Bread

Paneer Stuffed Pull Apart Rolls

Paneer Stuffed Pull Apart Rolls
Paneer Stuffed Pull Apart Rolls

While growing up, I loved the spicy stuffed breads available in most of the bakeries in India. The aroma of fresh stuffed bread coming out of bakeries was divine. Even after more than a decade of living here, I can still remember the aroma/taste of it. I used to search for any savory breads here in bakeries, but so far I have not found anything close. So once in a while, when I want to eat those, I bake at home.  Few days ago, I baked these paneer stuffed pull apart rolls.

I started buying avocado when Ishaan was a toddler. He used to love eating it with a pinch of salt and lemon. Then there was a period of time, I totally forgot about them. Whenever I bought them, they sat on the kitchen counter and got overripe before I could use them. A friend suggested to refrigerate avocados to increase their life. Now I buy a bunch of them and put in fridge. I mix them in chapati dough to make super soft chapatis. So this time I wanted to try adding them to bread and the bread came out delicious.

Pictorial:
Spread paneer stuffing on the rolled dough.
paneer stuffed pull apart rolls1 paneer stuffed pull apart rolls2
Roll the dough.
paneer stuffed pull apart rolls3 paneer stuffed pull apart rolls4
Cut and keep in the baking pan.
paneer stuffed pull apart rolls5 paneer stuffed pull apart rolls6
Ready to eat.
paneer stuffed pull apart rolls7

Paneer Stuffed Pull-Apart Rolls

Soft avocado bread stuffed with spicy paneer filling makes a great dinner or snack.
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 12 pieces

Ingredients
  

  • For the bread
  • 1 1 and 1/2 tea spns pack active dry yeast
  • 3 and 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tbl spn butter
  • 1 avocado optional
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tbl spn olive oil
  • 1 tea spn honey
  • Salt
  • For the stuffing
  • 2 cups shredded paneer
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tbl spn coriander leaves
  • 1 tea spn freshly made ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 tea spn chilli powder
  • 1 tea spn garam masala
  • Oil
  • Salt

Instructions
 

  • For stuffing :
  • Heat oil and add onions, ginger-garlic paste, salt.
  • Fry till onions are translucent.
  • Add garam masala, chilli powder and fry for a min.
  • Now add the paneer, coriander leaves and mix well.
  • Let it cool to room temperature.
  • For bread:
  • Take honey and warm water in a bowl and add the yeast.
  • Leave it around for 10mins till yeast gets activated.
  • Now add mashed avocado, softened butter, milk.
  • Add 1 cup flour at a time and mix.
  • Knead till dough comes together in a ball (it will still be sticky). I mix in my KitchenAid stand mixer.
  • Take on a flat surface dust with flour and knead for few minutes.
  • Take oil in the same bowl, keep the dough and move it around to coat with oil.
  • Cover the bowl and leave for about 2 hrs, till it is doubled in volume.
  • Punch the dough to deflate all the air. Knead for a min.
  • Assembling:
  • Roll the dough into a thin (about 1/4") thick rectangle.
  • Spread the stuffing on the bread.
  • Make a tight roll, tightly seal the edge.
  • Cut into 1 and 1/2 to 2 inch pieces.
  • Take a baking dish and apply little oil to it. I also dusted it with a little flour to avoid sticking.
  • Keep the bread pieces one beside the other.
  • Cover and keep it aside for about 1 hr.
  • The rolls would have risen well by now.
  • Preheat the oven at 350F.
  • Brush the rolls with butter or olive oil or milk.
  • Bake the rolls at 350F for about 45mins. (check after about 30mins).
  • Serve hot.

Notes

You can replace 1 cup of all purpose flour with 1 cup of whole wheat flour or multigrain atta. Add 1 tea spn of wheat gluten when using whole wheat or multigrain atta which helps it get fluffy.

 

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Pizza cupcakes

Pizza Cupcakes
Pizza Cupcakes

I am one of those moms who want my kids to learn cooking. I do not expect them to cook any elaborate dishes if they don’t wish to, but atleast they should be able to feed themselves some fresh homemade food. I have been giving Ishaan little jobs in the kitchen whenever I can. He now gets excited when I ask him for “help”.
pizza cupcakes12

Few days back we had a get together and we planned for make-your-own pizza for kids. I took the base, another friend got sauces and toppings. We rolled the bases and gave them their individual small bases. They cut them into different shapes with big cookie cutters, added whatever they wanted on the pizza. We baked the pizzas for them. They all were thrilled. Ishaan is huge fan of this idea. Since then he has been asking me to make pizzas every week.

This time I thought of making it a little different. We baked them in cupcakes. I did not know how they would come out. Ishaan loved to put sauce, toppings and cheese on them. They came out so delicious. Both the kids loved to eat them for dinner and they even took them in lunchboxes next day. I may make regularly now instead of normal pizzas.
pizza cupcakes10
Pictorial:
Brush a cupcake pan with butter. Line each cup with pizza base.
pizza cupcakes1 pizza cupcakes2

Brush the base with butter and cover and let it rise for another 30mins. Bake in preheated oven at 400F for 6mins.
pizza cupcakes3

Add the sauce (I used a mix of marinara and basil pesto) and toppings.

pizza cupcakes6

Top with cheese and bake at 400F for 15mins. I took them out of the pan and baked them for another 7mins.
pizza cupcakes8
pizza cupcakes9

 

Pizza cupcakes

Pizzas bakes in cupcake pans
4 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 24 cupcakes

Ingredients
  

  • For pizza dough
  • 1 pack active dry yeast
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour I use multigrain atta
  • 2 and 1/2 cups approx all purpose flour
  • 1 tbl spn butter
  • 1 tea spn honey
  • 1 tea spn dired oregano
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • For topping
  • Sauce
  • Corn
  • Bellpepper
  • Tomato
  • Paneer marinated in chilli powder and salt and then fried
  • Mozzarella cheese

Instructions
 

  • Take 1/2 cup lukewarm water and add honey, yeast to it.
  • Leave it aside till it becomes frothy (yeast gets active).
  • Now add remaining water, salt, wheat flour, oregano, melted butter and mix. (I sue stand mixer for this).
  • Gradually add remaining flour till the mixture comes into a dough but still very sticky.
  • Now take the dough on a floured surface and knead for a min.
  • Put the dough in a big bowl (I just use the stand mixer bowl), add 1-2 tea spns olive oil and move the dough around to coat with oil.
  • Leave the bowl covered till it doubles in volume (around 1 and 1/2 to 2 hrs.
  • Now punch the dough down to remove all the air.
  • Make small balls and roll them into rounds (as thick as stuffed paratha).
  • Brush cupcake pan with butter.
  • Now line each cup with the dough, brush with oil/butter, cover with a wet towel or plastic wrap and leave for about 30mins.
  • Preheat the oven for 400F (I keep a pizza stone in the middle rack, the stone helps to get crispy crust) , Keep the pan in hot oven and bake for about 5-6mins (I didn't want the dough becoming too soggy, so baked for few mins).
  • For the sauce, I used a mix of marinara sauce and basil pesto, use any desired sauce.
  • I microwaved the frozen corn and bellpepper cut into small pieces for about 1 mins.
  • I marinated paneer in chilli powder, salt and then shallow fried for few minutes.
  • Now add a tea spn of sauce in each cup, add corn, bellpepper, paneer, top with cheese and bake at 400F for 15mins.
  • I then removed the cupcakes from pan and bake them on the pizza stone for another 7-8mins.

 

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Black Forest Buns

Black Forest buns

Black Forest Buns

The bread of the month in We Knead To Bake group were these delicious Black forest buns. I had never heard about these buns before. Since V loves Black Forest cake, I thought this would be a good fit for the Valentine’s day (I baked it on the weekend before Valentine’s day).

I have realized how hard it is to concentrate on anything these days, with 2 small kids around. I usually start with full interest and by the time I am half done, I literally start rushing things because one of them or both would have lost their patience by then. Same happened with these. I did not pay attention to some of the main details. So these turned out like pull apart rolls in shape instead of the  buns that you can see in Aparna’s blog. I used little too much cake in them, so it was a little hard to roll into a log and then cut into pieces. But they were so good, I did not mind the shape at all. They looked rustic (ahem!!) and kind of cute after I drizzled the chocolate on top.

They tasted so much better on the next day. I sent some for Ishaan’s teachers and some for V’s colleagues. I think I was the one who finished the most. The bread, cake and cherries all were delicious together. I am sure I will make these again, may be with a little less cake next time.

Read more about these buns at Aparna’s blog.

Black Forest buns

Black Forest Buns

Delicious buns stuffed with chocolate cake and cherry preserve, drizzled with chocolate
4.50 from 2 votes
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 12 buns

Ingredients
  

For dough

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 50 gms 3.5 tbl spn butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg optional
  • 3/4 tea spn salt
  • 1 and 1/2 tea spn instant yeast
  • 3 to 3 1/4 cups all purpose flour

For Filling

  • 3/4 cup strawberry/cherry jam I used cherry preserve
  • 2 and 1/2 to 3 cup crumbled chocolate cake I used 1/2 recipe of black forest cake

For Drizzling

  • 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Instructions
 

  • Heat milk and water till it is warm.
  • Take off heat and add butter, mix till it melts. (I transferred it to stand mixer bowl).
  • Add sugar and beat till it is dissolved.
  • Cool down the mixture and then add yeast, egg and beat till mixed.
  • Add 1 cup of flour, salt and mix.
  • Add remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time till everything is mixed well.
  • Knead the dough for about 10mins.
  • Lightly apply oil to the surface of the dough and leave it aside covered for about 1 and 1/2 hrs till it doubles in volume.
  • Now punch down the dough and roll it into approximately 18" x 12" rectangle.
  • Spread the jam (or cherry preserve or compote) on it.
  • Spread crumbled cake on top.
  • Roll the dough as tightly as possible.

  • Cut into 12 equal pieces.
  • Place them in a cake pan leaving some space between them for them to rise(there was not much space left in my cake pan, so I kept them pretty close).
  • Leave them aside loosely covered for another 45mins-1hr to rise.
  • Preheat the oven at 350F for about 10mins.
  • Bake at 350F for 25-30mins.
  • Cool them completely. Then drizzle melted chocolate on top.

 

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Stuffed Bread (with Spicy Stuffing)

Spicy Stuffed Bread
Spicy Stuffed Bread

Do you remember the spicy stuffed breads we used to get in bakeries in India? Not sure if they are still available, but I craved for these buns when we moved to US. I used to search for these buns in bakery sections here and would get disappointed to see the sweet breads. Finally I deciced to make them at home. Sometimes with paneer, sometimes with eggs and other times with mixed veggies, they were always a hit.

Couple of years ago, V got me a KitchenAid stand mixer as a surprise gift. It has become my favorite gadget in the kitchen. I use it to make bread dough, chapati dough, cakes etc. After some trial and error, I have figured out a way to efficiently use this. Fresh breads are on the menu atleast once a week now.
stand mixer

Last week I bought a oven thermometer (finally!!). I had noticed my breads were not getting baked in the time mentioned in many recipes. I had same trouble with cakes. I found online that some ovens show wrong temperatures. This thermometer costed me about $5. I think it was totally worth it. When I tried preheating my oven to 350F, I noticed the thermometer was showing 325F. So it is off by 25F, which makes a big difference to baking. If you are struggling to get your cakes/breads baked properly, this might be something you would like to invest in.
oven thermometer

Now coming to this bread, I try to make them into decorative shapes instead of simple buns. They are always big hits in get togethers. I have started making these instead of chapatis which take a long time to roll. I learn something new with every bread I bake. So this has been ongoing learning experience for me. I make the bread with 50% multi grain flour(the one we use to make chapatis) or wheat flour. I feel the bread gets more dense if I use more of it. But I am working on it, to see if I can decrease the amount of all purpose flour(maida) in it.

spicy stuffed bread29

Spicy Stuffed Bread (with Paneer Stuffing)

Freshly baked bread with spicy stuffing
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4 -5

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pack active dry yeast
  • 2 cups multi grain flour or wheat flour
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 and 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tbl spn butter
  • 1 tbl spn honey
  • 1 tbl spn + some more olive oil
  • Salt

Instructions
 

  • Take luke warm water in a bowl and add honey and yeast to it.
  • Keep it aside for 10mins till the mixture becomes frothy (yeast becomes active).
  • Now add milk, butter, multi grain (or wheat) flour, salt and mix till it all comes together (I do the mixing in stand mixer with dough hook).

  • Then add 1/2 cup all purpose flour at a time mixing all the time till it becomes a dough.
  • Add 1 tbl spn olive oil and mix again. (It may take slightly more flour or water based on humidity and other factors).
  • Now knead the dough for 10mins. If you are mixing by hand, take the dough on a clean flat surface and knead for 10 mins.
  • Take a small piece of dough and stretch it. If it breaks easily, you need to knead a little more.
  • Now apply some olive oil on the surface and cover the bowl with a plastic wrap or damp towel and keep in a warm place (I keep in oven with lights on).
  • The dough will double in volume in about 1 and 1/2 to 2 hrs.
  • Punch the dough down and lightly mix the dough.

  • Leave for another 45mins.
  • Now take the dough pieces, stuff them and shape into required shapes (follow the pictures for few different ideas).
  • Shaped into a thin long log, without any stuffing (this I use for sandwiches next day)
  • Stuffed shaped into a easy, beautiful bread

  • Cover the dough over the stuffing


  • Make sure the seam is down and stretch the bread into long log. Then put deep cuts into it making sure the log is intact on left. Then gently lift it and move it into a circle.


  • Stuffed simple braid



  • Cover the shaped dough with plastic wrap or damp towel and leave around 45mins

  • Preheat the oven at 350F for 10mins.
  • Brush the top of the bread with milk (or egg wash), sprinkle some white sesame seeds or chopped garlic or dried herbs on top.
  • I slashed the top with a sharp knife for the bread with no stuffing. Then topped with herbs and sesame seeds

  • For stuffed breads, it was just sesame seeds

  • Bake at 350F for about 20mins.
  • Let them cool for few minutes before cutting.

For Spicy Stuffing

Spicy Stuffed Bread

Spicy Stuffed Bread (with Paneer Stuffing)

Spicy stuffing for bread
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 -5

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 cup onion
  • 1 cup chopped paneer or boiled and chopped eggs or mixed vegetables or ground chicken
  • 1 cup green peas
  • 1/2 tea spn cumin seeds
  • 1 tea spn garam masala
  • 1/2 tea spn chilli powder
  • 1/2 tea spn grated ginger
  • Oil
  • Salt

Instructions
 

  • Heat oil and add cumin seeds.
  • Add onions, ginger and fry till they are translucent.
  • Add garam masala, chilli powder, salt, peas. Cover and let them cook.
  • Now add paneer, mix well and cook for another 5 mins or so.

 

 

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Julekake

Julekake
Julekake

This month’s bread in “We Knead to Bake” group was Julekake. It is a Norwegian Cardamom scented Christmas bread. I was so excited when Aparna posted the recipe in the beginning of the month. I always wanted to try a bread with dried fruits, it reminds of the bread I used to eat when I was a kid. Also, everyone keeps talking about Christmas breads/cakes during this season. I thought I would bake this soon and post the recipe on time (24th ie). But that never happened. It is winter here and kids started falling sick one after the other in loop. I am having hard time just keeping up with everyday food. Then finally I baked this last week. It was an instant hit. Even my 8 month old tried few pieces and loved it.

Read more about this bread at Aprna’s blog. I did not find candied fruits or I should say I did not have too much patience searching for them. Instead I used dried papaya and dried pineapple along with raisins. I loved these fruits and cardamom aroma of the bread. I think I should have covered the bread a tad bit early, it became very dark before I could get to it. So after 15mins of baking, I covered the bread with a silver foil and baked for remaining 15mins. V kept saying it was just perfect. We had it for atleast 3-4 days.

Pictorial:
Make the dough.
julekake1 julekake2 julekake3 julekake4 julekake5 julekake6
Add the dry fruits to the dough.
julekake7 julekake8
Let it rise again.
julekake9 julekake10
Shape the dough and make the egg wash.
julekake11 julekake12
Brush the egg wash on the bread and spread almonds. Bake the bread.
julekake13

Julekake (Norwegian Cardamom Scented Christmas Bread)

Julekake is a very fragrant Norwegian cardamom scented Christmas bread
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tea spn active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup lukewarm water
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm milk
  • 1 egg
  • 50 gm 3 and 1/2 tbl spn butter, soft at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 to 5 pods cardamom powdered
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup mixed candied fruit or peel I used dried papaya and dried pineapple
  • 1/4 cup golden or dark raisins

Glaze

  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • Chopped almonds

Instructions
 

  • Take the lukewarm water, 1 tbl spn (from 1/4 cup) sugar and add yeast to it.
  • Keep it aside till the yeast becomes active (frothy).
  • Add remaining milk, sugar, egg, butter, salt and mix it well.
  • Now add powdered cardamom, flour and knead till a smooth dough is formed.
  • Knead for some time to get a elastic dough.
  • Spread the dough on a flat surface and sprinkle the fruits and raisins on it.
  • Roll the dough and knead lightly so that the fruits are spread across the dough.
  • Brush a big bowl with some oil and keep the dough in it.
  • Cover with a wet cloth and leave it aside till it doubles in volume (about 1 to 1 and 1/2 hours)
  • Lightly deflate the dough and shape it into a ball.
  • Keep on a oiled baking sheet (or a baking pan like I did) and leave it aside for another 45mins.
  • Preheat the oven at 350F for 10mins.
  • Lightly beat the egg with milk. Brush this mixture on the dough.
  • Spread the almonds on top of dough.
  • Bake for about 30mins or till bread is golden brown, cover the bread with a foil if it is browning too fast.
  • Cool the bread completely before cutting it.

 

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Sheermal

Sheermal
Sheermal

As I had mentioned sometime back, I joined We Knead to Bake – a baking group in August. Aparna chooses a bread and posts the recipe every month and all them members bake the bread and post it on 24th of the month. This month Aparna chose this very fragrant bread Sheermal.

Wiki says – Sheermal or Shirmal (Persian: شیرمال‎), is a saffron-flavored traditional flatbread made in Iran, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Lucknow regionand Hyderabad, India, probably from Persian influences. It is one of the several rare Lucknow and Hyderabadi delicacies in India. It is also part of the Awadhi cuisine and is enjoyed in Old Bhopal, especially with meat delicacies.

When I saw this recipe in the beginning of the month, I was very intrigued by the beautiful color of the bread from saffron. I could imagine the saffron aroma coming out of the bread. I don’t remember seeing/tasting this bread anywhere before.

From last few months, I wanted to prepare an Indian meal for a good friend who loves Indian meal. He wanted to taste chicken tikka masala. I decided to bake this bread to go along with that. I wasn’t sure how he would like a very fragrant bread with that. I thought if I added rose water (which was there in original recipe), he probably would not like it much. Also, it was crazy cold last few weeks and it was not possible for me to go for shopping to get it. I know rose water or cardamom would have totally changed the aroma of it, I chose not to use them. I will try it again sometime with those two.

V and I really enjoyed this bread a lot. Even my almost 8 month old, loved to pick up and eat pieces of it. It was very fluffy and tasty. Since I wanted more bread, I used 1 and 1/2 tea spn yeast, so I increased the amount of all the ingredients by 1 and 1/2 times (except egg, I just used 1 egg). It still came out really really good. I will be making this bread again soon. I will take this recipe as a base and will substitute all purpose flour with wheat flour, a little by little, to come up with a consistency that we will enjoy.

I am posting the quantities that I followed for future reference. Check Aparna’s post for more details.

Pictorial:
Make the dough and roll into circles.
sheermal1
Brush the dough with saffron milk.
sheermal2 sheermal3
Ready sheermal
sheermal5

Sheermal

Sheermal is a sweetish saffron flavored aromatic bread
4 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 8 sheermals

Ingredients
  

  • 1 and 1/2 tea spn 1 packet active dry yeast
  • 3 tea spn sugar
  • 1/4 cup lukewarm water
  • 2 and 1/4 cup + 1 and 1/8 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tea spn salt
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup + 1/8 cup ghee + more ghee for brushing
  • 1 cup milk or more, as required for kneading
  • 1 tsp kewra water screw pine essence or rose water
  • A few strands saffron soaked in 2 tbl spn warm milk
  • Butter

Instructions
 

  • In lukewarm water, add yeast and keep it aside till it is active (frothy).
  • Add egg and till it is mixed.
  • Now add melted ghee a little at a time till it is mixed.
  • Mix flour and salt in a bowl.
  • Add milk and rose water to the yeast mixture.
  • Now slowly add flour a little at a time, mixing till it forms a soft and sticky dough.
  • Add more milk if necessary.
  • Keep the dough aside covered till it doubles in volume (for about 2hrs).
  • Preheat the oven at 350F for 10mins.
  • Divide the dough in 8 equal parts and press them out into rounds of about 1/8" thickness.
  • With a fork, prick holes on the rolled dough.
  • Keep them on a parchment paper on a cookie sheet.
  • Soak saffron in warm water and brush the surface of rolled dough.
  • Bake for 10-15 mins.
  • Take them out and immediately brush with some more melted ghee.
  • Serve warm on their own or with some spicy gravy.

Notes

I made 4 sheermals for dinner and refrigerated remaining dough till next day. I baked the remaining dough next morning to be sent in lunch box. Both versions came out beautifully.

 

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Flower Shaped Savory Decorative Bread

Flower Shaped Savory Decorative Bread
Flower Shaped Savory Decorative Bread

Our food habits have changed so much after we had kids. V and I grew up eating rice for lunch and dinner. But when Ishaan turned one, he preferred chapatis over rice. So I started making chapatis regularly. But we still had rice every day. Now after Ayaan was born, I had to come up with dishes that did not take a lot of manual work. We have started eating more salads, burgers (homemade, healthy ones), pastas, grilled fish/chicken etc, anything that saves me time. Sometimes dinner is ready in less than 30mins. There are two days a week when Ishaan does not have any classes in the evening when I can make chapatis or spend a little more time in kitchen. While trying to come up with more easy recipes, I realized making bread was actually much easier compared to making chapatis. Most of the hard work is done by my KitchenAid stand mixer. I just have to shape it and bake in oven. So I am making sure atleast one day of the week we eat pizza or bread. That is how it started and now I am totally into bread making!. My latest creation was this pesto filled flower shaped savory decorative bread.

Pesto Filled Flower Shaped Bread16

From last few months, I was noticing amazing breads baked by Finla and Aparna. I finally asked Finla about these breads and she pointed me to the FB group We Knead to Bake started by Aparna. Here the members bake one bread every month, Aparna posts the recipe every month and everyone bakes it and posts it on a set date. It was just the thing I was looking for. I requested to join the group and Aparna was very kind to accept it. This month the members were asked to bake a savory decorative bread. I googled for ideas and this nutella bread caught my attention. It looked so beautiful and easy to make. I used store bought basil pesto instead of nutella because my child loves basil pesto.

Pesto Filled Flower Shaped Bread

Pesto Filled Bread - Savory Decorative Bread

A savory decorative bread that is layered with basil pesto and mozzarella cheese. It is full of flavors because of pesto between all the layers
3.84 from 6 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Savory Decorative Bread
Servings 2 breads (serves 3 each)

Ingredients
  

For bread

  • 2 and 1/2 cups wheat flour atta
  • 1 and 1/2 to 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 packet 2 and 1/4 tea spns active dry yeast
  • 1 tea spn honey
  • 2 tea spns olive oil
  • Salt

For Stuffing

  • Butter
  • 1/2 cup basil pesto or any strong flavored chutney
  • 1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese optional
  • Cherry tomatoes optional

Instructions
 

  • Microwave water for about 20 secs (or just heat it up till it is lukewarm).
  • Add honey and active dry yeast and keep it aside for about 10mins till the yeast activates (the mixture becomes frothy).
  • Add salt, olive oil and wheat flour. Mix till all the wet ingredients are incorporated into flour.
  • Now add all purpose flour, 1/2 cup at a time till it forms a uniform and non sticky dough.
  • Take a tea spn oil in a bowl, keep the dough and swirl it around to coat the dough.
  • Cover with a damp towel and keep it aside for around 1 hr till dough is doubled in volume.
  • Punch down the dough and cover it back.
  • After around 1 hr, it would have doubled again.
  • Punch it down and knead it to make a smooth ball.
  • Preheat the oven at 350F.
  • Cut into two equal parts. Save one for later.
  • Make 6 equal balls from one half. Roll each ball into a 8-9" disc.
  • Take one disc, spread pesto and mozzarella cheese on pesto.
  • Keep the next disc on top. Spread pesto and mozzarella cheese on top.
  • Repeat till all discs are done.
  • Cut and decorate as shown in pictures (or refer video).
  • Mark a round in the center. A glass can be used to do this.
  • Then with a sharp knife, make 16 cuts from the circumference of the circle to the edge like shown in picture.
  • Carefully lift two adjacent pieces and twist them in opposite direction. Then stick the ends together.
  • Top with cherry tomatoes.
  • Cover the bread with damp towel and leave it aside to rise for another 45mins.
  • Brush with butter or eggwash (eggwhite + little water) and bake at 350F for about 30mins or till bread is baked through.

 

Pesto Filled Flower Shaped Bread17

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Spinach – Cumin Seed Bread

spinach-cumin seed bread
spinach-cumin seed bread

One of my goals for this year is to learn bread making. I have tried my hands at baking bread many times, but I still feel it is one area of cooking that I have not explored much. So from last few weeks I have been trying breads at home. I am very happy with the results so far. Now I am all ready to try some different kinds of breads. Last week I tried this Spinach – cumin seed bread and it came out very very delicious. It could be served on its own but I prepared tomato-mozerella panini and it tasted heavenly. Some of my friends asked about the recipe, so I thought of posting it here.

V gifted me KitchenAid stand mixer last year and I made the dough in it. You could definitely make it without hand mixer but the mixer makes it easier. I feel it is much easier to make breads at home compared to making chapatis which takes a lot of manual work for me.

Here is a very good tutorial that I watched which helped me while baking this bread.

Ingredients:
1 and 1/2 cups wheat flour
2 and 1/2 cups (approx) all purpose flour(maida)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 packet active dry yeast
1 tea spn honey
1 and 1/2 cups water
1 and 1/2 packed cups spinach (I used baby spinach)
1 tbl spn olive oil
Salt (approx 1 tea spn)
1 tea spn cumin seeds
1/2 tea spn pepper powder
1 tbl spn butter for brushing

Method:
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Take 1/2 cup luke warm water and add the yeast and honey to it. Leave it aside for about 10mins till the yeast becomes active.
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Grind spinach to a smooth paste using remaining 1 cup water.
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Add spinach, cumin seeds, pepper powder, salt, olive oil to yeast.
Now add 1/2 cup wheat flour at a time till well mixed. Add parmesan cheese and mix.
At this point, start adding all purpose flour 1/2 cup at a time. Based on lot of factors, it may take from 2 to 3 cups of white flour. For me it took 2 and 1/2 cups to get a smooth dough.
Knead the dough very well for about 10-15mins. I let the stand mixer run for about 7-8mins.
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Take the dough in a greased bowl and cover with a wet towel (I just left the dough in stand mixer bowl covered with wet towel). Leave the bowl aside for about 2hrs till the dough doubles in volume.
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Now punch down the dough (no need to take it out of the bowl, just punch it to remove the air). Leave it covered for another 1hr till it doubles again.
After it has doubled again, punch it down again and mix well to get a smooth dough.
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Shape it into desired shapes. Keep on a parchment paper and cover with the towel again. Leave it aside for 30mins till the bread has risen again.
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Preheat the oven at 350F. I used a pizza stone in the oven.
Melt the butter and brush it on top of the bread. Slide the parchment paper in the oven on top of the pizza stone.
Bake at 350F for about 20mins, pull it out and brush with butter. Put it back in oven and bake till done (It took total of 30mins for me). Immediately brush the top with remaining butter (this helps in keeping the top little soft).
Let it cool for about 15mins and then cut into desired pieces.

Makes 2 loaves

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Spicy Pizza Pockets (Spicy Calzones)

spicy pizza pockets
We are pizza fans,  instead of going out and eating pizzas, I have started making them at home frequently. I make the pizza dough with one pack yeast (with recipe given below), use half of it and freeze remaining half. So we have pizzas once in a week or two. Making everything at home gives me enough options to customize it the way I want. I usually completely skip cheese. Sometimes I use marinated paneer as topping, sometimes I use basil pesto instead of traditional tomato pizza sauce.

Last week, when I wanted to make something different, I thought about calzone. I have been thinking about making them for so long, but somehow never did. I made a spicy stuffing with loads of vegetables. Unlike the traditional stuffing where cheese is normally used along with other stuff, I left out cheese. These came out so delicious. V kept asking why I had not tried them before. They were like baked cousins of samosas. I will be making these more frequently with different stuffing.

Pizza dough:

1 pack active dry yeast
1 and 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (or atta)
2 cups all purpose flour (or maida)
1/2 tea spn dried oregano
1 tea spn brown sugar or honey
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbl spn butter
1 egg (optional, use water
Salt

Method:
Heat the water till it is lukewarm (I just microwave it for 15 secs), ie, till it is warm to touch.
Add sugar or honey to water and add the yeast. Keep is aside for about 5-10mins till the water becomes frothy (indicating the yeast it active).
Now add all other ingredients and mix well. Once it becomes a dough, knead the dough very well for 8-10mins. I make the dough in my KitchenAid stand mixer with dough hook.
Apply some olive oil to a big bowl and keep the dough in it covered.
Leave it in a warm place for 2-3 hrs till the dough doubles in volume.
Now use the dough to make pizza.

Spicy Stuffing:
2 cups vegetables (celery, carrots, peas, onions, corn, broccoli)
1/4 cup chopped tomato
1 tea spn dried fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi)
1/2 tea spn chilli powder
1/2 tea spn garam masala
A pinch turmeric
1 tea spn chopped garlic
Oil
Salt

Method:
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Heat oil and fry garlic. Then add onion, celery, carrots. Fry for few minutes.
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Add chilli powder, turmeric, garam masala and fry.
Add tomatoes, salt, mix and let it cook till the mixture is dry.
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Now add remaining vegetables – peas, corn, broccoli. Cover and let it cook on a medium low flame. When all vegetables are cooked, take the kasuri methi on the palm and slightly crush with fingers and add to the vegetables. Mix well.

Assembling :
Preheat the oven at 400F for 10mins.
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Take small balls of dough and roll them into 1/4 inch circles.
Keep 2 tbl spn of stuffing on one half and fold the other half on top like a moon. Press the edges to seal.
Brush the top with water (which gives the color when baked), sprinkle a little salt and chili flakes(optional).
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Bake in 400F oven for about 15mins or till the top is golden brown. (I opened the oven at around 10mins and brushed the tops with water once again and kept them back).
Then I turned them upside down, brushed the other side with water and baked again for 5mins just to make sure they got crispy from other side too (this is optional step).
Brush the top with a little olive oil for some extra taste. Serve hot.
I used half of the dough which made 5 calzones.

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PS: – This is just a method more than a recipe. Experiment with different stuffing and any store bought/homemade pizza dough.
– The stuffing was so tasty, I served the left overs with chapatis next day. It will go well with any bread, naan, rotis, chapatis or simple curd rice.
– Serve them hot right out of oven for best results.
– Make sure the stuffing is very dry. Any moisture in it would soak the dough.
– Make them smaller and serve as starters at parties, they will surely win many hearts.
– Above dough recipe can be used to make pizzas. It makes delicious and soft pizza base.

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Garlic Herb Breadsticks

It has been a really long time since I baked something. There were many days when I wanted to bake something, but it was so hard to even just cook minimal things and get out of kitchen after long working days. I had plans of baking breads for my parents which were also kept on back burner till now. Finally this weekend I decided to stop thinking about it and actually bake these breadsticks. I am happy that I got to use the oven for for it’s intended use instead of using it as a extra storage place (yeah, there were many pans and skillets stored in the oven for past few months).

I used wheat flour and all purpose flour for these breadsticks. The herbs give an intoxicating aroma to these. Within few minutes of baking, the entire home filled with bread aroma. The breadsticks came out super delicious. My parents loved it, we all skipped dinner that day :).

Ingredients:
1 and 1/2 cups wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tea spn active dry yeast
1 tea spn chopped fresh basil
1 tea spn dried oregano
1 tea spn red chili flakes
2/3 cup milk
4 tbl spn water
1/2 tea spn sugar
1 tea spn salt
1 tea spn chopped garlic
1 tbl spn olive oil + some more for brushing
Garlic salt (or use fry chopped garlic)

Method:
In a large bowl, take the luke warm water. Add sugar, olive oil and yeast. Keep it aside till the yeast becomes active (frothy).
Now add both kind of flours, basil, oregano, salt, milk, garlic, chili flakes and knead into a dough.
Leave the bowl covered in a warm place till the dough doubles in volume. (Approx 2 hrs).
Knead the dough again. Shape into desired sizes. Cover with a plastic wrap and leave for another 1hr till the bread rises again.
Preheat the oven at 400F for 10mins.
With a brush, apply olive oil/butter to the breadsticks. Sprinkle garlic salt on top (or sprinkle chopped garlic and some salt). Bake at 400F for about 12mins till the bread is done.
Serve while it is hot.

Makes 8 breadsticks

Pictorial:

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