pain rustique

pain rustique

happy monday.

and it is happy, because we’re talking about some good, crusty white bread.

pain rustique is probably the most satisfying bread i make. it’s the perfect bread for squishing into a charred panini full of melted cheese, or to toast and eat for breakfast with butter and a fried egg and the morning paper. it’s real and rustic, the kind that you tear apart and reach across the table to dip in olive oil while laughing with friends. it’s the bread you seek out at 2 am when a storm wakes you up, and smear with nutella. its strong coffee and toast bread. it’s what you want to smell when you come home from school. it’s real and rustic, like life itself.

i also use pain rustique as pizza crust. you can shape it into loaves, or make into squares or rectangles for panini, described here. perfect, easy bread.

Pain Rustique

pain rustique

start the poolish night before, or first thing in the morning to bake bread for supper.

make the poolish (starter): in the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together 300g flour, 400mls of warm water, and 3g of instant yeast (about a teaspoon). Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon. cover bowl with plastic or a towel and allow to ferment overnight, or 8 hours, minimum.

for the dough: to the bowl, add 1 kg of flour, 23g of salt, and 20g yeast. pour in 600mls warm water. place in mixer with the dough hook attachment, and stir on medium-low speed until dough is smooth and elastic, about 7 minutes. remove bowl from mixer and cover with a clean towel. proof in the bowl for 1 hour.

turn dough out onto floured surface and shape into a rough square. roll out to 1 1/2″ thick, using a bench scraper or a ruler to shape the sides nice and straight. cut into 5×5 squares and dust with flour. place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and using a sharp knife, score each little pain with a 3″ cut down the middle. allow to rise for 15 minutes.

preheat oven to 450f. bake bread for 5 minutes. rotate pans and reduce heat to 350f and bake for 15 minutes longer. cool on racks.

*for the little loaf pictured, i divided the dough into 4 and shaped it into rounds, a topic which needs its own post.

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handmade brioche burger buns

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i think these may be the perfect burger buns. most commercial buns are as far from real bread as you can imagine, and usually full of too much sugar, salt, and preservatives. these are soft and airy and not too large, so you can achieve the perfect burger/bun ratio, and you know exactly what you’re putting in them.

these handmade brioche buns are extremely quick and easy to make. don’t be intimidated! once you’ve made them once, you will be so proud that you did this, you will never buy buns again.

this recipe makes 2 dozen good sized rolls. weigh your ingredients and the rolls themselves for accuracy. today i used poppyseeds, but i often use sesame seeds too. freeze while warm, or use leftovers for bread pudding.

i think the pure white AGA would bake these up beautifully, don’t you? 🙂 sigh…

handmade brioche burger buns

400 ml milk
75 g sugar
7 eggs, lightly beaten
20g yeast
1 kg flour
10g sea salt
250g soft butter

1 egg beaten with 2 tbsp. cream or milk
1/2 cup poppy seeds or sesame seeds

line 2 large baking sheets with parchments sheets or silpats.

heat the milk to hand-hot and pour into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. add the sugar and the yeast and mix well. stir in the eggs and then add the flour and the salt. mix on medium speed until a smooth but sticky dough forms. add the butter, about a tablespoon at a time, until fully incorporated, then mix for 2 minutes.

using a dough scraper, turn the dough out of the bowl and onto a very lightly floured surface. use the scraper to slice off pieces of dough, each measuring 80g (the piece will be a bit larger than a large egg) the dough will be very sticky, you may think too sticky, but don’t panic, it will all work out.

allow the dough balls to sit for a few minutes, then with very lightly floured hands, roll into balls. place 12 to a large baking sheet, lined with parchment paper. brush with the egg wash and sprinkle with the seeds. allow to proof (rise) for 1 hour.

preheat oven to 450f. place buns in the oven gently, so they don’t deflate. bake buns for 5 minutes, then rotate pans, reduce heat to 350f, and bake another 15 minutes, or until golden and puffed. cool on racks.

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