Baking | 100% Whole Wheat Bread … airy and delicious!

“A crust of bread and a corner to sleep in. A minute to smile and an hour to weep in.
A pint of joy to a peck of trouble, And never a laugh but the moans come double.
And that is life.”
Paul Laurence Dunbar

Whole Wheat Bread100% Whole Wheat Bread. Couldn’t ask for anything more in a whole grain bread. This was my first 100% whole wheat bread experiment and I had my fingers crossed.

Whole Wheat Bread 2I had huge bowls of olive oil standing by for dunking just in case it was too dense to eat. Butter too. Impatiently tore one end off to look at the crumb. Was I relieved or what! Yay, airy bread!!
Whole Wheat Bread 3Nice moist crumb, airy bread and great aroma. We loved it. Loved it with butter too. Nothing like fresh warm bread and butter. It was great to mop up the cheesy paprika gravy of the mushroom chicken which was meant to be the star that day. Bread took centre stage instead!
Whole Wheat BreadAs another first, I added some top of the milk cream {or malai} to the dough. I had some in the fridge. It was an idea I had picked up while speaking to Sangeeta on our trip to the vineyards at Baramati. I think that’s what clinched the crumb! And the extra water or hydration of course.
Whole Wheat Bread Since the dough is quite loose, I’d recommend kneading the dough in a processor. I did it in the Thermomix. It’s a stringy,  sticky dough that gets a little more manageable after the first rise. Even more manageable after a slight rest in the fridge. Shape the dough with wet hands and you should be fine.
Whole Wheat Bread The aroma that filled the house had everyone following their nose to the kitchen. An impatient queue waited to ‘break bread‘! Inching forward to getting more whole grains into my bread, this is one journey I am loving! I made another batch of bread dough today.
Whole Wheat Bread Maybe will try a small fougasse with a portion of the dough tomorrow. Infinite possibilities, so much promise!

This post is part of the monthly link up party Our Growing Edge.

This event aims to connect food bloggers and inspire us to try new things.
This month is hosted by Marija from Palachinka.

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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

Baking | Whole Wheat Walnut Garlic Cheddar Fougasse … and a focaccia too #comfortfood #vegetarian #bread

“Good bread is the most fundamentally satisfying of all foods; good bread with fresh butter, the greatest of feasts!”
James Beard

Whole Wheat Walnut Garlic Cheddar FougasseWhole Wheat Walnut Garlic Cheddar Fougasse … nothing can be as comforting as the smell of bread baking. Nothing! And this bread took me by surprise. Rustic, nutty, earthy, full of flavour, great texture and a good bite. I couldn’t ask for anything more in fresh bread, and fougasse is one of my all time favourites.

Whole Wheat Walnut Garlic Cheddar Fougasse Googling for whole wheat focaccia took me to a NY Times feature by Martha Rose Shulman. Recipes for health as it was aptly marked, Shulman says of this bread “What’s called focaccia in Italy is fougasse in Provence. Fougasse, though, is often shaped like a leaf, which is easy to do and very pretty. The nutty, toasty whole grain bread is irresistible.”Millet & Whole Wheat French Fougasse I couldn’t agree more. If you’ve visited my blog on and off, you might have noticed my love for the French Fougasse. I love the rustic appeal it offers and the fact that you can stuff it with pretty much whatever you like and the flavours call your name. Roasted bell peppers, gouda, fresh herbs, nuts etc. Leaf like in appearance, this flatbread is moorish!

Millet & Whole Wheat French Fougasse

French Fougasse with Roasted Red Bell Pepper & Garlic, Walnut & Mozarella 6The one on top is a  Millet & Whole Wheat Fougasse and below it the French Fougasse with Roasted Red Bell Pepper & Garlic, Walnut & Mozarella 

Whole Wheat Walnut Garlic Cheddar Fougasse It was just the therapy I needed this Monday! The day began like a nightmare! Broken toilet flush 6am. Reversed the car to drop the kids to school and heard a massive THUD! 7am … The engine underplate had broken while wading through the ‘rivers of North India‘ the previous night. When it rains, it really pours; the city was flooded! Thankfully got the kids out of my way and to school, to come back home to find I had run out of cooking gas! {Yes we still have cylinders}. Decided to spring clean and walked straight into a sharp corner which narrowly missed my eye. Blood poured down the side of my face! Mr PAB was in Hong Kong … and I could have wept!

Whole Wheat Walnut Garlic Cheddar Fougasse Bravely I did not! I decided to bake bread instead! What a good decision. Nothing like some yeasty dough to drown your sorrows into. It worked like magic. And the recipe came out amazingly good! I could visualize the bread loving younger teen take a deep happy breath as he entered home from school. “You’ve made bread!!”, he’d exclaim, stars in his eyes!

Whole Wheat Walnut Garlic Cheddar Fougasse That is enough to mend a bad day! What I didn’t visualise was how much the dieting diva, carb cutting daughter would love it. I made half of the dough into fougasse and saved the rest for another day {it refrigerates well for a day or two}. With garlic flavouring the dough beautifully, and walnuts and cheddar making it divine, the bread was history as soon as the teens got home!

Whole Wheat Walnut Garlic Cheddar Fougasse Recipes like this are seriously therapeutic. I forgot about the car, fixed the broken loo, got the gas going. Left the car for Mr PAB. He would come back and take over everything! I was born to bake, and I was loving it!! The smell of dough rising and bread baking is enough to make the soul happy! 

Whole Wheat Walnut Garlic Cheddar Fougasse With the good verdict on the fougasse, I pulled the remaining dough out of the fridge the next day and patted a focaccia into shape. That came out yummy too. Got stuffed with everything I had on hand, ending up as sandwich for dinner.Whole Wheat Walnut Garlic Focaccia

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Baking | Empanada Gallega … Daring Bakers at their best!

“I celebrate food every day, it’s sustains us and forms who we are.”
John-Bryan Hopkins

Empanada Gallega It was the 27th and my mind was singing Empanada Gallegaonly that procrastinating got the better of me this time around. It’s the Daring Baker time of the month, and this time I got deluged with work. Not that I didn’t do the challenge; I didn’t draft the post in time. From Filled Pate a Choux Swans last month to savoury pies in September, the journey gets more delicious every month.

Patri of the blog, Asi Son Los Cosas, was our September 2012 Daring Bakers’ hostess and she decided to tempt us with one of her family’s favorite recipes for Empanadas! We were given two dough recipes to choose from and encouraged to fill our Empanadas as creatively as we wished!

Empanada GallegaI was instantly attracted to the origin and inspiration behind these charming little pies. The story so beautifully and poetically narrated by Patri, it played in my mind as a film. In her words …Empanada GallegaEmpanada Gallega

My grandparents lived in a country house that my great-grandfather built a hundred years ago. It is in the northwest of Spain, right on top of Portugal, in the region called Galicia. Back in the 70s, the kitchen was the place of gathering, talking, reading… and there was always something cooking on the iron stove, be it a pot of caldo (a hearty soup), or a stew, or a cake in the oven. When I think back to those days, I can smell the sweetness of burnt wood or coal, the almost “chocolate” scent that rose up to your nostrils when you opened the door, the warmth of the air when coming in from a cool, windy and wet August morning…

Empanada Gallega  I knew instantly that I would be making these! The dough was ready in next to no time. I made the whole recipe for dough and have to say there was a LOT of dough! {I substituted a little bit of plain flour with whole wheat}. You can make one large pie, or many small ones. The dough lasted 3 days {keeps well in the fridge}. On day three I made Turkish pizzas with it. Wonderful stuff!

An empanada{or empada, in Portuguese} is a stuffed bread or pastry baked or fried in many countries in Western Europe, Latin America, and parts of Southeast Asia. The name comes from the Galician, Portuguese and Spanish verb empanar, meaning to wrap or coat in bread.

Empanada GallegaIt’s an easy dough to use, and the recipe is interesting. You roll out the dough and use it like a pastry dough for pie, a larger portion for the bottom. Place it in your baking dish with a rim {step by step here}. Top with filling and cover with a smaller portion of rolled out dough and seam the edges. The amount of dough you use it up to you entirely. Since I’m trying {read desperately} to cut back on carbs these days, I rolled the dough really thin. It worked like a charm!Empanada GallegaAs Patri says, Empanada is the kind of food that makes one go back to childhood. A bread-like dough that surrounds a vegetable frittata with anything you can imagine, from sardines to beef. Or filled with sugar, butter and fruit. Warm or cold, it was simple, pretty, and delicious.Empanada GallegaThe amazing thing is that almost every region in the world has an empanada sort of preparation whether it be the curry puff from Malaysia, samosa and  gujiya from India, calzones from Italy, meat pies from Ghana, börek from Turkey, kibbeh from Lebanon … and plenty more! {‘Plenty’ reminds me of Ottolenghis new book ‘Jerusalem‘ that Shulie just shouted out about! Another winner, another cookbook on the wishlist. Sigh} Empanada GallegaI made a portion of lamb filled empanada galettas  as well {with the same lamb filling from the Lamb Purslane Pides aka Turkish pizza}. This is a handy basic empanada recipe and makes for great food on the go. Make one large empanada galletta or small ones, even petit work well in a muffin tray maybe, or in ramekins.Empanada Gallega

Do stop by here and check out some the amazing empanada galletas that will make you instantly crave pie! Thank you Patri for sharing your delicious childhood memories and recipe with us. Thank you as always Lisa of La Mia Cucina and Ivonne of Cream Puffs in Venice for hosting this fab kitchen!!

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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

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