MyKitchenInHalfCups

Once Upon a time: Cooking … Baking … Traveling … Laughing …

BBB logo January 2015


9 Comments

BBB ~ CHAPATIS, AKA ROTIS (INDIAN FLATBREAD)

I guess I really PQ’d Elizabeth’s interest when I said I was slightly embarrassed to say what I put on my Chapatis.   Elizabeth is our Kitchen of the Month (KOM), and she’s done a totally wonderful video of making these chapatis, don’t miss it.  BUT she’s terribly worried that I may have Americanized my Chapatis by submerging them in ketchup with either a hotdog or scrambled eggs. I smiled then laughed when she took a poll for the babes to guess what I might have done to my chapatis.  I kept pretty quiet.  I didn’t put any ketchup or hotdog or egg on any of them.  Promise

Blank Slate: what shall I wear today?

Blank Slate: what shall I wear today?

In the early mists of time when I started cooking, one of my favorite cookbooks was “Diet for a Small Planet” (see told you it was long ago).  In that little book was a recipe for Plaka Paneer.  I made it … but not the chapatis to go with it. If only I’d had this recipe and Elizabeth’s super video, I’d have been authentic!  Even back then when our two boys were fairly little, 4 and 7, they enjoyed the Plaka Paneer and I made it often.  It’s time again but it must wait as we’ll be traveling again and the fridge must be cleaned out and left empty.
These seemed intimidating, hot griddle, sliding them onto a wire rack over a hot burner … and the big question … will they puff!?  Elizabeth’s “After struggling for months trying to make these…Do not get disheartened […] you will improve with practice.”  Yes, I was intimidated.
Let me tell you, these little puppies puffed right up on my dry crepe pan like I actually knew what I was doing and had made these for decades.  I squealed, I did a little jig. I went to town: roll out a disk, drop it on the crepe pan, turn and start the next disk rolling out, flip the one on the medium hot pan, finish the roll out on the one on the counter, turn and … PUFF, wow aren’t you a beauty … This is not hard. This has a lovely rhythm and a beat.
Funny thing was you could pick up a chapatis and it would start deflating, drop it on that wire rack and bingo it would puff all over again. As Aparna calls it “phulka”, all puffed up. Magic.
You will note: I reversed the all purpose and whole wheat amounts to use more whole wheat. I’m just trying to eat less refined flour. Also I used bread flour in place of the all purpose as I was out of AP.  OH, and I was out of flax, so no flax in this batch but next time there will be.
This was easy and they are wonderful. I don’t want to improve with practice, these were just perfect.  I can only hope this wasn’t beginners luck.  Many thanks Elizabeth.  My few comments below in italics.

CHAPATIS, AKA ROTIS  (INDIAN FLATBREAD)

IMG_7869Recipe By: based on “Flat Wholewheat Bread – Roti” in A Taste of India by Madhur Jaffrey
Yield: 8

157 grams whole wheat flour, 1 cup
77 grams bread flour, 1/2 cup
1 teaspoon salt
up to 1 c. just-boiled water, I had to add about 1 extra teaspoon

1. In a bowl, mix flours and salt. Add hot water gradually, stirring with a fork

Awesome mixing fork!

Awesome mixing fork!

until you have a soft dough. The amount of water will vary drastically depending on air temperature and humidity. You just have to play with it. You are aiming for dough that resembles silly putty.  Silly putty: This is the kind of word(s) that I think are so helpful when trying new recipes making bread! At least for me, silly putty really communicates because I know what it feels like from experience.
Using as little extra flour as possible, knead on a board or in the air for 10 minutes until the dough is soft and silky.
Put the dough back in the bowl. Cover with a damp cloth or plate and let sit on the counter for 30 minutes to one hour.

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2. Put the tava on medium heat. Do not oil it. Put the wire rack on another burner at the highest heat possible.   Tava: I love the special tool, oh you know I do … but I also love multipurpose tools.  I was tickled to find another wonderful use for my cast iron crepe pan.  Now, my crepe pan can do crepes, pancakes, socca, and chapatis!

Cut the dough into 8 equal pieces.  It seems to me, these could be made smaller and used for little bites/appetizers.   Lightly flour each one and put 7 pieces back in the bowl. Cover the bowl. Form the piece of dough into a ball and flatten it. Roll it out into a round till it is quite thin but not too thin (this is again is one of those infuriating things where you will just have to practice to find out what thinness works best for you) – about 2 mm?? As you roll out the dough, make sure it is not sticking to the board and that there are no holes. Keep the rolling pin lightly dusted with as little flour as possible and the board the same way.

Steam. Oh, och! I'm wrinkled!

Steam. Oh, och! I’m wrinkled!

3. Place the round of dough on the hot tava (griddle). As soon as you see little bubbles form, turn it over using tongs.

Now I'm blemished ... sigh ... what a fate.

Now I’m blemished … sigh … what a fate.

  As soon as there are little bubbles on the reverse side, lift the bread off the tava with the tongs and place it on the wire rack. It should puff up. Turn it over once or twice to ensure that it puffs up completely.

Ah, Cooks that blemish right out!

Ah, Cooks that blemish right out!

  Don’t be worried to see a few dark brown spots on it. (If you are lucky enough to have a gas stove, you can hold the bread directly over the flame.)

I'm a puffer! HooRay for me!!

I’m a puffer!
HooRay for me!!

4. Put the finished bread into a pot and cover it with a lid. Keep it in a warm oven. Roll out the next piece of dough and repeat til you have 8 rotis. As you put a new roti on the stack, turn the finished rotis over to keep the bottom ones from getting wet.
Elizabeth serves this bread with green chili omelettes or Palak Paneer (spinach and cheese).

What to put on them? Palak Paneer would have been ideal.

Oh, no, no. I need more, something fancy ...

Oh, no, no. I need more, something fancy …

I don’t think I Americanized them, I Italianized them with pepperoni and cheese ;-)

Yeah, like a little bit of roasted butternut and onion!

Yeah, like a little bit of roasted butternut and onion!

Oh, my yes, just a touch of cheese!  I'm ready for the party.  And not a blemish in sight.

Oh, my yes, just a touch of cheese! I’m ready for the party. And not a blemish in sight.

Just for a snack don’t you know.

OK, just salted butter for this one.

OK, just salted butter for this one.

One I had plain with just butter; mighty fine indeed.
One I had with just a strip of bacon …

Now, How will you dress your Chapatis?  Get your self belly up to that stove and bake ’em some Chapatis.  Elizabeth our KOM will have one of Lein’s super-dupper badges for you and get you into the round up at the end of this month.  Check out her web site for details.

Walks to the beach can be a challenge these days but totally fun ... if you can remain upright.

Walks to the beach can be a challenge these days but totally fun … if you can remain upright.

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4 Comments

Whole-Wheat Sunflower Seed Rye Bread

I know it’s hard to believe but this is not for the Babe’s, not an early BBB bread at all.  I hope that’s not too disappointing.  I will tell you I did the Babe bread for this month and did squeal and even jig a little dance – sorry Ilva.  It’s really very good, very fun and even though the thought made me shake in my boots, it was very easy .
I saw this first on David Lebovitz’s blog and was of course over awed by the look and sound. Do you ever buy a cookbook because of one recipe?  How many cookbooks have you bought without at least thumbing through the actually book or looking at a sample as an e-book.  I may have hesitated five minutes before hitting the buy button on Amazon … I may not have.  At any rate, the book is now in my library.
Now that I’ve read it cover to cover, I’m delighted and have considerably more than the one recipe that I’m over joyed with.
The bread is milder than I expected but still has a lovely rye aroma and flavor.  It’s a dense bread and so is perfect to slice thin and serve with appetizers.  I may try it next with a little caraway and when I unpack that special loaf pan to bake cocktail rye in, I’ll be trying that. Until I find that pan, wonderful with just butter and with every cheese we put on it last night.  We’ve planned to have it toasted with an egg some morning before it’s all gone. I’m right with David on the avocado and strangely enough there is one waiting on my counter … it won’t be waiting long.

Below you will find first my measure, second David Lebovitz’s measurement in parenthesis found on his blog, and finally Hans Rockenwagner’s measurement.  You can note that my grams and David’s are fairly different.  In comparing photo’s of each, it seems like the measurements worked about the same in the final bread.  Flour is a dramatically different entity around this globe.   I was baking from the book where Hans uses cups. When I use a recipe written in cups any more, I do the measurement, weight it in grams (and yes I know liquids are measured in ml, I just do it in grams and it works for me) and write in in the book or into my MacGourmet program. Next time I just scale things.

Whole-Wheat Sunflower Seed Rye Bread

Recipe By: Das Cookbook by Hans Röckenwagner
Yield: one loaf


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my measure    David Lebovitz’s measurement,     Hans Rockenwagner’s measurement
400 grams (375ml) lukewarm water, 1 1/2 cups (12 oz)
1/4 cup (80g)  honey, 1/4 cup + 1 teaspoon ( I used agava syrup)
2 1/4 teaspoons (one package) active dry yeast (not instant)
450 grams (330g) whole-wheat flour, 2 3/4 cups
45 grams flax meal
1 teaspoon King Arthur Rye Bread Improver
155 grams (110g) rye flour (dark or light), 1 cup
2 1/2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt
1 cup (125g) lightly toasted sunflower seeds
Vegetable oil, for greasing the pan – I used butter

1. I deviated from the recipe here and simply added the yeast into the flours.

2. In a separate bowl, mix together the whole wheat and rye flours with the salt. I used a wooden spoon. Stir the 1/4 cup (80g) honey into the flour mixture. If necessary, add an additional bit of flour if the dough is too wet, or another tablespoon of water if the dough is too dry. It should feel soft and moist, and when you touch it, your finger should just barely stick to it.

3. This is a stiff but fairly smooth dough at this point.  I don’t think I kneaded more than about 5 minutes.  I also moistened my hands fairly often by putting one palm in a bowl of water.  I can’t guess how much water this added.

4. Here I deviated from the recipe and covered the dough and placed it in the refrigerator over night.

5. Scrape the dough out onto a lightly floured countertop and knead in the sunflower seeds thoroughly, making sure that they are evenly dispersed throughout the dough.  Again I moistened one palm in a bowl of water.
Return the dough to the mixer bowl, I covered the bowel with a moist towel and then a shower cap, and let rise in a warm place until doubled, took 2 hours.

6. Punch the dough down with your fist, cover, and let rise again until doubled, about 1 hour.

7. Lightly grease a 9-inch (23cm) loaf pan. Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured countertop, shape the dough into a elongated rectangle, and place the dough in the pan. Cover and let rise 1 hour. (Note that it won’t rise much.)

8. About 15 minutes before you plan to bake the bread, preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC).

I preheated my convection oven to 340°, placed the loaf in the well preheated oven, sprayed the top of the loaf well with the water and then gave the oven a good squirt. I turned the oven up to 350°F for 10 minutes and then back down to 340° for the last hour of baking.

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My total baking time was 70 minutes.

9. Storage: The bread will keep for up to 4 days at room temperature. It can be frozen for several months.

Notes:

My experience with dense whole wheat loaves tells me they are best left to cool to room temperature. It requires a great deal of patience.

Out of the oven at 1:51pm  104.4°;  at 2:45pm 141.1°F;  at 4:50pm  90.1°F;   at 7pm  72.6°F;  at 9pm  66.7°F room temperature.

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For the whole wheat flour, I mixed King Arthur whole wheat flour (fairly finely ground) with half Bob’s Red Mill white whole wheat (more coarsely ground).

Of course the flax seed was added by me not the real chefs.

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David Lebovitz:  Please note that this bread requires three risings. Fortunately, there isn’t any work to do between those risings. But allow yourself time when you make the bread. I started it the minute I woke up, and it was ready by lunch!

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I was thinking that next time, I may swap out a bit of the honey – perhaps 2-3 tablespoons – with mild molasses. Do make sure you toast the sunflower seeds. To do so, preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC) and spread the seeds on a baking sheet. Baking them, stirring once or twice, for 6 to 8 minutes. Some people like to toast nuts and seeds in a hot skillet on the stovetop, which you can do instead. I tried my own idea of brushing the bread with water and topping it with seeds before baking and most of them didn’t stick. So I didn’t include that suggestion here.

I found this bread even better toasted. It made a nice lunch with ripe, mashed avocado on top, which I mixed with red onion, red pepper powder, a bit of olive oil, and some flaky sea salt.

Two days and we’ll be up with the BBBs  ;-)

Happy Baking!

BBB logo December 2014


8 Comments

Nutella Brioche Flower – Bread Baking Babes Bright Star

Nutella Brioche Flower aka in my house as Chocolate Peanut Butter Brioche Snow Flake

Such an easy bread to make. Such a stunning bread to put in the oven. Such a spectacular bread to take out of the oven.
I mean this is gorgeous visual! even not perfect.

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Cathy, Bread Experience, is our Kitchen of the Month and you REALLY want to be a Buddy this month and make yourself a star … or snowflake. Cathy called it a flower. Titled it a flower.  I thought it looked more like a star but then Lien changed my mind when she called it a snow flake.  I say thank you Cathy.

Every month when the Babes bake, Katie rounds the Babes all up. Makes us look great. Many months even though we were given the same recipe, there’s a great variety in the way we look. I’m going to step out on that limb and say I think this month we may have a very similar look to our breads. More alike than usual I think is likely. So far I’ve only seen Cathy’s but I still think we’re going to share in the looks department.
UPDATE: even before I hit publish, an e-mail from flickr just came across my desk, Lien’s is even much more like a star than mine. The limb just broke.
Now, fillings. I’m thinking that’s where we may part ways this months. But, hey, that’s very normal for us. After you and I have checked out all the Babes, we’ll know. You’ll have a great many new ideas for fillings, maybe even come up with one we didn’t.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Brioche Snow Flake
Recipe By: Cathy (breadexperience) who
Adapted it from:
Poor Man’s Brioche in Peter Reinhart’s The Bread Baker’s Apprentice
Yield: one round loafFor the sponge:
65 grams bread flour
1 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
134 grams (4 ounces) whole milk, lukewarm (90 to 100 degrees F.)
For the dough:
3 large eggs, slightly beaten
140 grams bread flour, 1 cup
300 grams white whole wheat flour, 2 cups
30 grams flax meal
40 grams sugar – brown
1 1/4 teaspoons sea salt
116 grams unsalted butter, melted
1-2 teaspoons milk, if necessary to form a smooth dough
For the filling and glaze:
peanut butter
bitter chocolate grated
whole milk
1 tablespoon milk plus 1 tablespoon water for glaze
Icing (confectioner’s) sugar
***** Where ever you see those five stars, that’s me giving you my comments.
I am a real convert to my kitchen scale. When ever I get a recipe written in cups or ounces, I use cups the first time but measure that in grams and write it down. The result is the next time I bake, I’ve got the grams. I don’t usually calculate/convert cups to grams based on any formula. I just do the measure myself then I know if it works or how well it works for me and adjust accordingly.1. To make the dough, add the eggs to the sponge and whisk (or beat on medium speed with the paddle attachment) until smooth.  In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, and salt.  Add this mixture to the sponge and eggs and stir (or continue mixing with the paddle on low-speed for about 2 minutes) until all of the ingredients are thoroughly incorporated. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes to begin to develop the gluten.  Then mix in the melted butter by hand, using a wooden spoon or Danish dough whisk or with the mixer on medium speed using the dough hook. Add in a couple of teaspoons of milk if the dough is too dry.Transfer the dough to the work surface and knead for about 8 to 10 minutes until the dough is soft and smooth.  It shouldn’t be too sticky to handle.Form the dough into a ball and place it in a clean bowl.  It doesn’t need to be oiled.  The butter should keep the dough from sticking to the bowl.  Let the dough bulk ferment in a warm place (70- 75 degrees F.) for 1-2 hours, or until doubled in size.IMG_7588****** When I finally did find the morning to get the sponge mixed, it was fully 7 hours later before there was some signs of life so I added a pinch more yeast and mixed and kneaded nicely silken dough.
I covered it and left it to rise. Several hours later, you are adding these hours now aren’t you, I checked the rise. “I can’t deal with this any more tonight.”
I said a sweet goodnight to my dough ball as I tucked him into the cool overnight.
Next day, the dough ball did not raise to my consciousness until 3PM.2. Meanwhile, cut out a circle of baking or grease proof paper about 30 cm (12″) in diameter. Place the paper on a baking sheet.

To shape the snow flake, once risen, turn the dough out onto a surface, knock it back knead for 3-4 minutes. Divide the dough into 4 pieces and form each piece into a ball.

Roll a ball of dough out into a circle measuring about 25 cm (10″) in diameter. The dough should be about 3-4 mm (1/8″) thick.

Place the dough onto the baking paper and spread on a layer of Nutella, leaving a small gap at the edge. Don’t make the layer too thick but be sure to evenly cover the dough.

Roll out a second ball of dough, place it on the first layer and spread with Nutella. Repeat with the third and fourth balls of dough but do NOT spread Nutella on the final layer.

***** Don’t you just love that “meanwhile” thing. In the meanwhile, I was working like a dog helping Gorn with paper work, worked out at the gym and spent many many hours making gifts for the four grandchildren. Meanwhile, haha. Actually, somewhere in that meanwhile I did cut out a 12 inch circle of parchment.

So, meanwhile I came to that part about the shape the snow flake !! Yes, I watched the video Cathy put up on the website long ago but remembering what I saw was coming up blank. Tom Terrific HughesNet was down … OK how many cuts Cathy?  Read on.

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3. Cut the brioche into 16 segments but leave a small (3 cm/1½”) area in the centre of the dough uncut.

Take a pair of adjacent segments. Lift and twist them away from each other through 180°. Lift and twist through 180° again, then twist through 90° so that the ends are vertical. Press the edges together firmly. Repeat this process for all pairs of segments.

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***** Fancy that, it says right there in the directions “16 segments”.  Leave an uncut circle area in the middle … I went with the middle size ramekin to act as a guide.

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I do remember the video showing a very even nutella spread just short of the edges and the baker timing the dough to a nice clean circle. My chocolate peanut butter was difficult to spread and had a fair amount of unevenness. I might trip the circle next time just to see if more of my edges would stay closed and look neater. But, I don’t think you have to obsess about this part being perfect. It works.

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4. Place the brioche in a large plastic bag or cover with lightly oiled film. Leave in a warm place for 1-2 hours to prove.

***** Well, I just covered it with a big bowl.

And I waited 2 and a half hours … finally said phooey, this is coming out of the oven at 10 and I’m going to bed. Be prepared, this is not a fast riser at any stage of the game. It showed most rising in the oven.
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5. Brush with the milk glaze then bake at 160°C/320°F fan oven, 180°C/360°F conventional oven for 20-25 minutes.  I baked it at 375 degrees F. for 15 minutes, then turned it down to 350 and baked it another 5 minutes or so.

***** I baked it at 375° F for 15 minutes then at 350°F for another 15 minutes – thinking that the whole wheat flour would take more baking time.

6. Place the bread on a wire rack to cool. Once cooled, dust lightly with icing sugar.

***** I wanted to turn the bread around at 15 minutes knowing that my oven is hot in the back but it was just too awkward as I had used my baking stone and things were just too heavy to move it gracefully. So you’ll see it’s darker on one side than the other.

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It was out of the oven by 10PM.

***** Now, my filling. For my birthday last month, I treated myself.

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***** I treated myself to an 11 pound bar of this chocolate. Holy moly!! This is such good bitter chocolate, I love eating it just like it is. Never done that with another bitter chocolate.
Anyway, the filling: I micro-planed grated a lot (you know like your Nona always measured) and then mixed that with peanut butter. It was dry. I added whole milk. It was dry. I added 2 tablespoons of butter. It was dry. I added more peanut butter – yes chunky.  It was dry. I microwaved it for a minute on 10% power and repeated that about 6 times, stirring in-between times. It got soft and oily. I went with it.

I hope it was good because I gave it to a friend.

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So, no crumb shot.

Whether you call it a flower, a star or a snowflake, you really want to make this one. Do it. Pop yourself over to Cathy’s, get the details and tell her what you think. She’ll send you a badge and get you in the round-up at the end of the month. Really it is easy. You can’t get more bang for your kneading than this gorgeous shape. Filling: what can you dream up for us?

I’m thinking Christmas morning and coffee.

Merry Christmas, Be Merry and Bright.

BBB logo November 2014


7 Comments

Dhakai Bakharkhani/ Baqeerkhani (Crisp Flatbreads from Dhaka, Bangladesh)

I do know there’s a tremendous amount to be gained by following a recipe to the letter … and then there is old fashioned “just have to make do”.  I truly enjoy doing a recipe to be authentic.  I also realize there are those times when it just isn’t meant to be … and this was one of them.  Perhaps in the long run there is as much to be gained/learned from one way as the other.

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Aparna (My Diverse Kitchen) very kindly invited us round her kitchen table this month to bring us a love story and a bread to fall in love with.  She hoped to find a different bread, a challenging bread and a fun bread for us to bake.  In my book she succeeded in spades.  This is one of those breads I think you will find an endless number of ways to top it and I think it can be one of those stellar breads to use for special times.  These breads are cracker like – they benefit immensely by crisping  them up in the oven before serving.  We’ve been invited to friends for Thanksgiving and I’m thinking these might be a perfect little bite to take with a smoked salmon spread.
Now … about that mawa … did you really hear me whaling … yes, that was me.  No stove top, no hot plate.  I tried the slow cooker … didn’t taste bad but it was so dark and all the babes were getting this lovely light yellow creamy color, I just couldn’t use what I took out of the crock pot.  The substitution that seemed most likely was ricotta cheese.
You will see I used all whole grain/wheat in this recipe.  The only white I used was when I dusted the rolled out dough and put on the ghee.  Yeah, I even added my trademark ground flax seed meal.  I used all the liquid called for … and I changed the water to milk.  Why?  Why milk? I don’t really have an answer, it just seemed the right thing to do.  Because I used the whole grain and the flax, I mixed this dough up the night before to allow all the whole grain to hydrate with the idea this would keep the bread from being dry.
These create a wonderfully buttery aroma coming out of the oven.  Easily a welcome aroma around holidays.

Dhakai Bakharkhani/ Baqeerkhani (Crisp Flatbreads from Dhaka, Bangladesh)

Recipe By: Aprana:  Adapted from Honest Cooking ( )

For the mawa/ khoya:
1 litre full fat milk (2% will also do) – makes approximately 3/4 to 1 cup mava
For the Bakharkhani:
170 grams white whole wheat flour, (plus a little more for rolling it out the dough)
135 grams sprouted whole wheat flour
1/4 cup mawa, substituted ricotta cheese
1/4 cup ghee* (plus a little more for spreading on the dough while rolling it out)
1/4 teaspoon salt
10 grams brown sugar
2/3 cups skim milk (a little less or more if needed)
Sesame seeds, to sprinkle (optional)
walnuts , chopped

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1. *ghee is nothing but clarified butter and should be available readymade in Indian stores. It is quite easy to make your own at home. Since you are making the effort you can make a little extra and store the rest for later use. Ghee can be stored at room temperature and keeps for a while.
Melt 500gm of unsalted butter and let it cook until the milk solids in the butter start turning golden brown (do not burn them) and the liquid fat is a golden color. You should get a rich aroma from it.
Let it cool to room temperature and then decant or strain the golden liquid into an airtight jar.
I managed this very easily (carefully monitored) in the microwave.

2. Make the mawa/ khoya:

Pour the milk into a heavy bottomed saucepan, preferably a non-stick one. Bring the milk to a boil, stirring it on and off, making sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom.

Turn down the heat to medium and keep cooking the milk until reduces to about a quarter of its original volume. This should take about an hour to an hour and a half.  The important thing during this process is to watch the milk and stir it frequently to make sure it doesn’t stick to the sides or bottom of the pan and get burnt. The danger of this happening increases as the milk reduces and gets thicker.

Once the milk it has reduced to about one fourth, 1/4 quantity, lower the heat to low and let cook for a little while longer. Keep stirring regularly, until the milk solids (mawa) take on a lumpy appearance.  There should be no visible liquid left in the pan, but the mawa should be a bit moist and not stick to the sides of the pan.

Let it cool. Once it has cooled, it should still be a little moist but you should be able to crumble it.

Make it in a crock pot:
http://www.indiacurry.com/dairy/khoyaslowcooker.htm

1. On stove top or in a microwave oven heat milk between 180ºF to 190ºF.
2. While heating milk, put about 2 quarts of water in the slow cooker, cover with lid and turn it high for 20 minutes. You are basically preheating the the insert, so that it will not crack.
3. When the milk has reached, the 180ºF, drain the water out of the slow cooker insert. Transfer the hot milk to the insert.
4. Cover the insert with the lid, leaving about 1″ crack. This will allow the steam to escape during evaporation. Turn the cooker to ‘Low’
5. Every 30 minutes or so, stir scraping the sides and the bottom. In about three hours, you should have about 5 cups of Chikna Khoya.

3. Making the Bhakarkhani:

In a large bowl,  put the flour, salt and sugar into a large bowl. Crumble the mawa into it and mix in. Then add the ghee and use your fingers to rub it into the flour.   Add the water, a little at a time, and knead well until you have a smooth and elastic dough that can be rolled out very thin.

Please see this video to get an idea of how the dough is rolled out, layered with ghee and flour and folded. The language in the video is Bangla but the visual is quite descriptive. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eyiOLuJywHQ )

4. Cover the bowl with cling wrap or a damp kitchen towel to prevent it from drying. Let it rest for about 30 minutes to an hour. Then lightly coat the dough and then let it rest for another 10 to 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 170C (325F).

5. Lightly coat your rolling pin and board (or your working surface) with some ghee.
Now divide the dough into two portions, working with one portion at a time. Roll out one portion of the dough as thin as possible into a rectangle, without adding any flour. It should be thin enough for you to see your work surface through the rolled out dough!

Brush some ghee (not too much) all over the surface of the rolled out dough with your fingers. Sprinkle some flour evenly over this, enough so that the ghee is absorbed when spread out. The flour layer should be thin. Brush some more ghee, again, over this and then sprinkle some flour over this like previously.

Fold the dough into half and once again repeat the process of brushing the ghee and sprinkling the flour over this twice, as before. Fold the dough for the second time (see the video) and repeat the brushing with ghee and flouring, twice.

Now roll up the dough into a long cylinder and let it rest for about 10 minutes.

6. Pinch off lemon sized balls and roll each one into a small, round flatbread. Sprinkle sesame seeds (optional) and lightly press into the dough. Make three cuts on each flatbread using a knife. Place on parchment lined baking sheets and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes or until they’re light brown on top. Do not over bake.

7.
Let them cool and serve with coffee or tea.

So you’ve read the recipe and you’re shaking your head thinking “that’s beyond me.  I tell you it’s not.  Really, go for the ricotta like I did if you want to really cheat – but all reports are if you have a stove top and use your widest pan to create the largest evaporative surface area for the mawa.  Watch the rolling out video – I watched it once and then just winged it. This will work for you and you’ll  have a wonderful rich, crisp flatbread under your belt, your kitchen will smell devine and somebody may even love you as much as Aga Bakar loved his mate (you did read the love story on Aprana’s blog didn’t you?).  Well, go read it and bake this bread.

To Join Us and become a Bread Baking Buddy, bake some Bakharkhani and post it on your blog before the 28th of this month or on our Facebook page.  Make sure you mention Bread Baking Babes and link to Aprana’s post in your post.
Then e-mail Aparna at aparna(at)mydiversekitchen(dot)com with a link to your Bakharkhani post and a photo of your bread that is a 500px wide.  Subject line should read “Bread Baking Buddies”.  Aprana will send you a badge to add to your post and she’ll include you in her round up at the end of this month.
Get baking!

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BBB logo October 2014


18 Comments

BBB Caramelized Onion and Asiago Cheese Braid

Is it really mid-October already?

Our Kitchen of the Month is … Katie, in France, at Thyme for Cooking.  She found our bread for October here.

This is a perfectly marvelous bread and I thank you Katie.  I think you’ll find all sorts of variations from the Babes on this filling theme of caramelized onions. When I put all my caramelized onions down the middle of this loaf, it just didn’t look right so I used some of my red and yellow roasted bell peppers as well. The asiago cheese is the perfect taste for the roasted peppers, caramelized onions and Dijon mustard (mine made with horseradish).
Thy name is dilemma: Caramelized onions … without a stove top … there is a grill outside with a side burner … there is the electric panni grill … there is the slow cooker … did you know you can actually burn things in a slow cooker?  Trust me you can but the second attempt to do the caramelized onions in the slow cooker worked like a charm.
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Funny you can also roast sweet bell peppers in a slow cooker; I did a batch of those as well.
Karen told us there are cats that will eat caramelized onions.  Who knew?
So now already you’ve learned two new things: cats will eat caramelized onions and you can burn onions in a slow cooker.
Now, there’s only one more thing you need to learn … just how good this loaf can be.  In order to do that you will need to bake this loaf and then you might as well send Katie a link to your blog write up and become a Bread Baking Buddy so she can send you a badge and you can be part of the crowd eating just lovely devine bread.  Click over to Katie’s web site here and she’ll give you the scoop.Caramelized Onion, Herb and Cheese Bread

Caramelized Onion and Asiago Cheese Braid

Recipe By: Katie (ThymeForCooking) adapted by me Originally from Canadian Living

1 teaspoon sugar, omitted
1/2 cup warm water – used skim milk
2 teaspoons active dry yeast, recipe called for 1 tablespoon, that always seems like too much to me
1/4 cup milk
2 eggs
2 egg yolks, omitted; just seemed rich enough without
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
145 grams unbleached bread flour
131 grams whole wheat flour
170 grams white whole wheat flour
35 grams flax seed meal
1 teaspoon (.05oz/1.5gr) Herbes de Provence
Filling
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 cups sliced onions ( about 2 large)
1 teaspoon granulated sugar, omitted
1 teaspoon dried rosemary, my bad, I forgot it
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard – mine was made with horseradish
1 1/2 cups shredded asiago cheese
1 egg, lightly beaten

Directions:

 

Rolling, Rolling, Rolling ...

Rolling, Rolling, Rolling …

1. Whisk together all the dry ingredients for the dough. Whisk together the milk, eggs, and oil.
Pour the liquid into the flour and mix with a wooden spoon to make soft dough.Turn out onto lightly floured surface; knead for several minutes to make a smooth and elastic dough. Place in greased bowl, turning to grease all over. Cover with plastic wrap; let rise in warm draft-free place for 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.  Mine took an hour and a half.

Reducing the tablespoon of yeast here to 2 teaspoons slowed the rise down slightly which I think allows a little more flavor development.  The rise I got was very good and with the temperature in the house at 66°, I think the 2 teaspoons yeast was more than adequate. If I were making this in a warmer time of the year, I’d cut it slightly more.
I have changed this step. I didn’t proof my yeast as the original recipe called for.
2. Filling: Meanwhile, in large skillet, heat butter with oil over high heat; cook onions, sugar and rosemary, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium; cook, stirring and scraping up brown bits from bottom of pan, for 10 to 15 minutes or until onions are golden and very soft. Let cool to room temperature. It will work that way unless you, like me don’t have a stove top.
I oiled the inside of my slow cooker, filled it with sliced onions topped with a teaspoon of butter and let it cook on slow for 12 hours (20 hours will burn them). I stirred them twice during that time. I removed the lid and let them simmer on low for another 45 minutes.
The roasted bell peppers: I oiled the inside of the slow cooker and placed the seeded peppers cut into 6 sections into the slow cooker on high for about 8 hours. Once cooled, the skins released easily.
3. Punch down dough. Turn out onto lightly floured surface. Roll out into 14- x 12-inch (35 x 30 cm) rectangle.
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Spread mustard lengthwise in 3-inch (8 cm) strip down centre of rectangle, leaving 1-inch (2.5 cm) border uncovered at short ends; top with onion mixture. Sprinkle with 1 cup (250 mL) of the cheese.
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4. Using sharp knife and starting at 1 corner of dough, make diagonal cuts 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart almost to filling to form strips along 1 long side of dough. Repeat on other side, cutting diagonal strips in opposite direction. Alternating strips from each side, fold strips over filling to resemble braid, overlapping ends by 1 inch (2.5 cm) and brushing with some of the egg to seal.
Transfer to semolina dusted peel.  Cover and let rise in warm place for 30 to 40 minutes or until doubled in bulk.5. Brush top with egg.
Bake in centre of 350°F (180°C) oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until puffed and golden.
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I baked the loaf on a baking stone.
Sprinkle remaining cheese down centre of braid; return to oven for 10 minutes or until melted. Serve warm or let cool completely on rack. (Make-ahead: Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 1 day; rewarm in oven before serving.).
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Notes:What do I think is the ideal filling for this?
I think this might best be filled with a great horseradish, sauerkraut, corned beef and cheese, although I’m sure a strong case could be made for a sausage or bacon with spinach and roasted butternut squash.  You may have other ideas.
... half the mustard roll.

… half the mustard roll.

I had two little corners I trimmed at one end that didn’t fold into the braid right so I rolled that out and just spread mustard on it … That was genius!  So genius that I had eaten most of it before I remembered to photo it.
Next week they start picking the apples here … can you think apple pie filling and cheese … ooowhee.
BBB logo September 2014


12 Comments

BBB – Robert May’s French Bread

Our Kitchen of the Month, Ilva – LuculianDelights – introduced this bread saying “I thought you might find it interesting to use a recipe (adapted by Elizabeth David) that was published 354 years ago.”

No, no Ilva, Elizabeth David was writing in the 50’s, that’s nothing like 354 years … haha, lucky for me I didn’t say anything and thereby show off my very sloppy reading skills. I googled The Accomplisht and then did an iBook search for Robert May … and lo and behold there was the 354 year old recipe!

How much thought have you given to how a recipe is written? What do you expect from a recipe?

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Here’s the recipe: Excerpt From: Robert May. “The accomplisht cook / or, The art & mystery of cookery.” as I found it in iBooks.
“To make French Bread the best way.
Take a gallon of fine flour, and a pint of good new ale barm or yeast, and put it to the flour,
with the whites of six new laid eggs well beaten in a dish, and
mixt with the barm in the middle of the flour, also three spoonfuls of fine salt;
then warm some milk and fair water, and put to it, and make it up pretty stiff, being well wrought and worked up,
cover it in a boul or tray with a warm cloth till your oven be hot;
then make it up either in rouls, or fashion it in little wooden dishes and bake it, being baked in a quick oven, chip it hot.”
Now, I ask you, could you bake bread from that recipe?  Elizabeth David seems to have made it possible for us.IMG_6989This struck me as a most unusual way to come up with a bread recipe and Elizabeth David’s recipe seemed almost too simple and straight forward to produce good bread. My expectations were very low.  I can assure you this is in fact a very simple bread to make. These are the breads I call fast. There’s no fiddling, no folding, no temperature taking, no long rising time. You mix it, let it rise, shape it, let it rise, bake it and you have gorgeous, glorious and fabulous tasting bread in easily under 4 hours. While I love all the fancy bread baking and I’ve never been bothered by a recipe that may take days and days, this is the kind of recipe that reminds and renews the joy of the simple.

What did I change? Who me? Change a recipe? Add things? Would I do that!?
Right, I did or at least this is what I did.  I used 250 water and 100 milk, 30 grams flax seed, and … half King Arthur’s Sir Lancelot for the unbleached white flour and a mix of Sprouted Wheat and white whole wheat for the whole wheat.  This was so fast, so easy … my expectations were VERY low.  This turned out to be exceptional! Wonderfully fragrant and chewy! … and the crowd went wild …

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Since Ilva’s challenge here was to give this a special shape, I went for simple – simple recipe, simple shape – but wanted to try something I hadn’t done before.  When I formed the dough into a round, the shape sort of spoke to me.   I took scissors and snipped it around turning the plate as I snipped. Raw it looked like a Christmas tree but it smoothed and flattened some in the pie palate that I baked it in. Had I not shaped rolls with a third of the dough, I believe it would not have spread out and flattened as much.

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I loved the rolls. I thought to make little sandwiches but just toasted and buttered was as far as I got.

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Bake it! you won’t regret it, I promise.

BBB Robert May’s French Bread from 1660

Recipe From as Kitchen of the Month Ilva: from Elizabeth David’s English Bread and Yeast Cookery

500 grams half-and-half mixture of unbleached white and wheatmeal, 1 lb 2 oz
15 grams  yeast (fresh), 0,5 oz
2 egg whites
280-340 grams water and milk,preferably 3/4 water and 1/4 milk, 0,5 pint to 12 oz
15 grams salt, 0,5 oz

1. – Warm flour and salt in a very tepid oven. (you can skip this but I did it) … yes, I skipped this.

2. – Pour in the yeast creamed in a little of the warmed milk and water mixture. Add the egg whites, beaten in a small bowl until they are just beginning to froth. Pour in the remaining milk (but not all at once like I did, I had to add more flour to get the right consistency). Mix as for ordinary bread dough.  Oh, good grief, I did dump all of it in at once.

3. – Leave to rise until spongy and light. This will take 45 minutes to 1 hour depending on the temperature of the ingredients when the dough as mixed.  My took an hour.

4. – Break down the dough, divide it into two round loaves-or long rolls if you prefer. (I made one oval loaf). Cover with plastic or a light cloth and leave to recover volume. About 30 minutes should be enough.

5. – Decorate crust with cuts or not. Bake in a pre-heated oven (230°C/450°F) for the first 15 minutes. Then to prevent the crust to get too hard, cover the loaves with bowls or an oval casserole. In another 15 minutes the l0aves should be ready. (I did not cover my loaf because I had nothing of that size of shape that I could use so I lowered the temperature to 175°C/350°F and left it in for another 15-20 minutes.

 

As an aside, not bread related, I ask: Just how wild do you think the American west is today? Let’s say in Montana.

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We took these photos as we drove through Montana from Seattle back to our cabin in the woods.

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Maybe not so wild.  Sign said do not approach the animals.

 

Want to become a Bread Baking Babe? and get glorious bread in the process, here’s how Ilva tells it: You have to take look at what the other Bread Baking Babes have made and if you want to bake this bread and become a Bread Baking Buddie,  please bake and send me the link to your blog post about it before midnight Saturday 28th of September to luculliandelights AT gmail DOT com, please write Bread Baking Buddy in the subject line so that I don’t miss it!

Now you’re ready for bread!

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12 Comments

BBB Polenta Bread: August 2014

BBB Polenta Bread: August 2014

Recipe from our Kitchen of the Month, Elizabeth (Blog from OUR Kitchen) used Della Fattoria’s Polenta Bread on p.118-119 in “Artisan Baking Across America: the Breads, the Bakers, the Best Recipes” by Maggie Glezer as her inspiration for this bread.
Yield: 2 loavesIMG_6772

There is just no way you’re not going to want to bake this one … especially if you let  it rise in a brotform and cut circles in the top for the slash like it’s really suppose to be and like Elizabeth, Kitchen of the Month, and all the other Babes will show you how it should be done.  They’ll probably follow the recipe a little closer than I did as well. Since I had several open bags of flour I’m trying to use before we take off from here, I didn’t use all purpose, I used Sir Lancelot flour, 9-grain blend, white whole wheat and sprouted whole wheat all from King Arthur Flour.  I had no vital wheat gluten so that wasn’t used.  I think using bread flour or any flour with higher gluten content would eliminate or at least reduce the need to add gluten to the dough. At least that was my reasoning and the bread rose very nicely.

All my taste testers were very happy with this one; asking for “the loaf you have to cut”.  With beautiful summer tomatoes this bread was really glorious for sandwiches!

In the directions below, my comments/changes/actions are noted in blue.

 

BBB Polenta Bread

The afternoon before:
tiny Biga
9 grams water at 95F
2 pinches active dry yeast
11 grams Sir Lancelot flour from KAF

The evening before:
Starter
60 grams water at 95F
2 pinches active dry yeast
20 grams fermented sourdough all of the Biga
100 grams Sir Lancelot flour from KAF
The morning of:
Polenta
35 grams cornmeal aka polenta, coarsely ground
175 grams cold water
The morning of:
Dough
390 grams water at 80F
4 pinches active dry yeast
265 grams 9 grain blend from KAF + sprouted whole wheat
16 grams 5g(1.5tsp) flax seeds, finely ground
335 grams 135 grams Sir Lancelot flour from KAF + 200 grams white whole wheat
all of the starter
1 tablespoon salt
all of the cooled polenta
cornmeal, for garnish
1. Tiny Biga: In the early afternoon of the day before you are baking the bread, whisk the yeast with warm (~96F) water in a smallish bowl until it has dissolved. Or do what I do, whisk the yeast into the flour that will be used.  Using a wooden spoon and/or your hands, mix in the small amount of flour until it is smooth (I kneaded it in my fingers for a few minutes). Cover the bowl with a plate or shower cap and leave on the counter, out of drafts, to ferment.
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2. Starter: In the evening of the day before you are baking the bread, whisk the starter yeast with the starter flour, add the water and add the tiny biga that should be bubbling nicely. Using a wooden spoon and/or your hands, mix in the starter amount of flour until you have a smooth lump of dough.  I kneaded it in my fingers for a few minutes.
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3. Polenta: In the morning of the day you are baking the bread, pour cold water into a small pot on the stove at medium high heat. Add the polenta and using a wooden spoon, cook, stirring constantly until the mixture is thick – about 5 minutes.  It only took 4 minutes total to cook in the microwave. Spread on a shallow plate and allow to cool. As you can see, I left my polenta to cool in the bowl, stirring it from time to time while I had my breakfast … of polenta & peppers.
4. Mixing the dough: In a large mixing bowl, whisk the dough yeast with warm water. I’m sorry but I pretty much always whisk the yeast into the flour I’ll be using and that’s what I did here as well. Mix until flour & liquid have dissolved.
Add the starter (that should have doubled and be quite bubbly). Using a wooden spoon, stir in the flours, ground flax and salt. “It might be pretty sloppy. Or not. It might just be shaggy.” I had to add more water to get a slightly shaggy moist dough … probably a half cup.  
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Kneading: Lay the cooled polenta on top of the dough. Plunge in with your hands to turn and fold the dough in the bowl, kneading until it’s smooth (5 to 10 minutes). When the dough is smooth, decide to continue your radical behaviour learned from wayward BBBabes and skip the washing and drying the mixing bowl step. Simply cover the bowl with a plate to rest. In my case, I cover a dough bowl with a shower cap because I don’t travel with my rising bucket with lid.
After about 20 minutes, turn and fold the dough a few times. Notice that it is significantly smoother. It was significantly smoother.
Cover the bowl with a plate or shower cap and set it aside – I put it in a cool spot in the basement as it was time for running errands, the fridge seemed too cool as this was looking like a slow riser –  to rise until it has doubled. Don’t worry if it is quite sloppy. If it rises earlier than you expect, simply deflate the dough and allow it to rise again. This will just strengthen the dough.  With that direction in mind, I folded the dough just as I was headed out the door.
5. Shaping: When you are ready to shape the bread, turn it out onto a lightly floured board and divide it into 2 pieces. Trying not to disturb the bubbles too much, shape into two rounds.  Liberally spray the tops of the shaped loaves with water. Cover them with cornmeal. (Glezer suggests rolling the sprayed shaped loaves in the cornmeal placed on a plate.) Put each loaf seam-side up in a brotform, tightly woven basket or colander – my traveling kitchen does not allow for a brotform therefore that lovely swirl you’ll be seeing on the other Babe’s breads is not to be found here.  I simply shaped mine into loaves and again used the shower cap to cover each loaf pan.  Cover each one with a mixing bowl and allow them to rise on the counter (or in the oven with only the light turned on) until almost double.
6. Preheat: Put a baking stone on the middle shelf of the oven and preheat to 375°F.  Slashing: Turn each loaf out of its container onto a square of parchment paper. Using a very sharp knife (or a razor of lamé if you have one), starting at the center of the loaf and holding the blade almost horizontally, carve a spiral into each loaf. Try not to freak out if the spirals look like vicious circles.
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Baking: Liberally spray the tops of the loaves with water. Using a peel, slide them onto the hot stone and bake for about 40 minutes, turning them around once half way through baking, to account for uneven oven heat. The crust should be quite dark and the internal temperature should be somewhere between 200F and 210F.
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Allow the baked bread to cool completely before cutting into it. It’s still baking inside! (Even if you’ve ignored the instructions about using hot water from the tap, please do not ignore this step.)
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 Please bake along with us and be a Buddy! For details see Elizabeth’s post – oh wow did she ever get those swirls on her bread.
The all important crumb shot.

The all important crumb shot.

 

BBB logo August 2014