Baking | Savoury Whole Wheat Hungarian Kalács … with chicken, walnuts & rocket. Delicious cheesy comfort food #wholegrain #comfortfood #breadart

“The smell of good bread baking, like the sound of lightly flowing water, is indescribable in its evocation of innocence and delight…”
M.F.K. Fisher

Savoury Whole Wheat Hungarian Kalács 1Savoury Whole Wheat Hungarian Kalács … it was a few months ago that I discovered the magic of bread art! That was thanks to the Daring Bakers and I was led into this fascinating world. Until then, bread to me meant rustic, moorish, artisan breads. From then on, Hungarian Kalács became one of our firm favourites. Mine to bake, and ‘theirs’ to eat!

Savoury  Hungarian Kalács, Twisted Buns; Sweet Yeasted  Nutella, Marmalade & Almond Praline Skillet Bread... bread art with the Daring BakersGoing back to the bread art challenge {pictured above}, that was one of my most enriching experiences, and a most delicious one at that. Soon after making the vegetarian version of the Hungarian Kalács, I made a non vegetarian one too for the carnivores at home. In went chicken, walnuts, bell peppers and rocket! It’s taken me some time to share it, but here I am, better late than never!

Savoury Whole Wheat Hungarian Kalács That version was a plain all purpose flour and vegetarian one. These Savoury Whole Wheat Hungarian Kalács are part whole grain as the name suggests. I had to experiment with the dough given my shift to whole grains. The dough worked brilliantly and the bread was gone before we knew it.

Savoury Whole Wheat Hungarian Kalács  makingFew things to keep in mind. My dough was a little soft though very pliable. Every flour type absorbs liquid differently, so bear that in mind. It’s always better to add the last 1/4 cup a little at a time. Gloopy dough makes me weep!! Another thing worth considering is the weather. Hot summers mean really quick dough rising and often an unmanageable dough. Try and chill the dough slightly before use, and work quick. Try keep the dusting flour to a minimum as it takes away from the end product.

Savoury Whole Wheat Twisted Buns 3  I made some twisted buns too like I did with the vegetarian version. Any bread art is mesmerising. You can see more visuals on the Vegetarian Savoury  Hungarian Kalács & Twisted Buns. And oh yes, there is a divineSweet Yeasted  Nutella, Marmalade & Almond Praline Skillet Bread on that page too.Savoury Whole Wheat Twisted Buns 2Savoury Whole Wheat Hungarian Kalács are a nice meals in themselves, and a versatile recipe at that. Fill it as you like. Just remember not to over-stuff it as then it will not hold.I really like the idea of stuffed breads, and this is a fine example.

Savoury Whole Wheat Hungarian Kalács & Twisted BunsUse this dough and go vegetarian with it. I’d see cottage cheese, walnuts, jalapenos, olives, spinach or rocket, maybe sun dried tomatoes in my vegetarian version. Cheese of course, lots of it!!

Savoury Whole Wheat Twisted Buns 4Just writing about it makes my mouth water. I think I just might be headed off into the kitchen to make some dough! I love how nicely it comes together, and how easy it is to serve. Makes for great finger food too and a nice centre piece for the party table! Always nice to have an eye catching item of food which gives folk something more to talk about and devour! This bread, art and all, is one of those things!!

Stuffed  filled breads sweet, savoury, vegetarian

Other stuffed or filled breads on PAB {sweet/ savoury, vegetarian}

Povitica – Croatian Sweet Walnut Chocolate Bread
Savoury Cheese & Garlic Olive Oil Pull-Apart Bread {vegetarian}
French Fougasse with Roasted Red Bell Pepper & Garlic, Walnut & Mozarella
Millet & Whole Wheat French Fougasse … rustic bread with caramelised onions, walnuts, dehydrated tomatoes and mozzarella
Apple Cranberry Almond Olive Oil Pull-Apart Loaf & Popovers
Nutella, Walnut & Orange Rolls
Ricotta and Spinach Roulade
Sweet Orange, Roasted Strawberry & Chocolate Buttermilk Rolls

This post is headed for Bloggers Tuesday at Home Bakers Guild.

 

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Cooking | Thai Chicken Mince, Broccoli & Pepper Salad {Larb Gai} #glutenfree #healthy #comfortfood

“Food is a central activity of mankind and one of the single most significant trademarks of a culture.”
Mark Kurlansky

Thai Chicken Mince Salad | Larb Gai Thai Chicken Mince, Broccoli & Pepper Salad … bursting with fresh, summery flavour, it’s good warm and chilled too. People often ask me if I cook? Obvious question I guess when you see the blogs name with posts to match! However, I do cook. Everyday, and most meals are home made. Loads of chicken with loads of fresh herbs  … that’s our summer! Curries, salads, crispy filets, fajitas, quesadillas, fingers, sliders, wraps, burgers …Cooking chickenThe other day I saw a Thai Chicken Mince Salad drop into my inbox from Bee @ Rasa Malaysia. I didn’t get as far as seeing the recipe then, but the Lap Kai or Thai Chicken Mince Salad stayed in my head. One of those niggling things that you make you reach for pots and pans rather urgently.

herbs and peppersI had everything on hand and a basic recipe in my head. It’s a really simple recipe, inspired by a recipe from the Simple Thai Food Cookbook by talented Leela at She Simmers. The salad came together in a matter of minutes. It’s a great gluten free, low carb option for summer. I returned later to check the recipe on Rasa Malaysia aa knew mine would be radically different! It was.Thai Chicken Mince Salad Larb Gai This was my version of Larb Gai. It was different since Thai cooking uses a lot of galangal but my heart belongs to garlic. I also don’t like fish sauce so it doesn’t figure in my cooking. Larb Gai is often served with sticky rice, or roasted rice powder as in Leela’s recipe. I added some almond meal to soak up extra juices since that was what I had on hand!

Thai Chicken Mince Salad Larb GaiThe marriage of flavours and textures is nice. Sweet, spicy, fresh, exciting. Above all, easy to stir up. Don’t forget to add the roasted rice or almond meal… the nuttiness is addictive. Serve as soon as you stir it up  … in crisp lettuce leaves or with a crisp salad on the side. The ‘now almost off to college teen‘ loved it cold too!

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Baking | Tribute to The Queen of All Daring Bakers, Lis … and Savoury Phyllo Chicken Pot Pies #tributetolis #daringbakers

“Once a Daring Baker, always a Daring Baker. It’s the best baking community on the web!”

Daring BakersHow do you begin to pay a tribute to someone who made a lot of us who or what we are today! We woke up to the tragic news that that the very largehearted & fun, the cornerstone of the best group for bakers ever created, the Daring Bakers,  Lisa passed away. With the lovely Ivonne, Lisa inspired, she cajoled, she filled in, she encouraged, she whipped us along, whisking us into a homogenous group … one of the best baking communities ever created on the web.

RIP Lis, The Queen of All Daring Bakers

Lisa Cifelli of La Mia Cucina, co-founder of The Daring Kitchen (originally The Daring Bakers) passed away unexpectedly a few days ago. Anyone who had the pleasure of knowing Lis, understands how much she will be missed. Her big heart, incredible sense of humor, epic emails, and mad organization skills were legendary. Bless her eternally cotton socks! {Kelly P}

Baklava with phyllo from scratch

In November 2006, Lisa of La Mia Cucina and Ivonne of Cream Puffs in Venice decided to challenge themselves to bake pretzels for the very first time using the same recipe. They each went ahead and posted about it on November 18, 2006. Having enjoyed that experience tremendously, they decided to try it again the next month, this time choosing to bake biscotti. And to make matters even better, they were joined by a few more food bloggers. As the months went by, their baking group continued to grow, until it was finally decided that this “little baking group” had to have a name and The Daring Bakers were born! The Daring Cooks were formed in 2009 as a way to learn how to become better home cooks. The idea spread like wildfire with 1000′s of people who also wished to learn more joined in on the monthly challenges.

Today, The Daring Bakers and The Daring Cooks span the world as bakers/cooks of all nationalities come together once a month to try something new in the kitchen!

Homemade evaporated milk for Tres LechesI am the baker that I am only because of the Daring Bakers. It’s been a steep upward climb at times. We’ve been through 18 pages of recipe for Julia Childs French Loaf  in Feb ’08. We’ve giggled & wept together, have whispered behind the scenes, gasped in horror when one of us let the cat out of the bag on twitter before the sacred posting date! What a community!

Daring Bakers 2In the spirit of this fabulous, close knit community, we’ve come together, some still with the group, some who left a while ago, and lots of new DBr’s … united together to pay a tribute to the Queen of Daring Bakers! {Thank you for doing this Kelly P} I have made some of my best food blogger friends thanks to the DBs. Lis and Ivonne created something magical on the web; something that has never been replicated!

Daring Bakers I say it to myself every month, I love being a Daring Baker! I miss a few as I struggle to cut out carbs, attempt to go wheat free, yet the temptation is always there. Looking back at previous challenges, the first one still comes to mind, as real as it was happening yesterday. Dark Chocolate Beetroot Cake with Peanut Butter Filling  I was chuffed to be accepted as a Daring Baker way back in January 2008. The very first challenge was a Lemon Meringue Pie. It was the ‘dark baking ages‘ in India at the time; I was very new to meringues and such. Oh how I wept. I still remember the emails exchanged with Lis and the encouragement and inspiration she offered. My pie wept, and I with it. Thought they’d chuck me out of the group. Felt like I had failed a major!

Lis stopped by to say…  “Pure genius going with the lil hearts on the crust! Would you mind if I did that one day? :) Well I’m sorry it didn’t turn out as you intended, but it sure did turn out pretty! Welcome to the DB’ers! xoxo

The camaraderie grew as a bunch of us chatted away behind the screens, discussing challenges in loud whispers. Meeta, Jamie, Ilva, Hilda, Dharam, Val, Kelly P, Barbara, Rosa, Jasmine, Judy, Andrea, Susan, Aparna, Coco … so many others! 

Oh those days! Some of my all time favourite challenges were …

Povitica ... A Croatian Sweet Walnut BreadPovitica {one of my most pinned and visited posts}, Momofukus Infamous Crack PieSans Rival CakeFilled Pate a Choux SwansBaklava with phyllo from scratch,Stollen PuddingDutch Crunch Bread or TijgerbroodTiramisu, Croquembouche

Daring Bakers

Jaconde imprime /entremetsMango Pastel de Tres LechesGingerbread HouseBattenbergDark Chocolate Beetroot Cake with Peanut Butter icing …and so so many more. We struggled sometimes, we conquered each time. Every  challenge meaningful.

Lighter Chicken Pot Pies with homemade phylloI missed posting the October challenge. I thought I would skip it, then got very tempted, succumbed past the date … and then procrastinated a little as the pictures sat in the camera. Had the post sched for this weekend. RIP beautiful lady! The Kitchen has taught me a lot!

Lighter Chicken Pot Pies with homemade phyllo Lighter Chicken Pot Pies with homemade phyllo … inspiration can strike anytime, this time from another Daring Baker, Suma in Bangalore. She pinged me the other day wondering why I hadn’t done it, given that it was savoury and I love everything savoury!

Hannah of Rise and Shine was our October 2013 Daring Bakers’ hostess and she challenged us to bake our own double crusted savory pot pies. Using any from-scratch crust and filling we choose, we were allowed to get completely creative with our recipe, showing off the savory flavors and fillings from our own home or region.

Lighter Chicken Pot Pies with homemade phyllo I am steering clear of all purpose flour in my baking, and personally have been off wheat for over 6 months in an attempt to sort out some allergies. Mr PAB too has recently joined me, so I was a guinea pig short.

Lighter Chicken Pot Pies with homemade phyllo The daughter is on a diet, low carbs etc … but I could see she would love this. We love pot pies at home. The boy of course is game for anything and everything pot pie, chicken, pastry. Just churn out delicious bakes day after day… and he is a happy camper. The pies were everything good!!

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