Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Whole wheat pretzel bites #BreadBakers

Baking bread after a very long time, all of December went for the cakes, oh yes we enjoyed around 10 different cakes for the Bake-a-thon, i even did a strawberry mocha cake last week. Suddenly bread baking took a back seat, though i baked a pizza sometimes last month and tried whole wheat bread, but serious bread baking didn't happen at all.
I have a lot of bookmarks to try, but somehow lack planning. So, this 2018, instead of giving reasons for not baking bread, i want to bake every month with #Breadbakers so atleast we will get to enjoy a new bread every month. 
The very first month of 2018 is hosted by Stacy of Food lust people love and she gave us the theme of pretzels. Oh i have tried baking them once, the thin crisp ones and awfully failed, only the last batch out of 4 batches was a success. Rest of it came a bit thick puffy, chubby pretzels! We laughed and ate them all!!
This time i wanted to try those small nibbles, i had a bookmark from KAF website, and tada here it is, pretzel bites, made of whole wheat flour, the only change i did to the recipe, other than halving it.
1& 1/4 Cups whole wheat flour /plain flour
1 & 1/4 tsp instant yeast
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 cup - 3/4th cup of warm Water 
1 tbsp olive oil
2-3 tbsp of melted butter for brushing the pretzels
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup of water
  • Take flour, salt, sugar and yeast in a large  bowl. Whisk the contents well together. In a microwave safe mug heat water, water should be hot to touch but scalding hot.
  • Pour 1/2 cup water into the flour mix and mix it with a wooden spoon. When all the flour is wet, knead it with your hands. If you feel the flour is dry, add 2 tbsp of water again and knead. I was able to form a dough after i added 2 tbsp of water. 
  • Add olive oil to this and knead well for another 4-5 minutes. First the dough will be a bit sticky, as you knead it will become super soft. Once done, dab a little oil on top, keep it covered for about 30-40 minutes.
  • While it is resting, let us prepare the baking soda and water solution. Boil water and add baking soda to it and take it off the stove. Stir until the soda dissolves fully. Let it sit until the dough has rested for atleast 30 minutes.
  • Remove the dough on to a kneading surface, add a little flour to it. Punch down and divide the dough into 3 or 4 equal parts. I weighed the dough pieces they were approximately 150 grams each.
  • Roll each dough ball into long ropes measuring 12-15 inches. Divide each rope into 12-15 pieces. Once divided, drop each dough piece into the baking soda solution and let it sit for a minute. I did this 3 batches. 
  • Remove the dough balls using a slotted spoon onto a parchment laid baking tray. Sprinkle sea salt on top if making salty pretzels or Bake them plain if planning to flavor them Later.
  • Preheat the oven 200c and bake the pretzels for About 18-20 minutes or until done. Remove from the oven,Brush them with butter and enjoy warm.
#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 right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.
  • Authentic German Pretzels from Sara's Tasty Buds
  • Ballpark Pretzels from Karen's Kitchen Stories
  • Beer Pretzels from Passion Kneaded
  • Buttery Pretzels from Ambrosia
  • Cheddar Garlic Soft Pretzels from Palatable Pastime
  • Cinnamon Sugar Pretzel Bites from Cook's Hideout
  • Cinnamon Sugar Soft Pretzels from Hostess At Heart
  • Double Soda Pretzels from Food Lust People Love
  • German Pretzel Rolls from All That's Left Are The Crumbs
  • Honey Mustard Snack Pretzels from Cindy's Recipes and Writings
  • Pretzel Dogs from Sneha's Recipe
  • Pretzel Sticks from A Day in the Life on the Farm
  • Saffron Pretzel Rolls from The Schizo Chef
  • Soft Whole Wheat Pretzels from What Smells So Good?
  • Sourdough Soft Pretzels from Baking Sense
  • Whole Wheat Pretzel Bites from I camp in my kitchen
  • Saturday, December 30, 2017

    Oven Roasted Almonds with Pepper and Coriander

    When kids are at home, you need to keep your snack bar full at al times. Just before the holidays began we got some snacks from Grand Sweets chennai, sent through my Sister-in-law by my Father-in-law. Thank god for that stash, they had something interesting to eat apart from the cakes and muffins i baked for this Bake-a-thon. 
    These almonds were baked for one such hungry moment, one of the easiest snack to make and best to munch along with your evening coffee. 
    I love a handful with my evening tea. Even my lil one enjoyed it for his evening snack. Since i was making it for all, i have kept the spice a notch down, if making for adults go on and experiment.
    1 cup raw almonds
    1 tsp oil
    1 tsp freshly pounded pepper
    1/2 tsp freshly pounded coriander powder
    2 pinch of salt or to taste
    • Preheat the oven to 200C. In a baking tray or pan, take almonds, add oil, pepper and coriander and mix them all together with your hands. Sprinkle salt on top and mix again. Spread the almonds well. Don't forget to wash your hands after.
    • Bake the almonds for 20 minutes in the preheated oven. Once done, remove it and let it cool completely. The cooling part is more important, it takes around 30-40 minutes. Once cooled, taste the best crunchiest almonds with peppery twist.
    • Store them in an airtight container, if it lasts that longer. Mine got over in a hour and i had to bake another batch for the pictures. 

    This is part of the Bake-a-thon 2017   

    Friday, December 29, 2017

    Eggless Chocolate cake with Oreo Buttercream Frosting

     The first post of this Bake-a-thon was my drafts and coincidentally the last post too is from my drafts. This is the cake i made for my kiddo's 2016 birthday. Though i had some decent photos, i really didnt get to post the recipe till day.  Now you got to believe, things happen for good! 😀
    It is the last week of 2017, kids at home and hubby too took a week off to spend time with his munchkins, oh yes, he took leave from his otherwise busy work to spend time with his kids, mommy is J😬
    With all the boys at home, my schedule is thrown out of the window. I feel as if i m working all the time, no definite time for eating or sleeping, they just want to laze around and my house is a mess! With all these things, me sitting with my blog has become a tough job, if i try to squeeze some time,  everybody complains that i m always sitting with my laptop! I just want the holidays to end soon, and school to reopen!😓
    So, now i made 2 things for the blog and still haven't clicked them. So thank god for this cake in my photos, i could make today's post, since i wanted the last post of Bake-a-thon to be something pretty and i know this cake is somthing more than pretty!
    A simple chocolate cake filled and frosted with oreo buttercream. The cake and the cream blend so pretty and it was super duper hit with the kids at the party. All i got to click was a messy plate with just one slice left. But i loved it, this is how it should be, gone in seconds! 
    This is my goto recipe for chocolate cake, just like my Vanilla cake with buttermilk, this is one too never dissappoints.
    1.5 cups Whole Wheat flour
    3 tbsp cocoa powder
    1 tsp baking powder
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    1 cup sugar
    1 cup buttermilk @ room temperature
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    1/2 cup oil
    Few mini oreos for garnish
    Few candies for garnish

    For the oreo butercream frosting
    200 grams butter, i used amul unsalted @ room temperature
    4 cups of icing sugar
    8-10 nos oreo biscuits
    1 tbsp milk

    For chocoalte drizzle
    4-5 squares of dark chocolate, i used lindt 70%
    • Just melt them in the microwave, just before using it on the cake.
    • Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease and lay the pan with parchment. You can use 2 5 inch pans or 1 8 inch pan for this.I made 3 cakes and sliced them into 2 layers each and made them into 2 cakes with 3 layers each.
    • In a large bowl, take together whole wheat flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda. Whisk them well together. I these days use my whisk to mix it all together. You can also use a sieve to sieve them all together for a homogeneous mix. Add sugar to this and whisk again.
    • In a measuring jug, take buttermilk, add oil and vanilla extract to this and mix well. Now add this liquid ingredient to the dry ingredient. Using a spatuala , mix it together in single direction. 
    Same chocolate cake with Green buttercream frosting
    • Now pour the prepared batter into the pans and bake in the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean.
    • Remove the cake from the oven, let it sit in the pan for 5 minutes, then using a blunt knife loosen the edges of the cake from the pan, and slowly unmould it on a wire rack and let it cool there completely.
    • Same chocolate cake with ganache 
    • If serving as such, then slice it warm and serve along with coffee/tea. Since i frosted the cakes for my son's bday party, i allowed them to cool completely and cling wrapped them and refrigerated until neeed.
    Oreo Butter cream frosting
    • Take the oreo biscuits in a ziploc pouch and pound them well with your rolling pin. Keep them ready by the side.
    • Take butter and whisk it with an electric beater, until light and fluffy. Now add sugar 1 cup at a time and whisk well. Once done, add the pounded oreo biscuits and milk to it and whisk again. 
    • The buttercream must be smooth and spreadable, if it is too thick add another tsp of milk to it and whisk.
    • Once done, either frost your cakes, if  storing, cling wrap it well and refrigerate. I normally make the cream just before i frost them.

    Fill and frost the cakes.
    • I have a cake slicer from IKEA. I used it to slice my cakes into two. It is a pretty easy tool to use. Adjust the level of the blades according to the thickness you require and hold hte cake with one hand and slice/saw thru the cake using the other hand. That is how i do it, there might be other ways, do check the youtube for best ways to slice a cake into two using a cake slicer.
    • Refrigerated cakes are easy to slice through. Once sliced into two, let us frost it.
    • Put a blob of  frosting on a cake board or a plate. This helps to hold the cake in its place while you frost. 
    • Place a cake layer on top. Brush the top with simple sugar syrup.Fill the top of the cake with oreo butter cream frosting. Place the second layer bottom side up. Brush the top again with simple sugar syrup.

    • Crumb coat the cake with oreo buttercream frosting. This seals the crumbs well and gives a neat finish to the final decoration 
    • Refrigerate the cake for atleast 10 minutes before decorating it more.
    • I added another layer of frosting, Drizzled some chocolate on top and piped some more cream on top for holding the mini oreos garnished with some mini oreos and chocolates.

    This is part of the Bake-a-thon 2017

    Tuesday, December 26, 2017

    Moroccon Carrot Salad with Spiced oil Nuts & Raisins

    I was not sure whether i would be able to do publish today's post on time, but thankfully here i am! I totally enjoyed this week's moroccon theme, thought we did only 3 simple recipes, but i have bookmarked loads, and i m sure our boss +srivalli jetti will definitely give us this theme again in the coming months. 
    Today's recipe was done in flat 15 minutes.  I started around 4:30 pm and i clicked it at 5:00, as my daylight was fading fast, i just propped my board on my cloth dryer and used my phone camera to click these pictures. I m pretty happy with the pictures too. 
    The story above was to state how easy is this recipe. This salad would be a great addition to your party table, if making ahead, just parboil the carrots and keep it refrigerated and on the day of serving, toss it with the seasonning and just before putting it on the table garnish it with nuts and raisins. Do not miss that garnish, those toasted pistachios add a great texture to the salad.
    Do try this recipe and let me know how you liked it!

    Ingredients (serves 1)
    1 medium sized carrot, chopped into chunks
    1-2 tsp toasted, silvered pistachios
    5 nos black raisins
    salt to taste

    1-2 tsp oil
    1 fat clove of garlic, minced 
    2 pinches of Ras el hanout 
    a pinch of cumin powder, paprika powder and pepper powder tossed together
    1/2 tsp lemon juice
    1/2 tsp honey
    • Wash and peel the carrots, chop them into chunks, take them in a sauce pan, add water to sumberge the carrots and let it sit on heat until it starts to boil. Once it starts to boil, take it off the heat, drain and set aside until it cools down.
    • While it is cooling, whisk the seasonning together. I had the spice oil from yesterday roasted potatoes, i have used the same. If you dont wish to use ras el hanout, you can mix paprika, cumin and pepper powder together as per you taste and use it for spicing the salad.
    • Once the carrots are cool, take in a salad bowl, add the seasonned oil, lemon juice,salt and toss together. 
    • Just before serving, add the toasted pistachios and raisins to the salad and serve. 

    Monday, December 25, 2017

    Baked potatoes with Ras El Hanout, Moroccon spice infused Baked Potatoes

    Baked potatoes were in my bucket list and it was fired more when i tasted it at our bloggers meet here at Anamika's house. She had made it so beautifully, picture perfect, delicious balance of flavors and served it with a garlic yogurt dip(hope I m correct ). 
    When we asked for the recipe she said that potatoes were parboiled and baked. Parboiled potatoes when baked gives a perfect crisp outer and a soft inside. When mixed with spices, they create amazing flavors ! 
    When I made ras el hanout, the first recipe I wanted to make was this baked potatoes! Oh man, what a dish! The flavor of the spice amplifies the taste and it makes a great side on your party table.
    I m not exaggerating about the taste, my hubby has asked me to make this again so he can relish it better. Want to make an impression in your next party, try these yumm potatoes! 
    2 medium Sized potatoes 
    2 fat cloves of garlic 
    1 tbsp Oil
    1 tsp ras el Hanout
    1/2 tsp freshly pounded black pepper or paprika 
    1/2 tsp salt
    • Preheat the oven to 200C
    • Wash and scrub the potatoes well. Cut them into thick rounders. Keep the skin on.
    • Take them in  a Sauce pan, pour water until they submerge. Let it boil for a
    • Minute, take it off the stove. Let this sit for 5 minutes and drain.
    • While the potatoes are parboiling, Take oil in a small bowl, add minced garlic, ras al hanout, pepper/paprika, Mix well. Let this sit for 15 minutes for the flavors to infuse well.
    • In a baking pan,Add The parboiled potatoes, pour the spice oil on top and rub it well with your hands to coat the potatoes well.
    • Bake the potatoes in a preheated oven at 200c for 30 - 40 minutes.  Turning it once after 20 minutes.
    • Once done, Remove the potatoes from the oven, serve it warm, with a dip of your choice .

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