A simple fruit & nut wholemeal bread recipe
- One ripe banana or other seasonal fruit purée of mangoes, apple etc (volume of puree about that of 1 large banana).2 cups whole meal atta (wheat) from chakki (stone ground with bran),3/4 cup maida (refined white flour)
- 1 teaspoon ghee (clarified/boiled butter), 1 table spoon cooking oil.3/4 teaspoon salt,1/4 cup pattali gud (date palm jaggery) or ordinary
- sugarcane gud (jaggery), 1/4 teaspoon activated dry yeast or baking soda
Activate the dry yeast by mixing with about 2 tablespoons water. If it is activated then it will be frothy in about 30 minutes; if not then discard. Alternative is about 1/2 teaspoon baking soda as leavening agent. Mix atta, maida, fruit puree, ghee, salt, oil and gud (jaggery), kneading well. A tablespoon or two of milk/malai (cream) may also be added. The salt can be dissolved in a tablespoon of water/milk for even distribution into the dough. Mix in activated yeast or baking soda. Keep in a loosely covered container in a warm but not very hot or cold place (25-30° Celsius ambient temperature) for 1 to 2 hrs in Delhi summer and 3-4 hours in Delhi winter, clear sky conditions.
After volume has doubled, punch the dough flat. Grease a solar oven cooking vessel with some oil/ghee or butter. You can also add (1/2 cup by volume) dry fruits like badam,(almonds), walnut, kishmish (raisins), figs, cashew or peanuts into the dough while punching/kneading it for the second rise.
After it has risen in about 1 to 2 hrs, pop into the solar oven. Should be cooked well in about 1 hr 30 minutes in summer, clear sky. If kept longer no problem, but the dry fruits like raisins or figs will become bitter due to caramelization of sugar content into carbon.
If yeast not available, the readied dough with baking soda mixed in can be cooked in a solar oven straight (like fruit cake) without the rising twice as in the case of yeast use for leavening.
If it becomes cloudy after you start the long process, then you can use a conventional oven. Of course it is nice and clean to cook in solar energy and not to use fossil fuels! After baking, the baked fruit bread can be cut into small pieces. Should be kept refrigerated after cooling since it has no added preservatives. This recipe is a compromise between Marie Antoinette's cakes and ordinary breads! Maybe it is also called a short cake!?