Eggless Chocolate Cake

Chocolate cake lifts up my mood if I am depressed. And if I am happy, then also chocolate cake is there to celebrate. It is favourite for kid’s birthday party, best for dessert option and the best companion while you are alone in the house and lazing around, reading a book or just watching tv.

Basically, chocolate cake can be baked for any occasion! Yes, you add on a few extra calories but then do some jogging, walking, or if there is no time for exercise in your busy schedule, then just don’t use lift while getting down from the office building, and if possible while climbing too.

So, now I guess you are all set to bake chocolate cake and give yourself a delectable treat 😋😋😋😋.

This recipe will give you a very moist chocolate cake. It is so good that you might not wait for any frosting. Just let it cool down and keep your plate ready!!

But if you are interested in a tall cake from this recipe, I would suggest you not to use this recipe. For tall cakes, we need butter as butter makes the cake sturdy.

The reason I am more in favour of oil cakes is that after keeping the cake in the fridge, it does not become hard. It remains soft and moist for 3 to 4 days.

Initially, for trial, I had baked this cake with only half of the recipe. My daughter isn’t fond of any icing on the cake (teenagers are difficult to please). She loved this cake a lot and shared it with her friends. I got wonderful feedback from her friends too!!

 

So I decided to go ahead with complete recipe. But now I chose to bake in two 6 inches tin, as my husband and I love frosting with chocolate cake a lot!! Ganache frosting  – Dark Chocolate Ganache – compliments chocolate cake a lot. But you can go ahead with your choice of frosting of whipping cream, chocolate mousse etc….

 

So this recipe is kind of one bowl cake recipe where we just take out the cake from the tin, smear it with frosting and give ourselves a delicious treat 😋.

This cake can be baked in one 9 inches tin or two 7 inches tin. The cup I use for measurement is 250 ml.

Ingredients:

All purpose flour (Maida) 1+3/4 cup
Granulated sugar 1 cup (after measuring powder it)
Baking soda 1 tsp
Cocoa powder 1/4 cup
Instant coffee powder 1 tsp
Salt 1/8 tsp
Oil 1/2 cup
Milk 1/2 cup
Hot water 1/2 cup
Vanilla essence 1 tsp
Vinegar 1 tbsp

Tips:

  1. All ingredients should be on room temperature, except hot water.
  2. Check expiry date before using your ingredients.
  3. Use good quality cocoa powder.
  4. Sieve dry ingredients 4-5 times for eggless cakes. It helps in keeping the flour light and airy.
  5. Do not open oven door until your cake has completely risen, otherwise cake might sink due to variation in room temperature.
  6. Don’t do over-mixing of the batter.
  7. After baking if the top of the cake has slight crust, don’t worry. It will become soft after cooling.
  8. Don’t transfer the cake on a plate while taking it out from the tin. Top layer might stick to the plate as cake will be still hot. Always transfer on a wire rack.
Process:

Grease and dust baking pans. If interested, you can use parchment paper also at the bottom of the pan.

I have used two 7 inch baking pans.

Heat 1/2 cup water and add Instant coffee powder, mix it and keep it separate. Preheat oven at 180 degrees for 10 minutes.

Spread newspaper on kitchen counter and sieve all dry ingredients. Using newspaper is not compulsory, but I find it very convenient if I have to sieve 4-5 times.

Transfer this sieved flour to a big bowl.

 

Collect all wet ingredients in another bowl. Just remember to add vinegar in the end and mix everything.

Pour this wet mix over dry ingredients slowly and simultaneously keep mixing with wire whisk. Don’t do over-mixing.

Pour this batter in ready tins, tap the tins 3-4 few times and keep them in preheated oven and bake for 35-40 minutes.

As each oven is different baking time might vary. (check tip no 5) Check the cake by inserting toothpick – if it comes out clean, cake is done.

Take out the tins from the oven and let them cool down on cooling rack. Clean the edges of the tin with the help of a knife and transfer cakes to a wire rack. Remove parchment paper and let the cakes cool down completely.

You can enjoy this delicious moist chocolate cake just like that….

 

 

Or frost it with dark chocolate ganache..

 

 

 

 

 

 

and relish your slice!!

 

Baked Doughnut

I consider doughnut as an another variety of sweet bread in a different shape which is deep fried and can be prepared in different flavors . And probably because doughnuts are fried, they are widely popular with all age groups of people. So when one of my neighbours came with a request to make doughnuts for her 80 years old mother in law, I suggested her to go for baked doughnuts and she happily agreed!!

Well, there will be definitely a change in taste between the baked and fried ones, but if you don’t want to break your resolution to consume less oily food, then these baked doughnuts are definitely for you.

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To add a healthy twist here, instead of all purpose flour, you can use wheat flour and just follow the same recipe. Increase milk a little bit more while kneading, as wheat flour absorbs more liquid than maida (all purpose flour).

Do we really need to buy a doughnut cutter to prepare doughnuts?

Not at all.

Any sharp edged steel glass and one small bottle cap are sufficient. Even round shaped cookie cutter and one icing nozzle would do the same work as doughnut cutter.

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So, now you have no excuse for not trying these wonderful cinnamon flavoured baked doughnuts in your oven!!!

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Ingredients:

Maida 2 cups
Milk powder 2 tbsp
Instant active yeast 3/4 tsp
Sugar 4 tbsp
Salt 1/2 tsp
Nutmeg powder 1/2 tsp
Cinnamon powder 1+1/2 tsp
Butter (melted) 3-4 tbsp
Milk 3/4 cup (add or reduce 1-2 tbsp if required)

Prepare a mix of 1 tbsp cinnamon powder and 4 tbsp powdered and sieved sugar separately.

Some more melted butter would be required after baking.

Points to remember:

1. All dry ingredients should be on room temperature.

2. Milk should be slightly warmer than lukewarm but not hot.

3. Dough would be slightly sticky because of extra sugar, but keep on kneading – it will become smooth with melted butter.

4. For more tips on kneading the dough, proofing time, temperature control etc, check the following link :

Basics of baking – bread/buns/rolls (Wheat flour buns with pizza spices-2)

Process:

Collect all dry ingredients in a big vessel.

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Slowly start pouring milk and collect dry ingredients together in the shape of a dough. Don’t worry about loose or tight consistency of dough at this stage.

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Now start adding remaining milk 1 tbsp at a time and knead the dough for 15 minutes by adding butter simultaneously.

Initially, kneading will be sticky due to lots of sugar but will soon smoothen.

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Place the dough in a butter greased bowl for first proofing (bowl should be big enough to have extra space for doubled up dough). Apply some butter on top of the dough to avoid it drying. Cling wrap the bowl and keep it at a warm place for first proofing. I generally keep my bowl in a switched-off microwave. First proofing takes 1 to 1+1/2 hours, depending on the temperature of your kitchen.

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In the meantime, grease baking tin/tray with butter or spread parchment paper.

Mix powdered sugar and cinnamon powder in a separate plate.

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Once dough doubles up, sprinkle some flour on clean kitchen counter or grease it with butter. Take out the dough and punch it softly.

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Knead the dough very softly and roll it in round shape.

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With the help of doughnut cutter/steel glass/cookie cutter cut out as many doughnuts as you can. Knead and roll again the rest of the dough and follow the same process.

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Keep all doughnuts in a ready baking tray and apply melted butter on top of them to avoid them drying during second proofing. Proofing will be over in 20-30 minutes depending on the temperature of your kitchen.

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Just 10 minutes before proofing time is getting over, preheat oven at 185 degrees for 10 minutes. Give milk wash to all doughnuts and bake them at the same temperature for 25-30 minutes or till the top starts becoming brown. I like slightly crunchy top in doughnuts so I baked them a bit more to get nice brown colour. If you like smooth top then stop baking once they are light brown.

Aren’t you tempted enough to just gobble up one…😋😋😋😋

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With the help of pastry brush apply melted butter generously on the top of the doughnuts so that sugar cinnamon mix can stick to them nicely.

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Now with the help of a sieve sprinkle sugar cinnamon mix all over the doughnuts.

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Now you are ready to give yourself a flavourful treat…!!!

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I would love to hear from you all about this post…

 

Copycat Pizza Hut Garlic Bread

A complete Indian festival season is in the air these days. Nine days of Navratri is over followed by Dussehra. Now North Indian festival for married women Karva Chauth is on the way. Then preparations for five days grand Deepawali festival will start.

In between all these festivals sometimes we want a break from rich festive sweets and crave for some healthy food or snacks. For the last few days I wanted to have good homemade savoury snack. During Dussehra holidays we had gone to Goa for a week’s vacation and I was tired of eating restaurant food, though the whole trip was awesome as weather was fine and it was less crowded. Neat – and – clean beautiful beaches, historical forts surrounded with sea and wonderful flora and fauna. I am not at all good with photography, but still couldn’t resist clicking a few.

 

 

 

 

 

We went on a tour of spices plantation and I gained a lot of knowledge. I never knew that javitri and  jaiphal ( mace and nutmeg) are from the same plant. Javitri is dry flower and jaiphal is the fruit. But the best part of this spice plantation tour was the discovery of Garam Masala plant. I was amazed to see that there is actually a plant named as “Garam Masala”. Till now I knew that garam masala is a mix of various ground spices. But this Garam Masala plant was a new discovery. This plant originally belongs to Jamaica and is known as allspice plant. We tasted its leaves and they tasted exactly like garam masala mix powder.

Isn’t this amazing!!!

Well, no matter how much you enjoy your vacation, we crave for homemade food. Hubby and daughter both were fine, but I started becoming home sick after 4-5 days. Thankfully it was a short trip and after reaching home I baked my favourite Garlic Bread and this time I used wheat flour.

But now I wanted to prepare it exactly like we get in Pizza Hut. So I prepared a little bit more garlic butter (method is given in the recipe of  Garlic Bread) . After slicing the bread, applied garlic butter,   Pizza sauce, grated cheese, sprinkled pizza spices, added sliced bell peppers ,onions and tomatoes and sprinkled a little more pizza spices. Baked these bread coins in a preheated oven at 175 degrees, till the cheese melted and edges of the bread became crisp.

There was a wonderful aroma of garlic butter, pizza sauce and spices while baking!!! Couldn’t take more pictures, as no one allowed me…

 

Stuffed Baati (baked)

Stuffed Baati is a traditional Rajasthani savoury dish. It is prepared with wheat flour, and stuffed with boiled potatoes mix. Traditionally,  stuffed baati is a roasted dish and later it is immersed in melted desi ghee (clarified butter) which gives it a wonderful combination of crispy outer layer and softer insides.

We get a separate baati oven to roast as now in our modern kitchen roasting baati in traditional way is not possible. For more information on traditional method of preparing plain baati, you can refer my  earlier post  Plain Baati (traditional Rajasthani food)

Generally, I prepare this complete traditional Rajasthani platter of besan ke ladoo (Besan ke ladoo),  panchmel daal (Panchmel daal), baati and churma – wheat flour (Churma (wheat flour)) and besan (Besan churma) – on the occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi festival. But this time, after a few days of  Ganesha festival there was a potluck arranged at my husband’s office. So I decided to send panchmel daal and stuffed baked baati. As I don’t have baati oven till now, I baked them in my OTG.

Oh, it was a lot of baati baking day!!

I baked stuffed baati dough in two batches – initial 60 baatis for potluck and another 30 in second batch for our lunch and some for my neighbouring friends.

It was a big tiring day, but in the afternoon my husband’s message refreshed me and I was re-energised!

My dish was appreciated by all and was ranked first under vegetarian dishes category 💃💃💃💃

Try these stuffed baked baatis once and feel free to at add any stuffing of your choice. It could be mixed veggies with paneer (cottage cheese), cheese, fresh grated coconut or roasted gram flour with spices too.

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Ingredients:

Wheat flour 3 cups
Baking soda 1/2 tsp
Baking powder 1/2 tsp
Salt 1 tsp
Carom seeds (ajwain) 1+1/2 tsp
Water 1+1/2 cup (reduce or increase 1-2 tbsp as per requirement,normal temperature)
Oil/desi ghee (clarified butter) 4 tbsp
Melted Desi ghee 1/4 cup (extra)
Boiled Potato mixture with spices

Process:

Collect all dry ingredients in a big vessel so that kneading is easy.

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Pour melted ghee and with the help of water knead smooth dough.

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Peel boiled potatoes and add salt, red chilli powder, asafoetida, garam masala, dry mango powder, grated ginger, finely chopped green chillies and green coriander leaves. If you like the taste, can add little bit of chaat masala too.

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Mash potatoes and mix everything together. Potatoes mix is ready.

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Divide the dough in 40-45 gms balls and roll them smooth.

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Flatten one ball of dough with the help of rolling pin or simply with your fingers.

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Place in between little bit of potato mix and close it.

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Roll this filled baati gently in between your palms to make it smooth. This way complete all baatis and place them in your ghee greased baking tray. Brush them with melted ghee nicely and bake in a pre-heated oven at 185 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes or till they are nicely brown.

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Once again apply melted ghee all over the baked baatis and relish them with panchmel daal or as a snack with your tea.

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Eggless Vanilla Sponge Cake

I never thought that one day I will be posting my 100th recipe here when I started DeesPlatter blog. I was sure that after posting a few, I will not be able to continue, as writing was never my forte. I always loved reading and for that I will forever be grateful to my father for imbibing this habit.

This became possible due to the inspiration that I got once I started blogging and came across many excellent bloggers who are writers, foodies, philosophers, story tellers, wonderful photographers, nature lovers, pet lovers, travellers etc… By reading their posts, I just couldn’t hold myself  from expressing my views in the comments section. I was surprised that actually I was writing and was looking for words to express my views!

In between, due to personal reasons a few brakes came, but I still continued blogging and today I feel so proud to post my 100th post – that too of my favourite cake – Eggless Vanilla Sponge Cake, loved by all.

Around 10 years back, my husband and I bought 31 litres microwave. That was the biggest size available in the showroom and we thought of using it for baking (till then I had no idea about OTG). But for 4-5 years we used it only as a heating compartment for preparing curd, reheating food, roasting papad, cooking rice and boiling potatoes. I guess I was just not confident enough to try baking.

Just surfing around the Internet one day I came across a recipe of carrot cake and suddenly I was interested to give it a try. Cake came out with flat top (as I had read somewhere that flat top of the cake indicates your baking skill) and I was very happy to see that as it was my first attempt. Cake was dense, and I realised that only flat top is not enough. But now I started baking in my microwave with full energy and enthusiasm. I was adamant not to join any baking classes as I felt Google gives us enough tutorials to learn. But in the process of learning from my own mistakes, my microwave was used rigorously day and night. I remember one day I baked 3 wheat flour bread loaves and none was satisfactory.

A few neighbours liked my wheat flour buns, cookies, cupcakes and I started getting orders. But by now my dear microwave was giving up after letting me do enough trials and errors and giving me enough courage to take orders. I bought OTG, but I am still using my dear microwave as a heating compartment to prepare curd and keeping bread dough for proofing.

After baking my first carrot cake, I tried a few more different recipes of cake and tried to understand the science of baking and difference of ingredients in each recipe. The result of a cake with eggs will be different from eggless cake. With my experience I found that thick hung curd or flaxseed  powder are the best replacement of eggs if we want to change a recipe of cake with eggs into eggless cake.

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This particular recipe of eggless vanilla sponge cake has thick curd and oil including other ingredients. This cake comes out so well with smooth brown crust  that it is difficult to wait till it cools down.

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Nice moisture with wonderful sponge and balanced sweetness will definitely urge you to bake this cake again and again!

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Recipe courtesy: Nita Mehta’s Cookbook

Ingredients

All purpose flour (Maida) 1+1/2 cup

Sugar  3/4 cup

Baking soda 1/2 tsp

Baking powder 1+1/4 tsp

Thick curd 1 cup

Oil 1/2 cup

Vanilla essence 1+1/2 tsp

Points to remember:
  1. All ingredients should be on room temperature.
  2. If  you don’t have thick curd, sieve the normal curd in muslin cloth and use it.
  3. Check expiry date of baking soda and baking powder before using.
  4. Don’t open the door of the oven for the first 20-25 minutes of baking. Uneven temperature might result in collapsing the cake. 
  5. All ovens have different settings, so the complete baking time might vary as per your temperature settings.
  6. Don’t let the cake stay in the tin for a long time. Heat of the cake will turn the bottom of the cake soggy.
  7. This cake can be baked in microwave also on convection mode using the same settings as given in this recipe.
  8. After greasing the tin you can spread parchment paper at the bottom of the tin. It helps cake to come out the tin easily.
  9. The beauty of this cake is its brown top. After completing the baking time also if top is not brown, just switch on top rod only and bake for a few more minutes, but keep an sharp eye. If done for a longer period, cake might burn  with excess heat or it will be dry.
Process:

Grease baking tin with oil/butter, sprinkle maida all over the tin nicely and tap it in the opposite direction to remove excess flour.

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Sieve maida 2-3 times so that it becomes light and keep it separately. 

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In a separate bowl add curd and sugar and mix them till sugar dissolves completely.

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Now add baking soda and baking in curd sugar mix, mix it gently and keep it separate for 3-4 minutes till bubbles come up.

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Preheat oven at 175/180 degree for 10 minutes.

Add oil and vanilla essence and mix them gently once bubbles are visible.

 

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Now in three batches mix maida in wet mixture with a wire whisk. . Don’t do rigorous mixing.

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Shift this mixture in ready cake tin. With the help of spatula spread it evenly, tap the tin three four times and bake it at 175 degree for 30 – 40 minutes. Check the cake by inserting toothpick in the center. Cake is done if toothpick comes out clean.

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Take out the cake tin from the oven and keep it on a cooling rack till it is comfortable enough to touch.

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With the help of a sharp knife clean the edges around the tin and transfer the cake on cooling rack.

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After one hour you can slice and enjoy your Eggless Vanilla Sponge Cake!!

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Sweet milk bread

Sweet milk bread is delicious, rich buttery bread. You can have it with jam or toast to accompany your hot cuppa.

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A few months back I had baked sweet milk bread just to know the taste, as we had never bought that since no other family member likes sweet bread. I liked the taste of home baked sweet bread a lot and I posted a few pictures on my FB page.

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Surprisingly, I got a lot of requests for the recipe. But somehow I became busy with some commitments and completely forgot about it. Recently, one day in a supermarket while shopping for groceries my friend bought sweet milk bread and now I had the urge to bake it again.

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I will suggest that if you have never baked this bread till now, you should definitely try it once.

You are going to love it for sure!!

If you are not comfortable with extra sweet taste, just toast it and have it with salted butter to balance extra sweet taste. Your kids are definitely going to love this bread!!

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Ingredients :

Maida 3 cups
Milk powder 2 tbsp
Instant active yeast 1 tsp
Salt 1/2 tsp
Sugar 5-6 tbsp
Unsalted butter 4 tbsp
Milk 1 cup +3 tbsp (reduce or increase 1-2 tbsp if required)

Except milk, all ingredients should be on room temperature. Milk should be slightly warmer than lukewarm but not hot.

For complete guide on bread/bun baking you can also check the following link :

Basics of baking – bread/buns/rolls (Wheat flour buns with pizza spices-2)

Process :

Collect all dry ingredients in a big vessel.

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Slowly start pouring milk and start collecting dry ingredients together in shape of a dough. Don’t worry about loose or tight consistency of dough at this stage.

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Now start adding remaining milk 1 tbsp at a time and knead the dough for 15 minutes by adding oil/butter simultaneously.

Initially, kneading will appear messy due to sugar but will soon smoothen.

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Place the dough in an oil greased bowl for first proofing (bowl should be big enough to have extra space for doubled up dough). Apply some oil on top of the dough to avoid it drying. Cling wrap the bowl and keep it at a warm place for first proofing. I generally keep my bowl in  switched-off microwave. First proofing takes 1 to 1+1/2 hours depending on the temperature of your kitchen.

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In the meantime, grease bread tin with oil.

Once dough doubles up, sprinkle some flour on clean kitchen counter or grease it with oil. Take out the dough and punch it softly.

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Knead the dough very softly and spread it in a rectangular shape according to the size of bread tin. Start rolling it tightly in the shape of a log.

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Seal the sides by pinching it.

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Keep this log into the tin by keeping seamed side at the bottom and apply oil on top of the log to avoid it drying. Keep it in the switched-off microwave or any warm place for second proofing. Second proofing generally takes 15 to 20 minutes.

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Just 10 minutes before baking, preheat your oven at 185-190 degrees for 10 minutes. Give milk wash to proofed log and bake it in a preheated oven for 40 to 50 minutes or till the top of the bread starts becoming brown.

 To check whether bread is done or not, tap the top of the bread; if it sounds hollow, it’s done! Be careful – don’t let the top of the bread become dark brown, so keep an eye.

Temperature of every oven varies – so you should be bit more careful and judge the baking time as per your experience.

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Take out the tin from the oven, keep it on a cooling rack and apply butter on the top to keep it soft.

After 5-7 minutes take out the bread from the tin and let it cool down completely on the cooling rack. Don’t leave the bread for longer period in the bread tin. The heat of hot bread will turn it soggy from the bottom.

Later cling wrap the loaf and keep it in the fridge for 4-5 hours. Don’t slice the bread without keeping it in the fridge, no matter how tempted you are. Keeping in fridge will settle down its crumbs.

 Later, slice the bread with serrated knife – you will get wonderful  slices!!!

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Break into a happy dance 💃💃💃

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