I've been meaning to post this recipe here for a while now but every time I've made the bread, it's been finished so quickly that I never had a chance to catch a picture! I figured I might as well share the recipe and the picture can be added the next time I bake it. It's one of the most delicious breads I've tasted till date (even if I say so myself)!! It would be a crime to delay sharing the recipe any longer.
(Update: Baked it again on 16th May and clicked pics which got added here on 17th May.)
Whole Grain and Seed Khara (Spicy) Bread
2 1/2 C whole wheat flour
1 C okara (optional)
1 1/2 t active dry yeast
3 t organic jaggery (you can use sugar instead but it won't be as great)
1 - 1 1/2 t salt
1/4 C olive oil
1 medium onion (chopped finely)
handful of fresh cilantro (chopped)
3-5 spicy green chillies
5-7 small cloves of garlic
1/8 t asafoetida
Further ingredients: (add whichever of these you have on hand)
2-3 T wheat berries (soaked overnight, drained and chopped roughly)
1 T sesame seeds
1 T flax seeds
1-2 T pumpkin/sunflower/melon seeds
2-3 t mixed dried herbs - chives, thyme, oregano, parsley...
Heat a cup of water and add salt and jaggery to it. Let them dissolve and then strain the water (to remove fine sand particles from the jaggery). Let the water cool a little until it's slightly hotter than lukewarm.
Place the whole wheat flour in a large bowl and make a deep well in the center. Add the water and sprinkle the yeast over it. Let this sit for 10-15 minutes. The yeast should froth well.
Pour in the oil, add the okara (helps make the dough extra soft) and form a rough ball of dough, adding warm water as required. Add the rest of the ingredients and do some preliminary kneading. Then transfer the dough to a flat, floured surface (I use my cleaned counter top) and knead well for about 10 minutes, until the dough is soft and flexible in texture. The kneading is the most important part of bread making and a wetter dough is always preferable to a drier one.
Coat the mixing bowl with olive oil and swirl the ball of dough in it so it's coated with oil on all sides. Cover with a wet cloth and let it sit in a warm/sunny spot for 2 hours. The dough should have at least doubled in volume after sitting like this.
Punch down the dough, gently shape it into a loaf and place it in a loaf pan. Cover with wet cloth and let it rise again for another hour.
Preheat the oven to 390 F/ 200 C. Place the loaf pan in the oven and let it bake for 45-50 minutes. Once the oven goes off, let it sit in the oven for 5 minutes. Then take the pan out of the oven and let it the bread cool in the pan for about 20 mins. Turn the bread over onto a wire rack and let it cool completely before cutting it with a serrated knife.
This is a soft, thick and moist bread and tastes absolutely heavenly dipped in herbed extra virgin olive oil or lathered with Earth Balance buttery spread. I also like to cut it into thick cubes and serve it with a hearty stew.