Uncategorized

MotherHood Vs. Career: Is There Need To Make A Choice?

A few months into my marriage, I got a call for a job interview. Among other questions, I was asked about my plans to start a family because I was newly married. I found that strange, because according to me, my performance had nothing to do with whether I decide to become a mother or not. But what they were concerned about was whether the training I would receive would be worth the money they spend on me if I decide to quit post-pregnancy. This is not just my story alone. Thousands of women in India and across the globe are questioned about their decisions to have a child while still being employed. It is as if you have a make a choice whether you want to climb the corporate ladder or raise a child. Apparently, you can’t do both!! Are newly married men subject to the same kind of…

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Healthy Recipes · Savoury

Easy Veggie Stir Fry

I have a full time passion for food together with a full time job. As a result of this my brain is constantly engaged in a whirlwind of thoughts about all the things that I have to get done in a day.

Not only am I a big foodie I love to cook and bake for people who are close to my heart. I am a Bengali and love the local cuisine. Bengali veggie dishes are ridiculously easy and simple to make but fabulously tasty. This is because minimal amount of spices are used in order to let the intrinsic flavour of the fresh vegetables shine through. Another very important part of our cuisine is all the different vegetable dishes have an exclusive spice combination of its own. You just cannot throw in “Curry Powder” (Urggh! I do not even know what that exactly is) in a Bengali vegetable dish.

Our daily meal staple usually comprises of rice/roti(whole-wheat flatbreads), dal(lentil soup), fish/chicken in a gravy of choice and a seasonal vegetable dish. There are a thousand and one ways in which our veggies are prepared at home.

I love potatoes even though they are often demonised by weight watchers. But my relationship with them is still going strong. I remember when I was young I used to make a ruckus at meal time if the side dish of veggies did not have potatoes! How I sympathise with my sweet mother now when I think back to those days. That soft corner for potatoes is still there though.

This recipe is super duper easy and requires only a handful of ingredients. Potatoes are easily available and pointed gourds are the loveliest veggies if they are tender. I just hate the big and crunchy ones. So try to use small and tender pointed gourds in this recipe. The star ingredient of this is the poppy seed.

For the full recipe please follow the link

https://thefoodlives.com/2019/03/09/easy-veggie-stir-fry/

Uncategorized

My Blogging strategy that brings traffic!

Nanny Maryanne

It’s no secret that my blog is growing into something wonderful and I am so excited to share my journey with you.

Many of you have been requesting that I share my strategy, so that is what I am going to do today!

Before I get into the juicy stuff I want to give a massive thank you to all of you that have supported me this far and encouraged me to keep going even when it is tough!

I really appreciate every bit of support and to those who are reading this, I want you to know that we are in this together!

roman-kraft-266787-unsplash.jpg

Develop a Content Strategy

A viable content strategy actively works out your entire material lifecycle. Have a clear head on what people need and expand on this throughout your journey.

Your job is to be the middle man in-between people’s issues and you need to be…

View original post 1,387 more words

Baked Goodies · Desserts · Healthy Recipes

Healthy whole-wheat Dark Chocolate Cookies

Healthy whole-wheat dark chocolate cookies

Homemade cookies are the best. Everybody will agree.Ever since I have started baking cookies at home I just cannot seem to make myself eat any store bought biscuits or cookies. There is an absolute block in my head regarding this. My entire tin of biscuits filled with the good old Marie biscuit and cream crackers are just sitting and getting stale.

 Nobody even gives them a cursory glance these days during tea time.   Also, there is a lot of pressure on me (most of it self-inflicted) to focus on healthy baking and curtail the use of refined flour and sugars. Keeping this in mind and my sporadic chocolate cravings I came up with the recipe for this chocolaty and scrumptious and healthy cookie made totally from scratch.

It is super easy to make too and requires only 4 to 5 ingredients. These cookies are the result of a crazy midnight baking session which I go through once in a while. They are a bit on the less sweet side because everyone at home like their baked goodies to be lightly sweetened. You can easily alter the amount of sweetness to your liking.  

Preparation time: 15 minutes.

Chilling Time: 30 minutes

Baking Time: 16 to 18 minutes

Ingredients:

  1. 8 heaped tbsp Whole-wheat Flour (60 gm approx.)
  2. 5 heaped tbsp Dark Cocoa powder (40 gm approx.)
  3. Softened Salted Butter 75 gm
  4. Date Palm Jaggery(patali Gur) 4 tbsp
  5. Milk (optional)
  6. Butter Paper
  7. Baking Tray

*White Chocolate Button/ Chocolate Chips (absolutely optional)

Only 4 basic ingredients

Method:

  • Start by keeping all the ingredients on your work counter and all the mixing bowls, spoons, and baking tray ready.
  • Cream the softened butter with a handheld mixer or a whisk until it is fluffy and the colour of the butter changes. It will take you around 7 to 8 minutes at low to medium speed and longer if using a whisk.
Creamed and whipped butter
  • Mix in the jaggery with the creamed butter and keep mixing at low speed.
whipped butter and jaggery
  • In a separate bowl sieve together the whole-wheat flour and the dark cocoa powder
  • Now mix the flour-cocoa mix into the creamed butter jaggery mixture until combined and forms a dough. You may add some milk if required.
flour-cocoa mix and butter…the dough forming process
  • Eventually, use your clean hands to bring it all together and form the chocolate cookie dough
  • Roll the dough into a ball and wrap in cling film or aluminum foil and put it into the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.
cookie dough
  • After 30 minutes take out the cookie dough and form smaller balls from it. Flatten slightly with the palm of your hands and form small disks of about ½ cm thickness.
  • Make designs on the cookies with the help of a fork according to your liking. I was helped by my hubby in the cookie designing bit and they did turn out to be very very pretty. You can use white chocolate chips also if you desire.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 180O C. Arrange the cookies on a paper lined baking tray with at least ½ a cm gap between them as the butter in them tends to make them spread while cooking. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes’ till baked through. The cookies might seem to be a bit soft when you take them out from the oven but they get crispier as they cool down
  • Your easy, yummy, chocolaty, buttery and healthy whole-wheat cookies are ready to be enjoyed with a delicious cup of coffee or with tea or just like that when you are feeling a bit moreish.

P.S

1. Patali Gur or Date Palm jaggery holds a very special place in my heart and it is one of the winter delicacies that I absolutely adore. It has a wonderfully rich and smoky flavour which can easily be used as a sugar substitute. I love to use it in my desserts but if you find it difficult to get your hands on you can easily use raw unfiltered honey or any other sweetener of your choice.

2. Creaming the butter until soft and buttery is an extremely important step as that gives these cookies the perfect texture.

3. If you do not have a cookie tray/ baking tray please do not worry. Neither do I! The hack that I use is I just cut my butter/baking paper into a round shape and place it directly on the microwave ovens turntable. Voila! Your baking tray is ready to be used.

Drinks and Beverages · Random Thoughts

First Flush Green Tea and How to make it.. #superbloggerchallenge # instacuppa

First flush green tea
( Image courtesy Google)


Tea as a drink has a constant presence in my life from as far back as I can remember. In my family there was never any negative connotation attached to tea drinking even though there are some dangers of caffeine addiction associated with excessive caffeine consumption.

I am extremely against addiction of any type. I can remember very clearly that in my curated teen years list of “Things that I want in a partner” the no drinking or smoking clause featured near the top. By God’s grace I was able to stick to this clause of mine and my partner is an even bigger stickler for the no-addiction rule.
But somehow in case of tea I never ever had this feeling and always feel a surge of positivity and happiness at the thought of my next cup of tea. Wherever I have gone I have changed people around me from non-tea drinkers to big tea fans. This is because of the plethora of health benefits that tea has to offer.

Young Green Tea leaves
(Image courtesy Google)


I am no big tea connoisseur but like to stay updated. So every time I go to the tea shop or explore for new varieties of tea I am amazed by the wide varieties of tea available. I will share with you a few nuggets of knowledge that I have acquired in my quest for the perfect cup of mood elevating flavourful tea.
In many of the tea varieties you will see the words ‘first flush’, ‘second flush’ followed by some name or the other. Flush refers to the harvesting or picking season of the tea leaves.
First flush tea is actually the first new tea leaves that grow on the tea plant after the cold winter month when spring knocks at the door. Throughout the winter season the tea plant seems to be dormant but is actually busy assimilating nutrients and yummy flavour enhancing components from the soil.

First Flush Darjeeling green tea
(Image courtesy Google )

When the warmer spring months set in, the bright green young and energetic tea leaves that pop out from the now awaken tea plants are full of flavour and nutritional benefits that all tea lovers crave. These young, flavourful and tasty leaves are called first flush and are usually unfermented and less oxidised and hence are served as green tea. This green tea has a very mild and light flavour unlike fermented/oxidised black teas and maintain the delicateness of their taste.


Second Flush teas are those leaves which are harvested after the monsoon when the tea leaves have matured and they result in a darker and richer tea liquor.
There is a specific way in which the first flush green teas have to be prepared.
Many people complain that their green tea is bitter and drinking it is like gulping down a bitter medicine. I will share my method of green tea making for the perfect cuppa!
The best way to make green tea for the health conscious is to use this awesome green tea detox bottle from Instacuppa.

Green tea detox bottle with steel infuser
https://instacuppastore.com/products/instacuppa-green-tea-detox-bottle-glass-with-steel-infuser


The trick lies in the just right temperature of water. Green tea leaves or tea bags should never be added to boiling hot water. If too hot water is used, it brings out the tannins in the tea lives which results in a very bitter and unpalatable cuppa. After the water has boiled, turn off the heat and add the first flush green tea leaves in the steel diffuser unit. When the bubbles of the boiling water have subsided, it is the right time to add the water into the Instacuppa glass bottle.
Alternatively you can use this french press coffee filter from Instacuppa also know an ‘Uphetta’ which is great for loose leaf green tea steeping.

Uphetta or French Press Coffee maker
https://instacuppastore.com/collections/french-press-coffee-makers/products/instacuppa-french-press-coffee-maker-600-ml-4-part-superior-filtration-system-heat-resistant-borosilicate-carafe-with-measurement-markings


Now comes the tricky part. The perfect timing for which you have to wait to bring out the mild and delicate flavour of the first flush tea leaves can be determined with the help of this cute as a button tea-timer.

Perfect Tea Timer

We came across this during one of our mandatory tea dates at a nearby tea shop and absolutely loved it. It is perfect for knowing how long the tea leaves have to be stepped to bring out their flavour. For first flush teas 2 to 3 minutes is the ideal time. Then you can remove the steel infuser if you are using detox bottle or you can press down the handle of the uphetta and you are good to go. The health conscious person inside you is happy and so is the tea connoisseur.

This article is written as a part of SuperBloggerChallenge conducted by Healthwealthbridge.com https://healthwealthbridge.com/health/ ,  Allaboutthewoman.com https://allaboutthewoman.com/woman-health/and powered by Instacuppa https://instacuppastore.com and should not be repurposed, republished or used otherwise. The content herein is owned by the blogger. SuperBloggerChallenge is not responsible for any infringement caused.”

Drinks and Beverages · Random Thoughts

First Flush Green Tea and How to make it.. #superbloggerchallenge # instacuppa

First flush green tea
( Image courtesy Google)


Tea as a drink has a constant presence in my life from as far back as I can remember. In my family there was never any negative connotation attached to tea drinking even though there are some dangers of caffeine addiction associated with excessive caffeine consumption.

I am extremely against addiction of any type. I can remember very clearly that in my curated teen years list of “Things that I want in a partner” the no drinking or smoking clause featured near the top. By God’s grace I was able to stick to this clause of mine and my partner is an even bigger stickler for the no-addiction rule.
But somehow in case of tea I never ever had this feeling and always feel a surge of positivity and happiness at the thought of my next cup of tea. Wherever I have gone I have changed people around me from non-tea drinkers to big tea fans. This is because of the plethora of health benefits that tea has to offer.

Young Green Tea leaves
(Image courtesy Google)


I am no big tea connoisseur but like to stay updated. So every time I go to the tea shop or explore for new varieties of tea I am amazed by the wide varieties of tea available. I will share with you a few nuggets of knowledge that I have acquired in my quest for the perfect cup of mood elevating flavourful tea.
In many of the tea varieties you will see the words ‘first flush’, ‘second flush’ followed by some name or the other. Flush refers to the harvesting or picking season of the tea leaves.
First flush tea is actually the first new tea leaves that grow on the tea plant after the cold winter month when spring knocks at the door. Throughout the winter season the tea plant seems to be dormant but is actually busy assimilating nutrients and yummy flavour enhancing components from the soil.

First Flush Darjeeling green tea
(Image courtesy Google )

When the warmer spring months set in, the bright green young and energetic tea leaves that pop out from the now awaken tea plants are full of flavour and nutritional benefits that all tea lovers crave. These young, flavourful and tasty leaves are called first flush and are usually unfermented and less oxidised and hence are served as green tea. This green tea has a very mild and light flavour unlike fermented/oxidised black teas and maintain the delicateness of their taste.


Second Flush teas are those leaves which are harvested after the monsoon when the tea leaves have matured and they result in a darker and richer tea liquor.
There is a specific way in which the first flush green teas have to be prepared.
Many people complain that their green tea is bitter and drinking it is like gulping down a bitter medicine. I will share my method of green tea making for the perfect cuppa!
The best way to make green tea for the health conscious is to use this awesome green tea detox bottle from Instacuppa.

Green tea detox bottle with steel infuser
https://instacuppastore.com/products/instacuppa-green-tea-detox-bottle-glass-with-steel-infuser

https://amzn.to/2HT4BTU


The trick lies in the just right temperature of water. Green tea leaves or tea bags should never be added to boiling hot water. If too hot water is used, it brings out the tannins in the tea lives which results in a very bitter and unpalatable cuppa. After the water has boiled, turn off the heat and add the first flush green tea leaves in the steel diffuser unit. When the bubbles of the boiling water have subsided, it is the right time to add the water into the Instacuppa glass bottle.
Alternatively you can use this french press coffee filter from Instacuppa also know an ‘Uphetta’ which is great for loose leaf green tea steeping.

Uphetta or French Press Coffee maker
https://instacuppastore.com/collections/french-press-coffee-makers/products/instacuppa-french-press-coffee-maker-600-ml-4-part-superior-filtration-system-heat-resistant-borosilicate-carafe-with-measurement-markings


Now comes the tricky part. The perfect timing for which you have to wait to bring out the mild and delicate flavour of the first flush tea leaves can be determined with the help of this cute as a button tea-timer.

Perfect Tea Timer

We came across this during one of our mandatory tea dates at a nearby tea shop and absolutely loved it. It is perfect for knowing how long the tea leaves have to be stepped to bring out their flavour. For first flush teas 2 to 3 minutes is the ideal time. Then you can remove the steel infuser if you are using detox bottle or you can press down the handle of the uphetta and you are good to go. The health conscious person inside you is happy and so is the tea connoisseur.

This article is written as a part of SuperBloggerChallenge conducted by Healthwealthbridge.com https://healthwealthbridge.com/health/ ,  Allaboutthewoman.com https://allaboutthewoman.com/woman-health/and powered by Instacuppa https://instacuppastore.com and should not be repurposed, republished or used otherwise. The content herein is owned by the blogger. SuperBloggerChallenge is not responsible for any infringement caused.”

Baked Goodies · Drinks and Beverages · Random Thoughts

Things You need to Carry for the perfect Day Trip #SuperBloggerChallenge #Instacuppa

Day trips are the best! Everyone will agree. What is there not to like? You don’t have to take leave (plan it on a weekend), it gives the boost that is required to survive in between those treasured vacations, they are not expensive (no hotels to be booked!) and the reasons are endless.

No Day Trip worth its mettle is complete without a list of goodies and must have items that are absolutely mandatory for making the Day Trip reach fabulous levels of perfection. I take making lists very very seriously. Anything I do is initiated with me sitting down with my favourite diary and a pen and jotting down some list or the other. I am absolutely religious about it!

Here I will share some ideas which according to me are a must for any Day Trip.

1.Edible Goodies.

Yummy! No outing is complete without a series of lip smacking munchies which are easy to eat as well as carry. Sorry , no butter cream frostings on your cupcakes for this one!

a. Unfrosted but very very yummy muffins/cupcakes.

Blueberry White Chocolate Muffin

b. Any loaf cake cut into easy to eat slices.

Orange Cranberry Loaf Cake


Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf Cake

c. Cookies-both savoury and sweet and easy to pop into your mouth.

Three Ingredient Cookie


d. Nuts and dry fruits

Nuts and Berries


e. Chocolate/Fudge

Dark Chocolate Fudge


The basic idea is it has to be easy to eat as well as easy to handle!

All the recipes for the above goodies are available on my Home page. Feel free to check them out.

https://deliciousfoodwithginia.wordpress.com

2. Beverage of your choice

The best idea if you are health conscious is to carry green tea of your choice in a Vacuum Insulated Thermos Travel Mug/Thermos or a bottle like this one. You can read more about my thoughts on Green Tea here. https://deliciousfoodwithginia.wordpress.com/2019/02/10/tea-and-me/

https://instacuppastore.com/products/instacuppa-thermos-bottle-1000-ml-double-wall-thermos-flask-vacuum-insulated-stainless-steel-retains-hot-and-cold-temperatures
This Thermos Bottle can be used to carry any beverage of your choice be it hot or cold.

You can also try a travel mug like this one from Instacuppa for green tea or coffee. Its great for single use. https://instacuppastore.com/products/instacuppa-vacuum-insulated-coffee-tea-travel-mug-470-ml-sipper-lid-with-filter-silicon-grip-black

Instacuppa vacuum insulated Travel Mug

https://instacuppastore.com/products/instacuppa-vacuum-insulated-coffee-tea-travel-mug-470-ml-sipper-lid-with-filter-silicon-grip-black
https://www.amazon.in/InstaCuppa-Insulated-Stainless-Infuser-Thermos/dp/B07L5Q98CC/ref=as_li_ss_tl?m=A3CTHNKRKDG7ON&s=merchant-items&ie=UTF8&qid=1549268701&sr=1-1&keywords=travel+mug+with+infuser&linkCode=sl1&tag=eterheal03-21&linkId=79f96e1ebd0e39b7c2e6d160a243a5c8&language=en_IN

3.A small stash of first aid and emergency medicines if you are traveling with children and elderly parents.

4. Sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat if there is any of sun damage to your skin. Lip balm and a compact is also a must for some mild touch up. My favourite sunscreen is a bit expensive but definitely works wonders.

5. A good camera or a phone with a good camera for capturing wonderful moments of your trip. Please don’t forget the phone charger as well as phones these days are notorious for getting discharged at the blink of an eye!

6. Portable Bluetooth speaker to listen to songs of your choice on the way to your destination or at any place you wish.

7. Tissue papers and wet wipes to clean your hands and in to use in any emergency food spills.

8. Hand sanitizer because I absolutely love to have clean hands.

9. I always carry some fennel or some ajwain seeds to keep at bay any sudden bouts of nausea or digestive issues while travelling. So my handbag always has a stash of ajwain and I am happy to distribute it to everyone around me!

I hope you will find these things to be helpful when you are planning your next day trip. Do let me know much fun you had!

This article as a part of SuperBloggerChallenge2019 conducted byHealthwealthbridge.comAllaboutthewoman.com and should not be repurposed, republished or used otherwise. The content herein is owned by the blogger. SuperBloggerChallenge2019 is not responsible for any kind of infringement caused.

https://allaboutthewoman.com/green-tea-detox-bottle-to-brew-perfect-cup-for-weightloss/

https://healthwealthbridge.com/can-you-touch-people-with-leprosy-leprosyfreeminds/

Drinks and Beverages · Random Thoughts

Green Tea and Me… #SuperBloggerChallenge #Instacuppa

We are a hot beverage loving family. In one of our favourite comedy shows The Big Bang Theory, Sheldon used to be very prompt with a steaming cup of hot beverage when any of his friends were upset. He was very very particular about it. He was so right about the feel good effect of a nice warm cup of steaming green tea with honey brought to you if you are feeling a bit under the weather.
As far back I can remember we have had tea twice daily in our home. Every Bengali household have their favourite Darjeeling Leaf tea which has to be soaked for the perfect golden brown liquor and can be enjoyed with or without a spoon of warm milk.


It was in my teen years when I came across the word green tea. My mother had bought a pack of loose leaf green tea from our neighbourhood tea store “Sweet Valley Tea Co.” from where we still buy our tea. We experimented with the right temperature and proper method of making green tea as unlike now information or recipes were not so easily available. That was the beginning of a very sweet and long relationship with Green Tea. Many people like it and many don’t but our relationship is still going strong.


Do you know how green tea is made? Green tea, black tea, white tea all are harvested from a single tea plant! The only difference is in the level of oxidation (i.e how long the freshly plucked tea leaves are exposed to air before drying) of the leaves which give the tea its name. Me and my hubby have started a new game called “Tea Trivia of the Day” in which either of us share any new fun facts about tea, one of our favourite beverage. We have umpteen number of tea and coffee dates throughout the day (we are co-workers), so we just like to make things fun and convert the mundane to exciting and survive the daily drudgeries.
The plethora of green tea benefits are known to everybody. I will not get into that. But rather I love the fact that it is super healthy as well as tasty. It is a hot favourite amongst all the ladies who have embarked upon a journey towards a healthier life as green tea is known to have magical weight loss properties. It is touted to be a zero calorie drink if it is consumed without any sweetener or milk. How much more magic do we need?

Organic green tea


Now many people do not know the proper method of making this tea. Do you know how to make the perfect cup of green tea? I can help you with the easiest green tea recipe. The trick lies in the just right temperature of water. You should never add green tea leaves or tea bags in boiling hot water. After your water has boiled just wait for 40 seconds to a minute after turning off the heat. When the bubbles of the boiling water have subsided, then is the right time to add your tea leaves and let it steep for 3 minutes for light liquor, 4 minutes for medium liquor and 5 minutes for a strong liquor


A vacuum insulated thermos with an in built green tea diffuser is a great idea for carrying your favourite cuppa on the go. It can keep the sudden tea urges at bay and also help to keep things healthy.


It is important to remember that like all other tea, green tea also has caffeine content and too much of anything can never be good for you. For me the most common green tea side effect if I have too many cups in the evening is caffeine related. So it is best to not over do the number of cups of green tea you consume in a day and stick to your tolerated quantity.
For me tea time is more of a ritual rather than a habit. We cherish the time that we spend sipping our mugs of warm and enriching green tea. While working at my desk, whenever I feel a bit peckish or mildly drowsy a mug of steaming hot green tea is a saviour. I hope my relationship with tea will continue to be as sweet and as comforting in the future.

Afternoon herbal tea break at my desk. The tea setup in my office is stark but gets the work done. Herbal and digestive green teas help to get over the post lunch daze….

This article as a part of SuperBloggerChallenge2019 conducted byHealthwealthbridge.comAllaboutthewoman.com and should not be repurposed, republished or used otherwise. The content herein is owned by the blogger. SuperBloggerChallenge2019 is not responsible for any kind of infringement caused if any.

https://allaboutthewoman.com/seo-basics-3-helpful-on-page-optimization-technique/

Baked Goodies

Easy Milk Loaf

One of my resolutions for 2019 was to learn how to bake bread and get over my fear of yeast. Ever since I purchased my oven a packet of Active Dry Yeast was a permanent resident in my fridge as I was sure that I would be making a loaf of bread very soon. That was just less than two years back. In those two years I have made numerous cakes but just could not gather the courage to start handling yeast. That first packet of yeast I gifted to a friend when I relocated back to my hometown.

After many other life-changing events again, I bought a new packet of yeast and still, that fated moment did not arrive for me to start baking bread. But ever since keeping it in my resolution list I was hell-bent on achieving this skill. I will have to confess that before this recipe there have been three epic fails in which I am sad to say I had used recipes from big names in the baking world. I am sure it was a combination of something that I was doing wrong and some misinformation’s in the recipes.

I was very disappointed even though my hubby was a big sport and he was equally appreciative of all the nearly rock hard loaves of breads that I have made during my failed adventures.  He ate them all with a smile on his face!!

Now I was beginning to doubt myself and nearly gave up on my quest for baking a soft fluffy loaf. Once I thought maybe the problem is with the yeast or maybe it’s the temperature and so on and on. Then like a gift from God, there was a post in a baking group on Facebook, (Home Bakers Guild) which attracted me a lot. I followed this recipe with some modifications of my own. My previous three attempts gave me some idea about where I may have been going wrong.

Thanks a lot to Bhavana Raghunandan for her fail-proof bread recipe which helped me fulfill my dream of baking my own bread.

      Most of the previous recipes, I realized gave the wrong proportion of liquid or the wrong temperature of baking. Also, the exact timing of kneading the bread is the single biggest factor which can make or break your bread. This recipe gave some very important tips like covering the loaf with a wet cloth before slicing the bread which was a lifesaver. I will be giving all my tips and hacks with explanations at the end of the recipe.

My milk loaf recipe is a bit different from the original recipe but I am happy to say we were super duper happy with the outcome! I finally conquered my fear of yeast and bread baking and we enjoyed one of the softest and fluffiest milk loaf ever!

One piece of advice that I would like to give to all my friend is please do not be intimidated by the process. Unlike what everybody says please do not follow any recipe blindly. In case of bread dough, you have to feel the dough rather than using the exact quantity of liquid that has been mentioned. As anybody who has made dough for chapati/roti or Indian flatbreads will be knowing we never use a fixed quantity of liquid. You have to feel it that the dough is now just ready. For that, you add the water/ liquid bit by bit. Not in one go, please.

The rest of the tips I will give at the end of the recipe.

If you have any questions or fears, please do reach out to me for help. I will surely help you in your journey of bread baking.

And I am really very sorry that I do not have step by step photos or ingredient photos  but I promise my next bread recipe will have many photographs.

Preparation time: 30 minutes.

Rising Time : 90 minutes

Baking Time: 30 to 40 minutes

Ingredients:

  1. 2 cup All-purpose Flour (200 gms)+ extra flour for dusting
  2. ½ cup hot water
  3. 1 ½ tsp Active Dry Yeast
  4. Fresh Cream ½ cup
  5. Salt (to taste)
  6. 2 tsp Brown Sugar(or to taste)
  7. ¼ cup Raw Organic Honey
  8. 3 tbsp Melted Butter
  9. Clean Muslin Cloth
  10. Loaf Tin

Method:

  • Baking is always easier if you start by keeping all the ingredients on your work counter and all the mixing bowls, spoons, whisk etc ready.
  • The first step is to measure 1 ½ tsp of Active Dry Yeast and put in a bowl. Mix 1 tsp of brown sugar with the yeast.
  • Now you need hot water to activate or proof the yeast. Now the million-dollar question is how hot should the water be? There are many websites which define the exact temperature of water for ideal proofing of the yeast but that is of no use if you do not have a kitchen thermometer. So I will tell you the easiest hack for ideal water temperature. Boil the water and then cool it to a temperature at which you can just dip your finger comfortably. Since yeast is a living organism you do not want to kill it with too hot water but too cold water will also fail to wake up the sleeping yeast cells. Mix the water(1/4cup) with the yeast and sugar mix and stir gently. Then let the mixture be as it is for 10 to 15 minutes when you will see the mixture has become frothy. This indicates your yeast is now ready to be used.
  • While you are waiting for the yeast to proof, in a large bowl mix the flour with salt and sugar.
  • In a smaller bowl take the fresh cream and add the honey. Add some water to dilute the cream honey mixture to a slightly viscous texture.
  • When the yeast is ready, add it in the flour and mix with your hands. (Please do not forget to wash your hands very well)
  • Add 2 tbsp of molten butter into the flour mix.
  • Add the honey and cream mixture bit by bit and form a dough. It is very important to add the liquid in small installments and not all in one go as otherwise, your dough may become too sticky and difficult to manage.
  • Also, the amount of liquid required to form a proper dough is dynamic. It depends on a lot of varied factors. So please don’t pour in all the liquid at one go. It is very similar to how we make dough for chapatti.
  • Knead the dough for 15 minutes when you will see magic in front of your eyes and the dough will transform into a soft, silky and pliable dough. You will understand that the dough is done when it can be rolled into a ball.
  • Grease a bowl with butter and keep the dough ball in it for the first rise. Brush a bit of the remaining cream mixture on the top surface of the dough and cover with a moist clean muslin/cheesecloth. Cover with a larger bowl and let the dough rise for at least 1 hour.
  • After 1 hour you will see the dough has risen to nearly double its size.
  • Remove it the dough from the bowl and put it on a plate. Gently punch the dough to release the air and knead gently for about a minute to make the dough smooth. Roll the dough out with a rolling pin and then tuck in the side edges and shape into a shape of your choice. You can make a rectangular loaf, an oval loaf any shape that catches your fancy. I made a round and slightly flattened loaf.
  • Put the dough in the greased loaf tin and again cover with the bigger bowl and wait for the second rise. This should take around 30 minutes’ time.
  • After 30 minutes your bread dough is ready to be baked. It will rise again and become soft and pillowy and beg you to just poke in a finger but please don’t do that.
  • Preheat the oven to 180o C.
  • Brush the top surface of the dough again with cream honey mixture and bake for a minimum of 30 minutes.
  • While the bread is baking your house will be filled with the heady aroma of freshly baked yummilicious homemade fresh bread. This, in my opinion, is one of the best smells in the world!
  • After 30 minutes open the oven and your bread will be a wonderful golden brown colour with an even better aroma. An easy tip to check whether the bread is baked all through is tap the bottom of the loaf and if it gives a hollow sound then your bread is ready.
  • Remove the loaf from the tin. Brush the top crust with cream-honey-water mixture and again cover the bread with the moist cloth for 3 to 4 hours or even overnight before slicing the bread. Then slice the bread and toast it or have it just the way it is with butter or fruit preserves or in a sandwich.

P.S

1. I have realised from my journey that bread baking is more about feelings than about measurements (I know this sounds crazy but it is actually true). You will feel it when you add the right quantity of liquid and the dough just the just right consistency.

2. Kneading the dough with love and patience is a very important part of this recipe and so is proofing the yeast.

3. Covering the dough during the rising process helps to prevent the dough from drying out.

4. Milk brushing after the bread is baked and covering with the moist cloth helps to soften the crust of the bread and makes slicing the bread very easy. Please do not skip this step.

5. Before baking the bread you can sprinkle any raw seeds (poppy, sesame, sunflower, pumpkin) or rolled oats on the top surface of the loaf which will give the bread a very professional look.