Everyday Cooking

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Yule Log - A Daring Bakers Challenge

From our family to yours....

I am growing to love, love, love these Daring Baker challenges. With trepidation, I joined this daredevil group of breadmakers and cakemakers (amongst other things) in an effort to learn more about the art of baking. Boy, two challenges down and I can't count the number of 'firsts' I have had experienced in trying to meet my challenges.
The December challenge is appropriately a Yule Log or Bûche de Noel. Yes, I asked the same question. Wiki had the answer as usual and informs that a Yule Log is 'a traditional dessert served during the Christmas holidays inFrance and Quebec. As the name indicates, the cake is generally prepared, presented, and garnished so as to look like a log ready for the fire. The traditional bûche is made from a Génoise or other sponge cake, generally baked in a large, shallow jelly roll pan, frosted, rolled to form a cylinder, and frosted again on the outside.'

The recipe involves making a génoise, Swiss buttercream, marzipan -none of which I have attempted to make before.

The Christmas rush of baking , gift-buying, visiting friends, having friends over etc ., proved to be a blessing. By the time I got around to making ¨the log¨, lots of fabulous and talented Daring Bakers have already made theirs. The DB blog was inundated with tips and tricks which helped immensely. See, this is exactly what I love about the group-it's all about sharing the failures and successes with their creations and allowing everyone to learn in the process.

What with all the Christmas stress and all, I didn't think my nerves could take any more unpleasant surprises so I decided to stick to the recipe to the letter. No exotic flavour for my butter cream, no nuts thrown into the sponge batter, no fancy baubles to decorate the log with. Nevertheless, making this was a lot of fun. My sponge might have been overcooked (though I only baked it for 8mins, as opposed to 10-12mins as stated in the recipe) and the buttercream was runny and perilously split (salvaged by putting in the fridge and whisking by hand additional icing sugar)- the result was absolutely delicious. I have to say that the buttercream was the star in this recipe. I just could not get enough of the coffe and rum laden dream of an icing. This cream will be used in this household again, for sure. Hmm, I can already see it over a mocha chiffon or some dark chocolate cupcakes.

Making the marzipan was also a hoot. It was playdough for grown-up. Sadly, I've never been much good with playdough so I did not attempt to make anything fancy with the marzipan (I left that to my three-year old). I stuck with the humble mushrooms and oh, how I loved the little stumpy ones. They were so cute.

As a final touch, I just added some gum tree leaves and gum nuts for that Australian feel.

Thanks to the Dynamic Duo (and Daring bakers founders) of Ivonne (of Cream Puffs in Venice) and Lis (of La Mia Cucina) for choosing a fabulously festive challenge.

Happy Holidays Everyone!!

Yule Log
(from Perfect Cakes by Nick Malgieri and The Williams-Sonoma Collection: Dessert)

Plain Genoise:

3 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
pinch of salt
¾ cup of sugar
½ cup cake flour - spoon flour into dry-measure cup and level off (also known as cake & pastry flour)
¼ cup cornstarch

one (1) 10 x 15 inch jelly-roll pan that has been buttered and lined with parchment paper and then buttered again

1.Set a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F.
2.Half-fill a medium saucepan with water and bring it to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat so the water is simmering.
3.Whisk the eggs, egg yolks, salt and sugar together in the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer. Place over the pan of simmering water and whisk gently until the mixture is just lukewarm, about 100 degrees if you have a thermometer (or test with your finger - it should be warm to the touch).
4.Attach the bowl to the mixer and, with the whisk attachment, whip on medium-high speed until the egg mixture is cooled (touch the outside of the bowl to tell) and tripled in volume. The egg foam will be thick and will form a slowly dissolving ribbon falling back onto the bowl of whipped eggs when the whisk is lifted.
5.While the eggs are whipping, stir together the flour and cornstarch.
6.Sift one-third of the flour mixture over the beaten eggs. Use a rubber spatula to fold in the flour mixture, making sure to scrape all the way to the bottom of the bowl on every pass through the batter to prevent the flour mixture from accumulating there and making lumps. Repeat with another third of the flour mixture and finally with the remainder.
7.Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
8.Bake the genoise for about 10 to 12 minutes. Make sure the cake doesn’t overbake and become too dry or it will not roll properly.
9.While the cake is baking, begin making the buttercream.
10.Once the cake is done (a tester will come out clean and if you press the cake lightly it will spring back), remove it from the oven and let it cool on a rack.

Coffee Buttercream:

4 large egg whites
1 cup sugar
24 tablespoons (3 sticks or 1-1/2 cups) unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
2 tablespoons rum or brandy

1.Whisk the egg whites and sugar together in the bowl of an electric mixer. Set the bowl over simmering water and whisk gently until the sugar is dissolved and the egg whites are hot.
2.Attach the bowl to the mixer and whip with the whisk on medium speed until cooled. Switch to the paddle and beat in the softened butter and continue beating until the buttercream is smooth. Dissolve the instant coffee in the liquor and beat into the buttercream.

Meringue Mushrooms:

3 large egg whites, at room temperature
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
½ cup (3-1/2 ounces/105 g.) granulated sugar
1/3 cup (1-1/3 ounces/40 g.) icing sugar
Unsweetened cocoa powder for dusting

1.Preheat the oven to 225 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment. Have ready a pastry bag fitted with a small (no. 6) plain tip. In a bowl, using a mixer on medium-low speed, beat together the egg whites and cream of tartar until very foamy. Slowly add the granulated sugar while beating. Increase the speed to high and beat until soft peaks form when the beaters are lifted. Continue until the whites hold stiff, shiny peaks. Sift the icing sugar over the whites and, using a rubber spatula, fold in until well blended.
2.Scoop the mixture into the bag. On one baking sheet, pipe 48 stems, each ½ inch (12 mm.) wide at the base and tapering off to a point at the top, ¾ inch (2 cm.) tall, and spaced about ½ inch (12 mm.) apart. On the other sheet, pipe 48 mounds for the tops, each about 1-1/4 inches (3 cm.) wide and ¾ inch (2 cm.) high, also spaced ½ inch (12 mm.) apart. With a damp fingertip, gently smooth any pointy tips. Dust with cocoa. Reserve the remaining meringue.
3.Bake until dry and firm enough to lift off the paper, 50-55 minutes. Set the pans on the counter and turn the mounds flat side up. With the tip of a knife, carefully make a small hole in the flat side of each mound. Pipe small dabs of the remaining meringue into the holes and insert the stems tip first. Return to the oven until completely dry, about 15 minutes longer. Let cool completely on the sheets.

Marzipan Mushrooms:

8 ounces almond paste
2 cups icing sugar
3 to 5 tablespoons light corn syrup
Cocoa powder

1.To make the marzipan combine the almond paste and 1 cup of the icing sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat with the paddle attachment on low speed until sugar is almost absorbed.
2.Add the remaining 1 cup of sugar and mix until the mixture resembles fine crumbs.
3.Add half the corn syrup, then continue mixing until a bit of the marzipan holds together when squeezed, adding additional corn syrup a little at a time, as necessary: the marzipan in the bowl will still appear crumbly.
4.Transfer the marzipan to a work surface and knead until smooth.
5.Roll one-third of the marzipan into a 6 inches long cylinder and cut into 1-inch lengths.
6.Roll half the lengths into balls. Press the remaining cylindrical lengths (stems) into the balls (caps) to make mushrooms.
7.Smudge with cocoa powder.

Assembling the Yule Log:

1.Run a sharp knife around the edges of the genoise to loosen it from the pan.
2.Turn the genoise layer over (unmolding it from the sheet pan onto a flat surface) and peel away the paper.
3.Carefully invert your genoise onto a fresh piece of parchment paper.
4.Spread with half the coffee buttercream (or whatever filling you’re using).
5.Use the parchment paper to help you roll the cake into a tight cylinder.
6.Transfer back to the baking sheet and refrigerate for several hours.
7.Unwrap the cake. Trim the ends on the diagonal, starting the cuts about 2 inches away from each end.
8.Position the larger cut piece on each log about 2/3 across the top.
9.Cover the log with the reserved buttercream, making sure to curve around the protruding stump.
10.Streak the buttercream with a fork or decorating comb to resemble bark.
11.Transfer the log to a platter and decorate with your mushrooms and whatever other decorations you’ve chosen.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Pippies and Pumpkin Flowers in Coconut Milk

My family has been putting up with very unimaginative meals of late as I'd been busy preparing goodies for our Christmas give-aways:
Mango and Lime Jam
Cinnamon Stars

This is actually the first year that I'm gifting homemade stuff on a large scale. Last year's fudgy brownies and biscuits for the neighbours were whipped up in an afternoon. Not these. Halfway thru, I seriously had to think up friendships and how they (did not) served me in the last year in an effort to shorten the list of recipients. Just kidding!;-)
The jamming and baking did take a lot out of me and I'm still not finished. Another 7 or 8 hampers to put together. Some of those will have these lovely Oreo-style cookies (from Patricia's Technicolor Kitchen) instead of the Cinnamon Stars, for friends who are allergic to nuts. Can't wait to bake and taste those. Now if only I could find the time. Or the energy. Spending too much time in the kitchen and having the kids fall ill totally sapped me of energy and inspiration.

Then, Mum dropped by on the weekend with these:
very pretty Pumpkin flowers from an aunt's garden. Couldn't wait to get my hands on those but the common ways of preparing gourd flowers (stuffed with cheese or in fritters) were not enticing enough.

Another inspiration came from a fellow blogger. Tigerfish' Clam Pasta made me think of Pippies (or Cockles or Surf Clams). The last time I had them were three years ago, on a short visit to Sydney (I was still living in Zurich then) while I was six and a half months pregnant. Hubby and I rented a beach house for a few days with another couple (the girlfriend was eight months pregnant!). The pregnant women suddenly decided that we were in the mood for Pippies and so off we went digging at the closest surf beach within the National Park. Dodging the park ranger (it wasn't exactly legal to gather the clams from the National Park but that's by the by...) and ignoring the eye-rolling by the husbands, two huge ladies had their fill of clams that wonderful sunny afternoon.

Anyhow, despite the long and digressing introduction, combining the Pippies and Pumpkin flowers in a dish was a simple exercise. Sautéed in garlic, onion, ginger and tomatoes, the fresh and clean flavour of the Pippies was not overwhelmed by any strong ingredients. The slight bitterness of the flowers added an interesting dimension to the dish.
I had this with steamed rice but it would also be lovely with some crusty bread for a summer's lunch.

Pippies and Pumpkin Flowers in Coconut Milk
serves 4

1 kg Pippies (or clams)
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp minced ginger
2 medium onions, sliced finely
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1tsp tumeric (optional, I only used for colour)
1 tin coconut milk (400mL)
salt and pepper
15 Pumpkin flowers
5 pcs red chillies*

To prepare the flowers, take out the stamen in the middle and rinse the flowers.

It is best to soak the Pippies in saltwater overnight to get rid of most of the grit.
After soaking, brush the shells in clean cold water.
Steam the Pippies in a large pot with a cup of water. It will only take around 5 minutes for the clams to open up. Drain in a colander, over a bowl to save the cooking juices. Discard any shells that did not open.

In a pan, heat up the oil and sautée the garlic and ginger. When they have coloured a little, add the onion ,tomatoes and tumeric if using. Mix around and cover. Cook until the tomatoes have softened and you have a sauce-like consistency.

Add the coconut milk and half a cup of the Pippies cooking juices.
Let the sauce boil and simmer until it has thickened a little. Throw in the Pippies in their shell. Turn the heat up until the sauce boils. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the Pumpkin flowers and chillies. Quickly and carefully mix, then turn off the heat.

*I left the chillies whole as I knew I would be sharing these with family who don't care much about spicy dishes. If you love your food with zing, chop up the chillies and add at the same time as the onions and tomatoes.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Creamy Pumpkin Penne with Bacon

We have seen some dramatic weather in Sydney lately. Warm humid mornings gave in to dramatic lightning storms in the evenings. Hailstones the size of golf balls came raining down upon us on the weekend. Debris everywhere and it looks like there'd be more to come.

The electric storms definitely brought some restlesness in the air or is it just Christmas already making its presence felt? So much running around to do, cooking, visiting and shopping to get out of the way. Would I love Christmas without all these frantic activities? Probably not.
Amidst all the Christmas baking, jamming and cooking that's beein going on, it's good to have some simple fare during the week. This pasta dish fits the bill perfectly. Simple, easy to make and comforting on a stormy night.

Having small children in the house, we always have pureed vegetables in the freezer for adding to pasta sauces, using as a base for soups and to make into simple dips (My daughter is going thru a 'dips' phase. She likes to have something on the side to dunk her pieces of meat and vegetables in). This recipe makes use of puréed pumpkin but I've also made it before with puréed cauliflower (see smaller photo). Both versions have been a hit with the little girl.

To purée vegetables, cut into small cubes and steam until
very soft. Use a masher or hand blender to get a thick mush.

Creamy Pumpkin Penne with Bacon
serves 2

100 g bacon, cut into small pieces

200g Penne or other pasta

25g butter
1Tbsp plain flour
1 c milk
1/2 c grated Cheddar cheese
salt and pepper
1 c pureed pumpkin

1Tbsp chopped parsley

Fry the bacon until browned. Keep warm.

Cook the pasta in a generous amount of salted, boiling water.

In the meantime, melt the butter in a pot. Add the flour, stirring vigorously until a paste forms and comes off the sides of the pot easily.

Slowly add the milk while still stirring with a wire whisk. Cook very gently until smooth and thick but do not let it boil.

Take the pot off the heat, add the grated cheese and mix until all the cheese has melted. Return to heat on low and add the pureed pumpkin while stirring. Heat up until bubbling gently.

Take off the heat and season with salt and pepper.

Strain the cooked pasta and transfer into a bowl. Top with the pumpkin sauce and bacon. Garnish with parsley.

I'm sharing this for Presto Pasta night over at Once Upon a Feast.
This is the first time I've been participating although I've been keeping an eye on the wonderful weekly round up by Ruth for some time now. Be sure to visit!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

I, the Maybahay

The sweet lady behind Dhanggit's kitchen has tagged me for my first meme.
I'm finding it fun reading everyone else's little revelations and finding tidbits that make up the personalities behind the blogs.

Getting on with mine...

What were you cooking/baking 10 years ago?

Lots of vegetables! I was living with a friend who has asthma and allergies, and so had to watch his diet carefully (If you are reading this Anthony Long, let me know where you are. I've been looking everywhere for you!!!!). His Mum would come around every week with a large box full of fruit and vegetables straight from the markets. Curried vegetables were regularly on the menu. The rest were eaten in salads. Unfortunately, we always ended up binning lots of the vegies as neither myself nor my friend had much time to cook. I was enjoying singledom then and was eating out lots.

I didn't bake much then though, I remember the' unfortunate incident of the shattered lemon tart'. I had a beautiful tart made for my housemate's dinner party. One of his guests turned on the electric hob unknowingly while the pyrex tart dish was sitting on it. Apparently there was tart everywhere and no one got to try it...

What were you cooking/baking one year ago?
I was cooking and baking our daily family staples like meat and couscous salads, stir-frys, lots of Thai curries and Indian curries, the occassional brownies and muffins. One of the reasons I decided to start blogging is so I can widen my cooking repertoire a bit.

Five snacks you enjoy:

Me love salt and grease! Yum
1. Bhuja/Bombay mix
2. Seaweed rice crackers
3. Char Siu Bao (Siopao or Barbecue pork buns)
4. Hot Chips
5. Sushi (yes, as a snack!)

Five recipes you know by heart:

1. My very own 'special' fried rice (this dish has seen me through feasts and famines in my life)
2. Kare Kare
3. standard Sunday roast (whether it be chicken, pork, beef or lamb)
4. pancakes
5. Sinigang

Five culinary luxuries you would indulge in if you were a millionaire:

1. Pay someone to clean-up after me so I can cook up a storm everyday with no worries.
2. Go to as many Michelin star -rated restaurants as possible.
3. Set up my own cook book shop/bistro.
4. Set up my own arena to hold 'Iron Chef' style cook-offs in. I get to try all the dishes at the end, of course ;-)
5. Have a cellar of the best Margaux' for my husband.

Five foods you love to cook/bake:

1. Pakbet. I love vegetables and this is a uniquely Filipino way of enjoying them.
2. Stir-fries. The variety can be endless. Experiments hardly ever go wrong.
3. My 'party pork'. Slow-roasted pork belly sitting in a braising liquid (stock, cane sugar, sometimes with anise, fish sauce, etc). Chuck it in a low oven, forget about it for a few hours, serve it on the table and watch your guests devour it.
4. Simple sugar cookies made with my darling little girl.
5. Wickedly fudgy brownies.

Five foods you cannot/will not eat:
1. Any dish made from creatures that could count as a housepet :-(
2. Licorice. I just don't get it.
3. can't think of anything else...

Five favorite culinary toys:

My collection of kitchen gadgets is quite lean. I don't even like food processors.

1. My husband's big set of Wüsthof knives and kitchen utensils. Very sharp knives are safe knives. He got these before we got together. I think it's what sealed the deal for me ;-)
2. can't think of anything else...

Five dishes on your "last meal" menu:

I would like to keep this quite simple

1. soft-boiled egg and toast (I have this almost everyday for breakfast)
2. rocket and parmesan with olive oil and balsamic vinegar
3. crispy roast duck
4. lemon meringue pie
5. gruyere on crackers

Five happy food memories:
1. Weekend meals at my Mum's or an aunt's house. My extended family love to eat and the table is never big enough for the food everyone brings to share. Food tastes best over gossip, laughter, a little bit of fighting, complaints about ailments, plans for the future, etc.
2. As a child in the Philippines, waiting for the street vendor bearing the afternoon's merienda.
After an imposed siesta, we got to enjoy daily treats like fried noodles, sticky rice in coconut milk, different types of rice cakes and spring rolls.
3. Packed picnics by my husband. Alpine mountain and lakeside walks were made the more special by his little parcels of goodies-cheese, crusty bread, cold meats and a few bars of Swiss chocolate.
4. LOTS of cheese and LOTS of wine while on holidays with friends in the south of France.
5. Introducing my children to their first taste of anything. Seeing my kids' expression when they first had ice cream is priceless.

It would be great to get to know more about the other bloggers who inspire me.
Of course, there's no obligation on their part to do this. I am passing this on to:
Margot of Coffee and Vanilla- she's such a prolific poster, has great variety of recipes and beautiful photography.
Veron of Kitchen Musings- her posts are always very informative. And this lady CAN make Macarons!
Kate of Applemint-there's always freshness about her recipes and photographs
Zuzana of Zlamushka's Spicy Kitchen - her recipe collection is so culturally-diverse. And I LOVE spicy food
Patricia of Technicolor Kitchen - this site is a recent discovery for me. The recipes are varied, simple and elegant.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Flambéed Caipirinha Scallops

Since coming back from holidays, all I could think about are seafood and cocktails. Something clicked and I decided to combine the two!

Caipirinha is a favourite summer drink of mine. I finally found a bottle shop in the city that sells Cachaca and am looking forward to treating friends to a round of the refreshing cocktail one weekend soon. In the meantime, I enjoyed the flavours that go in this drink in an unusual way.

The sauce for this scallop dish is very simple, a mix of lime juice, rind and sugar. A glug of Cachaca is added and set alight (I do love some theatrics in the kitchen from time to time!).

The result is simple but special enough to be part of a festive meal with the closest of your friends. This is not a traditional dish served for a traditional festival but I believe that just getting the chance to sit down for a meal with your nearest and dearest is always worth celebrating.

I am sending this over to Anna of Morsels and Musings for the Festive Food Festival.
Pop on over and enjoy the buffet!

Flambéed Caipirinha Scallops

Serves 2 for a light lunch but if you're feeding the masses, bigger quantities are best made in small batches.
I had the scallops with some tumeric and butter rice but they would also be nice served as an appetizer/finger food, sitting on some lettuce leaves.

300g scallops (roe removed)
a knob of butter
2 Tbsp olive oil
4 Tbsp lime juice
zest from 2 limes
1 Tbsp raw or brown sugar
a dash of Cachaca

chives for garnish

Combine in a cup the lime juice, zest and sugar.
In a skillet/pan, heat up the butter and olive oil. Once the butter is melted, add the lime juice mix.
Swish the skillet around to keep the sugar from burning. Once the sauce has thickened and browned slightly, turn up the heat and toss in the scallops.
Stir-fry for around one minute. Add a dash of Cachaca. If cooking over a gas burner, tilt the pan slightly such that the alcohol catches the flame. Otherwise, light up with a match.
Do not let the scallops overcook. They are best flash-cooked to keep them plump and sweet.

Garnish with chives and extra lime slices.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Tender Potato Bread- A Daring Bakers Challenge

When I started this blog, I wasn't really sure where I wanted it to lead me. It was simply something to while away the time with while my kids are down for a nap or too engrossed in play to have Mum hovering around. It was a bit of me time while being productive by documenting my recipes in a medium a little more of this era (I still have some recipes saved in floppy discs. It's weird realising that my kids will not even know what those are!)

Three months on and blogging has re-defined my relationship with food and cooking. Where there was before a convenient albeit stagnant marriage, there is now an exciting, growing and inspiring love affair. I am finding fun in my daily ventures in the kitchen knowing that I am later able to share the experience with newfound friends. I try and become more attuned to flavours and savour my food a little bit more lovingly so I can honestly describe my creations in words. I have spiced things up a little bit more by bringing in inspirations from other food blogs and taking advice from the more experienced. Now the love affair has just moved up another notch -each month I will be venturing into unchartered territory all in the name of self-improvement so I can further nourish the passion. I have joined the Daring Bakers. Yep, I will be baking more. And more succesfully, I hope.

The Daring Bakers is a group of food bloggers of varying experiences, blogging on the same day each month about a recipe set by a member as a challenge. The bakers follow the recipe to the letter, apart from some allowed modifications.

I nearly fainted when I saw what was to be my very first Daring Baker challenge: Tender Potato Bread as chosen by Tanna of My Kitchen in Half Cups. I have tried to bake bread maybe two or three times before and the results were average at best. My husband has always blamed the non-success on 'atmospherics'. 'Hmm, it's been quite humid today' or 'Maybe the recipe did not take into account altitude' (this when we were living in a city approx 430m above sea level). Yeast is contentious enough a foe but adding mashed potato to bread dough? What complications would that throw in the mix? Great, my first challenge might end up as my last.

Finding the right day to bake the bread was in itself a challenge. Having read posts of fellow DBers, I got the impression that making this bread is a long process, involving boiling, mashing potatoes and letting it cool, then working a very sticky dough. Can't have kids running around or crying in the background while I grab this one by the horns. Knowing that the family will be holidaying around the time we were scheduled to post didn't leave me much choice though. So, out I went to get my potatoes (Pontiac) and crossed my fingers that the baking stars would align for me. And that they did.

The original recipe called for '4 medium potatoes' which can be quite open to interpretation. Luckily, the more experienced bakers gave an approximate weight to try (between 8oz to 16oz). I used close to 400g of potatoes (approx 14oz) and 1kg of unbleached flour. The resulting dough was very tacky. It also had a very flabby feel that unfortunately resembled my upper arms which have not been in any contact with gym equipment for years. Eeek. I oiled my hands and dug in to knead. Whoa! That dough felt good. Sure it was a bit sticky but it was also 'friendly'. It allowed me to just carress it into shape instead of fighting me back as have previous projects.

At this point, I just had the feeling that things were going to turn out ok. True enough, the tempreature in the house just seemed perfect and the dough doubled in size after a couple of hours of proving. I got the confidence to dare myself and eventually divided the dough into three and shaped them into a foccacia and two loaves.

One of the loaves had a parsley pesto swirled through it and then sprinkled with sesame seeds on top.

The foccacia was drizzled with brown butter and then sprinkled with rocksalt and sage leaves prior to baking.

Tanna chose a great recipe. This bread was wonderful. I loved how it was almost 'cakey' but not heavy. The foccacia was cut up into smaller squares and used in miniature salami and rocket sandwiches. The plain loaf tasted great toasted. It toasted nice and crisp outside and moist in the middle. The beautiful holes were perfect for the melting buter. As for the parsley loaf, I intended to have it with soup but we ended up eating the slices on their own.

There, my first challenge done. I am now an official 'Daring Baker'. Hurrah!

I have to say, though, that this bread was really baked by the collective virtual hands of the Daring Bakers. The convivial online exchange of tips and ideas on the DB blog was an inspiration. This group is not only daring but also helpful, fun and friendly. I am already looking forward to the December challenge.
In the meantime, I will be a bit busy checking out everyone else's take on this wonderful recipe.

The official posting date for the November challenge was supposed to be 26th Nov. Though I made the bread in November, I was not able to post about it until now as I was away on a beach holiday with the family.