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Sunday, December 15, 2019

How to make fresh, gorgeous-looking palak mirchi bread at home

It's high time you switched to chemical-free bread. This boule made with Parmesan cheese, spinach, green chillies, nolen gur and crushed walnuts is a nutritious, sensory overload.

Written by Sujit Sumitran | Published: May 25, 2016 3:57:16 pm
spinach and chillies2_759 Flavoured with spinach, caramelised onions, garlic, Parmesan cheese and freshly grated nutmeg, Nolen gur and crushed walnuts, this bread is pure sensory overload. (Source:

The last time I made this bread was a long, long, time ago – July 2014 and ever since, I’ve always wanted to bake this bread again – with pureed spinach. And when I spotted some fresh spinach, I knew it was time to play with this recipe again. And in keeping with my insatiable appetite for experimenting, I tweaked the earlier recipe. Here it is:

1 tbsp/15ml – Sunflower oil
1 – Onion, medium-sized, chopped
170gms – Fresh spinach leaves (minus the stalks)
1 – Large clove of garlic, minced
2 – Green chillies, sliced fine
120ml – Water
450g – Organic flour (90g wholewheat flour, WWF, and 360g all-purpose flour, APF)
9g – Sea salt
90g – Young levain
1 – Egg
1/2 tsp – Grated nutmeg
50g – Grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp – Nolen Gur (date jaggery – substitute with liquid jaggery/molasses)
2 tsp – Crushed walnuts

* Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the chopped onion.
* When the onions have softened, add the chopped garlic and the green chillies.
* Sauté till the onions turn golden brown.
* Add the spinach to the sautéed onions mixture and stir well till the spinach leaves have wilted.
* Take off the fire, mix well and keep aside for it to cool.
* Blend this mixture (along with the left over oil – if any), using some of the water, till you get a puree that’s smooth and thick in consistency.
* Beat the egg and mix with the remaining water.
* Mix together the flour, grated nutmeg, walnuts, Parmesan cheese, sea salt, Nolen Gur and levain.
* To this, add the blended spinach and the egg water mixture. Use a wooden spoon to mix them together till all of the flour is wet. Knead till the dough is well mixed.
* If you’re new to kneading – check some of my old blogs for video links on how to knead – else just head to YouTube and search for kneading.
* Cover with loosely wrapped cling-film and let it rise to approximately twice the size. (This will take approximately 2-and-a-half to 3 hours).
* Using a spatula, transfer the dough onto a floured surface. The process of transferring the risen dough onto a floured surface will gently de-gas the dough so you don’t have to punch down the dough. Shape the dough into a boule (round shape). Again, there are lots of videos on YouTube to help you get a handle on the shaping technique.
* Line the baking sheet/tray with parchment paper and transfer the shaped dough, seam side down on the parchment paper. Cover with oiled cling film loosely and let it rise in a warm place for about 2 hours or till the dough passes the finger-dent test. About an hour before you’re ready to bake, pre-heat the oven to 220? along with a baking tray it the bottom rack.
* Just before you ease the dough into the oven, dust the surface of the dough lightly with flour (I sometimes use a 50-50 mixture of APF and WWF and sometimes a 50-50 mixture of Rice flour and APF).
* Using a sharp knife/blade, score (slash) the top of the boule with any design that appeals to you. Slash quickly and let the blade do the cutting – you don’t have to put pressure on the blade. Transfer to the middle rack and immediately pour some boiling hot water onto the tray that was pre-heated with the oven. Shut the oven door and let the bread bake with the steam generated for 20 minutes.
* After 20 minutes, remove the tray that had water, turn down the temperature to 200 degrees C and bake for 10–15 minutes or until golden and the bottom sounds hollow. Transfer onto a wire rack to cool and enjoy with some mildly flavoured soup.
* Am glad I tried this recipe again. Not only did it turn out way better than my previous experiment – it looks better too. What do you think? Happy Baking!

Note: Recipe inspired by Jennie Shapter. Modifications made.


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