Recipes | Finger Millet Bread and Wheat Bran Slices – When the going gets tough, bake a bread
I picked up the bowl, pulled out the soft & sticky dough, placed it on my wooden board and started punching it vigorously.
Yes, you got it right, I am baking bread again. Well, with the dates of an important family function nearing, bread making should be the last thing on my mind.
But then, when your to-do list is a mile long and it is getting difficult to focus on the mounting task at hand I resort to baking bread.
Baking bread at home is the best remedy when nothing is working and you don’t know where to start.
I love getting lost in the rhythm of bread making process and like the sense of being totally cut off from the world till my bread is done. Lifting the dough, stretching, folding and kneading the soft and fluffy dough with the heels of your palm is so soothing.
One of the joys of keeping my passion of food blogging alive is the opportunity to connect with food enthusiasts from across the world making new friends who end up lasting a lifetime is an added bonus to it.
During our casual talk the other day I informed her about my son’s Upanayanam (holy thread ceremony) and how hectic the coming days would be, what with the shopping, planning, and inviting friends and relatives for the function.
And some days later, to my surprise, I receive a flipcart delivery from her, a beautiful and very thoughtful gift for my son!
These words by Anais Nin perfectly resonate my feelings, “Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.”
1. Finger Millet or Ragi Bread
The absence of gluten in Millet does not help the bread rise even after adding yeast in it. You need to add gluten externally (not frequently available in India) or wheat flour to help the bread rise.
Finger millet lends a strong nutty flavor and natural earthy taste to the bread.
- 1/2 cup Finger millet flour
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 tbsp. All purpose flour
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 tbsp. honey
- 1 tbsp. oil
- 1 tbsp Sesame seeds
- 1 tsp. active dried yeast
- 1 tsp. salt
Method; Take a large bowl and combine finger millet, whole wheat flour, salt in it.
Add yeast and honey in a tablespoon of warm water in a small bowl and leave it to froth for 5 minutes.
Make a well in the center of the flour in large bowl and pour the yeast mixture in it. Mix all the ingredients to form soft dough.
Knead it for 4-5 minutes on a flat surface. Oil your palm with oil if the dough is too sticky to handle.
Place the dough in a bowl and cover it with a lid or a cling film to rest and rise for an hour or more till the volume of the dough doubles.
Grease a loaf tin.
Pull out the dough from the bowl and punch it on a dusted floor. Knead it gently with the heel of your palm for 3-4 minutes and place the dough in the greased baking tin.
Sprinkle sesame seeds over the dough, cover with a lid and let it rise again for an hour.
Preheat the oven at 180°C for 10 minutes.
Place the baking tin in hot oven and bake it for 20 minutes or till the crust is golden brown and crisp.
Let the bread cool completely before slicing it.
2. Orange Flavored Wheat Bran & Apricot Slices
(makes 20 slices)
- 1 cup Wheat Bran
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup chopped dried apricot
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1/4 cup oil
- 2 tbsp. chocolate chips
- 1 tsp. orange zest
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- A pinch of salt
Method; Preheat oven at 170°C and grease a shallow baking tray with oil.
Chop the apricots finely.
Combine wheat bran (I used Bagryys wheat bran here), whole wheat flour, orange zest, chocolate chips, chopped apricots, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon powder in a large bowl.
Grate the outer yellow skin of orange lightly to get the zest and squeeze the juice out of it.
Add sugar and oil in a pan and heat it for 2 minutes, pour orange juice in it and boil for another 3-4 minutes.
Stir in the wheat bran and flour mix and fold lightly with a fork to combine all the ingredients. Take it off the flame.
Pour the thick mixture into the greased baking tray, pressing down firmly with a spatula.
Bake for 15-20 minutes till the top turns golden brown and crisp.
Mark into squares while the flapjacks are still warm and cool it completely before slicing it.
- Replace wheat bran with wheat germ or even quick cooking oats to give a wonderful bite to the slices.
- Use Golden syrup or corn syrup if you can find it in your stores for a sticky and chewy texture of flapjacks.
- Use canola oil or Olive oil to make these recipes.
- Replace finger millet with any other millet flour of your choice to bake the bread.