During my pregnancy, I had terrible nausea right from forty odd days through my term. I would throw up every morsel of food and between my mother and her maid, they would clean up and feed me again only to repeat all over. On some odd occasions when I would retain food in my system it would be the kara bun bought from some bakery in Namakkal. The bun used to be spiced with pieces of chili and curry leaves in it. The size of an Indian pav bread, one bun was all I would eat. If I craved any food, I think the fear of throwing up had curbed it.
Many years later when I started baking bread at home, I've tried recipes for dinner rolls and buns from various recipe sources to capture the essence of the buns that sustained me through my pregnancy. There was one Russian potato bread which nearly matched the kara bun which I have not made in a long while.
This Monday morning, after a very lazy weekend, I wanted to try putting my own ingredients to bake my favourite kara bun. Inspired by Usha's oats pav, and Priya's Oatmeal banana bread, I powdered the quick cooking oats to combine with a fair quantity of whole wheat flour and a lesser quantity of all purpose flour.
The bun felt light when I removed from the baking tray. I had them with capsicum macroni soup and the meal was filling.
Ingredients: (for just six buns)
(the cup measure given is 175 ml -the stainless steel coffee tumbler found in south Indian homes)
1 cup powdered quick cooking oats
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour roasted slightly in a teaspoon of ghee
1 &1/2 teaspoon dry active yeast
2 green chilies
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons warm milk to raise the yeast or water
A fist full of chopped fresh coriander leaves
2 teaspoons sesame seeds
2 tablespoons cooking oil for the dough
1 tablespoon oil to grease the utensil
Warm water to knead a smooth dough
Add the sugar to the yeast in a bowl and the slightly warm milk. Cover and allow the yeast to grow.
Sift together the flours and salt. Do not discard the husk, add it back to the flour mix.
Rub in the oil and once the yeast has developed, incorporate it to the flour mix. Knead to a soft dough adding sufficient warm water. Knead well for about 15 minutes.
Grease a big utensil and place the dough in it allowing room for it to double. Cover the utensil.
I usually place the utensil in a plastic bag and tie the mouth and lift it upwards.
In about 2 hours the dough would have almost doubled.
Remove it from the utensil. Add to this the chopped chillies and coriander leaves.
Flour a board or your kitchen counter top and punch the dough down. Continue firmly punching for another 10 minutes.
Cover again and keep for another 20 minutes.
Remove and make six balls out of this. Place on a slightly greased baking tray well apart from each other.Sprinkle sesame seeds on top of each bun.
Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees Centigrade.
The balls would have again developed on the tray. Place the tray in the oven and bake for 17 minutes. Take off the oven and cool on wired racks.
Serve with any soup or can be had just like that for a mid morning snack or tea time snack.
You may bake them without the spices and pack your kids' school snack boxes.
I would like to send these buns to EC's Light meal event