Pune Bakery

Gingerbread loaf with apple sauce

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During the dreary days of monsoon one feels like tucking into hearty and warming food. And there is nothing like adrak to heat up ones waterlogged and flagging spirits . Put small chunks of ginger in chai and boil away till the tannins from the tea leaves make the spoon stand upright in the cup .

And then cut yourself a thick slice of this delicious moist bread made with Soonth ( ginger powder ) and Kakvi ( sugar cane treacle ).


225 gms of chopped tart, greenish apples/ About 2 apples

1 tbs water

2 tbs ground sugar


85 gms butter

60 gms light brown sugar

2 tbs Kakvi.(sugar cane treacle)

1 egg


225 gms maida ( white flour)

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp dalchini (cinnamon powder)

1 tsp soonth ( dried ginger powder)


Heat your OTG or oven till 180 degrees.

  1. Cover and boil the apples with the sugar and water till soft. Mash well and set aside till cool .
  2.  Melt the butter with the Kakvii and brown sugar. Cool a little and add the egg and whisk till mixed.
  3. Add the cooled apple mash and stir.
  4.  Mix all the dry ingredients, the flour, baking powder, ginger and cinnamon.
  5. Mix the dry ingredients into the butter and apple mixture. Stir till smooth.
  6. Spoon into greased loaf /tube tin. 7. Cook in 180 degree oven for 40-45 minutes. Check by inserting a fork into the loaf. it should come out clean. Remove and cool in the tin for a few minutes before turning out.
  7. You can sift some caster sugar on top or make a ginger icing sugar to prettify the bread. I just like to eat it plain.
  8. Certainly brightens up a rainy day!!

The Flour Works- or does it ?

 After finding a new restaurant that we intended to check out today closed, a friend and I ambled along to Kalyani Nagar to look at a much reviewed place The Flour Works.

Since there were no signs to help us find it, and without an address, we drove up and down several tree lined lanes finally stumbling upon it close to the Joggers park. With a large red and gold signboard it looked, from the outside, like a chinese noodle factory.

Inside was cool and inviting with a high ceiling, if a bit messy in style.In fact it had no style at all. Strange white lace patterned curtains with tie backs. A forest of different wood tones. Teak chairs, dark wood panelling and  pine tables. The decor was, in short, indifferent. The tables were set with maroon runners and the glassware was grubby.

It took some time for a waiter to present himself at our table . The menu seemed to consist of mostly breakfast and brunch items, eggs, porridge, waffles and sandwiches. Since it was lunchtime we thought we would take the waiters suggestion and order  from the Mains .


We ordered a cooling drink each as it was a hot day. Mine was a watermelon, mint and cranberry juice attractively named Frosted and my friend chose another, equally delightfully named,Snow Lemonade.

Fifteen minutes later the lemonade arrived and after an interval of another five minutes the watermelon juice was presented.I liked the waternelon juice which was cool and fresh, with the cranberry giving it a bit of a tang.

We then waited a further 25 minutes for our main course to turn up.

First came the chicken and bean chili topped with grated cheese accompanied by slices of garlic bread. After a break of another ten minutes came the pan fried Basa with a lemon caper sauce along with a cauliflower puree and green beans.


Neither was plated very appetisingly. The fish was underdone and not very fresh though the sauce was piquant. The beans were raw and too mature and woody.The one saving grace was the cauliflower puree which was fluffy and flavourful. 


The chicken bean chili was tasty and hot though nothing special.

Quantities were painfully small. This main course is meant to be fattened with a salad, an appetizer and a dessert. Do NOT expect to share it amongst two people.

The service was tired and unenthusiastic and we seemed to be eating in relay, first one then the next.

All said and done a disappointing meal and overpriced too...a cold drink and a main course came to Rs 1100 for two people.

Perhaps The Flour Works would be more rewarding to those who stick to its breakfast and sandwich menu ?



Hot Cross Buns


Many of the customs associated with Easter have passed into common secular usage. For example decorating Easter eggs is popular amongst all children and the Easter Bunny has hopped across all religious divides.

So it is with Hot Cross buns, traditionally sold and eaten on Good Friday. The cross on the top is symbolic of the Crucifixion, the third day after which Christ is said to have risen.Making the sign of the Cross on all baked goods , not just for Easter was a superstitious practice ( to prevent spoiling) from early times in the west as this ditty reveals:

“Good Friday comes this month—the old woman runs
With one or two a-penny hot cross buns,
Whose virtue is, if you believe what’s said,
They’ll not grow mouldy like the common bread.”

The cross is marked out with bits of pastry or sugar or glaze.Strangely enough local bakers do not produce hot cross buns and so I am forced to make them at home.

The problem is what to do with a whole batch of them when there aren't too many people at home to eat them??

I could, of course, share them with my neighbours, as eating them together is supposed to engender friendship,  especially if the following words are repeated :

"Half for you and half for me, Between us two shall goodwill be"

Let me assure you goodwill is required in my immediate vicinity.

After a couple of members in our society have decided to build themselves sheds for their cars on common land, without so much as a by your leave, we are left with a fait ( or should I say Fate) accompli. It is my fate to look at the ugly structures plastered around .

These people, much like a large percentage of the populace, seem to think laws and rules do not apply to them and are only made for others. This lot , like other crooks and corrupt people in India, have built their structures and are waiting to see what the rest of their neighbours will do. They depend, quite correctly , on the great tolerance ( or is it laziness) of the average Indian, to allow them to continue enjoying a privilege they have no right to nor have paid for.

This is a cause of great heartburn. But several publications on health warn me, such feelings only hurt the sufferer."Anger burns you up". "Forgive  or cancer will get you."

I am trying. Maybe I will share the hot cross buns I have made with all and sundry !? It would be helpful if my neighbours understood the meaning as well ...Hmmmm.

I don't think the Easter  Bunny has crossed over to their side though.Or if they met the dear thing they would probably make it into rabbit stew.


3 cups white flour

1 cup milk

2 tbsp butter

3/4 tsp salt

1/4 cup sugar

17 gms fresh compressed  yeast or 1 pkt dried instant yeast

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1 tbsp raisins

2 tbsp chopped candied orange peel

1 egg.

Heat up the milk and add butter, sugar, cinnamon ,candied peel and raisins. Mix well to dissolve the sugar. When it has become lukewarm add the yeast and mix till incorporated. Now mix a beaten egg into the liquid .Add 2 cups of the flour and mix well. Add the rest of the flour a quater cup at a time till the dough forms a ball. Knead well.

Place in an oiled bowl , smear a bit of oil on top of the dough and leave covered in a warm place to ri

After an hour or when double in size punch down and knead for a minute. Divide into 16 bits and roll into rounds. Place on a greased baking sheet  Using a knife cut across. Let the buns stand to rise covered for another hour or till doubvle in size. .Brush with milk and sprinkle some sugar on the top.

Bake at 200 degrees C for 20 minutes. Remove and cool.