Thursday, November 19, 2009

Basic White Bread

Here's what you will need

3 cups unbleached All Purpose Flour or maida

2 tbsp butter

1/4 cup warm water

1 tbsp Dry active yeast

1 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

2 tbsp Canola oil

The cooking process

In a bowl mix warm water, sugar ,salt and active yeast. Keep aside till the mixture turns frothy.

In a saucepan add milk and 1 tbsp of butter and turn off the heat once the butter melts. Wait till the mixture turns lukewarm.

Sieve the flour 3 times so that it becomes light.

In a large bowl, add the yeast mixture and the buttery milk mixture (Make sure the mixture has turned lukewarm).Now adds in the flour a cup at a time. Till u have smooth dough. If the dough is too sticky add in more flour. Grease another bowl and place this dough. Lightly grease the dough with a tsp of oil. Cover with a cling wrap and set aside for an hour.

After an hour the dough will be almost double the size. Punch the dough down and knead it well for 5 mins on a floured surface. Shape the dough, grease it lightly with oil and place it in a well greased baking pan and cover with a cling wrap. After 45 mins the dough will rise and is ready for baking.

Preheat the oven at 425 deg F.Brush the top of the dough with melted butter and bake for 25-30 mins. If you are baking two loaves at a time the loaf pans should not touch each other or the sides of the oven. To test for "doneness", tap the bottom, it should sound "hollow". If it doesn't, bake a few minutes more.

Note that you want to be careful putting the bread in the oven. The bread dough is full of air from the yeast, and if you bang it around too much, you run the risk of knocking some of that air out, leaving you with flatter bread than you might like.

When done, immediately remove the loaf from the pan. Set on wire rack so that air can circulate around it. Brush the baked loaf with melted butter after removing them from the pan; to make a soft, tender crust.Let it cool at least 20 minutes before slicing and eating. Do not skip this step. If freshly baked bread is sliced too quickly, the inside remains damp and "doughy".

You can refrigerate the dough for 4 days in an airtight container.When you are ready to bake divide it in desired shape allow it to rise for couple of hours.Remember the dough isn't at room temperature so it will take a little longer to rise.Brush with melted butter and bake.

If you are making dinner rolls the shaped dough balls should be kept at least 2 inch apart on the baking tray.Bake for 15-20 mins.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Melting Goodies:Microwave Pedha

Be it the birth of a boy or happiness of getting good marks or a new job, people distribute mithai preferably pedhas.This recipe of microwave pedha is quick easy and delicious. I prefer homemade pedhas since I have had bad experience with store bought mithais in US.I usually prepare these when we have some pooja at home or when as prasadam for temple.

Here's what you will need

1 can sweetened condense milk 14 oz

2 1/4 cup milk powder (I used Nido brand)

8 tbsp clarified butter/ghee

1/2 tsp cardamom powder

Few strands of saffron

4 tbsp milk

Almonds/pistachios for garnishing

The cooking Process

Mix the saffron in 2 tbsp of warm milk keep aside .
Meanwhile in a microwave safe glass bowl ( use a good size bowl to avoid spills ) mix all the above ingredients except the nuts for garnishing.
On high power microwave for 2 mins.Remove and mix well.
Again microwave for 3 mins stir the contents every 30 secs.Remove and mix well.
Let it cool till it is warm enough to be handled. Knead it for 3 mins.
Make small balls and garnish with your favorite nuts.
Let it rest for 15 mins.


Yields: 23-25 pedhas (approx. 3 cm in diameter)


  •   Ghee can be replaced by unsalted butter. But it taste better with ghee.
  •   The milk and saffron is added in this recipe to enhance the taste and texture of pedha.You can skip it completely if you need to increase the shelf life.