09 July 2012

Homemade Wheat Bread

What is more welcoming than the smell of freshly baked bread that too at home. I have been so eager to bake one at home. And so glad that I have overcome this fear of baking bread. At my place it is so hard to find wheat bread and this has been my motivation too. It turned out so good and everyone at home gave a thumbs up for this one. :)

Recipe adapted from: Tammy's Recipes
Makes 1 loaf

Warm water - 1 cup + 1/4 cup
Honey - 2 tbsp
Milk - 1 tbsp
Oil - 2 tbsp
Brown sugar - 2 tbsp
Salt - 1 tsp
Wheat Flour - 1 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp
All Purpose Flour - 1 1/2 cup
Active Dry Yeast - 2 tsp
Sugar - 1/2 tsp


  • Preheat the oven at the minimum temperature (30- 40 degree C) for 2-3 minutes and switch off.*see note 1
  • In a mixing bowl pour 1 cup warm water. Add in the milk, oil, honey, brown sugar and salt. Mix well.
  • Mix yeast in 1/4 cup water and 1/2 tsp sugar till it dissolves. *see note 2
  • Tip in the flours into the mixing bowl along with the yeast. 
  • Knead the dough well for approx. 10 - 15 minutes. Dust in 2 tablespoon of wheat flour and knead. Lift it from the ends towards you to the center and push it away from you with the heel of your hand and turn the dough. Continue to knead till it is not very sticky and but a little too soft. 
  • Lightly oil a bowl and transfer the dough into it. Roll the dough so as to coat it with oil.
  • Cover with a towel and leave it in the oven till it doubles in size.( approx 45 minutes)
  • Remove the bowl from the oven. Transfer the dough to a counter dusted with wheat flour.
  • Punch down the dough on the counter and knead again till smooth and supple.
  • Press down the dough to make a rectangle shape approx 3/4 inch thick. Then start rolling it. Pinch the ends and seal it.
  • Lightly grease a loaf pan. Place the rolled dough into it. Place it in a warm place and let rise for 30 minutes when almost doubled in size. *see note 8
  • Place the oven rack in the middle. Preheat it to 180 degrees C.
  • Place the loaf pan in a sheet pan and place it in the oven and bake for 30 - 35 minutes.
  • Remove from pan, cover with a towel and let cool a bit. 
  • Slice with a serrated knife or preferably bread knife.

Baking Tips:

  1. Else preheat oven to 200 degree C for 60 secs and switch off.
  2. Make sure you use fresh yeast.
  3. Sugar helps to feed the yeast and help it to rise faster. It also adds taste to the bread. But  too much sugar will cause the bread to rise too fast and collapse.
  4. Salt helps to control fermentation but never add it along with the yeast as it will kill the  yeast.
  5. Use ingredients at room temperature.
  6. The dough must be thoroughly kneaded to help develop the elasticity. It also gives the proper texture.
  7. Avoid dusting too much flour as it will affect the texture of bread.
  8. I used a 24cm* 10cm silicon loaf pan
  9. The final rising time may vary. The dough should rise above the pan.
  10. If the bread gets browned too soon cover it with a foil.

03 July 2012

Nadan Chakka Pradaman / Country Style Jack Fruit Pudding

I enjoy having payasam but only on rare occasions do I really go to make it. The only reason being that it is time consuming. :) Just love to have the payasam made by mom and amma. Today I tried my mom's special Chakka Pradaman recipe. 

Just love having ripe jack fruits but this time they were ripe only after the rains started so it was better not to have them without cooking. The aroma of the payasam wafted all around the house and everyone kept peeping in to the kitchen to see if the pradaman was done. It tasted divine and I was so happy getting all the compliments. ;)


Jackfruit (Hard variety  / Varikka Chakka) - 800g+ 2 cups
Jaggery - 1 kg
Grated Coconut  - from 2 big coconuts
    First milk      - 1 1/4 cup
    Second Milk - 5 1/2 cup
Water - 1 cup + 1/4 cup + 4 cups
Cardamom Powder - 3 big pods
Cashew - 25g
Kismis - 25g
Ghee - 1 1/2 tbsp
Salt - a pinch

Clean and chop jackfruit into small pieces. Reserve 2 cups
Melt jaggery in a stew pan / deep pan by adding 1 cup water. Keep stirring in between till it melts completely on medium flame.
In the mean time extract the coconut milk. To extract the first milk add 1/4 cup warm water. Pulse it in a mixer and then extract milk using your hand or a spoon (pressing it in a hand sieve).
Add 4 cups of warm water again and pulse it to extract the second milk.
Filter the jaggery to remove any impurities. Pour it into a wide mouthed non stick deep pan.
Cook the jack fruit in the jaggery on medium to low flame.
Once the jack fruit is cooked cool it and grind it into fine paste. Transfer it to the same wide mouthed pan.
Using a balloon whisk stir the mixture to remove any fiber.
Continue to cook the ground paste.
Add the second milk and let cook on low flame for 10 minutes.
Add the reserved jack fruit pieces. Let cook on medium flame till it is soft and cooked.
In a small pan heat the ghee. Roast the cashews till golden. Transfer it to a plate and then roast the kismis. Reserve the ghee.
When the jack fruit is cooked add the first milk.
Tip in the cardamom powder, cashew, kismis, ghee and salt.

To powder cardamom add 1/2 tsp sugar along with the 3 pods to the dry jar mixer and pulse it. Remove husk.
Jaggery means sugarcane molasses. I used the dark brown ones. You can also use the light coloured ones or a mixture of dark and light 1:1.
Payasam tastes good even if it is served cold. So you can enjoy it even the next day if refrigerated.