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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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

Low-Carb and Gluten-Free Breads from Julian Bakery

Smart Carb #1

Sprouted, High-Protein Bread, Unsweetened and Flavorful. more…

Manna From Heaven

Manna from Heaven

All Sprouted – Vegan, Yeast Free, Sugar Free, and Low Carb. more…

Purity Bread

Purity Bread

Sprouted – Gluten Free, Yeast Free, Sweet Free, Dairy Free, Vegan. more…

Amazing Sourdough

Amazing Sourdough

This is a low calorie, low carb sourdough sliced loaf bead that only has 60 calories. more…

http://www.julianbakery.com/

CHECK the AVAILABILITY MAP: enter your zip-code to find Julian Bakery products in your area. If this process yields no results, Julian Bakery ships its fantastic bread products, and has shipping deals if you order six loaves or more sent to your home. What a wonderful breakthrough for those of us on permanent low-carb regimens and for those who have digestive disorders.  Imagine having grilled cheese sandwiches with  bread that contains one net-carbohydrate per slice!

M-J’s Instructions for Making Brioche

 M-J de Mesterton’s Original Brioche Recipe in Pictures
©Copyright April 30th, 2011
Six eggs plus one egg-yolk, five or six cups of unbleached flour, one teaspoon of honey, one teaspoon of sugar, one half-teaspoon of salt, one half-cup of warmed buttermilk, one heaping teaspoonful of yeast, and two sticks of butter are M-J’s ingredients for brioche. For a finishing egg-wash, you will need a seventh egg and a pastry-brush. Her recipe makes six brioches à tetes and eight full-sized hamburger buns. You will need a stand-mixer with a dough-hook to make M-J’s brioche recipe.
Mix warmed buttermilk with yeast, add one egg, one cup of flour and the teaspoon of honey. Mix well and cover with another cup of flour. Let rise uncovered for thirty or forty minutes, until the sponge is two or more times its original size and its surface resembles cracked earth.
Adding brioche ingredients is a gradual procedure.
Begin adding flour, eggs, sugar, salt and room-temperature butter cut into small sections, in alternate measures, gradually, in the bowl of a stand-mixer. Beat the brioche dough with your dough-hook attachment until it pulls away from the side of the machine’s metal bowl. Turn off the stand-mixer motor now and then to let it cool off a bit. Mind the mixer as it goes through its paces, because with this vigorous dough-beating it will inevitably move across the work-surface. Ideally, you will beat the brioche dough for thirty minutes. The French word, “brioche” refers to this process.
This is the proper texture for brioche dough. This batch is almost finished being beaten after twenty minutes. Notice the sides of the bowl; they are almost cleaned of sticky dough by the slapping motion of the process. The dough is allowed to rest for a few minutes while the stand-mixer motor cools off a little. Ten more minutes of beating will follow.
It is now time to unplug the stand-mixer, raise its head, remove its dough-hook, and then, grabbing the machine to stabilise it, bump the stationery bowl out of position with the heel of your hand against its handle. Your brioche dough can now be left to rise in this stainless steel bowl, covered loosely with plastic-wrap.
M-J’s Brioche Dough Rising
After the brioche dough has risen to two times its original size, you may punch it down and form it into shapes. M-J usually lets hers rise a second time before finally shaping the brioches à tetes and hamburger buns. Once your brioche dough is in a baking- pan, let it rise to double the original size. Then use your seventh whole egg to create a final coating of egg-wash, by mixing it with a half-teaspoon of water and brushing the brioche tops with it, using a pastry-brush. 
Because of their high butter-content, greasing pans will not be necessary. Bake your pans of brioches on the center-rack a medium-hot oven (375 Fahrenheit) for about twenty minutes. The time and temperature of baking will depend upon the conditions where you live, and the phase of the moon, therefore you must keep a close-eye on the brioche while it is baking. Lower the heat to 350F if their bottoms or tops begin to darken unevenly. Serve the brioche after it has cooled for at least ten minutes. If you are serving them the next day, these gems will benefit from being warmed in the oven first. Keeping the dough for more than one day in the refrigerator will sour its taste considerably in an undesirable way. However, brioche dough freezes well. 
©M-J de Mesterton 2011

M-J’s Instructions for Making Brioche

 M-J de Mesterton’s Original Brioche Recipe in Pictures
©Copyright April 30th, 2011
Six eggs plus one egg-yolk, five or six cups of unbleached flour, one teaspoon of honey, one teaspoon of sugar, one half-teaspoon of salt, one half-cup of warmed buttermilk, one heaping teaspoonful of yeast, and two sticks of butter are M-J’s ingredients for brioche. For a finishing egg-wash, you will need a seventh egg and a pastry-brush. Her recipe makes six brioches à tetes and eight full-sized hamburger buns. You will need a stand-mixer with a dough-hook to make M-J’s brioche recipe.
Mix warmed buttermilk with yeast, add one egg, one cup of flour and the teaspoon of honey. Mix well and cover with another cup of flour. Let rise uncovered for thirty or forty minutes, until the sponge is two or more times its original size and its surface resembles cracked earth.
Adding brioche ingredients is a gradual procedure.
Begin adding flour, eggs, sugar, salt and room-temperature butter cut into small sections, in alternate measures, gradually, in the bowl of a stand-mixer. Beat the brioche dough with your dough-hook attachment until it pulls away from the side of the machine’s metal bowl. Turn off the stand-mixer motor now and then to let it cool off a bit. Mind the mixer as it goes through its paces, because with this vigorous dough-beating it will inevitably move across the work-surface. Ideally, you will beat the brioche dough for thirty minutes. The French word, “brioche” refers to this process.
This is the proper texture for brioche dough. This batch is almost finished being beaten after twenty minutes. Notice the sides of the bowl; they are almost cleaned of sticky dough by the slapping motion of the process. The dough is allowed to rest for a few minutes while the stand-mixer motor cools off a little. Ten more minutes of beating will follow.
It is now time to unplug the stand-mixer, raise its head, remove its dough-hook, and then, grabbing the machine to stabilise it, bump the stationery bowl out of position with the heel of your hand against its handle. Your brioche dough can now be left to rise in this stainless steel bowl, covered loosely with plastic-wrap.
M-J’s Brioche Dough Rising
After the brioche dough has risen to two times its original size, you may punch it down and form it into shapes. M-J usually lets hers rise a second time before finally shaping the brioches à tetes and hamburger buns. Once your brioche dough is in a baking- pan, let it rise to double the original size. Then use your seventh whole egg to create a final coating of egg-wash, by mixing it with a half-teaspoon of water and brushing the brioche tops with it, using a pastry-brush. 
Because of their high butter-content, greasing pans will not be necessary. Bake your pans of brioches on the center-rack a medium-hot oven (375 Fahrenheit) for about twenty minutes. The time and temperature of baking will depend upon the conditions where you live, and the phase of the moon, therefore you must keep a close-eye on the brioche while it is baking. Lower the heat to 350F if their bottoms or tops begin to darken unevenly. Serve the brioche after it has cooled for at least ten minutes. If you are serving them the next day, these gems will benefit from being warmed in the oven first. Keeping the dough for more than one day in the refrigerator will sour its taste considerably in an undesirable way. However, brioche dough freezes well. 
©M-J de Mesterton 2011

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