Spicy Whole Wheat Onion Bread(Khara Bread)

I’ve always wanted to try yeast breads and for some reason I have always been nervous about how it would come out. My past two successful attempts were in summer – Foccacia bread and Oatmeal Batter Bread. But, given winter has already set in now, I was kind of skeptical of trying this again. But, I decided to take a risk, even if it means waiting patiently for the dough to rise. I chose to start the dough first on Saturday, while I had plans of cooking a few different dishes for the upcoming week.

This dough is a very easy recipe to make – and is also a batter dough. I have adapted the recipe from the blog ‘One Perfect Bite’, and it came out perfectly. It is a very versatile dough that takes additions nicely. I kept it simple by adding onions and chillies for the flavorings, but you can improvise and add whatever you like. Did I mention this is a whole wheat bread? Yep, this was one of my criteria – searching for which, I landed on the above link. I’ve used whole wheat atta – chapati flour and it came out nice and tender. You can use whole wheat pastry flour as well. Now, without further ado, the recipe.

Ingredients:
2 cups whole wheat flour/chapati flour/whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups warm water
2 1/4 tsp rapid rise yeast
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp butter(softened)
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp finely chopped green chillies
1 medium red onion, chopped fine(approx. 1 cup of chopped onion)
2 tsp milk
2 tsp nigella seeds(kalonji) for garnish

Method:
Start off by blooming the yeast: Place 1 1/2 cups warm water in a bowl, along with the brown sugar and the yeast. Let sit until the yeast becomes frothy.

While waiting on the yeast, make the spice mixture: Heat one tbsp of oil in a pan. Add in the finely chopped green chillies and the chopped red onion. Saute until soft and translucent. Do not add salt to this, as it would draw out moisture and make the dough soggy. Set aside to cool.

The yeast should be frothy and bubbly now. Stir in the salt into the water. Gently beat in one cup of whole wheat flour and 1/2 cup of all purpose flour. Add the butter and incorporate the remaining flours. The dough is sticky, don’t add more flour. Switch to a wooden spoon and stir in the onion chilly mixture. Beat with the spoon for 15-20 strokes, or if using a dough hook, let it go for about 3-5 minutes. Cover this with a towel and let sit in a draft free place to rise for about an hour(I set it inside the oven – and of course the oven is NOT turned on). The mixture should be doubled by the 1 hour period.

Grease a 9 inch loaf pan with butter and scoop the risen dough into it. Taking care not to deflate the dough. Dust a kitchen towel with flour and lay it over the dough. Set it aside for another hour. You will see the dough doubled enough to rise above the rim of the loaf pan. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Just before you place the dough into the oven, brush the top lightly with milk, for the top to brown. Sprinkle this with the nigella seeds. Bake bread in center of oven until it is browned, about 30 minutes. Cool in pan for about 30 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely on a wire rack.

Verdict: Super soft, tender and flavorful bread. This was perfect, ever so slightly warm along with a cup of tea. Was also good toasted for breakfast. If you are like me, and prefer a savory breakfast, as opposed to sweet, then this bread is for you. I was extremely happy with the tenderness and holes in the bread that the yeast had created. I am happy to say – I have overcome the fear of baking with yeast. Yay!!! and in a very tasty way. :)

Sending this to:
1. Yeastspotting
2. Serve it Series – Savory baking
3. Breakfast club – Bread

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