This is the recipe for Bread Poha that I saw on Sonal’s site Simply Vegetarian777 and fell in love with. Bread, spices, pea’s, simple comfort food and a delicious Indian dish. I saw the photo’s and immediately saved the recipe and then sweet Sonal sent me the spice packet so I have everything I need to put this dish together quickly. I decided to serve it with a 5 minute egg, a little runny, that golden yolk flowing on that delicious bread, well my friends it doesn’t get much better than this. Make this dish, you will be glad you did, really you have to try it, the recipe is linked above!
Step by step instructions and spice mix
Bread Poha literally takes minutes to make and is the very definition of Indian comfort food it can be used as a side dish, snack or main dish. I did a little research and saw many variations one showed the Poha with paneer (that looked delicious) among other things. Sonal masterfully mixes the spices, she sent me a packet that contained everything you need to properly spice the dish, It could not have been easier and I feel totally spoiled.
The Poha was breakfast with a medium soft egg (5 minute egg), I had some leftover cubed brioche that I had used in my Thanksgiving dressing the bread was oven dried and held up nicely during the cooking process but you can use any stale bread torn into bite size pieces. Thank you Sonal for sending me the spices you are so sweet and it opened up a new breakfast avenue for me, I think I could eat this every day!
I have had several people ask about the egg, how to do it. It is in between soft and hard boiled. I call it a medium soft egg. It is boiled for exactly 5 minutes. The egg has to be warmed first, not straight from the refrigerator, a room temperature egg is perfect. Bring lightly salted water to a rolling boil, gently lower the egg into the water and time it, at 5 minutes remove the egg and place in a pot or bowl of cold water. Let sit for 1 minute in the cold water then gently peel. The yolk will still be runny but the white of the egg will be firmly set. It works every time and yields a perfectly cooked medium soft egg.
I have been an active cook on Food52 for almost 2 years now, it’s a wonderful community of kind and giving cooks/chefs some very accomplished home cooks and other culinary professionals. I have made some good friends and count myself very lucky to know them.
Last year one of the community members (Noelle/Enbe) offered to organize a Secret Santa gift swap for members for the Food52 community, it was a huge success and Noelle organized it again this year. I registered and sent a very nice package to South Carolina and the day after I sent my package I received a beautiful package from California. I was thrilled to find out that my Secret Santa was Helen (Antonia James on food52), She put together a thoughtful and beautiful basket, home canned blueberry jam and blueberries in syrup, assorted homemade (delicious) cookies, Levain that Helen started and a brotform proofing bowl. I was thrilled and a little scared, well I was scared because I have never baked bread using a levain nor have I fed or cared for levain before. I thought, geez I kill every single houseplant that comes into my house, not on purpose of course, will I kill this too? Helen so carefully cultivated and shipped it to me and I really wanted it to work. Luckily, she was kind enough to give me instructions on the care and feeding of levain, I followed her directions and was delighted that my levain thrived and grew.
Levain is fed and starting to bubble
Yesterday I made the bread dough, following William Alexanders recipe for baguettes, it fermented overnight in the fridge and I am going to bake it today.
Bread dough after fermeting overnight look at those bubbles
I baked a baguette and a boule and they turned out pretty well, I need to work on the shaping of the loaves but all in all I think my first try at baking bread with levain was a success. I am so grateful to Helen for sending it to me, I have learned a lot!! I also used the brotform mold to proof the boule ,love the circular lines on the loaf. Below is William Alexanders recipe for baguettes. Please visit his wonderful website and buy his book he is genius. I have to say the bread is exceptional, a thin crisp crust and soft interior, it’s a little work caring and feeding levain but the results are well worth it.
Boule and baguette
375 g all-purpose flour (13.23 oz)
250 g levain (8.8oz)
215 g water (7.58oz)
¼ teas. instant yeast
10 g salt
Prepare the dough
- Feed levain at least 2 hours or the night before beginning.
- Mix all ingredients and allow dough to rest, covered (“autolyse”) for about 25 min.
- Knead by hand for about 7 minutes until dough is silky and elastic.
- Cover with oil-misted plastic wrap. If doing an overnight fermentation, place immediately in refrigerator. For same-day baking, ferment at room temperature for 2 hours, then ferment in refrigerator an additional 4 hours.
- Remove from refrigerator and wait for dough to reach temperature (2 to 3 hours).
Form loaves and proof
- Place an old cast-iron skillet on the bottom shelf of your oven and a pizza stone near the middle rack.
- Preheat oven to 500°F.
- On a floured countertop, divide dough into 4 equal parts of about 212 grams each (don’t go crazy trying to make them all exactly the same), shape into balls, and allow to rest, covered for 15 minutes. (I sometimes omit this step if in a hurry, but it does help to relax the dough for the next step.)
- Press each ball into approximately a 3- by 5-inch rectangle, and form baguettes as shown in the accompanying video. You should have nice little blisters or bubbles of gas in the dough – leave them!
- Proof in a floured couche (a heavy linen canvas) or, lacking that, between folds of parchment paper, for 45-60 minutes.
Score and bake
- With four baguettes to place into your oven, it’s sometimes easier to use a wide baking sheet rather than your peel. Sprinkle the sheet liberally with corn meal or rice flour (or cover with a sheet of parchment paper), transfer the baguettes to it (I use a narrow piece of quarter-inch plywood as a flipping board, but you can use transfer them by hand as well).
- Using a fresh single-edged razor or a lame, make several overlapping diagonal slashes on each baguette.
- Transfer the baguettes to the stone with a clean jerk back of the baking sheet. Quickly add a cup of water to the skillet and turn oven down to 480°F.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until crust is a rich brown and center registers 210°F or a rap on the bottom of the loaf produces a hollow percussion sound.
- Cool on rack.
I usually make this on the stovetop but adapted it to bake in the oven primarily because I entered this recipe in a Whole Foods Baked Breakfast contest. I actually like it better baked in the oven so from now on that’s exactly how I am going to make this. I must confess I try to have a healthy smoothie or shake for breakfast every morning but every now and then and I want something filling and warm and well, with runny eggs, cheese and bread. This certainly satisfies me in every way and its quick and easy to make to boot. It consists of a baguette cut into cubes, cherry tomatoes roasted in the oven, eggs and a quick and easy no fuss cheese sauce.
- 1 small baguette cut into cubes
- 10-12 cherry tomatoes cut in half
- 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
- 4 tablespoons heavy cream
- olive oil to drizzle
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 large eggs (preferably organic and pastured)
Preheat oven to 450 Tear off 2 sheets of foil and lay on baking sheet, on one sheet place bread cubes and drizzle with olive oil, on the other sheet place tomatoes drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place in the oven and bake for 6-8 minutes until bread is lightly browned and tomatoes are soft. Remove from oven. Mix the grated cheese and heavy cream together. Keep oven at 450 degrees. Butter a gratin pan and scatter the bread cubes in the pan so that they cover the bottom. Add the tomatoes next and distribute evenly with the bread, now carefully break the eggs on top nestling them into the bread and tomato, season the eggs with a little salt and pepper, now spoon the cheese and cream on top of the eggs making sure its evenly distributed. Place on baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minute until the egg whites are somewhat set, now turn on broiler and broil for 1- 2 minutes until the cheese is lightly browned, Note: Watch carefully oven temps vary and it make take a little less or more time depending on your oven and the size of the baking pan, I used individual gratin pans and it took 8 minutes to bake and a bit over 1 minute under the broiler.
The mission should I choose to accept it (ok, its corny but I just saw the new Mission Impossible flick) is to bake an Italian Boule or loaf, the call to arms or I guess whisks came from “The solitary Cook” and we all are to bake a loaf or boule of her fabulously delicious Italian bread. Truth be told since she posted this recipe I have already made 8 loaves (see an earlier post on my site) and no one has to twist my arm to make more, its just that good. Visit The Solitary Cook at her wordpress website: thesolitarycook.wordpress.com and Lets Bake!!
Preferment on it’s way to the fridge to rest overnight
I took the preferment out of the fridge this morning, let it come to room temp and made the dough. It came together so nicely, I just love this recipe. Just took the finished loaf out of the oven. Tomorrow, with the rest of the dough I will make two boule. Here is a link to the recipe:
Finished loaf of Rustic Italian Bread