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Genoa Fougasse“Variety’s the very spice of life, that gives it all it’s flavour.”
William Cowper

Genoa Fougasse turned out to be the best bread I’ve baked in a while. Sometimes you just need ‘bread luxury’, and this became that and much more. The difference here was the new level of deliciousness brought on by the addition of a gourmet spice blend, Genoa, from Sprig. It brought the flavours alive, went beautifully with the cheese and walnuts within, making it our new favourite bread at home. French Fougasse has always been on top of my list of fave breads. The Genoa Fougasse just knocked it off!Masala Dabba, spices

The Masala Dabba #2Spices have always fascinated me since I entered the kitchen. My love affair with them getting more intense when I joined Dolphia and Simi on the spice journey with The Masala Dabba. The colours, the flavours, the versatility never cease to amaze. I am rather light handed with spices in the kitchen, using them only to enhance flavours rather than overpower the dish. The fougasse I planned to make was just a cheese and walnut bread.Genoa Fougasse with SprigIt’s a dough I’ve been working with, an experiment which goes on substituting grains on the go. I wanted a light bread, so I decided to stay half whole wheat and half plain flour. Also instead of water, I like kneading my dough with cultured buttermilk. Kills two birds with one stone, no make it four! Adds some calcium, makes the dough buttery light, reacts faster with the yeast, and of course lends beautiful flavour too! I recently did pitas with a similar dough, playing around with the quantities a little. Seems to work its charm each time!Genoa Fougasse with SprigThe  charm however turned to absolute joy with this gourmet spice blend from Sprig. The spice blends arrived as the dough was proofing. On a whim I decided to add some to the bread. The fresh flavours please you as you undo the foil, the aromas very enticing. The packaging is quite eye catching, the quality excellent. If you look closely, you can pick out the ingredients as listed on the box.Genoa Fougasse with Sprig It’s quite a generous portion in the box, will see me for a while. It added colour, flavour and real happiness to the fougasse which was quite aptly renamed Sprig’s Genoa Fougasse. I can see a Syracuse Fougasse, maybe a Tangier Fougasse in the future perhaps. That’s the really nice thing about spice blends. They are so versatile to use – as a rub, marinade, glaze, paste, crumb, sprinkle or dressing! Or like me, with my imagination on about everything. You can see just what happened!!Genoa Fougasse. Also Malacca Spiced Yogurt, Tangier Hummus & Syracuse FoxnutsI made a Genoa Dipping Oil to serve alongside the bread. Just when you think the bead can’t get any better, one dip into the oil and you reach another exciting new level. Ideas popped into my head. You can do Malacca Naans or Tangier Pita Breads! Imagine a themed meal with the spice blend running through the meal? Really had me happy. Tangier Pitas with Tangier marinated grilled chicken, a hearty salad within paired with a mild Tangier laced salad dressing. Just the idea makes me happy!Falafel with Sprig Gourmet Spice BlendAs I see spices, new ideas constantly develop in my head. How about a spice blend spiked yogurt, like a raita. I gently tried sprinkling some Malacca and melon seeds over home made yogurt. I can’t even begin to tell you how addictive that was. It was actually bowl scraping good. Next time it’s going to be either grated radish, a spice blend, chopped walnuts, maybe a dash of garlic and fresh mint or coriander as a side. The possibilities bring a smile to my face, somewhat like these fox nuts {or makhanas below}.

Spiced Yogurt and FoxnutsAs the days pass by, there is always something interesting happening in the kitchen. These days falafal seems to rule, hummus much in demand. While attempting to make hummus the other day, I added the Tangier Spice Blend on a whim since it seemed to tie in with the region. What an amazing result. It lifted the hummus to a new delicious level. The daughter dug in asking where it was from. ‘You made it? Really? This is much better than store bought hummus‘.Tangier Hummus with SprigSo chuffed, I added some into the falafal mix as well. This turned out to be fun! Pitas, falafal, garlicky dip, salad all happening in tandem!Falafel & Tangier Hummus with SprigThis gourmet spice blend from Sprig is available at Nature’s Basket, Foodhall and many stores across India. Locate a store here, else shop at the online store.

Gourmet Spice Blends from SprigSprig has offered to giveaway a set of the Gourmet Spice Blend to a reader of Passionate About Baking.

To enter all you need to so is like Sprig on FB and tell me what dish you would make with any {or all of the spice blends} should you win. I’ll pick a winner on the 25th of July. You must be a resident of India to enter.

Genoa Fougasse
Print Recipe
Genoa Fougasse turned out to be the best bread I've baked in a while. Sometimes you just need 'bread luxury', and this became that and much more. The difference here was the new level of deliciousness brought on by the addition of a gourmet spice blend, Genoa, from Sprig. It brought the flavours alive, went beautifully with the cheese and walnuts within, making it our new favourite bread at home.
Servings Prep Time
4-6 people 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
25 minutes 20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4-6 people 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
25 minutes 20 minutes
Genoa Fougasse
Print Recipe
Genoa Fougasse turned out to be the best bread I've baked in a while. Sometimes you just need 'bread luxury', and this became that and much more. The difference here was the new level of deliciousness brought on by the addition of a gourmet spice blend, Genoa, from Sprig. It brought the flavours alive, went beautifully with the cheese and walnuts within, making it our new favourite bread at home.
Servings Prep Time
4-6 people 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
25 minutes 20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4-6 people 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
25 minutes 20 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Bread dough
  2. Place all ingredients in bowl of stand mixer. Mix gently first at speed 2 for a couple of minutes, then at speed 4 for 4-5 minutes until smooth and elastic.
  3. Add a spoon or two of buttermilk if the dough is a bit hard, or a spoon or two of flour if it is still sticky.
  4. Cover the bowl with clingwrap and leave in a warm place for an hour until doubled. {Alternatively, leave in the fridge overnight for a slow rise}
  5. Preheat oven to 225C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Knock back dough, and flatten to a rough rectangle of 8" X 4" on a floured surface. Drizzle a little olive oil, then sprinkle over with Sprig Genoa Spice Blend. Top with grated cheese and walnuts. Fold into thirds, flatten again, and fold into thirds again.
  7. Place on prepared cookies tray, and shape into large oval, about an inch high. Cut slits through the dough to resemble leaf like cuts. Drizzle over with extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle over with more spice blend, rosemary sprigs and Himalayan rock salt. Leave to rise while you preheat the oven to 20 minutes.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes in a hot oven, middle shelf, both upper and lower elements, until puffy and golden brown. Serve with a spice blend infused extra virgin olive oil for dipping.
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Overnight Thandai Oats wth peaches and plums“Fussing over food was important. It gave a shape to the day: breakfast, lunch, dinner; beginning, middle, end.”
Robert Hellenga, Philosophy Made Simple

Overnight Thandai Oats with Peaches & Plums, a no brainer at best. A recipe that took far too long to come, one that is the easiest and has a nice gentle touch. The home made Thandai Nut Mix adds a delightful touch, tying in well with the almond milk, sabja/basil seeeds and melon seeds. Of course, feel free to use chia seeds as they are super foods too, though imported. I use basil because they are locally available and swell up so beautifully. My sweet friend Madhuli @ My Food Court makes sure my supply of basil seeds is never ending.PeachesPeaches and almonds make for great pairing. What’s not to love about a breakfast that offers everything in a bowl? Oats, nuts and seasonal fruit? The nut factor comes in from this Thandai mix. Holi collageThandai, or sardai, is a cold drink prepared with a mixture of almonds, fennel seeds, magaztari seeds, rose petals, pepper, vetiver seeds, cardamom, saffron, milk and sugar. It’s a traditional cooler from the Indian subcontinent, one that is very popular around Holi, the festival of colour. 3 Rose Sabja Thandai Thandai 2 1000 Thandai 1000The recipe for my Thandai Nut Mix is here on the KitchenAid India blog. There are hundreds of versions of the mix online, some more complex than others, yet most customisable to taste. Feel free to use your own, or a store bought variety, else add almond meal or chopped walnuts. If nuts are not your thing, maybe just skip them but do try this once. It’s quite gentle on the palette and ties in well with the stone fruit.Oat Walnut Trifles with Vanilla Roasted Peaches & PlumsTalking about stone fruit, this is the best time of the year to enjoy them to the maximum. I use them as much as I can these days. In bakes like crumbles, or trifles {as above}, just simply much through them, or then like this lemonade below. Elevate your simple everyday lemonade or nimbu paani to a Peach and Cherry Lemonade. Peach & Cherry Lemonade 2 1000Allow peach slices, pitted cherries and fresh mint leaves to sit in the lemonade for about an hour in the fridge. You’ll be delighted with the change in colour and gentle flavour.

 

Overnight Thandai Oats with peaches and plums
Print Recipe
What can be better than waking up to a chilled healthy and delicious breakfast on a warm summer morning. These Overnight Thandai Oats with peaches and plums are the best thing to wake up to. A no cook, beautifully balanced breakfast for a great start to the day! Oats + nuts + seeds + fruit herbs all share space in a make ahead jar. Use any seasonal fruit you like. Berries, mango, kiwi, pineapple, sapota etc.
Servings Prep Time
2 people 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
0 minutes 8 hours
Servings Prep Time
2 people 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
0 minutes 8 hours
Overnight Thandai Oats with peaches and plums
Print Recipe
What can be better than waking up to a chilled healthy and delicious breakfast on a warm summer morning. These Overnight Thandai Oats with peaches and plums are the best thing to wake up to. A no cook, beautifully balanced breakfast for a great start to the day! Oats + nuts + seeds + fruit herbs all share space in a make ahead jar. Use any seasonal fruit you like. Berries, mango, kiwi, pineapple, sapota etc.
Servings Prep Time
2 people 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
0 minutes 8 hours
Servings Prep Time
2 people 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
0 minutes 8 hours
Ingredients
Overnight Thandai Oats
Topping
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Overnight Thandai Oats
  2. Divide the oats, Thandai mix, melon seeds, basil/sabja seeds and brown sugar between 2 lidded glass jars. Top with just enough milk to soak the mix.
  3. Stir gently, cover and leave to stand in the fridge overnight.
  4. Topping
  5. Next morning top with sliced fresh peaces and plums, scatter over with melon seeds and fresh mint
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Wholewheat Garlic Oat Soda Bread 1
“The smell of good bread baking, like the sound of lightly flowing water, is indescribable in its evocation of innocence and delight.”
M.F.K. Fisher

Wholewheat Garlic Oat Soda Bread. Bread I baked after ages. Each word of the title appeals to me, yes, even the soda bit! I’ve read about this quick baking bread with no proofing/time for the dough to double for years. For some insane reason, I never baked one. The baker in me was always mesmerised by the challenge of yeast breads, also the joy of seeing the dough rise seemed exciting. Well as they say, been there, done that several times over, the yeast monster well tamed. That was 5 years ago, when the net wasn’t exploding with information and social media was still maturing! Soon one realises that yeast just needs to be alive. It works wonders if you give it enough time in a cuddly warm draft free place! It is quite piffling; there is truly no monster there.

Wholewheat Garlic Oat Soda Bread Now baking bread is fun, therapeutic and stress free. Grab some good yeast and you are in safe hands. This is why when I saw the image of the soda oat bread that shared by Laura of My Little Honk Kong Kitchen on Instagram, it was love at first sight. Her loaf adapted from BBC Good Food looked rustic, moorish, earthy and so me! Also baking bread with soda was new for me. I had to have a go ASAP!

Instagram Passionate About BakingOooh, did I tell you that Instagram is my most fave to be at? It used to be Pinterest earlier, but I am currently addicted to insta!

Soda bread is a variety of quick bread traditionally made in a variety of cuisines in which sodium bicarbonate (otherwise known as baking soda) is used as a leavening agent instead of the more common yeast. The ingredients of traditional soda bread are flour, bread soda, salt, and buttermilk. The buttermilk in the dough contains lactic acid, which reacts with the baking soda to form tiny bubbles of carbon dioxide. Other ingredients can be added such as butter, egg, raisins, or nuts. Ireland, Scotland, Serbia, Australia are some countries that have their own version of this quick baking bread.

Wholewheat Garlic Oat Soda Bread It’s strange that a bread can come together so easily and yield such a moorish loaf on the other side. The Wholewheat Garlic Oat Soda Bread almost sang to me as it stepped out of the oven. Such a pretty bread. Pretty, pretty, pretty. Turned out to be darned tasty too. I had to play around with the ingredients a bit since I was out of plain flour, well almost. With only a few tablespoons in the bag, I used pretty much of whatever else I had on hand. Of course I grated some garlic into the dough. For me, savoury bread should must have garlic. Must!

Wholewheat Garlic Oat Soda Bread A splash of extra virgin olive oil in the dough too added to the overall texture and flavour of this near wholegrain bread. Fresh rosemary, pink Himalayan salt, maybe even pink pepper all add nice touches to bread.  Slice it warm, drizzle with more EVOO, scatter some smoked mature cheese, some toasted walnuts, maybe capers, rocket too. Sit back and enjoy!!

Recipe: Wholewheat Garlic Oat Soda Bread
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Summary: Wholewheat Garlic Oat Soda Bread is possibly the quickest bread you can bake. From almost a no knead shaggy dough that is quick to throw together, it’s our current favourite bread. Try this near wholegrain version to see how good quick bread can be. Recipe adapted from My Little Hong Kong Kitchen. Makes one 6″ round loaf.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Ingredients:

  • Dough
  • 200g wholewheat flour
  • 50g plain flour
  • 50g oatmeal
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 15g extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 250ml cultured buttermilk {approximately}
  • Topping
  • Fresh rosemary sprigs, Himalayan pink salt, garlic slivers, drizzle of extra virgin olive oil {with more to serve}

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C. Lightly grease a heavy baking sheet, or line with parchment.
  2. Place both flours, oats, soda and salt in bowl of stand mixer {or in a large bowl} and stir to mix. Add the garlic, rosemary and extra virgin olive oil and stir again.
  3. Gradually add the buttermilk to make a soft dough. {You might not need it all, or you might need a spoon or so more}. Just knead the dough until it comes together; don’t overwork it or the bread will get tough.
  4. Shape into a round loaf, approximately 6″ in diameter, cut the top 2-3 times with a very sharp knife.
  5. Drizzle over with extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle fresh rosemary, garlic and Himalayan pink salt.
  6. Bake for approximately 30-35 minutes until the bottom makes a hollow sound when knocked. If it doesn’t, turn over and bake for a further 10 minutes.
  7. Take out of oven, cool on a rack for 15-20 minutes. Slice and serve with loads of sweet butter or flavoured olive oil, mature cheese, walnuts etc.

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

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