Happy Yog Day!
Today’s guest baker is Archana Chowdhary, a regular baker who has mastered breads and cakes. Her daughter is also a keen baker and so are her helpers, Kuldeep and Madan bhaiya. All of us go gaga when we see their lovely healthy bakes!
Read her wonderful baking journey, in her own words, and do try her healthy recipe, much befitting the International Yog Day!
My baking journey started in 2014 during floods in Kashmir (where my husband is posted), when we could not buy basic items like breads. That is when I started experimenting with baking all by myself.
Before 2014, we were used to healthy breads which I would procure from different bakeries during my stay in London, and later in Delhi. The environment of these bakeries, aromas of breads and other fresh bakes would would inspire me even more to bake. So naturally, I was very keen to learn this skill.
I had been trying different bread recipes for sometime. Initially I used to add extra gluten and bread enhancer in my breads to make them softer. But I was not happy with this process.
Sometime later, one of my dear friends in Delhi introduced me to Renu ji and so I became part of this wonderful group of baker friends. I found their bread recipes to be very simple and extremely healthy. I tried them and the results were great! Since then I haven’t bought any type of breads, cakes and cookies. I simply haven’t looked back after trying these recipes. With very few ingredients you can indeed bake healthy breads — that’s what she taught us.
Here are some of my “regular” breads which I bake 3 or 4 times a week.
I try to make all my breads healthier day-by-day by making little changes and adding healthier ingredients, like seeds, herbs, turmeric, sweet potatoes, pumpkins etc. During these hard times of the pandemic. I also try to help my other friends and helpers with my baking . And I enjoy every moment of it — it’s like a meditation for me . I try to bake as often and as many times as I can!
My daughter has been fond of baking since childhood. She used to bake cupcakes and cookies since she was 12-13 yrs. old. Now she bakes her own breads and bagels, cakes and cookies, etc. Today, she is 26, a textile designer, happily married, and hardly ever buys baked goods from the market.
Below, I share me recipe for a Wholewheat Banana and Walnut Cake. I use a Bajaj oven –Hamara Bajaj!! — and angel yeast as discussed in our group.
- Whole wheat flour + refined flour- 1.5 cups
- Baking Powder – 1 tsp
- Baking soda – 1 tsp
- Caster sugar – 3/4 cup
- Ripened Banana- 2
- Oil – 1/2 cup
- Chopped walnuts – 1/2 cup
- Chopped raisin – 1/2 cup
- Cardamom powder – 1 tsp
- Cinnamon powder – 1tsp
- Preheat oven at 180 degrees Celsius for 10 minutes
- Mix the dry ingredients ( flour, baking powder, baking soda, cardamom powder and cinnamon powder)
- Mix the puréed ripe banana, oil and sugar in a mixing bowl.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet and adjust batter consistency by adding milk.
- Mix chopped raisins and half of chopped walnuts into the batter.
- Pour the batter into greased/lined baking dish and sprinkle leftover chopped walnuts.
- Bake for 40 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius
I hope you will try this recipe — it is a favorite of mine. A huge thanks to our entire baking group — all of you have been extremely supportive and encouraging. I sincerely pray and hope for your good health.
Thank you so much Archana, for sharing your story, and the recipe! That cake looks delicious! Readers, please share your feedback in the comments, and don’t forget to try the recipe!