Anyone who has grown up in Hyderabad will swear that a good tea party is incomplete unless served with Chand Biscuit, Osmania Biscuit, Fruit Biscuit and Dilkhush. Treats that can be found in any traditional Hyderabadi Bakery, my favorite neighborhood bakery growing up was ‘King and Cardinal’ in Himayatnagar. You cannot really call yourself a true bred Hyderabadi if you haven’t spent your college days hanging out in one of these bakeries or an Irani Cafe with friends relishing a baked good over class notes.
Dilkhush means ‘happy heart’. A piece of this with a cup of tea makes my heart very happy. It’s a round spongy sweet bun stuffed with sweet fillings. Traditionally its stuffed with ‘Tutty Fruity’ or cake left overs, some even add coconut to it. Since I am very particular about ingredients, I use dry fruits as the stuffing and avoid the coconut. You can use ingredients that you like eating. This can be stored for 4-5 days in a air tight container, but who are we kidding we will be lucky to not have a fight over the last bite on the first night itself.
Bread making is actually very simple if you can remember 1 key rule: ‘Less is More’. There are some breads which require complicated steps where we need to manipulate the gluten and starch in the flour to get a specific structure. This is NOT one of them. For this recipe, we don’t need worry about all of those. All you need to make sure of is:
- All ingredients of the dough are fully incorporated
- Its a good practice to first mix the dry ingredients before adding in the wet ingredients
- Be patient! give the dough time to rise (ferment) and proof (resting after assembly)
- Brush the top with egg white to get the beautiful golden color
- Score (make small cuts) on the dough before placing it in the oven, this allows for the steam to escape.
- Most importantly, if your making bread for the first time, just follow the recipe to the T for the dough.
Technically using a scale to measure each ingredient is recommended. But I have a tiny kitchen and tinier work surface and no place for a scale. So here’s what I do.
- Store my ingredients in jars with wide mouth
- If I need 1 cup, I fill my measuring cup with flour so that its loosely packed, use 1 finger or butter knife and run it over the rim of the cup to remove any excess flour.
- DO NOT press in the flour to pack it in the 1 cup, that will result in more flour than you need.
This recipe calls for using Yeast. Some like to test yeast before using, however if its not expired your good to go. I prefer using Active Dry Yeast for bread making. If your not a everyday baker, then buy the individual sachets of yeast instead of a jar. Another thing a lot of recipes talk about is using warm water to activate the yeast, this is not necessary if your living in warmer places. It’s safer to just use regular tap water at room tempreture, because if your water is too warm, that will kills the yeast.
Time for Prep: 20 mins Time to bake: 20mins Yield: 6 Servings Level: Medium
Time for First Rise: 2 hours Time for Proofing: 40 min Total Time: 3 hour 20 mins
- For the Dough:
- 2 cups flour
- 2 tsp yeast
- 1/3 cup of sugar
- 1/2 cup milk, slightly warm (you should be able to dip your finger in comfortably)
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 tbsp water
- a generous pinch of salt
- For the Filling:
- 2 tbsp raisins
- 2 tbsp dried mango, chopped
- 2 tbsp dried banana, chopped
- 2 tbsp dried papaya, chopped
- 2 tbsp dates, chopped
- 2 tbsp dried apricots, chopped
- 2 tbsp dried pineapple, chopped
- 2 tbsp dried raspberries, chopped
- 1 tbsp crystalized ginger
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 1 egg white to brush on the dough before baking.
- Making the dough:
- Mix the flour and salt in a bowl, and create a well in the center to pour the liquid ingredients in.
- In a separate bowl beat the egg and sugar. Add milk and water and beat it in.
- Add yeast and mix in
- Pour this mixture in the bowl with the flour and mix in.
- If using hands, wet your hands and mix till all ingredients are fully incorporated
- If using and standing mixer, use the paddle attachment.
- Cover and set aside for it to rise (for the yeast to work its magic) for 2 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.
- Making the filling:
- Mix all the ingredients and set aside.
- Line a baking tray/ cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- After the first rise (2 hours or overnight in refrigerator) the dough should be nice a fluffy and almost double.
- Transfer on a floured surface and punch down the air.
- Divide into two, one portion slightly bigger than the other, make each portion into a ball.
- Using a floured rolling pin, roll the smaller portion into a rough circle around 1/4 inch thick. Transfer to the cooking sheet.
- spread the filling on this leaving around 1/2 inch in the edges open.
- now roll the bigger portion to same thickness, this circle should be bigger than the first one.
- Place it on top of the filling, covering it.
- Tuck the sides under the first one and make sure the filling is sealed inside.
- Cover and let it rest for around 40 mins for a second rise (this step is called proofing).
- Pre heat oven to 375F/190C
- Once proofed, cut the vents on top (I used a sharp scissors to make the X mark), brush the top with egg white and bake for 20 mins or till the top is golden brown.
- Remove from oven and brush the top with butter to keep the crust soft and let cool before cutting in.