I was waiting for this for a long time, i had ignored the blog for a long time until July when i woke up with the thought that i will not let Chatkhor die, it has been my life for a long time and its the sole reason why i click pictures of each and every food that comes to me, i want to experience it, i want to share it with the world, i want to log it for generations to come. December was a beautiful month when i blogged for almost all days and decided to be regular now on and give back to Chatkhor as much as i have got from it. Dont forget to read about the giveaway at the end of the post..
This is my 100th post and i feel so good about it, in a few days it will reach 2 lakh page views since its birth, with a up to 500 views each day, and at least a 10k views each month, i am a happy owner of a blog today, and love the fact that mostly people come to the blog searching for something and find my post worth the trial. The best was when a blogger friend calls me to tell that her niece tells her that she makes her Chole bhatoore from this blog called chatkhor, and Rashmi di is happy to tell her that it is her friend's blog, what better! If people leave feedback and appreciating comments i love it, but even otherwise the fact that someone somewhere is getting some help out of it, should keep me going. Today I promise to the blog that i will be even more crazy about it and make it an exciting place to be in.
This year i plan to be more active and try out newer things. And no wonder i am serious about it that i joined the We knead to bake Project where a group of bloggers will make a new artisan bread each month of this year. The bread of this month was a herbs and cheese pull apart bread which was on my to try list too for a long long time. Aparna of My diverse Kitchen started this idea, and there are 25+ bloggers going mad making amazing variations of the same bread, playing their imaginations wild with the various filling combination, its a riot out there. Niv made 3 variations of it, all in this month :D , loveee the look of the sweet chocolate cinnamon and marmalade filling one! Lata Raja another new blog iam visiting tried substituting some of the flour with oats which sounds so interesting, iam tempted to know what is the spice mix she is talking about. Have always loved Bhavna for her chirpy awesome spirit, and she showed it yet again, she had a disaster once and made sure to try it again , and wow, love those pics, and what a perfect looking one she made next. Yet to read the others, will do so once iam dont with my own post!
I was excited to try this bread, the one i had bookmarked long ago was a cinnamon sugar one, but Garg is a savory bread addict, so it had to the one Aparna proposed. I didn't do any alterations from aparnas recipe , except for the filling, a bread from Swatis kitchen and it doesn't have onions in it :D impossible! So the only variation i did was, used a combination of cheddar, Monterrey jack and spiced Gouda cheese, and a little more than the quantity she mentioned, added some caramelized onions to it and added some chili flakes and oregano and a mix of herbs like parsley and thyme and oregano. Loved the trial this time Aparna, totally looking forward to next months bread. So here's the bread!
3 Cheese and Garlic Pull Apart bread
Yields : 1 9*5 loaf
Baking time : 40 minutes
Preparation time : 20 minutes + 2 hrs for proofing
For the dough :
1/2 cup warm milk
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp active dry yeast
2 3/4 to 3 cups all-purpose flour
t tsp salt
25gm / 2 leveled tbsp softened butter
1 tsp garlic paste
3/4 cup milk
For the Filling :
30gms / 2 tbsp of melted butter
2 tsp dried Provencal herb / or a mix of parsley, thyme, oregano and chili flakes
1 tsp crushed roasted cumin seeds
Chili flakes to taste
3/4 - 1 cup of grated cheeses of your choice (i used a mix of light cheddar + spiced Gouda + Monterrey jack )
Caramelized onions make out of 1 big onion
3-4 cloves of garlic finely chopped.
1. Start with the preparation of the dough, and you can prepare the filling when you have left the dough to rise.
2. In a small cup, add the sugar, yeast and the 1/2 cup warm milk and leave it aside to bubble up for 5 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, add 2 3/4 cup of flour, butter, salt and the garlic paste into a large bowl and mix with your hands to mix the rest of the ingredients into the flour completely.
4. Now add the yeast mixture and the other 3/4 cup of milk and knead continuously until you have a elastic dough which doesn't stick to your hands at all. There will be a time when the dough seems sticky, and u may be itched to add more flour, wait, knead it well and it will be fine in a while.
5. If the dough still seems sticky, dust your hands with a little flour and knead again, never add more flour to the dough, dust your hands and knead more, and you will achieve the best dough, if you add too much of dough, it will be a hard bread.
6. Shape the dough into a ball and place it into a well oiled bowl, i generally use the same bowl, oil it well, and cover it with a cling foil, and leave it for rising for at least an hour, or an hour and a half or until the dough doubles in volume if you have time.
7. While the dough is rising ,, you can keep your filling ingredients handy, grate the cheese , prepare the caramelized onions (fry finely sliced onions in a tsp on olive oil until brown and crispy, and add salt and a pinch or 2 of sugar as per your taste).
8. Dust your work space with flour. Take out the dough, and shape it into a square or a rectangle with at least one side as large as 12 inches. It will be half an inch in thickness.
9. Brush this surface with the melted butter. Now evenly sprinkle the herbs , cumin seeds , chili flakes, the grated cheese and then the caramelized onions and the finely chopped garlic. Light tap/ press the filling into the surface, so that it doesn't fall off when rearranging.
10. Use a pizza cutter to slice the dough into 6 long and equal strips. Lay each strip on top of the next one with the side with the filling facing up.
11. As Aparna suggested i used a pastry scraper , you can use a sharp knife instead, to cut this stack of strips into 6 equal pieces further.
12. Grease and lightly flour a 9x5 inch loaf pan, and stack the squares on top of each other in the pan. Loved the idea here, and found it easy to hold the pan on its shorter side down, and stack the squares on top of each other. If you are left with some filling on the surface, sprinkle it over the dough stack.
13. Aparna suggested it to be a milk wash at the end, but i drizzled 2 tablespoons of butter over the dough stack, and covered it with a clean kitchen towel and left it to rise for an hour.
14. Preheat the oven for 10 minutes to 175C. Bake the bread for 35-45 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and inside is cooked through (do the tooth pick test).
15. If the breads turns brown too quickly, cover it with a foil, so that it doesn't brown further and is cooked well inside.
16. Remove it from the oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes at least Run a knife on the corners and remove from the pan.
Have it fresh and hot with your evening tea and it will be savored. The house will turn aromatic with the smell of freshly baked bread and cheese and herbs and it will be a blissful feeling.
While writing this post, i thought, my 100th post cannot go away with just a post, i announce a giveaway too, I am giving away Nigella Lawsons book "Feast : Food that celebrates life", a book appropriate to the 100th post celebration.. Just say enter me or whatever ... and its enough, the winner will be randomly drawn and announced on the 1st of February. No rules attached, just mention you want to participate in the giveaway, you don't even need to be a blogger, Manna / Sheetal are you listening! That's not it, i would also like to gift the winner, a personalized box of a few of my favorites from my kitchen:
3. Amma style molaghapodi (south Indian spice powder, a must accompaniment to dosas)
4. My mother inlaws super sexy garlic - mango pickle with the surprise chana inside it.
(* all these in cute little jars you would love to have... )
I am super dumb to think about something like this, this is an idea given to me by my dear fren Sangeeta who writes at health food desi videsi, and benaras ka khana . I have already given her many a hugs for that, and i so wish you win it too.
This is a first for me so i will restrict myself to India. Readers outside India can nominate somebody from India for the giveaway, or i can at least send you the book by amazon.
On this day i gift myself and Chatkhor a Facebook page to itself, the blog doesn't get all the yummy food pics i come across in my day to day routine, be it the south Indian spread i had at my cousins wedding yesterday, or the awesome pizza i had in California Pizza kitchen a few days back, it should all be shared somewhere, so Chatkhor FB page, will not only be a face to Chatkhor the blog, but also a log of all my new food encounters. Spread a word, and would love to my frens and readers who have me on their readers to follow me there.