Basics of baking – Cookies (Tips and tricks on how to bake cookies)

Have you ever baked cookies in your oven? Is it possible to get fresh, warm nice, crunchy, crispy cookie or those melt-in-mouth nankhatai at home?

Yes, you can bake any type of cookie you want to in your domestic oven. You just have to follow the recipe correctly, measure ingredients carefully and most importantly… you should know your oven settings. When I started baking cookies, I had so many doubts.. but slowly by many trials and errors I got my answers.

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Through this post I am trying to address few common issues people face before trying cookies. I hope this post will be helpful and you will be able to bake your cookies more easily.

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In my next post I will be posting a recipe for nankhatai (a type of cookie) which is very popular in India and easy to bake.

Common doubts and solutions regarding baking cookies:

1. What is the ideal room temperature for butter?
2. Why my cookies are soft, not crispy?
3. After 2-3 days cookies turn soft.
4. What is the right temperature to bake cookies? Will my cookies remain soft or will they burn?
5. Is there any substitute for egg in cookies?
6. Cookie dough is sticky and I am not able to roll cookies.
7. Can I keep half of the cookie dough in the fridge and bake them later?
8. How much kneading is required for preparing the cookie dough?
9. How to store cookies?

  1. Room temperature butter should not be warm. While touching it with our finger, it should be cold but there should be an indent in the block of butter. But at the same time, our finger should not sink into it.

Now, how long it takes butter to reach this temperature after taking it out from the fridge? There is no fixed time for this. It completely depends upon the temperature of your kitchen. During summer, butter will soon become soft whereas during winter it will take more time.

2.

(1) Whether cookies are soft, chewy, hard or crisp depends completely on your recipe.
(2)  Generally, after baking time is over, while touching you will feel that cookies are soft and they are not completely baked. Cookies are soft because they are very hot. So carefully shift these cookies on cooling rack and you will notice that as cookie cools down completely, they become firm.

Don’t leave cookies inside the oven to cool down. Remember that after switching off also oven remains hot for quite some time. This heat will harden cookies.

But sometimes after cooling also you find that cookies are soft. In that case just switch on oven at 150/155 degrees and bake cookies once again for 10-15 minutes. Sometimes, during monsoon, cookies turn soft. You can turn them crisp again by the same method of baking them on less temperature for short duration.

3. Mostly recipes where milk cream, curd or fresh fruits are added, cookies turn soft after 2-3 days.

4. Temperature is alway given in the recipe, but never follow it blindly. All ovens have different temperature settings.

For baking, people use microwave, OTG or their kitchen range ovens. All these have different settings. And at the same time all these are available in different sizes. So, if you are baking cookies in 31 litres capacity of microwave at 180 degrees, you can’t bake at the same temperature in a small size microwave. Heat will reach faster in small oven, and cookies will burn. So, there is no fixed rule for temperature and time. With your oven, you have to do some frequent baking to know what settings are best for you. Though, the most common way to figure out if the cookies are done is to see their edges. When edges start turning brown, cookies are done.

5. Personally, if following some egg based cookie recipe, I have never substituted egg with anything else. I simply omit it and if dough is dry, I use milk. But flaxseed powder is supposed to be the best substitute for egg. Replace one egg with 3 tbsp of water mixed with 1 tbsp of flaxseed powder.

6. By mistake, we add slightly more milk to bind the dough and now we have sticky and loose dough. Don’t panic, just wrap it in the cling film and keep it in the fridge till it is firm. Take it out and roll your cookies comfortably.

7. Yes, you can cling wrap cookie dough with 3-4 layers to avoid it drying and can bake next day.

8. Cookie dough doesn’t need extensive kneading, otherwise cookies will turn hard. Cookie dough is just an assembly of all ingredients.

9. Once cookies cool down completely, store them in an air tight container.

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Wheat flour + rava bread

Baking your own bread is good in many ways.

You get fresh bread without adding any harmful ingredients for your breakfast. You love the whole process of bread baking, especially watching it rise in the oven; it calms down our nerves. Kids sometimes join you in rolling the dough, greasing the pan, and through this we bond with them. And in the end while serving sandwiches or toast from your own home baked bread, whole family praises you and that makes your day very very happy 😊 😊

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I started baking bread with white flour, then slowly started shifting towards wheat flour. Wheat flour is a bit tricky as it gives you slightly dense and heavy bread compared to white flour. Many people immediately compare home baked wheat bread with market bought bread without realising that we are not adding any artificial gluten or bread enhancer.The common reason people hesitate to bake wheat flour bread because wheat bread doesn’t  get a good rise in wheat bread as we get in white bread. Well, we can increase the quantity of yeast here, but then the bread has too much smell of yeast.

To solve this problem, we are adding rava with wheat flour in this new recipe. If you have tried cooking any dish with rava, you must have seen that rava puffs up nicely. So here rava helps wheat flour to rise up and we get good height in our loaf.

Did you like the idea? Well, if we can bake a complete loaf of bread with rava, Samolina/chiroti rava bread (anyone can bake this bread) then we can definitely add it with wheat flour.

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What is chiroti rava and how it is different from normal rava?

The difference lies in the size of granules. Chiroti rava has very small granules compared to normal rava. Because of these tiny granules, chiroti rava gets bind very well in shape of the dough.

I have a few recipes with wheat flour bread in the blog. If you are interested, can check these links also…

Wheat Flour Sandwich Bread(1)

Wheat flour Sandwich bread (2)

Wheat flour Sandwich Bread(3) cylindrical shaped

Wheat flour spicy turmeric bread

In South India, chiroti rava is easily available. But if you are not able to find this variety of rava in your city, you can order it through Amazon or Big Basket.

Ingredients :

Wheat flour 1+1/2 cups (200 gms)
Chiroti rava 1 +1/2 cups (250 gms)
Salt 1 tsp
Sugar 1+1/2 tbsp
Instant active yeast 1 tsp
Oil 2-3 tbsp
Milk /water 1+1/2 cups minus 2-3 (1 cup measures 250 ml)

Bread tin size (in inches) –  length 8, depth 3+1/2, width 3+1/2

Please go through all the tips carefully before you start the process of baking bread.

Tips :

1. Except water, rest of the ingredients should be used at room temperature. Water/milk should be slightly warmer than lukewarm.

2. Instead of water, milk can be used to knead the dough. Or you can take both milk and water in 50:50 ratio.

3. Every oven is different – so baking time may vary.

4. Dough proofing time depends a lot on the temperature of your kitchen. In colder temperature first proofing can take 60 to 90 minutes. In warmer temperatures it might get over in 40 to 50 minutes. The same logic will be for second proofing time also.

5. Wheat flour dough is more delicate than all purpose flour dough. So, after first proofing, don’t knead it much. Punch it slightly and bring it back together to roll the log.

6. To achieve best results in wheat flour bread, don’t be lazy in kneading. I always knead wheat flour bread dough for almost 20 minutes.

7. Absorbing liquid quality of flour varies. So don’t follow blindly the quantity of water/milk given in the recipe. If required, add or reduce 1-2 tbsp of water.

8. Don’t compare the result of home baked wheat flour bread with market bought wheat flour bread. We are not adding any artificial gluten, emulsifier, or bread enhancer. We are trying to bake a healthy bread loaf, so it might be slightly heavy and dense. For better results, try to use milled flour than packed ones.

8. Don’t get discouraged if your first loaf of bread is not as good as you had expected. Try to find out the problem, sort it and with the same excitement, give another try, and you will surely get it!

For few more tips you can check this link also… Wheat flour buns with pizza spices (2) (basic tips to follow if following a bread /buns recipe)

Process :

Collect all dry ingredients in a big vessel.

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Slowly start pouring water 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 pouring remaining water one tbsp at a time and  knead the dough for 15-20 minutes by adding oil simultaneously.

Initially, kneading will look messy and sticky, but slowly dough will become smooth.

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Keep 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 the 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, apply oil to bread tin.

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 the bread tin.

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Start rolling it tightly in the shape of a log.

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Seal the edges by pinching them tightly.

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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. Cover the tin with wet kitchen towel (don’t let towel touch the dough) and keep it in the switched-off microwave or any warm place for second proofing. Second proofing generally takes 15 to 20 minutes but if it’s cold temperature in the kitchen, it might take some more time.

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Just 10 minutes before baking, preheat your oven at 185-190 degrees for 10 minutes. Give milk wash to proofed dough and bake it in a preheated oven at the same temperature for 40-50 minutes, till the bread  becomes evenly brown and while tapping the top, it sounds hollow.

Apply butter on hot bread. Butter will be helpful in keeping the bread soft. Take out the bread from the oven and let it cool down completely on a cooling rack. Don’t let the bread stay in tin for long as steam from hot bread in the tin for a long time will make the bread soggy from the bottom.

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Once bread cools down completely, you can slice it. But if you can control your temptation for a few hours more, you will get the best slices!!

Once bread cools down completely, wrap it in 3-4 layers of cling film and keep it in the fridge.

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This will tighten the bread crumbs making it easier to slice it with bread cutting serrated knife.

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Don’t you love these wonderful slices with beautiful brown edges!!!

Now who wants to buy bread from the store if you can provide your family home baked healthy bread. I am sure you would be thinking to give this recipe a try. 

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Would love to hear from you about this recipe and if you have any doubts, feel free to ask through comment box.

 

Wheat flour spicy turmeric bread

I was not planning to bake this bread. I was not even thinking to bake something new. I was just kneading dough for white bread, wheat bread and some dinner rolls.

Then I thought of doing some spicy buns, but buns’ dough was already done and I didn’t want to disturb its proofing process. So I decided to change plain sandwich wheat flour bread into spicy bread. While adding spices I saw turmeric powder and thought “why not add this in dough and turn the bread into a something all together different”?

My only concern was if bread slices will be having raw turmeric smell.

Well… you wouldn’t know until you try!!

So, I added turmeric powder along with other spices. Yellow dough looked good with carom seeds flavor. I baked it and to my biggest surprise there was no taste of raw turmeric powder!!

It just added colour and with spices, bread was soooo… good. You might not prefer these slices for sandwich, as this  is not plain bread.

Instead, you will like it as spicy, healthy, wheat flour turmeric bread toast with butter and along with a hot cup of tea!!

 

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As I was working on two seprate bread dough while preparing this bread, in the hustle- bustle completely forgot to take pics of some steps. Though just like other bread recipes, which I have posted in the blog, all steps are similar for this bread also. But if you are baking bread for the first time, please check this link for the missing pictures of  a few steps during the whole process… Wheat Flour Sandwich Bread(1)

Ingredients :

Wheat flour        2 cups+2 tbsp
Milk powder       2 tbsp
Instant active yeast       3 /4 tsp
Salt         slightly more than 3 /4 tsp
Sugar       1 tbsp
Carom seeds    1+1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder    1tsp
Red chilli powder    1 tsp
Black pepper powder    1/2 tsp
Oil            1+1/2 tbsp
Water/Milk      1 cup +2-3 tbsp
Instant active yeast    3/4 tsp

Read carefully all the tips before you start the process…

Tips

1. Except water, rest of the ingredients should be used at room temperature. Water/milk should be slightly warmer than lukewarm.

2. Instead of water, milk can be used to knead the dough. Or you can take both milk and water in 50:50 ratio.

3. Every oven is different – so baking time may vary.

4. Dough proofing time depends a lot on the temperature of your kitchen. In colder temperature first proofing can take 60 to 90 minutes. In warmer temperatures it might get over in 40 to 50 minutes. The same logic will be for second proofing time also.

5. Wheat flour dough is more delicate than all purpose flour dough. So after first proofing don’t knead it much. Punch it slightly and bring it back together to roll the log.

6. To achieve best results in wheat flour bread, don’t be lazy in kneading. I always knead wheat flour bread dough for almost 20 minutes.

7. Absorbing liquid quality of flour varies. So don’t follow blindly the quantity of water /milk given in the recipe. If required, add or reduce 1-2 tbsp of water.

8. Don’t compare the result of home baked wheat flour bread with market bought wheat flour bread. We are not adding any artificial gluten, emulsifier, or bread enhancer. We are trying to bake a healthy bread loaf, so it might be slightly heavy and dense. For better results, try to use milled flour than packed ones.

8. Don’t get discouraged if your first loaf of bread is not as good as you had expected. Try to find out the problem, sort it and with the same excitement, give another try, and you will surely get it!

Process :

Collect all dry ingredients in a big vessel.

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Slowly start pouring water and start collecting 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 pouring remaining water one tbsp at a time and  knead the dough for 20 minutes by adding oil/butter simultaneously.

Initially, kneading will look a lot messy and sticky, but slowly  dough will become smooth.

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 Keep 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 the 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 oil grease bread tin.

(from here I missed to take pics of a few steps, please follow any of my other bread recipe to check the pics of a few steps. These steps are same for any simple bread recipe)

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

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.

Seal the sides by pinching them tightly.

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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. Cover the tin with wet kitchen towel (don’t let towel touch the dough) and keep it in the switched-off microwave or any warm place for second proofing. Second proofing generally takes 15 to 20 minutes but if it’s cold temperature in the kitchen, it might take some more time.

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Just 10 minutes before baking, preheat your oven at 185-190 degrees for 10 minutes. Give milk wash to proofed dough and bake it in a preheated oven at the same temperature for 40-50 minutes, till the bread  becomes evenly brown and while tapping the top it sounds hollow.

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Apply butter on hot bread. Butter will be helpful in keeping the bread soft. Take out bread from the oven and let it cool down completely on cooling rack. Don’t let the bread stay in tin for long. Steam from hot bread in the tin for long time will make the bread soggy from the bottom.

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Once bread cools down completely, you can slice it. But if you can control your temptation for a few hours more, you will get the best slices!!

Once bread cools down completely, wrap it in 3-4 layers of cling film and keep it in the fridge. This will settle down the crumb of bread and later slice it with bread cutting serrated knife.

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Don’t you love these turmeric yellow spicy slices of bread!!!

Would love to listen from you all about this new healthy wheat flour bread😊😊

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Khoya Cheesecake (fusion dessert)

When I started cooking in the kitchen, it was forced by my mother and my whole aim used to be to finish the given work fast as soon as possible and dash out of the kitchen.

Later, when I started staying in a different city alone because of my job, I had to cook because I needed something to fill the stomach.

After marriage I was completely a house wife, so started doing organised cooking. Some disasters happened and calls to mom before each festival for the recipe of a particular dish were regular.

Disasters in kitchen never encouraged me to try the same dish again. As I used to feel that already I had wasted so much… I should not take second chance.

Successful attempts and praises used to give energy and enthusiasm to try some thing new!!! But till now I was cooking only those dishes which have fixed recipes. It never occurred to me to do some experiments and create something new. Probably because I was in my own shell. My world was around my mother and my mother in law’s world where traditions were fixed. But now social media was slowly creeping into people’s life. People were getting introduced to unknown regions. I got introduced with the world of baking. I was so surprised to see that people bake breads and cookies in their kitchen ovens. Not only this, but many create new dishes by experimenting two different types of recipes together.

I gathered courage and started baking in my microwave. Slowly we stopped buying any bakery stuff from the market as I got to know the difference between ingredients used in bakery and home baked stuff.

Success boosts our confidence a lot!! I was willing to prepare a dessert which should be a fusion of western and Indian cuisine. But at the same time it should not be complicated. Mawa/khoya (evaporated milk) Khoya/Mawais a traditional, classic, rich ingredient in many North Indian sweets preparations. A whole sweet could be done with khoya or it could be the base ingredient for other sweet or it can be used as a filling in sweets. It is even added in some vegetables and the best part is that I always prepare it rather than buying. So I decided to use khoya, all time favourite ingredient and prepare Khoya/Mawa Cheesecake. For the base of any cheesecake marie or graham crackers are generally used. I felt that instead of using graham crackers or marie cookies, Nankhatai (cookies prepared with clarified butter) would compliment this cheesecake better.

Just a few days ago I had baked nankhatai by following the recipe from my very dear multi talented friend Archana Chauhan’s blog https://apinchoflyfe.com/2019/01/12/kesar-naankhatai/

These kesar nankhatai complimented cheesecake so well.

I wanted to create a small border around the cheesecake along with the base from the cookies. I had seen some pictures of cheesecake like this, and this brown border had always attracted me….!!! Cheesecake looked very pretty with this brown border and with the addition of khoya this Cheesecake became a perfect symphony of Indo-Western cuisine culture!!!

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Ingredients :

Crust

200 gm crushed nankhatai
3 tbsp melted butter

Filling

200 gm cream cheese
200 gm mawa/khoya
2 tbsp milk
100 gm powdered sugar
1/2 tbsp cardamom powder
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 tsp rose essence (optional)

Topping/Decoration

Cardamom powder
Roasted mixed nuts
Dried rose petles
Saffron strands

Process:

Crush nankhatai in a zip lock bag and keep it in a bowl. Add melted butter in it and mix nicely.

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In a springform tin spread this nankhatai mixture evenly and press it nicely with the help of  back of the spoon. If you want to add a little border at the sides of cheesecake, spread nankhatai mixture slightly at the sides of the tin and press there also. Keep the tin in the fridge for half an hour so that mixture becomes firm.

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In a pan add milk and khoya and keep stirring it on sim heat until khoya turns into thick paste consistency. Switch off gas and let it cool down.

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Whip up cream cheese till it is smooth and then start adding caster sugar in small portions. You can reduce or add sugar as per your taste bud. Add cardamom powder and keep this ready cream cheese in a separate bowl.

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Now whip up 1/2 cup of whipping cream till it gets stiff consistency.

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Now gently add cream cheese and khoya in whipping cream. If you are interested, can add rose essence. I did not add because I wanted the fragrance of dried rose petals.

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By now cookie mixture is settled down firmly – take out the tin from the fridge and spread evenly cream cheese, whipping cream and khoya mix in the tin. Keep it in the fridge for 4-5 hours or overnight to firm up.

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Toast some mixed nuts and crush them. When cheesecake firms up, take it out from the fridge, loosen the pan and take out cheesecake carefully and keep it in a separate plate. Decorate it on the top around the edges with crushed toasted nuts and dried rose petals. In the middle of the top sprinkle cardamom powder and some strands of kesar to add some more beauty and flavor.

Enjoy this delicious fusion dessert and if you have a big generous heart, share it with your friends !!

I loved a lot this slightly high brown border around it!

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IMG_20190228_152813889.jpgDid you like my experiment for creating a fusion dessert …

I would be glad to hear from you all ❤️

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Burger Buns

There are a few snacks which I can’t have in any restaurant. Burger is one such snack. I know, some of you there just can’t believe it! But it’s true… I can have pizza.. garlic bread is my favourite, potato wedges and I love chocolate shake at Domino’s. But a big no to burger. Actually my husband and daughter both are also not a big fan of burger. So, collectively as a family we three are united with at least one thing…. Lol

Over the years husband and wife start having mutual likes and dislikes of certain things, but if your teenage kid also joins you… maybe over just for a small reason, you feel so happy… or probably you are just lucky!!!

For us burger is that link!!

Still, baking burger buns was in my bucket list for a very long time, but most of the time I ended up baking bread or regular buns/rolls. Sometimes certain simple things take a lot of time to get implemented for no particular reason. We just keep on delaying,  not because of being lazy.. but probably something more interesting comes up!

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I am pretty sure that anyone who bakes wouldn’t be unaware of King Arthur Flour website. There I had seen burger buns recipe long ago and since then I was determined that one day I will surely try to bake these beautiful buns.

Well, here I didn’t exactly follow their recipe, because I didn’t want to have so many buns with white flour. And moreover I wanted to know how these buns will come up if we use only wheat flour. So I decided to bake with both the flours separately – with wheat flour and white flour, both with two cups of flour for each.

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I kept the whole recipe same for both kind of buns except water content because wheat flour absorbs more water than all purpose flour.

What was the difference between wheat flour buns and white flour buns?

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All purpose flour is very light and airy, so buns made with this flour got high rise. Whole wheat flour is heavy flour and during baking it didn’t rise as much as all purpose flour.

So to make wheat buns big, we can either add some more yeast, probably 1/8 tsp more or can add samolina/chiroti rava in wheat flour. Rava has a quality to puff up, so along with rava, wheat flour buns will also get high rise. You can also try by adding one egg in wheat flour dough.

Ingredients :

Flour             2 cups +2 tbsp
Milk powder   2 tbsp
Instant active yeast      1/2 tbsp +1/8 tsp
Salt          3/4 tsp
Sugar       1 +1/2 tbsp
Oil /butter    2 tbsp
Water /milk         1 cup +3 tbsp (for wheat flour)
Water/milk          1 cup minus 4 tbsp (for all purpose flour)

Water/milk should be slightly warmer than lukewarm but not hot.

Please go through all the tips before you start  the preparation.

Tips:

1. Except water/milk, rest of the ingredients should be used at room temperature.

2. Instead of water, milk can be used to knead the dough. Or you can take both milk and water in 50:50 ratio.

3. Every oven is different – so baking time may vary.

4. Dough proofing time depends a lot on the temperature of your kitchen. In colder temperature first proofing can take 60 to 90 minutes. In warmer temperatures it might get over in 40 to 50 minutes. The same logic will be for second proofing time also.

5. Here we are using a lot more yeast than usual. So if your kitchen temperature is normal, you can keep the dough bowl at kitchen counter only covered with cling film.

6. If you are preparing buns at the same time with both wheat and white flour, then first knead wheat flour dough and after keeping the dough in the bowl,  just leave the bowl uncovered on kitchen counter. This way the process of proofing will be slow.

Now after preparing white flour dough in the bowl, cover this bowl with cling wrap. Now you can cover the wheat flour dough bowl also.

This way now both dough will get proofed at the same time and you will be able to do rest of the steps together with both dough.

7. Absorbing liquid quality of flour varies. So don’t follow blindly the quantity of water/milk given in this recipe. If required, add or reduce 1 or 2 tbsp of water.

8. Don’t get discouraged if your first bake is not as good as you had expected. Try to find out the problem, sort it out and with the same excitement, give another trial – you will surely get it!!

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Process:

Combine all dry ingredients in a big vessel.

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Start adding water/milk and collect all ingredients in the shape of a dough (don’t use whole quantity of water).

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Now keep adding little quantity of water and start kneading. Consistency of dough would be wet and sticky in the beginning, but slowly by continued kneading for 12-15 minutes will get required elasticity. Add oil/butter along with kneading and mix it nicely into the dough.

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Keep this dough in a big oil greased bowl for first proofing. Cover the bowls with cling film or wet kitchen towel and wait till the dough rises and is double in volume. This process might take 60 to 90 minutes (read tip numbers 4 and 6).

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In between, keep baking tray ready by greasing it with oil and spreading parchment paper. Parchment paper is optional.

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

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Collect the dough together, knead it slightly to make it smooth and divide the dough in 4 equal parts. Do the same for both dough, so totally you will be having 8 parts.

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Again grease kitchen counter with oil or sprinkle some flour. Prepare these equal sized dough parts in smooth buns.  Grease your palms with oil while shaping the buns. Keep the buns in prepared tin by keeping sufficient space for each bun to puff up nicely.

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Apply oil or melted butter and sprinkle sesame seeds over all buns. Cover this tray with clean kitchen towel and let it rise for second proofing (see tip number 4 & 6).

Just 10 minutes before second proofing time is getting over, preheat oven at 185/190 degrees.

Brush up buns with milk and bake them at the same temperature for 30-40 minutes or till buns become nice brown from the top. As every oven is different so temperature and time may vary.

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Take out buns from the oven and keep them on cooling rack. When they are still hot, apply melted butter.

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You will be having a happy dance and feeling proud that you really baked  your kid’s favourite snack which is completely free from harmful chemicals and preservatives!!

 

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Prepare these gorgeous burger buns with your favourite filling and enjoy your delicious home baked meal!!!!!

I had prepared Indian vegetarian version of filling for these burger buns. I had cooked aloo tikki Aalu ki tikiya(potato patties stuffed with spicy peas) for the filling and used cheese slices ,chutney, tomato sauce and sliced tomatoes, onions, cucumber and shredded cabbage.

And I was  so happy that I developed my taste buds for this vegetarian wheat flour  home baked burger bun which I had never liked in any restaurant before. Apoorva gave big thumps up and she was very happy to get junk food in her meals. Manish was too excited to taste them when I sent him pictures on Whats App!

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Would love to hear from you about this recipe and your experience while baking them. Feel free to ask any doubts through the comments section!!!!

 

Hot dog buns

When I started learning  baking bread, I thought that there are only three varieties of breads which are common and popular ……sandwich bread, pav buns/dinner rolls and pizza bread. But as we start learning one thing, we become greedy to know more. Slowly I got introduced to a lot more varieties in breads.

But to keep it simple, we can actually create a lot more varieties through these three types of bread only — sandwich, buns and pizza.

Buns are kind of tiny round shaped bread. I love baking them the most. Just change their shapes and flavors and give them different titles.

Through pizza base basic recipe, do slight changes and create different varieties. Here you have a freedom to add different veggies, sauce and herbs.

The most popular and forgiving is White Sandwich Bread. Unlimited variations can be created with sandwich bread recipe.

Hot dog bun is also a kind of small size rectangular bread. It is named as ‘bun’ probably because instead of slicing it like bread, it has filling in between like burger buns. Whatever you call it, hot dog bun or hot dog bread… it is a wonderful stomach filling snack!!

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But hot dog bun is still a fancy variety of bread in India. You wouldn’t find them in local bakeries too. But nowadays courtesy social media, kids have a lot of exposure to different things. They definitely know about hot dog buns. So why not bake this fancy bread at home and give a pleasant surprise to your kids in the evening!!!

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I have taken the recipe of  Pull apart buns/Dinner bread rolls here to bake hot dog buns. I got total 11 buns from this recipe. But if you want slightly bigger sized buns, divide the dough only in 8-9 buns… choice is all yours!!

I have used all purpose flour here but for a healthy version wheat flour or 50:50 ratio of wheat flour and all purpose flour can be taken. You can follow the same recipe if using wheat flour or mixed flour – just have to increase the quantity of water/milk for kneading as wheat flour absorbs more liquid.

Please don’t forget to go through the whole list of tips before proceeding with the process of baking. I have a separate post for some guidelines on bread/buns baking. You can check that also…. Wheat flour buns with pizza spices (2) (basic tips to follow if following a bread /buns recipe)

Tips:

1. Except water/milk, rest of the ingredients should be used at room temperature.

2. Instead of water, milk can be used to knead the dough. Or you can take both milk and water in 50:50 ratio.

3. Every oven is different – so baking time may vary.

4. Dough proofing time depends a lot on the temperature of your kitchen. In colder temperature first proofing can take 60 to 90 minutes. In warmer temperatures it might get over in 40 to 50 minutes. The same logic will be for second proofing time also.

5. Absorbing liquid quality of flour varies. So don’t follow blindly the quantity of water /milk given in this recipe. If required, add or reduce 1 or 2 tbsp of water.

6. Don’t compare the result of homebaked bread with any market bought  bread. We are not adding any artificial gluten, emulsifier or bread enhancer. We are trying to bake a healthy bread loaf for our family which is free from preservatives.

7. Don’t get discouraged if your first bake is not as good as you had expected. Try to find out the problem, sort it out and with the same excitement, give another trial, you will surely get it!!

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Ingredients :

All purpose flour /maida       3+3/4 cup
Instant active yeast                 1+1/2 tsp (Gloripan brand)

Milk powder                  1/4 cup

Salt                                  1+1/2 tsp
Sugar                              1+1/2 tbsp
Oil/butter                       3 tbsp
Water/ milk         1+1//2 cup minus 2 tbsp (slightly warmer than lukewarm but not hot)

Process:

Combine all dry ingrediants in a big vessel.

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Start adding water/milk and collect all ingredients in shape of a dough (don’t use whole quantity of water).

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Now keep adding little quantity of water and start kneading. Consistency of dough would be wet and sticky in the beginning, but slowly by continued kneading for 12-15 minutes will get required elasticity. Add oil/butter along with kneading and mix it nicely into the dough.

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Keep this dough in a big oil greased bowl for first proofing. Cover the bowl with cling film and keep it in a warm place so that the dough rises till it is double in volume. This process might take 60 to 90 minutes.

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

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Collect the dough together, knead slightly it to make it smooth and divide the dough in 11 equal parts.

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Again grease kitchen counter with oil or sprinkle some flour. Roll these equal sized dough parts in smooth rectangular shaped buns. Spread the buns about 6 by 4 size.

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Roll the bun from the top exactly the way we roll bread.

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Seam the edges tight by pinching them. Prepare all the rolls in the same way.

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Keeping this seam side at the bottom, place them in your  butter/oil greased tin by keeping some gap between each bun.

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Brush these buns with oil and keep them covered at a warm place for second proofing. Second proofing will be over in 20-30 minutes. If weather is cold it might take slightly more time.

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Just before second proofing time is getting over, preheat oven at 185 degrees. Brush-up buns with milk and bake them at the same temperature till they are nicely brown.

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Take out the buns from the oven and keep them on a cooling rack. Apply butter evenly on hot buns. This will be helpful in keeping the buns soft and buns will get nice sheen.

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Prepare filling of your choice. I finely chopped onion, cucumber, tomato and cabbage, added salt, pepper crushed paneer, dry mint powder and mix with   Coriander Chutneyand tomato sauce. It was delicious vegetarian filling.

Instead of paneer… cheese and boiled potatoes with mustard sauce and oregano flakes can be added. Choices are unlimited!!!!

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I am sure some of you are definitely planning to give your kiddo’s a wonderful delicious surprise.. don’t forget to share your experience with us. I would love to here from you about this post and your baking experience ❤️❤️