Quick Herb Sandwich Bread – One hour bread!

When the going get’s tough, the tough get going!

When we run out of bread at 6 Am, we bake to have a fresh loaf by 7.30 AM … So espoused the sleep deprived brain of mine!

 Now most people do not claim to be sane at 6 AM on a Saturday morning, but hey I never claimed that part of my brain – you know the part when the saner actions originate from, that part was particularly alive and kicking generally.  My four legged addition to the family, a particularly feisty puppy of 5 months old decided 5.40 AM WAS THE PERFECT TIME TO CATCH UP ON THE BARKING OF AN ENTIRE DAY! YIPPE, YIPPE , YAY YAY! Let’s wake up the entire neighborhood ! Now before sleeping tykes get rudely roused ( though I have told them to just put a pillow on their heads and get back to sleep, training the puppy at work and all ) I was up in any case at 5.30 ( blame the body clock!), so keeping me company when I embarked on this madcap adventure  of a bit of this and bit of that , yielding in a successful kitchen experiment was M, my furry companion!  I so totally envy her, after all the rabble rousing bark and her business attended to, she was happily curled up near the vent of the heater, just occasionally raising her head to see to what’s happening and most of the time though happily content to be! Just be.

So here it is, my version of a quick sandwich loaf with minimal ingredients and really yum results.

This is a super quick and equally delicious sandwich bread made in about 60 minutes flat! Yep, that’s right 60 minutes including the rising time and you have it ready to make a thick delicious grilled sandwich or an equally  yum grilled cheese one or just a plain fare of toast with a dab of creamy salted butter!

Please do note, the use of Instant dry yeast is what leads to the quick rising of bread and thereby eliminating the need for a second rise.

Quick bread : check  

Easy loaf : check  

No eggs : check  

Not too much oil or sugar : check  

One rise : check  

Perfect : check   

 

1,2,3
1,2,3
Sliced to perfection!
Sliced to perfection!

Ingredients:

  • Bread flour : 2.5 cups + 0.5 cup as needed
  • Water : very warm, 1 cup
  • Sugar : 1 Tbsp.
  • Olive Oil : 2 Tbsp + 1 Tbsp to grease the bowl
  • Salt : 1 tsp.
  • Red chili flakes : 1/2 Tbsp. ( optional)
  • Fresh and died herbs  of choice: 1/4 cup
  • Instant Active dry yeast : 1 packet  ( 1/4 ounce)

Notes : Do not have Bread flour? Have only All purpose flour? works fine too. Want to try whole wheat? Try mixing the flours half and half and give it a shot! Please do try and use unbromated, unbleached flour. If you end up using unbromated flour, then do knead a bit more.

Method:

  • In a wide mixing bowl or you stand kneader’s bowl add in 2.5 cups of flour, the herbs mix, the salt, sugar  and the instant dry yeast and using a paddle attachment or a whisk make sure they are thoroughly stirred and distributed.
  • Add in the 2 Tbsp. of Olive oil and stir it well too.
  • Replace the paddle to the dough hook and add in the very warm water and knead it well. Once the dough gathers, decide if you need to add a bit more . If so because the dough is too shaggy and sticky, add the extra half cup of flour in stages of 2 tsp. or so and bring it all together and knead very well for about 4- 5 minutes. The end result would be a very soft pliable dough, but definitely not tearing apart. A bit sticky is fine. Not adding too much flour and kneading it very well for about 4 minutes will definitely help the texture of the bread by yielding a light loaf.
  • Grease the bowl with 1 Tbsp. of olive oil and shape the dough in a ball and place it in it and cover with your kitchen towel and let it rest in a warm dark place for about 20 minutes or until the dough is doubled in volume so. Make sure you have nice warm dark place to let your bread rise. If you think you are unsure about where to put it ordinate have a free draft free zone, preheat your oven to about 100 F or so. And turn it off.  The  residual heat in the oven can serve as a nice environment to let your bread rise.
  • After about 20 minutes, gently punch the dough to deflate it and shape it into a free loaf or shape it in your 9 by 5 bread pan. I used the  bread pan and greased it before placing the dough in it and flat patted it. No log formation , nothing. Just a free ball rolled up and then deflated and patted gently to fit the base of the 9 by 5 pan evenly.
  • UPDATE: Slash the top layer of the dough , 1/4 of an inch – make about 2 -3 of these atleast. this will help the steam escape and prevent your bread from splitting on the top.

Baking:

  • In the lowermost rack of your baking oven, fill a baking tray with very very hot tap water and place it.
  • Place your bread pan in the middle rack of your oven.
  • Now set the oven temp to 400 deg F and cook time to 40 minutes and start. Yes, you start with a cold oven !
  • In about 40-42 minutes, you will have a beautiful golden brown loaf with perfect crust.
  • When you tap the sides of the bread and it sounds hollow – you are good  to take it out and cool it.

Remove , let it cool and slice it thick for perfect toast, sandwiches, grilled cheese and more!

Cauliflower, Garbanzo, Spinach Mélange – Gobhi, Chole and Palak ki sabji

This is going to be a very quick post. On an errand spree today when I realized, had completely messed up on a  couple of things. I suppose nearing four decades does a number on you 🙂 While the days events started to pile up , I needed to come up with something really quick that could serve the dual purpose of eating with a flat bread and serve as an accompaniment  to the quick steamed rice on the agenda for dinner . On second thoughts, this would go great as a stuffing for your veg quesadilla or sandwich filling especially when you grill ! On my! 

Shredded to perfection!
Shredded to perfection!

This is a super quick vegan, no onion, no garlic, no fuss vegetable and legume mélange –  with a burst of colors and pleasing to the eye and palate! Needless to say it tastes pretty good too!

Red stunner!
Red stunner!

Without much ado, here it goes

Ingredients

  • Shredded head of cauliflower : About 2 cups 
  • Heaped fresh baby spinach : 2 cups ( finely chopped)
  • Red bell pepper  (large ) : 1 ( finely diced)
  • Cooked Garbanzo beans : 2 cups
  • Salt” as required
  • Oil of your choice : 2 Tsp.
  • Cumin seeds : 1/2 Tsp.
  • Asafoetida: a pinch
  • Garam Masala : 1-2 Tsp.
  • Chole Masala : 1 tsp ( optional)
  • Red chili powder : 1 Tsp.
  • Coriander -Cumin Powder : 1 Tsp. ( optional)
  • Haldi Powder ? Turmeric Powder : 1/2 Tsp.
Legume glory
Legume glory

Method:

  1. Cut out Big florets of cauliflower, clean  and shred it in a food processor or hand grater. You would need about 2 cups of these.
  2. In a large wide pan, add in the oil and when it heats up add Jeera or Cumin seeds and let it sputter. Add in a pinch of Hing or Asafoetida.
  3. Add in the bell peppers and sauté them till tender but crisp.
  4. Meanwhile in a microwave nuke the shredded cauliflower for about 3 minutes or so to aid in the cooking. You can completley omit this step and directly pan cook the shredded cauliflower too.
  5. Once the mix is nearly cooked add in the finely diced spinach .
  6. In about a couple of minutes the spinach starts wilting .
  7. Season with salt and the masala powders of your choice and stir it in.
  8. Add in the cooked garbanzo beans ( completely drained of any water ) and stir it in the vegetable mélange gently. 
  9. In about 5 minutes or so, the entire mix comes together. The idea is to create a wet vegetable side accompaniment. Do not add water or overcook it. Unless of course you want a runny mixture.
  10. Scoop it out and serve it with a wedge of lime.
  11. Perfect to go with a plate of steaming hot rice or flat breads.
Burst of colors!
Burst of colors!

 

[yumprint-recipe id=’23’] 

 

Tomato, Onion and Carrot Chutney – Simple,Quick and Awesome!

#BacktoBasics

Superfast, Super quick , Super delish and uses ingredients most often found in your pantry . The best part about this is the fact that it is so versatile and has a burst of flavors all in one. You can keep the consistency thick enough to make it into a sandwich spread, or add a dollop on your burger when grilling. Or thin it out a bit and it become the most awesome chutney for Idli, Dosa(i), Adai, Upma .. You name it! Slightly vary the flavor and you have a super hit dip on your hands for those multi grain chips.. Oh! you can let your imagination run wild. But trust me, this is one chutney you will not regret to add to your list of must- do’s or repertoire.

 Ingredients:

  • Channa Dal or skinned peanuts : 1 Tbsp
  • tamarind paste : 1/2 tsp
  • Onion : 1 big , Chopped fine
  • Tomato: 1 big Chopped fine
  • Carrots: 1 big, peeled, Chopped fine
  • Cilantro : 1/4 cup, Chopped fine
  • Mint: 1/4 cup ,Chopped fine
  • Oil: 2 tsp
  • Green chilies : 2
  • Red Bydagi chilies : 2
  • Salt : 1 tsp

Method:

  • In a skillet, heat one tsp of oil and fry the channa dal or peanuts if using to golden brown.
  • Also add in the red Bydagi chilies and fry them.  Next add in the green chilies to fry it a bit more.
  • Scoop it all out in a plate to cool it down a bit.
  • Add in one more tsp of oil in the same skillet and fry the onions, tomatoes and carrots in the  sequential order. Take care to ensure these are nicely cooked/sautéed.
  • Turn off the flame and add in the chopped cilantro and mint and stir it in. The residential heat in the pan is enough to slightly wither the greens and take the edge of the raw nature of it.
  • Scoop this out on a second plate to cool the contents.
  • In a blender, dry grind the channa dal  or peanuts with the red chilies initially into a dry rough grind. Next add in the green chilies, tamarind paste, sautéed veggies and salt and blend very well without water.
  • Add in a few tablespoons of water to thin out according to need , but ensure it is given a final whirl in the blender before use.
  • That’s it! Simple and ready for a multitude of uses.

Notes:

  • Don’t’ have channa dal or peanuts? Try using split urad dal or  almonds. Works like a charm and don’t be shy to experiment a bit.
  • Don’t have red Bydagi chiles?Add in a tsp of kashmiri mirch powder or simply exclude it from the recipe.
  • Mint and cilantro can be mutually exclusive in this recipe or added with a bit of sweet basil and you have a completely different flavor.
  • Add in sautéed ginger and introduce a new variation to this.Want to add garlic? Yes yes you may do so, but ensure again it is sautéed very well.
  • Uses: sandwich spread, relish, topping, accompaniment to dosas, idli, rotis, upma and more, dip for multi grain chips and crackers, veggie dips.
[yumprint-recipe id=’13’]

Mint Coriander Chutney- Green , tangy dressing anyone?

Fresh Cilantro and Mint Chutney- Green , tangy dressing anyone?

  Super quick post..Been wanting to add this in the Basics for some time. Prompted to do this cause of FB request from a dear friend asking me for my version of this. Of course if you troll the inet, everyone and their cousin will have one of this , but I simply love this version.

Want a dressing that is ?

Low fast : check

Quick : check

Filled with green stuff : check

Passes taste test: check

Freezable : check

Multiple uses: check

So without much ado…

Ingredients:

  • Fresh Cilantro leaves : 1.5 cup packed ( chopped finely)
  • Fresh Mint leaves : 1 cup packed ( chopped finely)
  • Dhalia/Roasted Channa Dal : 1/4 cup
  • Cumin seeds : 2 tsp
  • Green chillies : 10-12 ( as required)
  • Lime : juice of 1
  • Sugar : 1 tsp
  • Salt : 1/2 tsp
  • Tamarind paste : 1 tsp

Procedure:

  • Grind the roasted channa dal or dhalia with the cumin seeds . ( You can substitute any nut to this. The idea is to create a thick base. on occasions, I have used almonds, peanuts or even walnuts).
  • Add in the rest of the ingredients except the lime juice and blend it well. Add water as required. You can make it quick thick and dilute on requirement. Or serve this as thick sandwich spread.
  • Once blended , nice and smooth add in the lime juice, give it a whir and store it. the purpose of the lime juice is two fold – it prevents discoloration and has the zing factor !
  • In the fridge, stays fresh for a week or so.
  • For rainy day use, stick it in the freeze in smaller quantities, so you can defrost the required amount only.

Notes:

For flavor variation, a fresh piece of mango ginger does wonders. Also you can make this completely nut free and lentil free and just stick to the greens.

 

Uses: sandwich base, chaat dressings, dressing on salad, dips and more