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Friday, February 9, 2018

Turmeric, Sesame, and Nigella Bread

Ah, how I love Indian (desi) flavors and spices. I created this bread to spice up my sandwich world. I also wanted to see how much turmeric I needed to make a beautiful (yet, still tasty) loaf! The answer: not much! Baker be warned: too much turmeric alters the flavor, so it is better to stick with less!

This recipe like many of my other bread recipes requires a cast iron pan (containing boiling water) to be used under the tray used for baking the bread. Following this technique is a good idea as you will get a soft and moist bread with a crunchy crust!


2 tablespoons yeast
1 and 1/2 cups water
3 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons salt
1 to 2 tablespoons turmeric (depending on your desired color -any more will likely start to alter flavor)
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup nigella seeds (these are also called kalonji)
Additional flour for dusting
4 cups of water for boiling (not to be used in bread)


Following these instructions exactly will provide the best results.

Combine water (about 110 degrees - the temperature of bath water) with yeast and let set for 5 minutes to get foamy. If your yeast does not get foamy, this means your water was too hot and/or that your yeast is no longer active.
2. In a large bowl, combine the all purpose flour, salt, turmeric, sesame seeds, and nigella seeds. Mix the dry ingredients well.
3. Add in the foamy yeast water and knead the dough until thoroughly mixed. Knead for about five minutes.
4. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
5. Once the dough has doubled in size, lightly sprinkle the dough with additional flour and transfer to a generously floured work surface. Knead the dough a few times and add flour or water as needed (such that the dough is slightly tacky, but I would not mess around with the proportions of the current recipe too much).
6. Roll your dough into a ball and place on a baking sheet. Sift a light coating of flour over the top to help keep the dough moist. Let the dough sit for 5 to 10 minutes.
7. Preheat your oven to 450°F, fill a metal or cast iron pan (not glass, Pyrex, or ceramic) with the 4 cups of water, and place on the lowest oven rack.
8. When the oven is ready, slash the bread 2 or 3 times with a knife or blade, making a cut about 1/2 inch deep. *If desired, sprinkle sesame / nigella seeds in the slashes for the "look" seen in the pictures.
9. Place the bread tray on the middle rack, above the rack with the pan now containing boiling water. Close the oven door quickly.
10. Bake the bread for 35-45 minutes or until golden brown and crusty.
11. Remove the bread from the oven and cool. Enjoy! Once fully cooled, store leftovers in a plastic bag at room temperature.


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