Monday, November 12, 2012

Happy Diwali

Hope you have been preparing a lot of sweets and snacks for Diwali!! This year I couldn't find time to make any thing special for Diwali. Just made some simple snacks over the past two weeks. 

Fortunately, we get a lot of good snacks flown from India to Singapore! We didn't have this luxury before, but now I see Adayar Anandha Bhavan, Grand Sweets, Haldirams Snacks all over the city! Last weekend we bought sweets from Adayar Anandha Bhavan and Haldirams. I love Sree Mithai ladoos back in Chennai. So I was a bit skeptical when buying Haldiram's Ladoos. But they were perfect! I love them. (seen in the pic below).

So have a fun filled Diwali. And be mindful of the noise pollution, and make sure to clean up after all the crackers! God Bless!

NOTE: The ladoos are from Haldiram's.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Whole-Wheat Bread

Seems like a long time since my last post. I have been busy with a lot of stuff at home lately. But I am still trying out new recipes, just couldn’t find time to post them online.

I am so bored with the store bought ‘wholemeal’ bread. When you read the ingredients list printed on these breads packages, you can notice that white flour still has the major percentage than the whole-wheat flour.  I also like my bread with a bit of chewy texture. Believe it or not, I hate white bread!! I know most of you out there remain sceptics when it comes to brown bread, but you have to give it a try, I promise you will start to love it! Brown bread has so many layers of rich flavour and texture, which you cannot get in a plain white loaf!! Previously I have been successful in converting a lot of my friends to switch from white bread to wholemeal!! And I hope after reading this post, more of you join this fab guilt free option.
Baking with yeast is not my forte, I tried two recipes before with no good results. But this recipe is from seemed easy enough. I agree making homemade bread seems too much of a work. But the result is so worth it. I won’t be baking this every week, but it will be a nice switch once in a while from the god awful NTUC wholemeal bread.  FYI I tried dark rye bread from Giant a few times, and I love it.

The dough doubled in volume after 1 hour.

Dough in pan, doubled in volume after 30 minutes.

Whole-Wheat Bread
Yields: Two 9-inch loaves
2+1/3Cups– Warm Water (around 100°)
1 ½ tablespoon – Instant Yeast
¼ cup – Honey
4 tablespoon – Unsalted Butter, melted
2 ½ teaspoon – Salt
¼ cup – Rye Flour
½ cup – Toasted Wheat Germ* (Toasted the wheat germ in a dry pan on the stove)
3 cups – Whole-wheat Flour (I used Aashirvaad Atta)
2 ¾ cups – Unbleached All-Purpose Flour (I used Plain Flour)

*Wheat Germ - The germ of wheat is the reproductive part of the seed that germinates to grow into a plant. Removal of bran is aimed at producing flour with a white rather than a brown colour, and eliminating fibre.
 Wheat germ is a concentrated source of several essential nutrients including Vitamin E, folic acid, phosphorus, thiamin, zinc and magnesium. It is a good source of fibre.  White bread is made using flour that has had the germ and bran removed. Wheat germ can be added to protein shakes, casseroles, muffins, pancakes, cereals, yogurt, smoothies, cookies, and other goods. 

  • In a bowl, mix the water,yeast,honey,butter and salt with a rubber spatula.
  • Mix in the rye flour, wheat germ, and 1 cup of the whole-wheat and all-pupose flour.
  • Add the remaining whole-wheat and all-pupose flour, attach the dough hook and knead at low speed until the dough I smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. (If you don’t have a dough hook, then use your hands to knead).
  • Transfer the dough to a lightly foured surface and knead the dough for another 30 seconds, until it is soft and smooth.
  • Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough inside and cover with plastic wrap or a moist towel.
  • Let it rise in a warm area until the dough has doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
  • Heat the oven to 190° C.
  • Gently press down the dough and divide it into two equal pieces.
  • Gently press each piece into a rectangle about 1-inch thick and 9 inches long. Roll the dough formly into a cylinder, pressing down to make sure the dough sticks to itself.
  • Turn the dough seam side up and pinch it closed
  • Place the cylinder of dough into a greased 9 X 5 inch loaf pan, seam side down, pressing the dough gently so it touches all sides of the pan.
  • Cover the pan, and let it rise for 20-30 minutes, until the dough has doubled in volume.
  • Bake for 35-45 minutes.
  • Transfer the bread immediately from the baking pans to a wire rack to cool.