07 February 2009

therapeutical baking

Our stock of ciabattini was running low, so I decided I would make a new batch to keep in the freezer.

That is actually my grandmother's mangle linen the ciabattini are resting on. It had been part of her dowry and been hiding away for years in my cupboard, but now it is perfectly serving its new purpose of helping me making bread.

Also, my copy of Suas' Advanced Bread and Pastry arrived this week. Good god, now this is the first cooking book I really, really find helpful. If ever you wondered 'why' during baking, this is the book for you.

So I was eager to try some new things, and naturally I wasn't short of comissions. My dad-in-law asked me to try and make some Madeleines, as the ones he used to eat with his afternoon coffee in the office were no-where in the shops anymore. So, I bought a form and made some Madeleines -

They turned out marvelous. Only thing is that I will need another form with bigger and more Madeleines per charge. Well, we'll see how they keep, and if^^.

Also, I wanted to try and make croissants for my wife. So I did a batch of them as well.

Those didn't turn out that good actually, because the butter I used for layering was too thick and too cold and kinda messed up the whole process. So, the structure was way below optimal, though the taste already was pretty damn close to what I was looking for.

I learned a real damn lot today - especially
a) Madeleine dough gets better the longer it is cooled (the last batch 6 hours after the first one produced the best ones).
b) a triple batch of ciabatta is about the maximum I can comfortably bake at once in my kitchen, because the last ones were pretty overproof already.
c) I spent a whole day baking and I feel like I had a week of holidays. Talk about therapeutical baking - only my feet hurt.


Jamie said...

Ah yes, one after my own soul! Baking is my therapy as well, it is so soothing and sensual. I have been introduced as "my friend, Jamie, the complusive baker". Ah! And your stuff looks gorgeous! You have just pushed me to get those madeleines I have been dreaming of going.

Reuben Morningchilde said...

Thanks so much for dropping by and leaving me a line!
Though, with you living in Nantes, you should be able to get decent Madeleines everywhere in the shops - even the 'Bonne Maman' ones are pretty great compared to the weird sponges they sell here as Madeleines.
Of course I have to admit, fresh out of the oven, warm and a little crisp and sticky and to full of aromes, caramel and honey and beurre noisette... Those are divine little things.