Category: Vegetarian Recipes

Restaurant Style Chutney/ Dip for Tandoori Snacks

How many times have you enjoyed the dip served at a restaurant more than the actual starters!? Bullseye, ain’t it? It has happened with me too many times to even keep a count. It’s probably because I was too critical of the starters or maybe because I simply enjoy my condiments more than my food! 😬 

Can you blame me? Who likes a piece of tandoori paneer/ chicken all chewy & short of any seasonings…? What you really like then is a good dip/ chutney to pour over your starter and gulp it down. In the process you obviously appreciate the dip/ chutney and wonder what’s it made of??!

Chutney for tandoori snacks Restaurant style dip for Indian tandoori snacks PolkaPuffs recipe

What really goes into making that perfect restaurant style tandoori dip/ chutney as it’s most commonly known amongst most of us. I will tell you…and trust me it’s so yum! Obviously I tried too many recipes before settling with this one..and it’s absolutely easy and requires ingredients that are available easily at home 😊

Yield: a bowl

Equipment: a blender, measuring cups/ spoons.

Ingredients:

1 cup chopped coriander leaves

1 cup chopped mint leaves

1 cup thick curd

salt to taste

water as needed

1-2 nos. green chillies

2-3 pods of garlic

1″ piece of ginger

1-2 tsp lemon juice

Method:

Chutney for tandoori snacks Restaurant style dip for Indian tandoori snacks PolkaPuffs recipe Chutney for tandoori snacks Restaurant style dip for Indian tandoori snacks PolkaPuffs recipe

Add all the ingredients in the blender except lemon juice & curd. Also, use water as needed depending on the consistency you’d prefer (I use about 2-3 tbsp). Blend them together making sure that the texture is fine. Next add the curd and lemon juice and blend again for a minute. That’s it, store in a glass bowl and this keeps well in the refrigerator.

Enjoy with sandwich/ starters/ rolls or just about anything!

Chutney for tandoori snacks Restaurant style dip for Indian tandoori snacks PolkaPuffs recipe

We enjoyed these with crispy aloo bhajiyaas!

Love,

Shreya ❤️

Adapted from Vegetarian Delight

 

Roasted Masala Makhane | Roasted Foxnuts

You’d love to chomp on something healthy for a change, wouldn’t you! I know I would…..and I do☺️ These peppery, spicy, very crunchy & absolutely addictive Roasted Masala Makhane (Foxnuts)are our go to snack on most days!  

I can’t seem to get enough of these, I remember grabbing them by the handful when my Mom would make these on the days she’d be fasting..(vrat)….she’d use sendha namak and ever since then I have been a huge fan 😉 Obviously, when you are not fasting, use regular salt or sea salt.

Roasted phool makhane Roasted masala makhane recipe Vrat ka khana PolkaPuffs recipes How to make roasted makhane Foxnuts recipe

They are also supposed be very healthy and filling too…besides being yummy and so easy to make!

Yield: depends on how much you wish to make! I suggest, make a large batch because they taste better than your favourite ‘butter popcorn’ 😜

Equipment: a wok, a spatula, measuring cups/ spoons

Ingredients:

2 cups makhane

salt to taste

black pepper to taste

3-4 tsp ghee (clarified butter)

any other masalas (spices) you wish to add.

Method:

Cut the makhane into halves and see if they are clean and dry within (see pics below).

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Heat ghee in a wok, add the makhane. If you need to, then add more ghee. I did add about 1 tsp more. The more ghee you add, the crisper they get. The makhane absorb a lot of ghee anyway, so you’d literally not see the ghee in the pan.

Roasted phool makhane Roasted masala makhane recipe Vrat ka khana PolkaPuffs recipes How to make roasted makhane Foxnuts recipe

Season with salt & pepper. Add any more spices as per your taste. Let the makhane crisp up on medium flame for another 4-5 mins but keep tossing them around constantly so that they don’t colour up too much.

That’s about it, have it piping hot! They stay crunchy for almost an hour, but that depends on how much ghee you have added while roasting them.

Roasted phool makhane Roasted masala makhane recipe Vrat ka khana PolkaPuffs recipes How to make roasted makhane Foxnuts recipe

You got to try these to know how good it actually tastes!

Love,

Shreya💗

Mathura ke Pede

The famous Mathura ke Pede recreated in my kitchen! They are much easier to make than it looks😁 Just a little bit of elbow grease and you’re almost there…almost!! 😜

I say almost, because I was tired and then stopped the ‘bhunoing‘ process (sautéing the ingredients) as my arm hurt so bad after stirring the Khova/ Mawa (milk solids) for almost 30 mins! Yes ….that doesn’t sound like much but you got to do it to know how much I wanted to throw the spatula and run out of the kitchen!! 😂😂 Who ever said I was known for my patience!?! Haven’t you seen my recipes….I usually share ridiculously easy ones!

Mathura ke Pede recipe PolkaPuffs recipe Easy rakesh a band ham recipes Diwali sweets recipes PolkaPuffs

As always, my hubby wanted something sweet but Indian! I said ok…let me make some Khoya Pedas, and he said no! Something else…I ventured….instant Doodh Pedas!!? LOL! He was like…”lady, something different…Pedas will do but a different variety!!”  😳🤔🤔🤔🤔 then I thought of Mathura Ke Pede…sounds exotic and makes it look a whole lot different from any other Peda that I usually make at home!

The hubby doesn’t need to know that it’s basically the same thing, just the cooking process differs! 🤗😜😜 And obviously, the flavour is more intense and really delicious! A little patience in ensuring how well the Khoya cooks out is very important…my Mom was worried that I’d either burn the Khoya or under cook it and ruin her recipe…..but I managed to get the colour almost right!!! Yay!

Yield: 10-12 medium sized Pedas

Equipment: a heavy bottomed wok, measuring cups/ spoons, a couple of plates, a spatula.

Ingredients:

200 gms Khoya (I used store bought)

1 cup castor sugar + extra to coat the Pedas (adjust the sugar as per your taste)

1/4 tsp cardamom pwd (optional)

milk & ghee as needed

Method:

Take grated Khoya in the wok and cook on low flame. Keep stirring it continuously until the khoya begins to melt.

Mathura ke Pede recipe PolkaPuffs recipe Easy rakesh a band ham recipes Diwali sweets recipes PolkaPuffs

Add 1 teaspoon of ghee at this stage and some milk, about 2 teaspoons. Keep stirring continuously so that the Khoya gets an even colour and doesn’t burn at the bottom.

Mathura ke Pede recipe PolkaPuffs recipe Easy rakesh a band ham recipes Diwali sweets recipes PolkaPuffs

It took me almost 25-30 mins to reach this stage (pic below). I added another two teaspoons of milk because the Khoya looked dry. Add milk as per the texture. Always cook on low flame else the Khoya will colour unevenly.

Mathura ke Pede recipe PolkaPuffs recipe Easy rakesh a band ham recipes Diwali sweets recipes PolkaPuffs

Turn off the flame (I didn’t cook it any further to make it a little more brown, my arms were hurting too much after stirring constantly). Add cardamom pwd and mix well. Let this mixture cool down for just 5-6 mins and add the castor sugar. And mix with your hands to incorporate the sugar.

Mathura ke Pede recipe PolkaPuffs recipe Easy rakesh a band ham recipes Diwali sweets recipes PolkaPuffs

(TIP: Don’t let the mixture cool off too much before adding the sugar as the sugar won’t melt properly. But in case the khoya has become too cold and the sugar isn’t melting properly, you can cook the khoya & sugar mixture for 3-4 mins on low flame and immediately take it out of the pan and mix well).

Once the mixture is ready, grease your palms with some ghee and make Pedas of any shape (I kept them rustic) and roll them in some castor sugar. And set them aside. These can be stored for more than a week even without refrigeration as they have been cooked so well. That’s it!

Mathura ke Pede recipe PolkaPuffs recipe Easy rakesh a band ham recipes Diwali sweets recipes PolkaPuffs

Don’t they look yum! I insist….you must make these, too easy and super delish!

Love,

Shreya💖

Slightly adapted from here.

Oats Cheela | Savory Oats Crepes

No, I am not fond of Cheela. Period. Never have been and never will be! But my darling hubby is, more than fond I must say. He particularly enjoys it in the rainy weather with a cup of strong ginger tea 😘 And I indulge him! 

Hence, this morning….knowing the climate was perfect for these Cheelas or savory crepes…he asked me if I was going to make some…obviously I would I said! & I did. With my little, sneaky twist of healthy quotient in place and lots of spice too! Just the way he likes it.🤗

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I know everyone makes Cheelas and there is nothing special about them…but everyone makes these slightly differently and here’s how my Mom makes it…& I just add some oats to make it a bit healthier 😉 Let’s see how….

Yield: 5-6 cheelas/ crepes

Equipment: a non-stick pan, a spatula, a mixing bowl, measuring cups/ spoons.

Ingredients:

1 cup besan/ gram flour

2 tbsp oats

salt to taste

water as needed

1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste

1/2 tsp chopped green chilli

1/4 cup chopped onions

2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves

a pinch of asafoetida (hing)

1/2 tsp red chilli pwd

1/2 tsp turmeric pwd

Oil as needed to cook the crepes

Method:

Firstly, in a dry non-stick pan, roast the oats for 1-2 mins. Let them not change the colour. We just need to crisp them up a bit. Turn off the flame. Let them cool down for a min. Then blend the roasted oats to a fine powder in a blender without using any water.

In a mixing bowl add all the ingredients except water & oil. Add little water at a time to a smooth & lump free batter. It should as thick as a dosa batter.

Oats besan Cheela recipe Savory oats pancake Savory crepes PolkaPuffs recipes

Heat the pan, spread the batter in a uniformed way. Drizzle some oil aournd it and cook on low flame for 2-3 mins on the first side. Then flip it over and cook other side for 1-2 mins. Add more oil if necessary. But do not cook on high flame, else they will remain undercooked within and will burn on the outside.

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Once cooked, serve hot with some ketchup or green coriander chutney.

Oats besan Cheela recipe Savory oats pancake Savory crepes PolkaPuffs recipes

My hubby loves these…and I am happy as they are healthy and super filling!

Love,

Shreya💖

Rassedaar Aloo Tamatar | Indian Potato & Tomato Curry

Considering how much I love Potatoes, I have a very few recipes about them on the blog! Dubkimaar Aloo or Rassedaar Aloo Tamatar is very common in my home…specially for Sunday brunch with some crispy, flaky, layered Parathas😋 NomNom!!

 Dubkimaar Aloo Aloo Tamatar ka rassa PolkaPuffs recipes

Rassedaar Aloo Tamatar is very famous all over Uttar Praadesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Odissa, Madhya Pradesh and other neighbouring States, but is made differently everywhere you go. The taste changes from from one city to the next!

I am sharing my version of it which I’ve learnt from my Mom. No one makes Rassedaar Aloo Tamatar like she does, it’s irresistible, finger licking good!
The best part is that these are made without onions, garlic or any ginger even! Just some basic spices and you have yourself a yummy curry in a hurry! 😉
Pair it with some Masala Pooris or even Tehri, and you don’t need anything else!

Let’s see how….

Yield: serves 2

Equipment: a heavy bottom wok, measuring cups/ spoons, a ladle, a lid.

Ingredients:
2-3 nos. peeled, washed & cubed potatoes
1 nos. large washed & cubed tomato
2 tbsp mustard oil (you can use refined oil)
1 nos. slit green chilli
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
A pinch of asafoetida (hing)
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/4 tsp Garam masala
1/4 tsp amchoor powder (raw mango pwd)
Salt to taste
Water as needed
Coriander leaves to garnish

Method:
Heat oil in the wok. Once it’s hot, add the green chilli, cumin seeds & hing. Let these splatter for a minute. Then add the potatoes, turmeric pwd, cumin powder & red chilli powder. Stir well and sauté for 5 mins. Season with salt. Then, add some water and cover with a lids to cook for 10 mins or until the potatoes are done.

Open the lid, add the garam masala & tomatoes, mix well. Cover again to cook the tomatoes until they are mushy and form a curry. Adjust the consistency of the curry (rassa). Add amchoor powder and garnish with coriander leaves. Serve piping hot!

Dubkimaar Aloo Aloo Tamatar ka rassa PolkaPuffs recipes

That’s ‘comfort’ in a bowl.

Love,

Shreya❤️

Fudge Bars

These are my absolutely weakness! I can never say no to a Chocolate Fudge 😁 They are so gooey and a teeny bit chewy, not to forget the chocolate! I’d say perfect for your 4th of July celebrations too 🌭🍺

Fudge Bars How to make chocolate fudge Walnut fudge PolkaPuffs recipe

In my experience, this is the yummiest personalised gift you can make for your loved ones. Besides, you can easily play with the flavours too.

If not for gifting, just make these for yourself, curl up on the couch with your favourite novel and have some ‘fudge’!! Trust me, you’ll be making them so very often, simply because they are super addictive & get done in a breeze😉😉

Yield: 10 bars or 20 squares (depending on how your cut them)
Equipment: a heavy bottom wok, measuring cups & spoons, a wired whisk, baking/ parchment, paper or aluminium foil sheet, a sharp knife.

Ingredients :
200 ml condensed milk
3+1/2 tbsp cocoa powder
5 tbsp castor sugar
1-2 drops vanilla extract/ essence
50 gms butter
1 tbsp APF (Maida)
1/2 cup roughly chopped walnuts (replace the walnuts with pecans, cashews, hazelnuts, dried cranberries or prunes, etc.)

Method:
Line the any container or a plate with the baking paper/ parchment paper/ aluminium foil.

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In a wok, add all the ingredients except the vanilla extract & chopped walnuts.
Heat them on low flame and keep whisking simultaneously so that the mixture doesn’t burn or has any lumps.

image Fudge Bars How to make chocolate fudge Walnut fudge PolkaPuffs recipe

Keep cooking and stirring until the mixture comes together and form a thick mass that moves with the whisk. Add the vanilla extract & walnuts at this stage and mix well.

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Immediately pour the mixture on the prepared container or plate. Spread it with the help of a spatula.

Fudge Bars How to make chocolate fudge Walnut fudge PolkaPuffs recipe

Keep it in the refrigerator to set for a minimum of 2 hours. Once set, slice it into bars or squares & serve.
They last for 3-4 days under refrigeration.

Fudge Bars How to make chocolate fudge Walnut fudge PolkaPuffs recipe

Aren’t you tempted yet?! 😜
Love,
Shreya ❤️

Adapted from here.

Tortilla Pizza Cups

I am game for a pizza at any hour of the day! Sounds familiar….obviously! Most of us are…I can’t imagine someone who isn’t, literally. The gooey cheese oozing with every bite is just too tempting to deny. Calories.??😱😱 Well, give it a rest…indulge your tastebuds…and they don’t matter much when pizza can fit in a cup! 😉😉Portion control! 

Tortilla pizza cups by PolkaPuffs

Remember my Pizza Pinwheels…they were super hit! I mean…I have made them so often. They make for a great finger food just like the Bread Pizza I’d shared.

Tortilla pizza cups by PolkaPuffs

Coming to these Cups, well they are made using readymade Tortillas (someday, I will share how to make Tortillas at home😀) and can be put together in a jiffy. One can add veg or non-veg filling or just keep it simple with some cheese & pizza sauce (kid friendly). In fact, involve your kids…they’ll be so excited.

I will let you in on a quick tip here, these are perfect for portion control as I have said above too and if you do not have Tortillas then simply use Parathas and follow my recipe! They will taste just as good!

2 numbers tortilla sheets
1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup chopped bell pepper (red, yellow & green)
1/4 cup sweet corn
1/2 cup pizza sauce (I used homemade)
to taste Salt & Pepper
Oil to grease the muffin pan

Preheat the oven @180’c. Grease the muffin pan. Set that aside
Cut circles from the tortilla sheets using a round cookie cutter or any object with a sharp edge. You will get 4 rounds from 1 sheet.
Place the cut rounds in the muffin tray and apply the pizza sauce.

Tortilla pizza cups by PolkaPuffs Tortilla pizza cups by PolkaPuffs
Add the veggies and cheese next, season with salt & pepper.
Bake them @180’c for 7-8 mins or until the cheese melts and the tortilla cups turn a bit crisp from the edges.
Serve them hot with some ketchup.
Don’t they look so tempting!?
Tortilla pizza cups by PolkaPuffs

Love,
Shreya❤️

Idea taken from Pinterest.

Kadhi Pakodi

Typical to a North Indian family, we too love our Kadhi Pakodi or Kadhi Pakoras to no end. However, I do not make it very often and keep the novelty alive.

Kadhi Pakodi recipe by PolkaPuffs

That usually works too because whenever I do make it, my hubby is exceptionally happy and doesn’t wait long enough for me to even serve it properly before he starts attacking the meal 😘
So much so, that I couldn’t once click it in peace for the blog!! I mean, how does one set up the props..organise the shot, etc if you have someone hovering all around you and asking you every other minute if you were done already!!? LOL!

Kadhi Pakodi recipe by PolkaPuffs

Doesn’t that make for the most comforting meal?
A bowl of that warm, creamy, mildly spiced Kadhi with crisp yet spongy Pakodis is just what rainy afternoons need. It had been a damp weekend, so this became our late, extremely lazy Sunday lunch! Yet, not lazy enough for me click some pictures.
We had this with rotis instead of rice…as we were already pretty full from the Poha we gorged on for breakfast. Although it tastes best with some steamed rice and some kachumber (mixed salad).
I used my Mom’s recipe and it’s to die for! Usually I make the Pakodis in an Appepatra, click here to see how. Use my recipe for the Pakodi given below and follow the steps to make them in an Appepatra, that’s an almost oil free version, however, I have deep-fried these just the way my Mom does it. Indulgence is not such a bad thing once in a while, no?
The Pakodis are light & absolutely airy, almost melting into the Kadhi, and that’s how they should be if done right! Let’s see how…

Yield: serves 2
Equipment: 2 woks, measuring cups/ spoons, a few mixing bowls and spoons.

Ingredients:
For the Kadhi
1.5 tbsps Besan/ gram flour
250 gms Yogurt/ curd
to taste Salt
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
Water as needed
For the the Tempering
1 tbsp refined oil
a pinch of asafoetida (hing)
1/2 tsp paanch phoran
1 nos slit green chilly
A handful curry leaves
1/4 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
Water to correct the consistency as needed
For the Pakodis
1/2 cup Besan/ gram flour
6-7 tbsps water
to taste Salt
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp chopped green chillies
1/2 tsp chopped coriander leaves
3 tbsps finely chopped onion
1/4 tsp baking soda bicarbonate/ baking soda
to fry Oil

Method:
To begin with the Kadhi first, take the ingredients listed above for the kadhi and make a smooth mixture. This should neither be too diluted nor very thick. I do not add any water at this stage but you can always add some if the yogurt is too thick. Set this aside for 10 minutes.

image image
In the meanwhile, take all the ingredients listed above for the Pakodis except the oil, soda & water. Mix them well.
Add water very slowly and make a thick mixture. Set it aside for 10 minutes.
Coming back to the Kadhi, heat 1 tbsp of oil in a wok. Once it’s hot, add the hing, paanch phoran, g-g paste, curry leaves, green chilli. Let these splatter about a bit.
Then add the mixture we had set aside for the Kadhi. Keep stirring while you pour this into the tempering and let this cook on medium flame.

image image
Keep stirring for another couple of minutes until it has it’s first boil and stabilizes, else the yogurt may split.
Now add some water if needed to correct the consistency, mix well.
Next, add red chilli powder & adjust the salt to taste.
Let the Kadhi simmer for another 6-7 minutes.
Turn off the flame and cover with a lid.
The Pakodis need frying now, heat enough oil in a heavy bottomed wok.
Add baking soda to the Pakodi mixture & mix well.
Once the oil is hot enough, reduce the flame to medium and drop the mixture little bit at a time to make equal sized Pakodis.

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Fry them well until golden brown on all sides. Drain them well on kitchen paper. I could make 9 medium sized Pakodis with this quantity of the mixture.

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Add warm Pakodis to the Kadhi and serve with steamed rice/ rotis & a salad on the side.

Hope you like my version of Kadhi Pakodi and give it a go soon☺️
Love,
Shreya ❤️

Jamun Panna | Indian Java Plum Cooler

“Is my tongue blue yet!???” 😂😂LOL! I don’t know how many times I must’ve asked my Mom this question as a kid while chomping on some ‘jamun’ or Indian Java Plums! She’d smile indulgently and say..”Quite blue!!…eat any more and it will stay blue forever!” 

Summers…school vacations…idle afternoons…what’s a kid to do?! “Chew on your Mom’s brains”….would be my Mom’s sarcastic remark😘 Hehe!

I absolutely love jamuns…their tangy, sweet and mildly sour flavour is something I wait for every summer…and these gorgeous, plump beauties make an appearance for a really short duration almost at the end of a typical Indian summer.

Indian Java Plum CoolerJamun ma panna recipe Polkapuffs recipes

I particularly enjoyed the overripe ones…dressed with some salt and roasted cumin powder & shaken in a vessel until most of the plums would bruise and become really juicy! Wow…I am salivating as I type🤓.. They’d taste out of the world…earthy and fresh.

This Jamun Panna is very similar to that taste and takes me back to those long summer afternoons…and my Mom’s smile as I I’d ask her for the zillion th time…”Ma, is my tongue blue yet!!?”

Let’s see how…

Wash the jamun well. Add water in the saucepan along with the jamun and sugar. Keep them to boil over medium heat until all the jamun turn very soft and mushy. The flesh should be falling apart from the seed within the fruit.

Jamun Panna Indian Java Plum Cooler Polkapuffs recipes Summer coolers Easy home made drinks

Next, cool this concoction completely at room temperature. Place it in the refrigerator once cooled for at least 1-2 hours to let it macerate well.

Once it’s cooled in refrigerator, mash the fruit and the syrup through a sieve over a large mixing bowl.

Jamun Panna Indian Java Plum Cooler Polkapuffs recipes Summer coolers Easy home made drinks

Add the cumin pwd, salt & lemon juice to this sieved juice. Mix well. Add ice cubes and serve.

Indian Java Plum CoolerJamun ka panna recipe Polkapuffs recipes

This is one of the most refreshing drinks I’ve had all summer!

Jamun Panna | Indian Java Plum Cooler

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours

Total Time: 2 hours, 5 minutes

Yield: makes 4-5 servings

Refreshing cooler made with Indian Java Plums or commonly known as Jamun Ka Panna.

Ingredients

  • 250 gms Jamun/ Indian Java Plum (I used the larger, plump variety)
  • 5-6 tbsp sugar (or to taste)
  • 2 +1/2 cup water
  • 1 tsp roasted cumin powder
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)

Instructions

  1. Wash the jamun well.
  2. Add water in the saucepan along with the jamun and sugar.
  3. Keep them to boil over medium heat until all the jamun turn very soft and mushy.
  4. The flesh should be falling apart from the seed within the fruit.
  5. Next, cool this concoction completely at room temperature.
  6. Place it in the refrigerator once cooled for at least 1-2 hours to let it macerate well.
  7. Once it's cooled in refrigerator, mash the fruit and the syrup through a sieve over a large mixing bowl.
  8. Add the cumin powder, salt & lemon juice to this sieved juice.
  9. Mix well. Add ice cubes and serve.
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Love,

Shreya ❤️

Indian Java Plum Cooler | Jamun ka Panna
Adapted from Instructables.

Homemade Sandwich Bread | Basic White Bread

How many mornings have you had just a slice of toast with a cup of tea/ coffee…or juice and left for work or an early class?! Many, right?  Almost everyone loves their toast..some with butter…some with honey…or plain…me? I like it with my Homemade No Pectin Strawberry Jam 😬 

All these plus an warm, sweet & fresh loaf of bread makes for a beautiful weekend brunch. The aroma of a freshly baked bread can make you so, so hungry!! Yes…this loaf was baked by me for Sunday brunch…and was devoured by my hubby & me in about 15 mins! He, with some honey and me…jam!

Basic white bread recipe How to make a sandwich bread Polkapuffs recipe

Perfectly moist and light loaf of bread was a dream for me when I started baking breads about more than a year ago..but I kept trying and it’s been a little over six months that I make good breads..though not wholewheat…not yet. I am yet to try those.

Basic white bread recipe How to make a sandwich bread Polkapuffs recipe

The recipe that I use for this bread is the same as the one I use to make pizza base. It’s pretty easy, but do follow there simple steps to ensure a good loaf. They are all tried and tested by me.

Always fluff the flour and add spoonfuls of it into the measuring cup then level it off with a knife. As simple as that. Measurement is crucial.

Do not try to press down the flour into the cup to add more flour OR Never dip the measuring cup into the bag of flour. Doing these, will always leave you with a lot more flour than necessary and you will positively end up with a very dry and heavy loaf

I have used instant active yeast, never tried baking with fresh yeast. Check the box for the expiry date thoroughly before starting the recipe, make sure you don’t use the yeast if it’s less than two months away from the expiry date.

If your yeast doesn’t bloom or activate, discard and start again.

The water used for activating the yeast must be tepid. That is when you can comfortably hold your finger in the water but it must not be on the cooler side.

Do not try to make this “healthy” by skimping on the fat/ oil/ butter content. Follow the recipe and you will have a moist loaf.

Let’s get baking..

Yield: a small loaf/ 6-7 slices of bread

Equipment: 1 large mixing bowl, a small bowl, measuring cups/ spoons, baking tin, cooling rack.

Ingredients:

2 cups plain flour (Maida/ APF, 1 cup is approx 130 grams)

some extra flour to dust

2+1/2 tsp dry active yeast (1 tsp is approx 3.5/ 4 grams)

2 + 1/4 tsp sugar

3/4 cup warm water (you should be able to dip your finger comfortably)

4 Tbsp oil + extra for greasing

1 tsp salt

Method:

Take warm water in a bowl, add the sugar and yeast to it. Cover it and leave to prove & froth for 10 mins in a warm place.

Next, in a large mixing bowl, add the flour, 2 1/2 tbsp oil, salt to taste. Now add the entire proved yeast mixture & using a fork mix everything together to make a sticky dough. It will be very sticky but should not be falling apart at all. Now, sprinkle some flour on a work surface, and drop the dough on it,sprinkle some more flour over the dough. Using your palms, start kneading the dough well. Add more flour if the dough feels too sticky or some water if it feels very dry.

Keep kneading well for 10 mins. You will have a neat, non-sticky ball of dough. Knead it for a couple of mins more. It should all look like this.

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Now, grease the mixing bowl which you have kept aside & place the dough in it, cover with a lid or cling film & set aside in a warm place for 1 1/2 hours to prove. It should be double or more than double in size after proving. It will look like this.

Basic white bread recipe How to make a sandwich bread Polkapuffs recipe

Gently, punch the air out of the dough. Next, grease the baking tin with oil. Set that aside.

Roll out the dough in an squarish shape and flatten it out a bit. Start rolling from one side like a Swiss roll. Pinch to close the ends. Keeping the pinched side down, place this roll into the greased tin. Make deep incisions using a serrated knife if you like. Cover loosely with a kitchen towel and place it in a warm place for 30 mins for second proving.

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This is how it should look after the second proving.

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Preheat the oven @180’c for 10 mins. Brush some oil over the top of the proved dough. Bake for about 20-25 mins @ 180’c using both, top & bottom heating elements. (Every oven works differently so pls set the temperature and the timing accordingly)

Once done, remove from the oven and cool on a cooling rack for about 15 mins before slicing the loaf as it needs to set well. That’s it, your bread is ready. Keeps well for a day or two wrapped in a parchment paper in a bread box or any container.

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Besides, waking up to a freshly baked bread can be therapeutic!😉

Love,

Shreya❤️

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