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Rosemary & garlic grissini (half wheat)

DSC_0315I feel a little overwhelmed right now. And I’ve been in kind of a daze these last few days. The Grand Annual Bake Sale – you could call it THE most happening bake sale there ever could be – happened on Saturday. And Lotsa Lavender (my home baking business that I run with my friend Bhavna) was most privileged to put up a stall at the event. And what an event is was. Huge crowds, much more than anyone expected. At any point in time, there were at least 10 people at the stall asking for the goodies.

We’d made some of our usual populars –  the desi masala loaf, Italian herb and garlic knot buns, multigrain cranberry loaves, savoury crackers with a pesto dip, millet & almond cookies, chocolate chunk cookies, banana bundt cake with fresh fig compote, orange lavender cake, masala chai chocolate mousse, kesar badam mousse (in cute little matkis), paan cake (in jars) and peanut-millet laddus. Apart from these we also tried out hand at selling homemade pure vanilla extract and vanilla bean paste. All our products were organic, totally whole-grain, sweetend with jaggery/palm sugar and free of any preservatives refined ingredients like maida or white sugar. we had. a tremendous response to our products. On the other end, we also had a couple of negative feedback for the paan cake, which is something we’re leaning from. But on the whole the event was great for us. The whole experience of preparing for the event, the actual baking and the interaction with everyone at the stall was overwhelming to say the least. And whenever next HBG organises its annual bake sale, we’re gonna beg, plead, threaten and badger our way through to putting up a stall again! KP please note 🙂

Braided grissini

Braided grissini

Coming to the post of the day, this grissini was part of the very first order that went out from the Lotsa Lavender stable. It has a wonderful subtle taste from the cream cheese and the herbs and is light and airy to bite. I love the crunch of the sticks when you bite into them. You could add any flavouring or herbs of your choice. I love to pair them with pesto and hummus. There are hundreds of grissini recipe out these, but this simple one from Dan Leppard is a winner in my opinion.

Grissini topped with finely grated mozzarella cheese before baking

Grissini topped with finely grated mozzarella cheese before baking

And since I’m trying to go vegan, I used non-dairy substitutes, all made at home. It turned out as great, if not better! I made them half whole wheat and half maida and was really happy with the way it turned out. My next shot at these is going to be 100% whole wheat.

If you’re comfortable using cheese and milk, read my original post here, else read on!

Grissini Braids

Ingredients:

Plain flour/maida – 1.5 cups

Whole wheat flour – 1.5 cups

Salt – 2 tsp

Homemade cashew cream* – 1/4 cup

Cashew milk* – ¾ cup

Palm sugar – 2 tsp (you could use organic brown sugar/white sugar too)

Instant yeast – 1.5 tsp

Oil – 2 tbsp

Oil (for greasing) – 1/2 tsp

Warm water – 1/2-3/4 cup

Dried rosemary – 2 tsp

Garlic powder – 1/2 tsp (else finely shop some garlic and saute well before using)

Note:

To make cashew paste, soak about 1/4 cup of cashew in water for a few hours and grind into a smooth paste. To make the milk, mix about 1 tbsp of cashew paste in 1 cup of water and use as needed

Method:

Add sugar and yeast to warm water and mix till dissolved. Strain with a cheese cloth to remove impurities

Take flour in a wide bowl. Add yeast, oregano and salt and mix well

Add the sugared water and milk and mix. The dough will be very sticky at first. Persevere and keep mixing with a strong wooden spoon

Once it starts to come together, add 2 tbsp oil and knead with your hands till the dough turns smooth and elastic

Grease the same bowl with 1/2 tsp oil and place the ball of dough in it. Cover it with a kitchen towel and set aside in a warm place for an hour or so till it doubles in bulk

Once doubled, punch the dough and knead briefly on the countertop

Preheat oven to 200 deg C

Pinch out small balls of dough and roll into long ropes, thinner than a pencil.  Rest the ropes for 10 minutes. You could also make braided grissini – they make for wonderful table presentation. See my original post for braiding instructions

Bake in the preheated oven for about 25 minutes or till golden brown.

Notes:

1. These ropes become even fatter in the oven. So roll them into ropes accordingly. Braided grissini will be fatter still

2. Oven temperatures and timings may vary. So, keep an eye on your grissini

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