Many a fortnights back, I shared with you the recipe of home -made thick crust pizza with bell pepper, bacon and loads of cheese (link). Here I am back again with the story of another pizza, a bit different from its predecessor. This time it is a veg pizza with no meat, but with mushroom and onion as add on. It is a bit different in another aspect too being a thin crust which means the pizzza base is much thinner almost like a roti. Actually, if you really ask me, I must admit having a soft corner for the thin crust ones which gives a really light feeling with the bite. In fact in authentic pizzerias, across Europe and particularly in Italy, I found that they really mean Pizza by thin crust and prepare the base rolling and tossing the dough by hand. Another point to mention here regarding the cheese. I have always been skeptic about choosing the right kind of pizza cheese in India. However, I am pleasantly surprised by the Britannia cheese which is amazingly good and served as a great topping. So as the winter is in its fullest, make your own pizza with all the colours and play innovative with corns, broccoli, tomatoes and whatever you like.
Christmas is around the corner, Santa Claus is knocking the door and Jingle bells started ringing. This is high time for baking to flourish in full fledged. I can’t also resist my self from this feeling. For long I had a wish to make a Black Forest cake. It is a traditional German dessert known as Schwarzwälder (means Black Forest)Kirschtorte, gets the name after the place where it was originated. We are all familiar with this multilayer chocolate cake filled with whipping cream and cherries. To prepare it I choose to follow the video of “Joyofbaking.com” from youtube. In fact it is my second attempt to bake the black forest cake and both the time I got success after following her video. So without spending many words, may I suggest to go through the recipe of this mouthwatering dessert.
Cinnamon is a very common spice used in many a Indian cuisines, mostly in savoury dishes. I never knew it can even be used in cakes and breads. So when I found this recipe in my baking book, I got really surprised and initially was not very keen on baking it. But as the recipe read quite simple and I also got bored having breads daily in my breakfast, I gave it a try. And to my surprise again, I liked the flavour of cinnamon in my buns. Add to this, the swirl shape makes the bun look quite attractive too.
Ingredients for 8 pieces :
- Butter – 2 tbspoon (cut into small pieces) + extra for greasing
- Plain flour/Strong white bread flour – 225 gm. (I used plain flour)
- Salt – ½ teaspoon
- 1 sachet easy-blend dry yeast (7 gm.)
- Egg (beaten) – 1
- warm milk – 125 ml.
- Maple syrup/Honey – 2 tbspoon (I used honey)
- Milk/Single cream – 2-3 tbspoon
For Filling :
- Butter (softened) – 4 tbspoon
- Ground cinnamon – 2 teaspoon
- Brown sugar – 50 gm.
- Currants/Sultans/Raisins – 50 gm. (I used currants)
Grease a 23 cm./9 inch square/circular cake tin.
Sift the flour and salt into a bowl, stir in the yeast.
Rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
Add the egg and milk and mix to form a dough.
Place in a greased bowl, cover with cling film and let stand in a warm place for 1 hour, or until double in size.
Then knead the dough lightly for 1 minute to punch it down, then roll out on a lightly floured work surface to form a rectangle measuring 30 x 23 cm./12 x 9 inches.
To make the filling, beat the butter, cinnamon and brown sugar together until the mixture is light and fluffy.
Spread the filling over the dough, leaving a 2.5 cm./1 inch border all round.
Sprinkle over the currants.
Brush the edges with milk/cream and carefully roll up the dough like a Swiss roll, starting at a long edge, and press down to seal.
Using a sharp knife, cut the roll into 8 slices.
Place them in the prepared tin, cover with cling film and let stand for 30 minutes.
Brush the swirls with milk/cream and bake in a preheated oven, 190ºC/375ºF, for 28-30 minutes, or until well risen.
Brush the swirls with syrup/honey and cool slightly before serving warm.
- Initially dough will remain very sticky so better if you can use a stand mixer or hand mixer with dough hook attachment to prepare it. If you don’t have them, then just have patient and use your hand. 🙂
Pizza, originally an Italian delicacy, earned the reputation of a true global food over the years. Perhaps there is no place on earth where you can’t find a pizzeria. Being a pizza fan like millions other, I always used to have the fresh baked pizza from pizzeria and never really thought to try my hands into it. But after going through few videos in youtube I made my mind to give it a try at my own kitchen. After a couple of trials things became clear on how to make a perfect pizza dough. Pizza dough is the most important thing to make a good pizza; toppings can be anything of your choice. For this present pizza recipe, I used grated mozzarella cheese, bacons and bell peppers for topping. However, you can make it completely vegetarian using mozzarella slices, tomato, olive, mushrooms or spinach as topping. I can honestly assure you that if you have time and a bit of patience, making Pizza at home is not at all a tough job.
Ingredients to serve 2 :
- Pizza base – 2 (recipe under “Useful Supplementary” tab)
- Pizza sauce (recipe under “Useful Supplementary” tab)
- Bacon (chopped) – 150 gm.
- Bell pepper (sliced) – ¼
- Grated mozzarella cheese – 150 gm.
- Salt and crushed black pepper for seasoning
- Oilve oil – 2 tbspoon
Place the pizza bases on a lightly oiled baking sheet/aluminum foil and push up the edges with your fingers to form a small rim.
Pour 2-3 tbspoon pizza sauce at the center of each base and spread it throughout leaving a ½” edge.
Now spread generous amount of grated cheese over it and arrange the bacon and bell pepper slices.
Season to taste with salt and crushed black pepper and drizzle with 1 tbspoon of olive oil.
Bake in a preheated oven, 230ºC/450ºF, for 15-20 minutes, until the crust is crisp.
After coming to Europe, I get amazed seeing varieties of breads and pastries, heaped up on one another in the lovely cane baskets, coloured from light yellow to dark brown, smell of freshly melt butter whenever passing by bakeries. My favourite among them is “Crossaint”, a french delicacy, made of dough layered with butter, rolled and folded several times to result in a layered, flaky texture, similar to a puff pastry. For us, nothing can compete with croissant in breakfast, with a sip of coffee.
Although having such a soft corner for croissant, it never came into my wildest imagination to give it a try in my own kitchen. However, one day going through the recipe and gathering every bit of courage, I baked croissant, although I was not entirely happy at the end. The picture showed below is the result of my second attempt which fared pretty well. Now I am more confident than ever and wish to share the recipe with you. The process is indeed lengthy, but the good thing is that you can finish some other jobs at the requisite intervals of it. If you follow the recipe minutely, I am sure you will get a very good end result, pretty close in taste to bakery made croissants, even if the shape is not exactly the same.
Ingredients for 6 croissant :
- All purpose flour – 250 gm.
- Caster sugar – 20 gm.
- Salt – 1 teaspoon
- Easy-blend dried yeast – 1 teaspoon
- Full fat milk – 150 ml. + 1 tbspoon
- Unsalted butter – 150 gm. + 3 tbspoon
- Egg – 1
- Heat 150 ml. milk until just warm to touch, dissolve the yeast into it. Mix flour, sugar, salt and3 tbspoon of butter in a large bowl, make a well in the center and add the milk. Mix to a soft dough, adding more milk if too dry. Knead on a lightly floured work surface for 5 – 10 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Let it rise in a large, greased bowl, covered, in a warm place until doubled in size (It will take approx. 2 hours).
- Take out the dough from the bowl on a floured surface. Give it a rectangular shape either by rolling with a rolling pin or pressing by hand. There is no specific size for this rectangle. That’s why just give the dough that shape and then with the short end of the dough towards you, fold the top third down towards the centre, then fold the bottom third up and squeeze the edges together. Wrap it witha clingfilm and refrigerate it for at least 6 hours. 6 hours is a long time, so I have made the dough in the evening and then refrigerate it overnight.
- Cut 150 gm. butter in small pieces and place them on a greaseproof paper.
Cover the butter pieces with another sheet of greaseproof paper and flatten it out with a rolling-pin in a 6×5 inch (15×12 cm.) and ¼ inch/5 mm. thick rectangle. Wrap with the greaseproof paper and refrigerate it for at least 1 hour.
- Now take out both the chilled dough and butter slab from the refrigerator. Roll the dough on a floured surface into a 11×7 inch (approx 28×17 cm.) rectangle. Sprinkle some flour over the top of the dough, if needed, while rolling. Now remove the extra flour from the top of the dough by a pastry brush and place the softened butter slab on one half of the rectangular dough and fold in the other half, squeeze the edges together gently. Here you should remember that the butter and the dough should have the same consistency i.e. the butter should not be a chilled one.
- Now rotate the dough so that the fold is to your left and the top flap towards your right, press gently with the rolling-pin and roll from the center out until you have a rectangle 12 inch long by 7 inch wide (approx. 30×18 cm.).
Now again remove the extra flour with the pastry brush and fold it in the previous manner i.e. with the short end of the dough towards you, fold the top third down towards the centre, then fold the bottom third up.
Now again wrap the dough with clingfilm and refrigerate it for 1 hour.
- Repeat “step 5” two more times.
- Beat the egg with 1 tbspoon of milk to make the glaze for the croissant.
- Now cut the dough into two halves. As you cut it down you can see the nice and beautiful layers of butter and flour into it.
- Now roll out one half into a 12×7 inch (approx. 30×18 cm.) rectangle, ¼ inch (5 mm.) thick, keeping the other half into the refrigerator..
- Now trim out the edges and cut the rectangle into 6 inches (approx. 15 cm.) base and 7 inches (approx. 18 cm.) long triangles.
- Brush off the excess flour and roll the triangles into croissant shapes, starting at the base and tucking under the point.
- Follow the steps 9, 10 and 11 for the remaining half of the dough.
- You can also stuff the croissant with chocolates, cheese, ham etc. I had few chocolate chips in my stock which I have used to stuff 5 of my croissants. You can also use sliced chocolate instead of chocolate chips.
- Now place the croissants on ungreased baking sheets and brush with egg glaze. Leave enough space between the croissants so that they can rise properly. I didn’t discard the remaining portion of the dough after getting 6 croissant triangles. I made 4 small croissants with them, though they are not proper in shape still perfect in taste. So, I got actually 10 croissants. :). If you wish you can also do that.
- Now leave them at room temperature and let them double in size (again it will take approx. 1 – 1.5 hour).
- Preheat your oven at 180°C and bake them for 15 – 20 minutes until golden.
My tinny croissants also come out great and super delicious. So, never ever do the mistake of discarding them. 🙂
My beautiful chocolate croissant 🙂
Yeeeeeeee, now I am ready with my breakfast for coming 2 days. 🙂 Here you can see 7 out of 10 croissants. It is unworthy to say that we have already ate 3 of them. 😉
- Since my oven is just a OTG oven which is much smaller than the modular ones, 180°C is the correct temperature for me. If you have a big one then set it at 200°C.
- I have used all-purpose flour but the recipe best goes with white bread flour which has more gluten content.
- Do not spare much time in rolling process as the butter will become soft and creates a problem for you to roll the dough. If the butter feels soft during rolling, wrap the dough in clingfilm and chill in the refrigerator.
- Sprinkle flour on the dough whenever you needed during rolling out, but remember each time to remove the extra flour by a pastry brush. It is important to get a soft croissant.