June 18, 2008

French Bread and Italian Panzanella!

Hiya folks!! :)
Well....Father's day went well for us last Sunday. "Da daddy" was on call but took some time off until lunch time. We went out to his favorite restaurant and then we gave a quick visit to a Indian store nearby. Quick because I buy 1/4 of the what they have in the store if somebody doesn't drag me out of there quickly, I get pre-warnings! ;D
Sometimes Indian store lady shakes her head and says I buy too many packs of savory snacks!! :P
The minute she sees me, she says "oh, so nice to see you again" and starts talking to me about her kids and their education which I don't mind at all! Her son is in Medical school, so I get some great pointers my own kids could use! :)

We loved the barn color so much that we asked the guy if he could paint our deck with the same color too and he did! Here it is, updated! Do you remember the old photo of the same deck when that Bottle Gourd plant took over last Summer?

Coming to this week's menu, I baked some "French" bread last week and made a delicious "Italian" bread salad called Panzanella , with my extra non-traditional additions like Avocado and Jicama using the French bread cubes. It's so very hot these days, I don't feel like cooking infront of the hot stove but I have no choice, somebody got to feed the family! Baking and making salads are lot easier! Hope you like these.

French Bread:
A good French bread should have crunchy crust outside and soft and chewy inside. To achieve crispier crust than the normal like you see here, you spray the French bread with water before baking and put a bowl of water next to the bread in the oven while it's baking. This recipe is adapted from Betty Crocker's baking book.

Inside Twister story! :D
Rolling the dough like Swiss roll while shaping the French loaves gives twisted soft insides like this with a perfect crunchy crust outside, beautiful!
A quick tip: Always better to bake a little less than more, even though baking time says 30mins to avoid over baking. Each oven is different in terms of maintaining the temperature. If I say bake for 25-30 mins, keep the timer for 20 mins and then watch the bread to get a golden color without opening the oven door. After 25 mins, open the door, tap on the bread. If it sounds hollow, time to get them out even if it's not 30 mins! Good luck! :)

How to bake French Bread, You need:
3 to 3 1/2 cups of plain flour or Bread flour,
1 tbsp Sugar,
1 tsp Salt,
1 pack of regular active dry Yeast or quick active dry Yeast,
1 cup very warm water (115F to 120F),
2 tbsp Vegetable oil,
2 tbsp corn meal or Semolina,
1 Egg White,
1 tbsp cold water.
One French bread baking pan if you have it or a regular rectangular baking pan.
(Click on the collage to enlarge it)

To bake French bread:
1. In a large stand mixer bowl, add 2 cups of flour, sugar, salt and yeast. Mix gently. Add warm water and oil. Beat for 1 minute on low speed, scraping the sides of the bowl.
2. Now beat it for 1 minute at medium speed. Stir in 1/2 cup of flour from the rest of 1 1/2 cups of flour at a time until you get a soft dough.
(Use as much flour as you need, don't have to use all 3 1/2 cups of flour. How much flour to add depends on what kind of flour you have, use your judgment to make soft dough.)
3. Knead for 5 mins until the dough is smooth and elastic. Grease the oil all over the dough , cover and let it rise in a warm place for about 2 hours or until it's double in size.
(French bread needs to rest longer than the other breads to get that typical texture, so be patient! I put the bowl in the oven with oven light on, gives it a right amount of warmth.)
4. Grease a cookie sheet, sprinkle Cornmeal or Semolina on the sheet or just spray no-stick oil on the French bread baking pan.
5. Punch down the dough, divide into two equal portions. Roll out each to 15" by 8" rectangle. Roll from the longer edge like swiss roll tightly, seal the ends by pinching the edges.
6. Now, roll the whole thing back and forth gently to make the French bread even in the middle and tapered at the ends.
Place the loaves on the sheet gently.
7. Cut 1/4" deep across the top as shown at 2" apart with a sharp knife. Brush or spray loaves with water. Cover with clean Towel and let it rise again for an hour or until double.
8. Preheat the oven to 375F. For the golden crust, mix egg white and 1 tbsp water and brush on the loaves.
(If you want crispier crust, this is time you spray some more water on the loaves and place a bowl of water in the oven)

9. Bake for 25 to 30 mins or until golden. Cool them on the rack. Best eaten these on the same day. Wrap in Saran wrap or cling film if you need to to store. Stiff bread is aways good for salad! Voila!! :)


Panzanella:
Panzanella is Italian Bread salad made with day old hard crusted bread, originating in the regions of Tuscany, Umbria, Marche and Lazio, specially eaten in Summer months, according to WIKI. You can practically add as many vegs as you like including Lettuce, Celery, Carrots, boiled eggs, Tuna etc. I used my French bread for this, had a good crunch in salad!

How to make Panzanella:
Take about 4 cups of French bread or any hard crusted bread or even chunky ready made package of Croutons, cut into 1" cubes. Add some salt and saute the cubes in about 2 tbsp olive oil in a pan in batches until golden outside.Cool and set aside.

Chop these or any salad veggies you like:
1 Cucumber, peeled and chopped,
1 large Tomato,chopped,
1 cup mixed bell pepper or roasted bottled red pepper, chopped,
1 small red onion,
1 Avocado, chopped my style (not Traditional Italian)
1/4 cup Jicama, thinly sliced,
1 tbsp drained Capers (bottled),
1 tsp dry Basil and Oregano, 2 tbsp each if using fresh herbs,
1 tsp Parsley and 1 tsp finely chopped Mint leaves, dry or fresh.
To make salad oil, whisk these together:
4 tbsp Olive oil,
2 tbsp of good quality White Wine Vinegar or to taste,
1 tsp of Lemon juice,
1 tsp Dijon Mustard,
1 large Garlic, finely chopped,
salt and pepper. Few chili flakes, optional.
Get ready to toss!
In a big bowl, add vegetables and salad oil, mix well. Add bread cubes, toss everything together, season well. Cover and let it sit for 30mins before eating it. Tastes wonderful!
I even kept the left over chilled overnight and ate it for next day's lunch. Avocado gives it a creaminess and beautiful color!

Bon Appetit! :)

********************************************************************************************************
Book I read: Tamarind Woman by Anita Rau Badami.
It's a story of a woman called Saroja, who is a young housewife, married to a much older Railway officer and has two daughters. She is called as "Tamarind woman" by people who know because of her acid tongue or the way she speaks to people with resentment and using hurtful words, just as sour as Tamarind.
As her story unravels by the memory of her older daughter Kamini, now all grown up, lives and works in Canada, you will start to resent Saroja but at the end of the story, as Saroja "the Tamarind woman" herself recalls her own life story, you will understand why she was so angry all her life and the secret she was hiding form her husband who is now dead.
Finally, she sells her home and all her belonging and wants "to see the World" alone by train as she always wanted but never could while her husband was alive, much to the surprise and concern of her daughters, who just think that she has gone crazy!
As you read you feel sorry for Saroja, sympathize, admire her guts and you will also understand what she has gone thru' her life and how she had to cope. When her daughters starts pestering her to go home and stay there, without trying to understand why she needs to do the things she is doing, Saroja unplugs her phone!! At last, she will do what SHE wants!!
That's where the story ends! It's very compelling story that could be any woman's story in India, even in today's World!

Dishes I tried last week:

Lasooni dal palak from Swati's blog.
Badanekayi pudi Kuttida palya from Ramya's blog.
Greens Paratha from TC's blog. (I added Red chard and fresh Rosemary, yum!)
Sprouted Moong Idli from smn's blog.
Brinjal Mooru Kootan from Prav's blog.
Udupi Sambhar from Sia's blog.
Vandana, Ranji, Kamala, Asankhana, Sukanya and Nanditha Prabhu, thank you for your awards.
Neema from "recipe swap" gave me two awards last week. Thank you so much Neema, I appreciate it!:))
One of them, you can see the "Blogging with a Purpose" award on the sidebar. I am passing this award on to Ramya, Srivalli , Meera and Ranji. Enjoy girls!:)

See you all next week!:)

145 comments:

indosungod said...

Good Morning! Asha. Love the look of the twisty French Bread. I am scared of baking breads but got to try it some time. Kiddies took dad to KungFu Panda ;)

Raaga said...

That bread loaf looks so pretty... especially the photo where you've broken it off...oooooooooohhh

and I agree about baking and salads to avoid standing in front of the stove :-)

sra said...

Hi Asha, how are you? I remember the book you mentioned, only I remember it as Tamarind Mem. I don't remember too many details, though!
Went for a Korean food festival today, lots of creatures in my belly :-D

Asha said...

Good morning Indo!
Glad daddy enjoyed his day! Kung Fu panda is so funny.My kids went from school with their friends, so we parents can't go now!:D
Start with the easiest bread and then you will be hooked on baking!:)

Isn't that so pretty, Raaga? I love that shot too, inside had a perfect French bread texture!:)

sra, good to see you.
LOL! Creatures in your belly? Eww...! ;D
Sounds like a fun though, we have Korean neighbors here.
That book was good, can relate to Saroja, as in having a silent husband but I wouldn't do what she did to remedy that though! :)

Sandhya said...

hey asha, the twist inside the bread is a nice surprise, maybe I can use it next time to hide something for mu husband to find :-)

I love the way you write and cook too!!

The Mahathma said...

i have to improve on my kitchen at the eariest

Happy cook said...

You made french bread, that is briliant. I think if i bring my nose closer to the pic of that opend french bread i can smell the delicious smel from it :-)
First time hearing about Panzanella.
Love that deck especially with the same red. Well i am really jealous, wish i was living in a place like you than appartment.
We do have a small verandha but that is not same is it.

sunita said...

Asha, the bread looks perfect...love the twisted insides :-)

delhibelle said...

i also go berserk buying snacks at indian stores here, seeing my cupboard full of them takes me back to India somehow!
Your French bread is so ooh la la..

Asha said...

Hahaha! Sandhya, great idea to hide stuff there! Thanks!:)

Please do Mahathma!!:D

F, don't hurt your nose girl! ;D
Yeah, deck looks really nice now, oil based paint,so lasts longer. Arvind had painted it 2 yrs ago, didn't last long in this heat. You can your verandha pretty too with flower pots etc, we were in the apartment for 3yrs before we came here!:))

Thank you Sunita. My daughter loves to eat French bread and cheese for lunch!:))

Jyothsna said...

The bread looks too good!! I've never baked bread, always buy all kinds of bread we get here. I'm going to try that salad and will let you know how it turned out. How does capers taste? I almost picked a bottle yday then let it go.

Asha said...

Hahaha!! DB, that's true. Haldiram and Udupi snacks rock, now there are Pithle Bandhu Bhakarwadi available here too!! I never buy any sweets, it's just savory I am crazy about!:))

J, baking is way different from buying them but of course baking is lot of work too and takes time. Try Panzanella with any day old crusty bread, can add any veggies.
Capers are slightly, crunchy and salty, like American pickle, really good.Get a bottle next time and try!:)

Anali said...

Hi Asha! It's always so nice to start my day by reading a nice fresh post on your blog. And your French bread looks gorgeous! Have a great day Asha! :D

Happy cook said...

Asha me putting flower pot on the verandha , they will die in a day, i don't have green fingers

Shilpa said...

I am becoming more and more crazy about baking these days. Your breads look so pretty. I love the red color on your barn/deck. Its so cute.

Asha said...

Hi Anali, great to see you. Thank you, nice start indeed. Enjoy your day and the French bread!:))

F,it depends on weather too. In most European countries, you can grow plants outside in July and Aug I guess.After that it's too cold.
Remember the green "money plant" we have in India, I have that here in the kitchen. Easy to grow and I hardly water it unless it looks dry! See if you can get it there, don't know what they call it here, some kind of Ivy! :)

Shilpa, baking is addictive once you learn tricks. I would rather bake bread than baking cakes!:)
Try this bread, it's easy but it takes time, 3 1/2hrs to make them, necessary for that chewy texture. Hope you do.
Love the deck now!:))

Sia said...

he he he... why we all go crazy when we enter indian stores and start buying things as if there is no tomorrow ;) krish always complains that i buy too much but he can't argue too much coz he is the one who ends up eating two-three servings of what i cook ;)
and i loved that french bread. it looks soft and chewy inside. last week i came over my fear of baking and made chelsea buns. not exceptionally good looking one but tasty nevertheless :) will blog abt it sometime later. bought one lovely book on bread making and trying my hand at it.
so u r leaving for summer vacation soon? good for you. we too are planning short vac next month. will catch up with u later ashakk. sis's wedding snaps have come. will send u once i get time to upload them. take care and chk my blog for phool makhani recipe too before you leave :) u might like it. and another reason for visiting taht indian store ;) he he eh...

Sagari said...

bread looks soo beautiful asjahi ,never baked bread at home ,I will try this

Roopa said...

Wow Asha, that Bread you baked looks awesome:) I never baked a bread before, I am sure it would serve to be multipurpose and also there is no need to go out and buy it too:) That pic showing the inside of the bread is too good:)

JZ @ Tasty treats said...

beautiful barn asha! and the painting the deck to go with it, PERFECT!! and the french bread, oooh ooh ooh!! drooling!!!

TheCooker said...

The texture of the bread is just awesome.
Such a salad is just what I need right now!

Asha said...

Oh, they have Udupi snacks now and Trisha is addicted to SWAD Palak Paneer too! I had to grab all 6 pack they had for her, she kept calling me to get them!:D
I only go to Indian store once in 3 months since we have to 100miles for that, so it's a feast for me. MOst of the time Arvind sits in the car outside with AC and music on, which is great for me!HeHe!
Can't wait to see the photos, will look forward to it.
I still have 2 more posts(2 weeks) to go here and at Aroma, after that I will be off for a looong time.
Try baking the easiest ones first, then move on to tougher ones, not hard at all, you will love it. I will see you later!:)

Cham said...

Now the deck and barn color match. Your baguette is very pretty and love the outer crust & twist :) Panzanella, i never tasted before...Always, i learn something new from ur post :)

Namratha said...

Wow, the loaves are perfect Asha! :) And the salad looks inviting.

ranji said...

oooooo the bread is so soft and fluffy...the french bread tastes so great when its warm ...ones in a while we get lucky enough to get those warm ones from grocery stores here..can have it just like that...U r so lucky to have such amazing collection of cook books..i really love that ultimate bread book...i will be making more bread recipes from that b4 i return it:)....Panzanella is one of them:)...this one looks equally delicious..congrats on all ur awards...
An award from u!!wow..this is huge..thank u so much asha..hugs :).u have given a gr8 boost to my day ..

Asha said...

Sagari, give it a try.It takes longer to make this bread than the others, but tastes great!:)

Thanks Roopa. We do get so many kinds of breads in the bakeries and stores but nothing gives you more joy than baking your own.Try it!:)

Just drooling won't do JZ, bake one girl!:)
Deck is pretty, we will use it more in Fall and Spring, lot cooler!:))

Swati: Sugarcraft India said...

Dear Asha, I am floored seeing the lovely french bread..Totally impressed.. You are a pro!!!
The barn looks great!!

Sreelu said...

Asha, Bread looks so good and salad even better, thanks for the book recomendation will reserve it my local library. barn looks great

Asha said...

TC, salad was tasty, we were craving for seconds after it's over!
Thanks for the Greens Paratha TC, loved it, great spices in there!:)

Cham, we just thought it would look nice if we use the same oil paint, worked really great!:)
Enjoy the salad, it's yummy.

Thank you Namratha. Baking is just a pure pleasure, hope you try it!:)

Sukanya Ramkumar said...

Hey I also do the same thing in the grocery stores. My hubby used to drag me out....

That was a perfect French bread. Looks great. Italian panzanella is so cool. YUM!

ChrisB said...

Hi Asha the panzanella recipe looks really good.

Also the book sounds interesting, I must look out for it when I come back from holiday~ see you in a couple of weeks :)

Laavanya said...

The french bread looks so good! I've heard of this salad from Rachel Ray's show, if i remember right.. looks yummy.
I checked out your barn!! Great looking.

Sireesha said...

The french bread is simply drooling.I can smell the delicious smell from it.love the twist inside:))Never baked bread at home. Will try this soon......

Asha said...

Ranji, fresh and warm bread is the best. We eat it with chunky piece of cheese melting there, so yummy!:)
Enjoy that book, it's really great!You deserve the award,hugs to you.

Thank you Swati. Baking is a pleasure although I don't knead by hand, homemade bread is excellent!:)

Sreelu, good to see you girl. Yeah, that book is good, makes you feel sad, angry and agreeing with everything goes on in there like real life!:)

kamala said...

Bread looks soooo great Ashaji.Want to try.dont know whether it will turn out good.Beautiful pics

Asha said...

Hahaha! Story of our lives Sukanya and every Indian husband's nightmare!:D

Chris, enjoy your holiday, sounds good to me. I will be on break too when you come back.
Hope you try the Panzanella after the holidays!:)

Asha said...

Laavanya, Ina Garten made it once on food network, it's similar but I added some more veggies and spice! It's really tasty with crunchy bread cubes!:)

Try it Sireesha. Baking is not that hard at all, just have to have patience to let it rise until it's double, not bake before that. Hope you do!:)

Kamala, do try. Even if it doesn't look perfect, bread will gone in a day anyway, I promise you!:D

Uma said...

lovely bread and delicious panzanella, Asha! I don't know when can I bake such a beautiful bread? Just saw your beautiful deck. So good and matches perfectly with the barn. Congrats on the awards.

Anonymous said...

hello asha,
the barn and the deck look picture perfect.must try out the french bread

Shalini

Srivalli said...

Very good morning Asha...how is your Wednesday going on?...that bread is so tempting as usual..i seriously think you should move some where close...:))...thanks for thinking of me..thats really so sweet of you!..

Asha said...

Uma, try this bread, not hard to bake but takes sometime. Salad can be made with any hard crusted bread, tasty,
Yeah, deck looks great, waiting for cooler weather to use it now!:D

Thanks Shalini. Hope you try the bread or salad with any bread, really great for summer lunch!:)

Sri, going very slowly girl.I am waiting for Arvind to come home, have to go to some office for official work which always a nightmare for us!:D
Yeah, if we come back to India forever, I will move right next to you so my kids can eat all your non-veg food! ;D
Enjoy your award.

Devi Priya said...

Impressive, never tried making french bread at home. Great photos and instructions.

ms said...

hi asha, the baguette looks really good. My husband wishes he could put blinkers on me like a horse so that I dont buy half the grocery store. He even makes sure i take a list along. That list is usually 1/3rd of the stuff I end up buying!

n33ma said...

Great French bread
You deserve the award.....Congrats..

Mythreyee said...

That is a cool salad that has a fancy name. I like it. Nice bread too. The illustration is very good.

Meeta said...

Lovely lovely. French bread is great homemade isn't it? Perfect going Asha!

Sailaja said...

Too Good Asha. I don't have any words to express what I felt after looking at this detailed recipe.

Too goooooooooooooooooooooooood.

Mansi Desai said...

good, next time get some nice munchies for me too! will pay you the mailing cost:)D

the bread looks perfect, and thanks for enlightening me to a new term!!

Asha said...

Devi, it's easy to bake once you tried it, ope you do!:)

ms, Baguettes are longer and thinner than French bread, similar recipe but shaped differently! Both are great warm with cheese of course!:)
List don't work for me al all.I just keep grabbing snacks and more snacks!:P
We all need blinkers, probably work!HeHe!

Thanks Madam Neema. When are you going bake this? :))

Thanks Myth. In Italy, they say they make the salad with old hard bread, so it soaks up the juice and tastes yummy.I believe that, it's really is very tasty!:))

Asha said...

Thank you Meeta. You know, we ate one of those right after it came out of the oven with spicy Jack cheese, it tasted out of this World! You are right! Nothing compares to warm homemade bread, makes you smile just thinking about it!:))

Sailaja, you have said it all, thank you so much. Glad you enjoyed it, now start baking! :D

Mansi, I think you have better Indian stores there in CA than these small towns, don't you? Most of the plants and goods comes from either CA or New Jersey as I see the labels here. But glad you throw you some Bhakarwadis your way if there are any left! Hahaha!
Panzanella, you must try Mansi, we loved it!:)

Siri said...

the french bread looks yummy Ashaji - Thanks for such elaborative steps. I never baked a bread.. and wanna try my hand soon!

Panzella looks so colorful!!

Hugs,
Siri

Pooja said...

panzanella is very new to me . looks good to try on summer days :) . Bread looks perfect. :).
I could sense the feelings of Saroja by your overview even . I know in India this happens even today too . May be people like you , me, vani and many others should start something to make life of a woman better in India, specially in the locations which are neither city nor village ,the condition of ladies is the worst then ever still. That really hurts. Someday I really going to start something nice. At least for all such ladies I know or I come in contact with.
Saroja's story really made me feel heavy on my head and I don't think I have guts to read the book fully.

Btw, to change my mood and boring talks I just did , your deck and red red barn looks too nice :p .

Asha said...

Siri, try baking, I am sure you will excel in it too. Nothing like eating fresh bread just baked!:))

Pooja, there are some organizations already in New Jersey and NY to help abused Women etc. I think it's called "Asha" or "Hope".You should look in to it and volunteer. Volunteering is a great American tradition which helps us and the abused ones too. Always feels good to help with whatever we can. I have 3 charities I donate regularly, it's good thing Pooja!:))
Yeah, barn and bread looks very small thing in the World but hey, something for us foodies too! HeHe! Good to see you btw!:)

Archy said...

Pretty twisty French bread with Italian Panzanella !! Never heard these names Dear :)!! But really nice to see that u try always new and unique recipe !!

Asha said...

I was just there in your blog Archy and you are here!:D
Yeah, Panzanella is pretty unique for us, glad I tried it even though I was unfamiliar with the dish too. Hope you try, any regular hard loaf bread will do!:))

bhags said...

i always restrict my visit to Indian stores, always find them expensive....:(

The baguette has come out perfect, how I always think of baking one and give up to my laziness....:)
And the salad looks nice, love the ones with croutons in them

Prema Sundar said...

wow the french bread has turned out puurrrrrrrfect... I have tried making it once ..the result was OK ...urs look too good.
salad looks professional...
BTW had a look at ur barn photos and I fell in love with it the moment i saw it.nice job done...enjoy the fall and spring!!!!!!!!

Vani said...

The bread & the salad both look yum! Loved the story line of the book you read. And you buy quarter of the stuff at the Indian store? - I can totally see u doing that!! :)

Kristen said...

Thanks for the inside twister tip. Gorgeous!

Jamie said...

Asha, I bet that bread smelled amazing! And its funny that you mentioned the book Tamarind Woman as I saw it in the bookstore the other day and was tempted to get it. I passed on it because I have so many books to read, but I will need to stock up on some more with my trip to India coming up in a couple of months. It's a long flight and plenty of time for good reading!

Shionge said...

Asha, you make your own french loaf?? How amazing!!!

About the Italian Panzanella, can we put the bread cubes in the oven instead of panfried?

I must give it a shot but I must admit I was very hesitant to buy white wine vinegar as I am afraid of the sourish taste.

Once again, thanks for the yummy treat as always, love you much :D

sowmya said...

french bread looks so good..i have been wanting to try making bread from a long time....should do it now..

notyet100 said...

both look delish...feel like eatin now...

Rachel said...

your batards are just perfect!!! I love the baking pan.....very nice...

Mallugirl said...

hot already? ur twisty bread looks so much better than the one in the stores!! i only go for the no knead bread..:)

Keshi said...

I love those long French bread sticks :) smells n tastes soooo good!

Keshi.

Prajusha said...

hi asha,
bread looks perfect.
i ahve never baked bread.i think i shld learn the tricks of baking:)Beautiful snaps..

Maya said...

Wow Asha, love tht twist in the bread, even on the outside, the texture is just beautiful. Looks really complex. Panzanella looks nice too, have never tasted before. Congrats on the awards, enjoy :)..

TBC said...

OMG! The French bread looks so pretty, Asha! You did a great job.:)

The salad is just perfect for summer!

Meera said...

Wow, that loaf looks perfect. &Italian Panzanella looks amazing too. You know, I was inspired to plant bottlegourd this year - thanks to u of course. So I have planted it. It has loads of flowers. but i m not sure if they will turn into gourds. Let's see.

Thanks so much for the award. I really really appreciate it. Thanks so much, dear.

arunshanbhag.com said...

btw, thats a fabulous job on the barn!
I want same same! :-)

and love that bread salad; I usually buy my french bread from a local bakery - they have a whole wheat version and its always just out of the oven on Sat mornings. Should try this salad with the bread here!

And glad you guys had a wonderful Father's day!

Pravs said...

wow, thats a lovely bread there. Just love the smell of freshly baked bread. Lovely pics. I am so happy to see you tried another recipe of mine. Thanks :D

deepsat said...

I love the bread!! it looks delicious!! Hey, that lil barn is so cute!! so cosy it looks!!!

take care

;-))

mom2am said...

perfect bread loaf Asha!!I always love your pictures.So Beautiful!
The book sounds interesting.I need to get hold of it somehow now :)

Asha said...

Bha, it's true! They are always been expensive and now even more because of all the hype of lack of rice and curry leaves.They just want to make money while they can!! I go once in 3 mnts there,just to avoid all the temptations!:D

Thanks Prema. Yeah, you need a bit practice to bake perfect bread.Just keep on baking, you will get it one day. I have ruined many breads too! Haha!!

Vani, If Arvind lets me hang around long enough, I would buy it all!:P
I fill up whole cart as if I am in Walmart and in Indian store, they all cost double of the regular store. That's why I visit just once in 3mnts. It is expensive there, even small pack of snack cost $3.50 now!

Thank you Kristen. It looks beautiful inside, not to mention the softness!:)

Jamie, glad to hear you are visiting India. Yeah, need few books on the flight, it's so long and boring!:)
This book makes you a bit sad, reality bites,right?
I recommend "Monsoon Dairies" by Shoba Narayan,it's so funny, a great read!:)
Enjoy.

SMN said...

Ashakka loved the shape of your bread. I have bake-o-phobia for some reason which im not abl to overcome but shud give it a try..
How did ur family like sprouted moong idlis?

Asha said...

Shi, absolutely! You can crisp the bread in the oven or even in the Microwave,just be careful not to burn. You can even use chunky flavored Croutons and anything sour you like for vinegar like Lemon juice too in the salad.Enjoy. Hugs to you!:))

Time to bake Sowmya!:)
Start with the easiest one like the basic whole wheat bread I have and then move on to tough ones.Good luck!:)

Thank you N, hope you try and bake one!:)

Rachel, one more recipe for you girl, do try this. It takes time but worth it!:)

Very hot here Shaheen.We had 100F for a week non-stop, our lawn looks yellow now! It's come down 87F now, better!
If you have a stand mixer, all breads are No-Knead breads!I never knead myself, let the machine take over!:D

Asha said...

Keshi, nothing beats warm fresh bread, isn't it? I love to eat a chunk of this bread with cheese! YUM!:)

Prajusha, I encourage you to try and bake one. You might not perfect breat at first, but believe me, you will love baking!:)

Maya,thanks. Bread is like rolling Swiss roll or layered Paratha, not hard even though it looks hard in the photos.Try once girl!:))

Thank you tbc.Yes! Perfect for summer, cool and crunchy, loved the salad!:))

Meere, you are welcome, you deserve the award, blog with a purpose is perfect for you!:)
Loads of BG flowers! Yippee! Last year I had a very hard time cooking 6 gourds at the same time, even ran of space in the freezer! :D
Have fun with those, they will turn into gourds, be warned!!HeHe!!

Asha said...

Haha!! Yeah, barn and the deck match now, we love it!:)
Panzanella can be made with any bread, bit older the better like Croutons. Fresh bread is bit soft for this.Enjoy!:)

Pravs, thank YOU.I have bookmarked so many, I get confused which one to cook first!:D
Try and bake one Pravs, it relaxes you too.Kneading can be easier if you use the machine.

Thank you Satish!:)
Yeah, we are waiting for the cooler weather now to spend time there!No AC or light there!:D

Hi Mom2am, good to see you. Fresh bread is always a delight. Hopw you try if you have time. I see you have kids, life little hard, I know.Hugs to you!:)

Shushma, try baking once, the easy one first like my basic wheat bread at Muffuletta post.
Idli was so soft,I couldn't believe it.It was greenish, beautiful and nutritious. I will post those at Aroma too tomorrow! Thank you so much for posting, we can add Masoor dal and make it pinkish too! :)

Mishmash ! said...

I am in owe whenever i see you bread makers in the blogoland as my history with them is not all that a good one :)I have realised that baking cakes and baking bread is two different things! yours looks really good as always :)

Rajitha said...

hey Asha....great that ur husband had a great father's day...i was a snack hoarder too..i have backed off now for a while...btw. love panzanella...and have u tried ina garten's recipe? It is to die for..but u may add an inch to your hip...just a warning :D

Divya said...

Ashakka..that bread looks soooo yummm!!

Kalai said...

Gorgeous French bread, Ashakka!! Love the idea of using leftovers to make panzanella. I haven't tried making panzanella yet, but will definitely try it out soon! :)

Priya said...

I love that bread Asha. From now on I won't say call me home, just take me home:)

I love fresh bread and even more my favorite is garlic bread. Yummyyy

lakshmi said...

i use water too for the crust - picked it off a snazzy looking cook book at the book store :D. so one kutty question - how does one get that golden glow like yours without the eggs? :D

Asha said...

shn, you can do it too girl not that hrad once you learn do's and don'ts!:)
Yes, baking cakes and bread is very different, I prefer breads any day!:D
Getting ready to fly? I have few posts ready to go, then I will take off as well.Enjoy the rest of the week.

Rajitha, I LOVE Ina Garten's show and her recipes, so yummy. Her's way better than Paula Deen's "stick of butter" dishes, I tell ya! :D
I just can't resist 4pm snacking on Sev etc but I don't buy any Indian sweets at all, I feel lot better that way!Haha!

Asha said...

Thanks Divya, better bake some bread now!:))

Kalai, you can use any bread in Panzanella, doesn't have to be French bread. It's really tasty, I loved it. Enjoy making it, worth the effort!:)

LOL! Priya, let me do some magic and get you here, no need for tents now, we have a dark and HOT barn for ya!
Slice this across. smother with garlic butter and grill a little on top!! Can you imagine that sice!!:D

Dalicia said...

how are you doing? i love french bread with garlic butter.

right now i'm so bloated i want to eat something with dairy

oh yum...i should come and visit you. how's the weather down at your place?

Asha said...

Aha, kutty is small, isn't it? Now I know L kutty LOVES kutty idlis! Hahaha!
Good job! Water gives it very crusty outside. From othere book, I learnt that mixing 1 tbsp corn flour with 2 tbsp water and brushing over it gives the bread a darker color, I haven't tried it yet, must work. Hope you try!:)

Hi Dalicia, been running around with kids' appointments lately girl!:))
Love the garlic bread too. I know, too much bread makes me bloat!:D
Weather is very hot, we had 100F for a week. Now it's gone down a bit. See you tomorrow, taking it easy today!:))

Madhavi said...

OMG that french bread, looks awesome I don't have any words right now Asha di...so goooooooooooooooood!!!!

Asha said...

HeHe! Madhavi, no words necessary, seeing you here is good enough for me sister. Hugs to you!:))

Red Chillies said...

haha, tell me about Indian grocery. I can stay there and buy the whole shop as well. I keep staring at small things like lux, pears etc etc.
The frendh bread looks yummy and delish!

Vcuisine said...

Asha Not sure, whether my comment will be shown or not. Nice bread. Enjoy your break too with kids :) Viji

Pearlsofeast said...

Wonderful french bread and the panzanella is one of my fav.I have never cooked at home but seeing ur great recipe,I feel like eating at home.Thanks Asha for sharing wonderful recipes.

Jaya said...

Looks so cool, Bread and Panzanella .I have not made bread at home , I know It must be some special talent like yours to have such really awesome inside twisted Freanch Bread .
Thanks for sharing.
hugs and smiles
jaya

Aparna said...

I just love your french bread. I tried making it with the Daring Bakers recipe and gave up!!!
Your bread looks so lovely I'm going to give it one more chance with your recipe.
Wish me luck.:D

Reema said...

Trust me, I am sooo hungry now, as usual great work, thank you.

Reema
PrivateMarriage.com

Asha said...

RC, Mysore Sandal soap there!! I keep smelling it! ;P
I know, we all have to be dragged out of those Indian stores here in US. In B'lore, I hated shopping because of the crowd except at Nilgiris!:))

Viji, always a pleasure to see you. I still have few more posts to go, I will disappear after that!:D
Kids can't wait to go to the cooler mountains!:))

Pearl, Panzanella is so easy to make, do try it at home. They charge you so much at restaurants unnecessarily!:))

Asha said...

Jaya, anybody can make this girl, just have to try and try without getting discouraged. Hope you do!:)
Salad is easy, can use any bread.

GOOD LUCK!! :D
Aparna, I saw those French bread too. This recipe is so easy, not much work at all except waiting for it to proof for 3 hrs in total. Hope you do try!:))

Thank you Reema. I know, I get hungry too when I look at this salad now!:D
Enjoy!:)

Swati Raman Garg said...

waaaaaaah.... i want to bake a bread... its a dream.. i want a oven iam pataoing garg for one on my b'day indirectly ;)
whatever i will trouble u when i do one...
u know i show off my dal palak more often nowadays ... why asha di liked it... :) thanks thanks....

Asha said...

Hahaha!! I should be thanking you more for that very Lasooni and healthy dal Palak, Swati!
Hope you get a oven, I am sure he will love eating fresh bread and yummy cake too.
Happy Birthday to you in advance just in case I go on break early. Hugs to you. Enjoy your weekend!:))

Divya Vikram said...

Ashaji..Am back after a vacation to Canada..Had a great time..And I absolutely love the barn..Hope u have a great time sitting out there..Love the soft french bread..And would love to taste ur gajar halwa too

Asha said...

Hi Divya, you were in Canada? That is Cool! We were in Toronto few yrs ago, loved it, Niagara Falls and all. Nice to spend time in the city, but got little bored after 6 days and ran back to US!:D
Barn is pretty, love it. Hope you try the bread!:))

Smita said...

Hi Asha,
I tried the french bread yesterday and it was ok but a lil too hard....i must have over baked it....but i am going to try the salad recipe now:D:D

The Mahathma said...

my wifes crazy abt ur blog ! i dont get the laptop now :-(

Swati Raman Garg said...

heheee.. 100th again... :) and b'day is in july guess u will not b there but will take ur wishes anyways... can let it b without u .. rite :)

Suma Gandlur said...

Hello Asha,

How are you? Must be enjoying with your kids during their vacation.
My computer crashed and gradually I stopped missing blogging (guess only because of sheer laziness) though I got a new one within a week. Missed lots of your posts.

You said that don't have anything to post new. You sure must be kidding.:)

Bread looks yummy. I usually use my bread machine. Simple and easy kind of stuff. :)

Asha said...

Smita, Yeah,too much baking it is. one of the tricks I do is put the timer 5 mins before what's recommenced because each oven is different and watch it like a hawk for the last minutes, better to take out early than late, as soon as it gets golden!:D
Great for Panzanella, you will love it!:)

Hahaha!! Mahathma, you are scaring me now!!
That's great, give her few hrs to surf per day and take it away or else she will be like one of us crazy bloggers, addicted and dazed for life! ;D

I know Swati! 100th for the second time, do you wait and watch or something?:D
I will be here until July 10th. But enjoy your Birthday, I will be with you in your thoughts.Bless you girl, my good wishes to you always!:))

Asha said...

Hi Suma, so good to see you. I am doing well, getting ready to take a break and get those kids to Summer vacation in few weeks!:)
That's true. If I don't blog for sometime, I just don't feel like coming back and then once I start, I can't stop!:D
Blog when you can, no worries. I am really really running out of ideas girl, need a break and quickly! HeHe.
I use machine for regular loaf too, easy and makes a great bread indeed. I tried making a Egg bread one day in the machine, it was a disaster!:D
Enjoy your weekend, see you next week!:)

Cynthia said...

I laughed so hard at this: Quick because I buy 1/4 of the what they have in the store if somebody doesn't drag me out of there quickly, I get pre-warnings! ;D

Last Saturday I went into to an Indian store in the US and I told my friends that they can go look around at the other stores while I just have a look around. One of them promptly replied: "I'm coming with you because someone needs to protect you from yourself!" (lol)

Mallika said...

Very professional looking French bread Asha. I end up poking around my Indian store for too long as well - and buying dubious ingredients that I never use!!

Sally Lomax said...

Lovely French bread. It will keep better too, because of the fat. The French don't put fat in the original, which is why you ahve to buy it every day when in France......Nice for it to keep until the end of the day at least though!!

Asha said...

Hahaha! Cynthia, story of our lives, eh? Going to Indian store is like making a little India trip for us immigrants.We get to see Indian faces and we are surrounded by familiar spices and smells, home away from home! My kids don't like to come inside, their culture is white faces and vanilla flavor, they don't relate except eating Palak Paneer and butter chicken at home!!:D

Mallika, thanks!:)
I load up on the on the Indian stuff since I go there once in 3 mnts. I hate to run out of atta or Tuar dal when I need them, which we never get it at US grocery stores!:D

That's true Sally. When we were Paris, we used to buy a Baguette and cheese from the little stalls like we buy Burgers here, so delicious.
It tends to hard the next day even with butter unless you wrap it with cellophane. We ate one the same day and made the salad the next day with the other!:)
Good to see you btw! Enjoy your weekend.

Mandira said...

Asha, love the bread, looks so fresh and fluffy!

Linda said...

French bread looks amazing Asha -- and I love the bright red deck!

I'm using mine for extra garden space this year. Extra heat up there puts the plants way ahead of schedule. Glad you all had a nice Father's Day! :)

Asha said...

Thank you Mandira. Fresh bread is excellent to have, it tends to get a bit dry next day. That's where the salad steps in! ;D
Have a good Sunday!:))

Hi Linda, thanks!:)
We got our deck painted, had to let it dry until y'day. We got all the BBQ grill, Umbrella up on the deck now. I put all herb and flower pots up on the deck. Gourds are growing so well, I am happy, fingers crossed this year for Ridge gourd and snake gourds.
Next project will be to take out all wall papers in 4 rooms and paint, kids did one room already!:))
Have a great Sunday, I will be blogging for 3 more weeks before I take a long blog break.

delhibelle said...

Asha,
Add my name to your long list for the Nice Matters award:)

Asha said...

Yes Madam, did that!!:D
Thank you sweetie! :)

Bharathy said...

Lovvvvely loaf of french bread asha :)..just lovely!!! :)..Love the salad too..
Nice to see your tried out dishes from bloggers too :)

Asha said...

Hi Bharathy, good to see you!:)
I have been trying lot of dishes from bloggers since I came back for my last break. I made your Chammnathi too, it was yummy!:))
Have a great Sunday,come back blogging soon.

Suma Rajesh said...

bread looks pretty and that too homemade bread...first time hearing panzenalla..sounds interesting..delicious

Pritya said...

Hi Asha, the tamarind woman is indeed a fabulous story. A space for self expression and enhancement is definitely the most challenging search in life. Enjoyed reading your post, the bread looks delicious.

Sig said...

Hey Asha, great to know Arvind had a great father's day...Nice looking bread and salad. I loved the book description, where are you getting all these books from?

wheresmymind said...

Looks like an incredible french bread!

Susan said...

Freshly baked bread never even makes it to the second day in this house. No worries w/ it going stale. : D

That broken baton of French bread is just begging for a spot of butter!

Jayashree said...

That could be the story of any woman anywhere in the world....not just India....

Latha Narasimhan said...

Your store visit similar to mine! :D Which shopkeeper would'nt welcome us!! My hubby always says that I should prepare a list and buy only those things!
French bread is looking lovely! :)
Tamarind woman seems to be a must read! Thanks for the gist!:))

Asha said...

Suma, Panzanella is delicious, hope you try!:))

Thanks Pritya. I loved that book too although it makes me a bit sad about Saroja's life but that's reality for many women in India!:))

Sig, thanks girl!:))
Most books are from Amazon and some rare ones are from Indiaclub.com.
I love to buy Indian author's books, really takes me home!:))

Asha said...

Well hello!! Great to see you again here Mr.WIMM!:)
Thank you, it came out very well and we enjoyed it. Salad is even better!
Have a great week.

Haha! Susan, that's true! We had about half a stick of bread left for next day, only because my husband wasn't home to grab it!
I love warm bread with cheese, takes me to Paris!:))

Jaya, that's true. I think it's worse in India because of the pressures of society and lack of hepl when needed. Here they can divorce atleast or seek help!

Latha, making list never worked for me whether it's Indian store or US grocery store, although I do carry a list! Hahaha!
Book is really good, hope you read it!:)

VEGETABLE PLATTER said...

Hey
I have a surprise for you @ my blog

Asha said...

Thanks VP, I will be there in a minute!:))

Roma said...

The detailing with pictures and tips provided indicate expertise. The description of the recipe is really impressive!

Asha said...

Thank you Roma.
Baking is not an easy job always. It's an art and lot of science involved too, details are necessary to bake successfully! Hoping that details and tips help anybody who tries this recipe!:))

krystyna said...

Hi Asha!
Your red barn and red deck are good idea, red deck looks very elegant.
Thanks for French Bread
and this salad. Beautiful pics, specially with bread.

Best for you always!

Madhuram said...

The French bread looks classic Asha. I can't believe your Indian store is 100 miles away! If I were you I think I would have my vacataion there. I do take a list with me, but anyhow end up buying a lot more stuff.

One question, whenever I open your blog, it takes a lot of time to open. I really mean a LOT! Has anybody had this issue or is it just my laptop? Let me try it from my husband's PRECIOUS computer also.

Have a wonderful vacation!

Asha said...

Hi Krystyna, thank you! We are loving the deck, beautiful oil based paint, so it tolerates bad weather and looks great too.
Salad is really tasty, hope you try. Have a great week!:))

Madhu, there is one Indian store nearby but it's small one. For basics like Tuar dal etc, it's great. 100 miles away, that is a huge Indian market, you get everything, mainly south Indian stuff. We go there once in 3 mnts, eat at Udupi and load up on grocery and snacks!:D
Slow to open, I don't know why. Sometimes may be it's too much traffic, specially on Wednesdays, sometimes blogger trouble but for most people, I guess it's okay considering the no of comments here. See if it works better on your hubby's PC. I don't have any third party ads here or at Aroma which makes many blogs slow to open for me too, as I have experienced. Try the other Lappy, good luck!:))

VEGETABLE PLATTER said...

You deserve it. Enjoy your award:)

Asha said...

Thank you so much Suma, I appreciate it. Hugs to you!:))

Madhuram said...

Today I found it out Asha, if I open it from TOI, it's very fast. It's slow only if I open it from my blog.

Asha said...

Oh good Madhu! I was thinking y'day what could be the problem, if I can do anything to help! So glad it's easy now, hope to see you tomorrow. Hugs!:))

Daily Meals said...

Healthy salad and delicious bread Asha!

Asha said...

Hi Vijaya, good to see you. Salad is really delicious, hope you try!:))

Hetal said...

hey the french bread looks awesome....loved the way you describe the recipes.....the salad looks too good.

Sujatha said...

first time here... your bread loaf looks so soft and spongy! Panzanella is a new recipe to me.. You have a lovely blog with super recipes! Keep it going.. :)

Asha said...

Hi Hetal, thank you so much. I try my best to explain so readers who try these don't get disappointed!:))

Thank you Sujata. Enjoy browsing. Readers comments are always encouraging to me to do better, hope to see you back here!:))