Baguette

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I have been planning to make baguettes for a long time but have postponed it simply because I was so scared I would mess up. Finally the French cuisine theme seemed the perfect time to finally try making the baguette.

I am happy to report that overall the baguette was not a failure. I would get ahead of myself if I called it a success but it got the crisp exterior and a chewy crumb. The only issue was that I ended up making it thinner than it should be and it looked more like a ficelle rather than a baguette. Well, that’s what second tries are for, I guess!

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Recipe adapted from here

Makes 2 baguettes

WHAT WE NEED

For the poolish

1/4 cup Water

A pinch of instant yeast

70 gms All purpose flour

For the dough

3/4 tsp Instant yeast

1/2 cup Warm water

All of the poolish

245 gms All purpose flour

1 tsp salt

WHAT TO DO

  • Mix all the ingredients for the poolish to form a soft dough
  • Cover and set it aside for 8-10 hours or till the poolish has doubled and become very bubbly
  • Add all the ingredients for the dough to the poolish and knead for 10 mins by hand / 3-4 mins with a mixer
  • Set it aside covered for 90 mins or till th dough is double in volume
  • Take out the dough and divide it into 2 pieces
  • Make a rough ball with each piece and set it aside for 15 mins to 1 hour
  • Roll each ball into a long rope. The length depends on the size of your baking tray
  • Ensure that the ends are pointy like a baguette usually is
  • Leave it on the baking tray / couche for 45 mins to an hour
  • If you don’t have a baguette pan then cut up any tubular cardboard into 2 pieces. Lay them on the baking tray and put a parchment paper on it. I used the cardboard available at the end of the kitchen tissue roll. You can even use a Pringles chips box.
  • Place one rolled dough between the two halves of the cardboard to rise for the final 45 mins to an hour
  • Preheat the oven to 230C with an empty tray at the bottom rack
  • Pour 1 1/2 cups of hot water on the empty tray
  • Make 3-5 slashes on top of the dough and then place the baguette tray on the middle rack
  • Bake for 24-28 minutes or the top is golden brown
  • Enjoy!

NOTES

  1. I made 3 baguettes instead of 2 and hence mine turned out very thin.

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This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme, ‘French Cuisine’.

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Eggless Brioche

This is one theme I have been so excited about ever since it was announced. I have been planning to explore the French cuisine forever now and this is just the perfect opportunity. French breads are world famous and even an entire month of baking different French breads wont exhaust the lost but nevertheless, I picked on three popular breads for this month.

The first one is the classic Brioche, which is an enriched bread. Usually eggs are used to enrich the dough but I replaced that with milk and butter which makes a soft and rich bread.

Adapted from here

Makes 9-10 rolls

WHAT WE NEED

470 gms All purpose flour

2 tbsp Vital wheat gluten (optional)

7 gms Instant yeast

300ml Warm milk

30 gms Honey

40 gms Unsalted butter

1 1/2 tsp Salt

WHAT TO DO

  • Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl
  • Knead together for 10 minutes to form a soft dough
  • Set aside the dough for 60-90 minutes or till the dough doubles in volume
  • Take out the dough and divide into 9-10 equal parts
  • Roll each one into a ball and set on a greased baking tray
  • Cover the tray and set aside for an hour
  • Preheat the oven to 210C
  • Bake for 15-18 minutes or till the buns turn golden brown
  • Cool for 15-20 minutes
  • Enjoy!

This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme, ‘French Cuisine’.

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Kimbula Banis | Sweet Buns

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My usual modus operandi in any country theme is to look for the breads available there and try to bake atleast one such dish. I chanced upon this awesome sweet bun recipe and knew I had to make it. It is simple, tasty and makes for a perfect snack for kids.

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This dish is supposed to look like a crocodile and hence the name ‘kimbula’ which means crocodile. So usually these buns are longer and bigger. But I wanted to give these for my daughter’s snack box and so made them smaller and figured these could work as baby kimbula rolls. What say?

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Recipe adapted from here

Makes 15-18 buns

WHAT WE NEED

170 gms All purpose flour

20 gms Milk powder

1 egg

4 gms Instant yeast

15 gms Brown sugar

25 gms Sugar + for sprinkling on top

12 gms Unsalted butter

65-70 gms Warm water

 

WHAT TO DO

  • Mix all the ingredients together, except water
  • Add the water slowly to form a soft and pliant dough
  • Knead for 2-3 minutes and keep covered in a bowl till it doubles in volume. It should take around 1 hour
  • Take out the dough and roll it with a rolling pin to a long rectangle
  • Cut the dough into small triangles with a dough scrapper or knife
  • Roll each triangle from the broad side to the narrow side
  • Line a baking tray with parchment
  • Transfer the rolled dough to the baking tray and set aside for half hour
  • Preheat the oven to 180C
  • Sprinkle sugar generously on top of the dough buns
  • Bake for 20 minutes or till the top is golden brown
  • Serve warm
  • Enjoy with some tea!

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This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme, ‘Sri Lankan Cuisine’.

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Khobz dyal Zraa’ – Moroccan Wheat Bread

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Another awesome part of baking bread is the scoring of the dough before baking. Scoring is simply slashing the dough top so that we are able to control where the bread expands from. When you score the bread with a pretty design it adds a delightful artistic side to the loaf, a treat to the eyes and you are in awe of it even before biting into the first slice. Though it appears easy, scoring requires a little confidence and quite a bit of practice. The tool used to score dough is called lame and it is basically a regular blade mounted on a stand. As usual, this is not available in India and so I fashioned myself one in order to be able to score the dough well. This is my first effort with my new tool and it doesn’t look too bad for a first attempt, right? Despite a slightly misshapen loaf, that is.

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Bread is an integral part of Moroccan cuisine and they have a wide variety of breads, both dough raising and flat breads. I picked the whole wheat bread which has an equal amount of whole wheat and all purpose flour. This bread is a relatively flat bread and needs only one rise which makes it a comparatively faster bake. But because of the low hydration, the air pockets are not huge but small and uniform throughout.

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Recipe adapted from here

Makes 1 large loaf

WHAT WE NEED

135 gms All purpose flour

135 gms Whole wheat flour

1 1/2 tsp Instant yeast

180 gms Warm water

1 tsp Salt

1 tbsp Oil

1 tbsp Honey

 

WHAT TO DO

  • Mix the all purpose flour, whole wheat flour and salt together
  • Make a well in the middle and add the yeast
  • Add the oil, honey and water to the yeast and mix it first
  • Then mix with the flours to form a dough
  • Knead for 6-7 minutes till you get a soft pliable dough
  • Set aside for 15 minutes
  • Grease a baking tray and sprinkle some semolina
  • Press down the dough with the palm of your hand to make a 1/4″ thick circle
  • Cover with a kitchen towel and set aside for 1 hour
  • Preheat the oven at 250C
  • Sprinkle some flour on top and slash the dough in any pattern of your choice
  • Put the dough into the oven and reduce the temperature to 220C
  • Bake for 10 minutes
  • Turn the tray around and bake for another 10 minutes or till the loaf acquires a rich brown colour
  • Take it out of the oven and cool on a rack
  • Enjoy!

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This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme, ‘Moroccan Cuisine’.

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This is part of the Bake-a-thon 2017

Pullman Loaf

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This bread is a big check on my bucket list of breads to bake. I have wanted to bake the Pullman loaf for the longest time and the search for the loaf pan took forever. Finally I could lay my hands on a cool loaf tin with a lid and I immediately set off to bake this one. I have baked in thrice in the last week, with white flour, with wheat flour and a seeded version. I think I might finally be getting closer to my goal of not buying bread and having it all homemade.

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The Pullman loaf was developed by the Pullman company to be baked in a compact kitchen and so that it can be stacked in the minimum possible place. It is baked in a loaf tin with a lid that is slid on the tin to ensure that the bread retains its rectangular shape and does not rise unequally.

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Recipe adapted from ‘The New Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes’

Makes one 9*4 loaf

WHAT WE NEED

455 gms All purpose flour

340 gms Lukewarm Water

5 gms Instant yeast

10 gms Salt

WHAT TO DO

  • Mix all the ingredients together and ensure there is no dry flour left
  • Let it rise till it is doubles and then collapse a little. It should take around 2 hours
  • It can immediately be used but the dough is easier to handle if refrigerated for 2-3 hours
  • Grease a 9*4 Pullman loaf tin and the lid with butter or oil
  • Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface
  • Dust the dough with a little flour and shape it into a ball by stretching the dough on each of the four sides to the bottom
  • Extend the ball to an oval shape and drop it into the loaf tin. The dough should come up to 3/4 of the tin
  • Close the lid and let the dough rise for 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Preheat the dough to 250C
  • Bake for 45 minutes and then take off the lid to bake for 10 minutes
  • Remove the loaf from the loaf tin and let it cool completely before cutting it into slices
  • Enjoy!

NOTES

  1. I also tried this recipe with 300 gms All purpose flour and 155 gms whole wheat flour and it worked beautifully
  2. I also sprinkled some sunflower and melon seeds on top after transferring the dough to the loaf tin.

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This is part of the Bake-a-thon 2017

Pita Bread

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This is the second recipe in the Lebanese cuisine theme. It is the classic and most popular dish – the pita. The Pita is a leavened bread made with all purpose flour. It can either be cooked on the stove top or baked in the oven. Having tried both methods, I definitely recommend baking it. The pita puffs up beautifully in the oven and the layers are well formed. It easily gives way to making a pita pocket to put the stuffing in. The pita cooked on the stove top looks well done while the baked one would leave you in doubt as to its doneness. But do not worry, if it puffs up well, it is done well.

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When you make it on a stove top you have to ensure that the skillet is very hot to cook the pita but at the same time not too hot to spoil it. You have to be very careful and vigilant to turn it over at the right time and yet it is not a guarantee that the pita would puff largely instead of small little pockets like a regular roti. But when you bake it, all you need to do is set the temperature and watch while the magic is performed. I also loved the taste of the baked version as against the stovetop version.

You can use the pita with the classic falafel or for a vegetable sandwich. If you have any leftover pitas, simply toast them with butter and garlic and be amazed.

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Recipe from here

Makes 8 pitas

WHAT WE NEED

All purpose flour                       2 1/2 – 3 cups 

Active dry / Instant yeast         2 tsp

Warm water                               1 cup

Salt                                               2 tsp

Olive oil (optional)                    2 tsp
WHAT TO DO

  • Mix the water and yeast in a large bowl and set aside for 2-3 minutes
  • Add 2 1/2 cups of flour, salt and oil to the water and yeast
  • Mix all the ingredients together to form the dough
  • Dust the counter top with some flour and transfer the dough to the counter top
  • Knead the dough well for 7-8 minutes and add some flour if needed to make a smooth and pliable dough
  • Grease the bowl with some olive oil and transfer the dough to it
  • Turn it around in the bowl so that all sides of the dough are well oiled
  • Cover the bowl with a damp kitchen towel or cling wrap and set aside till the dough doubles
  • It can take around 1-2 hours depending on the climate
  • If needed, the dough can be refrigerated at this point and used to make the pita at a later time
  • Once the dough is doubled, divide it into 8 parts and shape each of them into a ball

If cooking on the stovetop

  • Heat the skillet till it is very hot
  • Take each ball of dough and roll it into a 3″ thick circle
  • Transfer the rolled out dough to the skillet and cook for 30 seconds
  • Turn the pita over and cook for a minute or so till the pita puffs up well
  • Take it off the heat 
  • Repeat the same procedure till all 8 pitas are made
  • Enjoy with some falafel and salad!

If baking 

  • Preheat the oven to 230C
  • Roll out each dough ball to a 3″ thick circlular pita
  • Transfer the rolled out dough (as many as can be fitted comfortably) to the baking tray
  • Bake for 3-4 minutes till the pita puffs up
  • Take it out of the oven
  • Repeat the same procedure till all the pitas are baked
  • Enjoy it with some falafel and hummus

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 This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme, Lebanese Cuisine’.

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Pumpkin Dinner Rolls with Cinnamon Butter #BreadBakers


I have wanted to join a bread blog group for a long time now. Finally I found it. Yay!
This is my first post for the Bread Bakers group. The theme for the month is Fall Breads. Though there is no Fall from where I come from, I stay in a country where the entire year is Pumpkin time. I get such amazing pumpkins in Malaysia here that I have fallen in love with it. It was usually once a month fare when we were in India but here it’s a weekly affair.


I found this amazing pumpkin dinner roll recipe that I just had to make and it did turn out wonderful too!

So here goes –


WHAT WE NEED

Bread:
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast

1 cup milk, scalded and cooled to lukewarm (see note)

1/4 cup granulated sugar

40 grams (3 tbsp) unsalted butter, melted

1/2 cup /110 grams pumpkin puree (see note)

2 large eggs, divided

1 tsp salt

480 grams (3 3/4 cups) all-purpose flour

8-10 halved walnuts pieces

Butter:
52 gms unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 tbsp powdered sugar

2 tbsp honey

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

WHAT TO DO
For the bread rolls

 

  • Mix the yeast, milk, sugar, butter, pumpkin, one egg, and salt until well combined.
  • Add the flour in three installments and knead on medium-low speed in a hand mixer or stand mixer until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
  • Turn off the mixer and let the dough rest for 5 minutes.
  • Knead the dough for another 5 minutes until the dough is soft and smooth.
  • If it seems too sticky, add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time. ( I added 3 tbsp flour)
  • Transfer the dough to a large greased bowl and cover the bowl with a wet napkin
  • Let the dough rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes
  • Punch the dough down and turn it out onto a lightly floured counter top
  • Divide the dough into 18 equal pieces and shape into balls.
  • Press the balls down lightly with the palm of your hand
  • Cover and let rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  • Beat the remaining egg with 2 teaspoons of water and brush all over the rolls.
  • Insert a halved walnut in the centre of each roll to look like a stem of a mini pumpkin
  • Bake the rolls for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
  • Enjoy it warm with cinnamon butter


 



For the cinnamon butter

  • Beat the butter until pale in color.
  • Add the powdered sugar, honey, and cinnamon and beat until well combined, light, and fluffy.
  • Serve immediately or store, covered, in the fridge for up to 1 week.
  • Bring to room temperature before serving.

NOTES

  • Scalded milk is hot milk which does not stick to the bottom of the pan and does not form a film on top. So you need to heat the milk on medium heat and keep stirring it every 20-30 seconds. Switch of the gas when small bubbles start forming at the edges. Let it cool to lukewarm and then use it for this recipe.
  • You can either use fresh or canned pumpkin purée. I use fresh purée.

Let’s take a look at the other Fall Flavors being shared today

BreadBakers

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board. Links are also updated each month on this homepage.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.

If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to foodlustpeoplelove@gmail.com

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