Let’s make some rolls

I’m at my mother’s place, and I’m constantly trying to divert my mind whatsoever. In spite of running around my toddler, I end up thinking a lot. But thanks to my cooking and baking expeditions, I rather plan to gamble with yeast and coconut milk instead of overthinking how life will be after a few months. We got to find hope. We got to calm our anxious minds. And yes, we got to save our pantry from using too many ingredients but it’s a bit tricky. How else will I divert my mind if I don’t try something new in the kitchen? I don’t mean baking a cake every day, but one or two baking expeditions in a month shall be fine?

I’m not a person who can use a weighing machine, let alone kneading a dough with yeast. These days, however, I feel like going all out there, without fearing the outcomes. It can cause embarrassment when my dough doesn’t rise or when a loaf of bread comes out flat, but who cares. Until and unless you keep going, there’s no point getting stuck and giving up. Now, I’m a basic person when it comes to food. So, I thought, it would be great if I could make some basic buns. Lockdown days don’t allow us to step out, and then I thought, what the hell, it’s high time I try making some.

So, here’s how I made some burger buns. Titli Nihaan of the Bread Kitchen came to my rescue. It is her recipe that I tried, but you got to see how it went in my kitchen.

Step one: You got to activate your yeast. If your yeast is not active, your dough won’t rise. You can never be in a rush with yeast. So, I added around two tsps of inactive yeast and two tbsps of sugar to 300 ML of homemade buttermilk. In Title’s video, her buttermilk became all frothy in ten minutes. But, it took me an hour to just see those bubbles and it almost was more than an hour when my buttermilk became all frothy. And, I was good to go to my next step. Tip: If your buttermilk is not frothy even after an hour, take some warm water and do the same process with it. It should activate in 15-20 minutes.

Step two: Knead the dough. Now, we need four cups of all-purpose flour or maida for this recipe. Maida is excellent when it comes to how soft are your burger buns, and if you have those occasionally, it’s better to eat the best ones that are risen well and that only a maida dough can help you achieve. But, I had only two cups maida with me, so I went ahead and took two cups of whole-wheat flour and two cups of maida. Added a tsp of salt, and slowly, started adding the frothy buttermilk to it. Now, make a dough. I added one cup of warm water too, as I couldn’t achieve a good consistency. After getting to a sticky dough, you need to knead it for 10-15 minutes.

Step three: Knead the dough. So, sprinkle some maida flour on a clean kitchen counter and start kneading the dough. I used some ghee and flour in between to keep the process easy. Watch Titli’s video for the technique. Have attached a link here.  Then, place the dough in a big bowl and cover it with a wet kitchen towel or plastic bag or cling wrap.

Step four: Now, for some, their dough goes double in an hour. But I took 2.5 hours. Once you know it has gone double, you need to start making the round buns and place it in a greased (I used some ghee) baking tray. Take the dough out of the bowl and knead it for a minute or two to remove the gas out. Take some flour on the counter or ghee on the palms of your hands to knead well. Now, make small balls out of it. Weigh each of the ball on a weighing machine and make sure all of them weigh the same. Then, follow Titli’s instructions and make your buns as she shows in the video. Now starts the second round of proofing the dough. Your bun balls should rise after about an hour. Cover them and keep the tray in a warm place. Tip: If you want to make pavs or Pav Bhaji, follow Nisha’s instructions in this video on how to go ahead.

Step five: After you know that the dough balls have risen, you need to bake them. With a silica/plastic brush, polish the top of each ball with milk. Once you do the milk wash, sprinkle some black and white sesame seeds on them. Bake the buns (I used the roasting option which makes the heat was on, on both the sides) on 200 C for 15-18 minutes. once you know that the buns are looking a bit brown on the top, remove the tray and check.

I was on cloud nine after this baking session. If you can activate the yeast well, chances are, your buns will turn out all right. Happy baking, you all!

Back to my plough


Where we celebrate small victories
Laugh at mistakes
Love each other’s imperfections
Where bonds grow stronger

Home, a lovely feeling
Can be a chaos, a mess actually
Aspirations dwindle, yet, become strong
Heavy conversations take place on the kitchen counter with a sibling
Oh, the feeling of home…

When I think of home, I think of a few people who always make me feeling special, and accept me just the way I am. There’s no need to hustle and clarify. No one is judging with a telescope, pointing your flaws.

And the list includes Pooja, a neighbour of mine, who’s indeed a soul mate. I might meet her after months, but it always feels like we were never away. It’s such a bliss to catch up with her, and you almost feel like you’re home. And everything is great, again. Everything will be all right.

Last time I was in Surat, she called me to celebrate her Anniversary. Pooja brought a freshly baked cake from the kitchen, and you could see its hot air coming out. I enjoyed our quick meet, and the taste of the cake was in my mind for long! After a day or two, I had to ask the recipe of her cake. I was shy, but I still texted her. I didn’t want to miss out on this one.

And within minutes, she texted back the recipe. It was extremely simple, and I couldn’t believe the tiny list. When I came back to Gurugram, I tried it one busy morning, when we were planning to meet up a bunch of friends. There were so many lumps in my cake batter. I don’t have an electronic cake beater; so it didn’t help either. But, surprisingly, it turned out yum. Just like how Pooja bhabhi makes hers.

You know, as I’m turning older, I feel more attached to simple things. No frills, please. I like it plain, and that’s it. You can have 4 to 5 pieces of this cake, without feeling full. I can never do that with the fancy cakes. That’s the magic of this simple, homemade cake.

Make it this Sunday, and celebrate the little victory your family member or friend had this week. As that’s what matters.

Happy baking and happy bonding!

Recipe: Simple Whole-wheat Cake


2 cup whole-wheat flour
1 cup Malai (the layer of cream you see over boiled full-cream milk) – preferably room temperature, if you want to avoid lumps
1 cup sugar
1 cup milk powder
Milk, for consistency
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda


Mix the dry ingredients first, and then add the wet ones. Add milk slowly, to avoid a runny batter. Bake your cake for about 45 minutes at 180 degrees. If a toothpick comes out clean (when dipped in the middle of the cake), consider it ready. And, don’t forget to pre-heat your oven.

Note: The second time I made it, I added double the baking soda, and the cake was really fluffy. So, don’t go overboard with it, if you like a decent spongy cake. Also, you can taste the batter, if you want to adjust the sugar accordingly.

Wrote this post while listening to Sara Bareilles, hence this title (from the lyrics of her song, Good Yellow Brick Road).