My fascination with food, has resulted in my being hooked to Food Network Asia, a channel that has been sent from the gods above for people like me. A show on the history & technique of bread making, encouraged me give it a shot! I also have a book on French family cooking , bought at a book sale in Gurgaon, that I was yet to use.
So, armed with the books and the determination, we spent the better part of our afternoon in baking some bread to go with the French style Roast lamb for dinner, as a treat for Vineet, who has been working very hard these past few weeks! I have done my best in trying to simplify the explanation and keep it as concise as possible... Its my attempt to encourage you to try this at home! :) Bon appetit!
HOME MADE BREAD
(Pain Ordinaire, makes 1, 16" long loaf)
250g Whole wheat flour
1 tsp Salt
2 tsp Dried yeast (rehydrated with 50ml water)
125 ml Water
Oven @ 200 deg. C
Making one loaf took me about 3-1/2 hours - of which the actual work was just 20-25 minutes. The main chunk of time is spent in letting the dough rise - So don't let the time frame worry you :)
02. Put the flour & salt into a bowl and make a 'well' in the centre. Pour the frothy yeast into the well and gently mix a little of the flour into it till it makes a soft paste. Leave to rest for about 15 mins. The frothy mixture will rise.
04. Gently mix the flour into a dough- at this point it will start pulling away from the surface of the bowl and become very sticky.
06. Knead for about 10 mins, till the dough is soft and silky to touch.
07. Transfer the kneaded dough into a clean glass bowl (large) and leave it to rise and double in size for about 1-1/2 to 2 hours. If your kitchen is warm like mine, the dough will rise in about 1 hr 15 mins. Cover it with a cotton towel/napkin.
10. Cover with a napkin and let it rise to double its size-for about 30-40 mins.
12. Use a sharp knife and score diagonal lines on the surface
13. To check if it is completely baked, pick up the loaf and tap the underside with your knuckles - it should sound 'hollow'.
14. Cut 1/2" thick slices and
(Feeds 2 relatively hungry tummies)
450g Boneless leg/shoulder of lamb
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried basil
Salt + Pepper (for seasoning)
1/4 cup White Wine
5-6 nos baby Potatoes (peeled)
5-6 nos baby Onions (peeled)
2 tbsp Butter (saltless)
1 medium Onion - chopped
1 tbsp chopped garlic
1/4 cup long grained rice ( I used Basmati)
1 bunch baby Spinach leaves
1 pkt Button Mushrooms ( 4-5 thickly sliced, leave the rest whole)
2 tbsp concentrated chicken stock
1/2 tsp dried thyme + 1/2 tsp dried basil
Oven preheated to 220 deg C | Wooden Skewers | Saucepans | Mallet / rolling pin | Baking tray | Aluminum foil
01. Preheat the oven to 220 deg C.
02. Flatten the lamb meat using a mallet or rolling pin till its about 1/2" thick. Season with salt, pepper and thyme and set aside.
03. Heat the butter in a Saucepan till it starts frothing. Saute the chopped onions and garlic till the onions appear slightly translucent.
04. Add the rice and chicken stock along with 1/2 cup of water. Season with the thyme and basil and simmer on a gentle flame till the rice is tender and almost cooked. Cover with a lid. Set aside.
05. Saute the sliced mushrooms, baby potatoes & baby onions separately.Brown well. Set aside. (ensure you saute the mushrooms separately as they release water and will make the potatoes and onions soggy)
06. Saute the baby spinach leaves till they're wilted.Get rid of any extra liquid that might be released during cooking and ensure that the leaves are moist but not drippy.
07. Lay the lamb seasoned lamb meat flat on your the work surface. Lay the layer of sauteed spinach, followed by the rice and lastly with the sauteed mushrooms. Fold the meat around the stuffing and secure the shape with wooden/metal skewers.
08. Arrange in a baking tray lined with aluminum foil (to collect the juices). Arrange the sauteed baby potatoes and onions and remaining whole button mushrooms around the lamb.
09. Roast in a preheated oven @ 220 deg C for 45-60 mins, depending on how 'well done' you'd prefer the meat to be.
10. Carve and serve with freshly grilled garlic bread.
(For garlic butter, mix 1 crushed garlic clove+ 2 tbsp soft salted butter+pinch of salt)
11. Enjoy with a glass of chilled wine of your choice.
Feel free to add more sauteed veggies to the baking pan along with the baby onions&potatoes... Capsicum, tomatoes (cut in half), sweet potatoes (cut into chunks) should work really well!