Friday, September 10, 2010

Getting ready for the annual meeting, tomorrow, of the Maritime Provinces Chapter Canadian Company of Pilgrims

Top left Gateau Basque with the Basque Cross, top right Tarte de Santiago with Saint James Cross and bottom No Knead Rustic Bread.

Gateau Basque

Date: Mon, 6 Sep 1993 05:03:19 -0700 (PDT)

Serves 6-8. High-fat, not greasy. Prep 30 min + 1 hr wait, 40 min bake time.

200g (1/2 lb) butter
200g (1 cup) white sugar
2 egg yolks
1 whole egg
300g (2c plus 1 tbsp) cake flour
Pinch of salt
Zest of one lemon (grated peel)

Creme Patissiere:
250 ml (1 cup) milk
60g (1/3 cup) sugar
25g flour (plain or cake)
Pinch of salt
2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
vanilla to taste (2 tsp)

Notes on ingredients: Cake flour here means flour with baking soda/powder
premixed. If this is not available, mix normal flour and 1 teaspoon of
powder (levure chemique - une cuillere a cafe).

Using cake ingredients:
1. Cream sugar into soft (but NOT melted) butter until smooth.
2. Add the 2 egg yolks, whole egg, and lemon peel; mix well.
3. Add cake flour gradually and stir until well blended.
4. Cover mixing bowl and keep in refrigerator for one hour.

Meanwhile, make the creme patissiere (eclair filling):(I double the amount of Creme Patissiere if not the top crust sags.)
1. Mix sugar, flour and salt in a bowl.
2. Heat milk in heavy-bottomed saucepan until very hot but not boiling.
3. Whisk hot milk into bowl of dry ingredients and beat until blended.
4. Return mixture to pan and whisk over low heat until thickened (like
pudding) - 4 to 5 minutes.
5. Add egg yolks and cook 2 or 3 minutes more, constantly stirring.
6. Remove from heat and cool, stirring occasionally. Stir in vanilla.

Butter and flour a regular-sized round cake pan (9 or 10 inches by 2
inches high, I think; around 25 cm by 5 cm).(I use a removable bottom tart pan.)

Assemble the gateau:
1. After the dough is hard, divide not quite equally into two parts.
2. Press larger part into bottom of cake pan, covering bottom and partway
up the sides to make a trough.
3. Spoon creme patissiere into middle of cake.
4. Working quickly, roll out (or try with your fingers) the rest of the
dough into a circle. Lay over the filling and seal at the sides with the
bottom half.

Cook at 180 C (350 F) for about 40 minutes, until golden brown on top.
Serve in wedges.
This recipe is jealously guarded by the Basques and was extricated with
difficulty and trial and error. It is THE traditional sweet in their region.

Tarta de Santiago

Recipe courtesy Pilar Sanchez

Ingredients (I didn't like this pastry so I use regular pie crust.)
For the pastry:
1 egg
2/3 cup sugar
Generous 1 cup flour

For the filling:
4 eggs
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 unwaxed lemon, peel grated
2 cups ground almonds
Pinch ground cinnamon
Flour, for rolling out
Butter, for greasing
Confectioners' sugar, for sprinkling
Beat together the egg, sugar and 1 to 2 tablespoons of warm water until light and creamy. Gradually fold in the flour until the mixture leaves the
sides of the bowl clean. For the filling, beat together the eggs and sugar until creamy. Fold in the lemon
rind, ground almonds and cinnamon. Roll out the pastry to 1/8-inch thick on a floured work surface. Line a
greased, loose-bottomed 10-inch tart pan with the pastry. Prick it all over with a fork and spoon the filling
on top. Bake in a preheated oven at 355 degrees F for about 30 minutes, until golden brown. Leave the almond
tart to cool in the pan. Once cool, transfer it to a serving plate and sprinkle with confectioners' sugar
before serving. A St. James' cross template can be used, if liked.

>The New York Times No-Knead Bread

Adapted from Jim Lahey, Sullivan Street Bakery
Time: About 1½ hours plus 14 to 20 hours’ rising

3 cups all-purpose or bread flour,(I use 450g) more for dusting
¼ teaspoon instant yeast
1¼ teaspoons salt
Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed.

1. In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 5/8 cups water, (I now use up to 420g)and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees F.

2. Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.

3. Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

4. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees F. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.

I have enjoyed all of the loaves that I have made using this method but I have had a problem with consistency so I have been working on a using weights for the flour and water instead of volume measures. After several tries I've settled on 450g of Flour and 375g of water. I'm also finding that I get a much better loaf using unbleached flour.

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