Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Herb Focaccia with Cherry Tomatoes

Focaccia is a flat, chewy Italian bread that tastes wonderful with added herbs and toppings.. It tastes simply delicious, the cheese adding a savory note and the cherry tomatoes providing a perfect foil to the olive oil infused bread. I was searching in Google for bread recipes and this Italian bread caught all my attention due to the addition of herbs. This bread can be adjusted according to your taste. In authentic recipe they use Italian herbs (basil, Thyme, oregano, rosemary). I had only oregano, thyme and mixed spices at home., so I made few variations in topping by mixing kasuri methi,herbs and cheese. This is the first time I have made bread from the scratch, although I’m not of a bread baking expert yet but My First Attempt of this bread really turned out great and gorgeous looking.
 My First Attempt of making Bread-Tried & Tasted! 

All Purpose Flour – 2-1/2 Cups
 Active Dry Yeast – 1-1/4 tsp
Sugar – 1/2 tsp
Water – 1 cup
Olive oil – 4 tbsp
Salt – 1/2 tsp
Red Chilli powder – 1/2 tsp
Pepper powder- 1/2 tsp
Italian Seasoning – 1/4 tsp
Garlic, finely chopped –5 to 6 cloves
A mixture of these herbs –, oregano, Thyme, Mixed spices– 1 tsp. each
Cherry tomatoes
kasuri methi (Dry fenugreek leaves)- 2 tsps
Herbs- 1 tsp
Grated Parmesan cheese - ¼ cup
Olive oil - 3 tbsp

1. Microwave the water in a microwave safe bowl for 30 seconds. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Sprinkle the dry yeast over the water and stir vigorously till it somewhat dissolves and becomes a pasty texture. Cover and keep aside for 10 Minutes. .
2. After 10 minutes when it has frothed add 3 tbsp of olive oil, mix gently and keep aside.
For the Focaccia:
3. In a big mixing bowl tip in flour, salt, red chilli powder, pepper powder ,Italian seasoning, finely chopped garlic and mix well with your finger tips.
4. Add the developed yeast solution and bring everything together till they form into a dough. Knead for 8-10 minutes till the dough is smooth to the touch.
5. Smear olive oil all over the dough and place it in a greased bowl, cover with a damp towel or cling wrap and let it rest for 1-2 hours or till it doubles in a warm place.
6. Punch the dough to release the air and place the dough in a greased baking tin. Cover and let it once more rest for another 1/2 hour.
7. Make a few dimples on top the dough’s surface with your finger. Brush the top with olive oil and top with cherry tomatoes, Kasuri methi, herbs & cheese.
8. Bake in a pre heated oven 180 Deg Celsius for 30 minutes or till the top becomes golden brown.
9. Take the baking tray  out and Brush with very little olive oil; sprinkle with grated cheese while still warm. Cut into desired shapes
10. Cool for 5 minutes. Slice and serve hot with tomato sauce.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Savory Maida Biscuits – Diamond Cuts

This Savory biscuit is tasty crunchy flour chips made out of wheat flour or Maida. It is one of the easiest snack recipes which can be prepared at home with very few ingredients. It is a perfect tea time snack. I prepare both sweet and salted version of this biscuit. This recipe is very easy to prepare and I used to do whenever if we think to have some crunchy snacks. 

Maida – 2 cups
Ghee or butter -2 tbsp
Baking soda - 1/2 tsp
Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Hing/Asafoetida -1/4 tsp
Cumin / jeera-1/2 tsp
Salt as needed
Oil for frying
1.First mix butter /ghee and cooking soda cream together vigorously well with your hands .
2.Then add maida, chilli powder, jeera, hing and salt. Add water very little at a time and knead into a firm ball of dough.
3.It should not be sticky, just moist. Add more flour and knead in if your dough is too sticky. Set aside.
4.Heat oil for frying. Then Take Pinch off a lemon-sized amount of dough and roll into a ball between your palms.
5. Roll into a thin circle neither too thin nor thick and cut into diamonds with a sharp knife .
6.Gently lift the pieces and add to the hot oil and deep fry it in batches till golden brown. Allow it to cool. Then store it in an airtight container.