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 water 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 water 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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Tri colour sandwich bread

Wishing you all a very happy Independence day!

Coincidentally, today along with this national festival, we are celebrating Rakshabandhan also. This festival, for those who are not aware of, celebrates bond between brothers and sisters. Those parents, whose kids stay in nearby cities, celebrate this festival with get-together of their family members, relatives, festive food and sweets.

But instead of cooking something special for Rakshabandhan festival, I decided to bake something new which I have never done before and it fits perfectly with the spirit our Independence day!

I decided to bake a tri colour bread symbolizing our national flag. I could not get exact same colours of our national flag as I didn’t want to use any artificial edible colours. For green, I have used coriander chutney. Instead of corridor or mint leaves, you can use spinach puree also . It might give slightly darker green shade. For saffron, I thought of using soaked saffron water, but that was also not giving exact colour – it was kind of yellow shade. So I added turmeric powder. I was very excited to slice this bread to see tri colored swirls.

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Isn’t it beautiful!

I loved these tri colored swirls!

No artificial colours used, and the addition of coriander chutney enhanced the taste. So, bread was completely safe to consume. Now I am really encouraged to do some more trials…

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Ingredients :

For green colored dough:

1 cup maida
1 tbsp milk powder
1/2 tsp Instant active yeast
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tbsp sugar

1 tbsp Oil
4 tbsp Water
3 tbsp Coriander Chutney
4 tbsp Water ( increase or reduce as per requirement)

Important note:

Don’t use cold chutney from the fridge. Add it in the water and heat it till it is slightly warmer than lukewarm but not hot. I heated chutney till it was warm enough and used warm water separately. Cold chutney wouldn’t let the yeast activate.

For yellow colored dough:

1 cup maida
1 tbsp milk powder
1/2 tsp Instant active yeast
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tbsp sugar
3/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp oil
6-7 tbsp Water (reduce or increase as per requirement)

Important Note:

Water should be slightly warmer than lukewarm but not hot and rest of the ingredients should be on room temperature.

For white colored dough:

1 cup maida
1 tbsp milk powder
1/2 tsp Instant active yeast
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp oil
6-7 tbsp Water (reduce or increase as per requirement)

Important Note:

1. Water should be slightly warmer than lukewarm but not hot and rest of the ingredients should be on room temperature

2. For a few more tips on bread baking you can check this link Basics of baking – bread/buns/rolls (Wheat flour buns with pizza spices-2)

3. As we are kneading three different types of dough, proofing time might vary for each. To avoid that and to get even proofing for all three types of dough follow this…

If you are kneading yellow dough first, don’t cover it with cling film or wet kitchen towel. Keep the dough in the bowl, brush up some oil on top to avoid it drying and leave it on kitchen counter.

Do the same after kneading second type of dough.

After finishing third dough, cover all of them with cling film or wet kitchen towel. Now you will get even proofing for all three types of dough.

Process:

Collect dry ingredients in three different bowls.

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Prepare three different doughs by kneading  and keep them in three different oil greased bowls. Cover them with cling wrap or wet kitchen towel and let them proof till the dough becomes double in size.

In the meantime, oil grease bread tin properly from all sides.

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After proofing, punch the dough gently and roll all three of them one after another.

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Place each rolled dough on top of each other and give it a proper rectangular shape by tapping as per the size of your bread tin.

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Start rolling the dough by keeping it firm.

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Seam the sides tight by pinching them.

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By keeping the seamed side at the bottom, place this log in the bread tin. Brush up the top of the log with oil and let it rise for second proofing.

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Just 10 minutes before second proofing time is getting over, preheat oven at 185 degrees. Give milk wash to the log and bake it for 40-50 minutes or till the time it sounds hollow while tapping the top of the bread. Take out bread from the oven and apply butter on it. Butter will give nice shine and will be helpful in keeping the bread soft.

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Once tin cools down and is comfortable enough to touch, take out the bread and keep it on cooling rack till it cools down completely.

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For better slices, wrap it now with 3-4 layers of cling wrap and keep it in the fridge for 4 – 5 hours. Later, take it out from the fridge, unwrap it, and slice the bread by holding the bread firmly with bread cutting serrated knife.

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You will be proud of yourself!!!

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

 

 

 

Pinwheel Potato Rolls with mint flavor

Us Indians are very obsessed with potatoes. Potato compliments so well with almost every vegetable. Other than using potatoes with vegetables, we have aaloo paratha (Aaloo ka Paratha (paratha with spicy potato stuffing)), potato chips and snacks like samosa and kachori which also have potato fillings. So when I thought of trying Pinwheel Rolls, I decided to fill them with boiled potatoes. But I felt that rolls with only potato filling would lack some flavor – might not be tangy enough. I had mint chutney in the fridge – so I flavored these rolls with mint chutney.

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Isn’t this an interesting filling with complete Indian taste!!!

You can change the filling as per your taste and liking. With potatoes, paneer can be added or we can shred some cheese on top of the rolls…

I have a post on Coriander Chutney  in the blog. If you are interested, can go through this link as recipe for coriander and mint chutney is same. For mint chutney, just replace coriander leaves with mint leaves.

You should definitely try these rolls. Not very complicated steps, and in pinwheel shape –  rolls look really attractive!

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Ingredients :

Maida 2 cups +2 tbsp
Milk powder 1 tbsp
Salt 1 tsp
Sugar 1 tbsp
Instant active yeast 3/4 tsp
Water 1 cup minus 1-2 tbsp
Oil 2 tbsp
Mint chutney(thick) 5 tbsp
Boiled potato mix

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

Process:

Boiled Potato mix :

Boiled  potatoes
Salt
Asafoetida
Dry mango powder
Garam Masala
Red chilli powder

Chopped green chillies
Chopped green coriander /mint leaves

Peel and mash potatoes and add above mentioned ingredients, mix well and keep this mix aside.

Rolls preparation:

Collect all dry ingredients in a big vessel and mix them. Add water/milk slowly and prepare the dough.

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Be careful not to use all water/milk completely. Once all ingredients are together in shape of a rough dough, slowly start kneading the dough by adding one tbsp water at a time and knead it for 12-15 minutes. Keep adding oil during kneading.  Initially, dough will be wet, but slowly it will be pliable and smooth.

Keep the dough in an oil greased pan covered with cling film at a warm place for first proofing. This might take 60 to 90 minutes, depending on how warm or cool your kitchen is.

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In the meanwhile, keep your baking tray ready by greasing with oil or by spreading parchment paper.

After first proofing, take out the dough on clean oil greased kitchen counter and punch it gently.

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Collect the dough together and roll it into rectangular shape. Apply mint chutney all over the dough with the help of a pastry brush .

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Now spread potato mix evenly everywhere. As both my potato mixture and chutney were very spicy, I limited the quantity that I applied and so you can see some gaps in the photo below.

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Start rolling the dough and keep it firm.

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Once dough takes the shape of a log, seam the edges tight by pinching them.

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Cut this log in equal size rolls and keep them in your ready baking tray by maintaining some gap between them so that during baking rolls have enough space to puff up. Apply some oil on them and keep them at a warm place for second proofing. Second proofing will be over in 20/30 minutes.

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Just 10 minutes before second proofing time is getting over, preheat oven at 180 degrees. Apply milk on rolls to avoid them drying during baking and bake them for 20/30 minutes or till they are light brown. Apply butter on warm rolls and relish them with any sauce or chutney along with your tea/coffee ☕

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Wheat flour cookies with Jaggery

I believe that the most common and easily available munching snack is cookies. But have you ever gone through the ingredients printed on the pack? Many people are not even aware of the details of some ingredients – whether they are safe to consume or not. Some cookies/biscuits are sold at such low price that I wonder if this company is able to get back its cost?

Around four years back when my husband’s doctor prohibited him from consuming market bought cookies/biscuits due to his digestion problems, I decided to bake cookies in my microwave which was being used only for heating food for the last 6-7 years. Initial attempts were not bad, and I improved slowly.

But till now I was baking with white flour (maida) only. Once I became confident, I tried with wheat flour. Our taste buds are so used to white flour that it is difficult to develop a liking for wheat flour based snacks.

But I was determined to use wheat flour for cookies, so with some failed experiments, I was finally successful to get best results in wheat flour based cookies!! My wheat flour cookies became so popular that they are now my best seller cookies. Parents buy them for their kids’ school snack box as they are done with ghee (clarified butter) or branded butter (Amul, Nandini, Nilgiri) and without any preservatives.

This success further encouraged me to eliminate white sugar in cookies and I started using jaggery. Personally also, I have a liking for jaggery based sweets, snacks and even tea – so I loved these cookies a lot.

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This recipe is not at all difficult to follow and it is done with just one cup flour. So, in my opinion you should definitely give it a try. With jaggery, cinnamon and nutmeg flavors compliment each other very well. But if you are not comfortable using cinnamon and nutmeg powder, simply avoid them and go ahead with the rest of the recipe.

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Here I have used jaggery powder which is easily available nowadays in shops and supermarkets. But this jaggery powder also has small granuals. I ground those granuals to make a fine powder. Now this fine jaggery powder was very easy to mix with butter.

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There are certain common doubts which people face during baking cookies. I have posted a separate post regarding those queries Basics of baking – Cookies (Tips and tricks on how to bake cookies)                          .

Ingredients :

Wheat flour 140 gm (1 cup)
Jaggery powder 85 gm (1/2 cup +2 tbsp)
Rava 22 gm (2 tbsp)
Baking soda 1/4 tsp
Baking powder 1 /4 tsp
Cinnamon powder 1/4 tsp
Nutmeg powder 1/8 tsp
Cardamom powder 1/2 tsp
Butter 50-55 gm (1/4 cup)
Milk,        if required

All ingredients should be on room temperature.

Process :

In a bowl take wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder, rava, cinnamon powder, nutmeg powder and cardamom powder. Mix them well and keep the bowl separately.

In another bowl take butter and cream it with a spatula.

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Add jaggery powder in the butter and mix it nicely till it is creamy.

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Add rest of the dry ingredients and mix them nicely to prepare dough. If dough is little bit dry, add 1-2 tbsp of milk.

As jaggery based dough would be little bit sticky, apply some butter on your palms while preparing dough.

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Roll this dough in between two sheets of butter paper. Rolling between two sheets of butter paper gives smooth, crack free cookies and it’s easy to roll sticky dough.

Now keep this sheet of rolled dough in the fridge along with butter paper.

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In between, spread parchment paper on your baking tray and keep it ready. If you don’t have parchment paper, simply grease baking tray with oil/butter.

After 40-50 minutes rolled dough would be firm in the fridge. Take it out and with the help of cookie cutter cut the cookies in desired shapes. If you don’t have cookie cutter, use any sharp edged steel glass or bowl. Cold and firm rolled dough helps in getting neat cookies.

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Finish the rest of the dough in the same way and place them in your baking tray. Keep some gap between cookies.

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Bake them in a preheated oven at 170/175 degrees for 15-20 minutes or till the edges of the cookies start turning brown. If your cookies are too thin, reduce the time and temperature. Cookies will be very soft after baking time is over, so carefully shift them on cooling rack.

Remember that when we shifted cookies on the cooling rack they were very hot – so this heat might turn cookies into dark brown in colour. Cookies will become firm once they cool down completely.

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You are definitely going to love these healthy, flavoured beautifully with spices, jaggery based cookies and I bet you can’t stop yourself with just one cookie only…!!!

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Garlic Bread

I love to bake and explore new variations in breads. To try any new variety, we need not worry about the recipe. Variety comes with technique and imagination. You just have to learn plain sandwich bread and then let your imagination flow. One can create so many variations in sandwich bread.

A few days back I was planning to bake cylindrical shaped plain bread, but suddenly I thought to change it into flavoured bread.

Which flavour is most popular with everyone in the varieties of bread…

Garlic flavour!
Done!!!

This was the best idea. Then to make it more delicious, I thought to add dried pizza spices.

This idea worked like a charm and during baking my house had wonderful aroma of garlic and spices.

Trust me, those bread coins with beautiful swirls of spices were so delectable.

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Just toast the slices plain or grate some cheese on it and bake them for a few minutes till cheese melts… 😋 😋 😋     

Now who needs garlic bread from Pizza Hut!!

Try this bread once and you will know that I am not at all exaggerating.

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If you don’t have cylindrical shaped bread tin, don’t worry; follow the same process and bake in a rectangular tin. After all, shape of bread is not going to change its taste.

Before you start the process, just go through the post Wheat flour buns with pizza spices (2) (basic tips to follow if following a bread /buns recipe) to clear any doubts.

Measurements for bread tin

11 inch – length
3 inch – diameter

Ingredients :
Garlic butter-  You can use store-bought garlic butter or prepare garlic butter at home. Peel and mince 10-12 garlic pods. Heat 4-5 tbsp salted butter in a pan and add minced garlic. Saute this for 3-4 minutes and then sieve it. Home-made garlic butter is ready.

All purpose flour (maida ) 2 +1/2 cups
Milk powder 1/8 cup
Salt 1 tsp
Sugar 1+1/2 tbsp
Instant active yeast 3 /4 tsp
Mixed herbs/spices – as per requirement
Butter/Oil 1 tbsp
Water 1 cup minus 1 tbsp (should be slightly warmer than lukewarm but not hot)

Rest of the ingredients should be on the room temperature.

My 1 cup measures 250 ml

Process :

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

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Collect all these ingredients in shape of a rough dough with the help of water. Don’t use entire quantity of water in this step.

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Now keep adding water in small quantity along with oil/butter and knead the dough for 15 minutes or till it gets elasticity.

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Transfer this smooth dough into a big size oil greased bowl. Apply some oil on top of the dough, cling wrap the bowl and keep it in a warm place for first proofing.

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In between, make baking tin ready by greasing it with oil/butter. Remember to grease both the bottom and lid sides.

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After first proofing, take out the dough on clean and oil greased kitchen counter and punch it lightly.

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Collect the dough together, knead it very lightly to make it smooth and spread it as per the size of baking pan.

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Apply garlic butter all over it very generously.

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Now sprinkle spices/herbs of your choice.

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From the top, start rolling it tightly and prepare a log.

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Don’t let the edges be loose – seam them by pinching nicely.

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Keep this seam side down and gently place this log in the baking tin.

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Apply melted garlic butter on top of the log to avoid it drying and close the tin for second proofing.

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Just 10 minutes before second proofing time is getting over, preheat oven at 180/185 degrees.

Second proofing will be over in 20-30 minutes.

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Brush up the log with milk, close the lid and bake it at 180/185 degrees for 40-50 minutes or till the log gets beautiful brown colour. If top of the bread is not becoming brown by the end of the baking time, open the lid and bake it for 3-4 minutes extra. Take out the bread  from the tin and keep it on a cooling rack. Apply butter on hot bread to keep it soft and let it cool down completely.

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Once bread cools down completely, you can slice it, but to get neat slices wrap it in cling wrap with 2-3 layers and keep it in the fridge for at least 3 to 4 hours. Always use bread cutting serrated knife and slice bread by holding it tightly.

Isn’t this a gorgeous bake with beautiful swirls and awesome garlic herbs flavour!!

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