Pav or Milk buns

Baking bread is one of the simplest tasks in home baking. The recipe is easy and fool proof. The product tastes great and the best part is that the bread can be baked into any shape. Just let your imagination run wild.

Makes 12 roles

Ingredients

3 cups all purpose flour + more for dusting

2 1/4 tsp dry active yeast

2 tsp sugar

1/4 cup lukewarm water

1 tsp salt

1 cup warm milk

Rolls, Challah, Soup rolls and a little Tortoise

Light and fluffy inside of the buns

My whimsical tortoise

Prove the yeast by mixing yeast with sugar and water and letting it stand for 5 mins. When the yeast starts frothing slightly, add the salt and the flour. Slowly add milk till the dough starts coming together.

Flour the chopping board surface and knead the the dough with the ball of your hand till it is smooth. Keep aside a few tablespoons of milk.

Let the dough rest in a bowl covered with cling film till it is doubled in size. This will take about 2 hours. Make a cut in the shape of a cross on the dough. This will help it rise better.

Punch the dough and knead it again. Dust the surface with flour if required.

Roll the dough into a rough rectangle and make 12 cuts. Knead each piece like you are tucking in the sides. This will give a nice smooth ball.

Place the dough balls close to each other on a greased baking tray and let them rest for about 1 hour till they are doubled in size.

Wash the dough balls with half the leftover milk.

Bake in a pre-heated oven for 30 mins at 180C for 30 mins. Wash the dough balls again with the leftover milk and turn the tray around for even baking. The double wash will give a better gloss and colour to the bread.

Let cool completely on a wire rack before serving.

Bread Pudding

Sometimes you just crave for something sweet at the end of a meal or for breakfast. One of the easiest recipes is bread pudding. My mom would make Shahi Tukra which is fried bread dipped in sweet creamy milk. Bread pudding is similar but a baked variation. I have used plain brown bread and skimmed milk but the dish can be elevated with the use of a fancy bread like Challah and half and half. It will be more decadent. Addition of nuts like walnuts or pecans and a bit of drizzled icing on top can add more color to the dish.

Bread Pudding

Ingredients

3 bread slices

1/2 cup milk

2 tbsp honey

1 tbsp sugar

1 egg

1 egg yolk

2 tbsp raisins

1 tsp vanilla essence

Break the egg and egg yolk and mix. Add milk, honey and sugar along with vanilla essence. Whisk together.

Place the bread slices on a china porcelain baking tray overlapping each other. Place the raisins in between the bread slices. This will prevent the raisins from charring when baked.

Pour the milk on the bread. Press the bread slightly so the milk is absorbed and leave it for five minutes. The drier the bread the better as it will soak up the milk better.

Bake in a preheated oven at 170C for 30 mins. Serve hot.

Tip: You can add orange rind or cocoa or spices like cinnamon and nutmeg also to the bread pudding.

Zucchini Bread

Well, there are these zucchinis lying in my fridge, courtesy Hubby’s colleague. And hubby was quite tied up about the zucchini bread. So the search began again and the internet offered multitudes of zucchini bread recipes. Here is my adapted version. Turned out quite well I suppose as hubby could not have enough of it and even took some for his colleague as a thank you gesture.

This recipe makes a 2 pound loaf or you can divide it into two smaller ones.

Ingredients

3 eggs

1 cup vegetable oil

2 cups white sugar

2 cups grated zucchini

2 tsp vanilla extract

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground nutmeg

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1/2 cup chopped almonds

Zucchini Bread

Beat the eggs till light and fluffy. Add oil and sugar and mix till well blended. Add the dry ingredients except flour. Add the grated zucchini and the vanilla essence. Mix thoroughly. Leave the skin on the zucchini for this gives a wonderful color to the bread. Squeeze out excess juices before mixing it in.

Add the flour one cupful at a time and fold in gently.

Grease the loaf tin and pour the bread batter in it. Sprinkle the almonds on top.

Bake in a pre-heated oven at 165 degrees C for 60-70 minutes or till a toothpick when inserted comes out clean. Let it cool on a wire rack before serving.

Zucchini Bread