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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Nankhatai (Cookies with clarified butter)

In India, baking was not part of our daily cooking, though in Punjab people used to prepare roti in clay-made oven called ‘Tandoor’ which is still very popular. Other than tandoor there used to be a slightly different kind of oven, built with bricks and clay named ‘Bhatti’ and it was used to roast grains like jowar, chana etc. When Britishers came here, they brought cake, biscuits and bread. Cake was an occasional thing, but biscuits and breads became popular with common people. Overall, baking was more prevalent in South India .

During partition, when thousands of people belonging to Sindhi community came to India from Pakistan, they started baking for employment. I remember my mother and her neighbourhood friends used to take all raw ingredients to one shop and within an hour they used to give soft, warm, melt-in-mouth nankhatai. Slowly, in few years the younger generation of these small shop owner families turned their old fashioned shops into modern style bakery.

Since then nankhatai is my favorite cookie. Generally, it is done with maida only, but I always like slight crunch of rava/semolina in cookies, so I have added that along with wheat flour. If you are not interested into using rava and wheat flour, eliminate both of  them and add white flour in the same quantity.

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Ingredients :

White flour (maida) 3/4 cup
Wheat flour 2 tbsp
Semolina (rava) 2 tbsp
Granulated sugar 1/2 cup (later, powder it)
Ghee (clarified butter) 1/2 cup minus 1-2 tbsp
Cardamom powder 1/2 tsp
Baking soda 1/4 tsp
Baking powder 1/8

All ingredients should be on room temperature.

Process:

Measure and collect all dry ingredients in a bowl. Mix them well.

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Add melted ghee. Remember that ghee should be melted but not warm.

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Gently mix everything and collect it together in the shape of dough. In case you have added more ghee and dough is loose, just wrap it in cling-wrap and keep it in the fridge until it becomes firm to roll nankhatai conveniently.

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Prepare balls of same size from the dough and with your finger make an indent in nankhatai. Keep all of these in ready baking tray.

Keep your baking tray ready by either greasing it with butter/ghee or by rolling parchment paper over it.

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Bake these nankhatai in a preheated oven at 165/170 degrees for 15/20 minutes.

If your oven has hotspots, turn the tray in between for even baking.

Generally nankhatai doesn’t change much colour after baking. These wouldn’t become brown like other cookies, so after 15 minutes, if nankhatai are firm, take them out.

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Taste them warm – they are sinfully delicious 😋 😋.

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Nankhatai are best as gift option during festivals. To make them more attractive, sprinkle some chopped dry fruits just before packing.

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Eggless Cinnamon Rolls

Before I start telling about the complete recipe for cinnamon rolls, I have one confession. I was totally doubtful about the taste of these rolls. I had never tasted these rolls before I baked them myself. My taste was only limited to sandwich bread and pav buns/dinner rolls. Facebook and Google introduced me to a whole wide range of baking goodies. So I started trying to bake them one by one.

Before Christmas everywhere on social media all you see is ‘cinnamon rolls’ posts. Bakers, bloggers, professionals, everyone is baking them, posting them or reviving their old post of cinnamon rolls. I was slightly sceptical about trying them. First reason was that the recipes had too much sugar in them and second reason was that I felt that these rolls have a lot of cinnamon powder. My usage of cinnamon is limited only to ‘masala tea’ and ‘vegetable pulav’. So I was almost sure that I will not like the taste of cinnamon rolls. Christmas came and went and new year started. The thought of cinnamon buns was still stuck in my brain. Finally I decided to try them with my own recipe and I planned to balance the sweetness with Salted Caramel Sauce

During second proofing time of the dough, power was disconnected and I started thinking that I was doing them with less interest, so probably…….. you know, some silly thoughts! I was about to keep them in the fridge and power was restored. Rolls were in the oven and something unexpected happened. The whole house was filled with beautiful aroma of cinnamon!!! Now I was eagerly waiting to taste them.

In the evening I teach Hindi language to a few kids. New year holidays were over and  kids were coming to study. I had almost forgotten this. Kids came and I started teaching. But I couldn’t stop myself  from offering rolls to kids to taste. I was eager to know their feedback. I gave them warm rolls and kids loved them a lot. I was doubtful of their response as I thought that they are just trying to be polite. So I also tasted half of the roll and I was so happy and excited with the wonderful buttery roll with cinnamon sweet taste!!! I finished rest half of the bun and suddenly realized that I have not taken the pictures and rolls were disappearing quickly !!!!

 

I drizzled caramel sauce, clicked some pictures and shared buns with some of my friends because I wanted buns to finish fast. Otherwise till the dinner time I would be finding some or other excuse to gorge them.

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If you have never tried baking cinnamon rolls before,  I would strongly suggest that you should definitely try them. I am sure you will be blessed and praised by your family members for giving them such delicious treat!!!

The recipe for preparing the dough for cinnamon rolls is almost similar to my recipe for Sweet milk buns/brioche buns  as I was satisfied with the balanced sweetness of these buns.

Ingredients:

Maida (all purpose flour)        2 cups
Milk powder                              1 tbsp
Salt                                               1/2 tsp
Sugar                                           3 tbsp
Instant active yeast                  3/4 tsp (if using dry active yeast the quantity would be 1 +1/4 tsp and you will have to bloom it before using)
Milk                                               3/4 cup +1tbsp (slightly warmer than lukewarm)
Butter                                              3 tbsp

(All ingredients except milk should be at room temperature)

Filling the rolls:

1/4 cup  brown/white sugar

3/4 tbsp cinnamon powder

Process :

In a big pan take all dry ingredients so that it’s easy to knead.

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Collect all dry ingredients with the help of water into the shape of a rough dough.

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Use rest of the milk and butter and slowly start adding; simultaneously keep kneading the dough till it becomes smooth and develops elasticity. It will take 12-15 minutes. Keep this dough in a well oil greased bowl. Brush 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.

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While dough is proofing, keep your baking tin ready by greasing it with oil/butter and mix sugar and cinnamon powder in a bowl.

Generally first proofing gets over in 50 to 60 minutes but If kitchen is cold first proofing might take 90 minutes. But if you are confused about the proofing, poke your finger in the dough – if the holes don’t fill back, your dough is proofed. If dough bounces back to fill up the holes, it needs some more time to proof.

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Grease oil or spread some flour on clean kitchen counter. Take out the dough after first proofing and punch it gently. Collect together the dough, knead it slightly to make it smooth and spread it in a rectangular shape.

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Apply some melted butter on all over this rectangular shaped dough and then spread sugar-cinnamon mix evenly all over it and roll it into a tight log.

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Cut the log into small rolls and keep these rolls into your baking tray. Brush up some melted butter on these rolls, cover them and keep them for second proofing. Second proofing will be over in 15 to 30 minutes.

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Just 10 minutes before second proofing time is getting over, preheat oven for 10 minutes at 180 degrees and bake rolls on same temperature for 20 to 30 minutes.

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Serve warm buns, and if you want, can drizzle salted caramel sauce on them and relish this wonderful sweet treat with your family and friends!!!!!

 

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Italian Grissini Breadsticks

10th season of ‘Masterchef Australia’ is going to get over soon and I was thinking which next program Apoorva and I will be watching together? Apoorva has no interest in cooking or baking but we both spend really good time watching Masterchef Australia. There was one more TV program ‘Friends’ which she made me watch during her summer vacation. I watched all seasons of Friends with her and enjoyed thoroughly. Apoorva still watches all repeat telecast of ‘Friends’ with the same excitement as if she is watching it for the first time – typical teenage girl!!

The problem with teens are that they are always hungry. Other than three time meals they always need something to munch on… whether they are studying, watching TV, reading novel, listening to music or just like that. As mothers we cook nice dishes for our children but during holidays or weekend we too need ‘me time’. So this Friday I decided to bake hassle free and less time consuming “Grissini Breadsticks” so that she can keep on munching them.

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These are thin, crunchy breadsticks and we can add our choice of flavors. Keep them on your dining table for any get-together or party and your guests will be busy munching them roaming around while they chit-chat!!

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As I baked them for our family only so used wheat flour and all purpose flour, both in equal quantity. You can use only all purpose flour or only wheat flour too and follow the same recipe.

Ingredients :

Maida (all purpose flour) 1 cup
Wheat flour        1 cup
Instant active yeast 3 /4 tsp
Salt 1 +1/2 tsp
Sugar 1 tbsp
Oil 3 tbsp
Water 3/4 cup (slightly more than lukewarm but not hot)
Dried rosemary, oregano, mint powder, black pepper powder, red chilli flakes and salt for flavor.

Feel free to add your choice of spices or herbs or can puree some veggies like carrots or spinach and add them for veggies flavor and beautiful colour.

Process :

Take maida, wheat flour, yeast, sugar and salt in a big size vessel and slowly start adding  water and oil simultaneously. Knead the dough for 10-12 minutes or until it is smooth and pliable.

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Keep the dough in a big size oil-greased bowl for first proofing. Keep the bowl in a warm place. If the temperature of your kitchen is warm, proofing can be over in 50 – 60 minutes but in a cold kitchen it can take half an hour more.

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Once the dough is doubled in size, sprinkle some flour on your kitchen counter or grease it with oil . Take out the dough from the vessel and punch it gently.

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Add your choice of spices or herbs, collect the dough back and slightly knead it to make it smooth. I divided the dough in three parts to add three different flavors with some additional salt. One part had dry mint powder and red chilli flakes. Second had oregano and rosemary and the last one was with salt and pepper powder.

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You can again divide one portion of the dough into small pieces and roll them as thin sticks. There are no fixed rules about the length or shape of these sticks – so don’t worry about the neatness.

While working on one part of the dough, it’s better to cling wrap the rest of the two portions and keep them in the fridge. If kitchen is warm, dough starts blooming. When you are done with one part, take out the other one from the fridge and work.

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Keep all the sticks on parchment paper in your baking tray, brush them with some oil, cover them and keep the baking tray at warm place for second proofing. Second proofing gets over in 15 – 20 minutes.

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Preheat oven at 180-185 degree just 10 minutes before second proofing is getting over, brushup sticks with milk and bake them at the same temperature or probably slightly less for 12-15 minutes. Remember sticks are thin, so they might turn dark brown fast. As each oven has different settings, keep an eye while baking. After baking, taste them – if you feel salt is less, brush them little bit with salted butter – but this is completely optional. Serve crispy Italian Grissini Breadsticks with cheese dip or any sauce.

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Breadsticks (Pizza Hut style), with a healthy twist

Once you start baking your own bread loaf, you will be greedy to try all different varieties in breads. They could be different types of buns, pizza, thick or thin, sweet, salty, spicy breads – there is no limit to trying all of them and sometimes altering them as per our choice.

In India, the most popular bread form is sandwich bread and buns/pav. You can find them at every supermarket and even at a small roadside teashop. But if you are looking for some different varieties in breads, either you have to check at some classic bakery in your city or probably in a five star restaurant or hotels. But in the last few years there is a lot of change into the cooking habits of Indians. Courtesy many food channels on TV, people are experimenting a lot in their regular cooking culture and eating habits.  Opening of chains like Pizza Hut, Pizza ..Corner, Dominos etc introduced complete meal based on different types of breads.

So, a new generation of young Indians, mainly teenagers, who had no interest in learning traditional cooking from their mother are now involved in cooking and baking, inspired by TV food shows, and if they don’t cook, they sure want to bake!! Now along with gas stove a small oven can be seen in Indian kitchens.

My daughter Apoorva loves to visit Pizza Hut any time. Pizza Hut used to be part of her every celebration. But when I started baking, I started baking pizza at home and that’s the only thing in which she helps me completely! Somehow it never occurred to me and even Apoorva never demanded to try Pizza Hut style bread sticks. Few days back I was thinking to try something new in breads, so decided to go for these breadsticks. But I didn’t want to do completely with all purpose flour, so added wheat flour to gave them a healthy twist!

 

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Breadsticks came out really good with cheese on top and I prepared carrot-tomato soup to accompany them. If you want to prepare them completely with all purpose flour, you can follow the same recipe – the only difference will be that you have to reduce the amount of water/milk little bit while kneading the dough as maida absorbs less liquid compared to wheat flour.

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Ingredients :

Wheat flour 2 cups
Milk powder 1 tbsp
Maida (all purpose flour) 1/4 cup
Salt 3/4 tsp
Sugar 1tbsp
Butter 2 tbsp
Instant active yeast 3 /4 tsp
Water 1 cup (slightly warmer than lukewarm but not hot)
Butter (melted) 2 – 3 tbsp, dry oregano, pepper, rosemary, salt and cheddar cheese for seasoning

Tips

1- All ingredients except water should be on room temperature.
2- Absorbing liquid quality of flour is different for everyone. So don’t follow blindly the quantity of water given in the recipe. If required add 1 or 2 tbsp extra or reduce.

3- For first proofing people are generally confused if the dough has doubled or not. My personal simple way to solve this problem is to select a vessel which you think is the exact fit for doubled up dough volume.

For more tips you can check my post Wheat flour buns with pizza spices (2) (basic tips to follow if following a bread /buns recipe)

Process :

Collect wheat flour, milk powder, maida, yeast, salt and sugar in a big broad vessel and mix everything.

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Slowly start pouring water in the flour and start binding flour together. Don’t add entire quantity of water in the flour. Once flour comes together, it will be dry.

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Now keep on adding remaining water slowly as 1 tbsp at a time and start kneading the dough. Remember, dough consistency should be little more wet and sticky than chapati dough. Kneading for the first 8-10 minutes will be a messy task, but after 10 minutes, start adding oil/butter and knead for 5-7 minutes more. Your palms and fingers will be clean now and messy dough will turn smooth.

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Grease a bigger sized bowl with oil and keep the dough in it. Apply oil on top of the dough to avoid it drying and cling wrap the vessel for first proofing.
(Always take a bigger vessel to keep the dough for proofing so that there is sufficient space for the dough to become double in volume).

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Keep the vessel at a warm place for proofing. I always keep it inside my microwave (switched off).

First proofing takes one to one and a half hours, depending on the temperature of your kitchen. During summer it gets proofed within 50 to 60 minutes, but during winter it might take longer.

While dough is proofing, grease the baking tray and keep it ready.

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Once dough is double in volume, first proofing is over.

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Apply little oil on clean kitchen top and take out the dough and punch it slightly.

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Now you can measure and spread parchment paper according to the size of your baking pan. Slightly knead the dough and spread it evenly in your baking pan. Brush it nicely with plain melted butter.

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Now cut the dough into equal size bread sticks and let them rise for second proofing.Second proofing will be over in 20 to 30 minutes.

 

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Just 10 minutes before second proofing is done preheat oven at 180/. Mix oregano, basil, pepper, rosemary, and salt in melted butter and brush breadsticks generously with this seasoning. Spread grated cheese on them and bake breadsticks at 180/for 15 to 20 minutes or till the edges start becoming brown.

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Take them out and sprinkle some more grated cheese and butter and again keep them back in the oven and bake for 5 more minutes. This extra 5 minutes will turn them into crisp from top and soft from inside.

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Enjoy you pizza style healthy bread sticks !!

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