Mozarella Sesame Mushroom Bread Rolls

Aha! Back to baking and loving it 😀

My teenaged son brought home a gorgeous brown bread loaf he had baked at class yesterday. (Unfortunately I cannot share the recipe as per his college rules but here is a peek! )
IMG_1270And this beauty inspired me to bake. The inspiration also came from a mushroom corn roll we had at Sbarro at the mall close by. ( The joys of Bombay 😀 )
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It is fairly simple to make and can be tried in umpteen variations. Pick a filling of your choice and get going! There is nothing like fresh bread and its aroma…mmmmmm ❤
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For the rolls

3 cups of All purpose flour/Maida
1 tsp of Instant Yeast- 1 Tsp
1 tbsp Sugar
1 tsp Salt
2 Tbsp olive oil/butter
1 cup of Milk or buttermilk (use as needed to knead the dough soft and pliable)

As I use Instant yeast, I add everything apart from the liquid to a large kneading bowl, keep adding the liquid gradually and knead till I get a soft and pliable dough. It takes about 15 minutes.
If you are using active dry yeast, prove it buy adding it to half a cup of warm water and a tsp of sugar. Let it stand till frothy. It takes 10-13 mins. Add it to the mixture and proceed.

Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, cover with cling film, or a kitchen towel and rest for 11/2 to 2 hours. 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.

Divide the dough into 10 balls. Roll out a ball, spread the mixture, add a slice of cheese ( I used mozzarella), roll up sealing the ends.

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Slit the tops and brush them with oil/butter. Spread sesame generously.

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Bake in a preheated oven at 180C for 15-20 minutes till the tops are well browned.
Remove, brush the tops with butter and serve hot.
If you want to store the dough, you can store it in the refrigerator, in an air tight container, wrapped in cling film, for up to 48 hours. This needs to be done after the first prove. When you need to use it, remove from the refrigerator, shape and let it rise again and bake.

For the filling

200 gms of button mushrooms, diced
Half a cup of blanched corn kernels
1 tsp minced garlic
1 medium onion chopped very fine
Salt to taste
Half a tsp of pepper powder
Half a tsp of oregano
A pinch of rosemary
1 tbsp olive oil/vegetable oil

Heat the oil in a non stick pan and add the garlic and onion. Let them saute till browned and then add the mushrooms and corn. Let the water dry completely. Season with salt, pepper, oregano and rosemary. The filling is ready to use.

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A simple focaccia- my first bread ever!

THE FORGIVING FOCACCIA- a Baking Beginner’s Delight

The first bread I ever baked! And it remains my favourite to date 😀

Fresh Basil and cherry tomato focaccia

‘Mom, it smells like an Italian kitchen in here!!’, yelled my 13 year old in abandoned joy.
And I felt like joining him because I was baking my first bread-ever!!
The first prove and the second prove were periods of anxiety.Have I the right yeast! Am I doing it the right way!
(If those sound like alien terms, don’t you worry- they were strangers to me  till a month back!)

Eventually, when we bit into it, it was the best focaccia we’d ever had,soft inside, a hint of crunch on the outside.And I was a happy Mamma (Mia)!!

I call it ‘The Forgiving Focaccia’ as it is almost impossible to go wrong with it! A perfect start for your baking journey as it was for mine 🙂

Here is the super-simple recipe. The recipe is inspired and simplified from my friend Priyanka Chakraborty’s recipe here

For the focaccia dough
2  cups – All purpose flour  (Maida)
1 ¼  tsp dry yeast or ½ teaspoon Instant yeast
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup buttermilk/chhas/taak (at room temperature)
¼ cup just-warm water
2 Tbsp olive oil

For the topping

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp mixed herbs – oregano,basil,rosemary and garlic powder
¼ tsp salt
4-5 cherry tomatoes halved or a large tomato, sliced
A few leaves of fresh basil

Prove the yeast – (Now what does that mean? Here you go) Add the sugar to ¼ cup of warm water. Mix well. The water 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!
In a big bowl, take the flour and salt. Mix well.
Once the yeast has bloomed, add it to the flour and knead the dough with the buttermilk. It will be sticky and it is meant to be like that.
Add the Olive oil and knead for another 10-12 minutes. You will have a soft and manageable dough now.

Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, cover with cling film, or a kitchen towel and rest for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. 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.

Making bread at home Remove from the bowl once the dough is doubled and gently knock out the air.
Roll it out into a large recrtange,square or circle as desired and place on to a greased baking dish.
Cover with cling film or a kitchen towel taking care that they do not touch the top of the bread. Leave to rise again for about 30 minutes. This is the second prove.
When there are 20 minutes to go, pre-heat the oven at 200C.
Make dimples on the surface of the bread, gently with your fingertip, so that you don’t deflate it. Drizzle olive oil generously, filling up the dimples made over the surface of the focaccia.
Sprinkle some dry herb mixture and garlic powder (or a tsp of garlic crushed fine) Brush with oil all over the surface with gentle hands.Stick the cherry tomatoes into the bread.

making focaccia at home
Bake for 20 minutes at 180 C, till the top changes colour slighty. If doing in an oven with two elements, please keep both on.
Remove from over, sprinkle some shredded basil leaves and bake for another 5 minutes.
Remove from the oven, cool on a wire rack for 8-10 minutes, slice and serve fresh out of the oven.

Focaccia Caprese

  1. This dough keeps well in the refrigerator too. I cling filmed it tight and put it in last night. This morning, removed, got it back to room temperature and baked. Works well 🙂
  2. Baked bread can be sliced , wrapped in paper towels and frozen in ziplock bags. Before using, thaw and put into a hot oven for 10 odd minutes and it is as good as fresh 🙂

A look at the lovely crumb. The crust is nice and crunchy and the insides, very soft!

Focaccia Basil and cherry tomatoes
And since I made this, I am totally and absolutely bitten by the baking bug and am baking almost thrice a week!

More madness to follow!

Cheers and Happy Baking! 😀