Thursday, February 23, 2012

Green Peppercorn and Capers Bread

I enjoy all four seasons – but Winter most of all, especially when it’s snowing. Winter has its own special charm and fun. There are so many things one can do and of course, it is also the time we can eat a lot and still hide the results under layers of clothes . Unfortunately, it's just when the winter is about to get over, I start worrying about the extra weight and the calories.


Of course, there are a lot of activities which certainly help in keeping the balance – we went tobogganing and it was great fun, and very very tiring. We certainly selected a very good day for it, it was not too cold but snowing and fresh snow is not too bad at all. The scenic beauty was breathtaking, the fresh snow and the sledding, it was a great day.


By the end of the day, we were all kaput and really enjoyed a generous helping of a cake and hot cocoa on the way back.


Today's recipe Green Peppercorn and Capers Bread was baked a week ago - we had it with the Pineapple Soup. The idea came spontaneously, especially as I had not baked fresh bread for quite some time, and was also an attempt to use some leftover green peppercorns and capers. I also used a new kind of flour- grapeseed flour. It's supposed to be really healthy and it gave a very nice nutty texture to the bread. I am planning to experiment a bit with this flour in future. The pepper and capers flavours went very well with the  Hot and Spicy Pineapple Soup…hope you enjoy it as well!

Ingredients


210 grams - whole wheat flour + to dust the work top
15 grams - grapeseed flour
1/2 tsp - salt
1/2 tsp - baking powder
1 tsp - bicarbonate of soda
4 tbsp - olive oil
25 grams - capers
5 grams - green peppercorns (more or less)
1 1/2 tsp - dried italian herbs
100 ml - low fat yogurt
200 ml - water at room temperature



Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  2. In a bowl mix together the flours, salt, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, dried italian herbs, capers and green peppercorns.
  3. In another bowl, mix together the olive oil, yogurt and water.
  4. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add in the liquid mixture and mix lightly with a wooden spatula so that everything just comes together.
  5. Generously dust the work top with some whole wheat flour.
  6. Gather the dough into a ball on the floured work top and with floured hand flatten the ball and try and give a round shape. 
  7. Using a sharp and floured knife slit the dough. Don't push down into the dough. 
  8. Transfer the dough to the lined baking tray and place the tray in the centre of the preheated oven. Bake for approximately 30 - 35 minutes.
  9. Serve with Hot and Spicy Pineapple Soup or with any other soup of your choice.


Enjoy!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Back to snowclad and freezing Munich - with a hot and spicy pineapple soup.

I am back from my lovely India trip.This trip was beautiful and a most memorable one for me, wIth my little sister getting married and entering a new phase of her life. I also managed to travel to Rajasthan (my birth place), which is always really special to me. Visited the beautiful temples and also went to Ranthambore and did the adventurous Safari.

And then...back to Munich which is absolutely freezing with temperatures around -18 and looks life a beautiful snow-clad fairy land. I took my time to get used to the sudden temperature change, from no woolens in Kolkata to only woolens here in Munich, from all the hustle bustle of Kolkata and so many people to quiet Munich and comparitively less people :-) On one side, I do miss my home for so many years - Kolkata, but on the other side I am glad to be back to my current home.


I am a winter person and actually enjoying the winters here now, the snow, and suddenly entering in a cafe to have a cup of hot cocoa to beat the chill. It's fun!

I made this Pineapple soup which I thought is apt for this time of the year. Hot, sweet and spicy Soup and had with caper-pepper bread, recipe follows next.


view from my kitchen window...

Ingredients

9 pieces - pineapple from the can, pureed
1 1/2 cup - water
2 tbsp - sugar
1/2 tsp - cumin powder
1/4 tsp - black salt
salt to taste
3 tbsp - lemon juice, adjust according to your taste
little garam masala optional
1/2 of a fresh red chilli cut into rounds
coriander leaves to garnish

For tempering

1/4 tsp - sunflower oil
1/4 tsp - cumin seeds
a pinch of asafoetida (hing)

For the paste

2 inch - ginger, peeled and chopped
1 - green chilli

Method
  1. Add the pureed pineapple along with the water to a pan and cook with the sugar, cumin powder, black salt, salt and lemon juice for 5 minutes on a medium heat.
  2. In another pan, heat the oil. Add the cumin seeds and hing and let it splutter, add the ginger and chilli paste and saute for a minute. 
  3. Add the tempering to the cooked pineapple mixture. Add the chilli rounds to the soup and cook further for a couple of minutes. 
  4. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot.

Enjoy!

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