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


  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.


  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.

Okra Stir Fry – Deliciously simple fare!


So there I was at the good old grocery store of Patels, in the sweltering heat of NC and chit chatting with the guy at the counter. Stuff about India, how hot it was in early spring and the idiosyncratic need to repeat the same song or bhajan in the store, when I spotted the an unopened box sitting on the counter. You know the kind, that is a crate and has the green stuff peeking out of it. It seemed suspiciously like okra, the green okra from across the ocean. Siren’s call heard and yielded.. I bought 3 pounds of it ! Fresh and tender and so green..

There are a gazillion recipes for okra, but this is one that brings out the simple flavors of it with minimal effort and great taste! This particular dish is the dry sabji kind and tastes heavenly with the south indian meal of rasam and rice. Comfort food to the core I say!

Comfort because it calls out to my mom’s kind of cooking. Simple fare , but fit for a king!

 Prep work

  • Wash the okra very well in a couple of bowls of water and let them air dry on a towel.
  • Once they are completely dry, pat dry once more to remove even a trace or droplet of water with a towel.Moist, damp okra will yield stringy cuts with mucus. Not your best option on the menu!


2 Lbs Okra : washed, patted dry, ends snipped and cut in 1/2 inch pieces 

For seasoning:

  • Urad Dal split : 1 tsp
  • Channa Dal : 1 stp
  • Dry Red chillies : 2 split
  • Mustard seeds : 1 tsp
  • Mom’s special kari powder : 1 tsp
  • Asafoetida : 1 pinch
  • Turmeric powder : 1/2 tsp
  • Salt : 1 tsp / to taste
  • Saffola / cooking Oil : 1 Tbsp


  • In a large non-stick wok, heat up the oil and add in the Asafoetida. Add in the mustard seeds and once it splutters, add in the dal seasonings and red chillies and let them brown.
  • Add in the turmeric powder and then add in the cut okra.
  • Gently stir fry it in medium heat. The idea is for the okra to get nicely stir fried and tender cooked. Adding in salt before it is well cooked will bring out the natural water from it and you will have a soggy mess on your hands 🙁
  • Once the okra is well cooked, season with salt and Mom’s special Kari powder.
  • Gently toss it to ensure the spices and salt is well coated and serves it hot with a bowl of rasam and rice or as part of large meal.