When I first moved to Noida some twenty years back, I was introduced to these beautiful soft and spongy kulchas. They were practically sold at every shop selling bread. These were quite handy for quick breakfast or snacks. I loved making paneer sandwich with them. Ideal for tiffin too.
Never ever thought of making them at home.
But this lockdown made me try these also at home.
Instead of maida I have used wholewheat flour or atta. To make them as soft and spongy as market bought ones, I have incorporated both tangzhong and autolyse processes.
I have included a short video for tangzhong.
Flour 15 gms
Water 75 gms(1/3cup)
Instant Yeast 1 tsp
Raw sugar 1 tsp
Salt 1 tsp
Oil 1 tbsp
Milk + Water 170-180 ml
Mix flour and water to get lump free homogeneous solution.
Keep it on medium low heat and cook it stirring continuously till it thickens and the dough starts leaving the sides.
Remove in a glass bowl.
Cover with cling film so as to avoid skin formation.
Mix cooled roux and flour. Add milk + water slowly till you get soft dough. You may not need all the quantity of liquid mentioned
Mix well so that no dry flour is left.
Cover and leave it for one to two hours. This process of leaving the dough to rest before kneading is called autolyse.
Now sprinkle yeast and sugar.
Mix well so that yeast spreads evenly through the dough.
Turn the dough over sanitized counter top.
Sprinkle salt all over the dough and start kneading.
If you find the dough is tight add one tbsp water at a time and continue keading.
The dough should feel very sticky.
Knead using the heel of your palms.
Push the dough outward , then fold it back, rotate it a little and push again.
Incorporate the oil slowly while kneading.
Knead for good 12-15 minutes.
Slowly you will see that the dough has turned smooth and is not sticking to your hands.
Take a small piece of dough and stretch it between your fingers.
If you are able to stretch it to a thin sheath without breaking, then the dough is ready, else knead for a couple of more minutes.
This is called the window pane test.
Now grease a bowl or container.
I prefer a flat bottom and straight sides pan or container.
Transfer the dough in the container, turn it over so that it's covered with oil.
Cover the container with a lid or plastic wrap.
Mark the container with a marker.
This will help you know when the dough has doubled.
It will take anywhere between an hour to two to double in size depending on the temperature of your kitchen.
Tip it on a lightly dusted counter top.
Punch it lightly to remove all the gas.
Divide it into 4-5 portions.
Cover and let them rest for 10 minutes.
Take one piece of dough at a time.
Pull the ends towards the centre to make a ball.
Cup it in your palm and roll it over the counter to get a smooth ball.
Now with oiled fingers pat it into a small disk.
Place it on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
Repeat the process with rest of the pieces of dough.
Press chopped coriander on the discs.
Cover with a moist cloth and leave them till they double in size.
Anywhere between 20-30 minutes.
Meanwhile preheat your oven at 190 degrees.
Brush the kulchas with oil and bake them for 14-18 minutes , till they turn golden.
Remove them on a wire rack and brush again with oil or butter.
Serve them warm.
You could also toast them lightly on a tawa before serving.
These were very soft even the next day because of tangzhong method that we have used.