Monday 24th September 2007by rkhooks
Sorry I couldn’t resist the pun. I mean pain as in ‘le pain’. Although there were a few things which were an extra pain last week like the post office and the Parisian men (don’t get me going on the second). I don’t know whether it’s the change of season or if there was something in the air but everyone seemed to be extra annoying last week.
Deep breath. Anyway last week I was busy baking not just biscuits but bread for the launch of a new Parisian wine guide ‘Aux bons crus’ (written in English & French) at La Cocotte. The idea was to do a version of ‘Le sandwich parisien’ (= sandwich with ham and butter).
I’ve been dying to try out some of the recipes from the amazing ‘Bread matters by Andrew Whitley’ book I got for my birthday. I had heard about Andrew Whitley when I listened to a BBC radio 4 food programme. He has a really interesting philosophy and knowledge on the UK bread scene (do listen to the programme if you get a chance). The book not only has a very comprehensive list of bread recipes (traditional bread, sourdough, croissants, gluten free…). It also gives a very detailed step by step guide on how to make the best bread and explanations of different flours.
Andrew Whitley prefers the ‘wet dough’ technique which I found very odd (and messy) to begin with. I’m used to working with a ‘drier’ dough (like most home bakers). But after the results I don’t think I’ll be going back. I adapted Andrew’s basic dough recipe and incorporated ham and cheese (instead of the traditional butter) to make my version of a Parisian sandwich. And let me just say the Parisians couldn’t get enough of it. Within an hour of the start of the booklaunch they had already eaten 4 massive loaves…if that’s not a compliment than I don’t know what is.
Le Parisien Bread
Adapted from Andrew Whitley