Herbed Focaccia

  Even though I love baking with yeast – it has been very kind to me and I have hardly had any failures – I try to restrict working on it. I think I will blame it on lack of time. Even though I love the process of seeing a tiny dough bloat up into double or triple the size, I don’t have the patience to wait for it. 😀 Only if I have enough time at hand (which is never enough for me in reality! 😕 ) do I go ahead with baking with yeast. That explains why I have very limited yeasted bakes, and I feel ashamed to say that I am yet to try my hands at baking a home made loaf of bread. 🙁   But I have baked this delicious Focaccia studded with olives and sprinkled with Italian herbs a few times. Why? Just because… 

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Mkatra Foutra ~ Yeasted Bread from Comoros Islands

  While reading the title, if you went “which islands?”, you are not alone. I gawked the same way when this month’s assignment from MENA Cooking Club came along. After Algeria and Bahrain, the third country is Comoros Islands – a tiny country of three islands situated in the Indian Ocean. If you go through Google searches, it is said that the country was under France rule during the age of colonialism, before it finally got freedom in 1975. Since then, it has been affected by unstable governance and is one of the poorest countries in the world. Since we are talking about food, let’s move into that then…   Due to the long years of colonialism, the cuisine of Comoros Islands has influences of European, Arab and Indian food. Their main staple is rice and meat. The island is quite known for its exports of vanilla, in fact the… 

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Khailat Al-Nahl ~ Sweetened Honeycomb Bread

  After doing UAE last month, this month, for #menacookingclub challenge, our country assigned is Yemen.   As much as Syria is disturbing, the state of Yemen is no different. If you go through some pictures on the history of Yemen, you will realize how green and serene the whole place looks, with a lot of history resting in this country. They have been in a civil war status since last year and it is still going on without much respite. I hate to watch the news these day… With so much bloodshed, pain and fear in the already weak economy, things are looking bleak. All we can do is to make dua for our brethren there for peace soon, InShaAllah… Since we are dealing about their food today, it is said that they have more of Ottoman and Mughlai influences in their cooking, when compared to their neighboring countries. As… 

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Krendel ~ Russian/ Ukranian Fruit Bread

    Time for a challenge post! This month, for We Knead to Bake #34, the bread chosen was Krendel, which is a Russian/ Ukranian fruit bread baked during the festive months and other occasions. Since today is a holiday and I am feeling really lazy, I am not in a mood to type about the history of the bread as such, so you can hop on to Aparna’s post. 😉     This is an rich bread with a delicious fruit flavored jam filling. The first thing I loved about this bread was that there is hardly any sugar. The dough has honey for sweetness, just a little sugar is sprinkled in and the jam is super tasty – you can have it with your toast! I didn’t want to buy prunes to try this, so substituted it with some dates and absolutely loved it. Since I had halved… 

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Lqeimat ~ Emirati Yeasted Dumplings

  From tomorrow onwards for the next four days, InShaAllah, we will be off from work. Schools and government institutions are already off from today, as they get the Martyr’s Day holiday today, while the private sector gets their holiday shifted to Thursday, thus giving us a relief of a long weekend. A long weekend basically for me means trying new dishes and clicking the maximum I can in the sunlight! 😀 Since the days are shorter now and the sunlight is not as brighter as it is during the summers, it is more of a challenge. Even though I have a lot in my drafts, it has been sometime since I have tried new food, so I am hoping to do some good recipes over this long weekend. We have no outing plans and I actually didn’t want any, as I wanted to just lazy around after having a… 

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Barmbrack ~ Irish Speckled Fruit Bread/ Cake

  It has been quite some time since I have participated in the We Knead to Bake Challenge, that is Aparna’s brainchild. I gave the challenge a skip in July and August and I was so excited about last month’s bake, which was a Whole-wheat Yeasted Banana Bread. On a Friday, when HD was lazying, I double checked with him whether we were going out anywhere and since he replied in the negative, I went ahead doing the dough and proofing it. As it was proofing the second time, the kids threw their tantrums and HD had to reverse his decision. I was totally lost – what do I do now? My gas oven does not have a timer that I could leave it in and go, and my microwave convection had not been used for quite some time, so I was not sure whether it was working. As soon… 

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Eggless Mini Kugelhopf

Time for the Baking Eggless challenge for the month! I waited till the month end to post this… hehe… Last month, I skipped the challenge, which was to make the famous Creme Caramel without eggs. That was definitely a challenge but I somehow didn’t get the time or opportunity to make it, or maybe I didn’t make time for it as I was on a mission to somehow reduce my sugar related baking and cooking – still you will find a lot of loaded recipes in here, which were cooked long back but now one by one are appearing! Hehe…   This month was an irresistible one. The Kugelhopf is an sweet Austrian bread, which is made in a doughnut shape, and served as breakfast or afternoon tea along with tea or coffee. A special tin is used for making the Kugelhopf and it is quite longish with a hole… 

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Iyengar Style Kaara/ Savory Buns

This month, for the Home Baker’s Challenge, Priyaakka gave us some very interesting buns. All of them were equally tempting, whether it was the Seeni Sambal Buns or the cheese stuffed ones. But it was a tough competition in my mind between these kaara buns and the chocolate buns. I so wanted to bake the chocolate buns when we had gone for a staycation in a hotel in Ras Al Khaimah last month, but then the mood in the morning was more to pack and move on rather than bake something, so I ended up taking a chocolate cake that I had frozen for emergency moments! So those buns go into my to-do list, as I am sure my kids would love them for their lunch box with a slather of cheese!   So cutting the story short, the chocolate buns have to wait and it had to be the… 

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Kummelweck Rolls

Another interesting yeasted savory bake for this month’s We Knead To Bake! Each month, Aparna lists a bread, I feel so nice being a part of this group!   What exactly is this month’s bake? A very interesting name, isn’t it? Kummelweck Rolls or Buns are of German origin, the literal meaning of the name being “caraway hard rolls”. These rolls have a topping of caraway seeds and a generous sprinkling of coarse sea salt. There was a lot of confusion in the group as to what is the Hindi name of caraway seeds, moving in between shah jeera, cumin and fennel. I decided to top these with my favorite cumin seeds and absolutely loved the flavor. As usual, I halved the recipe and got just what we wanted to have for dinner. I was surprised that the elder kiddo, Rasha who is never fond of my yeasted bakes, had… 

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Eggless Black Forest Rolls

This month is almost ending…. Wow! Two months of 2015 is done! So soon… Thinking about the start of the year till now, I still have not done much to be proud about, especially on my weight side! The HD is clearly getting irritated about my “I don’t care” attitude towards my weight and before he shows me the door, I have to do something seriously about it… or would I really do anything about it? 😉 Alhamdulillah, I am on the taller side, which means that my height very conveniently camouflages my extra weight, but that definitely does not give me the excuse of not taking care of myself… hmm… Even after this, you will continue to see a lot of sweet stuff coming up on the blog since I have quite a bit in my drafts, but as of now, I have already decided to put a slight… 

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Julekake/ Julekaga ~ Norwegian Cardamom Scented Bread

I sometimes wonder that I am keeping my zest of cooking and baking by participating in challenges! Really… the new kitchen has created a small dent into my cooking, but I guess that’s the case for everybody till the time you get the whole gyst. Till then, it is only cooking for survival! Hoping to participate in all the challenges for this month and hopefully, you will see all the posts in time… 🙂 The “We Knead To Bake” challenge #23 for this month was a Scandinavian bread called Julekake or Julekaga. It is a cardamom flavored yeasted bread which has a cake-like texture and is normally served during this festive season. Either the bread is served plain with a sprinkling of sugar or with a thick icing. In Norway, traditionally lime green citrus peel was used but now as variations, mixed fruit, candied peel, raisins and even almonds are… 

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Sheermal/ Shirmal ~ Saffron Flavored Flatbread

Time for this month’s challenge for We Knead to Bake! This time it is edition #22 and Aparna chose a really beautiful bread for us to try – the Sheermal/ Shirmal. A little introduction as provided by her: Sheermal or Shirmal is a saffron-flavored slightly sweet traditional leavened flatbread that is found in various countries on the Asian sub-continent including Iran, Bangladesh, Pakistan and India. Sheermal is a Naan-like milk bread, apparently of Persian origins, and it is suggested that the name comes from the Persian word for milk which is “sheer”. In India, this “milk” bread is predominantly found in Muslim neighbourhoods (another reason to suppose it came to India with the Mughals) of Kashmir, Lucknow and Hyderabad. This can be eaten for breakfast along with tea or with some spicy curry for lunch or dinner. Sheermal can be made either with baking powder or yeast, and she gave… 

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