Sunday, November 16, 2014

Bread Baking Babes make layered flatbreads

I'm very excited that the lovely Aparna "My divers kitchen" is our kitchen of the month. Secretly hoping for a recipe that was Indian (or from that part of the world at least) that I'd never heard of... and yes she delivered. She found us a wonderfull recipe for small layered flatbreads, the Bakharkhani. This is what she wrote about them:
"Bakharkhani (also called Baqeerkahni, Bakharkhoni or Bakorkhani) are flatbreads that came into the Asian sub-continent with the tandoor and other breads of Turkish and Mughal traders and invaders sometime in the eighteenth century.
Bakharkhani is a layered and very rich bread, made in the manner somewhat like puff pastry, and is popular in Bangladesh, India and Pakistan. In India, it is typically found in states where history, food and culture are influenced by the Mughal rule like Lucknow, Hyderabad and Kashmir.
This flatbread seems to be different in different parts of the world where it exists. It can be a savoury or slightly sweet, leavened or unleavened, soft or crisp, eaten for breakfast or served with tea, and even like a paratha (Sylheti Bakharkhani from Bangladesh). The softer leavened versions of Bakharkhani are usually served with kebabs and meat curries."

Not only a new way to make flatbread, but we also had to make 'Mawa" (never heard of that before) and Ghee (I knew that, but never tasted or used it). Well of course there are shortcuts for both, I thought it would be nice to make both from scratch. The ghee was easy and what a wonderful smell. The Mawa take time, about 1 - 1,5 hours to get 1 litre reduced. It needs stirring, so it's best to make it while you're in the kitchen anyway and you can do your stuff and stirr in between. It's so fun to make something that's totally new and that it works! I love that. I watched the video several times, especially the rolling, folding and shaping, then went ahead and made them. The layers broke open in several places when rolling them out, but even though they don't look as perfect as the ones you can see at Aparna's blog, they still taste very good! We ate some when still warm... and the rest we had with some soup, so not with tea.

Come on and have a go at baking these too. Bake, post and become our Bread Baking Buddy. Check out the information on Aparna's blog how to send in your information and we're looking forward in seeing your Bakharkhani!! Deadline 29th of this month.
Dhakai Bakharkhani
(makes 10-12 small flatbreads)
(PRINT recipe)

1 litre full fat milk (2% will also do) - makes approximately 3/4 to 1 cup mava
2 cups flour, (plus a little more for rolling it out the dough)
1/4 cup mawa
1/4 cup ghee* (plus a little more for spreading on the dough while rolling it out)
1/4 tsp teaspoon salt
2 tsp sugar
2/3 cups water (a little less or more if needed)
Sesame seeds, to sprinkle (optional)
*Ghee is nothing but clarified butter and should be available readymade in Indian stores. It is quite easy to make your own at home. Since you are making the effort you can make a little extra and store the rest for later use. Ghee can be stored at room temperature and keeps for a while.
Melt 250 g of unsalted butter and let it cook until the milk solids in the butter start turning golden brown (do not burn them) and the liquid fat is a golden colour. You should get a rich aroma from it.
Let it cool to room temperature and then decant or strain the golden liquid into an airtight jar.
Making the mawa
Pour the milk into a heavy bottomed saucepan, preferably a non-stick one. Bring the milk to a boil, stirring it on and off, making sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom.
Turn down the heat to medium and keep cooking the milk until reduces to about a quarter of its original volume. This should take about an hour to an hour and a half. The important thing during this process is to watch the milk and stir it frequently to make sure it doesn’t stick to the sides or bottom of the pan and get burnt. The danger of this happening increases as the milk reduces and gets thicker.

Once the milk it has reduced to about one fourth, 1/4 quantity, lower the heat to low and let cook for a little while longer. Keep stirring regularly, until the milk solids (mawa) take on a lumpy appearance.  There should be no visible liquid left in the pan, but the mawa should be a bit moist and not stick to the sides of the pan.
Let it cool. Once it has cooled, it should still be dry,but a little moist and you should be able to crumble it.
And here are two links to substitutes to mawa (or khoya) which you might prefer to use. made with other sorts of milk & made with ricotta.
Making the Bakharkhani
In a large bowl,  put the flour, salt and sugar into a large bowl. Crumble the mawa into it and mix in. Then add the ghee and use your fingers to rub it into the flour.  Add the water, a little at a time, and knead well until you have a smooth and elastic dough that can be rolled out very thin.

Please see this video to get an idea of how the dough is rolled out, layered with ghee and flour and folded. The language in the video is Bangla but the visual is quite descriptive.

Cover the bowl with cling wrap or a damp kitchen towel to prevent it from drying. Let it rest for about 30 minutes to an hour. Then lightly coat the dough with a little ghee and then let it rest for another 10 to 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 170ºC (325ºF).

Also lightly coat your rolling pin and board (or your working surface) with some ghee (or oil).Now divide the dough into two portions, working with one portion at a time. Roll out one portion of the dough as thin as possible into a rectangle, without adding any flour. It should be thin enough for you to see your work surface through the rolled out dough!

Brush some ghee (not too much) all over the surface of the rolled out dough with your fingers. Sprinkle some flour evenly over this, enough so that the ghee is absorbed when spread out. The flour layer should be thin. Brush some more ghee, again, over this and then sprinkle some flour over this like previously.

Fold the dough into half and once again repeat the process of brushing the ghee and sprinkling the flour over this twice, as before. Fold the dough for the second time (see the video) and repeat the brushing with ghee and flouring, twice.
Now roll up the dough into a long cylinder and let it rest for about 10 minutes. Pinch off lemon sized balls and roll each one into a small, round flatbread about 4 mm thick and approximately 10 cm in diameter. Sprinkle sesame seeds (optional) and lightly press into the dough. Make three cuts centrally and lengthwise on each flatbread using a knife. Place on parchment lined baking sheets and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes or until they’re light brown on top. Do not over bake. Let them cool and serve with coffee or tea.
(Adapted from Honest Cooking (

Saturday, November 1, 2014

ABC: Pumpkin time!

A very season recipe for this months Avid Bakers Challenge: Cranberry-Pumpkin Rolls. Lovely combination for the fall.

I made several changes:
- I used half whole wheat instead of all white.
- I used ready mixed pumpkin spice, but I guess that's probably quite similar to the spices in the recipe.
- I omitted the crystallized ginger, because even while I have it in store (why?) I dislike the taste of it very much, so I used candied orange zest instead.
- As usual I used less salt: 1 tsp (instead of 1,5 tsp)

And they turned out as lovely fragrant buns for lunchboxes or breakfast. If I'd make them again I would make them into round rolls, I like that better.

Recipe: Cranberry-Pumpkin Rolls
Just one month to go... the year has flown by!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Bread Baking Babes with a stuffed bread

We are excited to have our BBBBBabe Katie ("Thyme for cooking") as our kitchen of the month this time. She's great in putting all the Babes bakes together in post every month and we love her for that. But how wonderful is it to have her as head chef this month. We love it Katie! And what a wonderful, fragrant and delicious recipe she picked. Onions, herbs and cheese.... can't go wrong. I used part whole wheat to make it even more delicious and healthy. I was suprised how the onions reduced when caramelising them, but still I thought it was enough for this bread. The cheese on top fell off for the most part when slicing it, but it was all delicious. Thanks Katie for this wonderful recipe.

You will have a go at this too right? Become our Bread Baking Buddy and rewards yourself with a wonderful loaf and a Bread Baking Buddy Badge that Katie will send you to add to your post. Make, bake, post, taste and tell and send all to our kitchen of the month Katie, so she can add your bakes to the round up. Deadline 26th of the month.

Onion, Herb & Cheese Stuffed Bread
(makes one loaf)

(PRINT recipe)
1/2 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp dry yeast
60 g water
30 g milk
2 TBsp olive oil
1 egg
1 egg yolk
140 g whole wheat flour
155 g white flour, may not use all
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp butter
2 tsp olive oil
4 medium pink onions, chopped (300 g)
1 clove of garlic, chopped
1 tsp sugar
15 fresh sage leaves, chopped
1 tsp rosemary, chopped
black pepper, freshly ground
1 TBsp Dijon-style mustard
90 g cheese of choice (I used Parmesan and Dutch Gouda)
1 egg, beaten
In large bowl, dissolve sugar in water. Sprinkle in yeast; let stand for 10 minutes or until frothy. Whisk in milk, eggs, egg yolks, oil and salt. Add the whole wheat flour and half of the white flour and stir to make soft dough. Turn out onto lightly floured surface; knead for 10 minutes, adding enough of the remaining flour to make dough smooth and elastic.
Place in greased bowl, turning to grease all over. Cover with plastic wrap; let rise in warm draft-free place for 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.

Meanwhile, in large skillet, heat butter with oil over medium heat. Add onions, shallots, sugar and cook until tender. Reduce heat, add sage, rosemary, pepper and continue to cook until caramelized, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes longer. Let cool to room temperature.

Grease baking sheet or line with parchment paper; punch down dough. Turn out onto lightly floured surface. Roll out into 30 x 27 cm rectangle.Transfer to prepared pan.
Spread mustard lengthwise in 3-inch (8 cm) strip down center of rectangle.Top with onion mixture. Sprinkle with 3/4 of the cheese.
Using sharp knife and starting at 1 corner of dough, make diagonal cuts (2.5 cm) apart almost to filling to form strips along 1 long side of dough. Repeat on other side, cutting diagonal strips in opposite direction.
Alternating strips from each side, fold strips over filling to resemble braid, overlapping ends by 2.5 cm and brushing with some of the egg to seal.
Cover with towel; let rise in warm place for 30 to 40 minutes or until doubled in bulk.

Brush top with egg. Bake in center of 350°F (180°C) oven for 25 minutes or until puffed and golden.
Sprinkle remaining cheese down centre of braid; return to oven for 5 minutes.
Serve warm or let cool completely on rack.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

En de winnaar is.................

Vandaag is dan eindelijk de bekendmaking van de winnaar van de gietijzeren Lodgepan
Voor mij ook de eerste keer dat ik een winnaar moet kiezen, dus ik heb het als volgt gedaan.
Alle mensen die in hun reactie iets hebben genoemd dat ze er graag in zouden bakken deden mee met de loting. Alle namen op een papiertje in een kom. Doek erover en mijn dochter heeft een papiertje getrokken met de winnaar. Idereen bedankt voor de deelname en alle suggesties.
Hopelijk is het filmpje gelukt, dan kunnen jullie zelf zien wie het geworden is:


Van harte gefeliciteerd Els! Heel veel bak-  en kookplezier met je nieuwe pan die naar je zal sturen. 
Mail mij even je adresgegevens door (notitievanlien(je weet wel wat hier moet)gmail(punt)com) voor de verdere afwerking.

Apple and cinnamon bread for the ABC challenge

This month a wonderful recipe for the Avid Baker's Challenge; Apple, cinnamon and bread, I don't think you can go wrong with that combination. The only things I changed were a little less salt (1 tsp instead of 1,25 tsp) and I used flour and not the ClearJel powder. And that was it.

 I made half of the dough into a long loaf and half into rolls. Both were equally delicious and flew out of their container in record time. A recipe to come back to for sure.

Recipe Apple-Cinnamon Twist bread