Sunday, August 2, 2009

whole wheat breads, buns and challah ; the way I bake them in microwave



making absolutely healthy and maida free bread at home is very much possible and those who have tasted my breads have either tried making them or have been asking for the recipes.....i had posted about breads earlier , but i promised them to post about easy fuss free bread making, but before that i wanted to share an interesting thing with you all..........


recently, i received a compliment on my cooking and blogging about my easy fuss free recipes.......one of my friend's who follows me up to date and tries my recipes , said that ...what Baba Ramdev has done to yoga in India , you have done to healthy cooking for a lot of people here.....yoga was well recognized and practiced in the west but the common man of India started practicing it after the saffron clad guru made it simple to understand even for a layman( i agree that the baba has popularized pranayama in our country like nobody else but i do not agree to most of his antics....)...this is what she meant....it is a huge complement for me , and coming from a 50 plus aged lady from a well known literary family...this complement comes as a booster dose to my enthusiasm..............


baking has not been a traditional method of cooking in India and the cakes, cookies and the breads are here due to British influence.....more like a global influence in the recent times though.....most people of middle age, especially the home cooks are unaware that a good loaf of bread can be baked at home.......i find people my age and even younger ask me again n again if i really bake a bread........they find it unbelievable.........also people think that you need some special equipment or pans to bake breads at home..........i wanted to tell few of my real life friends that you need not buy expensive pans or tins to make a bread...in other words i want to tell all my friends , how good nutritious breads can be made at home with just a microwave or a conventional oven....or even on a gas stove........many of my friends and family members have requested me about this and though i have posted about bread making before on this blog....i want to simplify the procedure even more.............hope you all like it.............


i just wanted to justify the huge complement...that comparison to Baba Ramdev....:D:D..

BTW, today i watched the baba being interviewed by koel purie ( i think this is how she spells her name)....it was a big put off.......koel was asking about sex...why baba has been advocating celibacy or bramhacharya and why sex is a character killing activity ...these words are mine though...:D:D..........koel looked absolutely idiotic ...giggling while asking about sex......and for baba, saks ( ie. sex) should be done once or twice in life just to continue the progeny........i switched off the TV....

coming back to the bread....should i be happy being compared to baba.........yes i am, it's about making the things uncomplicated and simple....talking about them in a simple language.........
so dear , as soon as you decide to bake a bread , get yourself some yeast......in our country, at least the places i've been in getting fresh yeast is difficult.....you have to find a good bakery n ask them for it.....they will give you the whole 500 gm pack( which lasts 3 months if i bake bread on a weekly basis, i revive the yeast after some time, that i'll share how...).

buy fresh yeast only when you plan to bake breads regularly, otherwise dry yeast is available comparatively easily and in small packets which is economical for occasional bread baking........fresh yeast looks like this.....


you just take a tbsp of this crumbly yeast, dissolve it in 1/4 cup of lukewarm water n 1 tbsp of sugar...keep in a warm place n wait till it becomes frothy...go ahead to prepare the dough after this ( this is called proofing the yeast).

mix the yeast with a cup of soaked daliya ( overnight) , or grind the daliya in mixie, 2 cups of whole wheat flour, a tbsp of sugar and a tsp of salt, coarsely powdered flaxseeds and sesame seeds are optional , but they make the bread more nutritious n tasty ...add 2 tbsp of each if using....and make a soft dough using lukewarm water or milk.......( rolled oats and soybean flour also can be added to the bread dough but take care to maintain a ratio of 50% whole wheat flour and the other flours making the other 50% of the dough).......... knead it to make the dough a bit elastic, cover and wait till double in size.....it takes 10 minutes to rise in Indian summers and around 1/2 hour in winters when you keep it over a warm water bath........the whole procedure takes about an hour, may be more if you are baking many loaves at a time..........................

in the picture below you can see whole wheat flour, soybean paste leftover after making soymilk, soaked daliya, flax and sesame seed powders being mixed to make bread dough........


ghee,oil , or butter can be added during kneading the dough but i don't add any fat.....the only fat i add to the dough is when i knead it the second time after doubling in size.........smear your palms with ghee( i use ghee) or oil and knead the dough again...this time the dough is sticky and you need to apply ghee on your palms a few times before making the dough smooth.....

also, the bread made this way...that is, without butter and gluten it's not very soft.......but it is fluffy and medium soft...try it and then tell me, i think for an Indian household it's the best bread.....

now if you want to make bread without a bread pan....just make small round buns and place then in a baking tray for conventional oven and a glass or ceramic plate for a microwave.....the buns will become double or triple in size so keep space between them....wait till they increase in size and then proceed to bake them...........grease the buns with ghee before baking to keep them soft....another round of greasing the buns is advisable just after baking too.....cool the buns on a wire rack or on a sieve..........


in conventional oven you have to bake them till they brown on medium heat ( check with a skewer) and in a microwave they take about 5 minutes on high for a batch of 10 buns at high....after this preheat the grill and allow the bun tops to brown under it............though the buns can be consumed without browning too n taste the same....

here i have used flaxseeds and sesame seeds for garnish the buns which is optional.( i think it is better to powder them because they are better metabolized by the system that way)....in the next pic the buns have powdered seeds n it's visible.......also the buns are shaped bigger and oblong, you can see three buns can be accommodated in a full plate ......and baked similarly.....


slice the buns obliquely or longitudinally to get slices of desired size........


after slicing they look like this...see how fluffy and airy the bread is.........


see the bread being served with fried eggs...for a quick healthy breakfast....don't get scared of my huge chai..( being served in bear mugs).

warm the buns in microwave or toast them and enjoy just with butter......it's irresistible.......you never appreciate a store bought bread after you taste this......


and now you can make even a zopf bread which is nothing but a breaded bread( traditionally made in Switzerland) like a choti....see this........all indian women can make breads in a bread....


this breaded bread is made of daliya , whole wheat n ground seeds , that's why the texture of the bread is not smooth.....when you make this kind of bread with only all purpose flour or maida ...you get a perfectly smooth zopf bread......

tell me now if you still need a bread pan or a baking loaf tin???

and even if you don't have a oven or a microwave, make pita breads or kulchas.....on the tawa ..
just make thick roundels and bake on the tawa both side on low heat till done.....store in the fridge for a week and enjoy........


i think i have explained it well and if you have some more queries you can ask me over the phone ( yeah, the people who come n comment here are all good bakers and i have seen exotic breads on their blogs.....i need a word of encouragement from them too.... the people who need my advice are the ones whom i talk to n they are welcome over phone..)...

waiting for the responses ...i am tired of typing n uploading pics now.........enjoy the breads n tell me...

24 comments:

  1. The little buns are so cute and all the breads looks so delicious!

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  2. great bread and interesting post, oh India has so much good bread now I have only been a few times, but it gets better and more healthy each time, you are a great cook

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  3. Hi Sangeeta love your Talent how would you like to do a guest post for me, on anything you want, I loved this one, email me rebeccasubbiah at yahoo dot com Rebecca

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  4. thanks Rebecca...i am elated...this would be the first time i'd be doing so.

    thanks Natasha for dropping by n encouraging me.

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  5. Lovely buns and indeed a very detailed step by step procedure.

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  6. sangeeta, can you explain...What is maida?

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  7. Hi, I tried the lemon chicken and poha from you.. they came out well..

    I love your dedication towards writing in details, posting nice pictures.. You must write a book on this.

    GOD bless you..

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  8. Sangeeta there is something waiting for you in our blog, please come and collect it.

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  9. I want the Baba and all the people who mis pronounce my name to go for a group therapy...Hmppf! See he says SAKS for sex and here people say sexy for sakshi....

    Loved your healthy bread. Am very lazy when it comes to making bread at home. So far have made it only once and that too because Varsha made me do it :).

    Bask in the compliment dear coz that drives us to achieve more right?

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  10. Velva ...maida is all purpose flour .
    thanks preethi, sadhana n muskaan..
    thanks swatantra....writing a book is something else...i think i am enjoying this at this moment n let it be like this....your suggestion has elated me though..
    and Saksi dear...i was thinking of you when baba was talking....lol..

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  11. This is a super good post. lovely buns.. looks so perfect and yummy..

    Here for the first time and sure would be back again often. :) keep it going.

    take a peep into my blogs when you find time.

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  12. WOOOW!!!I am speechless!!!
    They look really amazing dear!yummmy

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  13. Awesome baking sangeeta :D.I love all the varieties you baked and the ingredients used.A very useful post for all baking beginners.
    ROFL for the the baba's answer on sex ....

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  14. wowo..they look so so cute n amazing Sangeeta..n that compliment is much deserved..loved the challah type too..so hgealthy with flax n yumm..:)

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  15. Great step by step instructions for helping beginners get over their fear of bread baking :-) There's really nothing better than homemade bread fresh from the oven.

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  16. Nice post on so many different kinds of bread here. I am first time on your blog ..You have soo many wonderful recipes , dear. Will visit again for sure :)

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  17. These look so great! I just love the braided one. Very pretty! That chai looks good too. I would definitely take it in a big beer mug!

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  18. thanks Nithya..i'll be in touch

    thanks Sangi...i love these buns..

    Yasmeen ..you have to see baba talking to believe this...

    Varsha you all are baking such exotic breads...Yasmeen is such great cook too.

    Martha...yes dear this is for my real life friends who keep asking me the details...you are the best person to talk about basics...you explain such things so beautifully..

    thanks Faiza ali for visiting ..

    Lori yeah dear i love having chai in huge portions..especially in the morning on weekends....my daily morning routine is green tea n darjeeling tea in the same mugs........

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  19. These look wonderful. I'm going to have to venture into bun baking territory now that I have bread down.

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  20. Great post Sangeeta, I am waiting to give it a try.
    Yes, I agree the Zopf made with maida comes out smooth.But then urs is really healthy.

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  21. Hi Sangeeta,I tried this recipe 3 times in a row....everytime I microwave the buns they come out reasonably soft but after i grill them for about 3-4 mins,they end up getting very hard...any guess why?
    rgds,
    Sudha

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  22. Thanks Sudha for trying these buns..
    they are very soft actually but you need to keep in mind a few things...
    First of all...whole wheat and multigrain buns are a bit firm n hard than the all purpose flour breads so do not compare it with white buns.
    Secondly , take care not to overcook the buns in the microwave even for a minute , microwave tends to dehydrate and the buns will be chewy....the best way to judge the right cooking time is keep watching them rise while they are cooking and ass soon as they stop rising , wait for 30 sec and take out , brush with butter or ghee and continue with the grilling.

    I hope it comes out softer next time......kep me posted .

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