Thursday, April 1, 2010

'Bun'alicious!

I love Facebook. It was here that I found my childhood friends and rekindled long-forgotten memories. We got back to calling each other those elementary school nicknames; laughed at our teachers again and extolled virtues of the school we hated in a not-so-recent past. And then, I hate FB. It was here I found my childhood friends and discovered that they were not those only the pranksters I knew. They all had lives and talents and expertise that I only dream of - jetsetting, media savvy, artistic bunch was what I found along with the goofiness that I’d been expecting. So I have no idea why I was surprised to find out that some of those old friends were also accomplished cooks at home. Their updates about food they cook made me turn green (but I’m definitely not the envious kind, I assure you). And then, when the pictures appeared, I turned greener. For not only were these aforementioned friends great cooks (or chefs, if you please), but they’re all great photographers. And what are all those exotic sounding foods and breads that they make? 

In one of my revved up “green” moment, I’d decided to bake the bread that a FB friend had on her page. I gathered all the ingredients…but then never had the courage to try her recipe. You see, I’m not very confident or adventurous around the little space in my house we call the kitchen. Whenever I saw her post another bread recipe, a little voice inside my head reminded me of the little packets of yeast sitting in my pantry. And I gave both the voice and my friend’s FB updates a cold shoulder. And then, I recently came across this recipe that was way too tempting to ignore. I had all the ingredients, so it was all a matter of picking up the courage and diving in. That was my project, this last weekend! I’ve pretty much followed the recipe to a T, except for the yeast proofing part. Also, I was too impatient to wait for the flour to rise the second time! The buns did come out excellent nevertheless, and I got over my FB greens without much stress :-).
 
Stuffed Veggie buns
 
For the dough:
All purpose flour 1 cup
Whole wheat flour ½ cup
Parsley 1 small bunch, chopped
Baking powder 1tsp
Salt 1tbsp
Sugar 1 tbsp
Warm water ½ cup
Active dry Yeast 1tsp
Milk as needed
For the filling
Frozen Mixed veggies ½ cup thawed
Boiled potato 1
Salt, pepper to taste
Amchoor powder ½ tsp
Cumin seeds ½ tsp
Oil for tempering

  1. Add the sugar and yeast to warm water and keep aside for 15 min.
  2. In the meanwhile, sift the flours together and add the salt, baking powder and chopped up parsley to this. I also preheated the oven to WARM at this time.
  3. Make a well in the center of the flour and pour the yeast-mix to it. Bring it all together slowly and make soft, pliable dough. Add warm milk as needed. Grease an oven-proof bowl and put the dough in this, cover with an oiled plastic wrap, and keep inside the oven for an hour. You can turn off the oven and just let the dough rest in the warmth.
  4. Prepare the filling meanwhile. I tempered the cumin seeds in a bit of oil, added my veggies, potato and spices to coat. Then allow the filling to cool.
  5. After 1h, the dough had doubled up and was very soft with holes on the outside. Punch down the dough, quickly divide into 6 balls. Flatten one ball with your hands, put the filling in the center and close the edges tightly. Flatten the filled ball again slightly. Repeat with all the six balls of dough.
  6. Keep all the filled buns on a greased oven-proof plate, about 2 inches apart. You can sprinkle them with poppy or sesame seeds now, but I didn’t have any
  7. Allow them to rise again in a warm oven for 1h- this is where I was impatient and only waited 20 min.
  8. Brush the tops with a little milk and butter. Bake them at 350F, until golden brown.
My two cents: The buns came out as well as the original post promised; but I do wish I'd allowed them to rise a bit more. Wonder what they'd have tasted like then.... I am sending this to YeastSpotting- the weekly cooking with yeast event, and to Lets Do Brunch..