I'm tired of people telling me how lucky I'm to have a husband like A who cooks and not just that, cooks up surprises for me. Once, my father-in-law told me that it was better to have a husband who could not cook because that is when he will appreciate your cooking and the effort that goes into it! So true man! However, I must admit that A quite appreciates even my failures in the kitchen. I've made bread a couple more times than he has. Not a single time has it risen. If it did rise by mistake, it'd turn out hard or doughy inside. He whipped up surprise after surprise, while I was left gaping while all of you left compliments in the comments section. I knew I had to act fast or this blog would soon be known as A's blog. How can I let that happen!?!? So, I planned and plotted and came up with a surprise for him (I swear, if you guys do not talk about how lucky he is, to have me as his wife, I will...hmm...kill him ;) That way, you cannot compliment him anymore!)
As I watched Emeril Lagasse's show the other day when he baked up these buns, I knew I wanted to eat one right away. It reminded me of the warm masala buns of those Iyengar bakeries in Bangalore. Only this was Italian masala ;) So, I decided to try it out as a surprise for A. It came out beautiful and how! I loved it and so did he. This is the original recipe.
I did make some changes like adding more spice and some potatoes. No, it wasn't inventive or anything! I tried out baked samosas and the potato mix with all the very Indian spices (fennel, coriander seeds, jeera, chilli powder, turmeric) was left over. I mixed that with this dough and made it an Indo-Italian treat! Yeast has NEVER, I repeat, NEVER, behaved well with me. This time, around, the yeast with the warm water and sugar frothed beautifully, and the dough was SO easy to mix and once that happened, I left it to rise. Now, I'm not the one with any patience. So, I quickly switched on the oven for a good 1 minute at 350 F and switched it off and then popped the dough into the oven ;) The dough rose in 30 mins, much shorter than the 2 hours as specified in the recipe. Did you see that in the above picture? The amount of dough initially only filled half that dish! And now? Its overflowing! However, I did leave it for 2 hours since I wanted to bake it for dinner.
Meanwhile, A came home, wondered about my dough (my surprises are never full surprises!), gave me some tips (I have a dry smile on my face now!) and went on to watch sports on TV. I made buns of this dough, let them be for some more time, and watched it rise. Its a beautiful feeling to watch them rise, you know? And then put those tomato rings on them and baked them for a good 20 mins. I was not disappointed at all. They looked beautiful!
The recipe again asks for Fontina or Gorgonzola cheese. I did not have any. So, I made do with some Mozzarella, and boy, did I love it or what! :) Also do NOT miss on the tomato on the top. It tastes delicious after baking with cheese! Do try it and let me know how it works. If I could bake this without any difficulty or impatience, you sure can! We had ours with some thick bean stew, and it was SO filling!
The bean stew was a simple random recipe we put together in the last minute
1 can pinto beans
1 tomato cut into chunks
1 small onion cut into chunks
1/2 boiled and cubed potatoes
2 tbsp pepper
1 tsp herbs ( I threw in random ones :P)
1 tsp butter
1 cup water/milk
Salt to taste
1. Heat the butter, throw in the onions and let it cook.
2. Add the herbs, pepper and tomatoes.
3. Add the beans and salt and let it cook.
4. Add the water/milk and stir and let it cook on slow flame until it thickens and gets cooked. Simple!
In fact, there was so much dough left over (this full dough makes 12 buns) that I froze it, and baked some for dinner another night. This time around, I baked bread out of it, and made a rustic sandwich with the bread! Only, it takes half hour to thaw and much, much longer to bake!
P.S. - I know we haven't responded to comments for a few posts. And mentioned all the awards received, and all those memes. We will get to it in the next post, promise!
P.P.S - Okay, I wanted to have a P.P.S and also a reminder for all of you to give me those compliments on how lucky A is. Remember?