Veggies Stuffed Braided Bread – Yeast Free

Yeast Free does catch your eye, doesn’t it? For all of us who are fighting this love hate battle with this fermenter, this recipe comes as a welcome relief.

I find yeast moody. Sometimes it plays well and sometimes it just messes up my dinner.
Now I happen to find this yeast free dough formula, a patterned pretty lookin bread, some healthy cheesy filling and an assignment for my photography challenge, all in my lap at the same time. What do I do? I combine all of it and present you with this crunchy, super tasty, eye-catching stuffed bread – without the tormentor!! ๐Ÿ™‚

Stuffed Braids

Stuffed Braids

I’ve always believed the fact that we eat food with our eyes first, but to make delicate patterns with bread is another story altogether! Some fine nimble hands, a good work surface, great ingredients and a whole LOT of patience is all that you need ๐Ÿ˜‰ I messed up the design of my first one – not even worth a picture. By then I had my 6 year old mildly amused and highly entertained. Homework ditched, she pulled a stool to try her hand.

bread patterns

bread patterns

I let her fiddle here and there with my not so proper braid, but when I gave her a bit of dough, she tried to fill them like momos. Now mother is impressed – what the little one did was cute and easier ๐Ÿ™‚
So, we made two full braids, but soon half moon shaped little bites were more in action.

Playing with leftovers

Playing with leftovers

The Recipe:
Adapted from here:

Ingredients

For the yeast free dough:

  • 3 cups of all purpose flour or maida
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup curd/yoghurt
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 tsp powdered sugar
  • salt to taste

For the filling:

  • 2 cups chopped assorted vegetables like carrot, beans, peas, cauliflower, potato, broccoli, sweet corn
  • 1 big onion, chopped
  • 4-5 pods of minced garlic
  • a tiny piece of ginger
  • 3-4 minced green chilies
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tsp of crushed dried mixed herbs
  • 1/2 tsp pepper powder
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 3-4 tbsp of grated mozzarella

Method

For the Dough:
In a large bowl, sieve flour, baking powder, soda, salt and sugar. Make a well in the center, pour oil in it. Rub together with your fingers and palms. The oil flour mix will look like a crumbled coarse mix. Add curd at this stage and start kneading the dough. It might be messy and not pliable, but keep working on it and you will have a super smooth and soft dough by the end of it. Cover the dough with a damp cloth and let it rise for at least 5-6 hours.
The dough would have almost doubled at the end of 6 hours. Knead for a minute or two again and use as required.

For the Filling:
In a pan, heat oil. Saute garlic, ginger, green chilies and minced onions. Once almost done, throw in the chopped vegetables along with salt. Cover and cook till they are almost done. Now sprinkle herbs and pepper powder. Give it a final mix. Cool before filling it in.

For the Braided Bread:
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Grease a baking tray and keep aside.
Sprinkle flour on your kitchen top. Knead the dough for a minute or two. Now using a rolling pin spread the dough into a rectangular or oval shape of thickness between 1/4″ to 1/6″. Add more flour is required.
In the center, spread the prepared cooled vegetable filling. Place grated cheese over the vegetables. Now, using a sharp knife, make inclined cuts of 1 ” width along the sides of the rolled out dough. Repeat the same on the other side. for best results, try and make equal number of cuts on either side.

Ready to be patterned

Ready to be patterned

Now take two strips from opposite sides and place them overlapped on the vegetables maintaining a criss cross pattern. Stretch the strips to seal the beneath layer. To seal the edges, gently fold and press the top and bottom section. Then braid with few strips on it. Brush off excess flour.

Now gently brush the braid with melted butter. Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes at 180 degrees, or till the crust is a beautiful brown.

Cool the bread completely before running a knife through it. Enjoy while it’s still warm.

Yummy Bites

Yummy Bites

I know it looks like a huge effort, but SO worth it once in a while. And if you have a dancing prancing little human monkey around you, then the whole process can be fun too!

They tasted like Vegetable Puffs

They tasted like Vegetable Puffs

Whole Wheat Oats Banana Honey Bread – Eggless, Sugarless, Butterless

Whole Wheat Oats Banana Honey Bread

Whole Wheat Oats Banana Honey Bread

Less is definitely more. Especially when it comes to this divine soft dense bread. Going sugar free and fat free along with skipping the eggs is no joke guys. Really. Skeptical from scratch, I still ventured ahead because the germ of the idea had firmly incorporated itself in my head.
Banana bread. Sounds so enticing, and when you make it literally fat free and supremely healthy who would want to wait and why? ๐Ÿ™‚

So healthy

So healthy

If truth be told, I had never eaten banana bread before but had seen numerous recipes floating around. So when I came across this super healthy recipe with easily available ingredients I got all excited and eager. I sieved, mixed and baked. And then I waited. While the beauty rose, my house smelled warm and divine. I could hardly wait for it to cool down. To kill time, I put up teasers on my page on FB, chatted with friends, disturbed the husband and checked the clock repeatedly.

Finally when my knife sank into the well risen bread, well.. so did my heart. It was dense and slightly sticky. My face fell. The excitement evaporated. What did I make? Is it supposed to be like this? This thing has all the stuff which never goes into making bread – whole grain, oats, no sugar, no butter, no eggs… yea, it has all rights to be what it is. I was crest fallen.

When I took a teeny tiny piece for him to taste and give his highly valued verdict, all that he could gesture(he was on those never ending conf calls of his) was ‘ya nice, now go’. Sigh! With no bona fide feedback, I resigned to FB and friends. They did rescue me. Both FB food groups and my dear friends.

So what I learnt was that Banana bread is naturally dense and more moist than other cakes. Depending on the quantity of bananas used, the result could vary in stickiness(I hope that’s a word).
Oh Well. One pal of mine went a step ahead, smeared a slice with some tart marmalade and encouraged me to take a mouthful. I hesitated. But just one bite was enough to tell me, I didn’t have a recipe failure for sure ๐Ÿ™‚ It tasted SO good with the fruit preserve, that I wondered why I was in any doubt in the first place.

Yumm with some nutella

Yumm with some nutella

gorgeous Crust

gorgeous Crust

This recipe has been adapted from here.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour or atta
  • 1 cup mashed banana
  • 1/2 cup Oats
  • 1/3 cup Orange juice or sweet lime juice
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 3 tbsp. oil
  • 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tbsp. chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • A pinch of salt

Method

Preheat oven to 180ยฐC and grease a bread pan and keep aside.

Take whole wheat flour, Oats, baking soda, baking powder, salt and chocolate chips in a large bowl and mix well. In another bowl add mashed banana, oil, honey, cider vinegar, mosambi juice and combine well.

Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients in it. Mix until just combined.
Pour the batter in the greased baking tin and bake for about 40 minutes or till done. Mine was done in 50 minutes. Once done. Cool well. Invert and slice thinly.

Serve with butter or jam or nutella.

Good with some butter

Good with some butter

Note: Sanjeeta of LiteBite.in encourages to use apple cider vinegar as it acts as a substitute to eggs and gives lightness to the bake. Apple cider variety has a lovely taste than the plain vinegar. If you want to skip it, then add yogurt instead.

Jam and Nutella - perfect on some bread

Jam and Nutella – perfect on some bread

For the next two days, my breakfast comprised of a slice of this delicious bread, some marmalade, a glass of warm milk and 5-6 almonds. The natural sweeteners in the cake took care of my day’s sweet cravings and I for one felt like some harbinger of good health and nutrition.

Sugarless, butterless and eggless

Sugarless, butterless and eggless

Herb Cheese Pull Apart Bread

Mixed herb Cheese Pull Apart Bread

Mixed herb Cheese Pull Apart Bread

I have been toying with the idea of baking some bread from a very very long time. But attempting to bake bread is intimidating. The very thought of all the possibilities that could go wrong loom large in front of my eyes. Yet, that fateful day, I decided to take the plunge. And I usually take risks when someone is coming over for dinner. Silly? Hmm..Thats me.
I experiment most when I have guests over. Feeling all the while for those poor little guinea pigs aches my heart, but still I go ahead with my bold ventures. You know, how it is when something comes to your mind and you want to do it then and there, at that time only.. yea… it happens a lot to me. I know, no justification for my mindless endeavors.

Crisp Crust

Crisp Crust

I was particularly going through a very busy day. The husband had crazy conference calls from dawn till dusk(he works from home), Milee was being annoyingly demanding, a doctor’s appointment, one absent maid and my favorite brother in law over for dinner. My best half suggested we go out, but I was attacked by that untimely, unpropitious bug of creating something new! So, ignoring his proposal, I go all out and BIZARRE! He shook his head, knowing very well the intensity of the bug bite.

Well Baked and Well Risen

Well Baked and Well Risen

I greatly admire Aparna’s My diverse Kitchen. Adapting and recreating the magic with her dishes is a huge learning experience for me. Having bookmarked innumerable recipes from her site, I dug this one out, and set about making it among the chaos reigning large in my house and in my head. Hoping that cheese, herbs and some fabulous warm bread might soothe out my wrinkely nerves.

Since its my maiden attempt to bake something that looks so formidable… I have stuck to refined all purpose flour(not healthy)but my later attempts(after I become a little better at baking) would be to eliminate the refined flours and adopt the whole grains. But as of now, bear with me.

Tea Time Treats

Tea Time Treats

While making this bread, I filled the entire bread pan with the dough, and the leftover dough was rolled into small tiny bite sized rolls. Now, while baking, these bite sized bits turn out exceptionally well.. better than the original bread baking in the pan. They are light, crisp and golden. So, hence forth I’ve decided to make these rolls with the dough instead of the pull bread. Its easier and they bake uniformly. So, you could try a bit of both to see what works for you.

Small rolls bake perfectly

Small rolls bake perfectly

The Recipe:
For step by step pictorial refer here:

Ingredients

For the Dough:

  • ยฝ cup warm milk
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 2ยพ to 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 25gm butter, soft at room temperature
  • ยพ to 1 tsp garlic paste
  • ยพ cup milk (+ a couple of tbsp to brush over the bread)

For the Filling:

  • 15 gm melted butter
  • 2 tsp dried Provencal or mixed herbs*
  • 1 tsp crushed cumin seeds
  • Crushed pepper/ red chilli flakes to taste
  • ยฝ cup grated cheddar cheese
  • (or any kind of herbs you like)

Method

1. Dissolve the sugar and the yeast in the ยฝ cup of warm milk. Keep aside for about 5 minutes till the yeast mixture bubbles up. (If you use instant yeast, the waiting time is not necessary as it wont bubble up)
2. Put the flour, salt, softened butter, and garlic paste in a large bowl
3. Mix well with your hand or do it in a food processor.
4. Then add the yeast mixture and the remaining milk.
5. Start kneading. Keep mixing until it all comes together. You could do this in an electric mixer or food processor too. Knead for 10-15 minutes until you get a smooth, elastic dough. If the dough is too sticky, you can add a couple spoons of flour.
6. Place it in a well-oiled bowl, turning the dough to coat it completely with oil
7. Cover and let it rise for about 1 to 1ยฝ hours or until almost double in volume.
8. Dust your work surface lightly with flour. Deflate the dough & place it in the work counter Shape it into a rough square with the help of your hands
9. Roll the dough out into a larger square. (roll it our as thinly as possible, maintaining the shape)
10. Brush the surface of the square with the melted butter. Evenly sprinkle the herbs, pepper/ chilli flakes and the cumin seeds and then the grated cheese. Use a rolling pin to very lightly press the topping into the dough to ensure the topping doesnโ€™t fall off when you are stacking the strips.
11. Using a pizza cutter or a sharp knife, slice the dough from top to bottom into 6 long and even strips โ€“ they do not have to be perfect.
12. Lay each strip on top of the next, with the topping facing upwards, until you have a stack of the strips. You can put the 2 strips cut from the sides in the middle of the stack so it looks neater.
13. Cut straight down through the stack dividing it into equal pieces (6-8 square stacks). First cut the strip in half. Then cut each part in half & quarter & so on. If the is any excess dough, cut it off.
14. Grease and lightly flour a 9โ€ by 4โ€ (or 5โ€) loaf tin. Butter and lightly flour a 9 x 5 loaf pan. Layer the square slices, cut sides down into the loaf tin
15. If you have excess dough, roll it out long; sprinkle with herbs & cheese.
16. Roll it into a log & cut into swirly rolls.
17. Once the pieces are stacked, cover the loaf tin with a damp cloth. Let it rise for an hour or so.
18. Preheat the oven at 180 C (if youโ€™re baking in OTG) or 160 C (if its a convection oven). Bake for 30 -40 minutes until it is done and the top is golden brown.
19. Serve warm.

A gift which won't be refused - for sure

A gift which won’t be refused – for sure

Note: I took exactly half the measurements of the above ingredients as it was my very first. I was mad enough to attempt it on a
harrowing day but not mental enough to waste food if it turned out to be a dud. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Note: Reduce the garlic paste or eliminate altogether from the dough, tastes better. I forgot to add it to the flour, and mine
tasted good as the mixed herbs had enough garlic in them.

Crisp and cheesy

Crisp and cheesy

Milee had to be picked from a near by building where she had gone for a class. It was already evening, the sun was about to set soon. And I was eager to take pictures before it turned dark. I also wanted a new setting. I grabbed the bread, camera and all, reached 15 minutes before the kid’s class got over. To my luck there was a fabulous well scratched rough looking painter’s stool/table lying desolately in the car parking area of the building. My joy knew no bounds. What a steal!! I make the settings and holler to a very sweet friend who stays just above the magical podium. She thought I was a nut to go bonkers on a rough dilapidated looking stool. She changed her mind ofcourse. ๐Ÿ˜‰

If you have noticed(mostly you would have), the color on the bread is not very golden, it needed a little more baking time. But I had to do the pictures before it got dark. After the shoot, the bread was back in the oven for a good 10 more minutes, and the result rocked completely.

Picture Perfect?

Picture Perfect?

And no, I could not steal the stool. It was too big to be sneaked out. But the good old friend of mine has assured that it will always be there and I am welcome anytime to come and shoot away. ๐Ÿ™‚ lucky me!

Note: For those dear friends and readers who saw the Lasagna making pictures on my FB page, here is the party pooper: I clicked away the step by step assembling of the lasagna, but it was a pot luck dish, and I took it over to a cousin’s place, where in the get together, I forgot to click the final outcome and the serves. So sorry, the dish will not be featuring any time now. But soon, I will make it again and post the fabulous vegan egg free Lasagna. So, till then, make bread!