Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Yeast spotting :)

I am a baker and I am really proud of it. Baking helps me relax so does blogging. But I get no time to blog which is a pity, the moment Babbi falls asleep in the afternoon I just run back to my computer to blog. Today was actually a good day for my baking and I have finally made some perfect stuffed buns for lunch. 

Beauties :)
I am more of a savory baker than the cake one. Basically because mama has no love for cakes and I like cakes but can't over stuff them( I have no sweet tooth). Lets see : 1 piece a day and I am done. It is just the baking and frosting part I like about it. My baking pans are so big that I end up making cakes that are big and boring, they take around four long days to get over and I will constantly beg mama to finish them. Mama has a sweet tooth but a selective sweet tooth, yes he eats chocolate like crazy, a bar at a time. Switzerland is famous for chocolates and so is mama's chocolate appetite(yes, we made our dentist rich). But he cannot show the same love for my chocolate cakes which is bad. So cakes are only for celebrations and I strictly never touch my cake stuffs unless and until there is a birthday or anniversary coming up. 

But baking does not stop just with cakes, it offers savory options too. That is the most wonderful news to me. If baking powder is for cake, yeast is for savory. My first experience with yeast will be the Indian naan bread I made ages ago back in Chennai.  The next scene as usual begins in Geneva.  Many of  my friends who live abroad say they bake a lot. I think its a very healthy news and the main reason being the lovely ovens that come along with the stove. You are tempted to see how it works and you end up baking every week. In India we don't find them together but everywhere else we do.

Ready to get hot and sexy.....

When my search for a wonderful cake recipe ended with a stuffed bun recipe in Ria's blog, everything changed. I was hooked forever for savory baking since. The first and foremost element that goes in will be the stinky yeast. Since its french, German and Italian here finding yeast is indeed a big a task. But I was sure to find them because people here bake a lot and this is a bread country. It was a task to even identify the correct flour used for baking. They have like 10 varieties for flour and even people who live here find it hard to explain me how they differ. It is a close call but I somehow found the white flour by trial and error method, it is that bad. Yeast did not pose much problem to me because the it was very easily accessible in the fridge section and costs 25cents. That's a surprise, you never get anything for that price no where in Geneva. There is a small drawback here, the yeast for fresh. 

I have never worked with fresh yeast before and I have never seen any bloggers suggesting it too. Its shelf life is to be blamed, it lives good for a month. The dried once live for months together. Since it was impossible to find the dry yeast in the baking section I was happy with my catch. Fresh yeast worked really well for me and I was very happy with the result. Buns and pizzas rose to glory and I was extremely thrilled with the outcome. But I still longed for the dry yeast because I was wasting almost half of the fresh yeast I got all the time. So it fell first into my India shopping list. 

The Brutus :( French and Indian yeast 

When I went home I brought two different packets of yeast just in case. I was very happy actually with the two big packs of yeast I was stocked up for almost a year. I also know I was saving (lol, 25 cents is no saving but still). With lots of baking dreams I came here and opened my first packet of yeast just a week later. My yeast was dead, yes it was never alive no matter what I did. The whole packet was a loss and my heart was heavy with sadness. I still had high hopes and opened my second packet a week later. This too was dead, meaning the yeast did not froth nor the dough raised even after 3 hours of waiting. It was a devastating moment especially after bragging to mama about how much I was saving. I was desperate to have a break, it was sick to watch the dough sitting just like that for hours together. Having failed miserably with the Indian yeast I ran back to my faithful fresh yeast. 

Will you raise? plz plz plz

Mama knew I was very upset, he was even comforting me. He said I can buy the fresh yeast and bake anything I want. He wanted me to forget the dry yeast idea and stick to the always-been-with-me fresh yeast. To make things hard the fresh yeast failed too. It was a nightmare. I felt suppressed,  oppressed and extremely depressed with the yeast and decided I will never make buns or pizzas again. I still could not come out of this problem. I watched videos, read blogs, more blogs even downloaded a book to see what when wrong. I even tried changing the flour, water temperature, sugar level, milk quantity and the place for no improvement. I wanted to try some thing else, a new packet of yeast then. This is when I found the dried yeast in one of the stores silently sitting on the baking aisle. I literally jumped in joy. My problems are finally over my yeast curse is broken I thought and brought the packet home.

The spell BREAKER , ummmma :)
Signs of victory was all over my face and mama was happy for me. He was packing for his trip to London and was a little taken back by my suggestion of buns for dinner. But I was not giving up it was like a exam for me and I have to pass. I broke the first packet and dumped it into the warm water and waited for it to froth, it did not. I broke the next packet and dumped the contents in the flour and mixed them and let it stand for 2 hours. It did not raise. I totally had wasted 1 kg of white flour and I felt extremely miserable  I wanted to throw away the remaining dry yeast packets. I was crazy angry. I had no one to talk to or who will really help me with this. 

Mama had no idea how to cheer me up, he really thought this was nothing. He had no idea how this affected me. I was yeast cursed and I wanted a spell to break it. To cheer me up he promised to get me something really nice from London and I asked him to get me YEAST instead. Yes, I asked him to buy me a packet of yeast from London  I was that crazy. He understood I guess. The first thing he got after a long busy day was a packet of yeast for me. Wasn't that sweet of him? 

Yes, we rose to glory :)

He came to a very-dull-me and gave a green packet that looked nothing like a spell breaker. I had nothing to lose and attempted one last try.
TADA....... It was the curse breaker, my yeast curse broke like forever with the green beauty. The joy was immense when I saw my dough raise after two long months. Finally I got peace and my heart was fluttering like a butterfly. Its been a month since the spell broke and here I am with my latest healthy wheat flavored buns stuffed with yummy left-over-chicken stuffing. 

All set for the magic to happen
I loved the fact that the dough rose and the buns looked sexy and soft. Tasted like hell and heaven. Wow, I can never make anything so perfect like those. Don't ask about mama we are  not-in-talking-terms for a while, so he never opened his mouth to say how wonderful the buns were. Maybe he was speechless with the taste, never mind  Babbi felt it was too hot for her tongue, yes it is. But she was happy with biting the outer shell that tasted good too.

Priceless victory!!
The recipe was not stolen, my own. not enough white flour and hence used the wheat flour. Chicken was again a last minute addition, it is very handy to make things look super sexy. How can I even forget the Parmesan which I drizzled over the mix before stuffing? See I can't give you the recipe, cuz there is no precise quantity I used, I even forget the ingredients I use. I dumped some flour, added some water and yeast made the dough and baked. So like I always say GOOGLE is Google  go ahead and look for it you will find tons and tons of recipes.  HAPPY BAKING !!

1 comment:

  1. Great buns! They look so good.

    Wow, so you also live in Geneva? Well, that's awesome. I'd love to get to know you too... ;-)