Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Purchased on a Whim

I've been eyeing some of the speciality flours that the Ferme de Gally have in stock lately. On busy Saturday mornings, they even have a bread machine plugged in making batches of bread to show off this new selection of flour.
I don't own a bread machine and thought this flour was a specific brand just for the bread machine. I finally had time and dug deep in my purse for my reading specs and read the instructions.......low and behold.....this stuff is for regular bakers and bread machine enthusiasts alike!
The brand is Moulins de Versailles.......I figure I would give it a try. Check out the web-site! Not to far from the 'homestead' I wonder if they give tours and perhaps even a demo. I know a whole bunch of 'bread heads' that might be interested, if not about flour, just improving their French!
The result is a delicious bread, but heavy! I mean heavy in weight! It takes two hands to lift the sucker. The recipe on the pack tells you to use a sachet of the SAF brand of dry yeast, since I don't use dried yeast I played with fresh. I'll have to check the amount because the loaf didn't rise. The 'crumb' is nice and you can see the seeds. All in all, worth the 2euro splurge and definitely worth another try!
~side note.....check out the web site for SAF, WOW....lots of recipes and tips. The recipe of the month (Feb) features Focaccia on the grill. Great new find for me!

Monday, February 19, 2007

Hints of Spring

This past weekend was glorious! Little hints that spring is approaching were all over! Bulbs have suddenly bloomed. I even went to the garden center to buy my pansies! I know that I'm really pushing the season, but they are so pretty and lift memories of the grey days. Even the birds are back singing loudly on my morning walk. It really feels spring-like.

Of course, we were in the mood to grill! I thought a simple butterflied (spatchcocked) chicken that was marinated in fresh lemon juice, olive oil and herbs was a great way to celebrate the weather! The result was a juicy and moist bird, even on that blazing inferno of a fire!

My neighbors even decided to have their Sunday lunch out on the patio! I think everybody was feeling good this past weekend!

Having said all of that, my son just sent me pictures of the latest
snowfall from around the campus! He did say he was looking
forward to winter! Click on that photo to enjoy the snow!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Croissant Crazy!

Right about now I have had it with Croissant Dough! Yeah, I know I can go on and on about dough and how it takes me to a quiet-zen-like-place. But I just finished with my Hands-On Croissant Dough class. It went pretty good, actually. And I think there will be a few who will carry on and make them at home. One gal, in particular, called with pride after she took her dough home and made a savory version. Those kind of comments are more than I can hope for in a class like that!
The prep involves making lots of dough for the students to shape and bake. 'PlayDough', so to speak!!

This photo is a great(dark) example of a yeasted-laminated dough and the many layers. There are approximately, 943, but who is counting!!

Toblerone Croissants & Almond Croissant waiting to tempt the students!

A good couple of days work, and two batches of dough left in the fridge......Trust Me.....I won't be making Croissants for a long time. Call me if you are looking to play with some of my extra dough! I'll deliver in the Paris area!! hehe!