No-knead Whole Wheat Loaf – Hundred Percent WW

2014-09-14 20.24.19 e
Every now and then, when the ‘bread’ of my labor has been gratifying, I’ve been seduced into believing that I’m ready for whole wheat loaves. And every time, I’ve ventured into the 100% WW space, I’ve had the carpet pulled from under my feet and have rushed back into the APF space – a space that’s a whole lot more forgiving. The success from the slow ferment, no-knead loaves made me feel confident and I knew deep down – my time had arrived. It was time to spread my wings and fly. And while there were some trying minutes that diverted my attention and led to the dough over-proofing, I was very happy with the result. Here’s what you’ll need to do if you want to make this at your end:
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No-knead Light Whole Wheat Loaf

2014-09-13 18.10.28 e
So, the last 2 experiments on wet and sticky, No-knead dough yielded results that were surprisingly good. And I’ve been wanting to venture into the whole wheat space for a while now. So, this recipe from Artisan Breads in Five Minutes a Day sounded like the perfect place to start. In all my previous experiments, I’ve resorted to an overnight refrigeration of the dough. This time around, I just couldn’t wait that long. So, after the initial ferment of 2 hours at room temperatue, all I managed was 4 hours of refrigeration. Am sure if it sat in the fridge overnight, the flavor would have been a lot better. If you find parts of this recipe exactly like the earlier No-knead recipes, don’t be – it’s the same process with slightly different ingredients. 🙂
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Roasted Beetroot and Garlic Soup

2014-09-08 21.24.40 e
A couple of days ago, while rummaging through the fridge, I found a few beetroot’s that looked perfect for some soup. And the previous ‘oil-free’ soup felt good and I figured I could play some more. Turned out well. My parents – Dad’s 90 and Mum’s 78 both loved it. Dad even commented about it a day later. Roasted beetroot and garlic take on a mellow, rounded and delicately sweet flavor. And the color is just ‘undescribable’! So, here goes:
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Carrot and Ginger Soup

2014-09-07 21.22.52
Most evenings, Sudha and I do a soup and bread dinner. It’s simple and wholesome and light and healthy and there’s always some veggies that one can play with. Plus there’s something very gratifying in dunking a nice fat piece of home-made bread into a steaming serving of thick soup. So, when I got invited to  a facebook event called ‘Oil-free-cooking’, I paused and said to myself – but there’s hardly anything I make without some fat – except the lean breads of course. And as I peered into the non-stick pans perched on the kitchen wall, I said to myself – what the hell – how will I ever know unless I play? So, here’s some PurePlay without a drop of oil.
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No-knead Peasant Loaf

2014-09-07 12.08.13

So, my first experiment with the No-knead rustic boule turned out pretty good and I was itching to make some more. I love food that is rustic and not sophisticated. I equate perfection to being unnatural. So, have been toying with mixing up the flours and a peasant loaf with a robust flavor made sense. And it also fell in place as I was going to be away for 4 days and be back just in time for Onam. And I wanted to bake something on Onam. The beauty of Jeff’s and Zoe’s slow ferment recipes from Artisan Breads in Five Minutes a Day are that the dough can be made and stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. So all that one needs to do is pull out the required quantity, shape the dough and bake. I wanted to test this out. So here’s how my experiment turned out:
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No-knead Rustic Boule

2014-09-01 13.43.07
I’ve gotten tired of making bread in the bread-maker. Don’t get me wrong – hadn’t it been for this marvelous device, I wouldn’t have ever gone beyond salivating at the sights and smells of freshly baked bread. And I would probably have never ever tasted anything other than what’s available commercially. I still use the bread-maker sparingly – when I’ve got convenience and hands-off on my mind.

Recently, I got myself a copy of the book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day and here’s one of my first experiments with no-knead bread. The base premise of the book is that pre-mixing dough that has a high moisture content and refrigerating it produces easy but delightful bread. Try it and you’ll really be surprised at how easy it is to make this loaf.
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Tomato and Duck Sausage Pizza

2014-08-31 13.45.37

My earliest memories of pizza are from the family’s days in Madras – that was before it became Chennai. Pizza was just about gaining popularity during the mid 90’s and of all the brands available – Chef Express used to be the family favourite. My palate used to have a pronounced Indian bias during those days and I found their pizza’s ‘punchy’ when compared to the rest. Almost 18 years later, in 2013, a new benchmark for pizza’s was set – when Sudha and I had a 3 week holiday in Italy. I was startled and amused to see how simple their pizza’s were compared to the commercial ones available here. They were full of fresh flavours and the crusts were always delightful. One particular pizza that we both relished at a trattoria in Palermo, Sicily was a simple pizza with anchovies. There was something magical about the simplicity and freshness that made we wish the pizza wouldn’t end. (more…)

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