{Cast Iron} Garlic Naan

Garlic Naan

Several years ago I got to spend a little bit of time in India—Chennai to be exact. And as luck would have it, I happened to have visited at the beginning of Diwali – the Hindu festival of lights. Nothing I had read or heard could have prepared me for the country. It’s vivid colors, intense – and I’m talking INTENSE heat, and sounds still replay in my mind as if I was just there. And although I only had a brief 5 days there, the city will forever be imprinted in my heart.

Good thing too because I had such a junky camera at that time — my photos were terrible! :)

Anywhoo….

Naan1

Since I only had a short time, I didn’t get to travel around the country too much and stayed primarily in Chennai. I did, however, manage to squeeze in a memorable home stay with a wonderful family –the Bhatts. They welcomed us into their homes, guided us through Chennai and gave us a glimpse of their culture.

Garlic Naan

Over those days, we meandered through the city in and out of markets, braved tuk-tuk rides, and ate—like SERIOUSLY ate. I came to find that Southern Indian food is often vegetarian and was so wonderfully spiced and fulfilling that this carnivore-lovin’ gal didn’t miss the meat. It was also the first time I had ever tried dosas– which I now LOVE.

Dosas are thin “crepes” served with a variety of chutneys. They can be filled or left plain. However, my favorite are the giant paper dosas that are extremely thin and crisp and rolled into a large cylinder. There’s something totally satisfying about breaking off a piece of paper dosa with your fingers and then dunking it into a masala or chutney.

Chicken Aloo Tikka Masala & Garlic Naan

Our home stay mom, Mrs. Bhatt, also did a good amount of cooking during our brief visit. And when she did, I hung around the kitchen trying to make mental notes of how she prepared things. I really wish I would have recorded her rolling out the dough for the parathas because she did it with such lightning speed!

Since my trip, I’ve tried to recreate the flavors I tasted in India –some attempts were definitely more successful than others. Channa Masala and Tikka Masala are on my usual rotation. But I always seemed to have had an issue with making a good naan–which in my opinion, is crucial when I’m devouring the aforementioned dishes. Some recipes turned out too dry or not tender….and others just didn’t taste well.

Garlic Naan

Until I stumbled upon Aarti Sequeira’s recipe–and my search was over. Her recipe uses a combination of both yeast and baking powder which gives it the perfect texture and lightness. I adapted her recipe a bit to make my favorite garlic naan and now there’s no going back.

But here’s the thing. Others will disagree with me but unless you have a tandoori oven (or maybe an outdoor brick pizza oven?), you must–and I mean MUST, use a cast iron skillet. There’s no replacing it. I’ve tried baking naan in a regular oven, in a standard skillet, in an easy-bake oven (PSYCH!) and nothing compares to a cast iron. Just add it to another reason why I adore cast iron skillets so much.

Oh- you better be sure that the next time I manage to get to India, I’ll pack two cameras just in case to capture everything. And although it’s been years, much love and thanks to the Bhatt family for their generous hospitality. <3

_____________________________________

{Cast Iron} Garlic Naan
Makes 6

Ingredients:

1 teaspoon active dry yeast
2 teaspoons sugar, divided
¾ cup warm water
3 tablespoons plain yogurt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
1 teaspoon kosher salt, more for finishing
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons unsalted butter (or melted ghee)
1 heaping tablespoon minced fresh garlic, divided
1 teaspoon garlic powder
sea salt
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

In a small bowl, stir together the yeast, 1 teaspoon sugar and water. Allow the mixture to sit for about 10 minutes until it becomes bubbly. Whisk in the yogurt and olive oil.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, kosher salt, remaining sugar, and baking powder. Pour in the yogurt mixture and use your hands to mix the ingredients all together. The dough will be very wet and sticky at first but continue to mix/knead until it becomes rather soft and pliable. Once it comes together, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place it in a draft free place for 3-4 hours until it nearly doubles in size.

Place the butter and 1 tablespoon garlic in a small, microwave proof bowl. Heat in the microwave until the butter has melted.

Dust your counter (or other work place) with flour and place your naan dough onto it. Using a pastry cutter or sharp knife, divide the dough into 6 even portions. Lightly roll each of the dough balls into the flour to help them from sticking. Using a floured rolling pin, roll one of the dough portions into a circle about ¼ inch thick –it’s completely okay if it’s an imperfect circle. Sprinkle the top side with a bit of the garlic powder and remaining minced garlic. Use your fingers to press it into the dough and then pass the rolling pin over the top of it to ensure it’s secured. Repeat this method with the remaining dough.

Warm a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until it’s nearly smoking. Be sure to have a lid large enough to fit the skillet and have the bowl of garlic butter with pastry brush nearby.

Carefully pick up one of the rolled out naan and gently lay it in the skillet, garlic side up, and cook for about one minute. The dough should start to bubble. After the minute, use tongs/spatula to flip the naan and cook for another 30 seconds to 1 minute. Flip it over again and cover the skillet for about an additional 30 seconds to 1 minute. The bread will look blistered and have blackened in a few spots.

Remove the naan from the skillet and generously brush the top with the garlic butter. Sprinkle the tops with a few pinches of sea salt and chopped cilantro. Repeat with the remaining 5 naan. Serve warm.

Slightly adapted from Aarti Sequeira

Buttermilk Bread Loaf

Buttermilk Bread Loaf

If you’re anything like me, you have a few ingredients in your fridge that dictate your menu. As in, if I don’t use this within the next day or so, I’ll have to throw it out. Like wilting spinach or proteins that you may have prematurely defrosted.

For me, that often occurs with produce or dairy items—and almost always, buttermilk. Sure, some would say, “Why don’t you just freeze it?” or “Mix some whole milk with lemon juice instead of buying buttermilk?”. Now the latter would make sense if I ever had whole milk in the fridge (other than when I bake or make ice creams) and freezing an upwards of 2+ cups of buttermilk seems odd to me.

Buttermilk Bread Loaf

So when I do find myself with a quart of buttermilk, I’ll deter to my trusted favorite recipes that call for it. Such as Buttermilk Fried Chicken, Red Velvet Banana Pancakes, Blackberry Muffins, or Cheddar Cheese Biscuits.

And of course, this wonderfully quick and easy Buttermilk Bread Loaf. This is one of my go-to recipes for loaf bread as it’s no knead and doesn’t require anytime to bloom the yeast. Sure, it does take a couple of minutes to warm up the buttermilk but other than that, your stand mixer does all the work. And you don’t even need the dough hook!

It’s quite a forgiving dough–perfect for those who are freaked out about yeast recipes. But the end results in a wonderful exterior crust and light interior crumb. Plus, the buttermilk gives a slight tang to the bread.

Start to finish, you’ll have fresh bread in less than 1.5 hours–and that includes proofing time! Can’t beat that!

Recipe from Elinor Klivans via Leite’s Culinara

Honey Yeast Rolls with Sea Salt

photo(1)-002

I’ve had this little number in my queue to try for some time now and with the holidays just around the corner–what better opportunity!

It was pretty simple to come together and were beautiful when proofed and baked. I decided to add to the original recipe by sprinkling the rolls with Maldon Sea Salt flakes before baking. It added a great flavor and texture to the slightly sweet rolls. YUM!

DSC_0079-001

I made this batch of rolls to accompany a few roasted game hens but they would be great alongside stews/soups, buns for mini sliders or simply slathered with butter. Whichever you choose, I would highly recommend trying them out.

Thanks for stopping by!

________________________________________

Honey Yeast Rolls with Sea Salt

Ingredients:

2¼ teaspoon instant yeast
1 cup warm water
¼ cup honey, plus 2 tablespoons
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1¼ teaspoon salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
4 cups bread flour
cooking spray
2 tablespoon butter, melted
1/2 tablespoon sea salt flakes

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the yeast and warm water.  Add ¼ cup honey, oil, salt, and egg and mix well.  Add 3 cups of the flour and mix until the dough comes together in a sticky mass.  Switch to the dough hook and, with the mixer on low speed, incorporate the remaining 1 cup of flour.  Continue kneading on low speed for about 8 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic.

Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, turn once to coat, and cover with plastic wrap.  Let rise in a warm, draft-free spot until doubled in bulk, about 2 hours.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 30 seconds.  Cover with a towel and let rest for 10 minutes. Punch the dough down and divide into 10-12 equal size pieces.  Shape each piece into a smooth ball and place into a round, lightly greased 9- or 10-inch round baking dish, spacing evenly.  Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free spot for 20-30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400˚ F.  Mix together the melted butter and 2 tablespoons honey, and brush the tops of the rolls with the mixture.  Sprinkle the tops of the rolls with the sea salt. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown and the rolls are baked through.  Let cool slightly before serving.

Slightly adapted from Annie Eats

Apple Bread Pudding with Caramel Bourbon Sauce + King’s Hawaiian GIVEAWAY!!

Apple Bread Pudding with Caramel Bourbon Sauce

I am a sucker for Bread Pudding.

There’s something so darn comforting and mouthwatering about a bowl full of this goodness. Rich, sweet–almost sinful.

Drools.

Apple Bread Pudding with Caramel Bourbon Sauce

With Autumn finally coming around, it was the perfect time to make an apple version highlighting the warm spices of cinnamon and nutmeg. And the only thing to take it over the top was a decadent drizzle of Caramel flavored by good ol’ Bourbon.

Apple Bread Pudding with Caramel Bourbon Sauce

Inspired by my visit with the great o’hana of King’s Hawaiian, I used the slightly sweet Original Hawaiian Sweet Round Bread for the pudding. I also cut back on the amount of sugar in the custard base since the final dessert would be sweet enough from the luscious Caramel Bourbon sauce.

But the awesomeness doesn’t stop here! One of our lucky readers has the chance to win a cornucopia of goodness courtesy of our friends from King’s Hawaiian!

The winner will receive a vast assortment of King’s Hawaiian baked products, King’s Hawaiian coffee, apron and more!! Needless to say, you will be a very HAPPY CAMPER!

How to Enter:

Leave a comment and tell us what the first thing you’ll make with some of the Kings Hawaiian Bread products

For extra chances to win, leave a separate comment for each indicating which of the below you did:

  1. Subscribe to The Culinary Chronicles & get automatic emails when new posts are published (If you already Subscribe, leave a comment indicating so);
  2. Like the King’s Hawaiian Facebook Fan Page (If you already “Like King’s Hawaiian, leave a comment and let us know); or
  3. Like our Facebook Fan Page (If you already “Like” us, leave a comment indicating so); or
  4. Follow @CulinaryChron on Twitter (If you already Follow us, leave a comment indicating so).

Due to shipping challenges, this Giveaway is limited to those in the continental United States. Sorry! :)

The deadline to enter is Monday, October 8th at 5pm (PST) and the winner will be announced the next day.

Best of luck friends and MAHALOS King’s Hawaiian!!

Pssst! Don’t forget to make this Apple Bread Pudding!

____________________________________________

Apple Bread Pudding with Caramel Bourbon Sauce

Ingredients:

Caramel Bourbon Sauce:
1 Cup Granulated Sugar
¼ Cup Water
4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, cut into cubes
¼ Cup Heavy Cream
2 Tablespoons Bourbon
Sea Salt (optional)

Bread Pudding:
2 Large Eggs, beaten
¾ Cup Milk
¾ Cup Heavy Cream
½ Cup Light Brown Sugar
¼ Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
3-4 Pinches Nutmeg
2 Pinches Salt
1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
6 Cups Kings Hawaiian Sweet Bread, cubed and toasted (Brioche can be substituted)
1 Cup Apples, cubed (I chose a mix of Granny Smith and Fuji)
Additional Unsalted Butter to grease the pan
Fresh Whipped Cream (optional)

In a heavy bottomed saucepan, dissolve the sugar and water over medium-high heat. Once the liquids begin to bubble, swirl the saucepan around and continue cooking until it reaches an amber color. Reduce the heat to low and whisk in the cubes of butter one at a time until fully incorporated. Remove from heat and whisk in the heavy cream. (The liquids will bubble up so be careful!) Stir in the Bourbon and a few pinches of sea salt (optional). Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and thoroughly butter the bottom and sides of an 8×8 inch pan.

In a large bowl, whisk together the first 8 ingredients of the bread pudding. Add in the cubed bread and apples making sure that they have been coated by the custard mixture. Let set for 5 minutes to allow the bread to absorb some of the custard. Pour the entire contents into the greased pan and spread evenly. Take a few spoonfuls of the Caramel Bourbon Sauce and drizzle on the top. Bake the Bread Pudding in the preheated oven for approximately 35-40 minutes until the custard has set and the top is golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to slightly cool before cutting. Serve warm with additional sauce drizzled on top and fresh whipped cream.

Nutella Swirled Banana Bread

Nutella Swirled Banana Bread

I’m Bananas…..

For Nutella.

Shocking— I know.

Nutella Swirled Banana Bread

So why not add Nutella to Banana Bread? Seemed like a Win-Nguyen Situation to me.

And it sure was :)

______________________________________

Nutella Swirled Banana Bread
Makes one 9-inch loaf

Ingredients:

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 very ripe, soft, darkly speckled large bananas, mashed well
1/4 cup plain yogurt
2 large eggs, beaten lightly
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for the pan
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons Nutella

Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 350°F (175°C) degrees. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan. Dust the pan with flour, tapping out the excess.

Whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. Mix the mashed bananas, yogurt, eggs, butter, and vanilla with a wooden spoon in a medium bowl. Lightly fold the banana mixture into the dry ingredients with a rubber spatula until just combined and the batter looks thick and chunky. Spoon 1/2 the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Spread 1/2 the Nutella on top and lightly swirl the Nutella into the batter with a butter knife. Do not over mix. Spoon the rest of the batter on top and repeat with Nutella swirls.

Bake until the loaf is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 60 minutes. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature. (The bread can be wrapped with plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days.)

Slightly adapted from Cooks Illustrated

American Sandwich Bread

American Sandwich Bread

THIS is what dreams are made of.

Well…..at least MY “carb loving dreams”.

American Sandwich Bread

Inspired to bake sliced bread for my lunchtime sandwiches, I took to Baking Illustrated for their American Sandwich Bread recipe.

The dough came together quite easy and was an absolute dream—beautifully silky and smooth. You do however, need a bit of patience when it comes to mixing the dough but just let your stand mixer do the work for you.

Quick tip: Sometimes when I have my mixer going for a long time, the bowl can get stuck in the stand with all that whirling going on. To prevent that from happening, cover the bottom of your metal mixing bowl with a little bit of cooking spray before twisting it onto the mixing stand.

American Sandwich Bread

The recipe calls from a 9-inch loaf pan but unfortunately my largest metal loaf pan is only 7 inches. I was a bit nervous to see how my glass pan would work out but luckily, it came out quite good. Though note to self: Keep my eyes open for 9-inch metal loaf pans on sale :)

American Sandwich Bread

Baking Illustrated did not lead me astray with this recipe as the bread was really delicious. The pan of water in the oven helped create a wonderful crust for the loaf and the crumb was light and slightly spongy. Not to mention that it made my home smell amazing and the loaf of bread was quite stunning if I do say so myself. In fact, when I brought my turkey sammy in for lunch (using the bread of course), my coworkers wouldn’t believe me that I had baked the bread! What naysayers!

But one thing is for sure, with bread so delicious and easy, there really is no need for me to buy my once beloved supermarket-sliced-bread again :)

_______________________________________

American Sandwich Bread

Ingredients:

3 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. salt
1 cup warm whole milk (about 110°)
1/3 cup warm water (about 110°)
2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
3 tbsp. honey
1 envelope (about 2 ¼ tsp.) instant yeast

Adjust an oven rack to the lowest position and heat the oven to 200°.  Once the oven temperature reaches 200°, maintain the heat for 10 minutes, then turn off the oven.

Mix 3 ½ cups of the flour and the salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook.  Mix the milk, water, butter, honey and yeast in a 4-cup liquid measuring cup.  Turn the machine to low and slowly add the liquid.  When the dough comes together, increase the speed to medium and mix until the dough is smooth and satiny, stopping the machine two or three times to scrape dough from the hook, if necessary, about 10 minutes.  (After 5 minutes of kneading, if the dough is still sticking to the sides of the bowl, add flour 1 tablespoon at a time and up to ¼ cup total, until the dough is no longer sticky.)  Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface; knead to form a smooth, round ball, about 15 seconds.

Place the dough in a very lightly oiled large bowl, rubbing the dough around the bowl to coat lightly.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the warmed oven until the dough has doubled in size, about 40-50 minutes.

On a floured work surface, gently press the dough into a rectangle 1 inch thick and no longer than 9 inches.  With a long side facing you, roll the dough firmly into a cylinder, pressing with your fingers to make sure the dough sticks to itself.  Turn the dough seam-side up and pinch it closed.  Place the dough seam-side down in a greased 9×5-inch loaf pan and press it gently so it touches all four sides of the pan.  Cover with plastic wrap; set aside in a warm spot until the dough almost doubles in size, 20-30 minutes.

Keep one oven rack at the lowest position and place the other at the middle position and heat the oven to 350°.  Place an empty baking pan on the bottom rack.  Bring two cups of water to boil in a small saucepan.  Pour the boiling water into the empty pan on the bottom rack and set the loaf onto the middle rack.  Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted at an angle from the short end just above the pan rim into the center of the loaf reads 195°, 40-50 minutes.  Remove the bread from the pan, transfer to a wire rack and cool to room temperature.  Slice and serve.

From Baking Illustrated

Peter Reinhart’s Rich Man’s Brioche

Peter Reinhart's Rich Man's Brioche

One pound of butter is in this brioche.

Yep. You read correctly. One POUND!

And worth every calorie.

Peter Reinhart's Rich Man's Brioche

With that in mind, it’s no wonder why Peter Reinhart named this the Rich Man’s Brioche in  The Bread Baker’s Apprentice. Moist and quite frankly, downright buttery. Did I mention, 1 POUND of butter?? :)

With the family together last weekend, I was inspired to bake up some brioche for a decadent morning bite. For the sponge and proofing time, you need to get this project started early on—in my case, the night before. We didn’t’ have those cute fluted brioche molds on hand and resorted to baking 2 loaves with the dough instead. Per my sis’ suggestion, I formed the brioche into 4 “logs” per pan to make “pull apart loaves”. You can find the recipe here.

Peter Reinhart's Rich Man's Brioche

The brioche came out a lovely color with a great crust and beautiful crumb. However next time, I think I’ll add an additional tablespoon of granulated sugar into the dough for just a tad more sweetness. Serve warm with a bit of preserves (homemade olallieberry in our case) and a steaming cup of joe and you’ll be in a very happy place!

 

And stop by on Monday to check out our birthday celebration for a very special little gal. :)