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Showing posts from March, 2013

The 'We Knead to Bake' project 2013 : Hokkaido Milk Bread

Its not conventional to think of bread and associate it with any thing Japanese, after all Japanese cuisine is predominantly rice & fish based if you go with the conventional thought process. This may be the reason why this months baking project from +Aparna Balasubramanian  came as a ultra pleasant surprise. The bread is known as Hokkaido Milk bread (disclaimer, Its been less than a month since I myself heard about the term) and it is by far the softest, fluffiest (feel free to add on your own choice of cute happy superlatives) bread I've ever had. The texture of Wonder bread minus the processed entrapped air!

The secret to this ethereal texture is the addition of a roux  to prepare the dough. Referred to as 'Tangzhong', this cooked mixture of milk and flour confers the matchless texture. The secret here is to cook the flour and milk to 65 C at which point the gluten in the flour absorbs the liquid transforming into a gel like state that helps form a structure that ho…

Arancini - Iyer / Iyengar style!

When I was about 6 years old,  I once remember asking my mother for fried rice. It must have around 1975,  the first time I heard about new dishes  such as Falafel (which my dad, fresh from a 2 month posting to Kuwait, pronounced as 'Filafil' ) and Fried rice. Amma's repertoire of recipes at the time was restricted to traditional South Indian dishes with the odd Punjabi choley & Alu Mutter thrown in.

Cake Hacking - Spiced apple buckle cake..

I seem to be running out of excuses about avoiding eggs. Yes, I have a teensy fear of  eggs. I enjoy them as much as anybody else, in custards, cakes, cookies & ice cream, but the mere mention of trying to buy a box, and my brain goes into an overdrive to come up with bizzarre excuses to get away from that part of the grocery store. I've analyzed & hyper analyzed it & am perfectly aware that I sound like one of those afflicted  patients described in V.S Ramachandran's book 'Phantoms in the brain', perfectly capable of acknowledging that my quirk is 'eggcentric' to say the least, but balk at the thought of doing something to overcome it.

Croissants, South Indian style - Pain au 'Poornam'

Ahh the lingering enduring pleasure of taste memory..Its been almost three weeks since I tucked happily into these buttery pastries and here I am already getting set to start making plans for an encore. I'm planning to experiment with a different filling but before I add that to my repertoire of croissant flavors, I just have to write this recipe up before the details gradually fade away, like the spice notes of cardamom & saffron  that completely had me under their spell.