Baking is totally sweet.Its therapeutic and always gives me a high.The same is not true when baking with yeast though. I feel that my fears of working with yeast were mostly because of inexperience. The unknown is always baffling.The acme of perfection that I wanted to achieve when handling yeast, mostly met with frustration of it acting foes. My dough would never rise, my yeast would cling to each other and turn into a lumpy mess. Dont even talk about the amount of food I wasted when I wanted to tame it in my own kitchen.The wastage was followed by days of agony. Whenever I wanted to make yeasted breads , I finished making something else. I could not overcome the thought of cups of flour & eggs making their way into the bin.I saw a recipe for a flaky pastry or loaf Â in a book, I flipped the page as soon as I read yeast in there. All along myÂ heart felt an overload of running away from the difficult.
Over a period of time, I realized that yeast is not that monstrous as I always guessed it. It needs patience to start with. Half of your battle is won there. The second half is of course practice - lots of it.
I am the person who has none of the former but a lot of will for the latter. Its like baby steps to learning towards perfecting the fungi. You have to give it attention and love.Even when you knead it, caress it. When it comes to yeast, in my kitchen, my motto is to try simple recipes & make them shine. Right now, my moment of joy is when my mini buns and rolls fluff up in the warm weather I m blessed with these days so far so good 🙂
"Masala" is a generic term for anything spicy in Indian cuisine. Well, on similar lines, masala buns are buns with a spicy filling.
I first tasted them in one of the bakeries near my college.I dont even remember how many books I have crammed eating these little beauties...oh boy..did I tell you that they give best(est) company to a cup of sweet masala chai. Spicy filling cushioned within doughy wrap along with sips of sweetish spiced up chai- yum!
I have tried to make these spicy savory buns in the healthiest way possible - using durum atta(whole wheat flour) which is the variety of flour rich is wheat bran.
I added kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves) & ajwain (carrom) which are super aromatic indian flavorings if you can lay your hands on them, else add some fennel or cumin seeds.
By the way, Kasuri methi is something which is the secret behind those aromatic indian butter chicken and other curries- It lasts forever in the kitchen so you might wanna stock up!
Fill the buns with anything you want, I filled them with a spicy potato & vegetable filling. These eggless buns are great for breakfast or casual snacking. These buns can be baked in advance & pair up with indian tomato soup to make a lazy day brunch.
For Eggless buns
- 1.5 cup atta whole wheat flour
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon ajwain carrom seeds
- 1 teaspoon kasuri methi dried fenugreek seeds, crushed between palms
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup oil
- 1.5 sugar
- 2 teaspoon active dry yeast
- ¼ cup milk luke warm
- ½ cup water luke warm
- Melted butter for brushing
- Flour for dusting
For Spicy Potato filling
- 2 tablespoon cooking oil
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- 3 indian green chillies (hot), adjust to taste
- 1 teaspoon garlic finely chopped
- 2 medium potatoes boiled, peeled
- ½ cup peas blanched
- 2 scallions finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoon chopped cilantro
- 1 teaspoon salt adjust to taste
Make The Dough
- In a small bowl, mix sugar in luke warm milk. Add yeast and set aside till frothy. Note:-If you dont see foam within 30 seconds of dissolving the yeast, discard the mix & restart.
- In a bowl, sift the flours Add ajwain, kasuri methi to the sifted flour and mix well.
- In another large bowl (enough to hold doubled up dough after rising), add. Add the sifted flour, olive and foamy yeast paste [ in this order].
- Start mixing in lukewarm water till everything comes together.Note :- Start with ¼ cup of water to begin with. Once a dough ball starts to come together, transfer the dough to a floured surface, and continue kneading for 5-8 minutes till you get a soft, elastic dough. While kneading , if you feel that the dough is on the dry side, add a tablespoon or two of water, if you feel it sticky, add some flour to bring it together.
- Brush oil on all sides of the large bowl, and once kneaded, transfer the dough back to the bowl. Brush oil on the top of the dough ball, cover the bowl with a damp cloth and set aside in a warm, dry place for 1-1.5 hours to rise.
Prepare the Potato Filling (while the dough is proofing)
- In a pan, heat up the oil. Once the oil is hot, crackle the cumin seeds in oil.
- Add the garlic and green chilies next.
- Next add the potatoes peas and chopped scallions along with salt and garam masala.
- Mix well and let cook for 4-5 minuets.Then switch off the flame and mix in the lemon juice chopped cilantro. Filling is ready!
Stuff & Bake Masala buns
- Line a baking/cookie sheet with parchment. Once the dough has risen, punch it down and knead again for 3-4 minutes on a floured surface.
- Divide the dough into 12 equal balls.Roll out each ball using a rolling pin into a 2" circle.
- Spoon about 1.5 tablespoon of potato filling into the centre of each dough circle. Pinch all sides to make a stuffed dough ball.
- Place on the baking sheet, pinched side down.
- Stuff all the dough portions similarly and line on the baking sheet 2-3 inches from each other so that they do not touch each other during second rise. You may use more than 1 baking sheet (if required) to line the dough balls.Cover with a cloth and let rise in a warm place for 15 more minutes.
- While the buns are proofing, preheat oven to 375 F/190 C
- Bake for 15-17 minutes or till they are light brown in color and you smell the aroma of baked dough. Mine took 15 minutes.
- Once light brown, brush melted butter on the balls and bake for another 3-4 minutes till the tops turn golden brown.
- Pull out the baking sheet and using a pair of tongs, transfer the baked buns to the cooling rack. Cool slightly and serve warm with tomato ketchup. mango mint chutney, green chutney & masala chai.