Updated on 05/12/2018
Its been a long time since I baked a bread. A cool rainy weather called out for some soup. Making soup for dinner meant a home baked bread. I dug out my ‘to try list’ and made masala bread.
The first time I had made masala bread was when I was attending the baking technique classes in Bangalore. Adding all sorts of masalas to the bread was totally new to me… at that moment I frowned at the idea of adding coriander, onion, garlic, curry leaves, chillis, etc to the bread dough. Wondered how it would taste. After baking it and sampling it, I found it very delicious. The other students were surprised that I’d never tasted a masala bread. Forgot about the bread till I opened the ‘to try list’.
Masala bread is a good accompaniment to any smooth soup like broccoli, cauliflower, tomato soup or any soup of your choice. The leftover bread made a lovely in between snack as it tastes good on its own. The charming thing about baking this bread is that you can add the masala according to your taste. By masalas I mean onion, garlic, green chillis, ginger, coriander, fenugreek, curry leaves, etc. Feel free to add whatever you want.
As to exercising my arm, yes I still knead the dough with my hands… not too impressed with my kenwood machine. My arms still are not slimmer.. how can they be after eating so much bread. The motto at the moment is knead, bake and eat.
Since I baked this bread for the first time at home, I’ve used it to make sandwiches and it adds that extra flavor to it. I’ve also made them into buns to serve them as individual portions for a dinner party.
1 big loaf
2 cups wheat flour
1 cup plain flour (all purpose flour)
2 tsp dry active instant yeast
1-1¼ cups warm water
1½ tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
1 tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
1 medium onion, finely chopped (about ½ cup)
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
1-2 green chilis, chopped
1 tsp ginger paste
½ cup finely chopped fresh coriander
extra flour for dusting
extra oil for greasing
2 tbsp milk for brushing on top
- Mix the flours, salt, turmeric powder, cumin seeds and sugar in a big bowl.
- Add yeast and mix lightly.
- Add warm water and mix.
- Bring the dough together into a big lump.
- Dust the worktop with some flour.
- Place the dough on the work top with flour and begin to knead the dough.
- Knead it for a good 10-15 minutes till the dough is smooth and silky.
- Make sure its not too stiff or too sticky.
- Shape the dough into a ball.
- Grease the dough and ball with some oil.
- Place the dough in the bowl.
- Cover it with a lid or damp tea towel and place the bowl in a warm place.
- Let the dough rise till its double the size. Mine took 1½ hours.
- In the meantime get the filling ready. Mix them all together in a bowl.
- Dust the worktop with some flour.
- Take the fermented dough out of the bowl.
- Deflate it gently and roll it into a circle about 8-10 inches in diameter.
- Spread the filling over the dough.
- Gather up the edges and push it gently into the middle, trying to enclose the filling.
- Let the dough rest for 5-10 minutes in the bowl.
- Gently knead the dough and shape it into a ball.
- Place the dough on a greased baking tray.
- Let the dough ferment for 45-60 minutes till its double the size.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C.
- Brush the top of the risen dough gently with milk.
- Place the bread in the hot oven to bake for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes reduce the temperature to 180°C. Bake the bread further for 20-30 minutes or till the top is light golden brown.
- On knocking the bottom of the bread, it should sound hollow.
- Place the bread on a wire rack to cool.
- Slice and serve the bread with your favorite soup.
- Add finely chopped curry leaves.
- Make sure the dough is not too soft as after adding the filling it will become a bit soft and sticky.
- I used both plain and wheat flour. You can use plain flour only if you like.
- Knead the dough welling the heel of your palm.
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You may want to check out the following bread recipes: