Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Day 84

Today we started out by making pâte à choux [paht ah SHOO] which is a light pastry dough that is also sometimes called choux paste or eclair paste. From that, we made profiteroles, eclairs, and the base for a Gateau St Honore (aka St. Honore Cake) which was named for the patron saint of bakers and pastry chefs.  To complete the cake base we also made pate brisee  [paht bree-ZAY] which is a rich flaky pastry dough that is commonly used for pies, tarts, and quiches. We will assemble everything tomorrow, so stay tuned. Since you can't taste test a plain profiterole (that's no fun) we did make a bit of whipped cream and pastry cream to sample our goods and needless to say, they were heavenly. 

I also made some focaccia which is flat oven-baked Italian bread.In ancient Rome, pains focacius was a flat bread baked in the ashes of the fireplace. The word is derived from the Latin focus meaning “centre” and also “fireplace” – the fireplace being in the centre of the house. I covered mine in extra virgin olive oil, fresh rosemary, cracked pepper, and sea salt. 

If I could put into words just how amazing focaccia smells as it comes out of the oven...I would. 


16 oz water (lukewarm)
1 ounce fresh yeast (or 3 oz dry yeast)
28 oz bread flour
1/2 oz  sea salt
2 fl oz olive oil
fresh rosemary 
2 ounces sea salt (for sprinkling on top)
1/4 c olive oil (for drizzling on top)

1. preheat oven to 400 F
2. dissolve yeast in water
3. add flour, salt, and olive oil 
4. knead in stand mixture for 8 minutes with dough hook attachment until dough is soft 
5. proof for 1.5 hr or until doubled in size
6. cover  half sheet pan in parchment paper and spread dough with hands in layer across pan (should be about 3/4 inch thick)
7. let rise again to double in size
8. poke dimples all over with your finger
9. drizzle with olive, rosemary, salt, and pepper
10. bake 10-12 minutes until golden brown

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