Homemade Rye Bread

Homemade Rye Bread | The Novice Housewife

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.

Homemade Rye Bread with carom seeds | The Novice Housewife

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 with a 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.

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Stuffed Mushroom and Spinach Pizza Bread | The Novice Housewife

Wishing all the readers of The Novice Housewife a very happy New Year and lots and lots of good food like this stuffed mushroom and spinach braided bread.

2014 was not too great blogging wise. I did not post as often as I would have liked to. I wasn’t  even able to visit my favorite blogs and see what my favorite bloggers were up to. I got 52 posts up which if you aggregate means one post per week, but in reality it was only the first half where I was active and the past few months hardly saw this space getting much action- maybe one post a month. In 2015, I want to change that.

A lot of new exciting things happened in 2014. It was a period of a lot of stress as well. A lot of decisions were taken, changed, re-taken and then stuck to, with a lot of apprehension. One of the biggest change was The Pink Cakebox (only after coming up with the name did I realize there was already a pretty famous pink cake box in US, which is pretty stupid on my part since being obsessed with cakes I should have known. But I went ahead with it nonetheless, since I couldn’t turn back- mine has THE and its in India so I am hoping nobody gets confused. Yikes!) More about TPC (The Pink Cakebox) in another post because I think it deserves a lot of of explaining to do. But yes 2014 was the year it came to existence (a dream five year in the making). You can keep up to date with that chapter by liking its facebook page or following me on TPC’s instagram.

That’s essentially was (and still is) what kept me busy most of 2014.

This new venture also introduced me to new people- and I realized complete strangers can be so helpful. The experience made me wiser, at the same time made me doubt myself on multiple occasions. But slowly I am gaining confidence and growing and learning with each order. The whole ordeal of the past few months has made me a much stronger individual. And I am very grateful to the people I have in my life- my family and friends who made me stick through it and picked me up when I was ready to give up. And I have needed to be picked up a lot of times.

I moved back to India also last year. Temporary for now. While V was busy with his MBA I needed to sort out my life and pursue my passions more seriously. 2015 will see how it all unfolds.

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Amritsari Kulchas with step by step photographs | The Novice Housewife Amritsari Kulchas with step by step photographs | The Novice Housewife

Before my grandparents moved to Mohali they were living in Jalandhar, a city in the northern indian state of Punjab. About ten minutes from our house in Jalandhar was this Gurudwara (the holy place where Sikhs worship) that my grandparents would go to regularly. Every afternoon, just a few feet away from the Gurudwara, a guy would come with his mobile cart and sell these amazingly thin, crispy yet soft Amritsari Kulchas. He would only come in the afternoon with the dough and filling prepared at home and would stuff and bake the kulchas in front of us, serving them in plates with his famous spicy chickpea curry. Our summer vacations were full of foodie adventures and my grandparents loved feeding us. These amritsari kulchas were a must on each of our visits.

Every afternoon, people would come during their lunch break and line up for a plate of this guy’s delicious Kulchas. He always came alone and stuffed the dough in front of you and baked it in his mobile tandoor to serve the dozens of people waiting next to his cart. Since he baked then and there, we would get piping hot kulchas laden with oodles of butter that would immediately start melting once placed on the kulcha. Not only were his kulchas to die for, but he made a delicious spicy chickpea curry and gave homemade pickle on the side. Eating them fresh out of his tandoor was the best option but generally we would get them packed for the whole family and eat at home. And stuff ourselves crazy. No wonder my brother and I would gain 5-6 kilos easily during the months of May and June.

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