Caramelized Carrot Swirl Bread

November and December had me in a bread making frenzy mostly because I wanted to try out my new oven so that I can get used to having my bread baked instead of steamed. You can read more about my bread steaming adventures here here and here.  I tried almost every filling that I could get my hands on. Be prepared to see more posts like this in the coming weeks. I have been trying to dry carrots so that I can get a carrot version of coconut flakes. I am far from a real breakthrough but while at it I stumbled upon this accident of where caramelized grated carrots make a delicious filling for bread, sandwiches, cookies and even cake! And not to mention the vibrant color it gives off! This swirl bread will be a crowd pleaser! Trust me.

What you will need:

Bread Dough

3 C. Flour

4 Tbsp. Sugar

1/2 Tsp. Salt

2 Tbsp. Yeast

2 C. Milk, warm

1/4 C. Oil

A handful of raisins

Carrot Filling

3 C. Carrots, grated

2 C. Water

1 Lemon

1 C. Sugar

1 Tsp. Allspice

1 Tsp. Lemon zest

1 Tbsp. Margarine

1/2 Tsp Vanilla extract

 

Observations:

  1. Because the margarine I used is salted, you do not need to add a pinch of salt to your carrot filling. If you are using unsalted margarine, add a pinch of salt to your carrot filling.
  2. Carrots when let out in the open tend to change color (oxidize). Cut the lemon in half and use one half to sprinkle them as you grate.
  3.  This recipe is vegan friendly since you can substitute dairy milk for either coconut milk or any plant-based milk.
  4. It is advisable to make the carrot filling the day before.
  5. Remember you will not need to use all the two cups of milk so pour it in the flour gradually to avoid the dough from becoming too soggy.

Method

Bread dough

  1. Combine all the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, salt, yeast raisins) in a large bowl. In a separate small bowl, add the milk and oil and mix well.
  2. Slowly pour the milk oil mixture in the bowl of dry ingredients while mixing gradually.
  3. Mix till a dough is formed. Cover the dough with a damp towel and set aside to rise for 1 hour

Carrot Filling

  1. While the dough is rising, place a clean pan on high fire. Add the 2 cups of water and sugar into the pan. Stir well until all the sugar has dissolved.
  2. Add the grated carrot, juice of the other lemon half, lemon zest, allspice, vanilla and margarine and stir well
  3. Let the carrot mixture come to a boil. After it boils for about 5 minutes, reduce the fire to low. Cover the pan and let the carrot simmer over low heat until all the water has reduced.
  4. When the carrot is translucent and the water has reduced down to a syrup (this may take up to an hour), remove from fire and set aside to cool.

Swirl Bread

  1. When the dough has risen, punch it down and gently knead it till it is smooth and non sticky.
  2. Sprinkle enough flour on a flat surface and spread the dough out. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough till it is about half an inch in thickness.
  3. Get the cooled caramelized carrot filling and add spread it on the dough evenly.
  4. Roll the dough into a large log making sure the filling does not spill out.
  5. Slightly flatten the log with your hands and then cut it in half lengthwise.
  6. Grease your baking sheet/paper. Gently roll one half of the dough into a swirl going outwards. Add the other half of the dough and continue rolling until you have a large swirl bread. Let the bread rise for another 15 minutes.
  7. While the bread is rising, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F
  8. Bake your bread (after 15 minutes of rising) for 45 minutes
  9. Remove the bread from the oven and serve hot with a cup of tea/ milk/ coffee

Share your creations using the #AkitchenInUg on social media!

Loaded Bean and Dodo (Amaranth) Salad

Starting this blog, I was young and naive. All I knew is that I wanted to cook exciting, interesting and delicious food. Years later,  I now understand the value of food, using local produce,  using fresh produce and being creative.  This salad was conceived after binge watching the amazing Fat Salt Acid Heat docu-series. I was blown away by the beauty of how the most basic of ingredients yield some of the best flavors.  When you think of beans and dodo and potatoes individually, a salad rarely comes to your mind.  But when the same ingredients are transformed through different techniques, what you get is a beautiful vibrant salad that is so satisfying and complex in flavors.  This is one of the main reasons I keep slaving away in the kitchen like a mad woman because the ecstasy of discovering something else a common produce can be is unmatched! I had a hard time naming this salad because it has dodo,  masala potatoes, sweet and charred carrots,  beans, green onions for a spicy kick, pumpkin seeds for a crunch and a sprinkle of cheese to marry all the flavors together. This would have made a really long title. Ha!
What you will need: 
1 C. Beans, boiled and drained
1C. Potatoes, cut into wedges
1 C. Carrots, julienned
A handful of dodo(amaranth greens), steamed
1/4 C. Green onions, chopped
1/4 C. Nuts
1/4 C. Cheese, grated (optional)
Juice from half an orange
1 Tsp. Soy sauce
1 Tsp. Ground cumin
1 Tsp. curry powder
1/2 Tsp. chili flakes
Black pepper
Salt
Observations: 
  1. Using cheese is optional.
  2. Use salt carefully keeping in mind that all the individual salted components will be combined. With that said, I salted only the potatoes. Then sprinkled salt on the finished salad.
  3. You can use any type of beans. I used red beans.
  4. You can use any nuts available to you.
  5. I recommend a non-stick pan to avoid burning
Method:
  1. Place a pan on fire, Wait for it to get hot. Add about a teaspoon of oil.
  2. Add the potato wedges. Shallow fry the wedges till half way cooked. Make sure you keep stirring to avoid burning.
  3. After they reach the half-way cooked point, add the salt, cumin, curry powder and black pepper and mix well. Let them cook till tender.
  4. Remove the potatoes from fire and set aside.
  5. Using the same pan, add a half teaspoon of oil.
  6. Add the carrots to the oil. Add the juice of half an orange.
  7. Let the carrots  shallow fry till the orange juice has reduced to a thick sauce and the carrots start to slightly char.
  8. Remove the carrots from the pan and set aside.
  9. Using the same pan still, add half a teaspoon of oil and saute the green onions.
  10. Add the soy sauce, and chili flakes to the frying onions.
  11. Fry the onions till they turn a bright green but still have a crunch.
  12. Remove the onions from fire
To assemble the salad
Layer the salad by starting with the boiled beans. Next add the potatoes. Next add the steamed dodo. Add the caramelized carrots on top. Next add the onions. Sprinkle your nuts/seeds on top. Finish off with grated cheese.
Serve with a glass of wine or iced tea.
Share you creations using #AkitchenInUg