Thursday, 26 May 2016

563.Pizza Swirl Bread

Hot on the heels

   My last post was a veggie pizza and this post is a pizza swirl bread. Now don't get me wrong, yes I do love pizzas but can't have it everyday. Pizza Swirl Bread was the May challenge for the We Knead to Bake set by fellow member Niv Mani of Panfusine. Niv wanted us to use the recipe for the dough and the filling and sauce was our choice. This time I managed to bake it a few weeks ahead but I was not happy with the result. It baked well but because of the twists, the bread was not slicing well. However, hubby really enjoyed the bread with an olive dip. Usually my bakes turn out good so it really bothered me that this loaf didn't turn out so nice. So the bread was still on my 'must do list'. I managed to bake it again yesterday and was happy with the end result. Nice crusty loaf and good slices. Though the baked loaf does not look pretty, the slices looked really good. Each slice has a different pattern. This bread can be served with a soup, a salad or eaten on its own. A healthy option for a snack and its like having a pizza but without too much cheese.
So here's the recipe. Do try it out. It is delicious and not too difficult to make. I decided to use more wheat flour and less plain flour in my dough recipe. The first time I used onion slices and corn as my filling and the second time round I used mushrooms and olives.










my first attempt

PIZZA SWIRL BREAD
Makes 1 loaf
Recipe source : Food 52

For the dough:
2 cups wholewheat flour
1 cup plain flour (all purpose flour)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp instant active dry yeast
1 cup warm water

Sauce: (this amount makes ½ cup which is enough for the bread)
½ cup thick fresh tomato puree
1 tbsp olive oil
¼ cup finely chopped onion
1 tbsp garlic paste
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper powder
½ tsp dried mixed herbs

Filling:
1 cup grated cheese (cheddar or mozzarella)
½ cup sliced olives
1 cup sliced mushrooms

extra oil for greasing and brushing
extra flour for dusting

Preparation of the dough:
  1. Sift both the flours together into a big bowl.
  2. Add salt, yeast and sugar.Mix well.
  3. Rub oil into the flour.
  4. Add water and form a dough.
  5. Dust the worktop with flour. 
  6. Knead the dough on the worktop for 5-10 minutes till its smooth, soft and elastic.
  7. Grease the bowl with oil. Smear little oil over the dough and put it into the bowl.
  8. Cover the bowl with cling film or a tea towel.  
  9. Put the bowl in a warm place for the dough to rise for 1½ hours or till its double the size.
Preparation of the sauce:
  1. While the dough is rising, prepare the sauce.
  2. Heat oil in a pan over medium heat.
  3. Add onion and saute till its soft.
  4. Add garlic and stir fry for a few seconds.
  5. Add the tomato puree.
  6. Add salt and sugar and mix. 
  7. Cover the pan and let the sauce cook over low heat till it becomes thick.
  8. Once its thick, take the pan off the heat.
  9. Add pepper and herbs and mix well.
  10. Let the sauce cool down.
Preparation of the bread:
  1. Knead the risen dough gently.
  2. Dust the worktop and form the dough into a ball.
  3. Roll it out into a rectangle 18" X 10". It should be about ½" thick.
  4. I placed the rolled dough with longer length across and the shorter side facing me.
  5. Spread the tomato sauce over it.
  6. Scatter the cheese over the sauce.
  7. Now scatter the mushroom slices and olives. Make sure the cheese and filling is evenly distributed over the rolled dough.
  8. Roll up the dough, like a swiss roll.
  9. Pinch the seams to seal and tuck in the ends.
  10. Now with the long side across the worktop, form a u shape from the middle.
  11. Take the right side and place it over the left. Continue to form the twist. Pinch the ends and tuck.
  12. Place the twisted dough in a greased loaf tin 9" X 5". Cover the dough with a tea towel.
  13. Let the dough rise again in a warm place for 45 minutes.
  14. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  15. Brush olive oil over the top of the risen dough.
  16. Bake the bread for 35-45 minutes or till the top is golden brown.
  17. Take the loaf out of the oven. Leave it in the tin to cool for 10-15 minutes.
  18. Take it out of the tin and place it on a wire rack to cool completely.
  19. Serve with soup, salad or with an olive dip.
Tips:
  • Don't add to much filling, and don't pile it all in the middle.
  • Grease the loaf tin properly. You don't want it to get stuck in the tine.
  • Wait patiently for 10 to 15 minutes before you remove the loaf from the tin.
  • Use any filling that you like. First time I had used 1 cup sweet corn and ½ cup sliced onion.
  • If you roll out the dough too thin, it will tear when you try to twist it. So make sure its about ½" thick.
You may want to check out the following:
pizza muffins
veggie pizza
Sending this recipe for the following event:




Monday, 23 May 2016

562. Homemade Veggie Pizza

Sunday is Pizza Day

     I've made pizzas when my kids were at home, when we've invited guests, to celebrate special occasions. Years back we didn't get frozen pizzas, or ready made pizza base. There were not many places making pizzas back then, so the only option was to make them at home.Made them quite often but never ever thought of posting my pizza recipe. Actually don't know why I haven't done so till now. Well, as they say its never too late. I must thank my #FoodieMonday #Bloghop friends for choosing the 41st theme as #Pizzamania.         Normally on a Sunday hubby and I go to our favourite restaurant IL Covo to have either a pizza or lasagna. We usually land up with a pizza as they are baked in a brick oven using wood. The pizzas are simply amazing. Homemade ones don't give the same result. However, pizzas whether home made or ready made are mostly everyone's favourite. I still have to come across someone who hates pizzas. When the group decided that we make pizzas, I was excited. Whenever I make pizzas at home besides having a measurement for the dough, I don't measure any of the other ingredients. So this time round, I actually had to measure everything to write this recipe and my kitchen was like a war zone. Paper, pen, ingredients, measuring cups, bowls, all over the place. 
     We prefer thin based pizza.I prefer making the base from wholewheat flour and add some all purpose flour to it. I usually keep all the toppings ready and guests can 'order' whatever topping they prefer. Some love mushrooms, some don't. Hubby doesn't like sweet pepper, some like it without garlic and onion, some don't want pineapple, some want extra olives. 
     So without any more delay here's my home made pizza recipe.










Pizza
Serves 3-4

For the pizza dough:
2 cups wholewheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour (plain flour)
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp instant dry active yeast
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
½ tsp dried mixed herbs
1-1¼ cup warm water

extra oil for greasing
extra flour for dusting

For the sauce:
1½ cup fresh thick tomato puree*
½ cup finely chopped onion
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp garlic paste
1 tsp salt
½ tsp sugar
½ tsp black pepper powder
½ tsp mixed dried herbs or 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil

For the topping:
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
1 cup sweet corn
½ cup chopped onion
½ - ¾ cup chopped sweet pepper (any colour)
2 cups (approx. 125g) sliced mushrooms
½ cup sliced olives
½ - ¾ cup pineapple chunks
2 tsp dried oregano 
2-3 green chillis cut into rings
1-2 tsp chilli flakes

Preparation of pizza dough:

  1. Sift both the flours together into a big bowl.
  2. Add salt,yeast and sugar. Mix well.
  3. Add oil and rub it into the flour.
  4. Add 1 cup warm water and form a dough.
  5. Dust the worktop with little flour and knead the dough for 7-10 minutes till its soft, elastic and smooth.
  6. Grease the bowl with oil.
  7. Form the dough into a ball shape. Apply oil over it. Put in the greased bowl.
  8. Cover the bowl with a tea towel or cling film and let the dough rise till its double the size.This may take about 1½ hours.
Preparation of the sauce:
  1. Heat oil in a pan over medium heat.
  2. Add onion and stir fry till it becomes soft.
  3. Add garlic paste and stir fry for a few seconds.
  4. Add the tomato puree, salt and sugar.
  5. Cover the pan and let the sauce simmer till it becomes thick.
  6. Remember to stir occasionally so that the sauce does not stick to the bottom of the pan.
  7. Take the pan off the heat and remove the cover when the sauce becomes thick.
  8. Add pepper and mixed herbs.Mix well.
  9. Let the sauce cool.
Chop and prepare the required toppings.

Preparation of the pizza:
  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  2. Gently knead the risen dough.
  3. Divide it into 4 parts. Roll each part into a ball.
  4. Grease baking trays.
  5. Using some flour, roll each part into a pizza base about 7"- 8" in diameter.
  6. Place the rolled base on the baking tray.
  7. Spread some sauce over the base.
  8. Add the topping of your choice.
  9. Sprinkle cheese over it.
  10. Add chillis, red chilli flakes and herbs.
  11. Bake the pizzas for 10-15 minutes or till the edges become light golden brown.
  12. Serve immediately.
Tips:
  • * To prepare a thick tomato puree, I wash and cut the tomatoes into 4 pieces.Then I put in a pan, cover it let the tomatoes cook over low heat till they becomes soft. I let it cool for a while and then liquidize the tomatoes.
  • If you prepare thick base pizzas, then divide the dough into 3. 
  • The amount and types of topping is just a rough guideline. Use toppings of your choice. The amount you add to your pizza is also your choice.
  • The amount of water required to form the dough depends on the type of flour. I used only 1 cup water.
  • If I am preparing more than 2 pizzas, I change the positions of the trays halfway.This will ensure that the base becomes a bit crispy.
  • If you have a pizza stone, use it as it will give you better results.
You may want to check out the following:
veggie pizza rolls
 savoury pizza muffins
apple dessert pizza


Sending this recipe to the following event:


Blog Hop

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

561. Sabudana Vada

a great treat

   Sabudana vada has been on my 'to do list' for a very long time. These days I am trying to avoid fried foods if possible so that when we dine out, I can indulge in whatever I want. However this Ekadashi, I just decided to make a fried snack. I am so glad I made these so crunchy and delicious vadas. A Maharashtrian snack, which is commonly found as street food, its easy to prepare and crispy from the outside and soft inside. Its usually served with sweetened yogurt. I am not a big fan of sweetened yogurt so I decided to make a yogurt coconut chutney. Sabudana vadas are very often made during fasting time. I had these crunchy vadas for the first time at the Hare Krishna Temple in Juhu and simply loved them. I fried a few and also made a few in the appe pan (paniyaram pan, ebelskiver pan). The fried ones stayed a bit crunchy even after they cooled down. However the ones made in the appe pan, became soft. So, I guess its best to serve them as soon as they are prepared. My hubby loved the more calorie filled ones-- the fried ones :) These vadas broke my intention to just eat fruit during this Ekadashi. Fasts are suppose to build up your discipline, but I broke mine. Lesson learnt that no fancy or tempting dishes should be prepared on fasting days. 
    So let me share the recipe with you.











made in an appe pan



deep fried 



SABUDANA VADA
Makes about 40

For the vadas:
1¼ cups sabudana (tapioca pearls, sago)
3 medium (approx 250g) potatoes
½ cup fresh coriander, chopped
½ cup coarse peanut powder
1-1½ tsp salt or sendhu namak (rock salt)
2-3 green chillis (finely chopped or crushed)
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp red chilli powder (optional)
1 cup water

oil for deep frying

For the chutney :
1½ cup yogurt
½ cup fresh grated coconut
2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
1 tsp green chilli paste
¼ tsp salt

Preparation of the vadas:

  1. Wash the sabudana in a strainer under running water for a few seconds.
  2. Transfer the sabudana to a bowl.
  3. Add water and let them soak for 2-3 hours.
  4. In the meantime boil, peel and mash the potatoes.
  5. If there is any liquid left in the sabudana, drain it out.
  6. Add sabudana, coarse peanut powder, salt, jeera, coriander, lemon juice, chillis and ginger paste to the mashed potatoes.
  7. Mix well.
  8. Take about a tablespoonful of the mixture and make it into a round ball. Flatten it slightly.
  9. If the mixture sticks to your hand wet them slightly.
  10. Repeat step 8 till all the mixture is used up.
To fry them:
  1. Heat oil in a frying pan or karai over medium heat till it is hot.
  2. Add 6-8 vadas slowly into the hot oil.
  3. Let them fry for a few minutes without disturbing them.
  4. Then using a slotted spoon, slowly flip them over.
  5. Fry till they are nice and crunchy and light golden brown.
  6. Remove the fried vadas and place them on a kitchen tissue roll so that the extra oil can be absorbed by it
  7. Repeat steps 2-6 with the remaining vadas.
  8. Serve sabudana vadas with the yogurt coconut chutney or your favourite chutney.
To make them in an appe pan:
  1. When you roll the mixture for the appe pan, do not flatten them. Leave them round.
  2. Heat an appe pan over low medium heat.
  3. Add a drop of oil into each of the cavity.
  4. Put the rolled balls in each cavity.
  5. Cover the pan.
  6. Let the vadas cook for 5 minutes.
  7. Take the cover off and turn the vadas.
  8. Add a drop of oil into each cavity again.
  9. Cook the vadas till they are light golden brown.
  10. Serve immediately with chutney.
Tips:
  • Add red chilli powder if you like. This will make the vada mixture a bit reddish. 
  • If you add less sabudana, the vadas will not turn out very crunchy.
  • I used the medium size sabudana for these vadas.
  • You can roll the vadas into any size you prefer. Some of the street stalls sell large ones.
You may want to check out the following:
paneer lauki kofta curry made using an appe pan

mogo bhajia made in an appe pan
panchmel vadas made in an appe pan




Monday, 16 May 2016

560.Chia Seed Pudding

a healthy treat

  These days the new health rage is seeds like chia seeds, hemp seeds, flax seeds, any thing that is coconut, mixture of fruits and vegetables. The list is endless. Even before chia seeds came onto the market, India has been using falooda seeds, Basil seeds or takmariya or sabja as its commonly known in faloodas and added in milk to give a cool refreshing drink. I remember pestering my mum to add spoonfuls of takmariya in my milk. She would tell me that too much is not good. Contrary to her belief basil seeds and chia seeds are very healthy. 
There are slight difference between basil and chia seeds. 

  • While basil seeds are derived from basil plant which is mainly found in the Mediterranean region and Indian Sub -Continent, chia is derived from a plant called Salvia Hispanica, a type of mint mainly found in Mexico and Guatemala. 
  • The word chia comes from the Aztec word which means strength. Chia seeds can be eaten raw or soaked whereas basil seeds have to be soaked.
  • Basil seeds are balck tiny seeds whereas chia seeds are oval in shape and can be grey, black, white or brown in colour.
  • When soaked basil seeds form a gelatinous outer coat within a few minutes whereas chia seeds need to be soaked for a longer time. 

However both have health benefits. They are rich in iron, magnesium, calcium, omega 3, potassium,protein and fiber.
Some of the health benefits of including this superfood in your salads, bakes, smoothies, desserts, oats etc are :
1) The omega 3 rich seeds are good for your heart
2) Rich in fiber makes it very freindly for your digestive system. Prevents constipation, helps to reduce acid reflux.
3) Regulates blood sugar because it contains alpha-linolenic acid.
4) Its an energy booster.
5) Because of its high calcium content, its good for your bones.
6) Chia seeds can hold up to 12 times its weight in water. Usually the chia water ratio is 1:10. This helps to ward off hunger pangs and makes you feel full for a longer period. 
To read more about the benefits of chia seeds, read this.
  For our 40th #FoodieMonday#Bloghop the theme chosen was #summercoolers. My initial idea was to make a cool refreshing mocktail. However, since last Monday the weather here has changed from extreme heat to cool rainy days. Not exactly the type of weather I want to nurse a cool mocktail. Making chia pudding has been on my 'to do list' for a very long time. So I decided to make this cool pudding. This pudding can be served as dessert, as a snack, or even for breakfast. Before I introduce you to the exact recipe, you can use fruit puree or chopped fruit to add to the pudding. You can use normal milk, coconut milk, any nut milk or soya milk. Top it up with your choice of fruits, nuts, grated coconut or a bit of dark chocolate.
 I decided to use kiwi fruit puree. Check out the recipe and prepare for your family and you a healthy pudding.












CHIA SEED PUDDING
Serves 2

1½ cups coconut milk
3 tbsp chia seeds
1 cup fresh kiwi puree ( I used about 4)
2 - 3 tbsp maple syrup/ honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp chopped nuts
fresh fruit for topping

  1. Mix milk, maple syrup and vanilla extract in a bowl.
  2. Add chia seeds and mix well.
  3. Let the mixture stay at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  4. Put the mixture in the fridge for 5-6 hours or overnight.
  5. Peel the kiwi fruit and puree it.
  6. Leave it in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.
  7. Just before serving mix the fruit puree and chia seed mixture. Top it with nuts and fruits.
  8. Serve. 
Tips:
  • Use normal milk, almond, cashew nut milk, or soya milk.
  • Some fruit suggestions are mango, berries, banana, pineapple. Use any fruit that you like.
  • Add spices like cinnamon or flavours like zests to it.
  • After 30 minutes of soaking, mix the mixture again as the top layer of seeds with not form the gelatinous outer coating.
You may want to check out the following:

banana ice cream
Sending this recipe for the following event:

Blog Hop

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

559. Bulochki (Russian sweet yeast rolls)

BULOCHKI#BREADBAKERS

 Appetite comes at mealtime - Russian Proverb

     #Breadbakers theme for the month of May 2016 was decided by Deepti of Baking Yummies. She suggested that we bake rolls. It took me a whole week to decide whether I wanted to bake some sweet or savoury rolls. My sweet tooth ruled and I decided to bake sweet rolls, Bulochki. While most bakeries use the term rolls and buns as they wish, the general rule is that rolls are usually stuffed or rolled with a sweet or savoury filling whereas buns are generally plain and not filled. However, there are no strict rules. Hard crusted breads are included in rolls like French rolls or Kaiser rolls whereas Hot Cross Buns are classified as buns.
        Bulochki is a Russian sweet filled roll. Usually they are filled with apple, sometimes cherries, apricots,poppy seeds or other fruits. The apple can be stewed, made into butter or jam and then filled in the rolls before baking. I decided to fill the rolls with cooked apples. The rolls can be sprinkled with flour crumb, brushed with egg, dusted with powdered sugar, glazed or iced. Usually the dough is made using eggs but I decided to make an eggless one.To make the bread part softer I replaced the eggs with butter. I followed the recipe for the filling from Olga's Flavour Factory. The rolls can be oval or round shaped, knotted or as pull apart rolls. 
        When I baked the rolls, my hubby didn't even try them. I shared some with my family and left a few in the fridge. I brought them out of the fridge on Sunday and warmed them up on a griddle pan over low heat. I think as the Russian proverb says, my hubby's appetite for the rolls came when I served them as brunch. "How come I didn't taste these on the day you baked them? They are so delicious." Now what do I say to that? They are one of my favourite rolls as I love apple in desserts, bakes etc. Hope you too love this recipe and will want to try it out. 









BULOCHKI
Makes 16 rolls (or 32 if you want to make mini ones)

For the dough:
3 cups all purpose flour (plain flour)
2 tsp instant dry active yeast
½ tsp salt
¼ cup sugar
1 - 1¼ cup warm milk
4 tbsp butter

For the filling:
5-6 (approx 700-800g) apples*
½ cup sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp cinnamon powder

For brushing:
2 tbsp milk

For glazing:
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp water

extra flour for dusting
extra butter for greasing

Preparation of the dough:
  1. Put flour, salt, sugar and yeast in a big bowl and mix well.
  2. Add one tablespoon butter and rub it into the flour.
  3. Add the milk and form a dough.
  4. Sprinkle the board with some flour and knead the dough, adding butter little by little till the dough is smooth and elastic. Knead the dough for 10-15 minutes by hand or for 7-10 minutes in a machine.
  5. Grease the bowl bowl with butter. Shape the dough into a ball.
  6. Place the dough in the bowl. Cover with a cling film or towel and place in a warm place till the dough is double the size. This will take about 1½ hours, depending on how warm the place is.
  7. In the meantime prepare the filling.
Preparation of the filling:
  1. Peel, core and chop the apples into small pieces.
  2. Put the apple and sugar in a wide pan over medium heat.
  3. Mix till the sugar melts and till the apples let out water.
  4. Lower the heat and let the mixture simmer till the apples are cooked.
  5. Let the mixture cool down.
  6. At this stage if you find too much liquid in the apple mixture, then strain it.
  7. Add lemon juice, lemon zest and cinnamon powder and mix well.
Final preparation of bulochki:
  1. Knead the risen dough gently, just enough to let out the air.
  2. Divide it into 16 parts.
  3. Grease baking tray with butter or line it with parchment paper.
  4. Sprinkle the work top with some flour.
  5. Divide the filling into 16 parts.
  6. Take one part and roll it into an oval of approx 5"X 3".
  7. Put one part of the filling in the middle of the rolled dough.
  8. Pinch the two long ends together to seal. Tuck the ends. Remember to pinch the seams well so that the filling does not come out during baking.
  9. Place the seam side down on the greased tray.
  10. Follow steps 6-9 with the remaining dough and filling.
  11. Cover the rolls with a towel and let them rise till double the size for about 45 minutes.
  12. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  13. Brush the rolls with milk.
  14. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or till the tops are golden brown. 
  15. Mix honey and water and keep it ready.
  16. Remove the baked rolls from the oven and brush them with the honey water mixture.
  17. Let the buns cool.
  18. Serve with tea or coffee.
Tips:
  • *Use green apples or a mixture or any of your choice.
  • If you want to add egg in the dough then use 2.
  • Use egg wash instead of milk for brushing the rolls before baking.
  • Next time I'll probably sprinkle the rolls with black poppy seeds.
  • If the rolls begin to brown too quickly, cover them with foil and bake till done.
Check out the delightful rolls baked by fellow bakers:

BreadBakers

#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.


Thursday, 26 May 2016

563.Pizza Swirl Bread

Hot on the heels

   My last post was a veggie pizza and this post is a pizza swirl bread. Now don't get me wrong, yes I do love pizzas but can't have it everyday. Pizza Swirl Bread was the May challenge for the We Knead to Bake set by fellow member Niv Mani of Panfusine. Niv wanted us to use the recipe for the dough and the filling and sauce was our choice. This time I managed to bake it a few weeks ahead but I was not happy with the result. It baked well but because of the twists, the bread was not slicing well. However, hubby really enjoyed the bread with an olive dip. Usually my bakes turn out good so it really bothered me that this loaf didn't turn out so nice. So the bread was still on my 'must do list'. I managed to bake it again yesterday and was happy with the end result. Nice crusty loaf and good slices. Though the baked loaf does not look pretty, the slices looked really good. Each slice has a different pattern. This bread can be served with a soup, a salad or eaten on its own. A healthy option for a snack and its like having a pizza but without too much cheese.
So here's the recipe. Do try it out. It is delicious and not too difficult to make. I decided to use more wheat flour and less plain flour in my dough recipe. The first time I used onion slices and corn as my filling and the second time round I used mushrooms and olives.










my first attempt

PIZZA SWIRL BREAD
Makes 1 loaf
Recipe source : Food 52

For the dough:
2 cups wholewheat flour
1 cup plain flour (all purpose flour)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp instant active dry yeast
1 cup warm water

Sauce: (this amount makes ½ cup which is enough for the bread)
½ cup thick fresh tomato puree
1 tbsp olive oil
¼ cup finely chopped onion
1 tbsp garlic paste
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper powder
½ tsp dried mixed herbs

Filling:
1 cup grated cheese (cheddar or mozzarella)
½ cup sliced olives
1 cup sliced mushrooms

extra oil for greasing and brushing
extra flour for dusting

Preparation of the dough:
  1. Sift both the flours together into a big bowl.
  2. Add salt, yeast and sugar.Mix well.
  3. Rub oil into the flour.
  4. Add water and form a dough.
  5. Dust the worktop with flour. 
  6. Knead the dough on the worktop for 5-10 minutes till its smooth, soft and elastic.
  7. Grease the bowl with oil. Smear little oil over the dough and put it into the bowl.
  8. Cover the bowl with cling film or a tea towel.  
  9. Put the bowl in a warm place for the dough to rise for 1½ hours or till its double the size.
Preparation of the sauce:
  1. While the dough is rising, prepare the sauce.
  2. Heat oil in a pan over medium heat.
  3. Add onion and saute till its soft.
  4. Add garlic and stir fry for a few seconds.
  5. Add the tomato puree.
  6. Add salt and sugar and mix. 
  7. Cover the pan and let the sauce cook over low heat till it becomes thick.
  8. Once its thick, take the pan off the heat.
  9. Add pepper and herbs and mix well.
  10. Let the sauce cool down.
Preparation of the bread:
  1. Knead the risen dough gently.
  2. Dust the worktop and form the dough into a ball.
  3. Roll it out into a rectangle 18" X 10". It should be about ½" thick.
  4. I placed the rolled dough with longer length across and the shorter side facing me.
  5. Spread the tomato sauce over it.
  6. Scatter the cheese over the sauce.
  7. Now scatter the mushroom slices and olives. Make sure the cheese and filling is evenly distributed over the rolled dough.
  8. Roll up the dough, like a swiss roll.
  9. Pinch the seams to seal and tuck in the ends.
  10. Now with the long side across the worktop, form a u shape from the middle.
  11. Take the right side and place it over the left. Continue to form the twist. Pinch the ends and tuck.
  12. Place the twisted dough in a greased loaf tin 9" X 5". Cover the dough with a tea towel.
  13. Let the dough rise again in a warm place for 45 minutes.
  14. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  15. Brush olive oil over the top of the risen dough.
  16. Bake the bread for 35-45 minutes or till the top is golden brown.
  17. Take the loaf out of the oven. Leave it in the tin to cool for 10-15 minutes.
  18. Take it out of the tin and place it on a wire rack to cool completely.
  19. Serve with soup, salad or with an olive dip.
Tips:
  • Don't add to much filling, and don't pile it all in the middle.
  • Grease the loaf tin properly. You don't want it to get stuck in the tine.
  • Wait patiently for 10 to 15 minutes before you remove the loaf from the tin.
  • Use any filling that you like. First time I had used 1 cup sweet corn and ½ cup sliced onion.
  • If you roll out the dough too thin, it will tear when you try to twist it. So make sure its about ½" thick.
You may want to check out the following:
pizza muffins
veggie pizza
Sending this recipe for the following event:




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Monday, 23 May 2016

562. Homemade Veggie Pizza

Sunday is Pizza Day

     I've made pizzas when my kids were at home, when we've invited guests, to celebrate special occasions. Years back we didn't get frozen pizzas, or ready made pizza base. There were not many places making pizzas back then, so the only option was to make them at home.Made them quite often but never ever thought of posting my pizza recipe. Actually don't know why I haven't done so till now. Well, as they say its never too late. I must thank my #FoodieMonday #Bloghop friends for choosing the 41st theme as #Pizzamania.         Normally on a Sunday hubby and I go to our favourite restaurant IL Covo to have either a pizza or lasagna. We usually land up with a pizza as they are baked in a brick oven using wood. The pizzas are simply amazing. Homemade ones don't give the same result. However, pizzas whether home made or ready made are mostly everyone's favourite. I still have to come across someone who hates pizzas. When the group decided that we make pizzas, I was excited. Whenever I make pizzas at home besides having a measurement for the dough, I don't measure any of the other ingredients. So this time round, I actually had to measure everything to write this recipe and my kitchen was like a war zone. Paper, pen, ingredients, measuring cups, bowls, all over the place. 
     We prefer thin based pizza.I prefer making the base from wholewheat flour and add some all purpose flour to it. I usually keep all the toppings ready and guests can 'order' whatever topping they prefer. Some love mushrooms, some don't. Hubby doesn't like sweet pepper, some like it without garlic and onion, some don't want pineapple, some want extra olives. 
     So without any more delay here's my home made pizza recipe.










Pizza
Serves 3-4

For the pizza dough:
2 cups wholewheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour (plain flour)
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp instant dry active yeast
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
½ tsp dried mixed herbs
1-1¼ cup warm water

extra oil for greasing
extra flour for dusting

For the sauce:
1½ cup fresh thick tomato puree*
½ cup finely chopped onion
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp garlic paste
1 tsp salt
½ tsp sugar
½ tsp black pepper powder
½ tsp mixed dried herbs or 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil

For the topping:
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
1 cup sweet corn
½ cup chopped onion
½ - ¾ cup chopped sweet pepper (any colour)
2 cups (approx. 125g) sliced mushrooms
½ cup sliced olives
½ - ¾ cup pineapple chunks
2 tsp dried oregano 
2-3 green chillis cut into rings
1-2 tsp chilli flakes

Preparation of pizza dough:

  1. Sift both the flours together into a big bowl.
  2. Add salt,yeast and sugar. Mix well.
  3. Add oil and rub it into the flour.
  4. Add 1 cup warm water and form a dough.
  5. Dust the worktop with little flour and knead the dough for 7-10 minutes till its soft, elastic and smooth.
  6. Grease the bowl with oil.
  7. Form the dough into a ball shape. Apply oil over it. Put in the greased bowl.
  8. Cover the bowl with a tea towel or cling film and let the dough rise till its double the size.This may take about 1½ hours.
Preparation of the sauce:
  1. Heat oil in a pan over medium heat.
  2. Add onion and stir fry till it becomes soft.
  3. Add garlic paste and stir fry for a few seconds.
  4. Add the tomato puree, salt and sugar.
  5. Cover the pan and let the sauce simmer till it becomes thick.
  6. Remember to stir occasionally so that the sauce does not stick to the bottom of the pan.
  7. Take the pan off the heat and remove the cover when the sauce becomes thick.
  8. Add pepper and mixed herbs.Mix well.
  9. Let the sauce cool.
Chop and prepare the required toppings.

Preparation of the pizza:
  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  2. Gently knead the risen dough.
  3. Divide it into 4 parts. Roll each part into a ball.
  4. Grease baking trays.
  5. Using some flour, roll each part into a pizza base about 7"- 8" in diameter.
  6. Place the rolled base on the baking tray.
  7. Spread some sauce over the base.
  8. Add the topping of your choice.
  9. Sprinkle cheese over it.
  10. Add chillis, red chilli flakes and herbs.
  11. Bake the pizzas for 10-15 minutes or till the edges become light golden brown.
  12. Serve immediately.
Tips:
  • * To prepare a thick tomato puree, I wash and cut the tomatoes into 4 pieces.Then I put in a pan, cover it let the tomatoes cook over low heat till they becomes soft. I let it cool for a while and then liquidize the tomatoes.
  • If you prepare thick base pizzas, then divide the dough into 3. 
  • The amount and types of topping is just a rough guideline. Use toppings of your choice. The amount you add to your pizza is also your choice.
  • The amount of water required to form the dough depends on the type of flour. I used only 1 cup water.
  • If I am preparing more than 2 pizzas, I change the positions of the trays halfway.This will ensure that the base becomes a bit crispy.
  • If you have a pizza stone, use it as it will give you better results.
You may want to check out the following:
veggie pizza rolls
 savoury pizza muffins
apple dessert pizza


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Tuesday, 17 May 2016

561. Sabudana Vada

a great treat

   Sabudana vada has been on my 'to do list' for a very long time. These days I am trying to avoid fried foods if possible so that when we dine out, I can indulge in whatever I want. However this Ekadashi, I just decided to make a fried snack. I am so glad I made these so crunchy and delicious vadas. A Maharashtrian snack, which is commonly found as street food, its easy to prepare and crispy from the outside and soft inside. Its usually served with sweetened yogurt. I am not a big fan of sweetened yogurt so I decided to make a yogurt coconut chutney. Sabudana vadas are very often made during fasting time. I had these crunchy vadas for the first time at the Hare Krishna Temple in Juhu and simply loved them. I fried a few and also made a few in the appe pan (paniyaram pan, ebelskiver pan). The fried ones stayed a bit crunchy even after they cooled down. However the ones made in the appe pan, became soft. So, I guess its best to serve them as soon as they are prepared. My hubby loved the more calorie filled ones-- the fried ones :) These vadas broke my intention to just eat fruit during this Ekadashi. Fasts are suppose to build up your discipline, but I broke mine. Lesson learnt that no fancy or tempting dishes should be prepared on fasting days. 
    So let me share the recipe with you.











made in an appe pan



deep fried 



SABUDANA VADA
Makes about 40

For the vadas:
1¼ cups sabudana (tapioca pearls, sago)
3 medium (approx 250g) potatoes
½ cup fresh coriander, chopped
½ cup coarse peanut powder
1-1½ tsp salt or sendhu namak (rock salt)
2-3 green chillis (finely chopped or crushed)
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp red chilli powder (optional)
1 cup water

oil for deep frying

For the chutney :
1½ cup yogurt
½ cup fresh grated coconut
2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
1 tsp green chilli paste
¼ tsp salt

Preparation of the vadas:

  1. Wash the sabudana in a strainer under running water for a few seconds.
  2. Transfer the sabudana to a bowl.
  3. Add water and let them soak for 2-3 hours.
  4. In the meantime boil, peel and mash the potatoes.
  5. If there is any liquid left in the sabudana, drain it out.
  6. Add sabudana, coarse peanut powder, salt, jeera, coriander, lemon juice, chillis and ginger paste to the mashed potatoes.
  7. Mix well.
  8. Take about a tablespoonful of the mixture and make it into a round ball. Flatten it slightly.
  9. If the mixture sticks to your hand wet them slightly.
  10. Repeat step 8 till all the mixture is used up.
To fry them:
  1. Heat oil in a frying pan or karai over medium heat till it is hot.
  2. Add 6-8 vadas slowly into the hot oil.
  3. Let them fry for a few minutes without disturbing them.
  4. Then using a slotted spoon, slowly flip them over.
  5. Fry till they are nice and crunchy and light golden brown.
  6. Remove the fried vadas and place them on a kitchen tissue roll so that the extra oil can be absorbed by it
  7. Repeat steps 2-6 with the remaining vadas.
  8. Serve sabudana vadas with the yogurt coconut chutney or your favourite chutney.
To make them in an appe pan:
  1. When you roll the mixture for the appe pan, do not flatten them. Leave them round.
  2. Heat an appe pan over low medium heat.
  3. Add a drop of oil into each of the cavity.
  4. Put the rolled balls in each cavity.
  5. Cover the pan.
  6. Let the vadas cook for 5 minutes.
  7. Take the cover off and turn the vadas.
  8. Add a drop of oil into each cavity again.
  9. Cook the vadas till they are light golden brown.
  10. Serve immediately with chutney.
Tips:
  • Add red chilli powder if you like. This will make the vada mixture a bit reddish. 
  • If you add less sabudana, the vadas will not turn out very crunchy.
  • I used the medium size sabudana for these vadas.
  • You can roll the vadas into any size you prefer. Some of the street stalls sell large ones.
You may want to check out the following:
paneer lauki kofta curry made using an appe pan

mogo bhajia made in an appe pan
panchmel vadas made in an appe pan




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Monday, 16 May 2016

560.Chia Seed Pudding

a healthy treat

  These days the new health rage is seeds like chia seeds, hemp seeds, flax seeds, any thing that is coconut, mixture of fruits and vegetables. The list is endless. Even before chia seeds came onto the market, India has been using falooda seeds, Basil seeds or takmariya or sabja as its commonly known in faloodas and added in milk to give a cool refreshing drink. I remember pestering my mum to add spoonfuls of takmariya in my milk. She would tell me that too much is not good. Contrary to her belief basil seeds and chia seeds are very healthy. 
There are slight difference between basil and chia seeds. 

  • While basil seeds are derived from basil plant which is mainly found in the Mediterranean region and Indian Sub -Continent, chia is derived from a plant called Salvia Hispanica, a type of mint mainly found in Mexico and Guatemala. 
  • The word chia comes from the Aztec word which means strength. Chia seeds can be eaten raw or soaked whereas basil seeds have to be soaked.
  • Basil seeds are balck tiny seeds whereas chia seeds are oval in shape and can be grey, black, white or brown in colour.
  • When soaked basil seeds form a gelatinous outer coat within a few minutes whereas chia seeds need to be soaked for a longer time. 

However both have health benefits. They are rich in iron, magnesium, calcium, omega 3, potassium,protein and fiber.
Some of the health benefits of including this superfood in your salads, bakes, smoothies, desserts, oats etc are :
1) The omega 3 rich seeds are good for your heart
2) Rich in fiber makes it very freindly for your digestive system. Prevents constipation, helps to reduce acid reflux.
3) Regulates blood sugar because it contains alpha-linolenic acid.
4) Its an energy booster.
5) Because of its high calcium content, its good for your bones.
6) Chia seeds can hold up to 12 times its weight in water. Usually the chia water ratio is 1:10. This helps to ward off hunger pangs and makes you feel full for a longer period. 
To read more about the benefits of chia seeds, read this.
  For our 40th #FoodieMonday#Bloghop the theme chosen was #summercoolers. My initial idea was to make a cool refreshing mocktail. However, since last Monday the weather here has changed from extreme heat to cool rainy days. Not exactly the type of weather I want to nurse a cool mocktail. Making chia pudding has been on my 'to do list' for a very long time. So I decided to make this cool pudding. This pudding can be served as dessert, as a snack, or even for breakfast. Before I introduce you to the exact recipe, you can use fruit puree or chopped fruit to add to the pudding. You can use normal milk, coconut milk, any nut milk or soya milk. Top it up with your choice of fruits, nuts, grated coconut or a bit of dark chocolate.
 I decided to use kiwi fruit puree. Check out the recipe and prepare for your family and you a healthy pudding.












CHIA SEED PUDDING
Serves 2

1½ cups coconut milk
3 tbsp chia seeds
1 cup fresh kiwi puree ( I used about 4)
2 - 3 tbsp maple syrup/ honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp chopped nuts
fresh fruit for topping

  1. Mix milk, maple syrup and vanilla extract in a bowl.
  2. Add chia seeds and mix well.
  3. Let the mixture stay at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  4. Put the mixture in the fridge for 5-6 hours or overnight.
  5. Peel the kiwi fruit and puree it.
  6. Leave it in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.
  7. Just before serving mix the fruit puree and chia seed mixture. Top it with nuts and fruits.
  8. Serve. 
Tips:
  • Use normal milk, almond, cashew nut milk, or soya milk.
  • Some fruit suggestions are mango, berries, banana, pineapple. Use any fruit that you like.
  • Add spices like cinnamon or flavours like zests to it.
  • After 30 minutes of soaking, mix the mixture again as the top layer of seeds with not form the gelatinous outer coating.
You may want to check out the following:

banana ice cream
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Tuesday, 10 May 2016

559. Bulochki (Russian sweet yeast rolls)

BULOCHKI#BREADBAKERS

 Appetite comes at mealtime - Russian Proverb

     #Breadbakers theme for the month of May 2016 was decided by Deepti of Baking Yummies. She suggested that we bake rolls. It took me a whole week to decide whether I wanted to bake some sweet or savoury rolls. My sweet tooth ruled and I decided to bake sweet rolls, Bulochki. While most bakeries use the term rolls and buns as they wish, the general rule is that rolls are usually stuffed or rolled with a sweet or savoury filling whereas buns are generally plain and not filled. However, there are no strict rules. Hard crusted breads are included in rolls like French rolls or Kaiser rolls whereas Hot Cross Buns are classified as buns.
        Bulochki is a Russian sweet filled roll. Usually they are filled with apple, sometimes cherries, apricots,poppy seeds or other fruits. The apple can be stewed, made into butter or jam and then filled in the rolls before baking. I decided to fill the rolls with cooked apples. The rolls can be sprinkled with flour crumb, brushed with egg, dusted with powdered sugar, glazed or iced. Usually the dough is made using eggs but I decided to make an eggless one.To make the bread part softer I replaced the eggs with butter. I followed the recipe for the filling from Olga's Flavour Factory. The rolls can be oval or round shaped, knotted or as pull apart rolls. 
        When I baked the rolls, my hubby didn't even try them. I shared some with my family and left a few in the fridge. I brought them out of the fridge on Sunday and warmed them up on a griddle pan over low heat. I think as the Russian proverb says, my hubby's appetite for the rolls came when I served them as brunch. "How come I didn't taste these on the day you baked them? They are so delicious." Now what do I say to that? They are one of my favourite rolls as I love apple in desserts, bakes etc. Hope you too love this recipe and will want to try it out. 









BULOCHKI
Makes 16 rolls (or 32 if you want to make mini ones)

For the dough:
3 cups all purpose flour (plain flour)
2 tsp instant dry active yeast
½ tsp salt
¼ cup sugar
1 - 1¼ cup warm milk
4 tbsp butter

For the filling:
5-6 (approx 700-800g) apples*
½ cup sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp cinnamon powder

For brushing:
2 tbsp milk

For glazing:
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp water

extra flour for dusting
extra butter for greasing

Preparation of the dough:
  1. Put flour, salt, sugar and yeast in a big bowl and mix well.
  2. Add one tablespoon butter and rub it into the flour.
  3. Add the milk and form a dough.
  4. Sprinkle the board with some flour and knead the dough, adding butter little by little till the dough is smooth and elastic. Knead the dough for 10-15 minutes by hand or for 7-10 minutes in a machine.
  5. Grease the bowl bowl with butter. Shape the dough into a ball.
  6. Place the dough in the bowl. Cover with a cling film or towel and place in a warm place till the dough is double the size. This will take about 1½ hours, depending on how warm the place is.
  7. In the meantime prepare the filling.
Preparation of the filling:
  1. Peel, core and chop the apples into small pieces.
  2. Put the apple and sugar in a wide pan over medium heat.
  3. Mix till the sugar melts and till the apples let out water.
  4. Lower the heat and let the mixture simmer till the apples are cooked.
  5. Let the mixture cool down.
  6. At this stage if you find too much liquid in the apple mixture, then strain it.
  7. Add lemon juice, lemon zest and cinnamon powder and mix well.
Final preparation of bulochki:
  1. Knead the risen dough gently, just enough to let out the air.
  2. Divide it into 16 parts.
  3. Grease baking tray with butter or line it with parchment paper.
  4. Sprinkle the work top with some flour.
  5. Divide the filling into 16 parts.
  6. Take one part and roll it into an oval of approx 5"X 3".
  7. Put one part of the filling in the middle of the rolled dough.
  8. Pinch the two long ends together to seal. Tuck the ends. Remember to pinch the seams well so that the filling does not come out during baking.
  9. Place the seam side down on the greased tray.
  10. Follow steps 6-9 with the remaining dough and filling.
  11. Cover the rolls with a towel and let them rise till double the size for about 45 minutes.
  12. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  13. Brush the rolls with milk.
  14. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or till the tops are golden brown. 
  15. Mix honey and water and keep it ready.
  16. Remove the baked rolls from the oven and brush them with the honey water mixture.
  17. Let the buns cool.
  18. Serve with tea or coffee.
Tips:
  • *Use green apples or a mixture or any of your choice.
  • If you want to add egg in the dough then use 2.
  • Use egg wash instead of milk for brushing the rolls before baking.
  • Next time I'll probably sprinkle the rolls with black poppy seeds.
  • If the rolls begin to brown too quickly, cover them with foil and bake till done.
Check out the delightful rolls baked by fellow bakers:

BreadBakers

#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.


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