Whenever DH and I go for grocery shopping, one thing that is usually not on our list is bread. I love making bread at home–the smell of the yeast fermenting and the bread baking in the oven– gives me a high like no other!
For a while now, I had been ogling at Chef Tess’s site http://cheftessbakeresse.blogspot.com/ and how she creatively uses bread dough to produce masterpieces (well I think they are!). The pleasure of making your own bread at home is an exhilarating experience, but to paint on it and make it even more beautiful is just something that words will never be able to justify. So, today I decided I would take a shot at this too. I did not have any food color in my pantry so decided to use a mixture of coffee and egg yolk that I read gives a natural edible brown color. I was scared though, that the coffee taste might overpower the taste of the bread, but thankfully it did not. I used my recipe for light wheat bread – that uses both bread flour and whole wheat flour – as the canvas. Well the results weren’t as good as Tess’ but then again this was my first try! (The original recipe makes 3 loaves so I had to scale it down for one loaf- hence the fractioned ingredients!)
I am an Indian by origin and though I have travelled quite a bit, India is where my heart is. The same goes for my husband, and that is clearly seen in his love for Indian food. Though I am more experimental in food, he is more conservative, with his choices mainly harbouring around Indian food. Pre-marriage, the only cooking I ever did was Italian and continental. So, post marriage I had no clue in the kitchen when it came to Indian food- who needs to enter a kitchen when mom and the oh so plenty restaurants in India served that purpose. Once married and moving to a place where calling the local dhaba for dal makhani and naan was no longer an option, I had to consider the option of cooking Indian. Thus,started the frantic calls to mom asking for recipes for the most basic Indian cuisine and insisting on the minutest details- coz really when it came to Indian I had absolutely no idea! Now 4 months down, Bambi has learnt to walk (translated: I have learnt to cook Indian)! I still can’t cook as good as my mom- she is an awesome cook but yes, I am not that bad either.
So yesterday, my husband, clearly showing more confidence in my culinary skills (woohoo!) asked me very sweetly to make Kadhai chicken. Personally, I haven’t been a big fan of kadhai chicken, always ordering butter chicken in a restaurant over it. But, since my DH has very few demands, I thought it was only fair to fulfill his wish. So I embarked on the search for the perfect recipe. I looked at a few sites, refrained from calling my mom (she needs to know I think of her not only when I need a recipe) and finally combined a few recipes set out at my first attempt at Kadhai Chicken.
Update: The pictures on this post were updated on August 8, 2016. The original post went live in July 2010 and was my first post when I started blogging. When I first made the cake I made it in bundt pan but I left my bundt cake pan back in India and haven’t bought a new one yet, so baked the batter in a bread pan this time. Shaped as a bundt cake or in a loaf shape this cake is absolutely delicious and moist. The recipe has been updated with a printable version. By the way, my love for cookbooks and the hoarding illness still lives in me!
For the past few months I have been on a cookbook collecting spree! For days, I researched on what books should be must-haves for any baker, made a list, logged into my Amazon account, checked the reviews of those books, added them to my cart, realized the list had become too long, decided to save the books for later, narrowed the list down, and then finally giving a sheepish grin to my DH (luckily, he is the kind who thinks spending on books is an investment :)), I ordered the books. One of the books I ordered, was “Baking- from my home to yours” by Dorie Greenspan. The book is a lovely treasure and so is Dorie. Her instructions are beautiful. I read the book like a kid reading a story book, flipping through the pages, marvelling at all the pictures (sheesh I’m such a baking nerd!), wishing I could be transported into a world filled with all the goodies in the book.
Now once you have a cookbook, it’s only fair to make something from it. My first attempt from the book was the Lemon Poppy Seed muffins. This was also my first attempt at baking in my new oven! It was also the first time I was calling my girlfriends at home – actually the first time I was calling anybody to MY home (recently married you see, new house , new life! Exciting!) While I got rave reviews for the muffins, I was not too happy with the results – the oven temperature listed was a little too high for my oven and I personally felt that the muffins could have been more moist.
Not giving up on the book yet, though, since I had read a lot of great reviews for it, and well this is Dorie Greenspan I’m talking about- she taught Julia Child how to bake (well kind of!). So I decided to try another recipe. For long I always wanted to bake a Bundt cake and now being the proud owner of a bundt pan, that’s where I thought I should head next. So, I checked the index and there it was the Classic Banana Bundt Cake recipe! Bananas- cool DH loves them- finally he will see that all that spending was worth it =)! And it truly was! Moist with a nice flavour of banana, everybody loved the cake!