Baking | Savoury Hungarian Kalács, Twisted Buns; Sweet Yeasted Nutella, Marmalade & Almond Praline Skillet Bread… bread art with the Daring Bakers

“In the history of art there are periods when bread seems so beautiful that it nearly gets into museums.”  Janet Flanner

Savoury  Hungarian Kalács, Twisted Buns; Sweet Yeasted  Nutella, Marmalade & Almond Praline Skillet Bread... bread art with the Daring BakersSavoury  Hungarian Kalács, Twisted Buns; Sweet Yeasted  Nutella, Marmalade & Almond Praline Skillet Bread … it was a LOT of bread baking for someone who’s been off all purpose flour for a while now. Yet the Daring Bakers challenge this month made me sit up and take notice. Bread art? Huh? Why had I missed it all along?

Warning: Long post with lots of delicious bread!

Twisted Buns; bread art with the Daring Bakers

Beauty surrounded the Daring Bakers this month as our host, Sawsan, of chef in disguise, challenged us to make beautiful, filled breads. Who knew breads could look as great as they taste?

Savoury  Hungarian Kalács ... bread art with the Daring BakersSo much so for being a baker and being passionate about it. I do love artisan breads and rustic whole grain breads of all sorts, but one look at The pinterest board of Chef in Disguise had me smitten. I dusted the cobwebs off, crawled out from under the rock and entered an area I didn’t know even existed! 

Whole Wheat Bread 3Not sure about the origins, but from the pins shared on the board, bread art appears to have roots in East Europe, Ukraine and Russia, though I might well be wrong. The only downside is that beautiful breads for bread art need smooth dough {read plain flour} as they involve intricate cutwork and folding etc. In the end the bread is a sight to behold!

Savoury  Hungarian Kalács, Twisted Buns; bread art with the Daring BakersThis challenge is just a beginning for me;  I might well try bread art in the near future with part whole grain dough. For a first time, this was fun, although my efforts didn’t result in very stunning ‘bread art’. That said,  making the Savoury  Hungarian Kalács, Twisted Buns; Sweet Yeasted  Nutella, Marmalade & Almond Praline Skillet Bread was very enjoyable. They were extremely delicious too!

Twisted Buns; bread art with the Daring Bakers My love for savoury food meant that Savoury  Hungarian Kalács were going to happen very soon, the recipe adapted minimally from here. It’s a really nice dough to work with, and I flavoured it to add a burst of garlic and cheese. Loads of garlic and some mature cheese later, the dough smelt delicious; it was smooth and supple.

Savoury  Hungarian Kalács ... bread art with the Daring Bakers Every flour absorbs liquid a little differently and my dough wasn’t very firm. It baked fine though! I chose to keep the bread vegetarian, so adjusted fillings accordingly.Savoury  Hungarian Kalács, Twisted Buns; bread art with the Daring Bakers The original recipe for Savoury  Hungarian Kalács is a non vegetarian version and much prettier too. It shines with an almost gold hue due to the egg wash which I skipped.

Twisted Buns; bread art with the Daring Bakers The taste? Excellent! It was a battle to keep the kids off my precious bread! One finger gone, then another, and another… it was addictive good they claimed, the best bread ever! So cheesy and garlicky declared junior. Just one more piece begged senior! 

Twisted Buns; bread art with the Daing Bakers 4The Savoury  Hungarian Kalács were declared winners! And so were the little Twisted Buns … just two of them with leftover dough. Really interesting to make, and just enough for a handy dinner for the kids. Thought I’d serve them with crumb fried chicken and a salad on the side.

Twisted Buns; bread art with the Daring Bakers Time wasn’t my best friend as usual, so I sliced them horizontally and grilled them into chicken sandwiches! Best sandwich ever declared the lad; I’ve never had better flavour! All was good and I was pleased at such an inspired Daring Baker challenge!

Sweet Yeasted  Nutella, Marmalade & Almond Praline Skillet Bread... bread art with the Daring BakersEgged on by the brilliance of experiment number one, I decided to use the same dough for a sweet version, albeit just half the dough. ‘We’ love sweet stuff in the PAB household, so this was fun again! I had ideas for flavours, and they reminded me of an all time favourite bread, the Povitica!Sweet Yeasted  Nutella, Marmalade & Almond Praline Skillet Bread... bread art with the Daring Bakers In went anything and everything on hand…that half tub of Nutella left over from an eggless chocolate pudding experiment, some almond nut praline in the freezer ex a recent recipe development, and some homemade bitter kumquat marmalade! Kumquats are in season {read abundance} and I LOVE using them!

Sweet Yeasted  Nutella, Marmalade & Almond Praline Skillet Bread... bread art with the Daring Bakers Even though the bread didn’t look like a piece of perfect art, it tasted brilliant. Such a great combination of flavours, sweet just right, the crunch from the pralines, the undertones of the bitter kumquat marmaladebrilliant! Sweet Yeasted  Nutella, Marmalade & Almond Praline Skillet Bread... bread art with the Daring Bakers

I was so glad I pushed my limits to try both savoury and sweet versions of bread art this month. Thank you from the bottom of my heart Sawsan. Do stop by here and check out the fab bread art the talented Daring Bakers have drawn up! Thank you too Ivonne of  Cream Puffs in Venice for hosting this fab kitchen!!

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Recipe: Savoury  Hungarian Kalács & Twisted Buns your picture

Summary: These Savoury  Hungarian Kalács make great party of finger foods and are bursting with flavour. Use fillings of your choice to play around. This savoury bread is sure to please! The Twisted Buns are another variation using the same dough and filling. Serves 8-10

Prep Time: 15 minutes Total Time: 40 minutes plus rising time Ingredients:

  • Savoury dough
  • 325g all purpose flour
  • 25g Grana Padano {or parmesan}, grated
  • 2 1/2 tsp instant yeast
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 200g milk, tepid
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 15ml yogurt
  • 40 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • Filling
  • 50g cheese spread
  • 1 small bunch fresh oregano
  • 2 small fresh red chillies {or 1 tsp red chili flakes}
  • 50g walnuts, finely chopped
  • 75g mature cheddar, grated
  • 15ml milk {or 1 beaten egg} for wash
  • 10g melon seeds {or sesame, pumpkin etc}
  • 20 ml extra virgin olive oil to brush over

Method

  1. Savoury  Kalács
  2. Place the flour, Grana Padano {or Parmesan}, yeast and salt in the bowl of food processor and pulse on high speed to mix.
  3. Add the milk, cloves, garlic and yogurt and knead to a smooth dough.
  4. Rest for 15 minutes, then knead in olive oil. Place the dough in a well oiled bowl, seal with cling wrap and leave in a warm place for dough to double.
  5. Assemble
  6. Once the dough has doubled, preheat the oven to 200C.
  7. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  8. Divide the dough into two.On the lightly floured surface {or on parchment paper}, roll one half into an 10″ circle.{My tray wasn’t big enough, so I kept reserved some dough to make twisted buns with the same filling.
  9. Transfer the circle to the baking sheet and spread the cheese spread uniformly. Sprinkle over chopped fresh herbs and red chillies, followed by the walnuts, and finally the cheddar.
  10. Roll the other half of the dough to another 10″ circle and place over the first half, pressing down gently.
  11. Place a glass in the centre and cut the remaining dough 4 times, then divide each into a further 4. You will get a total of 16 spokes {refer pictures}
  12. Gently lift each spoke and twist it 3 times. Brush over with milk gently and sprinkle melon seeds over the centre. {You can always brush with a beaten egg to get a beautiful glow. I wanted to keep the bread vegetarian}.
  13. Bake for 30-35 minutes until light golden brown and firm to touch.
  14. Cool on tray for 5 minutes, then transfer to rack. Serve warm or room temperature.
  15. For Twisted buns, please see this image on the Chef-in-disguise bread art pinterest board {the board is a visual treat!}

Recipe: Sweet Yeasted  Nutella, Marmalade & Almond Praline Skillet Bread your picture

Summary: This yeasted sweet bread is bursting with delightful Nutella and praline flavours, with gentle undertones of bitter kumquat marmalade. This is a winner at an tea table. Serves 6

Prep Time: 15 minutes Total Time: 40 minutes plus rising time Ingredients:

  • Sweet dough {can be easily doubled}
  • 160g all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp instant yeast
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla bean powder
  • 100ml milk, tepid
  • 5ml {1 tsp} yogurt
  • 20g unsalted butter, melted
  • Filling
  • 100g Nutella
  • 100g almond praline, coarse ground {or walnuts, chopped}
  • 50g bitter orange marmalade
  • 25g unsalted butter, melted, cooled

Method:

  1. Dough
  2. Place the flour and yeast in the bowl of food processor and pulse on high speed to mix.
  3. Add the milk, yogurt and butter and knead to a smooth dough.
  4. Place the dough in a well oiled bowl, seal with cling wrap and leave in a warm place for dough to double.
  5. Once the dough has doubled, preheat the oven to 200C.
  6. Line a skillet or round tin with parchment paper.
  7. Roll the dough into a large rectangle over a floured surface. Dont make it too thin or it will be impossible to spread the filling.
  8. With an offset spatula, spread the Nutella over the entire surface, followed by the bitter kumquat marmalade, then the melted butter ans finally the praline.
  9. Begin rolling the longer length up, nice and tight to get a long rope.
  10. With a sharp knife, slice vertically down the center to get two long open end stirps.
  11. Intertwine the two, cut side facing up to make a braid of some sort. Pinch the open ends together.
  12. Wind the two together to form a circle and transfer to parchment lined skillet.
  13. Preheat oven to 200c.
  14. Place skillet in hot oven and bake for 30 minutes, until crisp, gooey and golden.
  15. Cool in skillet for 30-45 minutes before gently easing out with a fish slice or offset spatula.

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Baking | 100% Whole Wheat Bread … airy and delicious!

“A crust of bread and a corner to sleep in. A minute to smile and an hour to weep in.
A pint of joy to a peck of trouble, And never a laugh but the moans come double.
And that is life.”
Paul Laurence Dunbar

Whole Wheat Bread100% Whole Wheat Bread. Couldn’t ask for anything more in a whole grain bread. This was my first 100% whole wheat bread experiment and I had my fingers crossed.

Whole Wheat Bread 2I had huge bowls of olive oil standing by for dunking just in case it was too dense to eat. Butter too. Impatiently tore one end off to look at the crumb. Was I relieved or what! Yay, airy bread!!
Whole Wheat Bread 3Nice moist crumb, airy bread and great aroma. We loved it. Loved it with butter too. Nothing like fresh warm bread and butter. It was great to mop up the cheesy paprika gravy of the mushroom chicken which was meant to be the star that day. Bread took centre stage instead!
Whole Wheat BreadAs another first, I added some top of the milk cream {or malai} to the dough. I had some in the fridge. It was an idea I had picked up while speaking to Sangeeta on our trip to the vineyards at Baramati. I think that’s what clinched the crumb! And the extra water or hydration of course.
Whole Wheat Bread Since the dough is quite loose, I’d recommend kneading the dough in a processor. I did it in the Thermomix. It’s a stringy,  sticky dough that gets a little more manageable after the first rise. Even more manageable after a slight rest in the fridge. Shape the dough with wet hands and you should be fine.
Whole Wheat Bread The aroma that filled the house had everyone following their nose to the kitchen. An impatient queue waited to ‘break bread‘! Inching forward to getting more whole grains into my bread, this is one journey I am loving! I made another batch of bread dough today.
Whole Wheat Bread Maybe will try a small fougasse with a portion of the dough tomorrow. Infinite possibilities, so much promise!

This post is part of the monthly link up party Our Growing Edge.

This event aims to connect food bloggers and inspire us to try new things.
This month is hosted by Marija from Palachinka.

[print_this]Recipe: 100% Whole Wheat Bread your picture

Summary: Couldn’t ask for anything more in a whole grain bread.This was my first 100% whole wheat bread experiment and I had my fingers crossed. Nice moist crumb, airy bread and great aroma. We loved it. Loved it with butter too. Nothing like fresh warm bread and butter. Yield: 2 small loaves to serve 8. 

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Ingredients:

  • 400g whole wheat flour {aata}
  • 2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 265ml lukewarm water
  • 100g top of the milk cream {malai}
  • 1t minced garlic {4-5 cloves}
  • 1t red chili flakes
  • 2t dried herbs
  • 1 1/2 t salt
  • Topping
  • 1 tsp whole wheat flour to sprinkle on top

Method:

  1. In the bowl of a standing mixer and add all the ingredients in the order mentioned.
  2. Mix briefly, then knead for approx 3 minutes. This should result in a smooth yet sticky,stringy dough.
  3. Turn the dough into an oiled bowl, turned over with damp hands to coat with oil.
  4. Cover with cling wrap and leave in a warm place for about an hour to double.
  5. Preheat the oven to 250C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Turn dough onto parchment paper and shape into loaf with damp hands. I tried to give it a few rolls as well. Sprinkle over with a little whole wheat flour and leave to rise for 20 minutes while the oven preheats.
  7. Pop into a hot oven, reduce the temperature to 200C and bake for 35-45 minutes until cracked on top and hollow to sound when tapped underneath.
  8. Remove to a cooling rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.
  9. Note: My oven uses only the bottom element for baking. Please keep an eye if your oven uses both the top and bottom elements so that the top doesn’t burn. I made 2 loaves {2/3rd dough first time to get a long loaf, and 1/3rd the second time for a round small loaf. You can slash the top with a fine bladed knife before you pop it into the oven if you like.

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Baking | Whole Wheat Walnut Garlic Cheddar Fougasse … and a focaccia too #comfortfood #vegetarian #bread

“Good bread is the most fundamentally satisfying of all foods; good bread with fresh butter, the greatest of feasts!”
James Beard

Whole Wheat Walnut Garlic Cheddar FougasseWhole Wheat Walnut Garlic Cheddar Fougasse … nothing can be as comforting as the smell of bread baking. Nothing! And this bread took me by surprise. Rustic, nutty, earthy, full of flavour, great texture and a good bite. I couldn’t ask for anything more in fresh bread, and fougasse is one of my all time favourites.

Whole Wheat Walnut Garlic Cheddar Fougasse Googling for whole wheat focaccia took me to a NY Times feature by Martha Rose Shulman. Recipes for health as it was aptly marked, Shulman says of this bread “What’s called focaccia in Italy is fougasse in Provence. Fougasse, though, is often shaped like a leaf, which is easy to do and very pretty. The nutty, toasty whole grain bread is irresistible.”Millet & Whole Wheat French Fougasse I couldn’t agree more. If you’ve visited my blog on and off, you might have noticed my love for the French Fougasse. I love the rustic appeal it offers and the fact that you can stuff it with pretty much whatever you like and the flavours call your name. Roasted bell peppers, gouda, fresh herbs, nuts etc. Leaf like in appearance, this flatbread is moorish!

Millet & Whole Wheat French Fougasse

French Fougasse with Roasted Red Bell Pepper & Garlic, Walnut & Mozarella 6The one on top is a  Millet & Whole Wheat Fougasse and below it the French Fougasse with Roasted Red Bell Pepper & Garlic, Walnut & Mozarella 

Whole Wheat Walnut Garlic Cheddar Fougasse It was just the therapy I needed this Monday! The day began like a nightmare! Broken toilet flush 6am. Reversed the car to drop the kids to school and heard a massive THUD! 7am … The engine underplate had broken while wading through the ‘rivers of North India‘ the previous night. When it rains, it really pours; the city was flooded! Thankfully got the kids out of my way and to school, to come back home to find I had run out of cooking gas! {Yes we still have cylinders}. Decided to spring clean and walked straight into a sharp corner which narrowly missed my eye. Blood poured down the side of my face! Mr PAB was in Hong Kong … and I could have wept!

Whole Wheat Walnut Garlic Cheddar Fougasse Bravely I did not! I decided to bake bread instead! What a good decision. Nothing like some yeasty dough to drown your sorrows into. It worked like magic. And the recipe came out amazingly good! I could visualize the bread loving younger teen take a deep happy breath as he entered home from school. “You’ve made bread!!”, he’d exclaim, stars in his eyes!

Whole Wheat Walnut Garlic Cheddar Fougasse That is enough to mend a bad day! What I didn’t visualise was how much the dieting diva, carb cutting daughter would love it. I made half of the dough into fougasse and saved the rest for another day {it refrigerates well for a day or two}. With garlic flavouring the dough beautifully, and walnuts and cheddar making it divine, the bread was history as soon as the teens got home!

Whole Wheat Walnut Garlic Cheddar Fougasse Recipes like this are seriously therapeutic. I forgot about the car, fixed the broken loo, got the gas going. Left the car for Mr PAB. He would come back and take over everything! I was born to bake, and I was loving it!! The smell of dough rising and bread baking is enough to make the soul happy! 

Whole Wheat Walnut Garlic Cheddar Fougasse With the good verdict on the fougasse, I pulled the remaining dough out of the fridge the next day and patted a focaccia into shape. That came out yummy too. Got stuffed with everything I had on hand, ending up as sandwich for dinner.Whole Wheat Walnut Garlic Focaccia

[print_this]Recipe: Whole Wheat Walnut Garlic Cheddar Fougasse
your picture

Summary: Whole Wheat Walnut Garlic Cheddar Fougasse … nothing can be as comforting as the smell of bread baking. The bread took me by surprise. Rustic, nutty, earthy, full of flavour, great texture and a good bite. Couldn’t ask for anything more in fresh bread. Fougasse is one of my all time favourites. Yield: 1 large or 2 smaller fougasses or focaccia, about 12 generous servings. Minimally adapted from NY Times

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 60 minutes {plus rising time}
Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 340ml lukewarm water
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 350g  whole wheat flour
  • 100g all-purpose flour
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 15g salt
  • Filling
  • 100g walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 100g cheddar, diced into small cubes
  • Topping
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil if making focaccia (optional)
  • fresh herbs
  • sea salt for sprinkling over top

Method

  1. In the bowl of a standing mixer, or in a large bowl, dissolve the yeast and sugar in the water. Add the olive oil, minced garlic, whole wheat flour, all-purpose and salt and mix together briefly using the paddle attachment. Change to the dough hook and beat for 8 to 10 minutes at medium speed, adding the remaining flour as necessary. The dough should eventually form a ball around the dough hook and slap against the sides of the bowl as the mixer turns but it will be sticky. Remove from the bowl, flour your hands and knead for a minute on a lightly floured surface, and shape into a ball.
  2. {Thermomix:  Place all dough ingredients in bowl of TM and process at Speed 6 for 10 seconds. Then knead at interval speed for 3 minutes}
  3. If kneading the dough by hand, dissolve the yeast in the water with the sugar as directed. Stir in the walnut oil, whole wheat flour, salt, and all-purpose flour by the half-cup, until the dough can be scraped out onto a floured work surface. Knead, adding flour as necessary, for 10 minutes, until the dough is elastic. Shape into a ball.
  4. Oil a large bowl with olive oil. Place the dough in it, rounded side down first, then rounded side up. Cover tightly with plastic and let rise in a warm spot for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or in the refrigerator for 4 to 8 hours, until doubled.
  5. Punch down the dough. Divide the dough into two equal pieces for smaller breads. You can also make 1 large fougasse or focaccia.
  6. Roll one half out to about an 12″ oval, spread half the walnuts and cheddar. Fold over the dough 2-3 times on itself to incorporate the stuffing.
  7. Shape each back into a flattish ball, then fold the bottom third up, & top third down to make an oblong.
  8. Roll into ovals with a flat base, cut slits diagonally, three on each side. Pull slightly to open the cuts, leaf like. {Repeat with other half, else make focaccia with it}
  9. Place on parchment lined baking sheets. Cover with cling wrap & leave to double for 35-40 minutes while you preheat the oven.
  10. Preheat the oven to 220C, brush the loaves with olive oil, sprinkle over sea salt and fresh herbs.
  11. Bake for approximately 25-30 minutes till golden brown. Brush with more olive oil as they come out of the oven. Cool on racks. Serve warm {that’s how we love it} or at room temperature.

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