Maybe because during that period I wasn't as familiar with non-veg food as I am now or maybe it was the lack of cleanliness;it was a never-go-even-if-you're-dying place for me.Of course,when I had fresh and delicious food packed in a dabba from home,there was no need to as well.
Things changed when I came to Chennai and did a regular course in one of the colleges here.Getting up in an ungodly hour to make breakfast and pack lunch and hurry to the bus stop made me very receptive towards the canteen for those days when I woke up late or couldn't find time to eat breakfast at home.
Snack time between classes always meant a visit to the makeshift canteen.Depending on the time of the day we had an option of having Poori-bhaji,idli-sambhar and bread-sandwich.If nothing else there was this delicious and filling Dilkush Buns.Filled with sweetened coconut and tutti frutti,it was a hearty dessert-meal.I don't remember having this elsewhere and even now sometimes crave for it.
When we made Hokkaido Bread for WKtB,I decided to try out this bread after all.The bread rolls were soft and pillowy and I felt it would make for a perfect Dilkush and undoubtedly they were!Don't go by the lengthy process,it really is a wonderful bread to bake.
Whisk together lightly the flour, water and milk in a saucepan until smooth and there are no lumps. Place the saucepan on the stove, and over medium heat, let the roux cook till it starts thickening. Keep stirring/ whisking constantly so no lumps form and the roux is smooth.
If you have a thermometer, cook the roux/ tangzhong till it reaches 65C (150F) and take it off the heat. If like me, you don’t have a thermometer, then watch the roux/ tangzhong until you start seeing “lines” forming in the roux/ tangzhong as you whisk/ stir it. Take the pan off the heat at this point.
Put the flour, salt, sugar,
powdered milk and instant yeast in the processor bowl and pulse a couple of times to mix.
In another small bowl mix the milk, cream and Tangzhong till smooth and add to the processor bowl.
Run on slow speed until the dough comes together. Now add the butter and process till you have a smooth and elastic dough which is just short of sticky.
Form the dough into a ball and place it in a well-oiled bowl turning it so it is well coated. Cover with a towel, and let the dough rise for about 45 minutes or till almost double in volume.
Place the dough on your working surface. You don’t need flour to work or shape this dough. This recipe makes enough dough to make one loaf (9” by 5” tin), 2 small loaves (6” by 4” tins) or 1 small loaf (6” by 4”) and 6 small rolls (muffin tins). Depending on what you are making, divide your dough. If you are making 1 loaf, divide your dough in 3 equal pieces. If you are making two smaller loaves, divide your dough into 6 equal pieces.
In a pan add ghee and saute grated coconut and sugar till light brown.
Mix in the tutti frutti and keep aside.
Roll out each portion of the dough with a rolling pin into an oval shape, about 1/8” thick. Take one end of the dough from the shorter side of the oval and fold it to the middle of the oval. Take the other end and fold so it slightly overlaps the other fold.
Carefully brush the tops of the rolls and the loaf with milk (or cream) and bake them at 170C (325F) for about 20 to 30 minutes till they are done (if you tap them they’ll sound hollow) and beautifully browned on top. Let them cool in the tins for about 5 minutes and then unmould and transfer to a rack till slightly warm or cool.
I'd highly recommend this bread to everyone who think bread baking is not as easy as it seems to be.Many a times,I've been disheartened too-sometimes the yeast was faulty,sometimes the recipe was faulty or sometimes,I might have done something wrong.This recipe is the answer-soft,pillowy and spongy,bread which you thought you only got in bakeries can now be made at home and with an almost fool-proof recipe.