“Crazy dough” recipe – Focaccia

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There are times when you should just plunge in and follow your heart. You should just ask your overworked brain to take a break, because you are not going to listen to it.

So, when your sensible brain reminds you about the previous bread baking disasters and warns you not to risk the materials, time, effort, self-esteem and a lot more importantly, your precious (and already precarious) teeth, IGNORE it!

Go wild, face your fears, make friends with yeast because now you have a fool-proof recipe. It has baking powder, yogurt and an egg besides yeast, so chances of it failing is very very little. The best part is that it’s an universal dough. So its your bread dough, cinnamon roll dough, pizza dough or in my case focaccia dough, all in one!

I have already tried the 100% plain flour, 50-50 plain flour/whole wheat flour combination and 100% whole wheat flour version as well. Plain cheese pizza, veggie pizza and focaccia has all rolled out of the oven. The whole grain version is more chewy than the plain flour one, but we enjoyed both versions a lot.

Scroll down for the pictorial and go to the original recipe link to learn more about this dough.

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Pictorial:

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Mix the dry ingredients in a big bowl (flour, instant yeast, sugar, salt, baking powder).

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Add warm milk, yogurt at room temperature and the egg. Mix everything to form a soft dough. If the dough is dry (which it will be, if you are using whole wheat), you need to add a bit more milk/water.

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Knead to get a smooth dough.

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Cover and refrigerate until needed. The dough keeps growing, so use a big bowl for storing. If you don’t want to refrigerate, you can wait for half an hour for the dough to double  and use.

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For making focaccia, pre heat the oven to 350F/180C. Roll the dough out into oval shape. Make dimples all over and set aside and let it rest for at least 15-20 minutes until its puffed up a little.

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Add olive oil in a small bowl. Toss in the herbs, chili flakes and crushed garlic. Set aside to let the flavors infuse. 

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After twenty minutes, add the oil all over the bread and top with onions and tomatoes and cheese, if using. 

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Bake for about 30 minutes (this time depends on the size of the bread – the bigger it is, more time it takes).

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Recipe source: Kitchen Nostalgia

Makes 2 medium thick pizzas/ 1 big focaccia

Ingredients:

  • 3& 1/3 cups flour/ whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp instant yeast (If using active dry yeast, proof it and use it in the recipe)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup warm milk
  • 3/4 cup yogurt, at room temperature
  • 1 egg

For focaccia:

  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 small firm tomato, sliced
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, crushed and minced
  • 2 tsp red chili flakes or per taste
  • 1 tsp dried herbs( I used oregano)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/3 cup cheese, optional

Method:

  1. You can do this by hand, food processor or a stand mixer.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients first in a big bowl (flour, yeast*, sugar, salt, baking powder).
  3. *If using active dry yeast, proof it with warm milk and sugar until bubbles form. Add along with the liquids.
  4. Add warm milk, yogurt and the egg. Mix/knead everything to form a soft dough.
  5. If the dough is dry (which it will be, if you are using whole wheat), you need to add a bit more milk/water.
  6. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
  7. If using immediately, shape the bread and let it rest for 20 min before baking. 

For making focaccia

  1. I made the focaccia the next day.
  2. Pre heat the oven to 350F/180C.
  3. Add olive oil in a small bowl. Toss in the herbs, chili flakes and crushed garlic. Set aside to let the flavors infuse.
  4. Roll the dough out into oval shape. Make dimples all over and set aside and let it rest for at least 15-20 minutes.
  5. Slice the onions and tomatoes.
  6. After twenty minutes, add the oil all over the bread and top with onions and tomatoes and cheese, if using.
  7. Bake for about 30 minutes (this time depends on the size of the bread – the bigger it is, more time it takes).

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This post is part of group blogging. It goes to Blogging Marathon, which focuses on baking for the whole of April. Check out the linky tool below to see the entry for Day 11 from other participating bloggers.

Grrr…Where is the Tiger? DB Mar 2012 Challenge

This is it! I am quitting bread making – officially! And this time I mean it, not like the past hundred times when I quit and  the yeast beckoned me back.

I have tried and tried and tried, but every single time I bake bread, I break my teeth.

I follow the steps meticulously. Yeast is given as much of care as to a new born. Once the yeast bubbles up, I knead the dough, I let it rise and all this happens as it should. But once I bake them, the result is always the same. Rock hard buns (or bread). Sigh…

If you are smiling at this abysmal failure of mine, be warned. I have a weapon with me – yes, these can double up as great self defense products. One throw with this bread and it might do you some serious injury!!

Sara and Erica of Baking JDs were our March 2012 Daring Baker hostesses! Sara & Erica challenged us to make Dutch Crunch bread, a delicious sandwich bread with a unique, crunchy topping. Sara and Erica also challenged us to create a one of a kind sandwich with our bread!

I really wish I could have completed the challenge the way it was meant to be! Soft, white rolls with beautiful tiger/giraffe patterns. Hell, I would have settled even for a pattern of a hare! But this is what I got and after thinking over whether I should post this or not, I decided to go ahead and let the world know about ‘How NOT to make (Tiger) Bread’.

Check out the Daring Kitchen for real tiger, giraffe and even a cute turtle shell pattern.

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Confusing Corn

Things in life may not work out the way you want it to. Sometimes things you have been planning for a really long time, might blow up right into your face in a totally unexpected manner. What do you do then? You cry over it for sometime, accept it and face it, and do whatever needs to be done.

Like this Sweet Corn Stuffed buns here in the below picture.

I tried my best. I failed miserably. The buns didn’t rise, the filling was less, they were chewy. So I cried for sometime, then made some sandwiches with whole wheat bread and the sweet corn filling I had prepared.

So the bun recipe is in the ‘try again’ list, but these sandwiches really made up for the disappointment.

For this month’s Magic Mingle, the chosen ingredients were Corn and Whole Wheat. So after confusing myself with a hundred corn based recipes, I finally decided on baby corn pizza. But then I couldn’t get my hands on baby corn last week. Then I decided upon sprouted wheat and sweet corn salad. But then again, I didn’t have the patience to start the sprouts. Finally I chose the stuffed buns and then didn’t have any luck with it. I have never had much luck with baking bread! Anyway, there was a packet of whole wheat bread to help me get over my disappointment and to finish off the corn filling I had prepared.

Ingredients:

  • Whole wheat bread           :        4 slices
  • Onions                                    :        1 small, chopped
  • Tomato Puree                     :        2 tbsp (or one small tomato pureed)
  • Corn                                        :        1 cup
  • Chaat Masala                       :        1/2 tsp
  • Chilli Powder                       :        1/2 tsp
  • Coriander Powder             :        1/2 tsp
  • Salt                                           :        as required
  • Oil                                             :        1-2 tsp

Method:

For the filling,

  1. Heat a tsp of oil and saute the onions till pink. Add the frozen/cooked corn, tomato puree and the powders. Cover and cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring in between.
  2. Check and adjust the seasonings. Make sandwiches using this as filling.

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Quick Breads – DB Feb 2012 Challenge

The Daring Bakers’ February 2012 host was – Lis! Lisa stepped in last minute and challenged us to create a quick bread we could call our own. She supplied us with a base recipe and shared some recipes she loves from various websites and encouraged us to build upon them and create new flavor profiles.

Here is my take for this month – savory Pizza Muffins which hubby loved a lot and a sweet Papaya bread which had me sniffing around the oven, waiting for the bread to finish baking.

Of course, all this happened on 27th evening and the bread got finished baking at around 10.30 PM. But at least, I had the satisfaction of finishing the challenge on time, though posting it in the blog is a different matter.

The pizza muffins were soft, fluffy and just perfect. I wish I had  made some pizza sauce to dunk these, but hubby was happy with ketch up itself. Though they are called Pizza Muffins, they don’t taste like pizza (not without the sauce anyway), but they were good and they got over in a matter of minutes.

Ingredients:

  • Onion                                 :        1 medium, chopped fine
  • Tomatoes                         :        1-2, chopped
  • Capsicum                         :        1 small, chopped
  • AP Flour                           :        2 cups
  • Cheese                               :        1 cup
  • Salt                                      :        1/2 tsp
  • Baking Powder               :        1 tbsp
  • Dried Italian Herbs      :        1 tsp
  • Olive Oil                            :        1 -2 tbsp
  • Egg                                      :        1, beaten
  • Water                                 :        1 cup

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 200 C. Grease a 12 cup muffin tray.
  2. Finely chop the onions, tomatoes and capsicum. I added 1 tbsp of fresh fenugreek leaves too.
  3. Fry onion and capsicum till they are a bit soft. Take of the heat, add tomatoes, salt and herbs.
  4. Mix flour, baking powder and whisk. Add the cheese, veggies, egg and one cup of water. Mix everything until just combined.
  5. Spoon into the muffin pan and bake for about 25 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
  6. Serve with pizza sauce or ketch up.

The papaya bread tasted very much like a banana bread, I couldn’t taste or smell papaya in it. I loved it a lot and so did my son. It was more like a sweet cake than a bread. Thanks Janet for sharing this wonderful recipe.

Ingredients:

  • Sugar                               :       1 cup
  • Butter                              :       1/4 cup (I had only about 50 gms)
  • Eggs                                  :       2
  • Mashed Papaya           :       1 1/2 cups ( 3/4 th of a small papaya)
  • Walnuts                           :      1/4 cup
  • Raisins                             :      1/2 cup
  • AP Flour                         :      1 1/2 cups
  • Baking Powder             :      1/4 tsp
  • Baking Soda                   :      1 1/2 tsp
  • Cinnamon Powder      :      1/2 tsp
  • Ground Ginger             :      1/2 tsp
  • All Spice Powder         :      1/2 tsp
  • Salt                                    :      1/4 tsp

Method: 

  1. Preheat oven to 325 F/160C. Grease a loaf pan.
  2. Cream sugar and butter together, I used a wooden spoon for this. Add the eggs and beat until fluffy. Add the mashed papaya and mix.
  3. Mix the dry ingredients (flour through salt) in a separate bowl and whisk together. Add the raisins and walnuts to this and mix.
  4. Combine the dry ingredients with the wet and mix until everything is combined and there aren’t any dry lumps.
  5.  Pour into the prepared loaf pan and bake for an hour and ten minutes or until a skewer comes clean. I would suggest keeping an eye on the bread after it reaches the 50 minute mark.
  6. Slice and serve. Warm or cold, they taste fantastic.

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