During my childhood, unlike other kids of my age, I had always liked all leafy veggies. Every leafy vegetable has its own unique flavor and can be cooked in so many different ways.
My mother used to prepare coriander chutney by adding spinach and tomato along with coriander leaves. And we used to relish this with “aaloo ke garam garam parathe”. Spinach goes very well with tomatoes, whether it is in dry vegetable or delicious ‘paalak paneer’. In fact, when my mother used to wash and cut spinach leaves, I used to eat raw leaves from that clean bunch.
Still my taste buds have not changed, but the most difficult and irritating work is to clean the green veggies. But now I am a mom myself!! And to make my daughter eat leafy vegetables is a challenging task. So I keep on exploring different ways.
Today, right from the morning I was thinking to cook spinach, but in a different way…. but was not able to figure out how. Suddenly, I thought that it has been a while since I’ve baked a bread loaf. Why not try a spinach loaf…… but then I was doubtful about the taste…. so much hard work should not go waste…. but this thought had stuck with me whole day and finally in the evening I decided to bake spinach buns with very little quantity of flour.
Buns came out of the oven, and by seeing them my daughter didn’t look very pleased. I requested her to try half bun. Other half I ate, and was waiting anxiously for her reaction …….. and she told that these taste really delicious! What a relief!!!!!
There is a slight taste of spinach in these buns, but with other spices it doesn’t overpower. But if you don’t want to get the taste of spinach at all, can reduce the quantity of spinach puree in half, but then increase the amount of water.
One more thing, these buns are with all purpose flour, because trying anything new is easy with maida. Tomorrow I will be doing same buns with wheat flour, but till then, give a try with all purpose flour……..
Maida 1+1/2 cup
Sugar 1/2 tpsp
Salt 1/4+1/8 tsp
Instant dry yeast 1/4 tsp (if weather is cold then add 1/8 tsp more)
Cumin seeds 1 tsp
Hing powder a pinch
Medium sized finely chopped onion 1
Green chillies 2 (thin and long)
Oil/butter 2 tsp
Water(lukewarm) 1/4 cup +1 tbsp
Spinach puree 1/4 cup
Milk for brushing up buns
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 all purpose 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 not be tight like 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.