Category Archives: Bread

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Thanks to Aparna I was able to do this post. I bought my first Kugelhopf pan from Sur La Table almost four years back and have hardly put to use. So when I read about this month’s bread in “We need to Bake” group, I was super thrilled.
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KUGELHOPF is a yeasted sweet cake which originated from Germany, Austria,Switzerland and Alsace. It is baked in a special circular pan with a central tube which is similar to a bundt pan.
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I am glad we baked a Savory one instead of the usual sweet bread. This Kugelhopf bakes in an 8” Kugelhopf pan, but you should also be able to bake it in an 8” Bundt pan, a regular loaf tin (or 2 small ones), smaller Brioche tins or even muffin tins. If you’re baking this in muffin tins you might want to use half the recipe..Since I had only a 6″ pan, I used that along with a small bread pan(7×5).After the initial rise, I divided the dough into two portions.

Savoury Kugelhopf

Ingredients

  • 3 to 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 5 1/2 tablespoon butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 eggs, beaten lightly
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 1/3 cup chopped green bell peppers
  • 1/3 cup deseeded, pulp-free and chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup onions, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup diced cheddar cheese
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon coarsely crushed black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme

Instructions

  1. Put 3 cups of flour, yeast, and salt in the bowl of the processor. Pulse a couple of times to mix. The add the butter, a little at a time, and process till incorporated.
  2. Add the warm milk and process till mixed. Now add the eggs and process till mixed. You will now have a soft and sticky dough. Knead some more, adding more flour, a little at a time and just enough till the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Do not be tempted to add more flour than absolutely necessary.
  3. Your dough will be very soft, elastic and just short of sticky. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, cover and let it rise until double in volume. This can take from 1 1/2 hours to 2 1/2 hours!
  4. In the meanwhile, heat 1/2 tsp oil in a pan. Add the chopped green bell pepper, the tomato and a pinch of salt and stir-fry till the raw smell disappears but the vegetables are still crisp/ crunchy. Remove and keep aside. To the same pan, add the remaining 1/2 tsp oil and sauté the onions with a pinch of salt till they turn golden brown. Remove and add to the bell peppers and keep aside.
  5. Grease an 8” kugelhopf mould or bundt pan well especially around the centre (or whatever pan/ tin you plan to use). Place some of the chopped walnuts in the bottom of the mould. If you’re using a loaf tin or brioche moulds, then don’t do this. Instead press in the walnuts on top of the dough after the second rise, just before baking.
  6. Once the dough has risen, deflate it. Then work the cheese, stir-fried onions, bell pepper and tomato, the remaining walnuts, black pepper and thyme into the dough. The best way to do this is to flatten the dough out and spread all this over the surface, fold the dough over and then knead it. This will ensure a more uniform incorporation of the “filling”. The dough will be a bit sticky, so use a scraper to help you with the kneading. Do not add more flour!
  7. Roll the dough into a longish log, long enough to fit into the mould comfortably. Lift the “log” of dough and place it in the mould in a circular fashion and pinch the two ends together to close the “circle” of dough. Cover and let the dough rise for about an hour or so, until it reaches the edge/ rim of the mould.
  8. Bake the Kugelhopf at 200C (400F) Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees for about 35 to 40 minutes until the top is golden brown and sounds hollow when it is tapped.
  9. Unmould the Kugelhopf and let it cool on a rack. Slice and serve.
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Kugelhopf is similar to a Coffee Cake; it can be eaten for breakfast or as a snack along with coffee. This bread is full of flavors. Loved the crunchiness of the walnuts and the softness of the bread. Will I bake this again….??? OFCOURSE!!

Thanks Aparna for another great recipe!

Bon Appétit

Nina

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I have been absconding from the blogging world for over a month now. We were busy moving and with all the packing, unpacking and setting up, things were just crazy. My little one kept removing everything I packed, making me rework multiple times. I had a tough time packing her toys…she was so mad at me. Guess it is part of the “terrible two” phase. Anyways, we are limping back to normalcy. I did start baking last week, but couldn’t post anything because of my laziness rather tiredness. It is the 24th of the month and is time for Aparna’s “We need to Bake”. This month Aparna shared yet another classic recipe – Hokkaido Milk Bread. I had never heard about this bread and was very intrigued with the method used. I must admit it was one of the best bread I’ve ever baked…super soft texture with a milky taste making it just perfect!

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Hokkaido Milk Bread also known as Asian Sweet Bread and Hong Kong Pai Bo, is known for its soft cottony/ pillowy texture.I believe it’s a very popular bread in South Asian bakeries across the world. It is The Hokkaido Mild Bread owes its texture and height to the use of an interesting ingredient called Tangzhong.The Tangzhong method involves cooking 1 part of bread flour with 5 parts of water (by weight) at 149 °F to form a roux. When the Tangzhong is added into other ingredients of a bread dough, it produces light, tender and fluffier bread.

This method of using Tangzhong is often seen in South Asian breads and was created by a Chinese woman, Yvonne Chen, who describes this method in her book which translates to “65 degrees Bread Doctor” .The Hokkaido Milk Bread is very easy to make. First you make a Tangzhong (flour-water roux, and milk in this case) and then let it cool completely. You can use it after a 2 hour rest. It also keeps for a day or so refrigerated.

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You can make both Sweet or Savoury ones with the same recipe. If you want to make a savoury version, you can cut down the sugar to 1 tbsp and add another 1/4 tsp of salt. I baked two different kinds of bread the same day. For the sweet version – a Chocolate Marble Hokkaido Bread (9×5 loaf) and for the savoury – Spiced Hokkaido Rolls with Potato filling. The original recipe was adapted from here.

CHOCOLATE MARBLE HOKKAIDO BREAD AND SPICED HOKKAIDO ROLLS WITH POTATO FILLING

Ingredients:
For The Tangzhong (Flour-Water Roux)

1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup milk

For The Dough:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoon sugar ( reduce for the savoury ones)
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon powdered milk
2 teaspoon instant dried yeast
1/2 cup milk (and a little more if needed)
1/8 cup cream
1/3 cup tangzhong (use HALF of the tangzhong from above)
25gm unsalted butter (cut into small pieces, softened at room temperature)

Apart from the above, for the Sweet version you’ll need:
1/3 cup chocolate chips
2 tablespoon all- purpose flour
a pinch of cinnamon, powdered

Savoury version ( for the dough):
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
½ teaspoon caraway seeds
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoon cilantro,chopped
2-3 green chillies, minced

Potato Filling :
2 large Potatoes,cooked, peeled and mashed
¼ cup frozen peas
2 teaspoon olive oil
¼ teaspoon cumin seeds
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper/chili powder
Salt as per taste

Directions:The Tangzhong(Flour-Water Roux):

Whisk together lightly the flour, water and milk in a saucepan until smooth and there are no lumps. Place the saucepan on the stove, and over medium heat, let the roux cook till it starts thickening. Keep stirring/ whisking constantly so no lumps form and the roux is smooth.
If you have a thermometer, cook the roux/ tangzhong till it reaches 150F and take it off the heat. If you don’t have a thermometer, then watch the roux/ tangzhong until you start seeing “lines” forming in the roux/ tangzhong as you whisk/ stir it. Take the pan off the heat at this point.
Let the roux/ tangzhong cool completely and rest for about 2 to 3 hours at least. It will have the consistency of a soft and creamy crème patisserie. If not using immediately, transfer the roux to a bowl and cover using plastic wrap. It can be stored in the fridge for about a day. Discard the tangzhong after that.

Chocolate Marble Bread Dough:

1. In the bowl of the stand mixer, put the flour, salt, sugar, powdered milk and instant yeast and pulse a couple of times to mix. In another small bowl mix the milk, cream and Tangzhong till smooth and add to the processor bowl. Run on slow speed until the dough comes together. Now add the butter and process till you have smooth and elastic dough which is just short of sticky. Remove 1/3rd of the mixture and keep it aside.
2. The dough will start out sticky but kneading will make it smooth. If the dough feels firm and not soft to touch, add a couple of teaspoons of milk till it becomes soft and elastic. When the dough is done, you should be able to stretch the dough without it breaking right away. When it does break, the break should be form a circle.
3. Form the dough into a ball and place it in a well-oiled bowl turning it so it is well coated. Cover with a towel, and let the dough rise for about 45 minutes or till almost double in volume.
4. Now for the chocolate part of it, melt the chocolate chips and allow it to cool down. Mix it with ¼ cup milk and cinnamon powder. Pour it to the 1/3 rd mixture (which is set aside from step 1). You may need about 2 tablespoon of flour( add more if needed) to form a soft dough. Continue with step 2 and 3.
5. Place the dough on your working surface. You don’t need flour to work or shape this dough. This recipe makes enough dough to make one loaf (9” by 5” tin), 2 small loaves (6” by 4” tins) or 1 small loaf (6” by 4”) and 6 small rolls (muffin tins). Depending on what you are making, divide your dough. If you are making 1 loaf, divide your dough in 3 equal pieces. If you are making two smaller loaves, divide your dough into 6 equal pieces.
6. Roll out each portion of the dough with a rolling pin into an oval shape, about 1/8” thick. Take one end of the dough from the shorter side of the oval and fold it to the middle of the oval. Take the other end and fold so it slightly overlaps the other fold. Roll this folded dough with the rolling pin so the unfolded edges are stretched out to form a rectangle. Roll the rectangle from one short edge to the other, pinching the edges to seal well. Now repeat the above method for the chocolate dough. Place one on top of the plain one and fold the sides; try and roll it into a cylinder. (I wanted to make a Chocolate Spiral Bread, but couldn’t roll it well). Do this with each of the three larger pieces and place them, sealed edges down, in a well-oiled loaf tin. Cover with a towel and leave the dough to rise for about 45 minutes.

Savoury Rolls with Potato Filling:

Add the cumin seeds, caraway seeds, garlic and chillies at Step 1.(from above) and follow step 2 and 3.

Roll out each portion of the dough with a rolling pin into an oval shape, about 1/8” thick. Take one end of the dough from the shorter side of the oval and fold it to the middle of the oval. Take the other end and fold so it slightly overlaps the other fold. Roll this folded dough with the rolling pin so the unfolded edges are stretched out to form a rectangle. Roll the rectangle from one short edge to the other, pinching the edges to seal well. Place a small portion of the potato filling and bring the sides together and shape it into a roll. Place each roll of dough in a baking sheet and cover with a towel. Allow to rise for about 45 minutes.

Before working on the rolls make the filling. Heat oil in a pan, add cumin seeds and when it splutters add rest of the ingredients. Saute for two minutes; remove from heat and allow it to cool.

Carefully brush the tops of the rolls and the loaf with milk (or cream) and bake them at 325F for about 20 to 30 minutes till they are done (if you tap them they’ll sound hollow) and beautifully browned on top. Let them cool for about 5 minutes and then unmould and transfer to a rack till slightly warm or cool.

Serve or else store in a bread bin. This bread stays soft and delicious even the next day. We enjoyed each and every bite of the bread. From the left overs, I made an Eggless Bread Pudding which was delicious too.

Thank you Aparna for sharing a great recipe

So far in “We need to Bake”

Herbed and Cheese Pull-Apart Bread with Sundried Tomatoes
Croissant

Bon Appétit

Nina

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I am sure each of us has one or the other food craving? Isn’t it? There are times when I have the most irresistible urge to try out something and would probably go mad if I can’t have it! I still recall vividly during my initial stages of pregnancy when I had a sudden craving for Arby’s curly fries and I had to send my husband late in the night to get it for me! Similarly I had this sudden craving for Dipping dots Ice Cream in the middle of a night! I had them at Wisconsin Dells for some for the first time which is like 3 hours drive from the place where I live and I couldn’t possible send my husband to get it this time:). Hence I googled up and got a nearby address where these ice-creams where were sold. Along with a few friends we went in the middle of the night, only to land at a local theater’s vending machine. I couldn’t stop laughing!!! Ahh such is my craving.

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On the same note, Pull – Apart Bread has been on my mind for some time now. I was longing for some savory bread and I HAD TO – HAD TO bake something and this was the first thing that struck me. So I baked a Whole Wheat Pull-Apart Bread with some garlic butter spread. My husband said it was too garlicky and didn’t like it much( he hates garlic!!!).Though I loved it, it was a little hard. So I started browsing to find a good recipe.

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To my surprise, every other blog I stumbled upon had posted about this bread. All the blogs lead to Aparna’s “We need to Bake “ group. That’s when I hoped onto Aparna’s beautiful blog and read the details and was keen to participate. I immediately wrote to her and she was kind enough to add me and asked me to bake the bread and post it by end of this month. In addition to her recipe I added some sun dried tomatoes. So here is my bread for your eyes.

HERB AND CHEESE PULL- APART BREAD WITH SUN DRIED TOMATOES
Makes one loaf ( 9 x 4 or 5)
Ingredients:

For the Dough:
1/2 cup warm milk
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspon active dry yeast
2 3/4 to 3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon butter,room temperature
3/4 teaspoon garlic paste
3/4 cup milk (+ a couple of tablespoon to brush over the bread)

For the Filling:
1 tablespoon butter,melted
2 teaspoon dried italian herbs
1 teaspoon cumin seeds,crushed
Crushed pepper and red chilli flakes, to taste
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
2 tablespoon chopped sundried tomatoes

Directions:

In a small bowl, dissolve the sugar and the yeast in the 1/2 cup of warm milk. Keep aside for about 5 minutes till the yeast mixture bubbles up. In the bowl of a stand mixer( Kitchenaid) Put 2 ¾ cup of flour, salt, softened butter, and garlic paste and stir a couple of times to mix. Then add the yeast mixture and the ¾ cup of milk and knead till you have a soft, smooth and elastic/ pliable dough which is not sticky. Add a little extra flour if your dough is sticking, but only just as much as is necessary. I didn’t use up the entire milk, also didn’t have the need to add more flour.

Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a well-oiled bowl, turning the dough to coat it completely with oil. Cover and let it rise for about 1 to 1 ½ hours or until almost double in volume. Dust your work surface lightly with flour. Deflate the dough, shape it into a square and roll the dough out into a larger square that is about 12’ by 12”. Brush the surface of the square with the melted butter. Evenly sprinkle the herbs, pepper/ chili flakes and the cumin seeds and then the grated cheese. Use a rolling pin to very lightly press the topping into the dough to ensure the topping doesn’t fall off when you are stacking the strips. Using a pizza cutter, slice the dough from top to bottom into 6 long and even strips – they do not have to be perfect. Lay each strip on top of the next, with the topping facing upwards, until you have a stack of the strips
You can put the 2 strips cut from the sides in the middle of the stack so it looks neater. Using a pastry scraper or a sharp knife, cut straight down through the stack dividing it into 6 equal pieces (6 square stacks). Grease and lightly flour a 9” by 4” (or 5”) loaf tin. {I used a (7.75x 4.75)}. Butter and lightly flour the loaf pan. Layer the square slices, cut sides down into the loaf tin. Cover the loaf tin dough with a towel and allow the dough to rise for an hour. Lightly brush some milk over the top of the loaf. Bake the dough 350F for about 30 to 40 minutes until it is done and the top is golden brown.

The bread was fantastic, both in terms of look and taste. It was very flavorful. As the name suggest you have to PULL the Bread apart: you don’t need a knife. I am so glad that I joined this group, this will keep me going.

Thanks Aparna for the lovely recipe:)

Roxana of Roxana’s Home Baking asked me to send this to her “Bake your own Bread” event and I was happy to do so:). Thanks a bunch Roxana:)

Bon Apetit!

Nina

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Subzero Wind Chill Grips MidwestMN endures tremendous amount of cold weather. So far this winter was a mild one, we had only one subzero low all winter!.But now Sunday through Tuesday is supposed to be the coldest days in the last four years.It’s about -15F/-19C now and going to be 3F/-16C tomorrow. I am looking outside my window and it is so sunny yet so chilly. Urgh!! The weather is so damn contradicting. How I wish Spring was here soon:(

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Baking is something that has been keeping me busy this season, atleast I get to take my mind of the bitter cold temperature. Mint has always been my favorite herb and that is what caught my attention when I came across this recipe. I have baked two versions of the same bread. First time was the exact recipe as mentioned below and the last time was a Savory one which you see in the pictures below. {For the savory one instead of 2 ½ cup bread/all-purpose flour – I used a cup of whole wheat flour along with 1 ½ cup of bread flour; added 2-3 minced thai green chilies; avoided the honey; added salt and 1 teaspoon butter}. As you can see in the pictures, due to the addition of wheat flour, the bread is light brown in color. Both the breads tasted great. However the savory one had a little hard crust, but was soft inside and turned slightly hard the next day. The original recipe yielded very flavorful and delicious bread which was very soft; I felt as though it had a brand new taste:)

MINTED YOGURT BREAD
Makes 1 medium (8 ½ x 4 ½”) loaf pan

Ingredients:

2 ½ cups bread/all-purpose flour
1 package dry yeast
1 cup plain yogurt, room temperature
3 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh mint
Zest of a lemon
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon butter,melted

Directions: In a mixing or mixer bowl of a stand mixer, measure 1 cup flour and the yeast ( if you are using whole wheat flour too, mix the flours and then measure). Stir to blend. Pour in the yogurt, mint, lemon zest and honey. Beat together with a wooden spoon or mixer flat beater until thoroughly mixed into a batter like dough. Add additional flour, ¼ cup at a time, first stirring with the spoon and then working with your hands, until a rough ball of dough has formed. This will be too thick for the beater blade, so attach a dough hook and stir with it. Knead for a minute. The dough may be somewhat sticky when turned out of the bowl, but a few sprinkles of flour as you shape the dough under your hands will make it less so.

Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise to double in bulk, about 1 hour. Punch down the dough. Shape into a ball; flatten the dough into an oval roughly the length of the pan. Fold in half lengthwise, pinch the edges into a seam and place seam down in the pan. Cover the loaf pan with a length of wax paper and leave until it has doubled in volume, about 40 minutes. The center should rise slightly above the edge of the pan. Preheat oven to 350F. Bake the loaf until it is lightly golden in color and tests done when tapped on the bottom crust with a forefinger, about 35 minutes. It should sound hard and hollow. Remove the pan immediately and brush with the melted butter. Cool on rack before slicing.

Particularly delicious toasted. Minty!

The above recipe was adapted from Bernard Clayton’s New complete book of Breads

Bon Apetite!

Nina

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