MyKitchenInHalfCups

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


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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.

IMG_7868

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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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

IMG_7462

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!

 IMG_7469


12 Comments

BBB Rgaïf – Moroccan Flat Bread

I am a little at a loss as to what I should talk about first … because I’m excited about so much happening. Perfect with Vegetable Beef Soup I’m excited to celebrate the Babes baking together for SIX -6- YEARS! I’m excited to welcome our two new Babes to keep us at an even active dozen.

Aparna from My Diverse Kitchen

Cathy from Bread Experience

And I’m very excited to have Lien as our Kitchen of the Month. Lien ( http://notitievanlien.blogspot.com ) is taking us to Morroco for a very delicate, sweet or savory if you fill it, flat bread.

Upon reading Lien’s recipe, my thoughts went something like this:

  • Hahahaha…yes I am on the floor knees up holding on for dear life. Scared, terrified … Why go on! My best position with this maybe to just … Oh shut up, just gut it up woman, go find a kitchen … Yes, find a kitchen …
  • The words that scared me:  Thin as paper …
  • This just rolled across your desk Lien. Um, it’s square … and flat … and thin … square & flat that must be why it didn’t keep rolling and fall off and get lost.
  • I can’t imagine how this can work and I’ll have plenty of time to shake and be scared until visiting friends and family in Florida in February.

Well, the friends we’re staying with gave me the OK to try these out in their kitchen.  These were good but I consider this bake “challenged”. It is always something of a distraction to bake in someone else’s kitchen and use what is there but it is also fun and can give a very new perspective to our “opinions” of what will work. Whenever I’m baking a recipe like this one … let me pause here to define what “this one” means to me … Bread in general has a long chain of history going back thousands of years. We were baking eons before fancy stand mixers, before yeast came in packets, before high tech designed pans and ovens and long before hybridized flours. This flatbread and others like it have long been baked by almost every culture we know and under very primitive conditions that you and I might consider impossible. That is a big part of why I think it is so wonderful to see “ancient” grains coming (back) onto the market and it’s the rational I use for adding whole grains of any kind even when not called for in a recipe. So while I may find an unfamiliar kitchen a challenge, I try to think of it as more fun than impossible. For this baking I used cups to measure the flour as no scale was available, bleached AP flour as that was what was on hand and one cup of whole wheat flour that I had brought with me from Seattle to Florida. I can’t remember the last time I bought “bleached” flour for anything but it must have been 25 to 30 years ago.

BBB Rgaïf – Moroccan Flat Bread

Recipe By: Lien from “Vrijdag couscousdag” by R. Ahali

Yield: 10-16 flat breads

IMG_3745

Ingredients:

500 grams flour, half whole wheat, half AP(2+ cups total)

1/2 teaspoon crushed rosemary

30 grams ground flax seed, will use next time!

5,5 grams dry yeast (used 1 1/4 teaspoon)

1/2 teaspoon salt

250 ml 250 ml water

50 ml olive oil

(after watching the video & slide show, I’ll be much more liberal with the oil next time; probably make it a mix of butter and olive oil)

Directions: Mix flour, yeast and salt in a large bowl. Kneading by hand:  Make a well in the centre and add some water, start mixing in the flour where it touches the water. Little by little add more water and keep mixing in the flour. Start kneading, grease your hands with a little oil to prevent sticking. Knead about 20 minutes. Mine took about 12 minutes  to become smooth and supple.  Add water if it feels too dry. Whenever I have to add water to a mixed dough, I try to add enough by wetting my hands and kneading it in – it takes time but it can be done. The dough needs to be very elastic and no dough should stick to your hands. There was no resting/rising time called for by the recipe … but, right you guessed it, rebel that I am to make it fit my schedule, at this point I oiled the dough ball, covered and refrigerated it. Several hours later it was shaped and baked as you see below. IMG_3748 Shape: Make 10- 16 dough balls depending on your pan size and how large you want them. Coat every ball with a little olive oil. Let them rest for about 5 minutes. Flatten the ball with your hand as much as you can. Stretch the dough. Take care to get no (or a little as possible) holes in the dough.  (While you only see 8 balls of dough here, this only represents half of the recipe. I divided the dough in half for ease of shaping and to prevent drying the dough.) IMG_3754You need to stretch the dough until it gets as thin as you can, thinner than paper if possible. It’s best done on a counter top, stretching the dough and sticking it to the surface, so it doesn’t spring back. This is not easy. Now fold the dough in squares by folding the round sides inwards. IMG_4916 Just before putting the squares into the skillet on low heat, the squares maybe flattened and spread out some again. Bake the squares in a hot large pan on both sides. I found a lower heat allowed the squares to bake through without burning. Only use more oil if the Rgaïf stick to the pan. You can also deep fry them (as they do in southern Morocco).IMG_3749 Serve: You can serve them with syrup, (strawberry) jam, chocolate sauce. But also you can use savory things, like thinly slices meat, cheese ecc. You can also spread some filling in them, before folding and baking them just keep in mind to make it thin.IMG_3764 After I baked the breads, I watched the following and made the following notes. I believe you will find the note links one to a video and the second to a slide show. Notes from video:

Notes from slide show:

Before folding, I lightly sprinkled several of these with cheddar cheese, several with goat cheese and several with jack cheese and pepperoni.  Some Beef Vegetable Soup was the perfect dinner with these Rgaïf! IMG_4922On the plate above you’ll see one that looks burned (it was not) and is rectangular. That one I brushed with brown sugar and cinnamon before folding. We divided it. It was the hit of the bunch for the sweet lovers. I of  course really loved the goat cheese. What did these look like in a side view? Did the yeast have any effect on these?  You must forgive the poor quality photo next.  It’s a little out of focus but it’s the only inside/side one I took. IMG_4941 What will I do different:

  • be prepared to start at medium low temperature not high
  • flatten each square again before adding to the skillet for baking; aim to get thinner layering
  • be more experimental with fillings

These were great fun! Good enough to do again. I’d like to try them with a Moroccan tagine. Check out all the Awesome Twelve Babes on my right side bar! Want to help us celebrate SIX YEARS OF BAKING and be a Most Awesome Bread Baking Buddy?  That would be just super awesome with us.  Lien is Kitchen of the Month:   Become our Bread Baking Buddy, stretch, fold, bake, taste, eat and let us know all about it, by sending your details and results to me (as I’m kitchen of the month this time). Mail me your name, blog url, post url and attach your favorite picture of the recipe. Send it to notitievanlien(at)gmail(polkadot)com. Deadline is the 29th of this month. You’ll be added to the round up somewhere in the first week of March ánd of course receive a wonderful Bread Baking Buddy Badge to add to your own post. I’ll be happy to see your entries come in!! BBB logo February 2014


6 Comments

BBB Aloo Partha

Let me tell you, satellite internet is not wonderful. Well, at least the one we have here in the north woods isn’t.  When the wind blows, it rains, it snows, and sometimes it’s just  beautiful outside … our satellite doesn’t really care … it just randomly takes a rest. That’s what is’s done for the last three days and that’s my excuse for being so late. The only thing I miss about the big city is the high speed internet.

Karen is our Kitchen of the Month. Thank You Karen for the BBB’s very first bread recipe without yeast!  Aloo Paratha has long been on my list for baking and we loved these. Shamelessly easy to make.  Filling them is only limited by your imagination. Serve as a little bite with wine. Serve as a light lunch.  Serve with the evening soup. Be traditional, serve with a warming curry.

BBB Aloo Paratha

Recipe By: Karen of BakeMyDay from how to cook everything by Mark Bittman”

2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 cup sprouted wheat flour
salt
1 teaspoon ajwain* dried thyme, or ground cumin
3/4 cup water
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil, like grapeseed or corn, plus more for brushing the breads
1.1/2 lb. starchy potatoes, peeled and cut in half
1 jalapeño or other fresh hot chile, seeded and minced or more to taste
2 teaspoons ground coriander
freshly ground pepper
juice of 1/2 small lemon
1 clove garlic pressed
3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
melted butter
*ajwain comes from carom seeds which look like celery but taste like very strong, slightly coarse thyme

They look like the real Aloo Paratha! done in a skillet.

They look like the real Aloo Paratha! done in a skillet.

1. Combine the flours with 1 teaspoon salt and the thyme in a food processor.  OK, let’s stop right there. I have a food processor, yes I do. I even gave in and went to the friend’s hanger where he’s kindly allowing us to store a lot of boxes while we try to put in a kitchen and get a storage shed built. Gorn even located said food processor and I unpacked it … or most of it. It seems the critical piece that makes the electrical contact was left out … hopefully packed in another box that will one day be unpacked … but that was not yesterday nor today. I’m reasoning that even today there are a huge number of cooks in India making paratha and even today a huge number are making paratha without the aid of a food processor … SOOOOOOOO like a good Daring Baker (thank you Lisa) and good Bread Baking Babe that I am I forged ahead mixing the dough by hand and even though it took slightly longer than 30-45 seconds (5 minutes actually) I did end up with a dough slightly sticky to the touch and continued on.

IMG_1039

Turn the machine on and add the oil and 3/4 cup water through the feed tube. Process for about 30 seconds, until the mixture forms a ball and is slightly sticky to the touch. If it is dry, add another tablespoon or two of water and process for another 10 seconds. In the unlikely event that the mixture is too sticky, add flour a tablespoon at a time. Remove the dough and, using flour as necessary, shape into a ball; wrap in plastic and let rest while you make the potato mixture. (At this point, you may wrap the dough tightly in plastic and refrigerate for up to a day or freeze for up to a week; bring back to room temperature before proceeding.)
IMG_1038

2. Put the potatoes in a large saucepan and add water to cover and a large pinch of salt.  Sorry, we have to stop right here again … I don’t have a stove top upstairs in our “kitchen” yet and I just wasn’t willing to run outside in the rain to use the stove downstairs … so I baked the potato, I suppose I could have steamed them in the microwave but I baked them. Oh, and all that green … I added a nice handful of spinach.  Turn the heat to high, bring to a boil, and adjust the heat so the mixture simmers steadily; cook until the potatoes are tender, 15 to 20 minutes, then drain. Mash the potatoes along with half (all) the chile, the coriander, a large pinch of salt, some pepper, and the lemon juice; taste and adjust the seasoning (you may prefer more chile; sometimes aloo paratha are quite hot).

Divide

Divide

3. When the dough has rested, set out a bowl of all-purpose flour and a small bowl of oil, with a spoon or brush, on your work surface. Lightly flour your work surface and your rolling pin. Break off a piece of dough about the size of a golf ball. Toss it in the bowl of flour and then roll it in your hands to make a ball. Flatten it into a 2-inch disk, then use a floured rolling pin to roll it into a thin round, about 5 inches in diameter, dusting with flour as necessary.
Pull up the sides to make a purse and then flatten, roll thin.

Pull up the sides to make a purse and then flatten, roll thin.

4. Mound about 2 tablespoons (that was too much for the size I made, adjust accordingly)  of the filling into the center of one of the rounds of dough. Bring the edges of the round up over the top of the filling and press them together to make a pouch. Press down on the “neck” of the pouch with the palm of one hand to make a slightly rounded disk. Turn the disk in the bowl of flour and roll it out again into a round 6 to 7 inches in diameter. Pat it between your hands to brush off the excess flour. Put the paratha on a plate and cover with a sheet of plastic wrap. Continue to roll all of the remaining dough into parathas and stack them on the plate with a sheet of plastic wrap between them. You can keep the paratha stacked like this for an hour or two in the refrigerator before cooking them if necessary.
Keep them stacked for two hours … perfect! The rain had stopped and I used the stove top downstairs to cook two of them.
5. Heat a griddle or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat for a minute or two, then put on a paratha (or two, if they’ll fit) and cook until it darkens slightly, usually less than a minute. Flip the paratha with a spatula and cook for another 30 seconds on the second side. Use the back of a spoon or a brush to coat the top of the paratha with oil. Flip and coat the other side with oil. Continue cooking the paratha until the bottom of the bread has browned, flip, and repeat.
Panni Aloo Paratha India + Italy

Panni Aloo Paratha
India + Italy

I did do two in this traditional stove top manner but … on two occasions I used the panni grill. While that doesn’t give the traditional look to the paratha, it produces a nice paratha.
Do this a few times until both sides of the paratha are golden brown and very crisp, 2 to 3 minutes total for each paratha. As the paratha finish, remove them from the pan and brush with melted butter if you’re going to serve hot; otherwise wait until you’ve reheated them.6.  variations: cauliflower, sweet potato …
Yep, we enjoyed these immensely with our wine in the evening. These are shamelessly easy to make. The dough can be held over in the fridge a day or two so it’s a delight when there is just the two of us to make these for several days in a row. They make wonderful little bites for a light lunch or a little bite with a glass of wine in the evening.
Now the only question remaining here is: Are you going to join in and become a Bread Baking Buddy?If you’d like to join in, simply bake this Aloo Paratha (yes, you may adapt) – and then send Karen a link to your post via email (bake my day at gmail dot com).  Submissions are due by November 29th.  Once you’ve posted, Karen will send you a fabulous Buddy Badge designed by our own Babe Lien for baking along and you’ll appear in the Buddy post.  I hope you’ll join us this month!


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BBB ~ Nan e Barbari (Persian flatbread)

Flat, I’m flat, I’m flat as a pancake.  Flat as a pancake, busy as a bee and happy as can be with Nan E Barbari!

Since I am so very late posting this month because the universe has chosen to bless me with a hail storm of crisis events – always loved that Morton salt girl with the huge umbrella in the downpour – when it rains it pours.  I will do this very short with just a few notes of mine.

Notes:  You really want to bake this: It’s drop dead easy and fast for yeasties.

My original goal was to have a lovely Persian dinner with this like lamb meatballs … but I never got that past the idea stage and instead we used half of a loaf for toast and the rest for glorious sandwiches!  When we get to Michigan, this is going to be high on my list for a BBQ nite.

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Recipe from our Kitchen of the Month Elizabeth

and

based on Lida’s recipe for Barbari Bread at 1001recipe.com

Nan e Barbari (Persian flatbread)

dough
5 gm (~1.5 tsp) active dry yeast
360 gm (1.5 c) water, at 90F (32C) ¹
60 gm (~0.5 c) 100% whole wheat flour
360 gm (~2.75 c) unbleached all purpose flour (100 grams of this was spelt)
2 gm (~0.5 tsp) baking powder
6 gm (1 tsp) salt

30 gm ground flax seed
nigella seeds (or black sesame, poppy, sesame seeds)
sauce
1 teaspoon flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
160 gm (2/3 c) water

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, mix the flours, baking powder, yeast and salt and whisk together. with a wooden spoon until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.  (Doesn’t that give you pause … baking powder, yeast.  Well, it did me but I blindly followed along.)   Add water and mix with wooden spoon or your hands until it clears the sides of the bowl.

This resulted in flatter loaf.

This resulted in flatter loaf.

2.  Kneading: Turn the dough out onto an UNfloured board. Now Elizabeth has a fetish about washing and drying her bowl … I don’t.  Please do not be tempted to skip this step. I did … ship it.  Using both hands on either side of the dough and thumbs resting on the top in the center, lift it up and flip it over in the air before plopping it back down on the board.  Considering all that hail storm, my plopping was more like whack and bam but boy that was just terrific.   Fold the dough in half away from you as you plop the dough down. Keep repeating until the dough is smooth. Every so often, use the dough scraper to clean the board. Stretching the dough is desired on the turns. But this won’t start happening right away.  When the dough is smooth, place it in the clean mixing bowl (there is no need to oil the bowl).

3. I placed the dough ball in my rising bucket and put the lid on.  Allowed to double.

4. Prepare the sauce: Whisk flour, baking soda and water in a small pot. Bring it to a boil. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

5. Pre-shaping: Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Scatter a light dusting of flour on the board and gently remove the risen dough onto it. Don’t worry that the dough is quite slack. Cut the dough in half. Form each piece into a ball and place well apart on the cookie sheet.

Loaf came out with most loft using this method.

Loaf came out with most loft using this method.

6. I covered this with a large plastic box and allow to rise to double in a draft-free area. (about an hour)

Final rise after shaping.

Final rise after shaping.

7. Final Shaping: Brush each round with the sauce. Dip your fingers in the sauce and dimple the rounds down to form two ovals with lengthwise furrows.  Brush ovals with the sauce once more and sprinkle with nigella seeds. Allow the ovals to stand for about 30 min.  Elizabeth has terrific links for videos, very worth while, I just don’t have time to include today.

8. Baking:  Baking: If you do not have a barbecue, this bread can be baked in a conventional oven. Lida suggests baking it in a preheated 375F (190C) oven for about 30 minutes until golden brown.

Grand color!

Grand color!

Serve the bread warm.  And if cools completely all is not lost because …

Can you have better at a picnic!?

Can you have better at a picnic!?

You can still have glory!

Are you drooling now ... Get thee to the kitchen and BAKE!

Are you drooling now … Get thee to the kitchen and BAKE!

Thank You Elizabeth for a great bread, please for give the speed post.  Some times life just throws such incredible curves.

See our  Kitchen of the Month Elizabeth blog to be a Bread Baking Buddy!


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Traveling: Lamb and Tomato Breads w Lentil Salad

When it comes to a suggestion to eat out, especially to our little local-walk-to-it Tex-Mex Cafe, I am a push over. I’ll over through a meal I’ve fixed (not throw out just put on hold) and I’m ready to go. It’s not fancy but there’s one dish Gorn is assured to enjoy (Chicken Enchilada Verde) and I go wild for their Chicken Spinach Chili Relleno – grilled not fried. So we really enjoy the meal but it’s the walking there and back that somehow is the real beauty of the thing. One night we got caught in a thunderstorm and stood under the porch of the junior high. Some nights we’ve stopped to watch baseball practice at the middle school. We most always walk by a church community garden to see how things are growing. The bonus is we get four meals out of the deal as we always go home with half our dinner that becomes lunch the next day.  Perhaps the real bonus is actually the calories burned walking there and back.

Big Bubble

Big Bubble

The night I was going to serve these Lamb Breads and Lentil Salad, we went out to dinner. I baked two of the breads with no topping to serve with our glass of wine before dinner. We loved the flatbreads just plain.
Several nights later, I finally served everything as suggested in the book. The lamb was good, nothing spectacular just good. If I do it again: I’ll serve it as an appetizer and so make the breads much smaller. Instead of shallots, I might use Slow Cooker Caramelized Onions.
UPDATE: I stand corrected. I can’t really account for it but when I mixed up a fresh batch of this dough and served these leftovers, we thought the meal was excellent. Was it the fresher dough? I’m not sure but I lean more to: I made the breads smaller and I added several large shavings of cheese to the lamb. I wish I’d thought to add the mint when they came out of the oven.


Lamb & Tomato Breads ~ lachmunjau, lachma bi ujun
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Recipe Adapted from: FLatBreads & Flavors: A Baker’s Atlas by Jeffery Alford & Naomi Duguid

Dough

1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon yeast
1 cup bread flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups sprouted wheat whole wheat flour
3 tablespoons flax seed meal
7 basil leaves, chopped
Filling
1 teaspoon olive oil, for sauteing
1/2 cup shallot, use caramelized onions
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 pound lamb, ground (another fine example of not being able to read or maybe I can blame it on my cataracts)
10 plum tomatoes, chopped
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, use more
1/8 teaspoon allspice, use more
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon black pepper

Directions:

1. DOUGH

2. Whisk together bread flour, yeast and salt.
Mix together honey, water and oil.
Mix the above together and then begin adding in the sprouted whole wheat until the dough is to thick to stir with the wooden spoon.

3. Turn the dough onto the counter, and knead in the remaining flour until a smooth elastic dough forms. Took less than 10 minutes and used about a cup and a quarter of the sprouted wheat flour.

4. Cover and let rise until double in size.
Took about 90 minutes.

5. Divide the into at least 12 balls.
Allow to rest 10 minutes.
Preheat oven to 450°

6. Flatten the dough balls with your hand and then roll them to about 4 inch rounds.
Place on baking sheet or semolina dusted bread peel if baking on a stone.

7. Top each disk with lamb or another topping, plain is good too.
Don’t go to the edge with topping.

8. Slide into oven onto pre-heated baking stone.
Bake at the 450° between 7 and 8 minutes.

9. LAMB FILLING

10. Saute shallots or use caramelized onions.
Saute the lamb.
Add tomatoes and cook until most of liquid has evaporated.

11. Add cinnamon, allspice, salt and pepper.
Set aside. I made this the day before and refrigerateed it.

Notes:

Mint with the lamb would be good.
Grilled chicken instead of lamb would be good.

Lentil & Sweet Pepper Salad
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Recipe By: FLatBreads & Flavors: A Baker’s Atlas by Jeffery Alford & Naomi Duguid

1 cup Le Puy Lentils
3 cups water or broth
3 cloves garlic, cut in 1/2
1 red bell (capsicum) pepper, large dice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds, dry roast then finely ground
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, ground with coriander & salt
1/4 cup cilantro
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 carrot, julienne cut

1. Cook lentils. Took about 45 minutes.

2. Whisk together the spices, oil and lemon juice.
When ready to serve mix lentils, carrot and red pepper with dressing.
Serve at room temp.

Notes:

I really enjoyed this even more by topping it with roasted beet salad.

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One of the great mysteries of life: sometimes things just fall apart, no known reason.  My little Canon just went blank, not exactly blank, it now shows sort of a test pattern of lines with a little leaf on it.  So … all these were taken with my phone ;(