“We have so much, too much, that we can buy, yet the basic labor of doing, the making with our own hands, is what enlivens us and makes us feel human." Dan Lepard

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Wholegrain Yeast Pancakes #BreadBakers


Days are delicious as we head towards Spring. Every branch, every bough is growing new leaves. Some tiny, some curled, but each unfurling a new and fresh shade of green and adorning the naked branches.


Our flower beds promise a great riot of colours in the coming days. Dahlia buds are all ready to open up. Gazania shows its mesmerizing hues and shade, each unique in its own way.


Earlier in the morning, some food was kept for the birds. Soon we had two Oriental White Eyes enjoying the fruits kept for them.


Our home is full of lovely yeasty aroma are pancakes are being made for breakfast. Fluffy pancakes land on the plate. A generous amount of peanut butter is lashed, some honey drizzled and the pancakes disappear in no time.


Wholegrain Yeast Pancakes

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 ½ cups warm milk
  • 2 teaspoons instant dry yeast
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • Warm water according to requirement

 Instructions

  1. In a deep bowl, add warm milk and yeast. Stir and keep for 5 minutes or until yeast dissolves.
  2. Add salt, sugar, melted butter and egg. Mix
  3. Add flour and stir to get a smooth flowing batter.
  4. If your wheat flour is coarse, your batter will be dry. Add warm water to get the right consistency.
  5. Cover and keep in and keep in a warm place for 30 minutes to rise or until double.
  6. Pour batter by ½ cupful onto a greased non-stick pan. Turn when bubbles form on top of the pancake, cook until the second side is golden brown.
  7. Serve hot pancakes with honey, peanut butter or jam.
Check out the Pancakes from different parts of the world that our fellow Bread Bakers have baked this month:

  • Alagar Kovil Dosai from Sara’s Tasty Buds

  • Blini (Russian Pancakes) from Ruchik Randhap

  • Blueberry Dutch Baby from Hostess At Heart

  • Corn Pancakes from Kids and Chic

  • Crepes from A Baker’s House

  • Dutch Baby from Herbivore Cucina

  • Galettes de Sarrasin from The Bread She Bakes

  • Greek Tiganites from Gayathri’s Cook Spot

  • Hotteok (Korean Pancakes) from Cook’s Hideout

  • Hotteok (Korean Stuffed Pancakes) from Passion Kneaded

  • Kabalagala (Ugandan Pancakes) from Mayuri’s Jikoni

  • Keralan Yeast Appams from Food Lust People Love

  • Malaysian Roti  Jala from Schizo Chef

  • Malpua (Sweet Indian Crepes) from SimplyVeggies

  • Oven Baked Tropical Pancakes from A Day in the Life on the Farm

  • Pannukkau (Finish Pancakes) from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings

  • Potato Latkes (Jewish Pancakes) from Sneha’s Recipes

  • Scallion Pancakes from Karen’s Kitchen Stories

  • Srilankan Hoppers from I Camp in my Kitchen

  • Strawberry Nutella Crepes from Spill the Beans

  • Swedish Pancakes from Palatable Pastime

  • Traditional Corn Pancakes from Basic N Delicious

  • Welsh Griddle Cakes (Teisen Cymraeg) from Shockingly Delicious



  • #BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Our host this month is Mayuri Patel who blogs at Mayuri's Jikoni. She chose to make sweet or savoury pancakes from across the world. Do check her blog for lovely bakes and recipes.
    You can see all our of lovely bread by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated after each event on the #BreadBakers home page.

    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.

    BreadBakers




    Friday, 10 February 2017

    Oats and Coconut Laddu | Oats and Coconut Balls


     Last weekend, a trip to our friend’s farmhouse happened. We always look forward to visiting the farm. Endless green fields, mango orchard, tomato fields, vegetable beds, bees, birds and butterflies. A river that feeds our town runs through one end of the farm. We often spot a lot of birds there. Kids love the freedom of running around wildly chasing partridges and hoopoes.


    We decided to take some homemade sweets for our friends and earlier in the morning, we made some Oats and Coconut Laddu. Oats and coconut laddus are chewy, coconut and juicy. Roasted oats lend a distinct nutty flavour We Often make them and our kids love these laddus.


     Everyone loved the healthy laddu with steaming ginger tea over animated conversation.



    Oats and Coconut Laddu

    Ingredients

    • 1 cup desiccated coconut
    • 1 cup oats
    • 1 tin condensed milk (400 grams)

    Instructions

    1. In a thick bottom wok, dry roast oats. Roast on low flame till the colour begins to change. Leave to cool.
    2. When cold, grind the roasted oats to a fine powder.
    3. Take a thick bottom steel wok. Add powdered oats and desiccated coconut. Stir to mix well.
    4. Add condensed milk. Stir it well to mix the ingredients evenly.
    5. Now cook the mixture on low flame. Stir continuously.
    6. While stirring, the mixture will keep sticking to the bottom. Keep scraping while stirring.
    7. After some time, the mixture will begin to leave the sides and bottom of the wok. Turn off the heat.
    8. Leave to cool slightly. After 5 minutes see if you can handle to mixture and shape laddu.
    9. Take mixture in your hand and press between fingers to get walnut sized laddu.
    10. The laddus come out round and glossy
    11. Cool and store in an airtight container.


    Tuesday, 10 January 2017

    Quick Whole Wheat Bread #BreadBakers


    It has snowed in the hills and the plains are shivering in the cold wave. It rained day and night yesterday and we knew it must be snowing in the hills. Rain washed away all the dust and next morning a clear sky and clean fresh air greeted us.



    We ran to our terrace to see the snow in the hills. It did not snow heavily and only some peaks were white.


     The air was chilly and we saw some Babblers huddled together in our mango tree.


    Later, the Sun rose graciously spreading warmth and mirth.


    Sitting in the Sun in winters induces lassitude. It is soothing to read a book, oil your hair and do any other chore outside or just doze off. It is a bliss. While we all were outside sunning ourselves in the lawn, the oven timer chimed. 



    Our Quick Whole Wheat Bread was ready. A soup and a veggie with would be our dinner tonight.


    This is a great recipe. The dough needs just one rise. The crumb is soft and the bread is delicious. This is one bread that I bake quite often and everyone at home loves it.


    Quick Whole Wheat Bread

    Ingredients

    • 3 cups whole wheat flour (atta)
    • 1 cup very warm water
    • ¾ tablespoons instant dry yeast
    • 2 tablespoons+2 teaspoons honey
    • 2 tablespoons+2teaspoons vegetable oil
    • 1 ¼ teaspoons salt

    Instructions

    1. To prepare the sponge, stir together 1 cup flour, 1 cup warm water, and yeast. Cover and keep for 15-20 minutes until bubbly and well risen. Prepare sponge in a big bowl.
    2. Grease one 8 ½ x4 ½ inch loaf pan. Dust with cornmeal or with flour.
    3. Add remaining ingredients and 1 cup flour. Stir till the ingredients come together.
    4. Keep adding remaining flour, 1 tablespoon at a time. When stirring becomes difficult, transfer dough onto a floured counter.
    5. Knead with the heels of the hand. Push the dough with the heels and pull back with fingers. Knead for about 6 to 7 minutes until a soft and supple dough forms.
    6. Shape dough into8-inchinch log and place in the prepared pan. Cover with a kitchen towel and keep in a warm place.
    7. Allow the bread to rise for about 1 to 2 hours, or until the center has crowned about 1 inch above the rim of the pan.
    8. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Bake the bread for 30-35 minutes or till the top turns golden brown and the bottom of the pan sounds hollow when tapped.
    9. Cool. Slice when completely cold.
    #BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our of lovely bread by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated after each event on the #BreadBakers home page.

    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.

    This month’s host is Pavani of Cook's Hideout. She chose the theme "Healthy Breads". It is a beautiful way to start new Year the healthy way. Pavani is a talented baker. Check out her blog for some great bread recipes.

    BreadBakers



    Check out the Healthy Breads that our fellow #BreadBakers have baked this month:


  • Amaranth Flatbread from Mayuri's Jikoni


  • Beet Rye Bread from What Smells So Good?


  • Blueberry Almond Bread from Cindy's Recipes and Writings


  • Brain Booster Pancakes from A Day in the Life on the Farm


  • Grain-free Nutty Carrot Flatbread from A Baker's House


  • Healthier Applesauce Spice Bread from Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks


  • Healthy Whole Grain Bread from The Bread She Bakes


  • Honey Almond Brioche from Kidsandchic


  • Honey Oatmeal Bread from Food Lust People Love


  • Honey Whole Grain Bread from Hostess At Heart


  • Multigrain Pesto Swirl Bread from Herbivore Cucina


  • Quick Whole Wheat Bread from Ambrosia


  • Rugbrød from A Shaggy Dough Story


  • Spiced Besani Paratha from Sneha's Recipe


  • Sprouted Wheat Bread from Palatable Pastime


  • Sweet Potato Loaf from The Wimpy Vegetarian


  • Sweet Potato Millet Bread from The Schizo Chef


  • Ten Grain No Knead Bread from Karen's Kitchen Stories


  • Whole Wheat Brioche Buns from Gayathri's Cook Spot


  • Whole Wheat Pineapple Quick Bread from Basic N Delicious


  • Whole Wheat Carrot Apple Walnut Quickbread from A Salad For All Seasons


  • Whole Wheat White Bean Bread from Cooks Hideout







  • Monday, 2 January 2017

    Chocolate Mendiants




    It’s a cold morning. East is a beautiful blend of pink, orange and gray. Some clouds are aligned in a strange but beautiful pattern. A fish in our pond jumps with an audible “plonk”! Far in the sky, a flock of migratory birds moves in an arched line. Some birds are left out and they seem to be flapping faster to join the group. A beautiful day and another year is unfolding graciously


    Today evening promises to be exciting. Our kids have organised a get together. Some close friends have been invited. We are all busy making cupcakes, chocolate cake, cookies and Mendiants.
    Making goodies together gives joy.



    Mendiants are a French confection that is popular at celebrations or given as gifts on Christmas. They are chocolate discs studded with dry fruits and nuts.  We added a lot of candied peels that we made last weekend. Some Lemon peels were also added.
    Kids love to participate in making them. Make them around Christmas or any special occasion, it is always enjoyable to assemble them with dry fruits and nuts of choice. 


    Chocolate Mendiants
    Ingredients
    • 300 grams bitter sweet chocolate or dark chocolate (take two slabs of 150 grams each)
    • Handful green raisins
    • Handful golden raisins
    • Handful dry cranberries / candied cherries
    • 5-6 dry figs cut into long thin strips
    • 5-6 dry apricots cut into long thin strips
    • 1/4 cup thinly sliced candied orange and lemon peels
    • Handful almonds chopped
    • Handful pistachios chopped

    Instructions
    1. Break chocolate into small pieces. Melt in a double boiler.
    2. While the chocolate is melting, take a parchment sheet big enough to cover your baking tray. Make circles of 2 1/2 inches with a pencil. Turn the sheet. Circles must be visible.
    3. Pour 1 tablespoon of melted chocolate inside the circle and spread with the back of the spoon to get a perfect circle.
    4. Arrange dry fruits and nuts.
    5. Repeat till melted chocolate is over. If the chocolate becomes firm melt again and continue.
    6. Keep the tray with Mendiants in the refrigerator for an hour.
    7. Remove and store in an airtight container.

    My Tip: Prepare Mendiants with one slab at a time. Reheat chocolate as needed. Use your creativity in decorating the Mendiants. Use pepita seeds, walnuts, cashews etc.

    Sunday, 25 December 2016

    Stained Glass Cookies


    It is Sunday. Post breakfast, kids are excited as we are about bake some stained glass cookies. Candies were purchased a day before. Younger segregated the candies according to colour and crushed them in a steel mortar and pestle. Older of the two helped in preparing the dough. Kids enjoyed their designated task and soon the cookies were ready to be put together.


    Kids love to participate in baking. They learn and develop an interest in baking.



    We loved to assemble the cookies, filling the center with crushed candies. The candies melted and filled up the center to give a stained glass effect.



    Stained glass cookies are beautiful and flavourful. 


    They fill up your home with heavenly aroma when baking. 


    You may use them to decorate your Christmas tree.



    Stained Glass Cookies
    Ingredients

    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    • ½ teaspoon baking powder
    • 100 gms (1 stick, ½ cup) butter
    • 1 cup castor sugar
    • 1 egg
    • 1 tablespoon honey
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • Hard boiled sweets of different flavours

    Instructions
    1. Whisk together all-purpose flour, salt and baking powder in a deep bowl. Keep aside.
    2. Beat butter and sugar till creamy and light. Add egg. Beat well. Mixture should be smooth.
    3. Add honey and vanilla extract. Stir well.
    4. Add flour mixture and keep stirring till everything comes together. Use hands to form a soft and smooth dough.
    5. Press dough to a circle and wrap in a cling film. Keep it in the refrigerator for about 2 hours.
    6. In the meantime, cut a parchment sheet to fit into your baking tray.
    7. Segregate candies according to colours/flavours.
    8. Crush the candies of the same colour and keep in separate bowls.
    9. Remove dough from the refrigerator. Cut into two. Keep one-half back into the refrigerator.
    10. Take one piece between two parchment sheets and roll with a rolling pin. Roll to get a sheet of about  1/4th-inch thickness.
    11. Use a cookie cutter to cut the shape of your choice.
    12. Take another cutter (small size), or a cap of a bottle to cut a circle in the center.
    13. Transfer the cut cookies carefully to the baking tray placing at least ½ inch apart. If the cookies are too soft to handle, put them in the refrigerator until they are firm and easy to handle.
    14. Fill the center with a ½ teaspoon or of more crushed candy. Fill enough crushed candy so that it fills up the cavity.
    15. If you intend to use the cookies for decorating the Christmas tree, poke a hole at the top.
    16. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees C for 10 to 12 minutes.
    17. Turn off the heat as soon as the edges of the cookies begin to turn brown.  Remove from the oven and remove the sheet from the tray very carefully. Place on the wire rack to cool. Remove when cool.
    18. Repeat with the other pieces of dough.
    19. Store in an airtight container.

    My Tips
    • Roll dough between parchment sheets only otherwise it will be very messy.
    • Whenever dough becomes too soft and sticky, put it in the refrigerator.
    • You may put a whole candy in the center of the cookie. It melts and fills up the center. However, if the candies are of the big size, crushing them is a better idea.
    • Watch out after 10 minutes of baking. Turn off the heat as soon as the edges begin to brown.
     
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