My favorite food has always been chocolate! 😉 So it seems almost expected that the one baking dish I would excel in would be the choco-chip cookie. It gets done fast, and is a universal (almost) favorite with those surprise guests. 😉 You just can’t go wrong…
Chocohip cookies! 🙂
- Unsalted (or cooking) butter – 1/2 cup or 113 gms
- regular sugar – 3/4 cup
- buttermilk – 1/3 cup
- vanilla essence – 1 tsp
- all purpose flour or maida – 1.5 cup
- baking soda – 1/2 tsp
- salt – 1/4 tsp
- chocolate chips – 1 cup or as much as desired
- nuts and raisins (optional)
- Cream together butter and sugar. Try and ensure it becomes light and fluffy
- Add vanilla essence and buttermilk and beat till creamy.
- If the butter is not fluffy initially, this may take a slightly longer time. The buttermilk doesn’t blend in easily, so its ok to take time to ensure this step in completed properly.
- Mix the flour, baking soda and salt and sift to ensure proper mixture
- Add the sifted flour to the butter mixture and fold.
- Add the chips and nuts and mix well
- Refrigerate for 1 hour
- Preheat oven to 175 deg C.
- Make small lemon-sized balls from the dough and place about 1-1.5″ apart on a greased or butter-paper-lined baking tray. Flatten the top slightly to get a better cookie shape.
Flatten very lightly on the top on the dough ball.
- Bake for 15-20 mins. Mine too exactly 18 mins to get done.
- The cookies should be dark brown on the outer edge and light brown on the top.
- Once baked, more them to a wire rack for cooling.
- Store in an airtight container.
These cookie are meant to last about a fortnight. However, they don’t last that long at my place, so I cant really say! 😉 😛
As a part of my health kick, I’ve been experimenting with breads. I did get the plain flour bread right (though a tad too soft), but I didn’t want that as my staple. I wanted whole wheat bread, so I would stop buying stuff from the supermarket. And making it yourself kinda cuts out the processed part of it!
Another new addition to my kitchen, other than the oven mentioned in the previous blog-post, was a Phillips Electric Whisk. This was of particular help as I didn’t need to knead the bread. And more of use when I realized that the oven was eating up a LOT of my counter-top space. So i now just put everything together in a mixing bowl and use the kneader hooks instead of the whisk. It sure gets done faster!! 😀
So researched a few blogs, took a course, and finally figured that you really have to work things out for yourself, and see what works. So this particular experiment worked the best for me. The inspiration for it came from here though! 😉
Fresh baked Whole Wheat bread!
- Whole wheat – 3.5 cups
- luke-warm water – 1.25 cups and a bit more to spare
- Oil – 2 tbsp + 2 tbsp(spare)
- Sugar – 2 tbsp
- Fresh yeast – 2.5 tsp or proofed active-dry yeast – 1.25 tsp
- Salt – 1 tsp
- Milk – 2 tbsp
- In a big bowl mix flour, salt, sugar, milk. Add the oil, yeast and 1 cup of water. Mix and add more water if needed. The dough should be sticky.
- Knead for 8-10 mins, let it sit for a few mins and then get back to kneading for another 10 mins.
- Oil the dough lightly on all sides and let it sit in the bowl for 1-2 hours. Cover it with a moist towel to retain the heat.
- Once it has doubled, fold the dough onto itself to release the air from within. Shape into a log, tucking the edges.
- Place in a greased bread tin (or whichever you wish to use for the final baking). Oil over the top and let it sit for another 1-2 hours.
- Pre-heat the oven at 175 deg C.
- Bake for 30 mins, then loosely cover with foil to prevent the top from burning, and bake for another 30 mins. Check on the bread after 45 mins though.
- Once taken out of the oven, brush the top lightly with butter, and let it sit for 5 mins in the tin. Flip over and let the bread fall out of the tin. Cool on a wire rack.
- Proofing of active-dry yeast: Heat 1.5 tbsp water to luke-warm temp. The water should not increase in temp, else the yeast will die. Add in the yeast and let it sit until the yeast bubbles to the surface of the water.
- You may replace oil with olive oil or unsalted butter. The flavour of your bread will vary accordingly
- Whole wheat does not rise as much as plain flour breads.
- Avoid adding more water. If needed, add a bit of the additional 2 tbsp oil to keep the dough moist.
- Ensure you use a wire rack to cool off the bread. Keeping it on a solid base will cause the base to get wet and soften. This in turn will affect the taste and longevity of the bread.
Enjoy your home-made bread and stay healthy! 🙂
One of the biggest additions (literally) to my kitchen this past year has been my oven.
I was previously using an old oven that belonged to my parents, and handed down to me. It was extremenly useful for my initial experiments. This was one of those old-time round ovens, that is still apparently available in stores in Kerala. Haven’t seen them anywhere else though. Anyway, this particular piece was getting old, and I really wanted something new that wouldnt give up on me in the middle of an experiment! ;P So in came my brand new Sunflame.
One of the baking experiments that has held true to taste has been the Banana Walnut bread. I got the recipe from here, and have made a couple of modifications to get mine right. Not big ones, but enough to make it mine.
Fresh and moist Banana Walnut bread!
So here goes!
- Whole wheat flour – 1 cup (I use freshly made atta from a nearby chakki/flour mill, rather than prepackaged ones)
- Maida/All purpose flour – 1/4 cup
- Bananas – 2 large ones (Robusta only, preferably very ripe)
- Sugar – 3/4 cup
- Yoghurt – 2 tbsp
- Milk – 1/4 cup
- Oil – 4 tbsp (vegetable oil only)
- Salt – 1/4 tsp
- Vanilla essence – 1 tsp
- Baking soda – 1/2 tsp
- Baking powder – 1 1/2 tsp
- Walnuts – 1/2 cup (optional)
- Can replace this with any other dry fruit as desired. Also the amount of walnut is also to taste.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 deg Celsius.
- In a mixing bowl, peel the bananas and make a paste using a blender or with your hands.
- Add in the milk, yoghurt, sugar, oil and vanilla essence and blend well using a blender/whisk.
- Sift the flours, salt and baking powder to mix well, and gently add them to the mix.
- Blend the entire mix carefully.
- Add in the walnuts and mix evenly.
- Grease a bread tin, and transfer this mix into.
- Bake the bread for 35 mins.
- Check around 30 mins by inserting a toothpick. Depending on the oven, the time taken for the bread to get done will differ.
- Once the toothpick comes clean, you bread is ready to come out of the oven.
- Let it sit for 5 mins before transfering it to a grill to cool down.
- Dont put it onto a plate, as the moisture will collect at the base and make it soggy.
Ready to serve!
Once it has cooled down sufficiently, cut and serve with tea/coffee as an evening snack. The whole wheat, nuts and bananas keep it nutritious, and definitely tasty!