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!!

Don’t miss a post Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

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.

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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

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

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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

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