Category Archives: Bread


Banana Bread 1
I ran out of WHITE flour.Something that’s never happened before thanks to all the baking I’ve done in the past.Realized it only when I had to bake “Sheermal” a few days back.  I barely had a cup of flour so had no choice but to halve the recipe.Of late I have made a switch to whole grains. On any given day you will always find Whole Wheat, Amaranth flour,Quinoa flour,coconut flour,Sorghum etc at home.  I resort to white flour only when participating in blog events. I am so glad I made this change as I feel a lot satisfied and enjoy these baked goodies without any guilt.
Banana Bread 2
When you have overripe bananas…you make Banana Bread. Don’t we all? I made my Banana Bread with organic whole wheat pastry flour( I love the 365 brand from whole foods), oats,brown sugar, eggs and cranberries. It was moist and slightly dense.
Banana Bread 3
Cranberries are a great addition to this bread… they add to the sweetness . I have made a similar bread with Amaranth flour but felt it wasn’t sweet enough, so this time I added two extra tablespoon of brown sugar to this recipe. But after tasting the bread I realized that it was not required, the cranberries do the trick.

Whole Wheat Banana Cranberry Oat Bread with Greek Yogurt

A wholesome bread with the goodness of oats,wheat flour, bananas and cranberries.


  • 1 ¼ cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • ½ cup old fashioned oats dry
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • a pinch salt
  • 2 large ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup + 2 tablespoon brown sugar
  • ¼ cup nonfat greek yogurt, plain
  • 2 tablespoon canola oil
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract(optional)
  • a teaspoon orange zest (optional)


Whisk together flour, Oats, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In another large bowl mix banana, egg, sugar, yogurt and oil. Add in the cranberries. Stir gently the banana mixture to the flour mixture until just combined. Do not over mix the batter. Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for about an hour or until a toothpick inserted comes clean. Let it cool slightly and then remove from the pan. Slice them into ¾ inch pieces and serve warm.


152 Cal; 4g Fat; 26g Carb;3g Protein;13g Sugar; 2g Fiber




Sheermal 3
Aparna chose “Sheermal”for the “We need to Bake”group few months back. I finally got to bake it last week. I didn’t have enough flour in hand so halved the below recipe and made just two Sheermal’s.

Sheermal or Shirmal is a saffron based traditional flatbread which is a rare Lucknow and Hyderabadi delicacy. They are also made in Bangladesh,Iran and Pakistan. This mildly sweet bread is made with simple ingredients – Flour, Sugar, Egg, Milk, Ghee(clarified butter) and not to forget the key ingredient “Saffron”.
Sheermal 2
According to
Aparna – incorporating the ghee into the dough slowly by adding a little at a time ensures that the fat is dispersed evenly through the dough, and gives a better texture to the Sheermal. Make sure your dough is soft, elastic and well kneaded as this will produce a superior Sheermal. The hallmark of good Sheermal is the glistening finish on the flatbread from brushing it with melted ghee or butter, so do not skimp on that, even though this flatbread is already rich as it is. The egg gives the dough a little extra richness, texture and flavour, but you can leave it out if you don’t use eggs.
Sheermal 4
Traditionally these are cooked in a Tandoor, but oven is a good choice too. Some recipes call for leavening agent but this version uses yeast. I did not have “Kewra” ( screw pine extract) so used rose water. But to be honest I couldn’t feel the rose water flavour in the bread. You can also try using cardamom instead of Kewra/ Rose Water. You can garnish it with raisins, poppy seeds, slivered almonds etc.

This video is a film showing how Sheermal is made in smaller commercial bakeries –

This video gives a good demonstartiuon on how to make/ shape Sheermal –

Sheermal / Shirmal ( Saffron Flavored Flatbread)

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 4

A traditional Saffron Flavored Flatbread!


  • 1 teaspoon active dried yeast
  • 2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup lukewarm water
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup ghee
  • 1/2 cup milk (or more, as required for kneading)
  • 1 teaspoon kewra water (screw pine essence) or rose water
  • A few strands saffron soaked in 2 tablespoon warm milk
  • Melted butter, for brushing


Mix the yeast into the warm water with sugar and set aside for 5 to 10 minutes till it is frothy.

You may knead by hand or with a machine. Put the flour and salt in a bowl. Add the yeast mixture and the beaten egg and run the processor a couple of times to mix well. Then add the ghee in two lots to this and again pulse a couple of times till it looks like fine crumbs.

Now add as much milk, and finally the kewra (or rose water) and knead until you have a very soft and slightly sticky dough. Transfer this to an oiled bowl, cover with a moist cloth and let the dough rise till doubled in volume (about 1 to 2 hours).

Remove the cloth and knead the dough again. Shape into a ball, lightly coat all over with a little ghee, cover with a damp kitchen towel and let it rest for about 15 to 20 minutes.

Now divide the dough into 4 equal portions and using your fingers, press out each portion into a round of approximately 4” diameter (about 1/8” thick). You can also use your rolling pin, but I found it quite easy to do with my fingers. Place the rounds on a parchment lined or lightly greased baking tray and using a fork, dock (prick holes) the whole surface of the dough rounds.

Brush them all over, generously, with the saffron-milk solution. Bake at 180C (350F) for about 10 to 15 minutes till they turn a lovely golden brown. Do not over-bake them.

Take them out of the oven, and immediately brush them lightly with melted butter or more ghee. Serve warm. This recipe makes 4 Sheermals of approximately 4” diameter.

Serve them warm with any spicy curry,vegetables,jams or pickles. My little one loved it with some Nutella Spread.



bread 3

For the month of May’14 Aparna chose beautiful looking French Rolls/Bread for the We Need To Bake Group. Petit Pains au Lait simply means small or little breads. They are classic French Milk Rolls. These rolls are very easy to make, it took me about ten minutes to make the dough and another ten minutes to shape them. Ofcourse they take time to rise…about 1.5 hrs.
Bread 1

Usually these breads aren’t very sweet, the pearl sugar which is sprinkled on top just before baking adds to a little sweetness and crunchiness; not to forget the visual appeal:). The liquid in this bread is purely milk, it also has about 4 tablespoons of butter .

Bread 2

I believe these can also be baked with either sweet or savory fillings. When I think of sweet, chocolate chips are the first thing that comes to my mind. I plan to make a savory one soon with herbs and cheese filling:). Once baked these have a beautiful golden outside and a flaky inside ( because of the way these are rolled). You can see the inside texture in the below picture. The beautiful pattern which is made using a pair of scissors makes it even more interesting. This dough can be shaped in any form as per your choice.

bread 4

The original recipe is adapted from Gourmet by Kat.

*If you don’t have bread flour, put 2/3 tsp vital wheat gluten in your 3/4 cup measure and top up with all-purpose flour. Mix this well.
If you don’t have vital wheat gluten, then just use 3/4 cup all-purpose flour.

**This topping is optional. The pearl sugar looks pretty and adds a little crunch. If you can’t find pearl sugar, use large crystals of sugar or even regular granulated sugar.

Petit Pains au Lait ( French Milk Bread/Rolls )


  • 2/3 cup warm milk (you might need a little more; I used milk with 2% fat)
  • 1 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup bread flour*
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoon butter, soft at room temperature
  • Extra milk for brushing
  • Pearl sugar for topping (optional)**


In the bowl of a stand Mixer or Food Processor put the warm milk, yeast and sugar.Pulse a couple of times to mix. Then add all the flour and the salt and run the processor until it looks crumbly. Add the butter and knead until you have a soft, smooth and elastic dough that’s not sticky. Add a little more milk (in teaspoonful at a time), if your dough is dry, until you have the required consistency of dough.

Shape the dough into a ball and place it in an oiled bowl, turning it over to coat with oil. Cover loosely and set aside to rise until double in volume. This should take about 1 1/2 hours.

Turn the dough out onto your working surface. You shouldn’t need any flour, but if you feel the need, just lightly dust your palms with it. Deflate the dough gently, and divide it into 10 equal pieces. Let them rest for 15 minutes.

Roll out each piece of dough, one at a time, into a circle about 4” in diameter. Slowly roll up the circle from one end, Swiss roll/ jelly roll style into a cylinder. Pinch the seam closed neatly, and place them on a greased or parchment lined baking sheet with the seam side facing down. Cover loosely and let them rise for an hour or so till almost double in size.

Brush them lightly with milk and using a pair of sharp scissors, make diagonal cuts (not too deep) on the top of the rolls. Sprinkle pearl sugar/ granulated sugar.

Bake them at 400F for about 15 minutes( mine took about 12 mins only) or so until they’re golden brown. Let them cool on a rack. Serve them warm or at room temperature with coffee or chilled flavoured milk, or at breakfast.

They’re best eaten the same day, though you could warm them up and serve the next day.Thanks Aparna for the recipe:)






Melon Pan 1

Melon Pan is a Japanese bread which is made as buns. They are soft, rich and somewhat sweet bread covered by a layer of crunch cookie. Pan is Japanese for bread but there is definitely no melon of any sort in this bread. I read about this bread only when Aparna posted it on FB for the “We need to Bake” event. I believe there are a couple of suggestions as to where the “Melon” in Melon Pan comes from. The sugar cookie topping is usually scored in a crosshatch pattern similar to the Japanese presentation of a melon wedge which is also cut into a crosshatch pattern, and bent backwards for serving.  The other suggestion is that appearance of the cracked surface of the cookie dough layer resembles a rock melon/ cantaloupe, and hence the name. Apparently, some Japanese bakers also use melon extract in these buns to add fragrance.

Melon Pan 2

Usually the buns are left plain, though chocolate chips can be added or it can also be filled with cream cheese,custard or pastry cream. Aparna mentioned that if you don’t eat egg, you can leave them out, but substitute for it in the bread dough with a tablespoon of yogurt or milk. However both doughs are made with egg as this gives the bread a better texture. The original recipe was adapted from A Bread a day .

Melon Pan 3

Melon Pan are best eaten the day they’re made. This recipe makes 8 burger bun sized Melon Pan. You can bake a half batch or even make smaller Pan by dividing both doughs into 10 or 12 instead of 8. Like I mentioned above these buns are mildly sweet, soft inside and has wonderful crunchy top. Please watch this video before you start making the bread,so you a good idea on how to shape the Melon Pan.

Melon Pan


  • For bread dough:
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (plus extra as required)
  • 2 tablespoon milk powder
  • 1 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup cold water
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 25gm butter, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips
  • For cookie dough:
  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • A large pinch of salt
  • 60gm butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup castor sugar (increase to 1/3 cup for sweeter dough)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • Castor sugar for dusting (granulated sugar will do too)


Whisk together the flour, powdered milk, yeast, and salt in the bowl (or the bowl of your machine if using one). In a smaller bowl, beat the egg and cold water together with a fork till well blended. Add this to the flour mixture in the bowl.

Knead (on low speed in the machine) till it all come together as a dough and then (on medium speed) until you have a somewhat stiff dough. Add the sugar and knead well.

Now add the butter and knead (first at slow speed and then on medium) until the butter is completely incorporated into the dough and the dough becomes smooth and elastic. The dough should well-kneaded to develop the gluten.

Shape the dough into a round, and place it in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover and let it rise till double in volume (about an hour or so).

During this time make the cookie dough. In a bowl, cream the soft butter and sugar till fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat till combined. Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt and add this to the bowl. Also add the lemon zest. Beat together until just combined.

Shape the dough into a cylinder (this will make the dough easy to divide and flatten out later), and wrap in cling film. Refrigerate the dough until required.

Now go back to the bread dough. Once it has doubled in volume, place it on a lightly floured work surface. Lightly grease your baking sheet or line it with parchment. Deflate the dough gently and divide it into 8 equal portions.

Shape each portion into a smooth ball like for bread rolls. Work with one portion and keep the others covered so they don’t dry out.

Unwrap the cookie dough. It should be reasonably firm now and easy to work with. Slice the cylinder of cookie dough into 8 equal portions. Use two pieces of plastic sheets or cling film to flatten the cookie dough. Place one slice/ round of cookie dough on a piece of plastic sheet/ cling film. Cover with another piece, and using a flat bottomed pan, press down on the dough to flatten it, until it is reasonably thin but not very much so.

Carefully take on ball of bread dough (it will have puffed up a little so don’t deflate it), and place the circle of cookie dough on top of it. Gently press the cookie dough edge to the bread dough ball so that it covers the top and sides of the ball, but leaves the bottom open. Gently, holding the covered bread dough by the underside, press it into some castor sugar. Then using a scraper, or the blunt side of a knife, mark the top of the cookie dough side of the bread roll with a cross hatch/ diamond pattern. The pattern should be deep enough (otherwise it will disappear when the bread rises and bakes) without cutting through the cookie dough layer into the bread.

Place this on the greased or parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat this with the remaining cookie dough and bread dough balls. Let them rise for an hour.

Bake them at 350F for about 25 minutes, until the tops of the Melon Pan just start turning brown. If you let them brown too much, the underside of the bread will burn. Transfer to a wire rack to cool thoroughly.

Thanks Aparna for the recipe.



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