Roti–Indian Flatbread

I love bread! It is a horrible and honest answer, but since I was a child I have enjoyed bread of any kind. I was excited to have found a recipe for what I had thought was naan. However, I was surprisingly excited to understand the differences between naan and what I found to have made, roti. The following describes the subtle differences:

Naan or Nan is a leavened, oven-baked flatbread. It is popular in West, Central and South Asia. In Iran, from which the word ultimately originated, nān does not carry any special significance, as it is merely the everyday word for any kind of bread. Naan in other parts of South Asia usually refers to a specific kind of thick flatbread. Generally, it resembles pita and, like pita bread, is usually leavened with yeast or with bread starter. Naan is cooked in a tandoor, from which tandoori cooking takes its name. This distinguishes it from roti, which is usually cooked on a flat or slightly concave iron griddle called a tava. Typically, it will be served hot and brushed with ghee or butter. It can be used to scoop other foods, or served stuffed with
a filling.


Roti is generally an Indian bread, made from stoneground wholemeal flour, traditionally known as atta flour, that originated and is consumed in India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. It is also consumed in parts of South Africa, the southern Caribbean–particularly in Trinidad and Tobago–Guyana and Fiji. Its defining characteristic is that it is unleavened. Indian naan bread, by contrast, is a yeast-leavened bread. Roti and its thinner variant, known as chapati, are integral to Indian and Pakistani cuisine

Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  1. I used whole-wheat flour.
  2. I used more than the amount of water suggested.
  3. You want to create dough that is firm but a cohesive piece.
  4. I mixed the dough in my Kitchen Aide mixer, then I kneaded it to incorporate the missed flour and lost pieces.
  5. I was able to divide my dough into nine balls, probably 12 had I made them evenly sized.
  6. Be sure to roll them thinly. Thicker pieces will leave a doughy texture when cooked.
  7. After rolling them, place them on a cookie sheet layering them with paper towels to keep them from sticking.
  8. Be sure to not over flour them because the flour residue will stick to the naan during the cooking process and be left afterwards. No one likes raw flour.
  9. Heat the skillet, without oil or Pam, on high.rotiindianflatbread2
  10. The dough will begin to bubble with air pockets within 30 seconds. Flip the bread immediately to reduce the chance of burning the bread and cook for an additional 30 seconds.
  11. The tops of the naan will be freckled with brown cook spots.
  12. Oil only the top of the naan. Because the bread is thin, the oil will be absorbed on both sides.

Understanding my love for Indian dishes, I am thrilled to understand both the difference between naan and roti and having found a recipe that allow for a traditional bread to accompany my future exotic dishes. Paired with a curried quinoa stew or as a side to a tikka masala, the roti is simple and easy to make. You can even add peanut butter and enjoy as is, like my mother. Hurry though because with friends and family there might not be any left
for you.

Leave a comment with your favorite Indian recipes. Follow my Pinterest for more recipes. Check back again next Wednesday for more tips and tricks from The Cooking Bug.


Whole Wheat Rolls


Finding fresh, healthy rolls at the grocery store can be a challenge.  Now, you can make your own whole wheat rolls for a healthier side.  These rolls are moist, appropriate in size and healthier than the average white breads.  They can be a bit of a challenge because of their stickiness, but they prove to be delicious.  The rolls pair perfectly with homemade almond butter or my pumpkin pecan butter.

Whole wheat–in its original non-enriched form–is a very good source of dietary fiber and manganese, including enzymes involved in the body’s use of glucose and insulin secretion.  Refined grain products made from white flour have been stripped of essential nutrients needed for good health.  Whole grain products have more fiber than their white counterparts. Most Americans need 25 to 30 grams of fiber per day for good health. Whole grains can supply some of the needed fiber in your diet. Fiber is digested slower, moves food through the digestive system and provides bulk which helps you feel fuller longer.

Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  1. These buns are extremely sticky since they are to be “soft” rolls.wholewheatrolls2
  2. I was able to make 19 rolls.
  3. Using a spoon instead of a whisk keeps the ingredients mixing rather than stuck inside the whisk.
  4. Make sure the milk is warm to keep the ingredients from separating and activates the yeast.
  5. The dough needs to rise twice allowing for the yeast to be active and create a
    fluffy center.
  6. Be sure not to over knead the dough or the bread will not rise.
  7. The first rest did little to my dough, but the second rest doubled my rolls in size.
  8. Cake flour creates a holier, lighter bread mix.
  9. I cooked my rolls in a muffin tin because the dough was extremely sticky.  Making balls/rolls will still work it will just be a sticky mess.
  10. Adding egg wash to the tops of the rolls give them a nice golden brown color and creates a crunchy top.
  11. You can add wheat germ or a type of nut for crunch and texture on top.
  12. Since you are cooking the rolls in the muffin tin, adjust the timing to keep them from burning.  My rolls were a little browner on the sides than I would have liked.
  13. I suggest making the rolls the night before a dinner or early that morning to allow time for cooking and the dough to rise without rushing around like a crazy person.

The rolls may seem like a hassle, but they are completely manageable.  You can build satisfaction knowing that you conquered making rolls healthy.  They contain nutrient-rich whole wheat flour and less preservatives than store bought rolls.  Add these delicious rolls to a soup or family dinner for that extra UMPH.

Leave a comment with your favorite types of rolls.  Follow my Pinterest for more recipes.  Check back again next Wednesday for more tips and tricks from The Cooking Bug.

Whole-Wheat Honey Bread



Since I was a kid, I have always loved bread; however, breads need to be eaten in moderation.  Making homemade bread can warm your house and provide aromas to your senses.  This whole-wheat honey bread takes me back to the days where my grandparents baked everything from scratch or my mother would take us to the local bakery.  In other countries, making bread is standard.  Rarely do individuals buy pre-processed Wonderbread from a grocery store.

honeywheatbread2After baking, there is nothing better than eating a warm piece of freshly baked bread as a sandwich, side dish or peanut butter lathered snack.  Using whole-wheat flour can increase the health benefits such as dietary fiber leaning towards less weight gain.  If you are like me, insulin resistant, whole-wheat grains can help reverse the cycle along with other necessary precautions.  The high fiber and low glycemic index of whole wheat grains allows for a well balanced diet when reaching for those carbohydrate filled breads.


Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  1. I used regular whole-wheat flour in place of bread flour.  It made the bread denser, but every piece was like the center: gooey and delicious.honeywheatbread
  2. I suggest melting the butter before adding it to the milk.  This allows the milk to keep its temperature and having to take time to mix until the butter melts.
  3. You’ll need a dough hook for this recipe.  Dough hooks keep incorporating the mixture without flour and pieces getting stuck in the center of a whisk.
  4. You can mix the dough with your hands in place of dough hooks.  Be sure to knead it well and flour your hands.
  5. Allowing the dough to rise is important.  It should triple in size by the time it is ready to cook.  Do not rush this process.
  6. Allow the bread to cool before setting it on the cooling rack.  It will harden and keep its form better.
  7. I cut my bread into slices before packing it away.  Allow it to cool so that you don’t smash the bread in the process.

Making bread is a process that takes time.  It needs to rise and rest allowing the gluten structure to become finer and preventing large air holes in the bread.  Also, it provides texture to the bread and permits the yeast to convert more sugars from the flour giving you a nice flavor complexity.  The bread will be delicious along with your satisfaction of making food from scratch.  Scrap all those pesky preservatives and aim for a higher goal.  The bread can last for two weeks in the cupboard or fridge and about one month frozen.  Lather it with nut butter or pumpkin pecan butter for a delicious pairing.  The sweetness of the honey and the nuttiness of the butters create a mouth-watering delicacy.

Leave a comment with your favorite bread recipes.  Follow my Pinterest for more recipes.  Check back again next Wednesday for more tips and tricks from The Cooking Bug.

Almond Biscotti


I decided to try my hand at some biscotti.  Almond biscotti is a great addition to your coffee, glass of tall milk or tea party.  Because of the dry texture, biscotti is usually served with a drink (dunking required!) as a dessert.  These tasty treats are easier than I expected to make.  Their shortbread, crumbly texture and delicious flavors make it a must for an evening, family
get together.

almondbiscottiBiscotti is a twice-baked, oblong-shaped cookie or biscuit made dry and crunchy.  Theprocess relies on cutting the loaf of dough while still hot and fresh from baking in the oven to prevent a pile of crumbs.  It also relies on baking it twice to create that firmer texture.  Biscotti is made in these methods for long storage periods.  There are various forms of biscotti flavors, usually made with almond and nut bases.  Modern biscotti is made with nuts and seeds (almonds, pine nuts and pistachios) and dipped in chocolate.  Today, they are enjoyed in numerous coffeehouses around
the world.

Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  1. You can use almonds in the flour mixture or almond meal (ground almonds).
  2. Toasting the almonds is essential because it gives them a delicious aroma to the biscotti and your house.
  3. I used Truvia, which allows for ½ the amount of regular sugar.  You can use Stevia (1-to-1 ratio) for sugar free treats.
  4. I used an even amount of all purpose flour and wheat flour for a healthier variation.  You can use all wheat flour or gluten free flour in substitute.
  5. Since I used wheat flour, my dough was not as sticky and easy to work with.almondbiscotti2
  6. I suggest chopping the remaining almonds into slivers to pieces, so they stay in the dough mixture.  I kept mine whole, which left me with a pile of almonds that wouldn’t fit in the dough.
  7. Smoothing the top of the biscotti is essential.  You want thin long pieces in
    the end.
  8. Let the biscotti cool just enough to handle, but not enough to harder too much because you’ll want to keep it from breaking when cutting it into pieces.  Your cut pieces should be in the iconic biscotti shape.
  9. Cooking it a second time creates that hard, signature crunch of biscotti.
  10. Once cooked, dip the biscotti in chocolate.  Dark chocolate works well complimenting the sweetness of cooked almonds.
  11. Let them cool at room temperature.  While the chocolate might melt at your fingertips, refrigerating it will make it harder than a rock.  The chocolate should set within an hour.

almondbiscotti3Enjoy a cheese and wine plate for dinner; then, dazzle guests with coffee and homemade biscotti.  Since biscotti lasts for long periods, it is a great gift to send.  Swap the overpriced, manufactured cookies for these delicious treats that will make your house smell glorious.  Surprise the office by bringing these treats in for coffee and meetings.

Leave a comment with your favorite drink to enjoy with biscotti.  Follow my Pinterest for more recipes.  Check back again next Wednesday for more tips and tricks from The Cooking Bug.

Pumpkin Pie Cinnamon Rolls


With fall almost over, I have been on a pumpkin buzz.  These pumpkin pie cinnamon rolls are worth those extra calories.  They are simple, but delicious.  The cinnamon rolls work well on Thanksgiving morning for all of your family and friends or during any festive occasion.  Making pumpkin desserts are my specialty and these rolls do not disappoint.  With all the chaotic Thanksgiving cooking, start off with a delicious meal that will wow guests and still leave time for you to sleep in.

Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  1. We used Pillsbury Cresent Rolls.  You can also use Pillsbury Grands or your own dough
    of choice.pumpkinpiecinnamonrolls3
  2. I used my homemade pumpkin puree.
  3. I used half the amount of butter.  You just need to brush the dough lightly.
  4. I used the dough as one single sheet; however, I suggest separating the cresent rolls and making cinnamon cresents.  The cresent rolls already have perforated edges that cause the filling to leak out and the dough is difficult to cut.
  5. The cinnamon rolls took about 20-25 minutes to bake completely.  Be sure to keep the tops from burning and the centers cooked all the
    way through.
  6. Be sure to cream the cream cheese in the mixer.  It will help soften and incorporate the powdered sugar better.
  7. Add the powdered sugar in gradually to prevent a mess and allow an even mixing.
  8. As you mix the powdered sugar into the cream cheese, you’ll notice that the frosting will become runnier and more of a glaze.
  9. Be sure to frost your cinnamon rolls right away because the frosting will harden if sat
    too long.


These treats are far from healthy, but everything is okay in moderation.  Right?!  They make a great grab-and-go breakfast meal without all the hustle and bustle of taking hours to make.  Using the Pillsbury dough, alleviates all the time spent in perfecting the dough.  The recipe proves that delicious meals can be achieved in under an hour.

The sweetness of the frosting and the savory, cinnamon filling pair nicely together for decadent, sugary treats.  Since the dawn of time, pumpkin and cream cheese have been partners in crime.  The cinnamon rolls are just the hint of sweet needed after dinner or for a boost along with morning coffee.

Leave a comment with your favorite breakfast combinations.  Follow my Pinterest for more recipes.  Check back again next Wednesday for more tips and tricks from The Cooking Bug.

Nutella Scones


Chocolate lovers will indulge in these savory and sweet desserts.  They are rich and delicious hitting the spot for a chocolate craving.  These Nutella scones will be hard to keep your hands off during your morning breakfast run.

Scones come in many forms both sweet and savory.  However, even the sweet scones have a certain savory factor that makes them…scones!  Scones are dry and airy like shortbread.  Keep that idea in mind when chomping into them.  While these scones are stuffed with Nutella, they still can dry out your mouth, so I suggest accompanying them with a glass of milk or coffee.


Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  1. I used heavy cream, but you can substitute with evaporated skim milk if you want to try and cut calories.
  2. Make sure to have the flour mixture in a food processor so that it incorporates evenly.  It can be whisked; but, you would have to add it to a food processor to mix in the butter.  Mixing it by hand would leave the butter stuck to your utensil rather than incorporated.
  3. Creating a hole in the flour to add the egg mixture is essential.  You can then fold the flour mixture over it and begin to incorporate it.
  4. The more you squish the mix, the more it becomes like moon sand and forms a dough.  Just be wary to scrape the sides and bottom so that all the dough is used.
  5. Spread the dough out thin with a roller and then add as much Nutella as you want.  I used about ½ cup.
  6. Keep the Nutella in the center and away from the edges or you’ll end up with it oozing out the sides.nutellascones2
    7. Fold the outside in and then pat down the center.  Roll it once or twice to the desired thickness of about 2 inches.  Don’t over roll it or the Nutella will ooze out and your scones will become a globby mess.
    8. Cut the scones into even pie slices to bake in the oven.
    9. It is okay if you don’t make a circle, just try to cut your scones to resemble pie slices so they cook thoroughly without burning.
    9. Let them cool before you chow down.  The cooling process solidifies the Nutella and allows the scones to become drier like shortbread.
    10. I suggest drizzling the Nutella on the top when you are ready to eat them that way you get a baked Nutella inside and gooey Nutella outside.

Easily make these chocolate breakfast treats to enjoy on the run or for a midnight snack.  Just make sure to have someone to have someone to take in the rest to or you’ll become addicted.  There are thousands of scone recipes from savory to sweet for you to try your hand at.  Mix; bake; enjoy!

Leave a comment with your favorite fudge. Check out my Pinterest for more recipes.  Check back again next Wednesday for more tips and tricks from The Cooking Bug.

Fava Bean Ravioli

favabeanravioli4We are getting downright crazy with this recipe.  It can tend to be a little more work than one might anticipate, so read the entire contents before deciding to attempt this fava bean ravioli.


If you haven’t made your own pasta, then start by reading the link here on how to create your own pasta.  The main idea behind this ravioli is creating the stuffing, which means you can’t make boxed pasta.  Well you could, it just wouldn’t have the stuffing or awesome satisfaction of
pasta making.

Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind:

  1. Fava beans are the beans
    inside edamame.
  2. No only do the beans need to be shelled from their pods, but they need to be shelled again after blanching from the thin layer that holds the bean together.
  3. The shelling process can be tedious and takes time, so make sure to give you plenty of time to complete this dish.
  4. It is important to shell the beans because it makes the dough less grainy and provides a smooth textural aspect to the dish, as would the garbanzo beans for making hummus.
  5. Save as many fava beans as you’d like to accompany the dish, but have enough to create a balanced filling.
  6. The filling ingredients can all be added to a food processor to blend.  Once blended it should easily mold into tiny balls between your hands.
  7. Lay one sheet of dough down placing the filling wide enough to give room for the ravioli. Then, place the second sheet on top to cover the filling.favabeanravioloi2
  8. You need to release all the air from the ravioli so that no water will penetrate the dough.  Start from one side to the other and be sure to smooth the ravioli.
  9. Be sure to pat the filling down slightly which will allow the dough to release more air.
  10. Cut them to shapes and set aside to dry out while you complete the
    ravioli making.
  11. Homemade ravioli will take ½ the time to cook than store bought.  It will change in color and float to the top when cooked through.
  12. Spoon them out carefully and add them to the pan with veggies.

The dish is decadent and filling.  You can make quite a bit of ravioli for large crowds or freeze some for later.  If you want to halve the filling, make half the amount of ravioli and use the rest of the dough for more types of pasta.  Since pasta takes more work to make you mine as well use all the dough while you’re in the process.

Now, you have the satisfaction of a great meal and healthier pasta that you accomplished in making.  Again, check out my pasta blog for tips and tricks.  If you want to skip the filling and pasta making, then substitute cheese ravioli in place and keep to the veggies.  You’ll still have a delicious meal and a majority of the flavors in place.

Leave a message below with your thoughts and ideas about other ravioli fillings.  Follow my Pinterest for more delicious recipes.  Be sure to check back next Wednesday for more tips and tricks from The Cooking Bug.