Pesto Cheese Skillet Rolls

After having got a lovely loaf of aata (whole wheat) bread, I wanted to play with more baking with aata. Found this recipe of pesto parmesan skillet rolls here and loved the look of them! Now if you want to make them with Maida/Plain flour, simply follow the recipe as it is. I wanted to make them eggless and whole wheat, so I made some changes to my aata bread recipe and Bingo! A skillet full of yum 😀
Pesto Cheese Skillet rolls

Had this heavy cast iron skillet resting on the shelf, which I have never used. It has found its use now.
I whipped up some basil pesto, replacing pine nuts with almonds and cashews for a nice creamy twist. (Find the recipe here) and some of it went into the dough along with half a cup of cheese.

Pesto Sauce
I am going to try making these with our very own ‘Dhaniye ki chutney’ the next time for a very Indian take on these buns. I guess I will add some peanuts to the chutney to make it creamy. Mmmm..Sounds like a plan!

So here goes

Bowl 1
2 ¼ tsp Active dry yeast/ 1 tsp Instant yeast
½ cup warm water
2 Tbsp sugar

Bowl 2
½ cup warm milk
2 Tbsp pesto
1 Tbsp Olive oil
1 tsp salt
(1 egg, if using)

Other ingredients
3 – 3 ¼ cup of flour
½ cup of cheese, grated (Parmesan/cheddar/mozzarella or any you have at hand)
More warm water as needed to knead the dough.
Olive oil for greasing the skillet and brushing the buns
Some basil leaves for garnish
More pesto for serving with the buns

Mix all the ingredients of Bowl 1 and let sit for 10-14 minutes till the yeast becomes frothy.
Mix all the ingredients of Bowl 2 and stir well.
In a large kneading bowl take 3 cups of flour and half a cup of grated cheese. Add the ingredients of bowl 1 and bowl 2 and mix well. It will all come together as a rough dough. Cover and let rest for 15 minutes.
Knead for 10-15 minutes adding a little water or flour as needed till you get a smooth dough. It is okay if it is a little sticky. Do not add too much flour.
Cover and let rise till doubled ( It took me 30 minutes). Stick two fingers into the dough to check it the first proof is done. If the indentations remain, the dough is ready for shaping.
148 Post Pesto  Rolls2
Preheat the oven to 190C and grease the skillet (or a heavy baking pan) generously with about one tbsp olive oil.
Deflate the dough and divide into 12-15 equal parts. Roll them into ball shapes. Stick a piece of cheese in like I did to surprise the kids!
Place the prepared rolls on the skillet and brush with olive oil. Cover with a greased cling film and let rise for another 15-30 minutes till they are nicely puffed up.
Sprinkle some cheese and spread some pesto over the rolls.
Bake for 30-35 minutes till the tops are browned.
Serve with soup and more pesto.
148 Post Pesto  Rolls1Pesto dinner rolls

Garlicky Mushroom Soup with Fantail Rolls

A ‘soup and rolls’ dinner is the best thing about cold December evenings. This thick garlicky mushroom soup makes for a hearty and complete meal when paired with some hot buttered dinner rolls.
This is my garlicky variation of the traditional Cream of Mushroom soup. I often serve it with bruscetta.
This time I made these Herbed garlic Fantail rolls.

For the soup we need (serves 4)
1 ½ cup mushrooms, sliced thin
1 onion, chopped very fine
5-6 cloves of garlic, minced
2-3 tbsp corn flour/all purpose flour mixed with ¼ cup of milk till smooth
1 tsp salt
½ tsp white/black pepper powder
2 cups milk
1 Tbsp butter

Warm the butter and add the garlic.
Once slightly browned, add the onions and cook stirring for about 5 minutes till the onion cooks.
Add the mushrooms and cook for about ten minutes till the water evaporates and they are sautéed well.
Add the corn flour/flour and cook for a couple of minutes.
Add the milk and stir. Bring it to a boil.
Season with salt and pepper and boil till the soup thickens.
Serve with warm bread.

For the fantail rolls, follow any white bread recipe. I followed my recipe for garlic cilantro pull apart bread and used fresh parsley and basil instead of the cilantro. For shaping the fantail rolls, follow the exact procedure for pull-apart bread as shown here.
Once you have stacked the dough strips and cut them into squares, instead of putting the squares in a loaf pan, put each square into a greased muffin pan and bake for about 15 minutes at 180C. Brush with butter and serve immediately.



Garlic and cilantro pull apart rolls with home made butter


Baking is therapeutic, Baking is fun and baking in big lots before the weekend is most of the breakfast job done!
I am now trying to work on basic proportion for dough that can be used for different kinds of breads. This Friday morning made garlic and cilantro pull apart rolls with home made butter.Universally loved and approved 😀  This dough gives soft rolls and can also be used to make burger buns.
Pull apart garlic and cilantro rolls



For the  dough

3  cups All purpose flour  (Maida)
1 tsp Instant yeast or 1 1/4 tsp Active dry yeast (If using active dry,proof in 1/4 cup of warm milk and a tsp of sugar from the recipe)
1 tsp sugar
1/2  tsp salt
1 cup warm milk
2 Tbsp olive oil/butter

For the filling

Mix all the ingredients given below to prepare the filling.

2 Tbsp butter at room temperature(I used home made butter)
1 tsp mixed herbs (Optional) oregano,basil,rosemary and garlic powder,can use fresh or dry
¼ tsp fresh ground pepper
¼ tsp salt (If using unsalted butter)
1 Tbsp minced garlic
2 Tbsp fine chopped cilantro/coriander leaves

  1. If using active dry yeast: Prove the yeast by adding the sugar to 1/4 cup of warm milk (from the total 1 cup of milk) . Mix well. The milk has to be just the right temperature- not too hot because that will kill the yeast not too cool because the yeast won’t prove. Drop some on the back of your wrist and it should feel warm there. Add the yeast and rest covered for 10-15 minutes. The yeast should froth like soapy bubbles. If it doesn’t, throw the mix and start afresh. Proper proving of the yeast is vital to good bread!
    If using instant yeast : it can be added to the flour directly.
  2. In a big bowl, take the flour, salt butter,sugar and yeast. Mix well.
  3. Slowly adding the warm milk, knead till you get a soft and smooth dough. It takes about 7-8 minutes.
  4. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, cover with cling film, or a kitchen towel and rest till it doubles. it took me an hour, but may take longer in cold weather and less time when the weather is warm and humid. Watch the dough rather than the clock! The dough should double up. This is the first prove.
  5. Remove from the bowl once the dough is doubled and gently knock out the air. Split it into two and roll each out into a  a rectangle about one inch thick. Spread the filling generously.
  6. Roll the circle/square to make a cylinder.
  7. Cut into equal pieces using a pizza-cutter or a knife
  8. Place the cut cylinders into a well greased baking pan
  9. Cover and let it rise for till the rolls are nice, puffy and doubled up.
  10. When there are 20 minutes to go, pre-heat the oven at 200C.
  11. Brush gently with milk and bake  at 180C for 20-25 minutes till golden brown
  12. Serve fresh out of the oven.
    Garlic Cilantro Pull apart Rolls prep

The pull aparts are great on their own or can be served for any of the meals really.
Have a great weekend! 🙂

Ladi pav/pao/pao buns

The Pav/ Pao is believed to have been introduced to erstwhile ‘Bombay’ by the Portuguese during their short sojourn there, but Mumbaikars have now made it their very own. In fact, it is loved all over  🙂

Though available readily, it is fun baking your own ladi pao at home. Here is a step-by-step pictorial to baking soft pao buns. I made these following the young wonder-boy Yaman Agarwal’s recipe here



All Purpose Flour / Maida – 2 Cups
Milk –  1 Cup
Salt – 1 Tsp Butter – 4 Tsp
Milk Powder – 1½ Tbsp
Instant Yeast – 2 Tsp
Sugar – 1 Tbsp
Milk & Butter – For Brushing

Prove the yeast- Warm up half a cup of milk, add in the sugar,and stir well. The milk should feel warm on the underside of your wrist. Not hot, not cool- a high warm, if I may call it that. Stir in the yeast and leave to bloom for 10-15 minutes till it is all frothy. This is how it should froth and bubble up. If it does not froth, throw it away and start again or try different yeast. 1 2 Add the salt and milk powder to the maida and mix well.Add the yeast mix to the flour mix and start kneading. Add more milk very gradually as you knead, only if required. 3 The dough will be very sticky and a little difficult to handle. Don’t worry! That is exactly how it is meant to be!4 Add  the butter and knead well till it becomes a soft and pliable dough, easy to handle. This will take about 15-20 minutes.5 Do not add flour or oil, just kneading it well will make the dough non-sticky and springy.6 Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, cover with cling film, or a kitchen towel and rest for 1 ½ to 2 hours. 7 The dough should double up. The time actually depends on the weather conditions-if very hot, it doubles sooner than the 1 ½ hours. This is the first prove.8 Divide the dough into equal portions, shape them as roundels or slightly elongated and arrange in a greased baking dish close together so that they touch each other. This ensures the ladi forming else they will bake like separate buns. No harm in that- it is just a matter of choice how you want them.9 10 Cover with cling film or a kitchen towel taking care to that they do not touch the top of the bread. Leave to rise again for about 45 minutes. This is the second prove. 11 Preheat the oven at 200C for 15 minutes.
Brush the pao buns with milk and bake at 200C till they brown.12 13 Once browned, remove and brush the ladi pao with butter. Your ladi pao is ready! Enjoy with Missal or Bhaji 🙂15 14