Thursday, April 8, 2010

A very productive day! French bread and painting!

I would say today was a great day! Though the weather was a little gloomy I was all set to work. I started by making a french loaf. Sadly, it was a bit misshaped, but it tasted awesome! The recipe that I used was super vague. I had to change it completely to make it work and so, I think I was a little disheartened when it came to shaping the loaf because I figured it wasn't going to work. But, once I baked it, it tasted as good as the real deal. I even made some garlic bread with it. I really missed my Amma while I made this bread because this is her favourite kind of bread after croissants. My Acha would often surprise my Amma by picking up a batch of garlic bread for her. She would savour each bite and you could see the excitement on her face. I wish Amma was here to share the bread with us as I'm sure she and Acha would've loved it. Sometimes just speaking for hours on the phone with her and Acha doesn't seem enough. I wish I could somehow send this loaf of bread to them. Besides me missing my Amma and Acha I also ended up finishing a painting that I had put off for a long time. Sometimes it's just about sitting tight and focusing. I don't know what to call my painting; it just makes me happy! With me missing my friends and family this painting is all I have to keep my mind focused on something else. If only I could express how hard it is sometimes to be away from the people you love. Sometimes you wonder how does your day pass by when you don't have a conventional job or a college to go to. The fact is that it's all in your mind and your heart and you can choose how to live your day. It's easy to sit in front of the TV (trust me, I know this because personally I can be quite a couch potato if I want to be) but you tend to have more of a sense of purpose if you can spend your day more productively. Well, that's my thought for the day (I used to hate "thought of the day" during my school assembly, because by the time they got to the "thought of the day" I would be bored of the story and my feet would be hurting from standing so much). Anyway, here's the recipe:


  • 5 cups of flour
  • 2 tsps of salt
  • 2 cups of warm water
  • 1 tbsp of active dry yeast
  • a bit of oil for greasing your hands and the bowl

  • Whisk the warm water and yeast together.
  • Add 2 cups of flour and 1 tsp of salt and mix to form a batter.
  • This batter is called a poolish and must be left in the bowl (covered with a lint-free damp towel) for 3 hours.
  • Mix in 2 more cups of flour and the remaining salt and knead till you get a very sticky elastic dough. You might want to use a stand mixer as you will have to knead the dough for at least 8 minutes. If you mix with a spoon by hand you definitely need to prepare your arms for heavy bicep curls. I would advise you to do a few stretches before you begin.
  • Grease a bowl with olive oil and place the dough in the bowl. Cover with a damp lint-free towel and let it rest for another hour.
  • Punch the dough with your fist and knead gently. At this point you might want to grease your hands as the dough will tend to be very sticky.
  • Carefully add the remaining 1 cup of flour a little at a time as you gently flex the dough about. The flour is only added to dust the dough so that it becomes less sticky.
  • Make a rough roll out of the dough and place it on a greased baking tray.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit or 200 degrees Celsius.
  • Cover the roll with a damp lint-free towel for 20 minutes till it rises one last time before baking.
  • Bake for 25 minutes; pull out of the oven.
  • Once it is cooled you can slice it up diagonally, spread some butter on it, crushed garlic, and spices and you have yourself an amazing serving of fresh garlic bread. It's also great eaten plain or with a slice of swiss emmental cheese or brie.
  • Done!


  1. Heyy.. what kind of flour do we use?

  2. I must be one of those strange specimens who finds herself viewing this page time and again just from an aesthetics perspective, for as soon as I read the word "recipe" I scuttle away like a frightened rabbit(someday...I just might cook!?!) and then come hopping back for more of the visual delight.

    I'm impressed with your focus, especially since you have the tempting "couch potato" option in your face. :-)

  3. My hyper girl.....
    i bet you can never be a 'couch potato'!!
    Your french loaf is so tempting, & i started imagining the melting Emmental cheese on it with little sprinkle of chilli flakes & thyme!Soooooooo yummmmmmmmmmm!
    When I looked at your painting, I felt great, as I always dream of a night, when I could get one of those birds from the movie'Avtaar' & fly to you, with the gentle breeze touching my face, & the moon & the stars shinning & giving me the right light to see the beauty below me!!!Am sure, dreams come true!Hugs...........Mili

  4. WOW! Another amazing blend of Food & Art...Sandhya your comment "...The fact is that it's all in your mind and your heart and you can choose how to live your day...." is bang on and so true. With this attitude, I am sure you will never be bored in your life....keep the show is great!! All the best in whatever you do and enjoy life!

  5. Ammuuuu! amma and me looove the painting!! looks sooo pretty and love the colours you've used!!! really makes a person happy happy joy joy!and the french bread looks delicious as always! :) proud of u chech! :)

  6. Hey Sandhya!Jus checked the blog!!Very nice!The food looks very tempting!!!Wish you all the best!!God Bless!

    Gmama,Ammayi,and Bee

  7. What a cheerful happy painting-glad you finished it and that your spirits are up. Always important to finish what you have started.The bread-never mind the shape-it looks great and tastes great (no, no, I didn't bake it-just looking at it I KNOW it tastes great).
    Keep busy my girl!

  8. The painting is soooo beautiful...takes me back to those days you work on such paintings throuh the night!!! And my favourite French day is made just seeing these online!!! Love, Acha

  9. going through the blog is in itself such a cheerful , happy experience. :)

  10. hi ammu! been going thru ur blog! its great and really tempting! wish you lots of lovely creative days ahead! love shobha aunty