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. 🙂
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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Short Bread Cookies

This is one of the most easiest recipes I came across, easy to remember and very quick to cook. Simple ingredients but the result tastes awesome. When I was kid I was always eager to open my tiffin box during lunch time in school. My mother always used to pack some surprise goodies in my tiffin box (I have somewhat followed my mother’s tradition and kids love surprises in their lunch boxes). Shortbread cookies was one of them. There was a bakery shop near our house who used to make yummy treats like this. This shortbread recipe reminds me of that place.

Short Bread Cookies

Short Bread Cookies

I got this wonderful recipe from my fellow blogger Kenneth Goh:
http://kwgls.wordpress.com/2013/08/30/one-two-three-lets-start-making-traditional-short-bread-biscuits/

Wonderful recipe and easy step by step instructions. Thanks for the recipe!

My only change in this recipe is that I have used whole wheat flour instead of white flour. And it came out just as good and tasty. I might pack these in my daughter’s lunchbox tomorrow as a surprise 🙂

Ingredients:
50 gms sugar (I measured first and then ground it into fine powder)
100 gms unsalted melted butter (approx 1 stick)
150 gms whole wheat flour
1 tsp vanilla essence

Method:
Preheat oven at 350 degrees F.
Mix all the ingredients and make a soft dough.
Roll it to 1cm thick. Cut into the desired shapes. Pierce lightly with a fork.
Transfer cookies in the baking tray at bake them for 12 – 15 mins.

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. 🙂 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.

Aam Panna-Raw Mango Juice

 

Summer is here!

Aam Panna/ Raw Mango Juice is a very popular drink in India during summer. It is a great summer cooler to beat the scorching heat. It also has a beneficial remedy in dehydration and heat stroke. I remember when I was a kid and used to come from school on a sunny afternoon, my mother used to give me this flavorful juice. This is my mom’s recipe, but I made it in an easy way.

raw mango juice

Ingredients:

1 large Green Raw Mango

1/3 cup Sugar (you will need more sugar if the mango is too sour, it also depends how tangy you would like it)

salt to taste

2 cups Water

2 tsp lemon juice (if the mango is not sour)

Method:

Peel the mango. De-seed and cut it into pieces.

raw mango

raw mango
raw mango

In a pot, add water and mango pieces. Put it on the stove to boil.

raw mango

Boil it for 15-20 mins, it is done when it pierces easily. Switch off the gas. Let it cool down.

raw mango

Add sugar, salt, and the boiled mango pieces along with the water and blend.

raw mango

If the mixture is too thick you can add 1/4 cup water. It should not be too watery.

raw mango

Adjust the sugar and salt according to your taste. If it is not too tangy you can add lemon juice too. The juice should tastes sweet and tangy. 🙂

Chill before serving. Enjoy.

raw mango juice

 

 

 

Nutritious Wheat Berries Pilaf

Washington D.C. will always remain a monumental city for me. I never get enough with each visit and always look forward to returning. Last time we traveled to D.C for my daughter’s college tours. On one of our free days, we went to see the National Gallery of Art. At the Gallery’s cafeteria, I tried a very delicious wheat berries salad. It reminded me of a similar berry dish my mother used to make, but it used to be sweet. Wheat berries are very adaptable grains and can be versatile to use in any cuisine. Wheat berries are also full of protein and fiber. They have a chewy texture and a nutty flavor. I mostly get wheat berries from Indian stores but I recently have also seen them in organic and health stores.

erinkon

 

I always pre soak the berries overnight for easy digestion but it is not necessary. 

Ingredients:

1 cup Wheat berries/Einkorn

3 1/2 cup Water

1 Tbl sp Butter/oil/Ghee

1 small chopped red onion

1 or 2 chopped small green chili

1/2 inch crushed ginger

1/4 cup chopped carrot

1/4 cup chopped red or green bell pepper

salt to taste

2 tsp lemon juice

1/4 cup cilantro( optional)

Method:

To pre soak is optional.

Boil the water. When it is full boil, add the wheat berries and salt. Reduce the flame to medium low. Cover the lid and let it cook for 30-35 mins. Stir occasionally. After 30 mins check the grains, it should press when pressed with fingers. It should be chewy. If it is hard then let it cook for another 5-10 mins. If needed, add water too. After it is cooked drain the water. In another saute pan heat butter/oil/ghee. Add chopped onion, chili and ginger, then saute for 2 mins till the onion is loose. Add chopped vegetables and saute for another 2- 4 mins. When the vegetables are little tender add the cooked berries and salt and mix properly. Just before turning off the gas add lemon juice and cilantro. If needed adjust the seasoning. You can add black pepper too. Serve.

Cooked wheat berries can be refrigerated for 5-6 days.