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Indian cuisine is a riot of colours, flavours, and spices. Every state has its own unique culture- ingrained taste bud. And, to many of us staying within familiar tastes is a sacrosanct act. Of course an occasional trip to a speciality restaurant that serves another fare is ok. But, as a matter of routine ...at home...NO!

One of the benefits of being born to parents who dared an interstate marriage (am talking about India of the 70's) was being able to widen a regional taste bud to accept, experiment and, relish eclectic cuisines :-)

I love food! Be it traditional or fusion, cooking is all about turning out fare that is tasty and healthy.I welcome all lovers of good food to come on aboard and share your kitchen adventures.

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Happy cooking!


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Herbs and veggies pull apart bread

Yeast bakes and deep fried goodies are my personal cooking waterloos...in simpler terms, they scare the daylights out of me since I rarely get them right :-) This is one of the main reasons I jumped into the 'We Knead to Bake' group on Facebook, started by fellow foodblogger and ace baker, Aparna. I rarely retract once I give someone my solemn word and so joining the group ensured that I will have to compulsively face my yeast fear and  cannot afford to get cold feet :-D what a yarn to introduce a bread, please excuse the verbiage, I blame it on my excitement in having got a tolerable, edible bread made. All thanks to Aparna's fool proof recipe to which I added minor tweaks.
The theme chosen for the month was a Herbs and Cheese pull apart bread. The original recipe was given by Aparna to which I have made personal modifications. I will write down the original dough recipe and my minor modifications will be provided alongside within brackets. The filling I chose is different to that of the original and it is my version that I give here. The method followed is identical to original.

For the Dough:
1/2 cup warm milk
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp active dry yeast
2 3/4 to 3 cups all-purpose flour (I used 1:1 propotion of whole wheat flour and APF)
1 tsp salt 25gm butter, soft at room temperature (I used 40 ml of sesame oil, instead)
3/4 to 1 tsp garlic paste
3/4 cup milk (+ a couple of tbsp to brush over the bread)
(2 teaspoons red rice flour for dusting)

For the Filling:
Sesame oil - 1 tablespoon
Finely shredded purple cabbage and carrots - 1/2 cup
Steamed fresh corn kernels - 1/2 cup
Sunflower seeds - 1 tablespoon
Sesame seeds - 1/4 cup
Dill leaves, finely chopped - 1/4 cup
Fresh Ginger garlic paste - 1/2 teaspoon
Zaatar spice mix - 2 teaspoons + 1/2 teaspoon to sprinkle above
Salt to taste (Zaatar is salty and so use salt sparingly)
Saute the ginger garlic paste. Dry roast the sunflower and sesame seeds seperately. Mix all ingredients together.

In a small bowl, dissolve the sugar and the yeast in the 1/2 cup of warm milk. Keep aside forabout 5 minutes till the yeast mixture bubbles up. Put 2 3/4 cup of flour, salt, oil, and garlic paste in a large bowl. Then add the yeast mixture and the 3/4 cup of milk and knead till you have a soft, smooth and elastic/ pliabledough which is not sticky. Add a little extra flour (I used red rice flour for this)if your dough is sticking,but only just as much as is necessary. Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a well-oiled bowl, turning the dough to coat itcompletely with oil. Cover and let it rise for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours or untilalmost double in volume. Dust your work surface lightly with flour. Deflate the dough, shape it into a square and roll the dough out into a larger square that is about 12’ by 12”. Brush the surfaceof the square with oil. Evenly sprinkle the filling, topped with Zaatar. Use a rolling pin to very lightly press the topping into the dough to ensure the topping doesn’t fall off when you are stacking the strips. Using a pizza cutter, slice the dough from top to bottom into 6 long and even strips – they do nothave to be perfect. Lay each strip on top of the next, with the topping facingupwards, until you have a stack of the strips You can put the 2 strips cut from the sides in the middle of the stack so it looks neater. Using a pastry scraper or a sharp knife, cut straight down through the stack dividingit into 6 equal pieces (6 square stacks). Grease and lightly flour a 9” by 4” (or 5”) loaf tin. Butter and lightly flour a 9 x 5 loaf pan. Layer the square slices, cut sides down into the loaf tin. Cover the loaf tin dough with a towel and allow the dough to rise for an hour. I topped this with a little of the filling mixture and some zaatar. Then, lightly brush some milk over the top of the loaf. Bake the dough at 180C (350F) for about 30 to 40 minutes until it is done and the top is goldenbrown. This recipe bakes one 9” by 5” loaf.


Aruna said...

Hey Dershana,

Awesome recipe. I am definitely going to try it!

Btw, what is zaatar spice mix? Is there a substitute that is available in the Indian grocery shops??

Divya Kudua said...

I am so loving the different fillings everyone's attempted.Bread looks lovely!

lata raja said...

When I see corn i go weak in my knees....What a wonderful filling and I am curious how the gingely oil worked. I played it safe with olive oil.

Aparna said...

Looks like you've conquered yeast! Lovely bread and great filling.

veena krishnakumar said...

Bread looks inviting!!!Have some Zataar too. Shall try it the next time!!!

Swati Raman Garg said...

just another variation of the filling, arent we all having a wild time trying out our different variations....

Reshmi Mahesh said...

Delicious looking bread with yummy filling...Loved the idea of using Zaatar..

Sangeetha said...

Very interesting filling, u people are so creative...lovely bread!

Ansh| Spiceroots said...

Beautifully done! And I love the use of vegetables for a filling!! good one.

Finla said...

I love the softness white bread flour gives but as it is just white i have been wanting to try with spelt of with whole wheat and was also planning to do hakl half flour, i love the unusual color you have in your bread.

Priya said...

Am crossing 5th pull apart bread today, everyone did it beautifully with fabulous filling..Lovely bread again;

just a girl from aamchi mumbai said...

Wow ms footloose chef love your version of Bread :)

Kavitha | Food-O-Mania! said...

What a nice filling!! Love the bread Dershana! :)

anusha praveen said...

Too much zataar love on the block. Must find some soon. And i love that sesame oil bit!

Jayanthi said...

Corn in the filling? Awesome combination and looks so good.

Amrita Vishal said...

Lovely variation to the amazing pull apart bread. Btw i am curious as to what is zataar spice mix?

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