Of New-found Obsessions and Conquering the Yeast Beast!

I am a bad loser! I really am! The other day, tired of all the white-flour and butter goodies I was baking up day after day, I decided to go ‘healthy’ and baked some corn bread from my friend’s blog. And since I am back to gymming after two whole months and a few piled on kilos, I decided to balance the carb-laden bread with some protein with a Masala Frittata from a recipe I found here. The bread was sooo good that I wolfed down a quarter of the loaf before Dave got home from work. I also blanched some tomatoes to make some soup for dinner.

Unfortunately, we ran out of water and Dave got home in a foul mood (it runs in the family, scarcity of water drives them nuts). Since I had no water, and my domestic help was MIA, I couldn’t wash the juicer to make the soup. I handed a scowling husband the corn bread and Frittata dinner, hoping it would magically transform his mood and I’d hear some appreciation. He ate the food mindlessly in between staring scowling (even more) into vacant space and no spoken words. The electrician, who was working on fixing the motor declared that the water issue couldn’t be resolved in the night and he’d get someone else to do it next morning. Since there was not a drop of water in the house, Dave told me he’d call his friend and we could go over and stay there for the night. I refused.  As much as I love my friends and enjoy their company, I am tired of running away each time there is an issue, I wanted to stay-put. Fearing another one of those ‘How un-livable our place is’ spiels, I launched on the offensive by asking him to snap out of the foul mood and make peace with the place we were living in. It wasn’t as bad as he making it out to be! The heated exchange snow-balled into a big fight and soon we were covering a range of issues including how he hadn’t said a word about the dinner and him responding with a scathing, ‘because I hated it, how many times should I tell you not add so many ingredients in my eggs?’. Whoever said marriage was easy! Among other things, my baker pride was hurt.  After the night’s ugly fight, we were on our best behaviours the next day. The water issue was resolved the next morning and I made up for the bad dinner with some Palak Dal and Alu-fry with rice, served with mango-pickle and peanut podi, which the South-Indian husband relished completely and all was well again.

Not the one to give up easily, I baked some Whole Wheat Masala Bread the day after, the recipe for which I found here (I am obsessing with this blog as I see a lot of everyday healthy cooking stuff here, and am soon going to cook up loads of stuff from here). I learn from my mistakes, so I served the husband the usual dal and rice for dinner and saved the loaf for breakfast the next day.

This morning, I made him the now usual Strawberry, banana and flax seeds smoothie, a fried egg and served him two slices of the Masala bread I had baked. He loved them and asked for more, I offered to pack some for later instead. Between his breakfast and what I packed him, he finished three fourth of the loaf, so I am guessing he really liked it. I tasted a little later and was proud of myself. I might be a bad loser,  but I definitely believe in Win-win.

I had successfully made Pita bread (on the stove top) and baked a thin-crust pizza earlier in January. The only difference between what I had baked earlier and now is the yeast (I am hoping). This yeast has given consistently successful results three times in a row now. So it appears like I have finally conquered the yeast beast. Yay to that!

What happened to the Corn Bread? Except for those two slices I served my husband, I devoured all of it myself.  Cornmeal is one of my new-found loves!  I am definitely going to use it more. And the Fritata was yumm too, the soft base (thanks to the caramelized onions and tomato mix) was a complete surprise.


The sliced Spinach Masala bread

Here’s my slightly modified version of the Masala bread, it turned out a little denser that I would’ve liked it to be, but hey it’s whole wheat after all.

What you will need:

  • Whole-wheat flour – 2 cups
  • Salt – 1 teaspoon
  • Half of a small onion chopped fine
  • Cumin seeds – ½ teaspoon
  • Cumin powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Turmeric powder – A pinch
  • Spinach – 1 cup
  • Mint leaves – a handful
  • Garlic – 3-4 cloves
  • Olive oil – 3 tablespoons
  • Chilli powder – ½ teaspoon
  • Dry active yeast – 2 teaspoons
  • Sugar – 1 teaspoon
  • 1/4 th cup – lukewarm water
  • 1/4 th cup – warm milk
  • Additional water to knead

How you make it:

Greens from the garden

Spinach and mint from my garden (yep, am totally showing-off). The tomato puree isn’t relevant to the bread.

Coarsely chop the Spinach and mint leaves

Add the sugar and yeast to the lukewarm water

Mix the flour, salt, chilli, turmeric, cumin powders

Add the chopped spinach and mint to the flour mix and knead using a little water

Add the milk and two tablespoons of oil and knead

Add the yeast mix and knead well

Place the kneaded dough in an oiled bowl and cover it with cling film for 50 minutes, till it’s doubled

Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil, add the cumin and minced garlic to it. Add the onions and sauté till the onions are transparent

After the dough has doubled, flatten it out, add the seasoning to it and knead the dough into an oval

Place the dough in a greased and parchment-lined sheet. Cover with a domed vessel and then cover with a wet kitchen towe

Preheat the oven to 210 degree C

Once the oven is ready, lightly make a few incisions on the oval and bake for 30-40 minutes

Once done, let the bread cool for atleast 1-2 hours before you slice it

Dig in!



4 thoughts on “Of New-found Obsessions and Conquering the Yeast Beast!

    • Oh I am sure, if I serve it to him on another day as a snack or a breakfast he’ll like it. I think it was just his lousy mood. And when your feeling lousy it’s safest to stick to familiar comfort food. Tell me about the blog, I chanced upon it through your blog and last Sunday, I made the instant whole-wheat flax seed dosas, the corn and peas pulao and that smoothie too. Except the smoothie (which got a little strong because of no sugar and the coffee I added), we loved everything else. The Corn bread is one of my favs too.

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