Wednesday, 13 December 2017

3-grain savoury biscuit experiment

I sometimes think that pizza home delivery people believe their customers eat pizza as an appetiser and seasonings as the main course.

The last time I ordered pizza, I got at least a dozen little packs of chilli flakes and oregano seasoning. That's enough seasoning to keep a small Tuscan field occupied for a season.

And since most things I do is life is guided by the principle of 'you never know when I'll need this', I stored all those little packets in the fridge, where they joined a community of older seasoning, besides sachets of ketchup, chilli sauce, instant noodle toppings  and salt 'n' pepper that other takeaways so kindly flood us with regularly). And in the normal course of things, there they will live, unused and undisturbed, until they make their final journey to seasoning afterworld.

This week, the story changed, for four little packets. They actually got used in a cracker recipe!!!

I used a mix of grain flours, including bajra which is flooding every grocery shop hurrah!
The taste of the biscuits was satisfyingly savoury, and the seasoning added a nice edge to the taste. The biscuits taste particularly nice used as scoops for homemade dahi (yoghurt). The calorie count works out to 70 per biscuit.

Some things could have been better, which I've listed at the bottom.

Ingredients (for 20 2"x2" biscuits)

1 cup flour
1/4 cup millet flour
1/4 quick oats
1/2 cup wholewheat flour
1 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 egg
1/4 cup sunflower oil
2-3 T milk
2 packets of pizza seasoning and 2 packets of chilli flakes


I mixed all the dry ingredients together (except 1 packet each of pizza seasoning and chilli flakes) before adding in oil and the egg.

I kneaded the mixture, adding enough milk to form a rough, stiff dough.

The dough was rolled out on a parchment sheet into a thin sheet half a centimetre thick, and cut into squares. (I use the term squares loosely, as you can see from the picture 😜 )

I brushed the tops of the pieces with milk to get them ready for the stars of the show *slow clap - a packet of oregano seasoning, and a packet of chilli flakes.

These were sprinkled on the crackers, while the oven reached a temperature of 160 degrees C.

I baked them for 20 minutes, switching trays halfway through, and let them cool completely before sampling.


The dough should have been rolled thinner and smoother. More milk next time and a little more effort on rolling should do it. 
I could have kneaded a couple of packets of seasoning into the dough, adjusting the salt quantity accordingly. The oregano tasted quite nice with the flour mix. 
I wish the biscuits had been a bit browner. Shall try raising the oven temp to 180 degrees next time. 

Friday, 24 November 2017

Sourdough season begins!

 Every year, I start a sourdough culture, bake with it,  get attached to it  (yeah I admit it, I do) and then watch it die during an inevitable heatwave.

So this year, I decided to avoid the annual heartbreak. I baked with commercial yeast right through the hot months and through the damp, dank monsoon season, when nasties usually try to grow in starters.

And now that Pune is cooler, I've grown a starter again! This baby was created a month ago, and it is a good natured, forgiving starter that can make the densest of flours look fluffy and pretty. A bit like a wellness expert for flours, without the hushed tones.

The little loaf you see here is made with 100 g wholewheat starter (with 100% hydration), 200 g wholewheat atta flour, 160 ml water, 5 g salt and lots of hand kneading.

Woo hoo!