipe also calls for yogurt, but the shelf  life is not good. But when serving it, you can add some yogurt. Yogurt makes chutney creamy and shiny. In my recipe I have added some roasted Bengal gram lentils (from Indian store) but it can easily be replace by roasted peanuts.

Roasted Bengal gram lentils

Mint Chutney

Ingedients:
1 1/2 cup Mint leaves
2 Tblsp Roasted Bengal gram lentils OR Roasted peanuts
2-3 Small green chili(more or less)
1 tsp Sugar
1 inch Ginger
1 Tblsp lemon juice or more for more tanginess
2 tsp sunflower oil
1/4 cup cold water( more if needed to grind)
salt to taste

Method:

Mix all the ingredients and grind together to a fine paste. If needed adjust the seasoning with lemon, salt, or sugar.

I have used a mortar and pestle to grind it. It gives a coarse texture which I love a lot personally. It is great as a spread on sandwiches.

Roasted Bengal gram lentils

Roasted Bengal gram lentils

Mint Chutney

You can also grind it in a blender for a smooth texture. Both taste good.
Store it in an air tight glass jar or in a ceramic jar in a refrigerator. Do not store it in any metal or plastic containers or else the chutney will spoil. It will stay good for a week . And if stored in a freezer it will stay good for a month.

Aside

Easy Cinnamon Raisin Bread

I love baking breads and its smell all over my home. It is so satisfying when I feed my hungry kids fresh bread when they come from school. Cinnamon raisin is one of their favorite. I am sharing a very easy and hassle free recipe. It tastes equally yummy, soft and moist.

raisin bread toast
raisin bread

Ingredients:

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup bread flour
2 Tblsp oil
1 tsp active dry yeast
1 1/2 Tblsp molasses/sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon powder( add a tsp more for extra flavor)
1 tsp white vinegar
1 1/4 cup lukewarm water(80-95 degree F)

Method:
If you have a Bread machine, follow the machine instructions and bake accordingly. The recipe makes one medium size bread.

By Hand:
Microwave raisins in 2 Tbls of water for 30-45 secs. The raisins will be plump and soft. Drain the water.
Mix all the dry ingredient except yeast.
Pour the water in a stand mixer bowl and sprinkle yeast and keep it stand for 10- 15 mins until the yeast has dissolved. Add oil, vinegar and molasses and stir.
Add all the dry ingredients to the water and stir them to combine. It will be a soggy dough but no worries. The flour will absorb water eventually. Let stand for 20-25 minutes.
After 25 mins use the dough hook to a mixer. Add raisins and knead the dough for at least 9-10 mins. If the dough is too sticky you can add lillte bit of extra flour. When the dough is ready it will be smooth and not soggy.

Alternatively, if kneading by hand, oil your hand. Push the dough forward and then fold the sides and tuck below.Knead like this for 5 mins. The dough will be sticky so extra flour will be needed.When it is smooth and not sticking dough will be ready.
Make a ball of dough and coat with oil. Also oil the bowl and keep the dough into a bowl. Cover the bowl and rest in a warm place until the dough doubles for about 90 mins.
Sprinkle little flour on counter and knead again slowly by pushing inwards from the sides. Roll it into a loaf. Oil the baking pan. Transfer the loaf into the pan.
Rest it for 40 mins for second time. When 20 mins of resting time passed , turn on the oven for 400 degrees to preheat. Brush lightly with oil. When the oven is ready turn down the temperature to 375 degrees. Bake for 30-35 mins in the middle rack. When the loaf sounds hollow when knocked, it’s done.

Let it cool in pan for 2 mins and then remove. It must be cooled completely before slicing.

Artisan Bread- Boule

Whenever I pass any bakery the aromatic smell of baked good tempts me to buy them. But instead of buying, I make them. I got this wonderful book, The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. They have some wonderful simple recipes with which I have made numerous loaves. And the outcome is always as good as the bakeries (sometimes better!).Image

I am including the link. It has the master recipe which I have followed.¬†The original recipe doesn’t have sugar but I always add a tablespoon of sweetener(honey/molasses) to my breads.

http://www.artisanbreadinfive.com/2010/02/09/back-to-basics-tips-and-techniques-to-create-a-great-loaf-in-5-minutes-a-day

 

Breaking Bread “Asian Sesame Ginger Bread”

I have been lactose intolerant for last five years and since then I have been experimenting a lot with my food. I am a vegetarian but now my lifestyle is more Vegan-ish. Bread is one of our household’s staple foods. After becoming lactose free, it was very hard to get dairy free bread at the markets. But I did get it in some organic or health stores but they were either too expensive or loaded with too many additives and chemicals. So I took on baking my own bread. Trust me, baking your bread is just simply marvelous and very comforting. I also own a bread maker which has saved my time. I have made countless loaves- ¬†at your own baking station your imagination goes wild. You invent new creations every time. Most importantly, you know what ingredients you are using.
Today I am sharing my one of my creations- Asian Sesame Ginger Bread

ImageImageImage

Ingredients:

3 cups Whole wheat flour (king arthur flour) + (additional flour for kneading if you are not using bread machine)
1 1/2 Tblsp Molasses
1 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
2 Tblsp Oil( i used sesame for flavor but not necessary)
2 tsp white vinegar
2 tsp good Soy sauce
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp ginger powder
2 tsp toasted sesame seed
1 tsp toasted black sesame seed (optional)
1/8 cup dehydrated onion
2 Tblsp dry parsely
2 tsp red chili flakes
1 1/4 cup + 2 Tblsp lukewarm water ( 80-95 deg)

Method:
If you have a Bread machine you can use the machine manual and bake accordingly. The recipe makes one medium size bread.
By Hand:
Mix all the dry ingredient except yeast.
Pour the water in a stand mixer bowl and sprinkle yeast and keep it stand for 10- 15 mins until the yeast has dissolved. Add oil, vinegar and molasses and stir.
Add all the dry ingredients to the water and stir them to combine. It will be a soggy dough but no worries. The flour will absorb water eventually. Let stand for 20-25 minutes.
After 25 mins use the dough hook to a mixer and knead the dough for at least 9-10 mins. If the dough is too sticky you can add lillte bit of extra flour. When the dough is ready it will be smooth and not soggy.¬†P.S: Whole wheat dough¬†won’t feel as elastic as¬†white flour dough.
Alternatively, if kneading by hand, push the dough forward and then fold the sides and tuck below.Knead like this for 5 mins. The dough will be sticky so extra flour will be needed.When it is smooth and not sticking dough will be ready.
Make a ball of dough and coat with oil. Also oil the bowl and keep the dough into a bowl. Cover the bowl and rest in a warm place until the dough doubles for about 90 mins.
Sprinkle little flour on counter and knead again slowly by pushing inwards from the sides. Roll it into a loaf. Oil the baking pan. Transfer the loaf into the pan. Rest it for 40 mins for second time. When 20 mins of resting time passed , turn on the oven for 400 degrees to preheat. Slash the loaf and brush lightly with oil. When the oven is ready turn down the temperature to 375 degrees. Bake for 30-35 mins in the middle rack. When the loaf sounds hollow when knocked, it’s done. Let it cool in pan for 2 mins and then remove. It must be cooled completely before slicing.
P.S: Wholewheat bread tends to be dense and crumbly but tastes better than white bread.

Scrumptious Vegan Banana Bread

A very easy vegan/dairy free recipe.

 

Image

Ingredients:

3 ripe bananas

1 cup light/dark brown sugar

 1 1/2 cup wholewheat flour

1/2 cup unflavored oil(sunflower/safflower/vegetable)

1 Tblsp Flax seed meal blended with 3 Tblsp of  lukewarm water

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp allspice powder

1 tsp lemon juice

Method:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. 

Mash bananas properly. Sieve all the dry ingredients. In another bowl blend all the wet ingredients and then add all the dry ingredients. Gently fold the batter.If the batter seems too dry, you can add 2-3 tsp of water. 

Bake it in the prepared pan for 50 -60 mins. Check the bread by inserting toothpick, if the toothpick comes clean then it is done. If not then bake for another 5 mins. 

Cool and serve.