bread, recipes

London Muffin’s Custard Bread (Japanese Cream Pans)

One of the many tasks that I have set for myself is to try and recreate my favourite foods. London Muffin is a tiny Korean bakery in Koregaon Park, Pune which serves the most incredibly soft bread. Here I discovered a heavenly combination of two of my most favourite foods: custard and white bread.

London Muffin’s Custard Bread is like a soft flat dinner roll which has been folded in half and trapped a generous helping of subtle, milky custard. I wondered if the bread was baked with custard or did they pull out the bread mid-way to fold it up with some custard. So after a few Google searches I came across the recipe for Japanese Cream Pans and I hope the Monthy-Python-esque comedy of a Korean bakery named London Muffin making incredible Japanese Cream Pans is not lost on you. Continue reading

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bread, recipes

The best homemade thin crust pizza

Making your own pizza base is such a liberating feeling. It’s pretty simple and really quick. After the first time you will really look forward to doing it again and again. With this recipe you can make a brilliant thin crust pizza which is crisp yet chewy and tastes as good as that of a fancy Italian restaurant.

I have been dying to try out our new cake mixer. We couldn’t find the fancy Kitchen Aid one but we got one by Sogo which is just the same! It doesn’t really take time to hand-mix the pizza dough but I thought I would try it out in the new stand mixer.

sogo-stand-mixer

The ingredients:

  • 1 cup of warm water
  • 1 tsp active-dry or instant yeast
  • 1 ½ cups of flour (maida)
  • ½ of wheat flour (atta)
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 ½ tsps salt
  • ½ tsp of sugar

Let’s get cooking:

Mastering yeast is pretty straightforward. Dry yeast or instant yeast is available at most supermarkets and probably the bigger kirana stores. Blue Bird’s active dry yeast is pretty good and easily available.

blue-bird-instant-active-dry-yeast

Pour the water in a mixing bowl (or the bowl of your stand mixer) and dissolve the yeast, salt and sugar. Just stir it around until everything has dissolved.

Now add the flour and start combining. If you are using the stand mixer then start off on 2 for a few minutes and crank it up to 3 for few minutes more. Add the glug of oil just as you are about to form a dough ball.

Knead it a couple of times and leave it. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave it to rise for an hour. You can use the dough straight away as well as it will rise a bit as it bakes but rising it aside helps to improve the texture and flavour.

rising-dough

After an hour knead the dough a little bit and again cover it with cling film and leave it for half an hour. At this point you can also bung the dough into the fridge if you want to use it later.

Roll out the dough on a floured surface. While baking it’s going to rise and double so you can decide how thin you would like your pizza. I would recommend rolling it out to an 2 mm thickness to get a crunchy yet chewy consistency. While rolling if the dough starts getting sticky then you can dust it with more flour.

I decided to top mine with some pasta sauce out of a jar, topped with some chicken salami and grated cheese. Sprinkled some oregano and basil and finished it off with a light drizzle of olive oil.

Preheat your oven for at least 15 minutes at its highest temperature and bake the pizza till the crust starts turning brown which should be in about 30 minutes.

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bread, recipes

Three Cheese Scones

It was a holiday and we ended up watching ‘The Help’ on TV that morning. As a rule I have stopped watching depressing movies because they seem to drop me in a funk for days. But this is a beautiful and inspiring movie which will nevertheless leave you in tears. I wanted to whip up some comfort food but didn’t want to go to all the trouble of frying up some chicken.

It’s been a long time since I made scones. My mom used to make them with dark raisins for tea. I thought I will try out a deep, cheesy version. You can use any kind of hard cheese for this recipe. I had some Parmesan, Mont Gomery Jack and good old Amul lying around. Sharp Cheddar works superbly to give you that deep indulgent cheese flavour.

Ingredients:

2 cups maida

1 cup of grated mix cheese (any type of hard cheese, not mozzarella-types)

1 tsp ground black pepper (ideal if you make it fresh in a pestle and mortar)

1 tbsp of granulated white sugar

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

½ cup regular Amul butter

½ cup milk

Let’s get cooking:

Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and the sugar. Cut up the butter in cubes and add it to the flour.

flour and butter

Now you need to use forks or knives to cut the butter into the flour. Don’t use your hands because the warmth will melt the butter. I used a large spoon to cut and squish the butter into the flour. You end up with a mix which kinda looks like breadcrumbs.

crumbed-flour

Add your grated cheese and pepper. You can also add a tablespoon of herbs like chives or oregano. You can also substitute the pepper for red chilli flakes for more heat. Mix it well so that the cheese is evenly distributed throughout the flour.

Add some of the milk and start stirring the flour to combine it into dough. Add more milk as required but the goal is to make rough dough. It shouldn’t be too moist. Do not over stir it. It should just come together (this is very tricky so go slow with the milk. I ended up with just a little more milk in my dough this time as you can see in the picture below).

Lightly flour a flat surface and roll out the dough to form a log of about 3 inch diameter. Cut slices of about an inch thick. If you have a round cutter then you could roll out the dough to an inch thick and cut out circles. Brush the tops with some butter or milk.

dough-balls

Line a baking sheet with some foil or parchment paper and place the scones. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 200 degrees C for about 20 minutes or till they lightly brown.

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