Hope you all had a wonderful Mom's day last Sunday. After months and months of relentless heat, we have been having a cooler weather since Sunday, perfect mild weather for mom's day here. We still need some rain though, helps a lot to keep down Pollen but no such luck so far except few sprinkles now and then.
Well..I baked some sweet rolls and using almost the same dough recipe with some variations, I improvised adding some spices, Onion flakes, garlic powder etc to bake some spicy buns too. They came out well. You can keep them for 2-3 days outside the fridge and for a week in the fridge in an airtight bag. For dessert, I made some banana Pudding using just the Graham Cracker crumbs with it to make it light. Here they are, Enjoy.
Sweet and Soft Dinner Rolls:
Who wouldn't love the sweet and soft dinner rolls? But stopping yourself with just eating one or two would be a huge problem! Haha. I found this recipe in one of the Jewish Bread-making book borrowed from the library. Recipe sounded great to me when I read it although I made some adjustments ie adding a bit less sugar than recommended in the recipe.
If you don't want 15-18 rolls, cut the recipe into half to bake less than a dozen rolls. You can also make full recipe dough, cut the dough into half and freeze half the dough for later use. All you have to do is thaw the dough completely, knead a little, divide into rolls and let it rise until it doubles and bake.
For sweet rolls, you need:
1 tbsp active dry Yeast,
4 tbsp Sugar,
1 cup + 2 tbsp Warm Milk between 90F to 110F(2% milk will do nicely),
1 tsp Salt,
1 Egg to add to the dough (optional, skip it if you like but gives a nice color if you add it)
2 tbsp Butter,
3 1/2 to 4 cups Plain flour or mix Wheat and White flour,
1 egg beaten for glazing/brushing the rolls (Optional, but gives rolls a gorgeous reddish color if you Egg glaze) or you can use melted Butter or milk to brush. on top.
To bake these:
1. Mix the Yeast, 1 tsp Sugar (out of 4 tbsp sugar), 2 tbsp warm milk (90F to 110F), let it froth for 5-10min.
2. Heat 1 cup of milk, rest for the sugar with butter until butter melts in the milk and keep aside until it cools down just "warm to touch" temperature. Add 1 egg (optional) and beat well.
3. Sift 3 1/2 cups Plain flour with Salt. Make a well in the center, add Yeast mix, mix. Add the milk mixture, mix, knead it well until you get a soft dough, not sticky. Add more flour if you want if you find the dough sticky or use the mixer with kneader and adjust the flour.
4. Cover the dough and let it rise until double. Then transfer it to fridge. (This is optional if you have time. If short of time, just punch down the dough, add any dry fruit you like at this point, knead and proceeds to make balls, cover and keep them for second rising)
5. Keep the dough wrapped in the fridge to let it rest and relax for 1 hour. Take it out and divide the dough into 15 balls. Place them on a lightly oil or butter sprayed cookie sheet as shown, cover with a clean towel, let it double in size for 1-2hrs.
6. Preheat the oven at 425F. Uncover the rolls, brush it with beaten Egg glaze for the best dark reddish color or with melted butter if you want and then place the cookie sheet in the middle rack.
7. Bake for 12-16mins or until they are puffed up and baked, depending on your oven efficiency. Do not overbake, they are soft when they are a bit undercooked. Take them out quickly, cool them on a rack. Once cooled, you can store them in a huge Zip lock bag and enjoy them any time.
Ready for Jam or Jelly!!
Khara or spicy Buns:
I love these Buns, remind me of Indian Bakery goodies. They are not as good as Bangalore Bakery ones but not bad to bake them at home and enjoy. I don't have the choice of going to the bakery and pick them up anyway! :D
Only difference in the recipe from above are the amount of Sugar and salt (more salt and less sugar for spicy buns) and addition of spices and herbs.
Ingredients are the same as above for these spicy buns except add 2 tsp salt and just 1/2 tbsp of sugar and add 1/2 tbsp mixed spices, 1/4 cup grated Carrots and 1 tbsp herbs of your choice to the dough and knead before you refrigerate the dough.
Brush the Buns with butter or beaten Egg after they are plumped/raised, sprinkle some chilli powder/paprika on top to make them attractive.
Bake as above and cool them.
Well...my Banana pudding, (pudding also called custard in UK), is not exactly a traditional Banana Pudding as they make in Southern US. Look at the video and the site I have linked to see how the traditional banana pudding made. I love to eat Banana Pudding but I don't like too much sugar in it or all the egg whites whipping and baking etc, which absolutely tastes great of course, but I made a quick dessert my way. Only hard work here is making Vanilla Pudding on stove top. It has all the flavors, no baking but chilled in the fridge for few hrs or overnight but very easy to make and also you can adjust the sugar as per your taste. Hope you like my style "light" Banana pudding! :)
You need: (to make 4 servings)
For making Vanilla Pudding:
1. Mix 1/4 cup sugar (more or less, as you like), 3 tbsp plain flour and 1/8 tsp salt well, keep aside.
2. Whisk 2 cups of 2% milk, 1 tsp Vanilla essence, 2 Eggs very well. Add to flour mix above 1/2 cup at a time and beat everything very well until there are no lumps.
3. Now put a non-stick pan on medium low heat (very imp, do not let the pudding boil!), add 2tsp butter, melt. Add all the mixture to the pan, keep whisking or stir with a wooden spoon.
4. Let it come to simmer slowly and keep stirring. Takes time, have patience, do not keep the heat high. It will be a scrambled egg mess instead of smooth pudding if you do!
5. When it starts to thicken and coats the back of the spoon, take off the heat and let it cool.
If it's too thick, you can add some more milk and gently heat again.
To make Banana Pudding:
1. Divide Cracker crumbs into 8 portions (1/4 cup each), add 1 portion each into the bottom of the bowl, top with 1/2 of sliced Banana (cut into 1/8" rounds) on top of each bowl.
2. Add cooled pudding into all bowls equally divided. Add the rest of the Banana slices and rest of the Graham cracker crumbs.
3. Chill in the fridge for 4hrs or overnight and serve.
Here is the "back of the Nilla wafer's box recipe" original Banana Pudding.
Here is a video of how to make a traditional Southern Banana breading.
My son wrote me 3 Poems for me in a handmade Heart Origami and kept it on the oven top so I can find it first thing in the morning which reduced me to tears. So sweet of him! Daughter bought me a Nikon "point and shoot" camera which I really could use since my old one was all scratched up. We went out to lunch and then to "Iron man 2" movie. Movie was okay, not much story to remember forever but much more fun for kids than adults (or rather, not much fun for adults like me with different taste in movies!:D) and cool effects of all those Ironman's suits was remarkable. Liked Gwyneth Paltrow's character of "Pepper Potts" better than anybody else in the movie.
Book I am listening to:
I am currently listening to a CD book called "The Bluest Eyes" by Toni Morrison. Listening to Audio books are much easier than reading for me right now, saves me from lot of eye strain. I get some of the audio books from the library since CD books can be very expensive to buy and download to my iTunes to listen to whenever I have some free, quiet time, specially after 8pm.
Free Audio books to download and listen at your leisure:
If you are interested in MP3 or iTunes downloading the Audio books for free, here are few sites called "Librivox" and "Booksshouldbefree". You will have download a program called "winRAR.zip" and then add to iTunes or directly to iTunes to listen in iPod Itouch. My son (I am not Tech savvy at all!) installed Zip program which is also free on the web and showed me how to download the stories to iTunes and then to my iTouch. I love to listen to classic stories by Leo Tolstoy instead of reading the big books. Most readers at these sites are good, as these are Public domain books and different volunteers read the different books. Some are terrible readers, so listen to samples first to see if you like the reader's voice at "booksshouldbefree" site and then download the books. My faves are Thomas Hardy books, studied one of his books "Far from the Madding crowd" for PUC English long time ago, been a fan of his books since then! Ah....sweet memories! :)
Free books to read on the web!
If you want to read the short stories or classics on your PC or Laptop screen for free, here is a site called "Short Stories@Classic reader". Just login to become a member or click on the link to start reading the stories. Most of them are unabridged classic books ie full uncut stories for adult, kids and young adults. You are free to print them out to read them on the beach or lazy Summer evenings on the deck or porch as well. What a great service by these people! Have fun.
Have a wonderful week and weekend my friends! :)