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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Baking| German Plum Cake (Pflaumenkuchen) With Ricotta & Fresh Thyme … #MM

“Blues is to jazz what yeast is to bread. Without it, it’s flat.”
Carmen McRae

German Plum Cake (Pflaumenkuchen) With Ricotta & Fresh ThymeMy very last stash of plums found their way into this yeasted dough German Plum Cake {Pflaumenkuchen}. Twitter seems to have taken over as the menu planner for me and PAB! Such is the power of this addictive and inspiring social  networking site that I often bake in an auto mode.German Plum Cake (Pflaumenkuchen) With Ricotta & Fresh Thyme These days, my passion for fruit in desserts / baking is fueled by tweets, be it this No Bake Upside-down Mango Quark Cheesecake for  #pieformikey or the Plum Ginger Summer Fruit Cake for #baketogether. This yeasted German Plum Cake {Pflaumenkuchen was no different. Even though I’ve been missing from twitter largely over the past few months, the tweets get delivered to my mailbox.

Twitter

MeetaWFLH MeetaWFLH: Ladies hope you will be there for #MONTHLYMINGLE this month. Yeasted Doughs @lifesafeast @vindee @cooksisterblog @Junglefrog @monawise
Aug 16, 1:55 PM via HootSuite
 

German Plum Cake (Pflaumenkuchen) With Ricotta & Fresh ThymeThe tempting tweet from Meeta found me while I was knee deep in a baby food shoot and production for a client. So much baby food Mr PAB asked? I looked at him incongruously; didn’t he know? The pooch knew where it was headed; she is a baby after all! My kids never had the luxury of a risotto when they were babies … the pooch scored a big high five over them!German Plum Cake {Pflaumenkuchen} With Ricotta & Fresh Thyme Work wound up, and before I knew it I was happily looking at a bowl of rising yeasted dough. It’s so warm here these days, the dough doubled really quick. BLISS! I didn’t do any hard work for kneading the dough silky smooth … it was the Thermomix that turned out perfect looking dough in a couple of minutes. I have never loved working with dough this much!German Plum Cake {Pflaumenkuchen} With Ricotta & Fresh ThymeThe recipe is adapted from one I had bookmarked from the very talented Mowies blog quite a while ago. Maybe I was waiting for Kulsum to host the delightful Monthly Mingle this month; her call – Yeasted Doughs. Could I resist it? Niyet! No way! I made wonderful yeasted Nutella Walnut & Orange Rolls in Feb last year, and I was ready for yeasted dough again! German Plum Cake {Pflaumenkuchen} With Ricotta & Fresh Thyme Meetas tweet just pushed me out of my procrastination and had me scraping a vanilla bean! All thanks to addictive, inspiring twitter… and my fab foodie friends, the dough was patted into place when I contemplated adding some homemade ricotta onto it. To perk it up, I sweetened it with some deep muscavado sugar {thank you Sheetal}, and a little low fat cream for good measure. Worked a charm!German Plum Cake (Pflaumenkuchen) With Ricotta & Fresh ThymeThis is my twist to the Pflaumenkuchen … and it’s certainly a yummy one. A dusting of castor or vanilla sugar and a drizzle of low fat unsweetened cream completes the magic of this cake. Both Mr PAB and the lad compared it to the Plum Ginger Summer Fruit Cakesomewhat similar flavours they said!German Plum Cake {Pflaumenkuchen} With Ricotta & Fresh Thyme

German Plum Cake (Pflaumenkuchen) With Ricotta & Fresh ThymeThis German traditional cake tasted better with cream as the plums were rather tart. I think a drizzle of cream adds a certain indulgent feel to it … like it’s dressed to mingle!! German Plum Cake {Pflaumenkuchen} With Ricotta & Fresh Thyme And just in case you’re wondering where the fresh thyme is, look carefully and you shall see two small sprigs. Sadly, that is all left of my poor plant. This naughty cocker has been having a party outside and the garden, including the herb patch, is history. She chomps her way through all my plants while I try to work, and then sits and eyes my food settings in great hope that she will get a few crumbs! Not a chance!!

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

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