DSSC’s Love For Breads: This Is What We Did With The Best Breads In Delhi

When it comes to suppers, we believe in staying ahead of the game. So, as the soup & bread evenings beckon us, we decided to get our hands on some top of the pops artisan breads in the city and bring out the Masterchef in us. We ended up with five recipes that will stay with us for all times to come!

Here’s our trail of  #DSSCFave breads across Delhi & our experiments with those.

French Peasant

Taking a post dinner stroll in the lanes of Khan Market, ruing the not-so-appetising sandwich we just ate, we chanced upon Artful Baker nestled quietly up a few stairs. Stopped, looked at each other, looked at the café, and the slight frowns were turned upside down. Halting right outside this artisan bakery was an instant answer to our prayers- we could do-over our taste buds’ experience by whipping up a mean sammich ourselves! While their macarons and mille feuille were hard to look away from, we focussed on the task of the night and placed our bets on their loaf of French Peasant – a countryside bread, with a crispy crust & kernels of cracked wheat lending it a distinct nutty flavour. Playing with this dough for the first time, we chose a rather innovative recipe to prep it with, as for the results, let’s just say we’ve had three repeats already!

Prep time: 25 minutes

Caters to: Two gobblers

Raid your larder for:

For the sandwich

½ red, green, and yellow bell peppers each

1 onion

1 small eggplant

50 grams yellow squash

40 grams leek

50 grams zucchini

50 grams broccoli, cut into florets

Salt & pepper to taste

2 to 3 tbsp oil

Few Lettuce leaves

3 to 4 slices of brie

For the spread (made by mixing all ingredients together)

2 tbsp plum chutney

3 tbsp cream cheese

Tabasco, salt, and pepper to taste

For the marinade (made by mixing all ingredients together)

1 tsp red chilli flakes

1 sage leaf

2 basil leaves

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

2 tbsp olive oil

A small bunch of rosemary, chopped

Cook away:

1. Take the bell peppers, eggplant, squash, and zucchini and grill each on both sides

2. Add all the herbs and olive oil to these vegetables

3. Now put these in the marinade and let it stay for 10 minutes

4. Grill two slices of French Peasant

5. Spread the mix on the slices and top it with lettuce leaves

6. Now add the vegetables on top of the lettuce

7. Add 2 to three slices of brie

8. Serve cold or heat ’n’ eat, as desired, and ad a side of chips!

Find them at: The Artful Baker, Shop 13-B, Khan Market, New Delhi.

Ciabatta

With our French Peasant success triggering off a hunt for delectable breads to experiment with, we landed at Di Ghent. The café never disappoints, it’s almost a sin to go to this quaint cafe and not have their waffles, they taste as delicious as they look. And it’s not just the waffle game that they’ve aced-we never forget to pair it with their super coffee. Their authentic tastes will transport you to your own mini-Belgium! As these treats were cleared off our table, we decided to go home with their Ciabatta and see how we can turn the ‘slipper’ bread into Cinderella’s glass sandals (Ciabatta means slipper in Italian, owing this name to its flat and oval shape). The bread has a crusty exterior, covering a light and porous interior-this reminded us of a fluffy pizza crust, and you guessed it- pizza ciabatta it was!

Prep time: 20 minutes

Caters to: Four gobblers

Raid your larder for:

4 large garlic cloves, crushed

350 grams tomato puree

4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

1 tsp oregano flakes

1 tsp kosher salt

2 tsp sugar

450 grams mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced & drained

2 cups rocket leaves (or any other greens tot waste)

4 ciabatta rolls

Cook away:

1. Cut the bread horizontally into two halves

2. Put the olive oil and garlic in a small saucepan

3. Stir for about 1 minute, till the garlic turns a golden colour

4. Turn off the stove and add tomato puree. Stir the three together

5. Add the sugar, oregano, 1 tsp kosher salt and mix

6. Turn on the stove and cook until the mix starts to bubble (2 to 3 minutes)

7. Take the pan off the stove and let it cool

8. Now spread 1 tsp of this paste on the inside of both halves of the bread

9. Line both halves with equal amounts of cheese

10. Drizzle some olive oil, garnish with salt to taste

11. Top it with rocket leaves (or any other greens)

12. Join the two halves together firmly and serve

The taste of a pizza and the goodness of a sandwich-the awesomeness doesn’t end there. If your gang’s showing up the next day or you just know you’re going to feel lazy, make these a day in advance & refrigerate-they stay as good as new!

Find them at: Di Ghent Café, 208, Level 2, Cross Point Mall, DLF Phase 4, Gurgaon.

Focaccia

After a day full of meetings making us dart across the city, we needed some comfort sweets. And who better than Defence Bakery to cure the obsession. Serving some super cakes, bakes & savoury bites since decades, they find a fan in all true blue Delhites. Demolishing their Chocolate Fudge cake unabashedly, we were fixed on their Focaccia for our next bread session. The Italian bread is topped with herbs, cheese, and vegetables, with a chewy crust to wrap it all in. Picking up our date for the night, off we went, but not before digging into their Phily Cheesecake (guilt? What is that?). With all the work making us want to let loose, we chose to do away with planning and make a sammie as we go along!

Prep time: 20 minutes

Caters to: Six gobblers

Raid your larder for:

For the sun-dried tomato spread

8 sun-dried tomatoes

230 grams cream cheese, softened

2 tbsp basil leaves (chopped fresh or dried, as per preference)

2 tbsp sour cream

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1/4 tsp garlic powder

For the sandwich

1 focaccia bread loaf (12 inches in diameter)

250 grams mozzarella cheese

12 slices of tomatoes

30 thin strips of roast chicken (optional)

Red onion rings (optional)

Cook away:

For the sun-dried tomato spread

1. Boil water in a small bowl

2. Once boiling, turn off the stove and add the sun-dried tomatoes to it

3. Let it sit for 30 minutes and drain after that

4. Chop the tomatoes finely

5. In a separate bowl, mix the remaining ingredients for the spread

6. Stir in the chopped tomatoes to this mix

7. Refrigerate for 1 hour

For the sandwich

1. Now cut the focaccia into half

2. Spread the tomato paste on the insides of the halves

3. Add the cheese and tomato slices (if making with chicken, add the strips at this stage)

4. Top with onion rings and fresh basil to taste

5. Press the two bread pieces together

6. Serve with a tall glass of cold coffee to go with the tangy palate.

Find them at: Defence Bakery, 34, Defence Colony Market, Defence Colony, New Delhi.

Sourdough

We’re talking artisan, but artisan and homemade-now that’s called levelling up! Our Masterchef streak had us knocking at Red Moon Bakery’s door. Tucked away in Okhla, the kitchen is run by the very much in love Anna & David. They love to bake a storm for the capital, in their words. With their Bagel Dogs and Apple Crumble Pie sitting happily in our tummies, we concede we’d love to be caught in the eye of this storm at any given time! After much deliberation we opted for their Sourdough, the golden hued bread with a thick & blistered crust; letting our inner chef take over with some eggy goodness playing on our minds.

Prep time: 25 minutes

Caters to: Four gobblers

Raid your larder for:

8 slices of sourdough

2 tbsp spring onions, finely chopped

2 tbsp parsley, chopped

4 tbsp mayonnaise, more to taste

6 medium sized eggs

Salt & pepper to taste

2 cups of ice cubes

1/2 tsp sweet paprika

1 tbsp lemon juice

1/4 iceberg lettuce, shredded

1-2 tbsp mustard sauce (optional)

1 Sliced tomato (optional)

Cook away:

1. Place eggs in a big saucepan, so they all fit in a single layer

2. Cover these in cold water and bring to a boil on medium heat

3. Cook the eggs for 5 minutes, the yolk should stay slightly soft

4. Move the eggs to a new bowl and run cold water over these

5. While pouring the cold water, smash the eggshells with a spoon gently

6. Add two cups of ice cubes and water to cover the eggs completely

7. Peel the eggs and rinse under running water

8. Put the peeled eggs back into the ice water until chilled

9. Now transfer the eggs to a dry bowl

10. Mix the mayonnaise, salt, pepper, lemon juice, spring onions, parsley, paprika, and mustard

11. Chop the eggs and add to this mixture

12. Gently fold all the ingredients together

13. Place the salad on four slices, and top it with tomatoes

14. Press the remaining four slices on top of these and serve

15. It’s best served cold, add some toasted walnuts to pack a punch.

Find them at: Red Moon Bakery, W-41, Okhla Industrial Area, Phase 2, New Delhi & 011-40534797.

Pumpernickel

If it’s all things breads & bakery, we can’t leave behind the French experience. L’opera recreates the French café experience right in the heart of Delhi. Picking a favourite is hard, but we might just order their verrines when choosing our last meal on this planet. Having devoured their Lemon Tart and Macchiato, the day dreaming culminated and we come back from Paris to Delhi. Their skill extends beyond the culinary treats of France, and with the motto exploration fuelling us, we went beyond the French and Italian breads and put our trust in the German Pumpernickel. It was going to be our last bread innovation for the week, which meant going crazy with the creation-thus leading to the rye bread being topped seasonal radishes!

Prep time: 20 minutes

Caters to: Eight gobblers

Raid your larder for:

8 slices of pumpernickel

1/8 tsp salt

230 grams neufchâtel cheese or cream cheese

1 tbsp chives, chopped

1 1/2 tbsp dill, chopped

Pepper to taste

1 bunch of radishes

Cook away:

1. Cut the radishes into thin, circular slices

2. Whisk the cheese until it’s light and smooth (take out of the refrigerator 30 min before beginning)

3. Add dill, chives, salt, and pepper and mix until just combined

4. Remove the crust from bread slices and cut it into small squares (the size of tea sandwiches)

5. Spread the layer of the mixture on the slices and top it with the sliced radish

6. Serve as an open sandwich

7. These are best had with a hot cuppa tea.

Find them at: L’opera, 5-B, Khan Market, New Delhi. (See other locations).

Stevie’s tip: Whip up a self-made mayonnaise quick ‘n’ easy, just follow these steps,

Prep time: 5 minutes

Caters to: 5 gobblers

Raid your larder for:

1 medium sized egg

2 tbsp vinegar

½ tsp sugar

½ tsp salt

½ tsp mustard powder or mustard oil

1 cup oil (extra virgin olive/canola/sunflower)

¼ tsp black pepper, powdered

Cook away:

1. Take a bowl and break the egg in it

2. Add in all the remaining ingredients and mix

3. Whisk together till the mixture has a thick consistency

4. Add 1 tbsp of oil and beat to make it thicker

5. Continue this process till the cup of oil is used

Now that we’ve introduced you to a non-boring side of breads, we’ll accepting thanks in the form of indulgent bread breakthroughs.

Featured Image Courtesy: blog.bettys.co.uk