Making Croutons

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A half-loaf of home-made sourdough bread was a couple days old, and tired of being stored in the fridge. I decided to make croutons with it for the week’s luncheon salads. I poured olive oil, spices, parsley and fresh rosemary into a Pop-It storage box (made with safe materials in Italy), then tossed the bread squares in and shook the thing with all my might to coat them well. With ambient heat from the oven while baking the croutons, a new loaf of bread was rising nearby. Sliced thinly, the croutons were ready after ten minutes in a 350° oven. Cooled croutons were poured into elegant jars to be used at table. And they won’t need to be stored for long; these croutons will quickly be poured out onto salads. @M-J de Mesterton

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M-J’s Brioche

See Elegant Cook for M-J’s Original Brioche Recipe with Step-By-Step Photos

I have been using silicone bakeware to make my Viennoiseries. It allows easy-release of baked items without pre-greasing, and I can even coat my brioche completely with beaten egg and it will brown all around, still coming out clean from the bakeware when done.

©M-J de Mesterton 2012

Home-Made French Bread

French Bread Made at Home: Worth the Trial and Error, Time and Effort

The internet is full of recipes for pain Français. Choose the one that seems right for your kitchen, because people have varied results depending on many factors. There is a detailed tutorial at The Sour Dough blog, based upon the French bread recipe and method of Julia Child. Here is another instructive page, at the Smithsonian museum, which houses Julia Child’s television kitchen. Remember to use only unbleached white flour, and to create moisture in the oven while your loaves are baking.

©M-J de Mesterton 2012

Baking Day with M-J

Once a week, I make a large quantity of my favourite bread-dough, and freeze several balls of it in plastic bags. On Baking Day, I make one or two loaves for immediate use. Taken out of the freezer the night before it is needed, the other balls of dough will be ready to knead one more time and rise again for freshly-baked bread during the week. I use my extra dough for pizzas, hamburger buns, and baguettes. Rather than baking all the dough on Baking Day, which would only guarantee two-and-three day-old loaves, I expend the energy producing the dough in bulk on one day, and bake it whenever I need to during the week.
©M-J de Mesterton 2010

Baking Day with M-J

Once a week, I make a large quantity of my favourite bread-dough, and freeze several balls of it in plastic bags. On Baking Day, I make one or two loaves for immediate use. Taken out of the freezer the night before it is needed, the other balls of dough will be ready to knead one more time and rise again for freshly-baked bread during the week. I use my extra dough for pizzas, hamburger buns, and baguettes. Rather than baking all the dough on Baking Day, which would only guarantee two-and-three day-old loaves, I expend the energy producing the dough in bulk on one day, and bake it whenever I need to during the week.
©M-J de Mesterton 2010

Baking Day with M-J

Once a week, I make a large quantity of my favourite bread-dough, and freeze several balls of it in plastic bags. On Baking Day, I make one or two loaves for immediate use. Taken out of the freezer the night before it is needed, the other balls of dough will be ready to knead one more time and rise again for freshly-baked bread during the week. I use my extra dough for pizzas, hamburger buns, and baguettes. Rather than baking all the dough on Baking Day, which would only guarantee two-and-three day-old loaves, I expend the energy producing the dough in bulk on one day, and bake it whenever I need to during the week.
©M-J de Mesterton 2010

>Baking Day with M-J

>

Once a week, I make a large quantity of my favourite bread-dough, and freeze several balls of it in plastic bags. On Baking Day, I make one or two loaves for immediate use. Taken out of the freezer the night before it is needed, the other balls of dough will be ready to knead one more time and rise again for freshly-baked bread during the week. I use my extra dough for pizzas, hamburger buns, and baguettes. Rather than baking all the dough on Baking Day, which would only guarantee two-and-three day-old loaves, I expend the energy producing the dough in bulk on one day, and bake it whenever I need to during the week.
©M-J de Mesterton 2010

Baking Day with M-J

Once a week, I make a large quantity of my favourite bread-dough, and freeze several balls of it in plastic bags. On Baking Day, I make one or two loaves for immediate use. Taken out of the freezer the night before it is needed, the other balls of dough will be ready to knead one more time and rise again for freshly-baked bread during the week. I use my extra dough for pizzas, hamburger buns, and baguettes. Rather than baking all the dough on Baking Day, which would only guarantee two-and-three day-old loaves, I expend the energy producing the dough in bulk on one day, and bake it whenever I need to during the week.
©M-J de Mesterton 2010

Bread-Making is Good Exercise

Kneading bread-dough is excellent exercise for your arms, pectoral muscles and mid-section. Put both palms into your dough, then push, pull, fold, pound and push again for ten minutes. It’s practically a full-body exercise when done vigorously. And there’s nothing like the aroma of bread baking in your oven. A good bread-making guide is Judith and Evan Jones’ THE BOOK OF BREAD, published by Harper & Row in 1982. Another good source of recipes and bread-baking techniques is Beatrice Ojakangas, who was featured in a chapter of BAKING WITH JULIA. And, you could visit The Elegant Cook‘s page of recipes for breads from around the world.
©M-J de Mesterton 2010

Bread-Making is Good Exercise

Kneading bread-dough is excellent exercise for your arms, pectoral muscles and mid-section. Put both palms into your dough, then push, pull, fold, pound and push again for ten minutes. It’s practically a full-body exercise when done vigorously. And there’s nothing like the aroma of bread baking in your oven. A good bread-making guide is Judith and Evan Jones’ THE BOOK OF BREAD, published by Harper & Row in 1982. Another good source of recipes and bread-baking techniques is Beatrice Ojakangas, who was featured in a chapter of BAKING WITH JULIA. And, you could visit The Elegant Cook‘s page of recipes for breads from around the world.
©M-J de Mesterton 2010

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