Thursday, June 12, 2014

Eggless Mexican Sweet Rolls / Conchas - a Baking Eggless Challenge

Last year, in a spurt of motivation, I joined the Baking Eggless group, spearheaded by the wonderfully talented Gayathri of Gayathri's Cookspot.
Each month, the members selected a challenging recipe, tried the recipes out in their kitchen by replacing the eggs and then posting it on their blogs at the end of the month. It was amazing to see the innovative ways in which each member replaced the eggs and to see how creative they all got.
I got to learn quite a few new recipes and my family was able to enjoy delicious goodies !
Then, I started work after a gap of three years and all bets were off. My routines went helter-skelter, I was hip deep in trying to keep the household as calm as possible, while getting everything done at the same time. As a result, I wasn't able to participate in the baking challenge for a few months. Every month I would see the inspired creations of so many and would feel a little regret, some disappointment. I didn't want to let go in the face of hectic work schedules. So when Gayathri announced the May challenge, I had made up my mind to try the recipe, come what may.
Try I did, although it took me a while to do so and get it posted ! I will admit that its not my best effort and although I am creatively challenged, I could still do better, but on the other hand I am glad that at least I tried !
Onto the recipe  ! This month's challenge was the Mexican Conchas or shell bread.
I decided to make a quarter of the recipe provided and struggled a little to get the measurements right. The original recipe had the ingredients listed by weight, which incidentally is the best way to ensure that your baked goods come out perfect. But, having learnt to bake in the US, I am more used to cups and tablespoons ! Anyhow, I did the math and adjusted a little here and approximated a tough there.
The original recipe can be found here - Wild Yeast

For Sponge :
1/8 C all purpose flour
1/2 tsp instant yeast
1 T warm water
1 tsp egg replacer powder

For Final Dough:
1/2 - 1 C all purpose flour
3 T granulated sugar
a pinch of salt
1 T softened butter
1/4 C yogurt
2 T water
1 tsp instant yeast
the sponge

For topping:
2 T all purpose flour
2 T sugar
3 T soft butter
flavorings and colors of choice.
(I used a combination of cocoa powder and cinnamon)

1. Mix all the ingredients for the sponge in a medium bowl.
2. Keep in a warm place for about an hour.
3. Then mix in all the remaining ingredients, except for 1 T of sugar.
4. Knead well. My sponge was thinner in consistency, as a result I needed to add slightly more flour to get the correct consistency for the final dough. If you do need to add more flour, add in small increments, until you get a dough that is slightly sticky and soft.
5. Cover and let rise for about 30 minutes and then refrigerate for 8 - 16 hours.
6. Since I made this during the week and had to go to work the next day, my dough sat in the refrigerator for more than 16 hours.
7. When you are ready to bake the bread, prepare the topping first. Mix all the ingredients for the topping. If you plan to have multiple colors, then divide the dough and then mix in the colors and flavors. Knead lightly.
8. Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Deflate slightly and divide into 4 portions.
9. Roll each piece on the countertop using your palm to form balls.
10. Pinch off a small ball of the topping dough. Flatten it on your hand and cover the dough ball. Flatten it slightly with your hand.
11. Score the top of the topping with a sharp knife, creating designs of your choice.
12. The topping might crack and separate during proofing or baking.
13. Place the bread dough balls on a greased cookie sheet or a baking sheet and let rise in a warm place for about 2.5 to 3 hours.
14. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
15. Bake the breads for about 20 minutes
16. The topping should feel set and the bread should be slightly browned. Cool on a rack and enjoy !

The butter and cinnamon topping gave off a very enticing fragrance while still in the oven.
Taste wise, when eaten while warm, the bread was slightkly sweet and slightly chewy, with the buttery sweet topping a nice contrast.
I am not sure why, but my topping broke and seperated quite a lot when the bread was proofing and baking. Either the consistency was not correct
or I got the thickness incorrect. {sigh} But, again..I realize that I need to put in more time and effort to plan out and execute the recipe, which I month !

No comments:

Post a Comment

Share your thoughts!