Homemade baguette

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We  generally attributed the invention of leaven bread to the Egyptians , who have made ​​the discovery by chance. Dough unleavened bread (water, milk and flour) was skipped, would have “spoiled”, but would still have been fired, leading to the discovery of leavened bread. The bread evolution slowed down during the invasions of Normandy particularly because of non-maintenance or destruction of the Gallo-Roman watermills. Since the Renaissance, the development of science benefits the milling and baking technology, the first applicable to the yeast scientific work benefits from the invention of the microscope by the Dutch Antonie van Leeuwenhoekk, the fermentation by yeast grows, bread diversifies and coarse bread (from peas of beans or acorns ) no longer appear in times of scarcity. In Paris, the first industrial bakery was founded in 1836 . The same decade also saw the emergence of the bread stick.  Consumption of fresh bread then democratize ,the people had the habit of eating far from stale bread.

 

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Baguette:

 

Ingredients:

  • 500 g Bakers flour
  • 250 ml warm water
  • 24 g fresh yeast or 8 g dry yeast
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 TBSP olive oil

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Method:

  • Place flour in a mixer with a hook attachment, add salt and mix for about 30 seconds just to incorporate the salt. In a separate bowl place the yeast and add a little warm water to dilute the yeast, if you are using dry yeast you’ll need to leave it activate for about 8-10 minutes until it starts to bubble on top. Add the yeast to the flour while mixing, and then slowly add the water while mixing. The bowl should be clean when finished, if it sticks a little you can add a bit more flour. Knead the dough for about 3-4 minutes, then put on the kitchen bench and knead it for about 1-2 minutes to form a smooth ball. Put it back in the bowl and cover it with a towel, leave the dough rest until it has doubled in size. Once doubled in size take the dough out and put it on the bench. Knead it for about a minute, just to knock all the air out. Portion the dough into little ball depending on the size you want your baguette to be. Then using the palm of your hand flatten the dough a little to form like a rectangle, then roll a 1/3 of the rectangle over itself a and knead it with the palm of your hand. Repeat until you have a cylinder like shape, then using both your hands starting in the middle finishing at both ends; roll the baguette to give it a nice round shape, same principle as rolling gnocchi. Place the baguette on a flat baking tray with a little bit of flour to prevent sticking. Cover the baguettes with a towel and leave to proof until doubled in size. Preheat your oven at 220 degrees Celsius and place a bowl of water at the bottom. The water will create a bit of humidity and give the bread a beautiful golden colour. Once doubled in size, with a Sharpe knife slightly mark the top of the baguette, this help the steam escape while cooking, and also give it a great look. Bake for about 16-18 minutes, turning them around about half way. Once cooked, place them on cooling rack. Voila, your baguettes are done. My favourite way to enjoy a freshly bake baguette is to have it with delicious cheese platter and a glass of red wine. What’s yours? Let me know at lefermierblog@gmail.com . To watch my how to video check out the link here : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93c3IZMbWKU

À bientôt,
Le Fermier

 

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hot jam doughnuts filled with chocolate ganache and sour cheery jam

Hot jam doughnuts :

250 g strong white bread flour

50 chilled unsalted butter, diced

7 g dried yeast or 21 g fresh yeast

4 Tbsp caster sugar

1 medium free range eggs

100 ml whole milk ( lukewarm)

Sunflower oil for deep frying

Method : Sift the flour and a pinch of salt into a large salt, then rub in the  butter with your fingertips. Mix the yeast and a 1/3 of the lukewarm milk and 1 tbsp of sugar then stir through the flour. Make a well in the centre, mix the rest of the lukewarm milk and the eggs and pour into the well. Mix quickly  and bring together into a soft dough.

Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for 8 minutes or until smooth. Put in a lightly greased bowl and cover with cling film or a lightly wet towel and leave in a warm place for an hour or until double in size.

Divide the dough into 12 evenly size balls, and shape them into smooth balls using the palm of your hands. Place them well apart  on a baking tray lined with baking paper then loosely cover them with a greased piece of cling film. Leave for 45 minutes or until doubled in size.

Heat the sunflower oil to 190 degrees. Carefully lower the doughnuts into the oil using a slotted spoon, in batches of 2 or 3. Fry for 30 seconds each side until golden and cooked through. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain a kitchen paper.

While the doughnuts are still warm, make a whole on the side of the doughnuts and pipe the ganache in the doughnuts. Use the cherry jam a dipping sauce.

Roll the doughnuts in the remaining caster sugar to coat them completely. Serve warm or allow to cool.

For the ganache:

300 ml thickened cream

300 g dark chocolate

Method: Boil the cream and pour it over the chocolate, leave for a few minutes, whisk and leave to cool.

For the cherry jam:

1 jar sour cherries

1 orange peel

1 teaspoon cinnamon.

Method:

Cook the cherries with the orange peels and cinnamon for about 15 minutes then blend and pass it through a thieve.

Garlic and chili mussels with homemade spaghetti

 

Mussels with a Mediterranean twist, in this recipe I’ve add a little bit of spicy salami which I think gives it that extra “kick”, that meaty and spicy flavour goes hand in hand with the mussels, and that soft and succulent texture from the homemade fresh spaghetti is just amazing. Together they create an amazing dish.

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For the Pasta :

– 750 g semolina

– 250 g flour

– 5 eggs

– 1 cup water

– 2 Tbs olive oil

– Pinch of salt

Method : Mix semolina, plain flour, & salt together • Whisk the eggs then add them to the semolina, then add the water and olive oil and mix until combined • Cut the dough into small pieces • Roll the dough with a rolling pin until thin enough to put through the pasta machine • Starts rolling on number 1 to 4 then fold the dough on itself and start again from number 1 to 7 • Roll the dough through the spaghetti attachment of the pasta machine and lay the pasta on a flat dry tray and sprinkle with semolina to avoid sticking • Cook in salted boiling water for 2 minutes, drain the water from the pot, refresh the pasta by rinsing in cold water and drain again • Drizzle a little olive oil over the pasta to avoid sticking.

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For the mussel sauce:

– 2 kg mussels

– 2 brown onions

– 4 clove garlic

– ½ bunch thyme

– 2 can crushed tomato

– 4 dried chili

– 50 g spicy salami

– 150 ml white wine

Method : With a small knife remove the “ beard” on the mussels and scratch any residue on the mussels and rinse them quickly under cold water• Heat up you pot on a high heat, pour the white wine and turn the heat down to medium then add your mussels and cover, cook until the mussels open up• Once opened pour the mussels and juice in a bowl, keep aside about 10 mussels in the shell for presentation later, take the rest out of the shell and keep the juice for the sauce• Heat up a pot, add a drizzle of olive oil. Add the diced onions, crushed garlic, thyme, diced salami and chopped dried chili and cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes• Add the shelled mussels and stir, strain the mussel juice using a fine strainer then add half into the pot. Add the crushed tomato and cook for about 8-10 minutes on a low heat• Add the remaining mussels on top and season to taste.

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Lemon and Meringue Tart

lemontart-lefermier-

Lemon Meringue Tart is such a beautiful dessert. The acidity of the lemon and the sweetness of the Italian meringue balance each other beautifully. In this recipe I use home grown lemons which I think make a different, as they are sweeter and free of any chemicals. This tantalising tart used to be my reason for going to the market back in the village I grew up in, in France; going to the patisserie stall to get one of those delicious treats was very exciting every time. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Sweet Pastry:

–          140 g caster sugar

–          160 g beurre

–          400 g plain flour

–          2 whole eggs

Method : Dice the butter into small pieces and put it into the mixer • Add the sugar and mix until well combined • Add the egg one by one then add the flour, mixing until combined • Do not over mix the dough • Put the dough on the bench and flatten it a little. This will make it easier to roll later • Wrap it in glad wrap and put in the fridge for 1 ½ hours • Take it out and let  the dough come to room temperature • Flour your bench and roll the dough to about 2-3 millimetres • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees • Carefully put the dough in the tart tray, put a layer of baking paper over it and pour rice over it making sure it goes all around the sides (alternatively you can use pie weights if you have them) to prevent the sides from falling during the cooking. This process is called blind baking • The reason we are blind baking the pastry is because we are not cooking the mix as it is already cook • Cook for about 4 minutes or until the sides colour a little bit, take the baking paper off and bake for a further 1 minute • Once the pasty has cooled down, fill it with the lemon curd to about 2 millimetres of the top.

Lemon Curd:

–          140 ml lemon juice

–          150 g butter

–          2 lemon zest

–          10 eggs

–          450 g sugar

Method: Juice and zest the lemon and pour it into a pot • Add the butter and cook on medium heat until melted • Add half the sugar and whisk • Whisk the eggs and add the rest of the sugar • Whisk for a minute then add to the lemon and butter mix • One the mix starts bubbling, cook on medium heat for about 5-6 minutes while whisking • Once cooked, pour into a clean bowl and whisk to cool down once every few minutes.

Italian meringue

–          2 egg whites

–          200 g caster sugar

Method : Put the sugar in a sauce pan with a little bit of water, just enough to melt the sugar • Whisk the egg white on medium speed • Using a cooking thermometer, once at 118 degrees, slowly pour the sugar in the egg whites while whisking • Once the sugar is all in, whisk on full speed until cooled. Spread the meringue on top of the tart using a spatula or a pipping bag with a nozzle • Blow torch the meringue lightly to give it a bit of colour.

Ready to serve

Bon Appetit