Soft and fluffy dinner rolls made using the Tangzhong method. These dinner rolls make great pav buns too, and are eggless.

The best homemade dinner rolls/ pav buns

There is nothing like hot fresh dinner rolls from the oven and today I am sharing a recipe for homemade dinner rolls/ pav buns that uses the Tangzhong method.

I had read about the Tangzhong method and always wanted to try it. Its a bread making technique that originated in Japan (and popularized by a Chinese cookbook author), where the flour is first mixed with water, cooked to make a roux, cooled and then added to your bread dough ingredients. The result is a soft and fluffy bread that remains soft for longer than the one made the regular way.

The chemistry behind the tangzhong method is interesting and one that Jenni from Pastrychefonline.com explains very well. She explains in the post that the bread is moist because of the water content in it. By cooking the flour with the water you help the starch molecules hold on to the water, and at the same time keep a portion of the flour in your dough from strengthening their gluten bonds, giving the resultant bread a slightly tender crumb. That doesn’t mean that your bread will lack structure. Since only 5-10% of the total flour used in the recipe is used in Tangzhong, you get the structure from the rest 95%, and yet get a tender and moist bread.

The best homemade dinner rolls/ pav buns

The other day when I was trying to look for pav buns/dinner rolls recipe and saw that Gayathri from Gayathricookspot.com used the tangzhong for her pav buns, I knew I wanted to make it. I have a good whole wheat dinner roll recipe on the blog, but you know how much I love trying new recipes, so decided to give this pav bun/dinner rolls recipe a try. Even though I always try to make my breads more whole wheat, this time I decided to not substitute any of the flour with whole wheat. I was making pav bhaji and wanted it to be exactly street style, where the pavs are never whole wheat, but the less healthy maida/all purpose.

The dinner rolls came out so perfectly soft and fluffy. The tangzhong method also yields bread thats remains softer for longer, unlike most homemade breads that become hard in a day or two. Unfortunately or fortunately, there was nothing left of the dinner rolls for me to test that theory. My dad who had been out of town and only arrived at dinner time to eat the pav bhaji, didn’t realise till I told him that the pav is also homemade. He thought they were store bought pav buns.

In case you are wondering how I served the pav buns, here it is. Click on the picture for the recipe for pav bhaji.

The best homemade dinner rolls/ pav buns

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Homemade Challah breadHomemade Challah breadHomemade Challah bread
Today I am sharing this recipe for the traditional Jewish egg bread, Challah. I will be the first to admit that when I first read the name, long back, I pronounced the “ch” in challah bread how you pronounce it in “chart”. I must have heard someone say it “Halla” and thats when I corrected myself. If you are not sure how to pronounce Challah bread, check it out here.

Baking Challah bread at home has always been on my wish list. I think its the braiding that has always caught my attention and with easter only a week away I thought it would be perfect to have a go at one of the prettiest shaped breads I know.

It also gave me the opportunity to finally bake from the Hot Bread Kitchen cookbook that I have had on my shelf for a while. This recipe for whole wheat challah bread is from there.

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Herb infused olive oil

Today I am sharing this easy recipe for Herb infused Olive Oil.

I remember a few years back I went to this restaurant in Delhi. I can not recollect the name of the place (I am growing old), but what I remember is the big basket of assorted bread and the bottle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar that they kept before our meal was served. That moment is when my love affair with dipping bread in olive oil started.

When I was in the US, the days when I wanted a quick snack, I would take a nice crusty loaf of bread and serve it with some herb oil. This herb oil recipe that I first used to make focaccia has been a favorite in my kitchen. Its a great way to use up all the fresh herbs that are growing in the garden or when you have extra from the store after using it in a particular recipe, which I always did.

Don’t have fresh herbs? You can use dried and still get great results.

Use this herb oil recipe to make focaccia; or as a dipping oil for your baguette. The herb infused olive oil also does well as a salad dressing or  you can use it to drizzle over your pasta. Looking for favor ideas for your wedding? Herb infused olive oil bottles are an elegant gift to give your guests.

Since there are not too many ingredients- make sure you use the best. You want the herb flavor to be more pronounced, so there is no need to use extra virgin olive oil. Make sure to wash all the herbs going into your oil and let them dry as much as possible, preferably overnight. This will decrease the risk of bacteria growth.

There are two ways to go about infusing the olive oil. You could go the slow way and cover all your herbs with olive oil in a sealed bottle and let sit in a dark place for 1-2 weeks. Or you could heat your olive oil to 100 F and then add all your ingredients to let infuse. This makes the oil infuse more quickly and you can enjoy the benefits of this simple yet flavorful recipe.

This recipe is adapted from the gorgeous  Bread Baker’s Apprentice cookbook by Peter Reinhart .

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