Sunday, January 29, 2012

Cheddar Cheese and Garlic Scones



Breakfast in bed is not an alternative in our house. I am the first one up, and I’d rather spend a few moments in peace. Hubby dear is nary a breakfast eater, and sweet child has to be pulled out the bed. The only thing I’ve managed to do is, train him (a la Pavlov) to drink the mandatory glass of milk in his sleep. That one milk mug is so precious, that if I ever change the mug  or decrease the amount of sugar or change the flavour of the Bourn Vita...out come the groans and moans and very often he comes awake with the milk falling on him. These accidents are detrimental to my sanity so I don’t bother. But scones must be eaten warm and with a cup of tea. And this was something I’d been meaning to make for the longest time. And then there was the daring bakers challenge. Yup, I too am on. Well from February, actually. But this time was the chunga...that’s a Punjabi word for just a small freebie. Suddenly scones were there all over in blogosphere, so I had to make them.


Made a tiny batch, just enough for me and sweet child, hubby dear was out singing for our supper-working on a beautiful Sunday morning. It’s the loneliness brings on the corny lines, believe me, I’m not that bad.
Blame the mood and hubby dear’s boss!


Inspired by Deeba of http://www.passionateaboutbaking.com/, I made the scones.

The highest temperature in my oven is 230C/450F, and the scones need 240C so I used my electric tandoor. It was really hot and the scones took exactly 7 minutes to get the lovely colour and they were cooked. The last time I made a batch of scones they tasted of bicarb, these did NOT! They were warm and flaky and cheesy without being overly so, and the garlic was so amazing, there ,but not quite...the best part- there were no leftovers.

The only thing that cheesed me off –the pictures were screwed...err skewed. I tried the manual settings after getting such an awesome photo of the sweet pea yesterday and I did not take any P&S photo. 

Lesson learnt, two awesome photographs do not a photographer make. So double , double toil and trouble...
Bear with me mes Amis..There will be a better picture ,but the scones were great.

For the

Cheddar Cheese and Garlic Scones...

You need

1 cup/140 Gms plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp bicarb of soda
½ tsp salt
4-5 green garlic scapes finely chopped
40 Gms frozen butter
90 Gms grated cheddar cheese
½ cup cold buttermilk( I used 1 tsp vinegar and the rest milk)
1 tsp milk for glazing  
Sesame seeds or poppy seeds for sprinkling

Turn your oven to the highest setting-240C/465F if its there, mine goes max to 230C ,hence  the electric tandoor.
Sift the dry ingredients into a dry bowl twice. The last time I made scones they were flat, so I did follow instructions and I suggest you do to!

Grate the butter and blend with the flour. I forgot, and I grated the cheese with the butter too....

Use a fork to mix it all together like breadcrumbs. 

Mine were almost breadcrumbs.

The garlic...fresh from the garden...they way the rains are playing spoil sport in Ranchi ,I don’t think the  scapes  will ever become bulbs, might as well use the garlic like so.

Garlic sliced fine into the bowl.

Now with great trepidation, the buttermilk in...
And in the one direction ,not kneading just mixing.



On to the floured worktop, I was supposed to sprinkle, it looks like I emptied the container onto the shelf but no,...I was being cautious.

Fold the dough twice like puff pastry and pat it into a rectangle about 6 inches by 4 inches. The dough should be about 2 cm or 3/4 inch thick.


And now quickly, AL foil on the baking tray, cut the dough into 8 pieces and a little bit away from each other .

A tiny amount of milk washed on the surface for a fantastic colour.


Seeds sprinkled on...and don’t delay or you  just might infuriate the baking powder and the vinegar.


Lightly risen and done. Bring them out of the oven to cool and stop the cooking....the tea was ready by the time the scones were cool enough to eat.

We had them with a wee bit of butter and salsa...hot, hot and hotter.
Well the weather demanded it.See...flaky...


Quick fix, for main aur meri tanhai(me and my lonely heart!)


Thank you Deeba, for a wonderful breakfast...

So what are you baking today???

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Basant Panchami...Meethe Chawal-Yellow Rice


Each year is the same story,I call my mum and ask her how to make the Peele Chawal…the fragrant sweet yello saffron rice…and every year I forget. This was a  brainwave…I had to immortalize this recipe…every mum has a different recipe for these…



I may not have been very academically inclined when I was younger,and time has not played its tunes right with mne. I still am not academically inclined….daddy dear will vouch for that. He has been after my blood to take some exams…every year  I postpone them.Kya Karen yeh brain hai ki manta hi nahin!
Here’s hoping ,this year I manage to fulfill my dad’s aspirations….
This is for Goddess Saraswati ,the goddess of learning . we dress in yellow and pray and offer the yellow rice and yellow flowers  to her. We enjoy the rice for breakfast and hope that the coming year is good academically. This time my rice came out flawless and fragrant and fluffy. Hope it augurs well!




By the way..thats baby Krishna  or Laddoo Gopal looking on at the rice offerings! The books and the pencil case...bless our knowledge and our writing...so the pen drive is also there with the pens.



I may not have been very academically inclined when I was younger,and time has not played its tunes right with mne. I still am not academically inclined….daddy dear will vouch for that. He has been after my blood to take some exams…every year  I postpone them.Kya Karen yeh brain hai ki manta hi nahin!
Here’s hoping ,this year I manage to fulfill my dad’s aspirations….
This is for Godess Saraswati ,the goddess of learning . we dress in yellow and pray and offer the yellow rice and yellow flowers  to her. We enjoy the rice for breakfast and hope that the coming year is good academically. This time my rice came out flawless and fragrant and fluffy. Hope it augurs well!



हमको बुद्धि दो भगवन..(Give us our intelligence!)

Without further ado...

Basant Panchami –Meethe  Chawal…Yellow Rice...

You need

1 cup basmati rice
½ cup sugar
1 tbsp milk
1 pinch generous saffron
1 tbsp slivered almonds
1 tsp desi ghee/clarified butter
3-4 green cardamom
2 cups water
A few drops yellow food coloring

Before you start soak the rice for at least 30 minutes.





That’s the little ghee; even a teeny weenie amount adds an oomph to the dish, especially if it is sweet.
Lightly sauté the almonds,you can add cashews too, even raisins are great…even the humble dried coconut is great…make it once and then  make changes to suit your taste buds.



Now the drained rice. Lightly sauté, taking care, not to break the rice.Add one cup water to this rice and cover and cook on a low flame. Keep an eye on the rice because half the water is missing!



The other half of the water, with the sugar and the green cardamom pods.Bring to a boil.



I like to add some strands to the boiling sugar syrup too.


In the warm milk add the saffron.


Once the syrup boils and the milk has taken the color of the saffron, add the milk to it and give it rolling boil for 2-3 minutes.In the meanwhile the water in the other pan must be absorbed….time to pour the sugar solution into the rice and cover it to cook further.



A word…keeps a check. When the rice has just, a just a bite…turn the gas off and keep the pan covered.             
10 minutes and you are done.
Fluff up the rice ....


Go make the offering to the goddess before you bite into it.Enjoy!



See, spring is finally trying to come to Ranchi!



Managed the bokeh and the blurred backgrounds. All you gods of the dSLR_ what’s my status? Are my photography skills improving or am I still at the P&S stage? (P&S- Point and shoot!)




One prayer on my lips ...and one whisper of gratitude!

So what are you baking today???

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Artisan Bread, With Wholewheat, Oats, Ragi and Flax Seed


First! A big thank you to Blogadda for making me Notable Newbie, and the warmest and sweetest welcome to all my new readers and hopefully, followers into my “baketitude”. Keep coming back and your comments are absolutely welcome.


An overdose of anything is bad, and we’ve had the mother of an overdose. Note, however that I do not attack any in-laws. Too much of sugar and some more sugar and then cream and mascarpone cheese. Our arteries must be crying out for help by now.
I thus decided to help mop up all the triglycerides from the aorta and the jugular. Enough of the biology (actually these are the only two arteries I can remember...) and back to food chemistry.



Ragi, is a humble grain or the poor man’s grain, also called the finger millet and generally eaten in the rural areas of Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra has suddenly been discovered. I discovered it too, when I discovered the pleasures of the rabri...err not Rabri Devi of the infamous Laloo Yadav, a simple gruel to start the day. Rabri is porridge like gruel of maize, barley or for that matter any grain, coarsely ground, cooked and then cooked with yogurt and lightly flavoured with salt and chopped onions. This powerhouse of nutrients is usually had for breakfast, fuels you with the iron and calcium, fibre and calorie requirement for the day adding almost a minute amount of fat to your system. Keeps you cool (raw onions are scientifically proven to keep your body temp regulated in the desert areas) and strong.


Well this grain may not be the prettiest to look at, but when you weigh its benifits, even George Bernard Shaw would have married it. For those of you who know about the incident where a beautiful lady proposed marriage to the comparatively uglier G B Shaw ,stating that their off spring would be beautiful and intelligent and he turned her down on the fear of the off sprig turning out as beautiful as himself and as intelligent(sic) as the lady! Smirk!
The Chocolate Soldier was my favourite play for the longest time.

Anyways back to the bread. Oats, also traditionally food for horses...we don’t say As Strong as a Horse for no reason. And the wonder seed Flax!


Substitute for fish oil, substitute for eggs, wonderfully nutty mean I could wax eloquent about them the whole day. If you don’t believe me, wiki for all the facts. I’m educated by tithe Prevention magazine.
Te basic idea was to make soup out of the packet, and this bread, was to mop it all up.
Basic bread recipe, to which some additions and subtractions were made and then with a whole lot of prayers, it was sliced and placed on the table. It may not be the prettiest, but sweet child dunked it in the soup and hardly realised the actual taste. So a word of warning, not exactly what your baby might love, but, I promise you, your body will thank you for it.
Do something for yourself once in a while.



Wow! What an intro!

For the

Artisan Bread, With Wholewheat, Oats, Ragi and Flax Seeds...


You need

2 cups whole wheat flour or Atta
½ cup finger millet or ragi/nachni/mandua flour (depending on the region you procure it from)
½ cup rolled oats
1 ½ tsp dried yeast
2 tbsp molasses (I used Khajur gur-Jaggery)
½ cup ground flaxseed
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil or any refined oil will do
2 tsp milk or a solution of sugar and water will do if you are vegan
Warm water to knead the dough
2 tsp each rolled oats, flax seeds and sesame seeds for sprinkling


You’ll have to knead this with your hands, no food processor shortcut for this one.
Into the bowl with the flax seeds powder, the rolled oats and the ragi flour.



The whole wheat flour.



Grate the jaggery into the bowl. If you have molasses use that, otherwise even this will do. In fact jaggery raises the iron quotient in the bread even more.

Use one teaspoon of the jaggery and blend it with some warm water and to this add the yeast. Let it bubble up. 



Once it is activated then add it to the flours. Mix this in and add half the oil and the salt. Knead for five to six minutes with warm water.

Exercise for the wrists...ever wonder why dough kneaders have the softest hands??
Now final couple of kneading minutes with the remaining oil.




Place it in a greased loaf tin. If you don’t have a loaf tin, make balls and make rolls or just make a free standing baguette. But a bread from a loaf tin just looks so formal. Actually this one needs to be sliced and cannot be torn. A baguette is good for a loaf that can be torn.

Brush the top of the loaf with the milk and on this sprinkle the rolled oats, the flax seeds and the sesame seeds.

Cover and keep in a warm place till it doubles in volume.


Turn your oven on to 220C/430F.Into the oven for 35-40 minutes.
You know the test for done bread, don’t you? Turn it around and tap its backside. Hollow sound means it’s ready to go.



Turn it out of the pan and if you’ve times it right, open the soup tin or just make the soup and cut thick slices of the bread and sit down for dinner. I made it in the afternoon,so I wrapped the loaf in film,keeping  it soft. 


The additives in the soup disguise its slightly different taste, if it tastes a little alien to you, try cheese spread or maybe a wee bit of butter.

The goodness of this bread will warm your tummy even more than the supposedly “yummy” soup. So mummy is happily on her way to becoming a yummier Mummy!See the texture...

I know you are a yummy mummy already.
 P.S. Just in case you don’t know, try biting and chewing the flax seeds, as the stomach is unable to digest them unless you do. That why flax seed meal is better than whole flax seeds. You might as well try and gain the maximum mileage out of the tiny wonders.
Start a Good Diet! Eat Healthy!

Next post will be a sweeter one...already hearing the moans and groans from sweet child.....”Where’s the pudding???”
Also coming up soon ...Key Lime Pie-Eggless to top it all!




So what are you baking today???


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