Saturday, April 4, 2015

Semolina Cake and Bread

So I have been struggling to make bread from scratch for over a week now. My first trial didn't work out - very dry. Second can only be termed as 'rock cake'. But this third time, I got it right!
You see, I'm a firm believer in using what you have available to achieve what you want, rather than going out to buy things every time I discover a new recipe.
I wanted to make bread at home, but didn't have yeast, so I dug out my Baking soda and Apple Cider Vinegar as yeast substitutes - turns out I can substitute half the measurements of lemon juice with ACV. I also was not sure there would be electricity to power my oven, so I researched alternative methods of baking bread, and found out you could use the pressure cooker, and even the rice cooker to 'bake' bread!

Anyway, my first try was the pressure cooker bread recipe here, but that didn't work out. The second one was the stove top bread here, and that came out as a rock. Then I realized that the bread flour I was using is over seven months old. Even as a flour, it tasted sort of funny. It made me feel less of a failure, I picked myself up and looked into my kitchen again. I had semolina flour! Maybe there was a recipe that used that instead? Turns out there are several! But I was limited to what I actually had in the kitchen. Then I found this recipe by chinmayie for Steamed Pineapple Semolina Cake via Yummly. Awesome!

By the way, if you have not signed up for Yummly, you are missing a lot - the site let's you search according to my style, using the ingredients you actually have. You can also remove the ones you do not actually have. By the time you are done, only the recipes that you can use are left!

So through Yummly, I found an eggless, dairy free cake, bread recipe to use. The recipe just fit my situation perfectly - I couldn't rely on the oven due to epileptic power supply and the recipe uses steaming; I had coconut milk, baking soda, and sugar. I did not have fresh ginger, or green pineapples though, but I decided to improvise. If I learnt anything from Dooney's Kitchen, is the fact that 'improvising' can lead you to brand new creations. Here is my version, without the pineapple and ginger:


  • 1 1/4 Cup [for bread] OR 1 Cup [for cake] Semolina flour
  • 3/4 Cup [for bread] OR 1 Cup [for cake] Coconut Milk
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/4 Cup or less [for bread] OR 1/2 Cup or less [for cake] Sugar (I used brown sugar but white is alright as well)
Step 1: Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl.

Step 2: Pour into a greased pan.

Step 3: Steam it for about 20 - 30 minutes, until a toothpick will go through and come out clean. Make sure you wrap the pot lid in a kitchen towel, to catch the condensation during steaming, and prevent it from dropping into your pan. Let it cool completely before serving.

That's it! Feel free to make it your own - add ginger, cardamom, even basil [efinrin] to give it some spice and edge. Enjoy! 
Happy Easter everyone!

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