The Foodie Blogroll

French Baguette + Boeuf Bourguignon

French Baguette

Recipe taken from here

As mentioned in the previous post, I have really been on this bread kick. I've been looking high and low for great recipes, and have been bookmarking them like crazy. This particular recipe, I made it for two simple reasons: the first is that it was a recipe for a baguette and I had never attempted making a baguette before, the second was simply due to it being a Julia Child recipe. As I'm sure just like every other foodie out there, after watching Julie and Julia it exemplified even more how amazing Julia Child really is. Since I'm not a big meat eater it's kind of difficult for me to try many of her recipes. This was an easy recipe, and it resulted in something I could eat.

This was incredibly fun to make. As mentioned previously I love yeast. I love everything about it. I love watching it go from nothing to something oh so special. This baguette was beautiful. I let it sit for a few hours... the only reason is because it was a different process than what I'm used to. As you will read in the directions, the French make bread differently. It really was fun to twist up your usually bread making steps a little though.

The result? Two beautiful baguettes. I used multi-grain bread flour so it wasn't as spongey as you would get if you were using white bread, but it was okay since I felt like I was being healthy when... I single handedly ate one loaf the first night, and the second loaf the next day... seriously, sometimes I need help.

When first glancing at this recipe I was seriously shocked at the amount of salt the recipe called for. I sort of let that escape my mind until I was mixing the ingredients together and had to add the salt. 2 1/4 tsp really, okay it's not that much, but since I'm not a huge salt-lover it was quite a bit to me. However, I think my salt-tooth kicked in while eating this... because I just couldn't stop. This was definitely a good experience, and I'm glad this was my first Julia recipe since it was a good thing to get my feet wet!

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 tsp dry active yeast
  • 3 1/2 cups unbleached flour - bread flour
  • 2 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/3 cups cold water plus 1/3 or so additional water
Directions:

Place the flour, yeast and salt in the bowl of the food process. Pulse to mix. Add 1 1/3 cups of water and process until the dough comes together. If the dough doesn't form a ball, add a little of the extra water. Process for about 60 seconds, turn off machine and let dough rest for 5 minutes.

Turn on the machine again and rotate the dough about 30 times under the cover, and then remove it to a lightly floured work surface. it should be fairly smooth and quite firm.

Let the dough rest for 2 minutes and then knead roughly and vigorously. The final dough should not stick to your hands as you knead (although it will stick if you pinch and hold a piece); it should be smooth and elastic and, when you hold it up between your hands and stretch it down, it should hold together smoothly.

Preliminary rise - 40 to 60 minutes at around 75°F. Place the dough into a clean dry bowl, (do not grease the bowl), cover with plastic wrap, and set in a warm place free from drafts. (note the French do not grease the bowl because they believe the dough needs a seat to push up from). This first rise is sufficient when the dough has definitely started to rise and is about 1 1/2 times its original volume.

Deflating

Turn the dough onto your lightly floured work surface roughly and firmly pat and push it out into a 14 inch rectangle. Fold one of the long sides over toward the middle, and the other long side over to cover it, making a 3 layer cushion. Repeat the operation. This important step redistributes the yeast throughout the dough, for a strong second rise. Return the dough smooth side up the bowl; cover with plastic wrap and again set to rise.

Final rise in the bowl - about 1 to 1 1/2 hours or longer. The bread should be 2 1/2 to 3 times its original bulk. It is the amount of rise that is important here, not the timing.

To Shape


Cut the dough in half. Set one piece aside and cover with a towel.

On a lightly floured work surface pat the dough into a 14 inch rectangle, squaring it up as evenly as you can.

Fold the rectangle of dough in half lengthwise and using the heel of your hand, firmly press the edges together whether they meet. Seat well. Pound the dough flat. Now repeat - patting the dough out again and folding it over and sealing the edges. Pinch the edges well and Rotate the dough so that the sealed edge in on the bottom.

Repeat with second piece of dough.

Cover with plastic wrap or loosely with a towel and let rise to more than double again at about 75°f.

Place stone in oven and Preheat oven to 450°F. Slash three long cuts into the loaves and place on the hot stone. Immediately toss a number of ice cubes on to the bottom on the oven to create steam. Bake until bread is golden and has an interior temp of 200°F. Takes about 30 minutes.

Making Dough in a Mixer or by Hand

When you are making dough in an electric mixer with a dough hook, proceed in the same general way with the rests indicated, and finish by hand. or mix the dough by hand in a bowl, turn out on a work surface, and start the kneading by lifting it up with a scraper and slapping it down roughly for several minutes until it has body. Let it rest several minutes and then proceed to knead.

Boeuf Bourguignon

For Christmas my dad bought me a Dutch Oven. To be honest, I had seen these before, but never really got excited about them because the only times I had seen them being used were for meat dishes. However, unwrapping the gift I was insanely excited. This meant that I could explore new recipes, and potentially delve into some more difficult meals. I immediately began researching what I could make in my DO. I found out that I could make risotto, sauces, stews, and much more.

The first thing I wanted to make, even though I was incredibly skeptical about it since it was meat... was of course a Julia Child recipe (however, changed to how I see fit... even though I wasn't eating it). Needless to say I went for boeuf bourguignon. We had a lot of beef and had the majority of ingredients.

First I set off to make the seasoning for the dish -

Herbe de Provence:

Recipe adapted from here

Ingredients:
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp lavender
  • 1/4 tsp rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1 bay leave crushed
Directions:

Mix together above ingredients.

Boeuf Bourguignon

Recipe adapted from here

The next thing I set up to do was look at different recipes and come up with my own version. As I was making this for my mom and her boyfriend the more important taste buds were their own, and not mine since I evidently wasn't eating it. So from this, this is what I came up with.

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup water + 2 tbsp beef base
  • 3/4 bottle of Red wine
  • 1 onion
  • 3 celery stalks
  • Bunch of baby carrots - chopped into large chunks
  • 4 Yukon potatoes
  • Beef cut into large chunks (couldn't tell you how much since I'm not used to measuring meat out)
  • 6 bacon strips
  • Shiitake mushrooms + button mushrooms - desired amount
  • 1/4 cup white flour
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Directions:

Cut your celery, onion, potatoes and carrots (I didn't see celery in any other recipes except for the above, but celery always adds such a beautiful flavour so I figured why not). Next cut the bacon into strips and saute it in your DO in olive oil until it is crispy. You're probably thinking why add oil if it already releases enough grease, but since you aren't cooking that much bacon and you have a lot of things to cook it helps.

In the leftover grease from the bacon, get your beef (make sure they are dried with paper towels for a good sear) and brown it on all sides. Once browned, take the meat out out of the pan, set aside and cover. You should have a good amount of melted grease in the pan. Cook your chopped vegetables until they become soft and the onions, translucent.

Tuck the meat back in with the vegetables, and pour the 3/4 bottle of red wine into the pot. Add your Herbe de Provence. You should see it bubble up.

Simmer for about two-three hours.

Once the meat is very tender and the sauce reduced, mix a tablespoon of softened butter with some flour for an uncooked roux. Add this paste to your bubbling stew. This will thicken the sauce. However if you prefer your pot roast to be on the thinner side, you could skip the roux.

Lastly, add sauteed mushrooms into the pot and let it simmer for an additional 15 minutes before serving.

Note: they absolutely loved it. There were extras so I gave some to my dad, brother and my cousin which they loved it too. I'm glad that it tasted great since I wasn't able to test it for myself, but it makes you feel good when you make something successful and your tastes' were blinded.

Have fun getting your French on ;)

2 comments:

Catherine said...

The last picture makes my mouth water :) Boeuf Bourguignon is my favourite French specialty.

Cathy
French Course Angel

Samantha said...

Haha thank you for the comment, unfortunately, even though I made this dish it doesn't scream "eat me" hahaha, but it did to my mom and her boyfriend so I guess that's okay :)!