Monday 24th September 2007

by rkhooks

Le parisien pain

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 Pain

Le Parisien Bread
Adapted from Andrew Whitley

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5 Responses to “What a pain!”

  1. M says:

    Ha, voil

  2. ilingc says:

    All I saw was the title and the top quarter of the photo when the page loaded and when I scrolled down and I almost laughed out loud when I realised that you meant bread.

    This looks great and simple. I’ve just started making bread at home and am still a bit iffy on the yeast and the rising process but this looks simple enough that I might just be able to get it right this time! :)

  3. R khooks says:

    I’ve heard of that book, think I browsed through it in a bookshop. I know of Dan Lepard because he used to work for my favourite London Bakery,
    Baker & spice. I have their book Baking with passion which is also really good.

  4. Rosa says:

    I have that book and think it’s great too, though I did get into a real sticky mess making the Country French bread! You might also enjoy The Handmade Loaf by Dan Lepard – his recipes are quite time consuming, but the results are impressive.

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