Time for another tested recipe. If you try these once you will never go back to the industrial kind. That’s the thing with home-baked bread, even when made with only maida, it ruins you for the mass-produced bread. Thankfully, when made in small quantities, it is easier than cooking roti which we do as a matter of daily routine.
Mom had given me a load of blanched spinach from her garden. At first I wanted to make palak-panir. But I was hoping to send along some bread when the son left after Diwali holidays and decided to use the spinach in the bread instead. I love the spinach pavs served at Cafe Lota and this recipe is inspired by those really-green buns. It’s a different matter that the spinach made the bread seem too healthy to the son and he would have none of them. This when he doesn’t like the bread he gets in Pune!
Thanks to my smart phone I’m losing fewer recipes these days. Instead of committing my experiments and their results to memory I now jot down the ingredients into ‘notes’ on the phone right away. I had noted down exact measurements for the ingredients as well as the yield and there they were for my easy reference.
Here, then, from the phone archives, is the recipe for the spinach buns I baked last month and shared pictures of on Instagram. Notes and pictures from my very smart and handy Mi4.
Homemade Spinach Buns
Makes about 30 buns
4 C maida (or all purpose flour), plus more to dust while kneading
3 C atta (or whole wheat flour)
2T vital wheat gluten (optional)
3 C thick spinach puree (blanch and puree spinach)
4 T olive oil
3 1/2 t active dry yeast
1/2 C warm water
5 t sugar
3 t salt
Take warm water in a bowl and mix in the yeast and the sugar. Keep aside till it is foamy, about 10-15 minutes. Sift together maida, atta, and salt. In a large mixing bowl combine the flour and the wet ingredients till you have a sticky dough. The dough will feel tacky and very wet but do not lose hope. Dust your work counter with flour and turn the dough onto it. Knead 10-15 minutes till you have a soft, smooth ball of dough. Oil the ball of dough and transfer it into the bowl. Cover the bowl and let the dough rise till doubled, 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours, depending on the warmth of your kitchen.
Prepare the baking sheet by dusting it with semolina or cornmeal. Lightly punch down the dough and divide it into 30 equal portions. Make balls tucking the corners in. Transfer to the baking sheet. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise till doubled, about 45 minutes to an hour.
Preheat oven to 375F. Brush risen buns with melted butter, milk, or egg wash to bake them a beautiful gold-brown on top. Bake until golden, about 15-18 minutes.
Cool buns completely before slicing.
- For an even lighter bun replace the atta with maida.
- Make smaller buns and you have slider buns which are not readily available in the market!