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

What do you do when you have to bake following your own recipe and Internet is not there? Apoorva desperately wanted buns with pizza spices in the evening and I was fine with that because recipe was in my blog itself, but due to continuous rain some problem happened and there was no Internet. Generally during rainy days we get affected by  electricity problem, but surprisingly power was there but no Internet! I don’t go out much, so I didn’t care to check that data pack had also expired. Now I was cursing myself for not maintaining a diary with at least all my own recipes.

So finally I decided to do some guesswork and wrote the quantity of ingredients to compare later with my previous recipe Tea time Wheat Flour Buns with pizza spices (1) and started kneading the dough  with prayer in my heart for continued power.

Buns came out really well and later when I checked both the recipes there were only a few variations. The biggest difference was the quantity of water. In previous recipe wheat flour had absorbed more liquid but this time it was less. I am using Ashirwad brand wheat flour from the beginning but it was clear that they don’t maintain same flour quality always.

That’s why I always keep on insisting in my bread posts that one should never follow blindly same quantity of liquid used for kneading the dough written in the recipe.

Around a year back I was following a bread recipe by a famous blogger and according to the instructions used whole quantity of water to knead the dough. Dough became so wet that it was impossible to handle, so I added extra flour. There was nothing wrong in the recipe, but the flour blogger had used had more liquid absorbing quality than mine. So, whether you are using wheat flour,  all purpose flour (maida) or chiroti rava, if required, reduce or increase the amount of liquid given in the recipe while kneading the dough.

The same logic applies for time limit of proofing the dough. Generally first proofing time is somewhere between 1 to 1+1/2 hours. If your kitchen is warm then dough could be double in size in 50 minutes to 1 hour. If you will let it proof for the next half an hour it will be over proofed, and over proofing dough does not give you a good loaf of bread.

For first proofing if I am keeping dough in switched off microwave (which I generally do) then proofing gets over in one hour, but if I keep the dough on kitchen counter it takes half an hour more.

If you are using dry active yeast, you have to proof it first before adding it with the flour. In proofing the yeast temperature of water is most important. It should be slightly more than lukewarm…if water is cold or too hot, it kills the yeast. Take a bigger glass to proof the yeast because it blooms nicely – so there should be enough space in the glass. Add yeast, sugar and lukewarm water in the glass and mix it with a spoon. Cover it and keep it aside for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes it will be frothy with bubbles on the top and it’s ready to be used. I have posted recipe also for White Sandwich Bread with active dry yeast in the blog.


Don’t let yeast overproof – it will not give you good loaf of bread and you will get yeast smell in your bread/buns .

Instant yeast doesn’t need prior proofing – it can be added directly to the flour. Always keep yeast in the fridge. If you are keeping it in a box, always write down expiry date on the box. Just in case if you have forgotten to write it, then proof it to check its effectiveness.

Baking temperature is also very important. Every oven has different temperature settings. So, if I can bake buns at 190 degrees, probably your oven might do the same baking at 180 degrees. Here size of the oven also matters a lot. In small oven or microwave, heating rods are much nearer to the baking pan, so high temperature will not give you good result. Generally people complain about getting the top of bread/buns/cake hard. It happens as heat reaches very fast due to the small size of oven. So if recipe mentions to bake at 180 degree, you can reduce the temperature to 170 degrees. And still if required, use ‘tenting method’ I have mentioned in one of my bread post White Sandwich Bread

Once your bread is baked, place baking tin on wiring rack for 10-15 minutes so that tin cools down and it is easy to demold your loaf. If bread is sticking around the edges, clean the edges with sharp knife and take out bread and leave it on the wiring rack till it is completely cooled. Now give bread proper resting time of 3-4 hours by cling wrapping  and keeping it in the fridge. The  crumb of bread will settle down in the fridge and while slicing you will get neat bread slices. If you have invested in buying a bread tin, please invest in buying a bread cutting serrated knife also.

Don’t get disheartened if your first or second bake didn’t go as per your expectations…. you need to learn about the settings of your oven and it will happen with multiple bakes. Love your oven and it will give you desired results!!!

So, the whole purpose of writing this post was to highlight these basic points. I hope all these points will be beneficial to your baking.

Now let’s see what slight changes I did in my previous recipe with my guesswork .. so whichever recipe suits you… this one or the previous one….. try that, but one thing is for sure that your kids will be very happy with these buns because of the wonderful aroma of pizza spices in your house!!!!


Sugar             1+1/2 tsp
Salt                 1 tsp
Yeast               3/4 tsp
Wheat flour   2+1/2 cups
Milk powder   2 tbsp
Milk                  1 cup +1/4 cup (reduce 1 tbsp) (it should be slightly more than lukewarm)
Pizza mix spices    3 tsp
Oil                            3 tsp
Butter                     2 tbsp
Instead of milk water can be used or you can use both by mixing them together.

Other than milk all ingredients should be at room temperature.

On sim heat warm 2 tbsp butter and add 1+1/2 tsp pizza mix spices and keep it aside.

Process :

Take a big vessel and place all dry ingredients in it.


Keep adding milk slowly to collect all ingredients in the shape of dough.


Knead for 10 minutes and keep adding 1 tbsp milk from time to time. Consistency of  dough should be very soft and kind of wet but not so wet that you can’t manage. Add oil and knead again for 5 minutes.


Place this dough in a bigger size oil greased bowl so that there is enough space for the dough to become double in size. Apply some oil on top of the dough, cling wrap the bowl and keep it in a warm place for first proofing.


When dough doubles in size, take it out on clean oil greased kitchen counter and punch it gently.



Collect it together, prepare a log shape and cut your desired size and roll them in shape of buns. Keep buns in oil greased baking tray or roll parchment paper on baking tray and keep buns on it with some gap in between. Space between buns is needed as buns bloom during second proofing and baking in the oven.




Apply pizza mix spices butter on all the buns and keep them for second proofing.



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

Second proofing gets over in 20-30 minutes. Don’t let buns overproof otherwise instead of rising in the oven they will sink.


Give milkwash to all the buns and bake them at 185 degrees temperature for 20-30 minutes or till the top of the buns become brown and buns bounce back if pressed.


Again apply remaining pizza spices mixed butter to give them shine and to keep them soft. Serve them hot or if you are planning to serve later then shift them to wiring rack. But I am sure before cooling, buns would start disappearing!!!!!




Wheat flour Spinach Buns

After trying spinach in all purpose flour buns, I thought of doing wheat flour buns too.

Generally, people don’t like the taste of whole wheat bread or buns. Maybe because right from our childhood we know bread as ‘white sandwich bread’, so our taste buds are more settled with maida bread. But slowly everyone is becoming more health conscious now. So people are demanding whole wheat bread in shops, and some people like me and many more have started baking their own breads. But today we will be baking whole wheat buns with Spinach puree, onions and some spices………IMG_20170106_183558910~2.jpg

Ingredients and procedure are almost the same as I had already posted for Maida Spinach Buns. Here instead of maida we are using wheat flour and water quantity will be slightly more because wheat absorbs more liquid…….

Ingredients :

Wheat flour        1+1/2cup

Salt                 1/4+1/8tsp

Sugar                1/2 tbsp

Instant active yeast  1/4+1/8 tsp

Spinach puree      1/3cup

Hing powder           one pinch

Oil/butter              2tsp

Finely chopped onion         1/8 cup

Cumin seeds           1 tsp

Green chillies           2

Water/ Milk(can be 50-50)            1/4cup+1 tbsp (Lukewarm)

Procedure :

Wash spinach leaves thoroughly under running water and boil them without adding water.  Grind the boiled leaves and keep this puree separate.


Take a big vessel (so that you can knead the dough easily) and add wheat flour, salt, sugar, cumin seeds, chopped onions, hing and yeast in it. Mix everything.Now add spinach puree and 1 tsp oil into this mixture.

Slowly keep on adding lukewarm water and start kneading. Don’t add water in one go. Dough should  be loose than chapati dough.


Your palms will be very sticky, so use remaining  1tsp oil in intervals to grease your palms during kneading. Keep on kneading for 10 minutes. Slowly dough will become smooth.


Apply some oil in a glass bowl, keep the dough in it and apply some oil on the dough also. Cover the bowl with cling film.




If weather is cold then keep the dough in the oven (switched off) or if it is hot, leave the bowl on the kitchen counter and cover it with a kitchen towel. It will take 45 minutes to 1 hour to proof the dough.

Sometimes it can be difficult to figure out if the dough has proofed well or not, or the dough has doubled in volume or not. Generally, first proofing takes one hour, but if your kitchen is very cold then it might take more time. So, after cling wrapping the dough bowl, you can put a mark on the bowl with a marker so that when dough rises and becomes double in volume you will have a clear idea.


Lightly grease your baking tray with oil. Spread some flour on the working area and after first proofing, take out the dough and lightly punch it.


Shape the dough in the form of a log, and divide it equally.


Roll the balls neatly and keep them in ready baking tray/tin and oil them lightly to avoid drying and again cover them for second proofing.



Second proofing gets over within 20 minutes to half an hour.

(Remember, don’t let the buns rise till they are doubled, otherwise buns wouldn’t rise during baking. When buns are half risen, it is time to bake them and they will rise beautifully inside the oven during baking. And trust me, it’s a wonderful experience to watch them rising!)

Just 10 minutes before second proofing is getting over, preheat oven at 200 degrees C. Give milk wash to buns, and   bake them at 185 degrees C for 20 minutes or till they are done.


Apply butter on hot buns and after 5 minutes transfer them on a cooling rack or enjoy warm with tomato sauce.