I had tried to bake bread long time bake which did not turn out that good. After that though I had a willingness to bake bread, I didn’t dare to as it was a tedious job involving lots of muscle power for kneading and proofing time.
Mid November approached and the deals for Black Friday started coming up. An eye catcher deal for me under kitchen section was the Kitchenaid Stand Mixer. I was like in two minds however the deal was awesome. I was almost getting it at half the actual price.
Finally I bought it. Now I was eager to try something utilizing it. Finally yesterday I decided to try out bread again. I referred a multiple recipes and then mixing all, followed the one below which yields 12 buns or rolls.
- 4 cups sifted all purpose flour
- 3 packets active dry yeast or around 2 tbsp
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1/4 cup milk
- 2 tbsp butter
- Butter & milk for brushing
- Add salt, sugar and yeast to warm water, mix and allow it to stand for 10 mins or till it turns frothy.
- In a mixing bowl, mix the flour, butter and water. In case you using a stand mixer, use the dough hook and run the stir mode for a minute for mixing.
- Knead into a soft dough by adding the yeast mixture only as much required to form the dough. I required somewhere between 1/3 -1/2 cup. If using stand mixer, run the mixture on medium speed till the dough is formed which takes around 5-10 mins.
- Dust bowl with plain flour and allow the dough to stand in it for an hour covered with a damp cloth. This is proofing.
- After an hour you will notice that the dough has doubled up in size. Punch this for 2 mins using greased palms.
- Divide this dough into 12 round smooth balls. Place them in a greased tray allowing a half inch space between them. I made 8 of them into round balls and remaining four I rolled each into a strand and turned them into a knotted 8 shape to bake it into a dinner roll.
- Again allow them to stand covered for half an hour. They will again double up.
- Preheat oven to 350F. Brush each roll with milk. You can even use egg wash instead of milk.
- Bake for 45 mins or till the acquire slight brown color.
- Remove them and brush again with butter to give a shiny appearance.
- Enjoy the rolls with butter for breakfast or can we had with a spicy curry for the meals.
Cakes have always been one of my favorite desserts or snack and being passionate about baking I always like to experiment with a variety of baked goodies.
As a child I always waited for the Christmas season to arrive or looked forward towards an invite at a Christian family’s home for a birthday party,etc. I know it sounds insane. But kids are kids, innocent at heart.
As a child I always had this fascination towards the ribbon cake. At that time, the exact type or name of the cake was so immaterial to me. Rather I would always describe the cake to my parents or the shopkeeper to get what I desired. I would just say a “cake whose slice has pink or green or both color bands on it.”As a college girl too, I remember I used to buy the ribbon cake, quarter kg from the Apollo bakery in Ponda.
A few days back Ms.Xanti Pinto posted ribbon cake pictures on a food group (Base Recipe by Xanti). I was so damn delighted to see those. It was also my mum’s birthday that day. So I thought I should be seeking the recipe from her as soon as possible and baking one at once so that though seven seas away from mum can celebrate her birthday as well re-live my childhood. However I could not get the recipe in time.
But as Children’s Day (14 November is celebrated as Children’s day in India – my home country) was round the corner, what better day than this one to re-live my childhood. So taking Xanti’s recipe as base and making a few modifications to it, here we go ahead to bake the Ribbon cake.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into cubes
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar (you can adjust the sugar based on the sweetness you prefer)
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 9 inch loaf pan
- gel or tube colors (pink, green and orange)
Note : Incase you are using salted butter, please omit using the salt
- Pre-heat the oven to 320 F.
- Grease a 9 inch loaf pan and line it with parchment paper.
- In a bowl, sift the all-purpose flour, salt and baking powder.
- In a mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar till light and fluffy using a hand mixer.
- Add one egg at a time and beat the batter further.
- Add the vanilla extract and mix well.
- Now fold in the flour mixture into the wet ingredients until well incorporated and a smooth lump-free batter is achieved.
- Take 3 bowls and spoon a tbsp of the batter in each of these bowls and retain the rest.
- In each bowl mix each of the gel colors. so now you have vanilla batter, a little of orange, pink and green batter
- Spread a smooth layer of vanilla batter at the base of the loaf pan.
- On top of this, pour one of the colored batter. Smooth this out like a color band, however you need not spread it as a layer.(It also wont be sufficient to spread as a layer).
- Repeat till rest of the colored and vanilla batters are consumed, alternating each. Remember that you have to spread only the vanilla batter as a layer.
- Finally smooth out the surface and tap the pan against the counter top to get rid of any air bubbles.
- Bake the loaf for 45-60mins or till a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Remove the cake on a cooling rack and allow to cool down for 10 mins.
- Cut the cake into slices. Happy Children’s Day. Enjoy!
In Goa, the place in India where I belong, rather than chapati or roti, Goans prefer eating pao (bread buns or rolls) with chicken gravy. Though now a days, many have moved to adjusting with roti or chapati due to the rising fare of pao in bakeries.
So out of habit, whenever I decide to prepare any spicy chicken curry, we plan to buy bread loaf or rolls. If none is available we settle down for slice bread which is always there at home. Slice bread is like a savior in need of calamity ;).
This once we had bought multigrain baguette. Being quite long enough, much of it had left over. How to finish it off was a question I was thinking of answering quickly.I usually have shredded mozzarella cheese readily available in my freezer. So decided to make Cheese garlic bread taking garlic bread recipe from madhura’s recipe as the base.
- 1 Baguette or few bread slices
- around 4 tbsp unsalted butter at room temperature
- 3-5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 tsp pepper powder
- 1/2 tsp mixed herbs
- 1/4-1/2 tsp red chilli flakes
- pinch of salt
- shredded mozzarella cheese for garnish
- Cut the baguette into slices or if you are using bread slices, cut them into triangle shape.
- In a bowl, mix all rest of the ingredients except bread. Instead of minced garlic cloves, you can even add ginger garlic paste.
- Take a slice of bread and apply the butter mix. I prefer applying on both the sides of the slice.
- Arrange the buttered slices on an oven tray. Sprinkle the shredded cheese on each of the slice.
- Bake these slices in an oven pre-heated at 400 F for around 5 minutes.
- Serve hot.
When in India, I was almost an illiterate with regards to various baked goodies available in the market. Had seen many of my facebook friends uploading pictures of something like our typical cream biscuit which they called “Macaron”. I first thought Macaron must be the sophisticated version of cream biscuit as till then I had neither practically seen or eaten it.
Here in the US stores, it’s readily available but it quite on the expensive side. The first time I saw it, like a child I demanded my husband to buy it for me. Being expensive and with no prehand experience of its taste, we just bought two. My husband didn’t quite enjoy it but I loved it. Though the concept of a cream in between two cookies was similar to our traditional cream biscuit but it didnt bear any similarities to a cream biscuit in taste and texture. The outer layer of the cookie was just crisp and melt in the mouth while the cream filling was yummy.
I decided, that I have to search and grab hold of a good an easy recipe and try it out sooner as buying these cookies every now and then does not sound economical. While researching for the easy and best recipe, I found out that the high cost of these cookies is due to the almond flour being used in its making. Also, its quite hard to get it right in the first attempt. But I was not quite afraid and decided to give the recipe a shot.
Ingredients for the cookie :
- 3 aged egg whites (aged means the egg whites need to separated and kept covered with a tissue towel for 24 hours in the refrigerator. They need to be brought to room temperature before use)
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar or lemon juice
- 1 cup blanced almond flour or almond meal
- 1 1/2 cup confectionary sugar
- 2 1/2 tbsp powdered sugar ( granulated sugar powdered for 30 sec in a food processor or mixer/grinder)
- purple food color (I used gel based)
- few drops of vanilla essence
Ingredients for the filling :
- 2/3 cups (150g) cream cheese at room temperature
- 3-4 tbsp blackberry jam
- 2-3 tsp sugar (optional)
Note : The food color used for outer covering should be in sync with the color of the jam used for filling.
- Mix the almond flour and confectionary sugar. Grind it in a mixer or food processor for a minute or two. sift the processed flour sugar mixture and keep it aside.
- In a deep bowl, add the aged egg whites and lemon juice. Mix this using an electric beater with whisk attachment at medium speed till soft peaks are formed.
- Add the powdered sugar to the egg white mix part by part and whisk initially at low speed and then at medium high till stiff peaks are formed. This is the Meringue.
- Now add the food color and essence and mix further. Note that after baking the color of the cookie fades due to the heat so add the food color to higher or darker shade.
- Then fold the flour sugar mix into the meringue in 3 parts till a thick ribbon consistency is achieved. This is Macaronage. Note that the mixture should not be over mixed or under mixed as thid would make it difficult while piping.
- Using a parchment paper form a template and draw circles of 4 cm dia and spacing each at 5 cm. This paper will be used as a template for forming the circular macaron cookies.
- Line the baking tray with another parchment paper and the place the template below this parchment.
- Transfer the folded egg white mixture into a piping bag fitted with a round nozzle.
- Pipe circles of the batter on the baking tray lined with parchment using the template as a guide. Once done, gently remove the template and tap the baking tray to remove air bubbles from the batter circles.
- Let the macaron cookies rest at room temperature for around 30-60 mins or till the top of the macarons is no longer sticky when touched gently with your finger.
- Bake the cookies in an oven preheated at 300 F for 16-20 minutes turning the tray from front to back half way through.
- Usinng a butter knife separate the cookies from parchment and allow them to cool on a wire rack. The cookies develop a foot at the bottom surface.
- Now the filling preparation. Using an electric beater, beat the cream cheese and then add jam to it. Beat again to mix the two together. Taste it. If you are okay with the taste then no need to add the sugar. I prefer it to be sweet so added sugar accordingly.
- Use another piping bag fitted with a round nozzle and transfer the filling into it. You can even you a zip lock bag, transfer the filling into it, seal it and cut one of its tip to pump out the filling.
- Take two cookies of the same size. Pipe out circle of the filling on the flat bottom side of the cookie. Place the other cookie on top of it to form a sandwich.
- Macarons are ready. Prepare rest and store them in an air tight container in refrigerator. It is advisable that macarons need to stay for atleast 24 hours once prepared and before being consumed.
Note : I had to use more of the food color as eveb afetr using the amount shown in the picture, the color did fade to much extent. 😦