Cook's Hideout: April 2012

April 29, 2012

Baked Pita Bread

For the last day of BM# 15, I have a baked flat bread with yeast. Ever since I saw this recipe on Vardini’s blog, I wanted to make it. Recipe is from Fresh Loaf site and I used one of the variations suggested in the comments section – I used half all-purpose flour and half spelt flour to make it a little healthier. 

April 28, 2012

Sourdough – Zucchini Bread

Today I have yet another bread recipe that uses sour dough starter. I have to admit I’m not so good at taking care of my starter. I have it sitting in my fridge and I feed when I remember (which usually happens once may be every 2 weeks), but (knock on wood) it’s doing pretty good given the circumstances. So with the bread baking week, I thought it’s probably time to properly feed the starter and used the cast off to make this quick bread and kulchas that I previously posted. 

April 27, 2012

Cheddar Cheese Soda Bread

Today I have a savory and cheesy bread that gets done in about an hour and goes well with soups. It has been a little chilly for the past few days and I decided to make some soup and a quick bread for dinner. When I found this recipe on King Arthur flour’s site, I thought it would go perfectly with my red lentil and tomato soup. 

If you are wondering what is the difference between soda bread and regular bread (like I did when I saw the recipe), soda breads utilize the reaction between baking soda and buttermilk to leavening instead of yeast. 

April 26, 2012

Banana-Chocolate Bread

Today's bread is my son’s absolute favorite. He loves chocolate in about anything; pancakes, cookies, pies, roti anything at all. If you ask him if he likes to eat something, his question would be does it have chocolate in it? So when I saw this Banana-Chocolate bread recipe in Everyday Food magazine, I just had to make it. 

This is a quick bread which almost has a cake-like moist texture. Since I have both bread & cake in the same sentence, I started to think what the difference between bread and cake is – you have banana bread and then you have banana cake. I wasn’t sure and then when I googled it, I found that David Lebovitz also has the same question. At that point, I stopped looking for an answer and went to enjoy my banana bread.

I used half whole wheat pastry flour and half AP flour to make it a little healthy.

April 25, 2012

Onion Kulcha made with Sourdough

The minute I read Valli's description of "Bread Baking" on BM# 15 announcement, I knew I have to make an Indian bread for the marathon. So after 2 days of Western breads I have this very Indian Kulcha that is baked in the oven. 

Recipe is adapted from Raghavan Iyer's "660 Curries" cookbook. I actually made a lot of changes to the original recipe -- I used some sourdough starter as I was feeding my starter that day and used the cast off to make these kulchas. I added chapati flour (atta) along with all-purpose flour (original recipe used only all-purpose flour). Also original recipe used buttermilk, but since my starter is one a slightly watery side,  I used thick greek yogurt instead. 

The key to soft and pliable kulchas is to roll them slightly thick and bake them for just 3-4 minutes.

April 24, 2012

Portuguese Sweet Bread

For day 2 of BM, I made this sweet yeast bread from Peter Reinhart’s Bread Baking Apprentice cookbook. I’ve been meaning to make this bread for a long time and even bought orange and lemon extracts to use. Finally I got to make for this bread baking week.

This bread is rich with the addition of eggs, butter and powdered milk. It smells heavenly while baking and tastes equally amazing. I have one loaf in the freezer that I intend to use very soon.

This recipe starts with a sponge that is fermented for 1-1.5 hours before adding the other ingredients for the bread. If you want to make the bread, read the recipe carefully for the rising times.


April 23, 2012

Rosemary Focaccia

I’m back to blogging from my winter hibernation and thanks to Valli and Blogging Marathon; I’m definitely going to stick around for the next 7 days. My theme for this edition of BM is “Bread Baking”. I had bought a year’s supply of yeast and flour just a few days before Valli announced BM# 15 and I was thrilled to see Bread baking as one of the themes. I’m not exaggerating when I say we were on carb and sugar overload for the past 2-3 weeks. I still have 2-3 loaves in my freezer for later use. 

For the 1st day, I made this simple focaccia bread. Recipe is from America’s Test Kitchen – I watched them make it on the show and it sounded pretty simple and straight forward. There is no kneading required and this bread is perfect for beginner bakers. All you need is a quiet afternoon, a timer and a book or TV to keep you occupied between the folding (you’ll know what I’m talking about in a minute).


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