4 1/2 cups (20.25 ounces) unbleached high-gluten, bread, or all-purpose flour, chilled
1 3/4 (.44 ounce) teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon (.11 ounce) instant yeast
1/4 cup (2 ounces) olive oil (optional)
1 3/4 cups (14 ounces) water, ice cold (40°F)
Semolina flour OR cornmeal for dusting
1. Stir together the flour, salt, and instant yeast in a 4-quart bowl (or in the bowl of an electric mixer). With a large metal spoon, stir in the oil and the cold water until the flour is all absorbed (or mix on low speed with the paddle attachment), If you are mixing by hand, repeatedly dip one of your hands or the metal spoon into cold water and use it, much like a dough hook, to work the dough vigorously into a smooth mass while rotating the bowl in a circular motion with the other hand. Reverse the circular motion a few times to develop the gluten further. Do this for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and the ingredients are evenly distributed. If you are using an electric mixer, switch to the dough hook and mix on medium speed for 5 to 7 minutes, or as long as it takes to create a smooth, sticky dough. The dough should clear the sides of the bowl but stick to the bottom of the bowl. If the dough is too wet and doesn't come off the sides of the bowl, sprinkle in some more flour just until it clears the sides. If it clears the bottom of the bowl, dribble in a tea- spoon or two of cold water. The finished dough will be springy, elastic, and sticky, not just tacky, and register 50 to 55F.
2. Sprinkle flour on the counter and transfer the dough to the counter. Prepare a sheet pan by lining it with baking parchment and misting the parchment with spray oil (or lightly oil the parchment). Using a metal dough scraper, cut the dough into 6 equal pieces (or larger if you are comfortable shaping large pizzas), You can dip the scraper into the water between cuts to keep the dough from sticking to it, Sprinkle flour over the dough. Make sure your hands are dry and then flour them. Lift each piece and gently round it into a ball. If the dough sticks to your hands, dip your hands into the flour again. Transfer the dough balls to the sheet pan, Mist the dough generously with spray oil and slip the pan into a food-grade plastic bag.
3. Put the pan into the refrigerator overnight to rest the dough, or keep for up to 3 days. (Note: If you want to save some of the dough for future baking, you can store the dough balls in a zippered freezer bag. Dip each dough ball into a bowl that has a few tablespoons of oil in it, rolling the dough in the oil, and then put each ball into a separate bag. You can place the bags into the freezer for up to 3 months. Transfer them to the refrigerator the day before you plan to make pizza.)
4. On the day you plan to make the pizza, remove the desired number of dough balls from the refrigerator 2 hours before making the pizza. Before letting the dough rest at room temperature for 2 hours, dust the counter with flour, and then mist the counter with spray oil. Place the dough balls on top of the floured counter and sprinkle them with flour; dust your hands with flour. Gently press the dough into flat disks about 1/2 inch thick and 5 inches in diameter. Sprinkle the dough with flour, mist it again with spray oil, and cover the dough loosely with plastic wrap or a food-grade plastic bag. Now let rest for 2 hours.
5. At least 45 minutes before making the pizza, place a baking stone either on the floor of the oven (for gas ovens), or on a rack in the lower third of the oven. Heat the oven as hot as possible, up to 800F (most home ovens will go only to 500 to 550F, but some will go higher). If you do not have a baking stone, you can use the back of a sheet pan, but do not preheat the pan.
6. Generously dust a peel or the back of a sheet pan with semolina flour or cornmeal. Make the pizzas one at a time. Dip your hands, including the backs of your hands and knuckles, in flour and lift I piece of dough by getting under it with a pastry scraper. Very gently lay the dough across your fists and carefully stretch it by bouncing the dough in a circular motion on your hands, carefully giving it a little stretch with each bounce. If it begins to stick to your hands, lay it down on the floured counter and reflour your hands, then continue shaping it. Once the dough has expanded outward, move to a full toss as shown on page 208. If you have trouble tossing the dough, or if the dough keeps springing back, let it rest for 5 to 20 minutes so the gluten can relax, and try again. You can also resort to using a rolling pin, though this isn't as effective as the toss method.
7. When the dough is stretched out to your satisfaction (about 9 to 12 inches in diameter for a 6-ounce piece of dough), lay it on the peel or pan, making sure there is enough semolina flour or cornmeal to allow it to slide. Lightly top it with sauce and then with your other top- pings, remembering that the best pizzas are topped with a less-is-more philosophy. The American "kitchen sink" approach is counterproductive, as it makes the crust more difficult to bake. A few, usually no more than 3 or 4 toppings, including sauce and cheese is sufficient.
8. Slide the topped pizza onto the stone (or bake directly on the sheet pan) and close the door. Wait 2 minutes, then take a peek. If it needs to be rotated 180 degrees for even baking, do so. The pizza should take about 5 to 8 minutes to bake. If the top gets done before the bottom, you will need to move the stone to a lower self before the next round. if the bottom crisps before the cheese caramelizes, then you will need to raise the stone for subsequent bakes.
9. Remove the pizza from the oven and transfer to a cutting board. Wait 3 to 5 minutes before slicing and serving, to allow the cheese to set slightly.
Makes six 6-ounce pizza crusts.
(Adapted from The Bread Baker’s Apprentice)
Yield: 2 loaves
3 + ½ cups all purpose flour, plus extra for work surface
4 heaped teaspoons white granulated sugar
1 + ¼ teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 + ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 egg, room temperature, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons (1 oz) vegetable shortening, melted
1 cup warm whole milk (110 degrees F)
¼ cup warm water (110 degrees F)
1 + ½ cup raisins, rinsed and well drained
1. Mix together the flour, sugar, salt, yeast and cinnamon. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture.
2. Pour in the egg, milk and water to the flour mixture and mix to make a dough.
3. Dust a work surface with flour. Turn the dough onto the work surface and knead for 10 minutes. Sprinkle lightly with flour as needed so that the dough does not stick.
4. Sprinkle in raisins 2 minutes before the 10-minute kneading is done. Spread the dough out creating a flat surface, sprinkle liberally with raisins. Fold one corner of the dough over, sprinkle with raisins, fold another corner, and sprinkle with raisins. Repeat by folding the dough onto itself and sprinkling with raisins until you have added all of the raisins and continue kneading to take you up to the 10 minutes. Don’t worry if you have a few raisins that fall way, just push them onto the dough.
5. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl. Rub a little oil on top of the dough to prevent a skin forming. Cover with plastic wrap and place somewhere warm and draft free. Let proof for 2 hours or until doubled in size.
6. Once risen, punch down the dough, divide in half, form into loaves and place in 8 ½ by 4 ½ – inch loaf pans that have been brushed with oil. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and put in a warm place to rise for an hour or until the dough crests above the lips of the pan.
7. Bake in a 350 degrees F preheated oven for 20 minutes. After this time, rotate the pans 180 degrees and bake for another 20 – 30 minutes or until lightly browned and the bottom when rapped, sounds hollow.
8. Immediately remove loaves from pan and cool on wire racks. Let cool for 2 hours before slicing bread.
from The Perfect Scoop
Makes about 1 quart
1 cup dried shredded coconut
1 cup whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup sugar
big pinch of salt
1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
5 large egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Spread the coconut on a baking sheet and bake for 5 to 8 minutes, stirring it frequently so it toasts evenly. Remove it from the oven when it’s nice and fragrant and golden brown.
In a medium saucepan, warm the milk, 1 cup of the heavy cream, sugar, and salt and add the toasted coconut. Use a paring knife and scrape all the vanilla seeds into the warm milk, then add the pod as well. Cover, remove from the heat, and let steep at room temperature for 1 hour.
Rewarm the coconut-infused mixture. Set a mesh strainer over another medium saucepan and strain the coconut-infused liquid through the strainer into the saucepan. Press down on the coconut very firmly with a flexible rubber spatula to extract as much of the flavor from it as possible. Remove the vanilla bean halves (rinse and reserve them for another use), and discard the coconut.
Pour the remaining 1 cup heavy cream into a large bowl and set the mesh strainer on top. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm coconut-infused mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.
Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the cream. Mix in the vanilla or rum and stir over an ice bath until cool.
Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Baking: From my home to yours
For the Bars
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1 cup (packed) light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon applejack, brandy or dark rum (optional)
1 baking apple, such as Rome or Cortland, peeled, cored and finely diced or chopped
1/2 cup plump, moist raisins (dark or golden)
1/2 cup chopped pecans
For the Glaze
2-1/2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/3 cup (packed) light brown sugar
2-1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
GETTING READY: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-x-13 inch baking pan, line the bottom with parchment paper, butter the paper and dust the inside of the pan with flour. Tap out the excess flour and put the pan on a baking sheet.
THE BARS: Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt.In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Add the brown sugar and stir with a whisk until it is melted and the mixture is smooth, about 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat.
Still working in the saucepan, whisk in the eggs one at a time, mixing until they are well blended. Add the applesauce, vanilla and applejack, if you’re using it, and whisk until the ingredients are incorporated and the mixture is once again smooth. Switch to a rubber spatula and gently stir in the dry ingredients, mixing only until they disappear, then mix in the apple, raisins and nuts. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula.
Bake for 23 to 25 minutes, or until the cake just starts to pull away from the sides of the pan and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer the baking pan to a rack and let the cake cool while you make the glaze.
THE GLAZE: In a small saucepan, whisk together the cream, sugar, butter and corn syrup. Put the pan over medium heat and bring the mixture to the boil, whisking frequently. Adjust the heat so that the glaze simmers, and cook, whisking frequently, for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
Turn the bars out onto a rack, remove the paper and invert the bars onto another rack, so they are right side up. Slide the parchment paper under the rack to serve as a drip catcher, grab a long metal icing spatula and pour the hot glaze over the bars, using the spatula to spread it evenly over the cake. Let cool to room temperature before cutting.
Cut into 32 rectangles, each about 2-1/4 x 1-1/2 inches.
Storing: In a covered container, the bars will keep for about 3 days at room temperature. Because of the glaze, they cannot be frozen.
Makes - 10 Laddoos of normal size
Rava / Semolina - 1 cup
Sugar - 1 cup
Ghee - 25 gms
Milk - 25 ml
Cardamom powder - a pinch
Cashew nuts - 10 whole nuts
Raisins - 10 nos
Grated fresh coconut - 25 gms
Heat 2 tsp of ghee in a kadai. Roast cashew nuts and raisins. Once the raisins balloon up, remove and keep them aside.
Roast the grated coconut. Remove and keep aside.
Add the remaining ghee and roast the Rava till its well roasted and aroma starts coming out.
In a bowl, take all the roasted Rava, Nuts, Coconut and add the Cardamom powder.
Add the sugar. Mix well.
Slowly add the warm milk into the bowl. Check if you are able to gather as balls. When you find that milk added is enough to get you laddoos, transfer it back to the kadai and cook on sim for 2 mins.
Mix well and then cover it and let it rest for 2 mins.
Then immediately make laddoos.
Makes 20 medium sized pieces
Bengal Gram flour / Besan - 250 gms (1 & 1/2 cup)
Curd - 1/2 cup (not very sour)
Water - 1/2 cup
Cooking Soda - 1/2 tsp
For seasoning to be mixed to the batter (to be added just before cooking)
Oil - 1 tbsp
Turmeric a pinch
G. Chili paste - 1 - 2 long (as per taste)
Sugar - 1 tsp
Citric acid - quarter tsp
Salt to taste
Eno - 1 packet (green colour fruit lime) + sprinkle or dust few bits on the plate
Little water + Oil to be topped on dhoklas
Method to prepare:
Mix first 1/2 cup curds with 1/2 water. To this add the besan and mix well to get a lump less batter, the consistency should be of idli batter, more of dropping not pouring consistency. Slowly add more water if needed else, add the soda. Keep it aside to rise for 1 hour.
If you are using a pressure cooker, fill the pan with water, place a plate over which you will have to use a plate for steaming the dhoklas. Thali plate can be used for steaming.
To the batter mix in the citric acid, oil, salt, sugar, green chili paste and turmeric powder. Mix well. This has to be done just before pouring to the plate.
Meanwhile have the pan on stove, and let the water start boiling. When the water reaches the rolling stage, you can mix the eno to the batter (Save little of eno for dusting on the plate), mix gently, you will see bubbles coming out.
Dust or sprinkle the plate with eno. Then immediately pour the batter to the plate. Place the plate carefully inside the pressure pan and cover with lid. You need not use the whistle. After covering you will find steam coming out of the outlet, simmer and don't disturb for almost 5 -7 minutes.
After 5 -7 minutes, remove the lid and proof it using toothpick or knife. If the knife comes out clean and does not have any batter sticking, then its done. Cover back and let it remain on flame for 1 min and switch off the gas and allow it for 5 minutes.
In a bowl, mix 3 tsp of water along with a tsp of oil
Remove the plate from the pan, pour the water and oil mix over the top.
For seasoning, heat a pan with oil, add curry leaves, sesame seeds, mustard seeds and finely chopped green chilies. When mustard starts popping, remove and pour over the dhokla
Serve it with Green Chutney:
Green chili - 4-5 no
coconut - 4- 5 pieces
coriander leaves - one bunch
Few mint leaves
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Lime -1 big
Salt to taste
In a food processor, take half of the lime along with all the ingredients except coriander. Grind to a smooth paste.
Then add the coriander leaves and again grind. Remove to a bowl, add the remaining lime and serve with Dhoklas.
Notes and doubts clarified:
Any small plate also can be used, but the batter should be filled to only 1/2 as it will rise up. After adding eno the batter should not rest.
Amount of sugar can be increased on preference.
If you want perfect shaped ones and not the crumbling, cut and handle gently
Dhokla can also be steamed in kadai filled with water and a plated titled over it.
Dhoklas can also be steamed in Idli molds but if you can't think it as Dhoklas but idlies, I suggest you don't as it will spoil the fun!
Lemon can be used instead of citric acid. Citric acid is basically used for giving the sourness. So Citric acid cab be replaced by adding lemon juice or sour curds.
Eno is normally not replaced with anything else. This is added to give the spongy texture. Alternate to Eno is to make it with baking soda, but the result is not accurate.
Approximately for the flour mentioned we might require 5 gms. Eno is also dusted on the plate before pouring the batter, to get the holes on the bottom.
Rolling stage in water, is when the water starts boiling and reaches peek.
Water and oil (at room tempt) is just mixed together and added to the cooked dhoklas immediately after removing from pan, Since the dhoklas will be hot and this mixture will make it more soft and spongy. This is just to prevent the surface from getting dry. So the oil need not be hot.
Another way is to temper the mustard, curry leaves, remove the pan from heat, add water to that and pour over the dhoklas..either way is fine.
You can use idly cooker too.. the vessel used for cooking is left to the member's choice, only thing is you should steam the dhoklas...Nowadays we get steamers for dhoklas too.
If you want to make this vegan by avoiding yogurt/curds, you can use soy yogurt or else just plain water.
Few members got back after their experiments that the besan mentioned in the recipe was more, so they had to increase the curd and water content. I have also given their experience.
Makes 16 Cookies
Grated zest of 1/2 orange (optional)
1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
1/2 stick (4 teaspoons) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
2 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
For the Glaze (optional)
2 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter two miniature muffin pans, each with a dozen cups, and place them on a baking sheet.
If you’re using the orange zest, combine the zest and sugar in a small bowl, rubbing them between your fingertips to blend; set aside. Whisk together the flour and salt.
Melt the butter, chocolate and brown sugar in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan over very low heat, stirring frequently with a heatproof spatula and keeping an eye on the pan so nothing overheats or burns. When the mixture is smooth, remove from the heat and cool for a minute or two.
Stir in the vanilla, egg and the zest, if you’re using it, into the chocolate mixture. When the mixture is well blended, add the flour and stir only until it is incorporated. You should have a smooth, glossy batter.
Spoon the batter into 16 of the muffin cups, using about a teaspoon of batter to fill each cup three-quarters full. Put 1 teaspoon of water in each empty cup.
Bake for 14 to 16 minutes, or until the tops of the buttons spring back when touched. Transfer the pans to racks to cool for 3 minutes before carefully releasing the buttons. Cool to room temperature on the racks.
To Make the Optional Glaze:
Melt the chocolate in a small heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir constantly and don’t leave the chocolate for even a minute- white chocolate scorches easily. As soon as the chocolate is smooth, remove from the heat.
One by one, dip the tops of the buttons into the chocolate, twirling the buttons so that you get a little swirl at the center of each one and the excess chocolate drips back into the bowl. Refrigerate the buttons for 15 minutes to set the glaze.
Substitute lemon zest for the orange, or try and equal amount of very finely chopped ginger instead of the zest.
Serve these with milk, coffee or even sniffers of single-malt scotch
Covered, these will keep at room temperature overnight. If you wrap them air-tight you can freeze them for up to 2 months, glazed or not.