French

Bready or Not: Galette Des Rois

Posted by on Dec 30, 2020 in Blog, Bready or Not, cake, French | 0 comments

Eat like royalty without a lot of fuss with this shortcut recipe for Galette Des Rois!

Bready or Not: Galette Des Rois

Galette des Rois (King Cake) celebrates Epiphany and is available throughout January in France.

Bready or Not: Galette Des Rois

I am so not in France. Nor did I get to go there in June, as planned. Sigh. So, I have to make-do.

Bready or Not: Galette Des Rois

However, making-do can still be delicious. Frozen puff pastry is great stuff. You make a frangipane from scratch, but it’s pretty straightforward.

Bready or Not: Galette Des Rois

Honestly, the trickiest part for me was figuring out what pattern to etch into the top of the galette–and then hope that I didn’t dig the knife in too deeply.

Bready or Not: Galette Des Rois

If you do a Google search for Galette des Rois, you’ll see all sorts of different patterns you can do. I’m happy with my choice. And that I didn’t cut too deeply.

Bready or Not: Galette Des Rois

Because I am OCD and can’t bear to waste food, I include a bonus recipe on a great way to bake-up the scraps of puff pastry, too.

The galette and scraps are tastiest the day they are baked, but they are still good for the next few days, too.

Adapted from Dorie Greenspan.

Bready or Not: Galette Des Rois

Galette des Rois (King Cake) celebrates Epiphany and is available throughout January in France. Make your own using this shortcut take using puff pastry, modified from a Dorie Greenspan recipe. Traditionally, an almond or other small charm is hidden within the cake as an edible surprise (warn the eaters!).
Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: French
Keyword: almond, cake, puff pastry
Author: Beth Cato

Equipment

  • baking sheet
  • parchment paper
  • pastry brush

Ingredients

Frangipane filling

  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature
  • 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 3/4 cup almond flour sifted
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 Tablespoon rum optional but awesome
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste

Cake

  • 1 puff pastry dough box 14-17 ounce package, cold
  • 1 whole almond for the traditional charm

Instructions

Prepare the frangipane

  • This can be made up to a day ahead, but needs at least an hour to chill before assembling the galette.
  • Beat together the butter and sugar until they are creamy and light. Add the almond flour and salt. Add one whole egg. Divide the other egg, adding only the white–reserve the yolk for later. Mix in the rum, if using, and the vanilla extract.
  • Transfer to a small bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it against the top of the mix, then place in fridge to chill.
  • Mix the reserved yolk with 1 teaspoon of cold water, and cover it and set it in the fridge as well.

Assembling the galette

  • Set out a complete sheet of puff pastry. Cut a 9-1/2 diameter circle out of the middle; if a 9-inch tart pan insert is available, use that as a handy guide. Set aside scraps from edges. Place the cut round on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  • Repeat the process with the second sheet of puff pastry. Place all of the cut-off bits aside in the fridge for now.
  • Return to the pastry round on the baking sheet. Spread the frangipane evenly over the dough, but leave a 1-inch border bare. Place the almond somewhere on the filling. Moisten the border with some cold water. Set the second round of pastry on top and press it down around the edges to seal them together.
  • Use the back of a butter knife to scallop the edges by creating an indentation about a quarter-inch deep, spaced out about a half-inch apart. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven at 425-degrees.
  • Pull out the chilled galette. Brush a thin layer of yolk over the top, but be very careful that it doesn’t drip down over the edge, or the galette won’t rise. Use a paring knife to etch a design on the very top of the galette while taking care not to cut too deeply. Add 6 small slits spaced out to act as steam vents.
  • Drop the oven temperature to 400-degrees. Bake the galette for 30 to 40 minutes, until it is puffed and golden brown. Keep an eye on it. If filling starts to ooze out, scrape it away so that it doesn’t drip off the pan. If the galette is browning too fast, cover it with aluminum foil.
  • Transfer it to a rack to cool for at least 15 minutes. Expect it to deflate some, as that is the way of puff pastry. Best eaten when fresh, served warm or at room temperature, but can be chilled and eaten over the coming days.
  • Bonus: As soon as the galette is out of the oven, put the puff pastry scraps on the parchment. Brush the remaining yolk atop. Then add a topping like pearl sugar, turbinado sugar, or maple sugar. Bake scraps for 15 to 20 minutes, until pieces are puffed and golden. Like the galette, they are best eaten the same day, but are still quite edible after that.

OM NOM NOM!

    Read More

    Bready or Not Original: Apple Calvados Galette

    Posted by on Nov 4, 2020 in alcohol, apples, Blog, boozy, Bready or Not, breakfast, French, pie | 0 comments

    This Apple Calvados Galette is a perfect dessert for one or two people. Plus, it’s rustic and pretty to behold!

    Bready or Not Original: Apple Calvados Galette

    Calvados is an apple brandy made in Normandy. The price point of it can vary quite a bit. Feel free to use another kind of apple brandy in the recipe.

    Bready or Not Original: Apple Calvados Galette

    The delicious, original aspect of this treat is that you use the calvados to make a quick stovetop jelly that you then coat the apples with at the end of the bake time.

    Bready or Not Original: Apple Calvados Galette

    The alcohol flavor doesn’t linger. What you get is a concentrated sweet flavor of apples, right atop the fresh apples.

    or Not Original: Apple Calvados Galette

    The baked galette keeps for days wrapped up in foil in the fridge. A quarter slice is the perfect amount for breakfast or dessert, and it’s not anywhere near as bready and dense as a full piece of pie.

    Bready or Not Original: Apple Calvados Galette

    This Apple Calvados Galette evokes the yummy goodness of apple pie, but in a more rustic, simple form. This is the perfect dessert for one or two people! If French calvados isn’t available, use another apple brandy.
    Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
    Cuisine: French
    Keyword: alcohol, apple, pie
    Author: Beth Cato

    Equipment

    • baking sheet
    • parchment paper
    • basting brush

    Ingredients

    Galette

    • 1 single-layer pie dough store-bought or homemade
    • 4 medium apples such as Gala, Fuji, and Ambrosia
    • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
    • 1/3 cup calvados or other apple brandy
    • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
    • 3 Tablespoons brown sugar packed
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

    Glaze

    • 1 Tablespoon pure maple syrup
    • 1 Tablespoon maple sugar or turbinado sugar

    Instructions

    • Preheat oven at 400-degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
    • On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pie crust to about a 10-inch diameter circle. Transfer it to the baking sheet and set in fridge while the other ingredients are prepared.
    • Peel, core, and thinly slice the apples, placing them in a large bowl. Pour in the lemon juice, calvados, cornstarch, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Toss the apples to coat them completely.
    • Pull out the chilled crust. Begin to arrange apple slices in the middle, fanning them out and stacking them, but leaving a 2-inch border of dough around the outside. DO NOT DISCARD THE LIQUID IN THE BOWL! Once the apples are arranged, fold the dough over to partially cover the apples.
    • Start baking the galette for 15 minutes. While that is cooking, pour the leftover liquid into a small pot on medium-high. Stay close to the stove and stir liquid often. As soon as it gels, which is right at right about boiling temperature, remove it from heat. Set aside.
    • Reduce oven temperature to 350-degrees. Bake galette for another 20 minutes.
    • Pull out the galette. Drizzle the gel over the exposed apples in the middle of the galette then use basting brush to coat every nook and cranny. Measure out maple syrup. Use same brush (no need to wash it) to coat the top crust, then sprinkle maple sugar or coarse sugar over it to add a crystalline crunch.
    • Bake for another 10 to 15 minutes, until apples in middle are fork-tender.
    • Let cool slightly before cutting–a pizza cutter is ideal. Leftovers can be kept wrapped up in foil in the fridge for days.

    *OM NOM NOM!*

      Read More

      Bready or Not: Homemade Cheese Crackers

      Posted by on Sep 16, 2020 in Blog, Bready or Not, cheese galore, cracker, French | Comments Off on Bready or Not: Homemade Cheese Crackers

      Cheese is divine to eat straight-up, but it can also be baked into delicious things such as these Homemade Cheese Crackers.

      Bready or Not: Homemade Cheese Crackers

      These crackers can be as fancy as you want. Use an import cheese like Gruyere or Comte, or stick with a basic American cheddar.

      Bready or Not: Homemade Cheese Crackers

      Whatever cheese you choose, be sure you have a food processor to, well, process the dough. The cheese needs to be at one with the flour and spices.

      Bready or Not: Homemade Cheese Crackers

      The dough can be frozen, but do be aware that the finished crackers have a definite shelf life.

      Bready or Not: Homemade Cheese Crackers

      After about 3 days, the crackers become softer and crumblier. They still taste okay, but the structural integrity won’t be very good if you want to carry them in a baggy.

      Bready or Not: Homemade Cheese Crackers

      But then, these crackers are so good, you might have them inhaled so quickly that this is not a problem at all.

      Modified from Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan.

      Bready or Not: Homemade Cheese Crackers

      These homemade crackers use few ingredients to make delicious crackers. Pair with white wine or Champagne, or serve to kids or company! These crackers are as fancy as you want them to be, based on the cheese used. Makes about 55 1-inch crackers.
      Course: Appetizer, Snack
      Cuisine: French
      Keyword: cheese, cracker
      Servings: 55 crackers
      Author: Beth Cato

      Equipment

      • food processor
      • baking sheet
      • parchment paper
      • 1-inch cookie cutter

      Ingredients

      • 1/2 cup unsalted butter 1 stick, cut into small pieces
      • 4 ounces Comte grated, or Gruyere or Emmenthal or good old cheddar
      • 1/2 teaspoon salt
      • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
      • pinch cayenne pepper optional
      • 1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
      • Maldon sea salt or other flaky gourmet salt, optional

      Instructions

      • Place the butter, cheese, salt, white pepper, and cayenne (if using) in the food processor. Pulse until the butter is broken into uneven pieces and the mixture begins to form small curds. Add the flour and mix until it looks like larger curds. If the dough is stubborn, pulse a bit more to distribute ingredients.
      • Dump dough onto a flat surface and gently knead with hands to make cohesive. Divvy dough in half, forming each piece into a flat disk, and wrap in plastic. Tuck into fridge to chill for at least an hour or a couple days; it can also be frozen at this stage.
      • When time to bake, preheat oven at 350-degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment or nonstick mats.
      • Pull out a dough disk. Use two sheets of parchment to roll dough to about 1/4 inch thickness; if the dough is too hard to roll, let it rest at room temperature for a few minutes before trying again. Use a small cookie cutter (about 1-inch) to cut dough into crackers. Place them spaced out on parchment on pan. Gather the scraps to form more crackers, using a touch of water, if needed, to make it cohesive again.
      • If desired, sprinkle some Maldon sea salt atop crackers; only a few flakes are needed to add extra flavor.
      • Bake for about 10 minutes. Rotate pan. Bake for another 4 to 7 minutes, until crackers are lightly golden and firm to the touch. Let cool on pan or on a rack.
      • Crackers are great warm or at room temperature. They are best eaten within 3 days. After that, they soften and become more crumbly, but they are still tasty.

      OM NOM NOM!

        Read More

        Bready or Not: Jam and Cream Brioche Tart

        Posted by on Aug 26, 2020 in Blog, Bready or Not, breakfast, cheese galore, French, yeast bread | Comments Off on Bready or Not: Jam and Cream Brioche Tart

        This Jam and Cream Brioche Tart is probably among the most extraordinary things I’ve ever baked, and that is saying something.

        Bready or Not: Jam and Cream Brioche Tart

        First of all, the end result is gorgeous. Golden, thick crust freckled by pearl sugar. Marbled cream cheese and contrasting jam, with flecks of vanilla bean throughout.

        Bready or Not: Jam and Cream Brioche Tart

        The tart is as delicious as it looks, too. The enriched dough is sweet and soft, providing a luscious base for the different kind of sweet-and-soft offered by the filling.

        This is a showstopper of a dessert or breakfast.

        Bready or Not: Jam and Cream Brioche Tart

        The only unusual ingredient involved is the Swedish pearl sugar. I bought it on Amazon. I consider it a worthwhile investment, as there are a number of other pastry recipes I want to try that also use it. Plus, heck, you could even throw them on waffles or fruit or whatever.

        Bready or Not: Jam and Cream Brioche Tart

        Another not-quite-so-obscure ingredients I suggest you use is vanilla bean paste. This is VERY useful if you’re making fancy desserts because you get the flecks of vanilla beans without the high cost of using actual vanilla beans.

        Bready or Not: Jam and Cream Brioche Tart

        In a cream cheese filling or frosting, those flecks really stand out, and they add a lot to the WOW factor. Which this tart already has, many times over.

        Bready or Not: Jam and Cream Brioche Tart

        Recipe modified from Bake from Scratch, Sep/Oct 2019.

         

        Bready or Not: Jam and Cream Brioche Tart

        Don't be intimidated by the lengthy instructions! The actual process is fairly straightforward, and the result is gorgeous. Use vanilla bean paste for the filling, if possible, as the flecks of bean add a lot to the prettiness of the finished tart. Modified from Bake from Scratch, Sep/Oct 2019.
        Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
        Cuisine: French
        Keyword: cream cheese, french, yeast bread
        Author: Beth Cato

        Equipment

        • 9x9-inch pan
        • parchment paper

        Ingredients

        For Brioche

        • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon whole milk or half & half
        • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
        • 3 Tablespoons white sugar
        • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
        • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
        • 3 large eggs room temperature and divided
        • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
        • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter softened

        For Cream Cheese Filling

        • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
        • 1/3 cup white sugar
        • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or substitute vanilla extract
        • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
        • 8 ounces cream cheese softened
        • 1 large egg room temperature
        • 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour

        To Finish

        • 2 Tablespoons fruit preserves use good quality stuff with nice chunks
        • 1 Tablespoon water
        • 1 1/2 Tablespoons Swedish pearl sugar

        Instructions

        • Using the microwave and a safe dish, heat the milk to between 120 and 130 degrees. Set aside.
        • In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the flour, white sugar, yeast, and salt at very low speed until combined, about 30 seconds.
        • Slowly add the warm milk to incorporate. Add 2 of the eggs along with the vanilla, and beat for about 1 minute. Switch to the dough hook attachment. Beat at low speed until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.
        • Add butter, about 1 tablespoon at a time, letting each piece incorporate before adding the next, about 8 minutes total. (If it refuses to incorporate, switch back to the paddle for this stage.) Beat until a smooth and elastic dough forms, about 6 minutes.
        • Lightly flour a stretch of counter or tabletop and dump the dough there. Knead it for a minute or so and form it into a smooth round.
        • Apply cooking spray inside a large bowl. Place the dough inside and give it a spray, too, to prevent sticking. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap in a warm spot to rise until doubled, 30 to 45 minutes.
        • Cut parchment paper to line pan going up all four sides. Apply nonstick spray to pan, then lay both strips inside the pan and spray the top-most sides.
        • On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into an 11-inch square. Score a 9-inch square in center of dough (using the pan as a reference, if needed). Fold outside 2 inches over score mark, creating a crust around edges.
        • Place dough in the prepared pan, making sure it is even and fills corners of pan. Cover and let rise until puffed, 20 to 30 minutes.
        • Meanwhile, prepare the cream cheese filling. Beat together the butter, sugar, vanilla bean paste (or extract), and salt until well combined. Gradually add cream cheese, beating until smooth. Add egg to incorporate, followed by the flour.
        • Preheat oven to 325-degrees. Using your fingertips to dimple the center of dough back down, leaving outside crust as is. Pour the cream cheese mix into the center of dough. Make small indentations in the cream cheese then add dollops of the preserves. Use a knife to swirl the fruit in a bit more.
        • In a small bowl, whisk together the 1 tablespoon water and remaining egg. Brush the crust with the egg wash, then finish by sprinkling the pearl sugar all over the edge.
        • Bake until the crust is golden brown with the filling set around outside edges, about 35 to 40 minutes. (If desired, check the temp: an instant-read thermometer inserted in center of filling should register 175°F.)
        • Let cool in pan for 10 minutes then use the parchment sling to lift up the tart onto a serving plate or rack. Eat fresh, or let cool.
        • Tart keeps for days well-wrapped in fridge. Eat slices cold, or make pieces even more delicious with a short zap in the microwave.

        OM NOM NOM!

          Read More

          Bready or Not: Gougeres (French Cheese Puffs)

          Posted by on Jul 22, 2020 in Blog, Bready or Not, cheese galore, French, quick bread, side dish | Comments Off on Bready or Not: Gougeres (French Cheese Puffs)

          Eat your cheese in delicious, airy form in Gougeres, aka French cheese puffs!

          Bready or Not: Gougeres (French Cheese Puffs)

          This is a savory version of pate a choux, the dough used for cream puffs and eclairs. In this case, though, you fold in a generous amount of grated cheese.

          Bready or Not: Gougeres (French Cheese Puffs)

          What kind of cheese? Go for ones that grate and melt. Traditional choices would include Gruyere or Comte, or be a rebel like me and use English cheddar. (Scandalous, I know.)

          Bready or Not: Gougeres (French Cheese Puffs)

          I modified this recipe from Dorie Greenspan’s version in her lovely tome Around My French Table. I felt like I learned something new every time I baked up a serving of these puffs, and I wanted to include all that info to prevent people from repeating my mistakes.

          Bready or Not: Gougeres (French Cheese Puffs)

          Such as, see the aluminum foil in these pictures? Don’t use that. Do parchment instead. I didn’t take pictures of how I mangled these gougeres, which were hopelessly stuck to the foil despite a spray of Pam.

          Bready or Not: Gougeres (French Cheese Puffs)

          The recipe results in about 30 puffs. These things keep well, unbaked and frozen, but only for about a month. After that, the puff declines and an eggy taste is more pronounced.

          Bready or Not: Gougeres (French Cheese Puffs)

          This recipe, modified from Dorie Greenspan's version in Around My French Table, combines grated cheese and pate a choux dough. The puffs bake up light, airy, and delightfully cheesy! Do the full recipe at once (it makes 30, using a tablespoon scoop) or freeze unbaked choux for later.
          Course: Appetizer, Bread, Side Dish
          Cuisine: French
          Keyword: cheese, quick bread
          Servings: 30 puffs
          Author: Beth Cato

          Equipment

          • baking sheets
          • parchment paper
          • tablespoon scoop
          • mixer

          Ingredients

          • 1/2 cup whole milk or half & half
          • 1/2 cup water
          • 8 Tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick) cut into 4 pieces
          • 1/2 teaspoon salt
          • 1 cup all-purpose four
          • 5 large eggs room temperature
          • 1 1/2 cups coarsely-grated cheese (6 ounces) such as Gruyere, Comte, Emmenthal, or cheddar

          Instructions

          • If baking now, position racks in oven to be at the top and bottom. Preheat oven at 425-degrees. Line two large baking sheets with baking mats or parchment paper; do not use aluminum foil.
          • If preparing the gougeres now, with plans to freeze and bake later, line a pan with waxed paper and clear some space in the freezer so the puffs can set.
          • Place milk, water, butter, and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a fast boil. Add flour all at once, then lower heat. Promptly start stirring batter with a wooden spoon or sturdy whisk. The dough will come together, but keep stirring with vigor for another couple minutes until the dough is very smooth and looks dryer.
          • Drop the dough into the big bowl of a stand-mixer or a bowl where a hand mixer can be used. (Or, if mixing by hand, be ready for an arm work-out.) Let the dough set for a couple minutes, then add the eggs one by one. Beat, beat, beat that batter, fully incorporating each egg before adding the next. If it separates, that's okay--keep beating it! It needs to reach a stage where it is thick and shiny. Beat in the grated cheese.
          • The batter must be immediately doled out onto pans to either bake or freeze. Use a tablespoon or tablespoon-sized scoop to measure out the batter; if baking, space out about two inches apart.
          • Slide baking sheets into oven. Immediately lower temperature to 375-degrees. Bake for 12 minutes, then rotate pans from front to back, top to bottom. Continue baking another 12 to 15 minutes, until gougeres are golden and firm. Note that they will not puff until the end of the bake. Serve promptly.
          • If freezing some or all of the gougeres, freeze on waxed paper, then place in a freezer bag or lidded container. Bake straight from the freezer--do not thaw them! Place on parchment or a greased surface to cook, with gougeres in a central location in the oven. Eat frozen gougeres within a month, as they will otherwise taste increasingly eggy and have less rise.

          OM NOM NOM!

            Read More

            Bready or Not: Cat Tongue Cookies (Langues de Chat)

            Posted by on Mar 4, 2020 in Blog, Bready or Not, cookies, French | Comments Off on Bready or Not: Cat Tongue Cookies (Langues de Chat)

            Cat Tongue Cookies! NO CATS WERE HARMED IN THE MAKING OF THESE COOKIES.

            Bready or Not: Cat Tongue Cookies (Langues de Chat)

            I first heard about these cookies on the Great British Bake Off, where they were used as part of another recipe. My curiosity was piqued.

            Bready or Not: Cat Tongue Cookies (Langues de Chat)

            I am trying out a lot more French recipes. This seemed like a good, basic one to try… even though I HATE piping things. Did I say hate? I meant LOATHE.

            Bready or Not: Cat Tongue Cookies (Langues de Chat)

            That said, this recipe wasn’t too awful in that regard. The dough wasn’t a big sticky mess. I used a gallon Ziploc bag and cut the corner off, the old basic method, and that worked just fine.

            Bready or Not: Cat Tongue Cookies (Langues de Chat)

            The end result reminded me a lot of the old American stand-by, Nilla Wafers. Nothing fancy by themselves, but crisp and refreshing. They would be easy to dress up by dipping them in chocolate, Nutella, jam, whatever–if you want.

            Bready or Not: Cat Tongue Cookies (Langues de Chat)

            I thought they were just fine by themselves, with my cats lurking close by–tongues intact.

            Bready or Not: Cat Tongue Cookies (Langues de Chat)

            Consisting of just 5 ingredients, these are very straightforward and deliciously crisp vanilla cookies. Make the piping process easier by penciling guidelines onto parchment paper.
            Course: Dessert, Snack
            Cuisine: French
            Keyword: cookies, french
            Servings: 32 cookies
            Author: Beth Cato

            Equipment

            • parchment paper
            • piping bag or gallon Ziploc

            Ingredients

            • 9 Tablespoons unsalted butter softened
            • 1/2 cup white sugar plus 2 Tablespoons
            • 3 egg whites
            • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
            • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

            Instructions

            • Preheat oven at 400 degrees. Line a large baking pan with parchment. Use pencil to draw 3-inch lines spaced several inches apart in rows upon the paper, then flip over so the pencil lines still show through as guides.
            • In a medium bowl, cream together butter and white sugar (1/2 cup and 2 Tablespoons) until smooth. Beat in egg whites one at a time until batter is light and fluffy. Stir in vanilla followed by flour. Dough might be stiff.
            • Put about half of dough into a Ziploc bag (then cut off corner) or a piping bag with a medium star tip. Squeeze out dough onto the lines on parchment.
            • Bake for 10 to 11 minutes, until edges are starting to brown. Move to cooling rack. Pipe and bake remaining dough, reusing parchment.
            • Store in a sealed container. Good dipped into chocolate or spread with Nutella--or all by itself.

            OM NOM NOM!

              Read More