Let me tell you, satellite internet is not wonderful. Well, at least the one we have here in the north woods isn’t. When the wind blows, it rains, it snows, and sometimes it’s just beautiful outside … our satellite doesn’t really care … it just randomly takes a rest. That’s what is’s done for the last three days and that’s my excuse for being so late. The only thing I miss about the big city is the high speed internet.
Karen is our Kitchen of the Month. Thank You Karen for the BBB’s very first bread recipe without yeast! Aloo Paratha has long been on my list for baking and we loved these. Shamelessly easy to make. Filling them is only limited by your imagination. Serve as a little bite with wine. Serve as a light lunch. Serve with the evening soup. Be traditional, serve with a warming curry.
BBB Aloo Paratha
Recipe By: Karen of BakeMyDay from how to cook everything by Mark Bittman”
2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 cup sprouted wheat flour
1 teaspoon ajwain* dried thyme, or ground cumin
3/4 cup water
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil, like grapeseed or corn, plus more for brushing the breads
1.1/2 lb. starchy potatoes, peeled and cut in half
1 jalapeño or other fresh hot chile, seeded and minced or more to taste
2 teaspoons ground coriander
freshly ground pepper
juice of 1/2 small lemon
1 clove garlic pressed
3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
*ajwain comes from carom seeds which look like celery but taste like very strong, slightly coarse thyme
They look like the real Aloo Paratha! done in a skillet.
1. Combine the flours with 1 teaspoon salt and the thyme in a food processor. OK, let’s stop right there. I have a food processor, yes I do. I even gave in and went to the friend’s hanger where he’s kindly allowing us to store a lot of boxes while we try to put in a kitchen and get a storage shed built. Gorn even located said food processor and I unpacked it … or most of it. It seems the critical piece that makes the electrical contact was left out … hopefully packed in another box that will one day be unpacked … but that was not yesterday nor today. I’m reasoning that even today there are a huge number of cooks in India making paratha and even today a huge number are making paratha without the aid of a food processor … SOOOOOOOO like a good Daring Baker (thank you Lisa) and good Bread Baking Babe that I am I forged ahead mixing the dough by hand and even though it took slightly longer than 30-45 seconds (5 minutes actually) I did end up with a dough slightly sticky to the touch and continued on.
Turn the machine on and add the oil and 3/4 cup water through the feed tube. Process for about 30 seconds, until the mixture forms a ball and is slightly sticky to the touch. If it is dry, add another tablespoon or two of water and process for another 10 seconds. In the unlikely event that the mixture is too sticky, add flour a tablespoon at a time. Remove the dough and, using flour as necessary, shape into a ball; wrap in plastic and let rest while you make the potato mixture. (At this point, you may wrap the dough tightly in plastic and refrigerate for up to a day or freeze for up to a week; bring back to room temperature before proceeding.)
2. Put the potatoes in a large saucepan and add water to cover and a large pinch of salt. Sorry, we have to stop right here again … I don’t have a stove top upstairs in our “kitchen” yet and I just wasn’t willing to run outside in the rain to use the stove downstairs … so I baked the potato, I suppose I could have steamed them in the microwave but I baked them. Oh, and all that green … I added a nice handful of spinach. Turn the heat to high, bring to a boil, and adjust the heat so the mixture simmers steadily; cook until the potatoes are tender, 15 to 20 minutes, then drain. Mash the potatoes along with half (all) the chile, the coriander, a large pinch of salt, some pepper, and the lemon juice; taste and adjust the seasoning (you may prefer more chile; sometimes aloo paratha are quite hot).
3. When the dough has rested, set out a bowl of all-purpose flour and a small bowl of oil, with a spoon or brush, on your work surface. Lightly flour your work surface and your rolling pin. Break off a piece of dough about the size of a golf ball. Toss it in the bowl of flour and then roll it in your hands to make a ball. Flatten it into a 2-inch disk, then use a floured rolling pin to roll it into a thin round, about 5 inches in diameter, dusting with flour as necessary.
Pull up the sides to make a purse and then flatten, roll thin.
4. Mound about 2 tablespoons (that was too much for the size I made, adjust accordingly) of the filling into the center of one of the rounds of dough. Bring the edges of the round up over the top of the filling and press them together to make a pouch. Press down on the “neck” of the pouch with the palm of one hand to make a slightly rounded disk. Turn the disk in the bowl of flour and roll it out again into a round 6 to 7 inches in diameter. Pat it between your hands to brush off the excess flour. Put the paratha on a plate and cover with a sheet of plastic wrap. Continue to roll all of the remaining dough into parathas and stack them on the plate with a sheet of plastic wrap between them. You can keep the paratha stacked like this for an hour or two in the refrigerator before cooking them if necessary.
Keep them stacked for two hours … perfect! The rain had stopped and I used the stove top downstairs to cook two of them.
5. Heat a griddle or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat for a minute or two, then put on a paratha (or two, if they’ll fit) and cook until it darkens slightly, usually less than a minute. Flip the paratha with a spatula and cook for another 30 seconds on the second side. Use the back of a spoon or a brush to coat the top of the paratha with oil. Flip and coat the other side with oil. Continue cooking the paratha until the bottom of the bread has browned, flip, and repeat.
Panni Aloo Paratha
India + Italy
I did do two in this traditional stove top manner but … on two occasions I used the panni grill. While that doesn’t give the traditional look to the paratha, it produces a nice paratha.
Do this a few times until both sides of the paratha are golden brown and very crisp, 2 to 3 minutes total for each paratha. As the paratha finish, remove them from the pan and brush with melted butter if you’re going to serve hot; otherwise wait until you’ve reheated them.6. variations: cauliflower, sweet potato …
Yep, we enjoyed these immensely with our wine in the evening. These are shamelessly easy to make. The dough can be held over in the fridge a day or two so it’s a delight when there is just the two of us to make these for several days in a row. They make wonderful little bites for a light lunch or a little bite with a glass of wine in the evening.
Now the only question remaining here is: Are you going to join in and become a Bread Baking Buddy?If you’d like to join in, simply bake this Aloo Paratha (yes, you may adapt) – and then send Karen a link to your post via email (bake my day at gmail dot com). Submissions are due by November 29th. Once you’ve posted, Karen will send you a fabulous Buddy Badge designed by our own Babe Lien for baking along and you’ll appear in the Buddy post. I hope you’ll join us this month!
Love baking bread
Bread Baking Babe (group)
November 17, 2013 at 1:22 pm
Tanna, Tanna, Tanna, I just don’t know how you can fix it all without your kitchen hardware in place and working. Love those stripes on the paratha’s. Spinache… yes totally great choice for the filling! Love it.
November 17, 2013 at 2:26 pm
I’ve never actually had high speed internet so I wouldn’t know what to miss. When we left US it was 28k modems and we’re too far out in the country for it here. Good thing you have this lovely, warm bread for winter in the frozen north. Now, THAT I know enough about (MN< WI)
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November 17, 2013 at 3:33 pm
That is bdilliant, I could make them ahead and let the boys bake their s on the panini grill on soccer nights.
Well…. yeah, that food processor could be easily missed. Such a simple andquick dough…. which I managed to screw up royally by holding back on the water. Yay for spinach, my green of choice was parsley and cilantro
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November 17, 2013 at 11:04 pm
Sorry to hear that your internet connection is giving you grief. It’s wonderful to hear that your food is not giving you grief at all though. I love your panni aloo parathas! Well done, you!! I’m so impressed that you managed to make this bread without having a fully functioning kitchen. And how brilliant are you to bake the potato first?
Of course it’s easy to make the dough without the aid of a food processor! And is there really time saved if you do use the processor? I bet it takes five minutes to wash.