You haven’t lived until you’ve tried curry bread!
I love the pungent and aromatic flavour of cardamom. Cardamom can of course be purchased at supermarkets but you will find much fresher cardamom at Indian and Asian markets. These smaller markets usually sell both the green and black cardamom pods and also bags of cardamom powder that is made from the ground seeds. For this recipes, you want to look for a small bag of ground green cardamom powder. This will save you time and work.
If you cannot find the powder, purchase the pods, break them open to gather the seeds and then grind them into a fine powder.
I have been baking as long as I can remember. In India baked bread is not seen very often so I developed this recipe from an Italian flat bread recipe I’ve made for years. The addition of the Indian spices makes the bread both interesting and delicious.
This bread is best served with Indian food that can stand up to its strong flavour. A nice rogan josh or jalfrezi would be perfect as is my pumkin soup recipe.
You could also serve the warmed bread as an appetiser with nothing more than an ice cold glass of pinot grigio.
Please note that this recipe takes some forward planning. Letting the starter sponge sit overnight enhances the bread’s flavour because of the longer fermentation process.
For best results, bake the bread on a pizza stone and purchase a spray bottle.
Well I guest I better get on with the recipe as I’m making myself hungry.
Makes 2 loaves
For the sponge
250ml (1 cup) hand hot water – hot but not burning to touch
20g fresh yeast
250ml (1 cup) strong bread flour
For the dough
250ml (1 cup) hand hot water
30g fresh yeast
750ml (3 cups) strong bread flour
1 Tablespoon salt
1 Tablespoon homemade or good quality curry powder
1 Tablespoon cardamom powder
5 cloves garlic – smashed and roughly chopped
1 small onion – finely chopped
1 teaspoon jaggery or soft light brown sugar
3 Tablespoons butter
First make the sponge. Pour the lukewarm water into a bowl and mix the fresh yeast into it.
Add the flour and mix well to combine.
Allow to sit covered for 15 to 24 hours in a warm place.
To make the dough, pour the water into a large bowl and add the yeast. Using a whisk, stir the yeast into the water, add the flour, salt, curry powder, cardamom and sponge mixture.
Gather the dough together and knead for 15 minutes and then set it aside for a further 15 minutes to rest. At this stage, the dough will be quite sticky. This is what we are looking for.
You can add a bit of flour if necessary to knead the dough.
In the meantime, scoop the butter into a pan and melt if over medium heat.
When the butter is melted, add the chopped onion and sugar.
Let the onion sizzle away in the butter for about ten minutes. You do not want to brown the onion. It should be translucent and soft.
After about ten minutes, add the smashed/chopped garlic pieces.
Again, be careful not to brown the garlic. You just want it to be soft and buttery.
Now knead the garlic and onion mixture into the dough for about five minutes.
Place the dough ball into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a wet cloth.
Let the dough rise in a warm place for about 2 hours or until it has approximately doubled in volume.
After two hours, break the dough into two separate loaves that are flattened the loaves until they are 1 1/2 inches thick. Let them rise, covered for a further hour.
Heat your oven to 225c (450f). and place a baking stone or baking tray on a rack in the middle.
Carefully slide the loaves into the oven and lightly spray the sides of the oven as well as the tops of the loaves with water.
The spray will help make the crust nice an crunchy.
Close the oven and bake for about 20 minutes. The loaves are ready when they are light and sound a bit hallow when you tap the bottom with your finger and the crust is nicely browned.
Eat immediately or transfer to a cooling tray to cool.