Thursday, June 20, 2019

French bread dough- 2 ways

Wait a minute! It's mid-June... My last post was so long ago. I have neglected this space. I cook a lot, take random pictures on my iPhone and then forget all about it. Well not exactly, I do post on my Facebook Page. But that's as far as it went over the past few months. 

This year brought us some nice surprises. 
The best highlight was the Utah State Taekwondo Championship. 
Like every year, S was participating.  But this year, he wasn't keen on it (he was willing enough when I enrolled him for the tournament). Nevertheless, he trained hard for it in the 2 weeks time that we had. This time, he was competing as a Black Belt, the stakes were high and he was super intimidated. He kept making small errors, ones that would cost him precious points. He would groan and get frustrated. And just 2 weeks before the tournament, he had a birthday invitation from his friend and that tilted the scales! He cried and sulked and was also willing to not go to the tournament for the party. 
It was traumatic for us, the parents! But we managed to convince him, we told him, as soon as the tournament was over, we zoom him to the party and M, a very careful driver, promised him to drive fast (this from a person who always drives 5/ 10 below the posted speed limit is saying a lot). Now all we needed was luck to favor us and that we wouldn't have to wait for a long time. At such events, there are delays and the categories are set and the athletes just have to wait their turn. Patience is key.  We've  been to tournaments where S would do one event in the morning and had to wait for 4+ hours for the next event call. 
But as luck would have it, S's events (Poomsae and Board breaking) were announced early! That gave him hope (and we heaved a huge sigh of relief).
Well, if ever hard work and tears have paid off, it was on that day! S won Gold in both the events! 
He was thrilled! So were we. For 2 years now, the gold medals had evaded him, but this year, he did it! I am just so proud of my baby! 
And yes, we made it in time for the party! 

The day was tiring for all of us and the exhaustion of the training and the driving like crazy to reach the event, the win and then zooming to drop him off at the party, whiling away time till we picked up S again was just too much and all I wanted was to sleep. Laundry and other things can wait, but not hunger. But I wasn't in any mood to make anything, much. And I was craving pizza, but not store brought. I wanted the brand of cheese I wanted, so it made sense to make it at home. 
But I did not want to make the dough. 
See where I'm going with all these random, chaotic thoughts?
I just decided to buy the dough and accordingly popped in the store.  The lady at the counter however told me that they did not have pizza dough and then convinced me that most people took home French bread dough and used that. I was convinced (I still did not want to make the dough from scratch and so I was willing to risk anything now). So, armed with the dough 'baguette' I came home and decided to try this.

To begin, do the prep. 
Chop the veggies you want.
Pull out the pizza sauce.
Grate the cheese (if you have a block)
Then, pre-heat the oven at the highest setting.
While the oven is heating, take a piece of the dough. The size depends on how well you can roll the dough. You can go from personal pan to X-large. 
Make a ball of the dough.
Dust the (clean) counter top with cornmeal and place the dough ball in it.
I used my rolling pin to roll out the dough. 
Prick the dough with a fork.

Apply sauce on the rolled pizza dough and add  grated cheese and toppings of your choice.
Carefully transfer the pizza in to the oven and bake.
Depending on your oven, it should take between 8-12 mins for the pizza to bake. So keep an eye out.
Once the base looks nice and brown and the cheese has melted, pull it out.


Slice it and eat it! 


The French Bread dough did not disappoint. The base was excellent and we enjoyed our meal.
I kept the unused dough in the fridge, unsure what to use it for, I mean, we did not want pizza again, it was not enough to make a loaf. Anyway, I'll see what to do... attitude helps in such cases.
A good nights sleep gives good ideas. 
The next day I made some kofta curry and decided to make naan from the left over dough in the fridge.
Once the dough was at room temperature, make even sized balls of the dough.
This depends on how much dough you have left over and how comfortable you are rolling it into the typical teardrop or round shape.

Before you begin to roll the naan, heat a tava on medium-high flame. Do NOT use non-stick tava or pan. I used my anodized tava similar to this, cast iron is also good. 
Set a small cup of water on the side.
Get ready to roll the naan.
Dredge the dough ball in some flour and using a rolling pin, slowly roll out the dough applying gentle pressure, evenly.
Once the desired shape is achieved ( don't roll the dough very thin), Apply water to one side of the dough and then pick it up and place it on the hot tava, water side down.
This will help the naan to stick to the tava.
After about a minute, the underside should be done. 




At this point, increase the heat and pick up the tava (the naan still sticking to it) and flip it,  hold the uncooked side a little away from the heat. The heat should cook the second side and make it puff up in spots, just like a tandoor cooked naan. Move the tava in a circular motion as needed to ensure that the entire surface gets cooked. 


With a spatula, take the naan off the tava and apply butter/ ghee generously on the top. 



If you like, you can add sesame seeds/ cilantro to the naan. Just sprinkle the seeds / chopped cilantro on the rolling surface and then roll the naan. When you place the naan on the hot tava, the seeded/ cilantro side will be face up.

To be on the safe side, keep a 'fulka grill' (pictured below) ready as well. 
Sometimes the naan will not stick well to the hot tava and will come off, when you see it isn't going to stay glued, place the uncooked side down on the grill and let it brown. 
Once done, apply butter.


Serve warm with a vegetable entree of your choice.

That's it from my side. I hope this time I won't slack off. I have enough drafts to work on!

Here's wishing you all a wonderful summer ! 
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