Whole Wheat Greek Yogurt Banana Bread (with chocolate chunks)

A.. La.. One more Banana bread for the files. The bout of flu was pretty bad which meant I spent nearly a week and half playing nurse maid for the kiddos. The got sick in a cascade fashion.The weather here in NC was the most undecided – switching between “spring weather welcoming new life” to “hibernating winter chilly weather”. And Flu viruses had a field day and found  new victims at my place, I suppose.  Which naturally resulted in a lot of fruits getting underutilized. No smoothies as well as soups ruled the day. So, there I had 6 forlorn bananas looking at me. Like, asking when they would be put to good use.  And I had a whole box of mismatched chocolate chips – ranging from big old chocolate chunks to mini chocolate chips. All the way from Super dark with 85 % cacao to semi sweet 65% cacao. Nearly 2 cups worth. But then again what’s a little bit more to cheer up my kids. And since I had some lovely neighbors who helped me out during the mad rush of the last 10 days, they got some nice chunky slices too. All in all , 6 bananas , 2 loaves and quarter of one left .

Some would say I was procrastinating or rather procrastibaking. A million jobs, but I had to bake ! Whoever came up with the word, was a sheer genius who understood the therapeutic aspect of baking. And online ordering of groceries. And the magical power of 10 min power naps. But if someone could still let my nutty lab know that flying leaves in the wind, trash trucks, delivery trucks, people working in the yard, AT and T servicemen yada, yada, yada are not threatening and there is absolutely no need to warn or bark her head off to keep me out of harm’s way. Or you cannot play with everyone coming your way. That works as well. It would be wonderful if she doesn’t go bonkers, but then again it would not be Maya.

Whole Wheat Greek Yogurt Banana Bread ( with chocolate chunks)

The recipe itself is pretty simple. I just about emptied the contents of the fridge to make this and you can never really go wrong with Banana Bread. It is  quite simple. You can dress it up or keep it earthy. Indulge with cream cheese or simply warm it and have it with a cup of tea. Or coffee. Or Milk. Have it for breakfast or as dessert. You get the point, it is absolutely versatile.I doubled this recipe and made 2 loaves. I had a few thankful friends who rewarded me with a thumbs up for this .The vegan and other options are listed as well in the notes and through the recipe.

Whole Wheat Greek Yogurt Banana Bread ( with chocolate chunks)

Ingredients:

  • Bananas : 3 , mashed to yield roughly 1 cup or a bit more. It does not have to be perfect!
  • Sugar : ½ – ¾ cup ( I used Turbinado sugar. Use the ¾ option if you like your bread a bit sweeter )
  • Eggs : Large,2.(Use flax substitute for vegan option . See notes)
  • Greek Yogurt : ½ cup  ( Vegan option : Use silken tofu. See notes)
  • Vegetable or Olive oil : ¼ cup ( You can use melted butter for richer taste)
  • Whole Wheat Pastry Flour : 1 and ¾ cup .( See notes for options )
  • Baking powder : ½ tsp.
  • Baking Soda : ½ tsp.
  • Salt : ½ tsp.
  • Cinnamon : a pinch ( optional )
  • Nutmeg : a pinch ( optional )
  • Chocolate chips : ½ cup
  • Toasted ,broken Walnuts : ½ cup ( optional )
  • Pure Vanilla Extract : 2 Tsp.

Method :

  1. Pre heat oven to 350 F . 
  2. Grease and  keep aside the pan of choice.I used an 9 by 5 inch loaf pan as this works well as a loaf bread.
  3. Mash the bananas with a fork and keep aside. A few chunks of the bananas is what makes this bread a bit rustic. Do not pulverize the bananas. Or alternately using the paddle attachment of your stand mixer mash the bananas.
  4. Add the eggs or flax egg substitute, vanilla extract and whisk well. Add the Greek yogurt or its substitute, sugar, melted butter if using or oil , cinnamon and nutmeg if using .
  5. In another mixing bowl measure out the flour and add the salt, baking soda and  baking powder and whisk it well.
  6. Add the dry ingredients to the wet one and mix only until incorporated. Do NOT OVERMIX.
  7. Stir in the chocolate chips and reserve some to garnish on top and stir in the nuts if using reserving some likewise to garnish the surface.
  8. Bake  at 350 F for about 45 min- 60 min or until a skewer inserted in comes out clean.Keep checking after 38 min.
  9. Let it cool in the pan for about 10 min and slide out gently to finish cooling on the rack.
  10. Slice thick chunky slices . Eat plain, with cream cheese , or anyway you want .

Notes :

  • Egg substitute: 1 Tbsp. flax seed + 3 Tbsps. of water –  pulverized well will yield a homogenous mass equivalent to 1 large egg.
  • Greek Yogurt substitute: 1: 1 switch of blended silken tofu + a dash of lemon juice to give the tartness.
  • Butter substitute: Canola oil / olive oil. 1 :1 substitution works perfect.
  • Granulated sugar switch : Raw Turbinado sugar or jiggery
  • Flour : whole wheat pastry flour is the best substitute for All purpose flour.  If you do not have it and have only normal whole wheat flour, I would use 1 and ½ cups instead. It is quite dense.  Or you can alternate 1 cup of whole wheat flour and ¾ cup of all-purpose flour.
  • If you think your bread is browning too quickly and the middle is still squiggly and squishy, cover it with aluminum foil and return to baking.
  • Can I make muffins out of this ? Certainly. Should yield 12-14 muffins, baked for about 16 min or so.

 

Have I baked using these substitutes ?

The short answer would be an unequivalent “Yes”.  My observations though :

  • Using jaggery has given me a more denser and squishy loaf because of its wet nature.  Also I had better results with using store bought jaggery powder as 1 : 1 switch then pulverizing my own. I would assume that the commercially powdered jaggery was a bit more dry and hence worked better.
  • Olive oil worked just fine as a substitute.
  • Silken tofu also worked fine. Add in a Tbsp. or so of lemon juice to add in the tartness of yogurt. But I personally would look and choose the non GMO version of it. Make sure you blend it well before adding. You will not be able to blend it after adding it. Though unconventional, applesauce has work in a cinch too. The texture would be different a bit though.
    Whole Wheat Greek Yogurt Banana Bread ( with chocolate chunks)

 

Banana Bundt Bread – Eggless , Whole Wheat and Delicious !

I had sorry looking bananas on the table. These were nearly on their way to the graveyard and dangerously on the edge to attract fruit flies – in November. In any case there were four of these and I swear they were brought in from the store not long  enough. Usually , I do not have left over bananas. Between the kids and a perpetually hungry labrador, nothing much gets wasted . Maya , my black lab practically salivates when she sees bananas. I still cannot understand her fascination for the fruit. In any case, these 4 escaped the regular crowd at home and their rapid progression from green to yellow to near black was a lesson on natural advancement.

Banana Bundt Bread - Eggless , Whole Wheat and Delicious !

My first thought was my very favorite – the banana cake one.  Light airy, porus. But I was faced with a near empty pantry…No eggs or self rising flour. No condensed milk. Barely few scrapings of APF. You get the picture…

But I did have white whole wheat flour. Oh how I love these. So here we go a quick and easy recipe for banana bread. It can yield 2 loaves or you can do what I did – bake it in a Bundt pan. I used the 10 cups one.

Banana Bundt Bread - Eggless , Whole Wheat and Delicious !

Ingredients :

  • White whole wheat flour : 2 cups
  • All purpose flour ( APF, unbleached and unbromated) : 1 cup
  • Ripe bananas : 4-5
  • Brown sugar : 1.75 cups ( you can make it 2 if you would like )
  • Unsalted butter / Canola oil : 1/2 cup
  • Baking soda: 2 tsp.
  • Buttermilk : 1 cup
  • Pure Vanilla extract : 1 Tbsp.
  • Salt  : 1 tsp.
  • Chocolate chips : 1/2 cup – your choice. Mini, caramel, dark , toffee, cinnamon etc.
  • Walnuts : Optional : 1/4 cup, chopped roughly

Method:

  • Pre heat your oven to 350F.
  • Dry Flour Mix: In a separate bowl, add 2 cups of whole wheat flour and 1 cup of APF and whisk it very well. Add 2 tsp. of  baking soda and 1 tsp. of salt and whisk it very well again. You want to ensure thorough distribution of the baking soda. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of your stand mixer, using the paddle attachment mush the bananas. I should have measured it , but I suppose would yield atleast 1.5 cups of smushed bananas.
  • Melt the butter or you can use canola oil , add it to the banana mix. Add in the brown sugar as well and 1 Tbsp. of vanilla extract.
  • Add the butter milk next and paddle whisk it lightly.
  • Now add the dry flour mix to this and mix until just combined.
  • Add the chocolate chips and nuts if using and mix once. Do not over mix.
  • Grease and parchment paper line a couple of  9 by 5 loaf tins  and distribute the batter evenly. Or  grease a Bundt pan and distribute batter in it.
  • Bake for about 40 min ( +/- 3 min ) . Tooth pick inserted in should come out clean.
  • If baking in a Bundt pan, let it cool in the Bundt pan for about 15 minutes , before you invert it to cool on  a cooling rack.
  • Slice when completely cool .
  • Optional : dust with some powdered sugar before serving.

Notes:

  • This  bread will be of a slightly denser texture owing to nearly completely portion of whole wheat flour. Using APF entirely will make it light and airy .
  • You can substitute the chocolate chips to just nuts or use in combination.
  • You can also add 1/3 cup of dark cocoa for chocolate bread.
  • Adding cinnamon would be awesome too.
  • Instead of dusting it with powdered sugar, you can opt for a sugar glaze as well.
  • If you do not have butter milk, you can make your ow. To one cup of milk add a tsp. of white vinegar. Just let it stand for about a 3-4 minutes and you can use it.
  • You can also use sour cream/ greek yogurt in combination with milk instead of 1 cup of butter milk.

Banana Bundt Bread - Eggless , Whole Wheat and Delicious !Banana Bundt Bread - Eggless , Whole Wheat and Delicious !

Printable Version :

[yumprint-recipe id=’26’] 

Roasted Garlic, Jalapeño & Herb Focaccia Bread (Wheat)

Roasted Garlic, Jalapeño & Herb Focaccia Bread ( Wheat)

This post has sat in drafts for a very long time. I have no clue why it took that long but all is well… Been  a bit scatter brained , but that’s not unusual either. The usual activities of soccer and gymnastics and the seasonal prep of FRC begins. Maya, on the other hand has been the most unburdened of the lot as she explores the backyard like a new-found babe – after days of rain and blah weather , the sun gods decide to shine on us . You could see this gorgeous streak of black, shiny fur dashing about as she chases squirrels that have peeped our after a couple of weeks. And she makes the most of it. Streaking about or snoozing in the sun. She does make me en her sometimes ! Abundant energy and abundant love .. always .

Gorgeous day and I realize, I have about a dozen drafts – nope, honest not kidding, atleast a dozen drafts sitting in the folder waiting for their turn in the sun. And I shall oblige to the best of my ability.

Been to Panera bread? It’s like this secret joint for all bread lovers to unite . Much before the active baking bug bit me ( quite honestly it has not been too long, but lets just say for timeframe sake barely 18 months or so)  their neatly arranges loaves of bread and near tumbling brown fresh-baked ones from the basket were so inviting and tempting for me. Almost irresistible that I would inevitably come home with a couple at least. Well they are now too, albeit now, I use my discretionary powers and bring a couple more of the new ones as well to try their flavors. LOL! One of their creations would be this Jalapeño cheese focaccia bread – a tiny piece of marvel with generous pepping of fresh jalapeño peppers. Yum –  O ! It’s like a sirens call for A1. He could never resist it and could polish a couple if not for mom’s “look”.Roasted Garlic, Jalapeño & Herb Focaccia Bread ( Wheat)

Been wanting to try something akin to that one for sometime , and also wanted to incorporate fresh garden grown herbs in it. While I believe this was originally baked way back in early 2014 when I was starting out to look at yeast and not turn the other way ( been in the drafts folder too long ), baked it a couple quite a few times after that with ever pleasing results !

Roasted Garlic, Jalapeño & Herb Focaccia Bread ( Wheat)

And here we go….

Prep time : 20 min 

Dough resting time : 60 – 75 min  + additional 25 min

Bake time : 25-30 min

Ingredients

Bread:

  • White whole wheat flour : 2 cups
  • All purpose flour : 1 and 1/4 cups
  • Brown sugar : 1 and 1/2 tsp.
  • Salt : 1 and 1/4 tsp.
  • Garlic salt : 1/4 tsp.  ( optional, but recommended)
  • Instant yeast : 2.25 teaspoon/ 1 sachet
  • Olive oil : 2 Tbsp.
  • Very warm water : 1 and 1/4 cup

Topping:

  • Fresh garlic cloves : 8-10
  • Fresh mint : About 1/4 cup of leaves
  • Fresh Cilantro : 1/4 cup of cilantro
  • Jalapeño Peppers, green fresh : 2 – 3 big
  • Red chili flakes : 1 and 1/4 tsp.
  • Olive oil : 3 Tbsp.

Directions:

Preparing the Dough:

  • If using a stand mixer, I initially like to attach the paddle attachment and mix everything and then switch to the dough hook for kneading.
  • Add both the flours, salt and sugar and whisk well. Add the dry instant yeast (Since we are using the dry instant kind, we do not need to activate it. However if you are unsure, then proof the yeast in the warm water with sugar.)
  • Add the  2 Tbsp. of olive oil, then the very warm water and mix it well.
  • Switch to the dough hook and now knead it very well till you get a smooth dough. The dough is very soft and smooth. Not overtly sticky. If required add a tbsp. or so of extra APF to bring it to the desired smooth consistency.
  • Oil/ Grease a container . Cover the dough and let it rest in a warm place until it doubles in size ( 60-75 min). I simply spray the container of my mixing bowl and let it rise in it.

(Tip : During winter times/ colder weather , turn on the oven initially for a few min. When it hits a temp of say 150 F, turn it off. Once you knead the dough, place it in the warm oven for about an hour. It will help in making the dough rise faster.)

Preparing the Herb, Jalapeno Pepper & Garlic Spread:

  • In a toaster oven, line a baking tray with aluminum foil . Arrange the  cloves of garlic and jalapeño and drizzle about a 1 Tbsp. of oil and roast it on high. Mine hit the maximum at 450 F, so I used that setting for about 8 min or so.
  • You want these roasted well and not blackened, so do keep an eye out and prep according to the toaster oven.
  • Let this cool for a bit. Add these along with the fresh herb mix  and remaining 2 Tbsp. of oil, pulverize in a food processor / blender to from a coarse paste.
  • Add the chili flakes, mix, scoop and set aside. This will form the top layering for the bread.

Prep and Baking:

  • In about 60 min or so, the dough would have doubled in size. Gently deflate it.
  • Prepare a heavy baking tray by lining it with baking sheet or parchment paper. Generously  mist/ spray/layer it with olive oil.
  • Dump the deflated dough onto it. Using your hands work it to form a nice rectangle / oval, about an inch or so in thickness.
  • Cover it so it is prepped for the second rise where it will rise a bit more for about 25 – 30 minutes to yield a slightly puffy look.
  • Meanwhile preheat the oven to 400 F.
  • Once the dough is ready, using 2 fingers gently poke all over the surface of the bread. You are forming indentations and not tearing the bread dough apart.
  • Using a pastry brush if desired, spread the herb, and spicy pepper mix on the surface.
  • Bake for about 25 – 30 minutes or until it is nice golden brown on the top. Do not over bake please.

Roasted Garlic, Jalapeño & Herb Focaccia Bread ( Wheat)

To serve:

  • Serve warm bread with a drizzle of olive oil /herb oil. Best eaten warm.

Go ahead, the focaccia bread is warm , inviting and I bet it’s a siren’s call for you too.

Roasted Garlic, Jalapeño & Herb Focaccia Bread ( Wheat)

Cinnamon Swirl Wheat Bread – Indulgent Breakfast

I love Cinnamon. Well everyone in our house loves cinnamon. A1,2,3 and of course my furry friend Maya. It’s quite funny to see her eyes glazed with a weird mixture of lust and love and pure adoration when I am baking bread. Her place is right next to the oven door if I gently do not nudge her away. Some day she will be trained . Some day. Man lives on hope and who am I , a mere mortal in the billions around to reject the hypothesis. So in this case hope it is, that an unguarded loaf of bread with delicious swirls on my counter will not tempt my Labrador. Heck ! Why will I even risk it.

Cinnamon Swirl Wheat Bread - Indulgent Breakfast on a weekend!

A gorgeous loaf – shiny and absolutely pretty to look at.. This version of mine has eggs in it.  My middle one, did I mention again burns through a thousand calories a day with all her gymnastics and my older one is prepping for his half marathon. While A1 and A2 actually prep and workout to burn it out, A3 can bounce about the house and burn up more and compete with them.

Cinnamon Swirl Wheat Bread - Indulgent Breakfast on a weekend!

So an indulgent breakfast it is.  With some butter. To make it a little more healthier, I have made this with wheat flour majorly.

If you would like the Eggless versions then please do try these…

  1. Eggless Cinnamon braided bread
  2. Eggless Cinnamon Rolls

You can either of these to the loaf structure. This particular one is adaptation of these two and this one here.

Ingredients:

For the dough:

  • White whole wheat flour : 2.25 cups
  • All purpose flour : 1.25 cups + 0.25 more if needed in stages
  • Butter : 3 Tbsp.
  • Oil : 3 Tbsp
  • Milk 2% or 1% : 1 cup
  • Active dry yeast : 1 sachet/ 0.25 oz./2.25 tsp.
  • Sugar : 2 Tbsp.
  • Salt 1 tsp.
  • Ground cinnamon: 1.5 tsp.
  • Eggs : 2 ( large, brown, organic)

For the cinnamon filling

  • Granulated sugar or fine brown sugar : 1/3 cup
  • Ground Cinnamon: 2 Tbsp.
  • 1 tsp. of butter at room temperature

Eggwashing the loaf:

  • 1 Tbsp of reserved egg mix + 1 tbsp of milk

Prepping the pan :

  • Softened butter smeared on the pan
  • Or spray the pan and flour it

Kneading the dough, rolling, baking

  1. In a glass bowl warm the milk and 3 Tbsp butter until the butter is melted and it is very war, to touch. Add in 2 Tbsp. of sugar and the active dry yeast. Stir and set aside for about 5 minutes until you see the frothy bubbliness of the yeast beginning to act. This is a very essential step. If the yeast is not frothing, you will need to redo this step.
  2. In a separate mixing bowl mix 2.25 cups of white whole wheat flour and 1.25 cups of all purpose flour ( I use only unbleached and unbromated kind) to make 3.5 cups. Whisk it well.
  3. Add a tsp of salt and a 1.5 teaspoon of cinnamon and whisk it very well again. Set aside.
  4. In the bowl of your stand mixer or any big wide bowl which you will you use to knead the dough,  break in 3 eggs and whisk well. Reserve a tbsp. of this to make egg wash later while baking.
  5. Now add in the oil and whisk it well to create a homogenous mix.
  6. Now add the milk + sugar + yeast combo and using the paddle whisk ( if using a stand mixer) and mix it very well.
  7. Add in the flour and gently mix it for a minute or two.
  8. Switch to the dough hook and knead the dough very well to a soft and pliable one. Add more flour if it requires but always add in stages and you should not exceed 1/4 cup if so.
  9. Once the dough is really soft and smooth, grease spray or oil a container well. Tranfer the dough, cover with a clean kitchen towel and let it rise to double it’s volume .
  10. Tip: I always heat my oven to about 125 F and switch it off. After 5 minutes. I place the greased and covered container of dough in it to aid in fast rising.
  11. In about 90 minutes or so, the volume of the dough will be double . Once it is double in volume, gently deflate it .
  12. Clean, grease or simply generously flour a work counter and empty out the dough and flatten it into a rectangle to about the width of the loaf pan you’re going to use.
  13. Mix in the sugar and cinnamon reserved under the cinnamon filling mix. Spread the reserved teaspoon of butter on the flattened dough.
  14. Spread the cinnamon sugar mix on the dough and make sure you reach the edges.Cinnamon Swirl Wheat Bread - Indulgent Breakfast on a weekend!
  15. Gently roll the dough, but make sure it is rolled tightly. Roll from the short side please.Cinnamon Swirl Wheat Bread - Indulgent Breakfast on a weekend!
  16. Pinch the seams and the edges closed.
  17. Grease the 9 by 5 in pan with softened butter or spray with grease and dust with flour.
  18. Place the rolled log, seam side down in the pan.Cinnamon Swirl Wheat Bread - Indulgent Breakfast on a weekend!
  19. Cover and let it rise for another 30-45 minutes until it has risen nearly to the edge of the pan.
  20. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 350 F .
  21. Once the dough has risen sufficiently ( the second rise will not be as dramatic as the first one, but enough to swell to the sides)
  22. Brush the beaten egg wash on the top and sides as much as you can.
  23. Score down the center to release the steam while baking so as to prevent splitting of the sides.
  24. Bake for about 38-40 minutes, until golden brown and shiny and tapped sounds hollow.
  25. Remove , cool, slice and enjoy!Cinnamon Swirl Wheat Bread - Indulgent Breakfast on a weekend!

Stuffed Masala Wheat Buns – Eggless and Delicious !

Well, this is going to be a fairly short write up to the post. A pretty hot spring day . And not a great day for yard work as discovered in the mid day sun. As also discovered the penchant for white noise in the background while got down to the list of things that had to be done.  A broken Netflix connection did not bode well when I had a gazillion things to catch up on and so missed my badly translated movies. So while things were happening simultaneously and also struggling with a setting on the camera ( I hate to read the manual – and it’s an oxymoronic nature of mine which rouses it head on certain things), this was done to welcome the kids back from school. And add a watermelon cool slushie to this, you have a winner and a filling one at the least.

Stuffed Masala Wheat Buns

 Notes:

  1. Have extra filling? Make a great sandwich filler or Quesadilla filler for you.
  2. Don’t want potatoes? Well add anything you want – Paneer, cheese, mixed veggies , corn etc. Any and all of these will work.
  3. Don’t have white whole wheat flour, use your regular atta or roti flour?
  4. Masala : just mix and match what calls your fancy on that day.!
Baked and perfect
Baked and perfect

On to the actual works now 🙂

Ingredients:  Makes 12 fairly large buns.

For the buns:

  • White whole wheat flour : 1.5 cups
  • All-purpose flour – unbleached  and unbromated : 1.5 cups
  • Ajwain or Carrom seeds : 1 tsp
  • Kasuri methi : 1 tsp. ( crushed well)
  • Salt : 1 tsp
  • Oil of your choice : 1/4 cup
  • Brown sugar : 1 tbsp.
  • Rapid rise / Instant dry yeast : 2.25 tsp. or 1 packet
  • Milk + water : 1 cup (  3/4 cup milk + 1/4 cup water , very warm)

Sprinkling topping :

  • Sesame seeds: 1 tbsp.
  • Spray oil – Misto or Pam
  • Dried Parsley leaves or fresh cilantro if using : 2 Tbsp.’

For the filling :- 

  • Boiled potatoes : 2 medium, mashed a bit
  • Peas and Carrots : 1/2 cup frozen, thawed out
  • Red onion : 1 medium, diced finely
  • Jalapeno peppers : 2 chopped finely
  • Cumin seeds: 1/4 tsp.
  • Garam Masala : 1 tsp.
  • Pav Bhaji masala : 1 tsp.
  • Salt  : 1 tsp. adjusted to taste
  • Oil : 2 tbsp.
  • Fresh chopped cilantro : 1/4 cup
  • Notes: The masalas are optional. You can always  add red chili powder only or add another masala of your choice.

Method:

Making the dough:

  • In the bowl of your stand mixer or your mixing bowl, add the flours, the salt and sugar and whisk  very well. Add in the  Ajwain/  Carrom seeds and dried fenugreek leaves ( kasuri methi)  and instant yeast and mix well.
  • Add in the oil and mix well.
  • Now add in the very warm water and milk mixture and knead to a very smooth dough.
  • Cover and let it rest for about an hour or until it doubles  in  volume.
  • Meanwhile make the filling.

Filling/ Stuffing for the Buns:

  • Pressure cook/ steam 2 medium or large potatoes and cool and mash them.
  • In a wok or fry pan, add in the 2 tbsp. of oil and when it warms up add in the cumin seeds. These will sizzle and sputter.
  • Add in the diced green chilies or jalapeno peppers and sauté them well.
  • Add in the chopped red onions and sauté till tender .
  • Meanwhile defrost the frozen peas and carrots and add it to this and stir in well till semi cooked.
  • Add the salt and the masalas and the mashed potatoes as well.
  • Mix and cook until the spices are distributed thoroughly. You do not want a mushy mix, but just enough till they can hold to the stuffing.
  • Toss in some chopped cilantro.
  • Optional : Add a dash of lime juice for a slight tangy flavor.
  • On cooling, make about 2-3 inches globes of these. 

Making the Buns:

  • Once the dough has sufficiently risen, gently deflate it and roll it out and portion 12 globes out of these. These will be fairly on the larger size. You can always go smaller but just ensure you have equally proportioned the fillings to it.
  • Cover it with a cloth and let it rest for about 5 minutes.
  • Take one of the dough balls out and roll it out on a slightly floured surface to a thick circle. Keep the filling in the center and wrap it with the dough. Pinch the seams so there is no gaps. Repeat for the rest.
  • Let it rise on a greased  baking tray for another 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile pre heat to 375 deg F.

Baking:

After 20 minutes when the stuffed dough balls have slightly risen, spray the oil mist or pam on the surface of the globes, sprinkle the sesame seeds and herbs.Bake for about 20 minutes till golden brown.

Spicy enough?
Spicy enough?
Pretty globe
Pretty globe

Verdict:

These were totally amazing. The were a beautiful brown and perfectly baked. Gorgeous on the outside and soft crumb holding the filling.

Here’s a pictorial on it ..

Spiced Herbed Bread – Whole wheat with fresh herbs and spices!

I think I just might have the “pracrastibaking”  affliction seriously. You know the kind, when you have to do a ton of work but actually end up miraculously baking .. Yep that very kind. I had a laundry list of things to do, along with the laundry. A1 was back from his trip, DH back from his . A2 had a ton of things that had to get sorted and washed and somehow ended up debating the merits of washing in cold water and electricity with me. Yes, I know we are like that. A3 could not find his one sock. Nope, we did put both for washing but somehow ended up having only one.Yikes ! We have a sock eating monster in the house. And it eats only one from each pair. Why not both? Beats me! I often thought I had only real live monsters that gobble up the food I put on the table. Actually 3 very much discerning ones ( Bitter gourd gets a bit of persuasion from me to eat)  and one with a tail that can eat anything. Plastic, paper, cloth and her food. I suppose puppy phase and all!

Spiced Fresh Herbs Whole Wheat Bread 

So while waiting for the  A/C repair man to show up and the stuff to finish up in the laundry, I was doodling around when some thing struck me. We had no bread in the house.Disaster.

Since, I was pretty much stuck at home and waiting for things to happen, ended up having a mental dialogue with my kitchen aid.. The shiny green thing seemed to speak to me. Either that or I was having caffeine withdrawal !

Dough ready to be baked !
Dough ready to be baked !

 Well whatever , but the urgent need for bread in the house cannot be dispensed with, especially since I having a talk with the Kitchen Aid!

Isn't that a pretty loaf?
Isn’t that a pretty loaf?

 This is such a simple and basic recipe.. You can dress it up, pair it up with cheese , stuff it with potatoes , make a cream cheese swirl or so much more..

Ingredients:

Basic Bread Ingredients:

  • White whole wheat flour : 2 cups
  • Bread flour / All purpose flour : 1 + 0.5 cup added as needed
  • Milk 1% or 2 % : 1 cup
  • Butter / olive oil : 1/3 cup
  • Brown Sugar : 1.5 Tbsp.
  • Salt : 1 tsp.
  • Instant Yeast : 1 packet /2.25 tsp.
  • Fresh lime/lemon juice : 1 Tbsp.

Herbs and Spices:

  • Fresh chopped cilantro : 1/4 cup
  • Fresh chopped Mint : 1/4 cup
  • Cumin seeds : 1 tsp.
  • Ajwain/ Carrom seeds : 1 tsp.
  • Red chili flakes : 1/2 tsp.

 Method:

  • In the  mixing bowl of your stand mixer or any mixing bowl,  add the flours , sugar, yeast, salt and dry spices and whisk it very well until it is thoroughly distributed.
  • Add the fresh herbs as well now and whisk it in .
  • Add the chopped butter if using to the cup of milk and microwave till it is very warm. Usually a minute or so. The milk is very very warm but not boiling hot.
  • Add the juice of fresh lime usually one half of it or about a tbsp. of it. And let it stand for a minute or two. Do not worry when the milk protein separates.
  • Add the milk and knead it very well till the dough is smooth.
  • Let it rise undisturbed for an hour until it doubles.
  • Once it doubles in volume, take the dough out gently deflate it and roll it to form a log.
  • Pinch the seams and place it seam side down in a greased 9 by 5 loaf pan.
  • Cover and let it rise for another 20 minutes or so.
  • Slash the top of the bread with  a very sharp knife or a pair of scissors. About an inch deep and 2 inches in length. This accomplishes 2 things – aesthetic is one and the other is these gashes will let the steam out while bread is being baked. It will prevent the loaf from splitting on the sides
  • Pre heat the oven to 375 deg F.
  • Bake for about 35 -39 minutes. The bread should sound hollow when tapped.
  • Cool before slicing. You should have an awesome crust and a tender crumb.
  • Toast or simply eat it warmed with a dollop of butter.
sliced and diced !
sliced and diced !

Eggless Cinnamon Braided Bread

My little tyke, or rather my littlest tyke is a Ninja who decimates sugar ! He loves sugar, cinnamon, bread and did I mention sugar again ! I have the whole spectrum covered at my place – from zilch sugar to feed me sugar! On the Sunday when I had a bit of baking bug in me, I made key lime muffins and this. The cinnamon roll version of this was awesome and I always wanted to try my hand at this.This is a pretty easy version and it was a cinch to make it. Looked a mighty fine sight and was so flaky too.

  Swirls of cinnamon running in tasteful little veins and tied up in a pretty little bread – On second thoughts though, on baking, the braid turned not so little but remained super flaky, moist and so so soft..

 It was so good that I did not bother to glaze it. Was perfect and reminds you of interlocking cinnamony flaky croissants.

Eggless Cinnamon Braided Bread

 Prep time : 30 min

Resting time total: 70 min or so 

Baking time : 35-40min

Ingredients

For the dough: 

  • Unbleached, Unbromated All purpose flour : 2.5 cups
  • Baking powder : 1/4 tsp
  • Baking soda : 1/4 tsp
  • Salt : 1/2 tsp
  • Warm milk : 3/4 cup + 2 tbsp.
  • Lemon Juice : 1 Tbsp.
  • Vegetable oil : 1/4 cup
  • Butter melted : 1 Tbsp.
  • Instant Dry yeast : 2.25 tsp. ( 1 sachet)
  • Sugar : 1/3 cup ( used soft brown Sugar)

Filling:  

  • Soft brown sugar : 1/2 cup
  • Fine ground cinnamon powder : 1.5 Tbsp.
  • Room temp or softened butter : 3-4 Tbsp. ( softened or at RT)

The glaze: Optional , I did not need this.

  • Powdered sugar : 1/2 cup
  • Milk : 2 Tbsp.
  • Pure Vanilla extract : 1 tsp.

Recommended: 

Brushing the dough with 2 Tbsp of milk before baking

Method:

Making the dough:

  • In the bowl of your stand mixer add the sifted flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add the dry instant yeast to this and mix thoroughly with a whisk or paddle mixer.
  • Add the dough hook attachment and on low mixing speed add the oil and butter mix, followed by the milk + sugar+ lemon juice mix.(In a small bowl, mix milk with sugar and add the lemon juice and add to the flour. It’s ok if the milk slightly curdles. It works good.)
  • Knead well until you get a nice smooth dough. Let the dough rest in warm dark place until it doubles in size. Depending on the temperature and weather conditions , it might take anywhere from 35 min to about an hour.
  • Once it has risen sufficiently, take out the dough on a greased counter top. Gently deflate it and roll it out to form a big rectangle. Mine was a good couple of feet in length.

Making the cinnamon sugar filling and baking:

  • Mix the softened butter +sugar + cinnamon to have a wet filling.
  • Spread the mix on the rectangle and make sure you get as much to the edges as possible. Pat gently so it sticks to the roll.
  • Now roll gently from the longest side and make a tight toll. Pinch the seams and ends. Slice it vertically in the center.
  • You will now have exposed veins of the cinnamon butter running through the dough.
  • Lay both of strands lengthwise and pinch one end of it together.
  • Braid it overlapping each other and exposing the cinnamon strands.
  • Loop it around and tuck the end under the dough to form a circular piece where you cannot see either of the ends.
  • Grease a baking sheet / parchment paper and lay it over  baking sheet.
  • Lay the braided roll gently over greased sheet on the baking tray. Cover with a greased saran wrap and let rise for another 20 min.
  • Meanwhile preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Brush the dough with 2Tbsp of milk using a pastry brush to give the nice glaze after baking.
  • Bake 35+/- 5 minutes. Keep an eye to just bake it  nice golden brown.
  • Take out from the oven and dive in when they are warm!

Eggless Cinnamon Braided Bread

Glaze/Topping:

If you do decide that you want the glaze, whisk the ingredients listed under the glaze or topping section and drizzle over your baked braided bread.

Quick and Easy, Eggless Cinnamon rolls !( with Icing / Glaze)

I had an itch to scratch! I happened to look at one of those shiny, glossy magazines which had a spring makeover done to a house and fell in love. Not with the labor , but with a near perfect shot of a gleaming white kitchen with huge SS appliances and bright green apples. And along with the apples was also placed a strategic shot of huge mug of Joe and an entire basket of cinnamon rolls. I could only imagine the fragrance of fresh baked rolls wafting through the kitchen! Now while I dragged my 3 A’s in the seemingly endless process of de cluttering and re-organizing, I had to scratch the itch. And so was born this need to bake fresh cinnamon rolls for the kids. Made fresh and more likely to bribe them to do the work 🙂

Jostling for space
Jostling for space

Absolutely wonderful and easy to make cinnamon rolls that are not very doughy and it’s a cinch to make. And also an upshot, they are not the extreme sweet kind and provide the right flakiness in the baked rolls. Go ahead take a big bite, you will reach for another one pretty soon.

 

Prep time : 30 min 

Total resting time: About 70 min or so

Baking time : 16-20 min

Makes 15-16 rolls

Ingredients

For the dough: 

  • Unbleached, Unbromated All purpose flour : 2.5 cups
  • Baking powder : 1/4 tsp
  • Baking soda : 1/4 tsp
  • Salt : 1/2 tsp
  • Warm milk : 3/4 cup + 2 tbsp.
  • Lemon Juice : 1 Tbsp.
  • Vegetable oil : 1/4 cup
  • Butter melted : 1 Tbsp.
  • Instant Dry yeast : 2.25 tsp. ( 1 sachet)
  • Sugar : 1/3 cup

Filling:  

  • Soft brown sugar : 1/2 cup
  • Fine ground cinnamon powder : 1.5 Tbsp.
  • Room temp or softened butter : 3 Tbsp.

Icing/glaze:

  • Powdered sugar : 1/2 cup
  • Milk : 2 Tbsp.
  • Pure Vanilla extract : 1 tsp.

Method:

  • In the bowl of your stand mixer add the sifted flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add the dry instant yeast to this and mix thoroughly with a whisk or paddle mixer.
  • Add the dough hook attachment and on low mixing speed add the oil and butter mix, followed by the milk + sugar+ lemon juice mix.(In a small bowl, mix milk with sugar and add the lemon juice and add to the flour. It’s ok if the milk slightly curdles. It works good.)
  • Knead well until you get a nice smooth dough. Let the dough rest in warm dark place until it doubles in size. Depending on the temperature and weather conditions , it might take anywhere from 35 min to about an hour.
  • Once it has risen sufficiently, take out the dough on a greased counter top. Gently deflate it and roll it out to form a big rectangle. Mine was a good couple of feet in length.
  • Take a pastry brush and spread the softened butter on the entire rectangle.
  • Mix the brown sugar and cinnamon and spread the mix on the entire area covered with softened butter. Pat gently so it sticks to the roll.
  • Now roll gently from the longest side and make a tight toll. Pinch the seams and ends. Slice it in the center. Now slice each log again into 7-8 wedges each and place on a greased baking pan.
  • Cover the rolls and let rise for about another 20 minutes. 
  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Bake 16 to 20 minutes. Keep an eye to just bake it golden brown.
  • Take out from the oven and dive in when they are warm!

Icing  / Glaze:

Mix all that is listed in the Icing/glaze prep section and pour over the rolls when they are warm.

Circles of cinnamon sugar
Circles of cinnamon sugar

These are near perfect! Dig in! Seriously, Just dig in !

Just before being gobbled up
Just before being gobbled up

Quick and Easy White Sandwich Bread

What a day it tuned out to be! School was out again.. We had big fat snow flurries raining down on us, and school was out once again for the second week in a row. Three kids and a dog on a snow day at home.. This should read like a movie. Instead my kiddos acted as if they were handed the elixir to life and my furry went to play in the flurries and in the process got all covered with snow. Dug a nice trench in the backyard with all the  madcap running in it as well. I on the hand decided to cozy up on the recliner with a steaming hot cup of coffee and a book. The first part, I did get to, but since snoozies snuck up on me the book remained unread. Lunch called and there I was looking at the remains of a sad looking loaf of bread and decided to wolf down a semi – naked burger. You know, burger – the normal and all with a yummy patty sandwiched  between 2 slices of bread. Of course loaded with spinach and jalapenos and more. And then you go the carb less route, basically burger without the bun! So therefore by the power of interpretation, a semi naked burger would be when you run out of bread and have only one slice of it !

And thus was born the necessity to bake this afternoon, cause the other option would have been to run to the store . And that would happen only if you would have been able to bribe me with a million bucks and a steaming hot mug of latte. Since it did not, here we are baking bread!

So there you go, for one of the most easiest and most versatile sandwich bread that is pillowy soft and has a fantastic crust and crumb for such minimal effort. Have it plain or toast it and slather it with butter and jam . For the more adventurous, make thick slices of these and make fresh french toast. But make no bones about this, for this might be plain fare, but it appeals very well to all.

Slice think or thick - you choose
Slice think or thick – you choose

Ingredients:

  1. Unbromated and Unbleached  APF    :            3 +0.5 cups reserved as required
  2. Very warm water                                    :            1¼ cups
  3. Instant acting dry yeast                         :            2 ¼ tsp. or 1 sachet of it.
  4. Sugar / Honey/ Agave                           :            2 Tbsp.
  5. Oil                                                             :            ¼ cup
  6. Salt                                                            :            1½ tsp.
  7. Milk ( optional)                                       :            1 Tbsp.

Method:

  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, add in 3 cups of flour, sugar and salt and using a flat beater mix it well.
  2. Next add in the dry yeast and stir in well using the flat beater.
  3. Add in the oil and water simultaneously and using the flat beater mix it in thoroughly.
  4. Now switch to the dough hook and knead it for about 4-6 minutes until you get a nice smooth dough. Add in more flour from the reserved 1/2 cup if required.
  5. Rest it in the bowl for about 5 minutes or so.
  6. Take it out on a greased surface ( I typically spray the surface of my kitchen counter and dump the dough in it) and roll it out to form a rectangle and make a log. Pinch the ends of the seam and the sides and place it seam side down on a greased baking pan of 9 by 5 inches.
  7. Cover it with a kitchen towel and let it rise in warm, draft free zone for about 25 minutes or until doubled in volume.
  8. Meanwhile pre heat the oven to 375 deg F.
  9. When dough has sufficiently risen, make a couple of gashes ¼ inches or so deep or make one slit down the center using a very sharp knife and place it in the oven after giving it a milk wash.
  10. Bake for about 25-28 minutes . Do the tap test – bread when tapped should sound hollow.
  11. Let it cool thoroughly before slicing.

 Substitution: Sub out 1 cup of  APF with one cup of white whole wheat flour. The remaining 2 cups would remain APF . It works very well.

Banana Blueberry Cinnamon Wheat Bread

Honestly, what do you do when you have a pair of over ripe bananas and  a pack of fresh blueberries? Mostly, I end up making a good old smoothie. Throw in a few more fruits , maybe a bit of avocado ( gasp) and it goes down pretty fast into the bellies of the young ones.

Gorgeous berries
Gorgeous berries

But with frigid weather, it called for something warm and inviting.. And banana bread it is ! Now this bread is made with white whole wheat flour and APF and the texture once baked would delight you. It yields nice thick slices and warmed up would be great to  be served with whipped sweet cream. I know, crazy as it sounds, it hold pretty well during slicing. Now normally when it comes to quick breads, I usually hesitate to use whole wheat, because the result is usually very dense slice of the bread. But using white whole wheat flour ( I love KA’s white whole wheat! Now in case you  are wondering, this is not refined flour but flour milled from soft white winter wheat . A combination of both the flours will reduce the denseness  and combined with banana puree, this is one heck of a loaf.. Keeps well frozen too !

Ripened bananas
Ripened bananas

 Here it goes .. You can substitute the blue berries for walnuts, chocolate chips and much more..

 Ingredients:

  • White whole wheat flour : 1 cup
  • All purpose flour : 1/2 cup
  • Baking soda : 1 tsp.
  • Salt : A pinch
  • Vanilla Extract : 1 Tsp.
  • Ground cinnamon : 2 Tsp.
  • Granulated brown/shite sugar : 1/2 cup ( can increase to 3/4 if you need a tad bit sweeter)
  • Over ripe Bananas : 2 – 3
  • Blueberries : 1/4 cup
  • Egg : 1(beaten)
  • Butter : 1/3 cup ( melted)

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 deg F.
  2. Wash the blueberries, pat dry and toss it in about 1 tbsp. of the flour and keep aside. This ensures that the blueberries do not sink to the bottom of the bread.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk in both the flours and salt ,sugar and baking soda and ground cinnamon. The whisking aerates the flour and also ensures distribution of the cinnamon, sugar , soda and salt.
  4. In a separate bowl, mash the bananas or puree them. Add in the beaten egg, vanilla extract and melted butter and whisk it together.
  5. Add the liquid contents to the dry mix and stir it in well.
  6. The resulting mix is dense shaggy mass that needs to be distributed into a well greased 9 by 5 loaf pan.
  7. Bake in the center rack of your oven for about 50 min.( Do the skewer test – skewer inserted into the center of the loaf should come clean)
  8. Remove from the oven, cool it down very well before slicing it.
Right outta the oven
Right outta the oven
Cooling and inviting
Cooling and inviting
Pretty blueberries lending their burst of freshness
Pretty blueberries lending their burst of freshness

Serve warm, thick slices, straight out. Or Slice it , add a dash of whipped cream on the side and dig in! However you choose, this is really good to delve into!

 

 

Recipe adapted from Simple Recipes.