In Bangalore there's this bakery called VB Bakery that sells loaves and loaves of this bread. While on vacation in Bangalore, this would be a daily tea time snack - a slice of hot, buttered khara (khara means spicy) bread.
I still bring back a loaf every time I visit Bangalore. I tried to recreate it at home, and it was amazing. The same spicy taste with the incredibly soft crumb.
(Bread with Chillies, Onions and Cilantro)
Makes 2 Loaves
For the Flavoring:
1 cup Onions, chopped fine
2-3 tbsp Green Chillies, chopped fine
1 cup Cilantro leaves, chopped fine
Saute the onions and green chillies (separately) in a teaspoon of oil. Set aside.
For the Bread
(I used a variation of Peter Reinhart's White Bread from the Bread Baker's Apprentice)
4 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 cup Milk (I used 2% milk)
3 tbsp Sugar
2 tsp Instant Dry Yeast
1 large Egg, beaten
3 1/4 tbsp Butter, melted
1 1/2 cups Water (you might need more as you knead, so keep some on hand)
Mix together the flour, salt, milk, sugar and yeast in a bowl. Add in the egg and butter and mix to combine. Pour in a little bit of water at a time until the dough begins to come together. There shouldn't be any obvious dry spots, and all the flour should be combined. If the dough is dry, add a few drops of water. If its too sticky, add a tiny dusting of flour.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and start kneading the bread. Knead for about 8 minutes. The dough will be smooth and soft. Now press the bread out into a slightly rectangular shape. Add the cilantro, onions and chillies in the middle and bring the sides of the dough over the filling to enclose it (I've just found that adding flavoring to dough is easier this way, but you can use any method you want).
Start kneading again for about 2 minutes. As you knead the fillings will get evenly distributed through the dough.
Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with a muslin cloth and leave in a warm area of the house. Allow the dough to double, approximately 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Remove the dough and divide in two. Shape each part into a loaf - I rolled them gently into a log, tucking in the corners slightly. Place them in a greased loaf pans, cover with a muslin cloth and allow to double in size, approximately 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 180 deg C.
Bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown on top. They should also be brown on the sides, when removed from the pan and make a hollow sound when tapped on the bottom.
Remove from pans and allow to cool on a wire rack for an hour (I waited maybe 20 minutes!).
As you can see the crumb was really really soft and lovely.
The small hole in the middle is from an air pocket formed while rising (didn't affect the bread but kinda let some butter drip through when toasted and buttered!).
This is off to Susan @ Wild Yeast for Yeast Spotting.