Category Archives: Bread

Ka’ak – Palestinian Street bread

Bread making is therapeutic – I was up before dawn of unsettling times , it seemed quiet and restful with no perception of the virus. Pulled out my favorite cookbook to plan ahead for 5 adults working/studying from home before my own workday started. I found this beautiful Ka’ak recipe in @palestineonaplate cookbook which is a Palestinian sesame bread.

Ka’ak is the Arabic word for cake for a type of bread that is made in the shape of a handbag or a large ring , covered with sesame seeds

My bread was ready by lunch and when everyone got off their conference calls and online classes there was warm bread to feed the soul <3. Served with home made za’atar and olive oil .. Can’t explain in words how beautiful was this bread and better yet the coming together of the family to this simple lunch.

This recipe is slightly modifies from the Palestine on a Plate cookbook but stays pretty true to the origin of the recipe.

I have used mostly whole wheat flour with some white flour, probably 3 to 1 proportion. You need to adjust the flour and water consistency to what works in your climate. The dough after kneading should be soft and be able to spring back.

Here is Joudie Kalla’s recipe slightly adapted to my taste:

  • Servings: 10
  • Difficulty: easy
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Credit:foodforthesoul00.com

Ingredients

2 cups warm water

1/2 cup whole milk

1/2 cup whole yoghurt

2 tbsp instant yeast

1 tsp sea salt

2 tbsp sugar

1/4 cup olive oil

7 cups flour plus more for managing the dough

1 – 2 cups of sesame seeds

1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp of water for egg wash

 

Directions

Bring the the milk, water and yogurt at a warm temperature

Add the yeast and the sugar and let it sit for about 5 mins until bubbles form and you can see the yeast coming alive.

Add the salt and olive oil and start kneading the dough. I used a mixer with a dough attachment for about 5 -7 minutes.

Adjust the water or extra flour until the dough comes together and bounces back.

Leave it to rise in a well oiled bowl for 2 hours ( until it doubles in size)

Punch the dough down
and make about 12 balls from the dough on a tray. Cover with a towel and leave to rise for 1 hour.

Meanwhile get your oven hot to about 475 degrees F.

Dust your surface with flour and roll out each ball to an oval shape. Cut a hole on the top to form a handle.

Brush egg wash on top of the bread and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Pat them down.

I baked two at a time on a tray.

It took about 12 minutes for each to puff up and brown. You have to watch it really closely or you will burn them.

Serve with Zaatar, olive oil and cheese.

This bread lifted our spirits as we all adjusted to a new way of living. Some had it dipped in home made za’atar and olive oil and others with cheese and hummus. It brought peace for a moment,

Peace and love to all

Sharing this at Fiesta Friday.

Tales of Kashmiri breads – Girda and Lavasa

Returning to Kashmir after 2 years was bitter sweet. While the city was encased in sorrow and the shroud of curfews, hartals and brutal clashes, the beauty of the land demanded to be noticed in an eerie quietness..no traffic, no business, empty streets, barbed wires and overbearing military presence made the resilient majestic land proudly stand alone in its poetic beauty.

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Waking up at 4am to the sounds of that crazy rooster with no snooze button can be quite annoying but was surprisingly comforting, the crows start to chip in shortly, then gentle sounds of nearby mosques and folks getting up to bring in the unpredictable mornings.

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I could not wait for morning as I have waited 2 years to eat the fabulous breakfast breads. Curfew or not the hunt for an open Kandur began the first day I arrived.

Every Kashmiri neighborhood boasts a traditional bakery known as “Kandur” serving up breads or many vareities. While the sky is still tinged with darkness they fire up wood burning ovens and start baking exquisite breads. The customers line and the  Kandur has the difficult job of serving up different orders and keeping them in sequence of who showed up first. The folks wait patiently mesmerized by the movement on the hands and knuckles on soft dough and then darting in and out of the hot oven. These breads are perfectly paired with a slab of butter and a good cup of tea particularity the salty pink tea called Nun chai. The two we feasted on were the Girda and Lavasa

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Girda is  a medium sized everyday bread with hand made indentations and a golden crust. Crunchy on the outside and soft white on the inside, it is a much craved addiction.

Lavasa is a thin, large, thin unleavened flat bread equally addictive and disappears fast with butter and jam.

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Every morning our hunt for an open Kandur begin…through tiny streets and sometimes following people walking with bread bags in tiny alley ways as they would lead us to the nearest Kandur.  My daughter, husband and I would take the hot bread with a slab of butter and sit by the Dal Lake and savor the beauty creating a truly heavenly breakfast time.

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Breaking bread with a whole new meaning…each day.

Taking my story and bread offering to Angie’s Fiesta Friday cohosted this week by the fabulous and creative bloggers Jhuls @ thenotsocreativecook and Suzanne @ apuginthekitchen.

Also sharing on Saucy Saturdays

Carrot Banana Bread with Almond Flour

Looking for healthier versions of tea time snacks and trying to use my bananas and carrots, I found a number of recipes in my google search. I have made  almond flour banana bread numerous times but wanted to add some carrot. I adapted  some recipes but the closet original of the the paleo recipe can be found at here . I used 3 parts almond flour and 1 part buckwheat flour, still all gluten free. For the sweetness I used coconut nectar instead of dates. Dates would have been great but I was too lazy and short on time to use and wash a food processor 🙂

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Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

Raw organic Almond Flour works great to give it the spongy texture, carrots add the vitamin c and walnut the rich nutrients. Add the bananas and eggs and its really a great breakfast food.

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I love citrus zest and use it as much as I can. Drying your own organic peels and grinding them is a great way to use zest in food, soaps and cleaners. I had fresh mandarins on hands and the freshness brought a punch to the bread.

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For tea time in my house  it was served with Matcha tea and a side of crème fresh. I found this simple article on Matcha if you want to learn more about this tea full of antioxidants.

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Carrot Banana Bread -food for the soul

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup Almond flour
  • 1/2 cup Buckwheat flour
  • 2 tsp Baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp Sea salt
  • 1 tsp Ground Ceylon cinnamon
  • 3 mashed Bananas
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Coconut oil, melted
  • 11/2 cup Organic carrot grated
  • 1 Tbsp Orange zest ( optional)
  • 1 cup Chopped or halved walnuts

Putting it together

  • Preheat oven to 350 F and grease a loaf pan with coconut oil
  • In a large bowl, combine flours, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
  • In another bowl, combine bananas, eggs, vinegar and oil.
  • Add wet ingredients to the  dry mixture in the large bowl and combine thoroughly.
  • Fold in carrots, orange zest and nuts.
  • Bake at 350 F for 25 minutes.

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Sharing this on  Fiesta Friday and to the co-hosts Steffi @ Ginger & Bread and Andrea @ Cooking With a Wallflower. Also linked up on Throwback Thursday

Spelt and Sunflower Seeds Loaf

A warm loaf of healthy bread is a simple pleasure that does delight the soul.

Spelt ans Sunflower Loaf
Spelt and Sunflower Loaf

Spelt is one of the super grains. It is a hulled grain that has a nutty flavor. In Greek mythology spelt was a gift to the Greeks from the Goddess Demeter, and was first used by the Greeks.

I used a combination of whole wheat and spelt in this recipe to balance the gluten but you could go all spelt. The sunflower seeds elevate its nutritional value and add that crunchy bit. Coconut sugar and honey add the sweetness and pulls it all together.

Spelt ans Sunflower Loaf

Kneading the dough by hand is therapeutic so I have not used a machine but you could. Knead with the palm of your hand for a good amount of time ( 4mins for this one). Letting the dough rise is important so don;t skip that. I put it in my sunroom for 2 hours….you could also heat the oven to 200 degrees, turn it off and then let the dough rise in there. Make sure to let the bread rests for a bit when it comes out of the oven as well.

Spelt ans Sunflower Loaf

Spelt ans Sunflower Loaf

Spelt ans Sunflower Loaf

Spelt ans Sunflower Loaf
Spelt and Sunflower Loaf

I am taking this to Fiesta Friday to share with some fabulous people. This week is co-hosted by  Jhuls of the Not so Creative Cook and Elaine of Foodbod.

Spelt and Sunflower Seeds Loaf

  • Servings: 1 loaf
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Credit: food for the soul

Ingredients:

2 cups Organic Spelt flour

2 cups Organic Whole wheat flour

1 tbsp honey

1 tsp coconut sugar

1 tsp fine sea salt

2 tsp active dry yeast

2 tbsp sunflower seeds plus a few for toppings

1 tbsp olive oil

1 2/3 cup luke warm water

Putting it together:

Add the flour in a bowl with the yeast, sugar, salt, and honey, oil and seeds. Add the water in increments and mix until the dough starts to come together.

Pour the dough out on a flour dusted surface and knead by folding and pushing with the palm of you hand. Repeat for about 4 mins until the dough is stretchy and smooth.

Make an ball, cover and let it rest in a warm place for 2 hours.

Pound the dough down and roll it out with your hand to the length of your loaf (9 by 5)  pan.

Fold the longer edge in and roll it in to form a loaf.

Put it in a oiled loaf pan, top with seeds and let it rise for 20 mins.

Bake at 400 degrees for 40 mins until the loaf is risen and golden on top.

Cool on a rack for 30 mins.

Slice and enjoy.

Spelt and Sunflower Loaf
Spelt and Sunflower Loaf

Banana Bread – gluten free

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I have been experimenting with many variations of a gluten free banana bread recipe. The best so far has been a recipe I found in Elana’s Pantry at http://www.elanaspantry.com/paleo-banana-bread. This is a high protein Paleo recipe that hit the mark. The consistency is soft and juicy and the flavor nutty. This is an excellent snack toasted and served with Raw honey.

Almond meal is made from blanched sweet almonds and is low carb substitute to wheat flour in baking

You do want to use ripe bananas and a regular loaf pan

  • 3 ripe bananas mashed
  • 3 organic large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon organic honey
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • 2 cups of a good variety almond meal
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

Blend together bananas, eggs, vanilla, honey and coconut oil and pulse in the dry ingredients.
Pour into a greased ( with coconut oil) loaf pan and bake at 350° for about 60 minutes. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean.
Once cool, serve slices with raw organic honey.

Methi ki roti

A friend as work introduced me to these delicious rotis ( bread) that his wife had packed for lunch. So grateful that he shared them with me. I made these at home as a low gluten version

Methi or fenugreek can be used dry or fresh. It is used in multiple cuisines such as Indian, Persian and Egyptian. Methi has multiple health benefits including helping lower cholesterol.

About the flours:

Jowar (white millet) is a gluten-free, high-protein, cholesterol-free source of essential nutrients, including dietary fiber, iron, phosphorus and thiamine. It is a great substitute for whole wheat.

Bajri is another millet flour full of nutrients

Rye is lower in gluten that wheat and high in fiber. It has been touted to work well for weight loss.

The dough will no be very pliable due to the low gluten content so use your hands and light pressure on the rolling pin to roll them out.

1 cup of Rye flour

1 cup of bajri flour

1 cup of jowar flour

1 cup of dry methi leaves

1/2 cup of kefir or youghurt

1/2 tsp of himalayan salt

 

Knead the dough with a bit of warm water as needed.

Roll out the rotis and cook on a flat pan with a dash of ghee. Serve with a side of chutney and vegetable korma. It is a delicious as a snack by itself.

 

Karela Roti

Bitter Melon or Karela known for its bitter taste and for its ability to fight diabetes. Normally I remove the seeds and use this vegetable in juicing, getting all the nutrients. Using it in a bread recipe was a delicious move. You could also fry the bread and make puri’s and serve with dal. I served it with cauliflower and sambar.

5-photo 1-002 Karela peel 3 Karela skins shredded and soaked in salt for about 15 mins

1 cup Bajri flour

1 cup Jowhar flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1 tbsp sooji (semolina)

1tpsp ground flaxmeal ( optional)

2 tbsp besan flour

1 tsp coriander powder

1 tsp ginger powder

1 tsp cayenne powder ( reduce if needed)

Make the dough with all the ingredients in warm water and a pinch of salt.4-photo 1-001

Since this is pretty low in gluten, it make be hard to roll out. You can put the dough balls between plastic wrap to help if needed. 3-photo 4-0012-photo 3 1-photo 2