March 22, 2009

Cumin Flavoured Whole Wheat And Barley Flour Rolls

Whole wheat and all purpose flours are probably the most commonly used flours when it comes to baking. In my native south Indian community (and most of the meals I cook are this style), we traditionally use very little of either in our cooking. Rice flour (arishi podi) and chickpea flour (kadala podi) are the flours we routinely use, and never for baking.

Our cooking style includes stove-top cooking methods like steaming, stir-frying, and deepfrying but baking is not part of it. For our grandmothers and many of our mothers (in the earlier days, anyway) an oven was unknown in the kitchen.
As for bread, it was only bought when one was ill with a fever or some such thing! In fact, many Indians of my generation would have childhood memories of bread as something they were given when they were ill and so, even today, not be very fond of eating.

Many of us (at least, in urban areas of the country) right across India now regularly cook and eat food which is not necessarily reflect our ethnic backgrounds. So chapathis and parathas (originally north Indian food) are as much a part of our meals as rice and sambhar.
As a result whole wheat flour (and to a lesser extent all purpose flour) has a permanent place in my kitchen. I have also added other grain flours (such as bajra/ pearl millet, jowar/ sorghum, barley, makai/ corn) which have long been used in north India to make very tasty and nutritious flatbreads.

Experimenting a bit with a couple of flours (didn't want to get too adventurous as I had no guarantee this was going to be successful) and some cumin resulted in a slightly dense but tasty bread rolls.


1 cup whole wheat flour

3/4 cup barley flour

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1 3/4 tsp dry active yeast

1 tbsp milk powder

1 tbsp oil

1 tbsp honey

1 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds


Mix the honey and yeast in 3/4 a cup of warm water till the yeast dissolves. Allow it to prove (about 10 minutes or so).
Put all the other ingredients in a bowl (or food processor) and mix well. Add the yeast mixture and enough water and knead (or process) to make a soft dough that is very soft but not sticky. Shape the dough into a ball and place in a greased bowl, rolling the dough ball to cover it with a film of oil. Cover and allow the dough to rise till double.

Gently deflate the dough and divide into 6 portions. Shape into rolls, place on a greased baking sheet and cover them, allowing them to rise a little (about 20 minutes). Brush them with milk and bake at 190C for 25 to 30 minutes till they're brown.
Cool on a rack.
This recipe makes 6 rolls.

These rolls make a nice snack when filled with thin slices of tomatoes, cucumber and cheese. They also go very well with soup, especially creamy vegetable or lentil soups.

This goes off to Ben of What's Cooking? for his Homemade Bread and to Susan for YeastSpotting.


Happy cook said...

I remember eating rice every day twice when i was still living at home, after comming here i only have rice for lunch just twice or even once a week.
Delicious looking rolls, i have never used barley flour.
I too just made rolls, will post them one of these days when i do the pics .

Soma said...

I used to hate bread when i was little. the few times i would take them for lunch, i would tear some from the center make a hole & get the rest back home. I have started liking it more now tryingout different kinds & flavors of them.. these look really good...i am yet to try out any other flour in bread.

Simran said...

I still have to try baking with all or mostly whole wheat flour. But I routinely add ground oatmeal to my breads now.

Ivy said...

It's amazing how many things we learn about different cultures. I cannot imagine why someone would eat bread when they are ill. No wonder why you hated it. Your bread sounds fantastic.

Bharti said...

Nice one. I'm on the look out for savory breads..this looks very nutritious.

Indhu said...

the rolls look lovely... and yeah... I can totally identify with the concept of bread as something being used when we were sick :)

Divya Vikram said...

I agree! Lunch used to be the food during fever. Rolls look delicious. Havent tried experimenting barley flour in baking.

Nandini Vishwanath said...

Barley! I have to try barley. I saw a salad on Soma's blog too.

The pic is fab, Aparna!

Uj said...

I agree with every word... Rice is an important part of our daily meals.. Even my in laws feel that bread is given when a person is ill.. I have still not given a shot at baking bread at home :)

Cham said...

I hated the "modern" bread when I was kid! Because it appeared only when we were dam sick.
Now , I love to bake bread but most of the time savory! All the flours used are quiet unusal!

jayasree said...

Agree with the bread for illness part. As you said, things have changed now. Adding barley flour is a nice idea.

Meenal Mehta said...

hi there

first time on your blog, the bread looks divine:)

--Meenal @ Meenal's Kitchen

sharada said...

i have been to ur blog many times but never left a comment.
The bread rolls looks great & healthy too.

Alka said...

Barley flour sounds a healthier option than maida and the bread looks too good

Madhumathi said...

I rarely bake breads at home.In my home all prefer eating south Indian food like rice n sambar..But I wanna bake like you and try out various healthy breads.Barley flour in a bread is interesting..I don't get barley flour in the stores here..Can i simply grind the barley grains in my mixer and use??

Suparna said...

The bread looks great. I'm new to baking and really eager to try new recipes. Ur recipe sounds healthy ,will keep this recipe marked. Lovely blog.

Curry Leaf said...

What you say is true Aparna,bread is related to fever even now,I do not know why.The barley flour addition is very good and healthy.Love the rolls,cumin scented perfection.

Maya said...

Those are neat looking and healthy rolls there! Would love cumin in my bread.

Madhuram said...

You are definitely a "queen of breads". I have also not tried barley flour yet.

Ben said...

Thanks a lot for sharing a little about your culture and background. Learning about other countries' foods is always great. And your "experiment" turned out really tasty! Great combination of flavors. Thanks for sharing it with the homemade gang :)

kahliyalogue said...

Hi Aparna!
I agree,it`s our different and similar cultural stories related to the food we prepare that make it so much more fun and interesting!
I havent been baking bread in quite a while,and this definitely looks like the kind of recipe I would go for to get back into it!These buns look great! thanx,Mia

Aparna said...

Your comments tell me a lot of us have associations, from childhood, of bread as "sick food"!!!

Looking forward to seeing your bread rolls, HC.

Ground oatmeal is a good thing, tastewise and nutritionwise, Simran.

Thanks, Nandini.

Welcome here, Meenal. I hope you'll be back.:)

I'm glad, Sharada because I know of you now.:)

I use what i get here, labelled as Barley Atta. But various sources on the net say that you can powder pearl barley or hulled barley to make your own barley flour.

Thanks, Suparna.

Not at all and I don't deserve that title, Madhu. I'm blushing! Thanks for the compliment.

Yes, it did. My pleasure, Ben.

I hope it gets you back to baking bread again, Mia.

Jamie said...

Hi Aparna, the rolls look wonderful. I always love the smell of cumin.

Quick question for do you get that "Rest of the Post" link on the homepage to link to the whole post? I am trying to expand my knowledge of blogger and I have always wanted to know. Thank you!

Sandeepa said...

I always like bread more than Roti but have never ventured at home. The rolls look nice and warm

Madhumathi said...

Thanks :) Will try soon!

Aparna said...

Thanks Jamie. I'll be writing to you about your question.

Agree with you, Sandeepa. Why don't you give baking bread a go?

Looking forward to your rolls, Madhumati.

Madhumathi said...

I tried this today...and its superb..Love the cumin flavor in it...This is my first successful attempt in baking a bread..Thanks a lot for it :)Instead of rolls I made as a oval shaped bread..Im very happy it turner out well :)

Aparna said...

I;m really glad that you enjoyed this bread, Madhumathi. Maybe you will start baking bread regularly now.:)

Jude said...

I've been trying to find barley flour because I'm interested in the flavor it adds to bread. I definitely want to try your recipe.

Sophie said...

These are gorgeous! You did a great job with these, and I like how you incorporated the cumin-I bet they smell heavenly!

Anonymous said...

I am glad that I have found your blog. I will defininetly do the receipe. My sister made bread with barley flour, great, wouldnot comments on the receipe. So now I have a receipe and in the process of moving I forgot the yeast, so I am going to try some beer, for the riseing. I will remark latter, have to bake.

Anonymous said...

Hi Aparna,

could you tell me if we can powder barley and use instead of ready made? I have some barley lying there for ages..... I recently started baking breads and am very happy to find so many interesting recipes.

Aparna :-)

Aparna said...

I really have no idea if that will work. I get barley flour here, and that's what I used.
I'm not even sure that the sago we get and the flour are the same thing.