Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Pane Bianco Bread with Garlic Basil and Sundried Tomatoes

Pane Bianco Bread with Garlic, Basil and Sun-dried Tomatoes

    I was bored and wanted some excitement! Burning a hole in my pocket was definitely NOT a good option at that moment.Hence, I settled down to try and bake something  complicated . My search came to an end when I tumbled upon the Italian Pane Bianco bread. The swirly shaped bread with a filling of garlic , sun-dried tomatoes and basil leaves absolutely captivated me ! Since my basil plant had a few leaves to spare me and I had a bottle of homemade sun-dried tomatoes tucked away safely in my fridge, I gleefully opted to kill my boredom by attempting this complicated bread. As I went about the procedure I was truly amazed at how really simple it is! (Pictures can indeed be very deceiving!)

Here’s the recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour website.
‘Tomato, Basil &Garlic filled Pane Bianco Bread.’

The flavor of garlic,basil and the sundried tomatoes on each slice of bread was awesome! I had it with a bowl of Tomato Soup. Absolutely yummylicious !!! J

Pane Bianco Bread with Garlic Basil and Sundried Tomatoes

  •         3 cups all purpose flour
  •         ¼ cup warm water     
  •         1/8th   cup sugar  or 1 Tbsp sugar             
  •         2 tsp instant yeast
  •         ½ cup warm low-fat milk 
  •         1Table spoon &1 tsp  extra-virgin olive oil
  •         1 large egg
  •         1 tsp salt
  •       2 tablespoon oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
  •       1/2 teaspoon  garlic powder
  •       ½  cup shredded  cheese (I used Cheddar cheese)
  •       ½ cup chopped fresh basil
  •       ½ tsp onion powder
  •       2 tbsp Parmesan cheese
  1.   Warm water and add the yeast and sugar.Let it stand for about 5 – 10 mins till it   becomes frothy. Add this to the other ingredients like flour, oil, warm milk and    salt. Also add the beaten egg.
  2.   Knead to a soft dough.
  3.  If you're kneading in a stand mixer, it should take 5 to 7 minutes at second speed.    The dough should clean the sides of the bowl, perhaps sticking a bit at the    bottom.Take out the dough.
  4. Place the dough in a greased bowl, and turn to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  5.  What I did…I dumped all the ingredients into my Bread Machine and set it to ‘dough”  It took about 1 hr &  20 mins  for the dough to rise so very beautifully.
  6.  Meanwhile, drain the sun-dried tomatoes, lay them on a paper towel to absorb any excess oil. Finely chop the tomatoes and basil leaves.
  7.   Next, gently deflate the risen dough and put it on a table top. .
  8.   Roll into a 22" x 8 1/2" rectangle. 

9.     Sprinkle garlic powder, onion powder, cheese, basil, and the sun-dried tomatoes.

10.    Starting with one long edge, roll the dough into a log .

11.     Pinch the edges to seal.
12.    Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
13.    Place the log seam-side down on a baking sheet. 
14.    Using kitchen scissors, cut the log lengthwise down the center about 1" deep, leaving 1/2" on either ends.That is, 1/2 " on either sides of the log is left uncut.

15.   Keeping the cut side up, form an "S" shape. Tuck both ends under the center of the "S" to form a "figure 8"; pinch the ends together to seal. 

16.   Cover and let rise in a warm place until double, 45 to 60 minutes.
17.     Brush the top with egg wash
18.   Preheat the oven to 350°F and  bake for 35 to 40 minutes.

That's it! Easy! Not at all complicated!! :) :)

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Monday, March 23, 2015

Eggless Wholewheat Ragi(Finger Millet) Chocolate Muffins

   Yes,I know that millets are awfully good for health.. Still,with a tinge of  disdain, very very reluctantly  I tried out muffins with a combo of wholewheat flour and Ragi flour. When the aromatic muffins came out of my oven , I was so very  pleased with the outcome- really really moist and  soft muffins with a  wonderful burst of chocolaty flavored Ragi (Finger Millet).

Here we go.... the recipe for the totally healthy easy wholesome chocolate muffins!

Eggless Wholewheat Ragi(Finger Millet) Chocolate Muffins

(Yeilds about 12) 
Eggless Wholewheat Finger Millet Mufins

   Whole Wheat Flour- 1 cup (I used Ashirwad wholewheat atta)
   Ragi Flour(Finger Millet)-1/2 cup
   Brown Sugar-1 cup 

   Oil -1/4 cup
   Baking powder- 1/2 tsp
   Baking Soda- 1/2 tsp
   Cocoa powder - 2 tbsp
   Thick Yogurt- 3/4 cup
   Milk -1/4 cup
   Vanilla essence- 1 tsp
   Honey-2 tsp

   Salt - 1/4 tsp
   Walnuts and Cashewnuts chopped- 1/4 cup (optional)

To Serve:
   Ganache - 1 cup(Optional)

Sieve together ragi flour, wheat flour,baking powder,baking soda, cocoa powder and salt. Powder the brown sugar.
Add the powdered brown sugar to the sieved flours.
Whisk together oil,yogurt,milk,vanilla essence and honey.
Now add in the sieved flours,sugar,baking powder and baking soda.
Mix gently.
Pour into muffin tray.
Bake in a preheated oven at 180C for 25-30 mins.
(Baking time varies from oven to oven)

If you are NOT worried about calories you can serve with Chocolate Ganache!  :)

Children will love these healthy muffins with Chocolate Ganache!!

Absolutely easy peasy  healthy muffins! 

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Monday, March 16, 2015

Whole Wheat Eggless Fatfree Carrot Muffins

Absolutely no Eggs, no Butter/Oil and no white Sugar!Sugar is substituted by  jaggery ....
What made me to try out this awesome Whole Wheat, Egg-less, Sugarless and Butterfree  Muffins? Well, Wheat is more healthy than All Purpose Flour and so on and so forth!
Hence, I went about browsing  the internet for a good recipe and came across this one in a baking group ! I tried it and was pleasantly surprised at the moist and soft texture.

Whole Wheat Eggless  Fatfree Carrot Muffins

Whole Wheat flour - 1 1/2 cup
Grated Carrot - 1 cup  (fresh & uncooked.)
Powdered Jaggery - 1 cup
Curd - 1 cup
Apple sauce - 1/2 cup (Cut chunks of Apple and cook with minimal water  until  soft .Blend )
Baking powder - 1 tsp
Baking soda - 3/4 tsp
Vanilla extract - 1 tsp
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Cinnamon powder – 1/2 tsp
Chopped walnuts and cashewnuts - 1/4 cup

Heat the powdered jaggery in 2 tbsp of water and when melted,strain.
In a large bowl, combine the wet ingredients - curd and apple sauce. Now, add  the strained jaggery and vanilla extract. Mix well.
 Sift the whole wheat flour with the baking soda, baking powder and salt.
Add the sifted flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix until combined well. Add the carrots and the chopped nuts.
 Do not over mix.
Pour into muffin pans or papercups.
Bake in a pre heated oven at 180 degree centigrade for about 25 to 30 minutes.

Note: Baking time  may vary from oven to oven.

A wonderful healthy muffin!

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Sunday, March 8, 2015

Homemade Rice Wine

  Homemade Rice Wine

My first home- made wine ! It all started like this…one day , in midst of my youngest daughter’s wedding preparations, I got a call from the groom’s mother requesting me to make wine for the wedding toast! I was flabbergasted or rather nonplussed or whatever! I had never made wine nor do I know anything about wines. She coaxed me saying that it is really really a simple procedure and gave me a Mangalorian wine recipe made from rice and raisin. Since ignorance is bliss and  being unfamiliar with the nuances of the delicate art of wine making, I just followed the recipe blindly and made it! After 3 months, was I in for a big big surprise? Indeed yes! The groom's parents tasted it and said that it was awesome & that it was sooo good that I can even consider marketing it! There were no words to describe the euphoria I felt…I raise my glass to a toast, ‘There’s a first time for everything, including wine making. Cheers.’

Homemade Rice Wine

Rice -500 gm ,washed
Sugar-1 ¼ kg
Lime juice from 2 limes
Raisins- 100 gm
Yeast -1½  tsp
Drinking water- 3 liters 

Put the rice, sugar, washed raisins and  lime juice into a clean sterilized bharani (ceramic jar)or a food grade plastic bucket. Add the water.
Stir well, sprinkle yeast; mix well and cover .
Stir this mixture every day for about a couple of minutes.The mixture will be frothy.
On the 18th day, strain the mixture through a  muslin cloth into a clean dry vessel.
Again after a couple of days, pour the clear liquid from the top to another bharani (ceramic jar) .
Close and keep in a dark and cool place for 3 months.
After 3 months your wine is ready,crystal clear and light honey colored.
Since I did not have a good wine bottle..I bottled the wine in a Whiskey bottle

Serving Wine at home for the first time.
Imp Note: The jar should be cleaned in soap water, sterilized with hot water and sun dried.
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Thursday, June 13, 2013

What If ?

 This week's writing prompt/challenge on the GBE..WHAT IF?

 What if fairy tales are not fantasy fiction but a reality? What if elves, fairies, fairy godmother are really existent? What a wonderful and joyful world this would be!

 What if I got up in the morning and found the elves (
à la The Elves and the Shoemaker) have cleaned up my house, washed the dishes and even whipped up breakfast for me? Cute!


What if the sneaky white stray cat which strolls around my house, checking out devious means to enter my kitchen and steal food, was like Puss in Boots? Puss in Boots, the chivalrous, gallant, courteous and helpful cat will even find a groom for my youngest daughter!Charming!

What if I had   flower fairies living in the flowers in my garden, cleaning and polishing my flowers?
Then they will  dance in gay abandon throughout the night and leave fairy circles in the morning for me to admire! Delightful!


What if I had a fairy godmother at my beck and call, who can grant my wishes with the wave of her magic wand? Awesome, lucky me!
What if my writing fairy writes my blogs and novels, which naturally becomes bestsellers and gets me the Bookies Award! Fabulous!              


What if there are only fairy tale romances with a handsome prince sweeping you off your feet? Adorably sweet!

 What if good always overcomes evil and justice prevails as in fairy tales?
And finally, WHAT IF life is always about, 'And they lived happily ever after ' ?
What a marvelous world it would be!

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