I am French– of course I have to have a blog dedicated just to breads–it’s in my blood and soul! I remember as a young girl growing up in Perpignan, in the South of France, one of my sisters or I had to go to the corner boulangerie every single day to pick up our baguettes–what a tough chore right?
I remember so vividly how perfectly crusty on the outside and light, airy and chewy on the inside those baguettes were! Invariably, they were still warm from the oven and oh the fragrant enticing smell when I walked into the store, hmmmmm!
The deal was, and I think this is one of those unwritten laws in the life of a French kid, that whoever was designated to pick up the bread that day had the prerogative to tear off a chunk and eat the crouton (the crusty top end of the bread) on the way back home. So yes, but of course (à la Inspector Clouseau from the Pink Panther), I couldn’t wait to write about bread for Cuisinicity!
Now let’s be honest, I do not pretend to have recipes that even compete with those crusty baguettes I remember so fondly. First of all, boulangeries have those perfect hot ovens for them, and secondly, let’s face it, French baguettes are not exactly nutritious! They are basically made of white flour, levin, salt and water. Don’t get me wrong, I still eat and LOVE my French baguettes, and I have instilled that love in all of my children (David is a Francophile and loved them all along). And, despite their lack of nutritional value, I am convinced they love me back… if only because savoring them makes me so happy!
So this week, because good bread and good food go hand in hand, I am offering my recipes for wholegrain breads, galettes–savory and sweet, and all things dough–from my “pâte sablée” tart crust to…my pizza dough! I made them as nutritious as I could possibly make them while satisfying my finicky French taste!
For my Soft Wheat Buns, I use a mixture of soft wheat flour (you will find it at the supermarket as whole wheat pastry flour), bread flour and wheat gluten . These are much lighter and fluffier in texture than my Whole Wheat Boule which is more chewy and dense.
My Pizza Dough is perfectly chewy on the inside yet crisp on the outside–and nutritious– I use mostly soft wheat flour. It is intentionally not 100% soft wheat–I have some plain bread flour in there too–because I find that it gives me the best result both in consistency and texture while still rich in fiber. This combination makes this dough so dependable and easy to handle–which is of course a must!
The sweet crust for my French Apple Tart is a nutritionally upgraded version of a classic “pâte sablée” which is typically made with white flour and lots of butter. The result is just delightful and surprisingly “buttery-tasting”
Galettes are the crusty free-form versions of those more sophisticated tarts or pies (such as my French Apple Tart). Galettes are more rustic and “rough around the edges” so you can just eat a slice with your hands–no need for forks here! I just love them! You can make them with a variety of fresh fruit (see my Rustic Strawberry Galette , Rustic Apple Cranberry Galette and Rustic Plum Galette).
I have a little video clip about one of my galettes from my kitchen to yours!
I also make savory Galettes such as My Fresh Tomato, Olive & Basil Galette , Galette with Caramelized Onion, Tomatoes & Goat Cheese, Pumpkin Goat Cheese & Pignoli Galette (there are countless other possibilities). The crust for these savory galettes is made with white wine, whole white wheat flour and olive oil. It is so quick and easy to make, you can whip it up in less than 5 minutes-really!
So, there you have it, a little piece of France in the form of a bread or a galette that I hope you will enjoy and bring to life in your cozy kitchen!