I know I am not doing a good job of keeping the blog going these days but I am hoping this gets corrected soon because while I am not blogging, I have been cooking and trying new recipes out and the pending post lists just keeps growing.
I realized I have not posted a new bread recipe for some time now, so today thought of sharing this basil and parmesan spelt bread recipe that I tried recently.
Its an adaption of the whole wheat bread recipe I have posted before. Instead of whole wheat flour I used spelt flour and wheat germ in this bread. I love spelt flour and while mellower in taste than whole wheat, some claim it to be healthier. According to various health sites, Spelt is high in vitamin B2, niacin, manganese, thiamin, copper, and magnesium. There are varying arguments though on whether spelt is more nutritious than whole wheat, but it still has its share of nutrition and is great if you are making a switch from regular flour to more wholesome grains. Also, the greater solubility of spelt protein makes it easier to digest than wheat, and thus making the nutrients more easily available to your body.
I love brioche. Its a buttery, rich, croissant-like bread. What’s not to love? There’s no doubt the classic version tastes great but if you add chocolate, well, things just get out of control good.
My dad makes a pretty good brioche loaf, even though he uses his bread machine to do most of the work. While I love the convenience of a bread machine, I feel by using it, one missed out on all the fun that is involved in bread making. And that’s why I never invested in one and probably won’t. That said, I do like the brioche my dad makes.
On the other hand, the first time I made a brioche loaf it was disastrous. I don’t know what I did wrong but the brioche did not rise. It was not feathery light, but dense. After that I put brioche making on hold for a while. Then I got the Bouchon Bakery cookbook. I had a go at brioche again using Thomas Keller’s recipe and this time I was successful.
I have made a mention about the three issue old Bake From Scratch magazine before on the blog when I tried and shared their recipe for homemade rye bread. Their new issue is out and its all about French bakes.
The cover photo (which is absolutely gorgeous) is of this chocolate brioche, and one look at it and I knew I had to bake the brioche au chocolat. Equipped with the success from my previous brioche trials, and seeing how a chocolate brioche would be a perfect brunch/breakfast addition, I decided to bake the loaf before mom leaves for Canada.
I adapted the recipe slightly by subbing a little of the all purpose flour for whole wheat. I didn’t have too much whole wheat flour on hand to substitute though. Next time I will experiment with a higher ratio of whole wheat flour and will update this space with the results.
Its been a rough start to the new year for our family. Two weeks back I lost my grandmother to cancer. A few days back my grandfather (my nanaji) took his last breath after suffering from dementia. My mom lost both her parents in a span of two weeks and my heart goes out to her, my uncle and aunt.
The quick succession in which I lost two grandparents shook all of us but we are all finding solace in the fact that both their sufferings have come to an end. It is kind of sweet how they lived and left together. Hope they are both resting in peace together wherever they are.
I don’t have many memories with my nanaji. Since he lived in Canada with my uncle and would not visit India as often I did not get to spend too much time with him. When I went to Canada for my course two years back, his dementia had started to kick in, so I missed an opportunity to get to know him better. He mostly kept to himself, reading the Granth sahib and praying. Occasionally we would talk, but the next day he wouldn’t remember our conversations and ask the same questions again. And while I never got to know him too well, he was very close to my mom. And I am glad she was able to make it to Canada in time to spend his last moments with him.
This recipe was supposed to go up during the weekend, but with all that was happening I was not able to post. Even though its Tuesday and I generally share an indian recipe, I am sharing the recipe for this rye bread today.
2016 introduced me to homemade rye breads. I first experimented witha spelt and rye bread (and will be sharing that recipe as well soon) and loved the taste. I then tried my hand at this light caraway studded rye bread. I did substitute the caraway seeds for carom seeds. Even though the two seeds don’t have similar tastes and are not substitutes, I have enjoyed eating breads in India that add carom seeds and since thats all what I had in my pantry the day I was making this bread, I experimented with carom seeds in the recipe. I did not mind the substitution at all.
The recipe that I used is from the second issue of the magazine Bake from Scratch. While the recipe called for light rye flour I used dark, and also as mentioned I used carom seeds instead of the caraway seeds, though traditional rye bread uses caraway seeds.
Working with rye you should know that rye dough is not as elastic as wheat-based dough. The more percentage of rye flour you use in your dough, the more slowly it will rise. So patience is the key to success for rye breads.
There are certain health benefits associated with rye flour. Rye bread fills you up, suppressing your desire to eat. It also doesn’t spike your blood sugar levels (source : livestrong.com). Of course it doesn’t mean you are allowed to eat it as much as you want- anything in excess is never good. But, rye bread is better than a 100% white flour bread. Plus, the rye flour takes your regular flour bread and gives it a distinct flavor, which I really enjoyed.