Saturday, December 14, 2013

Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread ~ We Knead to Bake #10

Time flies..and how!I thought I missed baking only the whole wheat loaf,but I see I've missed the Cinnamon rolls and time's running out for this month's WKtB as well.What better way to kick start the bakes than with this good ol' sandwich loaf.I'd be lying if I told you I didn't find the steps too long.I mean,it's after all a sandwich loaf right,wrong!
Whole wheat sandwich loaf
We love our bread loaf at home.White,spongy and melt in the mouth bread from the local bakery.Whenever we've tried to switch to whole wheat bread,we've come right back to the white bread.Either the loaves are too dry and tasteless or they are just white bread in brown colour(with caramel added).Ever since I've started baking breads,the thought of baking with atta/whole wheat flour has always been there at the back of my mind.

Somehow,breads baked with atta/wwf tend to be a little dense,tasty nevertheless but for someone who's been accustomed to super soft bread made with APF all their lives,this one is a bit hard to digest(no pun intended!)
Whole wheat Sandwich Loaf
When Aparna suggested a 100% Whole wheat sandwich loaf for WKtB,I was apprehensive to try it.But when I read through the recipe,there was an option for adding 50-50 combination of whole wheat flour and all purpose flour and I knew I had to try it.The recipe intrigued me,using a soaking procedure and a Biga/Sponge which is the secret to the softness and texture of this bread.
Whole wheat Sandwich Loaf
Though the steps seem a bit daunting at first,all you require to make this bread is a little planning.Make the soaker and biga a day before you plan the bread.Rest of the procedure is simple.I used my food processor to knead the dough but you can knead it with hand as well,though I have to warn you-the dough would be a little messy to knead by hand as it is a lot stickier than regular bread dough.

My bread looks a bit flatter and wider because of the size of my loaf pan.I had initially planned to make two loaves but ended up making one big loaf.Wait for the loaf to cool down completely before slicing to get neat slices.With a chewy crust and a soft inside,this one was a successful bake.We had some plain,some sandwiched in Nutella and some toasted as well.If you are not consuming the bread immediately,keep it refrigerated.
Whole wheat Sandwich Loaf Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread - We Knead to Bake #10
Recipe source - Aparna;Original Recipe from  Peter Reinhart’s Whole Grain Breads


For The Soaker:

1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour(I used 1 cup all purpose flour and 3/4 cup whole wheat flour)
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 to 1 cup water at room temperature
1 tbsp vinegar (apple cider or plain) 

For The Biga/ Sponge:

1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour(I used 1 cup all purpose flour and 3/4 cup whole wheat flour)
1/4 tsp instant yeast
3/4 cup milk (or a little more)
1 tbsp vinegar (apple cider or plain) 

For The Final Dough:

All of the Soaker
All of the Biga/ Sponge
1 1/2 tsp Vital Wheat Gluten (optional)
1/2 to 3/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup whole wheat flour (and a few tbsp. more if required)
2 tsp instant yeast
1/8 cup oil (or melted butter if preferred)
2 tbsp honey
First make the Soaker. 
Whole wheat Sandwich Loaf Mix all of the Soaker ingredients together in a bowl until all of the flour is hydrated.Depending on the flour,you might need more than the original 3/4 cup of water suggested. So I would suggest using 3/4 cup water and then adding a little at a time, until you have the desired consistency. Your Soaker should be somewhat like reasonably firm bread dough in consistency. Cover the bowl loosely with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for 12-24 hours. 

Now make the Biga/ Sponge. 
Whole wheat Sandwich Loaf Mix all of the Biga/ Sponge in a bowl and knead together well till a soft ball forms. Again you might need more than the originally suggested 3/4 cup of liquid. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight. This will keep for up to 3 days.
Two hours before you plan to mix your dough for the bread, remove the Biga from the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature. You might find your Biga rising a little during this time. 

Divide the Biga and Soaker into small pieces (about 12 pieces each) using a sharp knife or scraper and put them in the food processor bowl (or stand mixer). You can knead this by hand too, but the dough will be tacky and a little difficult to manage. Do not be tempted to add more flour, when it is time to, than necessary.
Add the remaining ingredients for the dough, except the 1/3 cup flour) and knead for about 3 minutes.  Let it rest for 5 minutes, then add as much flour as needed (if necessary) to the dough and  knead for another 3-4 minutes. Your dough should now come away from the sides of the bowl but still be a little sticky but somewhat manageable. It’s really important to not add too much extra flour during this step. 
Whole wheat Sandwich Loaf 
Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and let rise until almost doubled (about 1 1/2 hours). Then turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and pat the dough out into a rectangle with a width that just a bit less than your loaf tin. See that you do not tear the dough. Roll it up and shape into a loaf (see the video, if you need it).

Whole wheat Sandwich Loaf Place your loaf in a greased and floured loaf tin  and let it rise until it is just higher than your loaf tin. Bake the loaf at 180C (350F) for about 40 to 45 minutes until the top is a nice deep brown colour and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped.
Whole wheat Sandwich Loaf
Let the loaf cool completely (at least for about 2 hours), before slicing it. Refrigerate the loaf if not consuming immediately.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Orange Cream Biscuits | Christmas Baking

So how are preparations going on for Christmas,have you soaked the fruits for the fruit cake?Have you decided what you're adding to the home-baked goodie boxes to gift or like me,are you still wondering where to start.I hope at least some of you are like me and yet to decide on the course of action for the upcoming festival season,it'll make me a bit relieved.
Orange Cream Biscuits
Christmas for us is indeed a festival of joy.Though we don't celebrate it in its full splendour,things like hanging the star up and baking a fruit cake and gifting goodie boxes of baked stuff among friends has become a small tradition of sorts.Just like Diwali.

This year somehow,everything is in slow motion.I am still chopping up fruits and nuts for the fruit cake,now got to soak and then bake.The blog has never seen so much of silence as it has in the last couple of months.Every post I seem to promise I'll come back with a bang but it doesn't seem to happen.
Orange Cream Biscuits
To cheer up the blog as well as my blog readers who never fail to visit the blog and leave comments,I decided to bake one of my favoritest-est biscuits-Orange Cream biscuit.I can finish up a packet of cream biscuits(only Orange)in record time and for the same reason,rarely stock it up.So when I saw the recipe for the same,it excited me.Never in my dreams I thought I could whip up cream biscuits from hey never say never again..:)

The recipe is very similar to Yo-Yo biscuits,but this one uses egg yolk for added richness.Folks like me who worry about the eggy smell,let me assure you there is none.Flavorful Orange Zest completely takes over and you can taste only Orange flavor in this and nothing else.
Orange Cream Biscuits
Orange Cream Biscuits

Ingredients(makes 14-16 pairs)

Butter - 100 gms,at room temperature
Caster Sugar - 100 gms
Golden syrup - 2 tbsp
Orange zest - of one Orange
Egg yolk - 1
All purpose flour - 1 1/2 cups
Custard powder - 1/4 cup
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Cream of tartar - 1/2 tsp
Baking soda - 1/2 tsp

For the filling/cream

Butter - 40 gms
Icing sugar - 2/3 cup/75 gms
Juice and Zest of one Orange
A pinch of Orange food colouring(optional)


Preheat oven to 160C.Grease and line a cookie tray.
Orange Cream Biscuits 
Sift together flour,custard powder,salt,cream of tartar and baking soda.
Orange Cream Biscuits 
Cream butter,sugar and orange zest until light and fluffy.
Orange Cream Biscuits 
Mix in the golden syrup and egg yolk and beat well.Work the sifted flour mix into the creamed butter mixture and mix till you get a smooth dough.(I started mixing with a wooden spoon and then kneaded with hands)
Orange Cream Biscuits 
Roll into balls the size of a small walnut and put onto the baking sheets allowing room for spreading.Dip a fork into some flour and make small markings on top of the cookies.Bake for 20-22 minutes or until the cookies turn golden brown.Remove carefully to a wire rack and let it cool completely.
Orange Cream Biscuits 
For the cream filling-cream together the butter,sugar and orange zest.Mix in enough orange juice to give a thick spreading consistency.Add a ppinch of orange food colour.
Orange Cream Biscuits 
Use the orange cream filling to sandwich the cookies together.

Orange Cream Biscuits

Recipe source - Cakes & Cake Decoration by Rosemary Wadey

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Mushti Polo / Fistful measure Dosa | Easy Breakfast Recipes

Mushti Polo/Fistful measure Dosa
I've mentioned this before,I'll say it again.I sleep well if there is dosa batter in the fridge.Somehow,it makes me tick off one main decision for the day.Having a box of grated coconut ready is an added advantage.Earlier,I used to grind the dosa batter in my mixie and still it yielded me enough batter for use throughout the week.Now I grind the batter in my 'most prized possession' in the kitchen,my Ultra grinder and needless to say,the batter lasts for a while and more.

Few days back,amma told me of this jhatpat dosa batter.This is no instant dosa,it does need soaking lentils and fermenting.In her words,jhatpat means,soaking the rice and urad dal together and grinding it together in a mixie.I found it fascinating because of the way ingredients are measured.Except for the rice,everything else is measured in mushti/fistful measures.
Mushti Polo/Fistful measure Dosa The dosa is spongy and soft and pairs perfectly well with coconut chutney or some spicy side dish.

Mushti Polo/Fistful measure Dosa


Raw rice - 1 1/2 cups
Urad dal - 1 1/2 fistful
Methi/fenugreek seeds - 1 tsp
Grated coconut - 1 1/2 fistful
White beaten rice/poha/aval - 1 1/2 fistful
Salt to taste

Ghee/oil for dosa


Mushti Polo/Fistful measure Dosa 
In a bowl wash and soak together raw rice,urad dal and methi for 3-4 hours.
Mushti Polo/Fistful measure Dosa 
Mix in grated coconut and poha and grind to a smooth batter.Add enough salt to taste and water,if required,and close with a lid and let it ferment for 8-10 hours.
Mushti Polo/Fistful measure Dosa 
Heat a dosa tawa and pour a ladleful of batter.Spread it lightly into a round.Don't spread too much,it should be slightly on the thicker side.
Add ghee/oil on top and cover and cook for a minute.Do not flip over.
Mushti Polo/Fistful measure Dosa
 Serve hot with coconut chutney.
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