22
Aug

Tartine Baking Project: #69 Pissalidière

With all the sweet treats that line the pages of the Tartine cookbook, it was imperative to save something savory for the end of the project.  I do love savory baked goods so very much, so I had to be cognizant of the timeline so I didn’t bake them all right at the beginning.  I saved this little gem because it calls out to be part of a summer picnic.  In the cookbook it’s actually described as a perfect lunch in hand with a glass of Rosé.  So that’s exactly what I set out to recreate.  Such a beautiful little treat, just like you’d see in the windows of adorable boulangeries along the coast of the French Riviera!

Pissalidière begins with the brioche dough.  Honestly, brioche is one of my favorite things to make. (Here’s my video)  It’s a longer process than most recipes, but so simple.  The first time I remember eating brioche it was in Monaco as we were leaving the most amazing aquarium I’ve ever seen.  I pointed to the treat behind the glass that was covered in large crystals of sugar.  I took a bite and asked in French, “This is so delicious, what is it?”  The woman gave a gruntish laugh, shrugged her shoulders, and replied, “Uh, just brioche.”  It’s such a simple bread, customary and traditional for the French, and my sheer delight was out of the ordinary for this sweet woman who makes the stuff on the regular.  When I ordered a second, she was so happy and amused and told me, “Glad you found each other.”  I tried to save it in the car on our way back to Italy, but it was gone before we made it out of the country.

Finding the right olives was important to make sure the pissalidière as accurate as possible for the regional recipe.  It calls for Niçoise olives, which hale from just outside of Nice, France.  When I didn’t find them at first, I began to worry because I didn’t want to substitute them.  I didn’t even know what I’d properly substitute them with.  I went to the grocery store that has an olive bar, and after some serious searching, I found the Niçoise little gems as a part of an olive medley.  I walked away with my olives, making a woman who was stocking the olives disgusted with me in the process because she was super bummed I just wanted one kind of olive in the medley.  She watched me like a hawk as I filled up my container, even though I refrained from only grabbing the olives I wanted.  This deliciousness also included caramelized onions, anchovy fillets, and the best heirloom cherry tomatoes from a local farm here in Kalamazoo.  I found them at our food co-op, and they are the best tomatoes I’ve enjoyed all summer!

The salty pissalidière paired with a glass of Rosé made for quite the romantic weekday afternoon French getaway, right in our backyard.  My advice, don’t try and take a four-mile run immediately afterwards.  What was I thinking?!


16
Jan

The Versatile Brioche

Last week was all about brioche. I made a video about it, and both recipes I shared on the blog had to do with that amazing bread. Two loaves of brioche went far for this little family of three!  (The third loaf is in the freezer.)  When I was little I would hold up a cracker and say things like, “This would be, like, eight meals for _______,” and I’d fill in the blank with my favorite tiny creatures du jour: Smurfs, The Borrowers, Thumbelina, etc.  That’s how I feel about these loaves of brioche.  We stretched them further than Stuart Little could ever imagine.  I feel compelled to share all the ways I enjoyed it throughout the week.

A delicious french toast breakfast

delicious B.L.T.’s with avocado and gruyere cheese

Bostock makes for a nice dessert with friends!

Toasted brioche with basil butter, fried eggs, and gruyere cheese made a tasty lunch.

Do yourself a favor and make some brioche.  At the very least (the VERY least), find someone willing to make it for you.  It’s just so good!

 

13
Jan

Tartine Baking Project: #32 Bostock

Traditionally bostock is a breakfast/brunch goodie, but I decided to mix it up and lavishly welcome the only night of TV that we really care about (30 Rock, Parks & Rec, The Office & Up All Night) with a tasty treat. 

I sliced up brioche loaf #2 for the base of bostock.  It’s then covered with an orange sauce, apricot jam, frangipane cream, and slivered almonds.  On their own they’re all very lovely components, and together all sandwiched back-to-back, they’re a dream come true.  Basically, it’s an edible meataphor of the Thursday night of television that we love around here so much that we decide to gather and collectively laugh.  That’s the best way to watch ye olde teevee.

Pastry cream has quickly become my favorite thing to make, and my favorite spoons to lick!  I’m such a sucker for vanilla bean.

The syrup that get spread over the brioche slices give the bostock a real zip thanks in part to that truly zippy orange zest. 

The components of bostock lend themselves to a quick assembly, and so it’s so worth every precious minute it in the long run.  I see how this could make a regular appearance at Sunday brunches.

It’s like the fanciest slice of French toast you’ve ever come across. 

11
Jan

a video: Making Brioche

Here’s my little video of my brioche making adventures.  The hardest part was deciding on a song!  Dan was so impressed with the fact that I made this (and its versatility) that as we ate our sandwiches he repeated, “My wife made this.  My wife made this for me.”  I responded, “You’re lucky to have me.  What if you didn’t have a wife?”  Then this song came to mind, and good ol’ BPB answered that question for us.  It just seemed a wise (and funny) accompaniment to the video.

10
Jan

Tartine Baking Project: #31 Brioche

I’m really good at avoiding things, putting certain things off, and waiting until the last minute to accomplish most tasks.  I also absolutely HATE being late for anything.  It’s actually physically impossible.  I’ve actually tried to be late before, but I show up right on time.  As I’ve been perusing the pages, laying out my baking adventures over the past few weeks, I’ve been avoiding brioche.  It seemed difficult and something that would require too much of my time.  There are so many things I wanted to make with brioche, so I could put it off no longer.  

I decided this would be a fun project for my first dive into videos, too.  So I’ll be sharing that soon.

The preferment…what starts the brioche.

Lots of mixing and resting – for both me and the dough.  

My mixer nearly exploded.  It hates dough so very much.  I literally had to hold it down as it bucked like it was some sort of feral cat and I was trying make it wear a sweater.  I even had to call Dan into the kitchen to help man the wild beast that is my unruly stand mixer. 

There is something so very satisfying about making your own bread.  While it is mildly time consuming, it’s worth it.  Already, we’ve used it for B.L.T’s and French toast this morning, all of which I’m going to share soon.  I’ll be tackling a recipe later this week that calls for brioche, also.  Since I baked three loaves, I wrapped one up and put it in the freezer.  This is something I’m not entirely sure about.  I’m wary of the freezer, and unsure of protocol for successful freezing: should things like this be frozen before or after they’re baked? 

I took them out of the oven early – about fifteen minutes less than the suggested bake time.  This has never happened before for anything I’ve made in this cookbook!  I’m always baking things longer, so it just felt like I’d done something wrong.  I envisioned a “National Lampoon Christmas Vacation” moment where my knife cuts into the bread and it deflates like Clark Griswold’s turkey did.   I took a deep breath, cut in, and found gold.  Perfect brioche.  They’re so beautiful!  I kind of wanted to sneak one into bed – not to eat, but to cuddle with.

Worthy of some serious cuddles, don’t you think?