Recipe – BAGUETTES

There is nothing like freshly baked home-made baguettes. Easy, delicious, crusty, soft chewy baguettes are a delight for breakfast slathered with butter or jam; also makes a great accompaniment for any meal.

A simple recipe with available ingredients at home. The dough is very sticky; lightly dust your fingers with flour and use as much flour you need to keep it from sticking but stop when it does not stick to your hands any more. Overworking the dough will make it tough. Rest the dough depending upon the warmth of your room. Baking time may vary due to oven temperature variances. Traditional baguettes are very long; however, it does not fit the size of home-ovens.

yields : 2 loaves

Ingredients

2 cups unbleached all purpose or bread flour

2 tsp instant yeast

3 tbsp raw sugar

1 tsp fine sea salt

1 cup lukewarm whole milk or water

1 egg (lightly beaten)

25 gms melted butter

Method

Measure flour, salt and combine together nicely in a large bowl. Now, making a well at the centre, add sugar, yeast, melted butter and egg.

Using a wooden spoon, mix to combine. Gradually, add milk or water; mix until the dough comes together to form a round ball.

Rub your hands with flour as required; begin to knead the dough for a longer duration until it becomes smooth and elastic.

Place it in a greased bowl, cover and proof at room temperature in a warm spot for 30 minutes or until doubled in size.

Gently punch the dough down and transfer to a lightly floured surface.

Divide into half; roll it into a baguette shape about 10 to 12 inches long and 2 to 3 inches wide, seam side down. Repeat with the other dough ball and let it rest for 30 minutes.

Score diagonal slashes with the help of a sharp knife and place it in a baking tray. Spray warm water all over the baguette, using a spray bottle.

In the meantime, pre-heat oven 220º C/400º F and bake the baguettes for 30 minutes or until golden brown in colour. Allow it to cool for 20 minutes before slicing.

Enjoy!!!

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Recipe – BLUEBERRY FLAUGNARDE

Flaugnarde is a simple, easy dessert made with fruits, similar to clafouti where traditionally un-pitted cherries are used. A clafouti is a french dessert from the Limousin region in Central France; when made with other fruits instead of cherries, the dish is called as Flaugnarde. It is somewhere between a flavourful custard and baked pancake dusted with powdered sugar or icing sugar makes a wonderful dessert and also a tasty break-fast too. You can have it plain or top it with whipped cream, ice-cream, maple syrup or greek yogurt.

For preparing flaugnarde, choose fresh fruits that are firm to touch without any blemishes. It is a rustic dessert, you can use pears, apples, mangoes, blueberry, raspberry, strawberries, apricots, cranberries or combination of fruits and even canned fruits too. If using canned fruits, ensure the liquid is completely drained before using it.

I had some extra blueberries at hand; have used it to prepare the dish and adjusted sugar according to the sweetness of the fruit. The batter is based on the crepe batter and contains some flour unlike traditional custard and have a dense texture. It will wiggle a bit once pulled out from the oven which is okay. Allow it to cool completely; it deflates once cooled. Serve warm or cold, sprinkled with icing sugar or any favourite topping of your choice.

recipe adapted from David Lebovitz

prep time : 15 mins, cooking time : 45 mins, yields : 8, cuisine : french, author : gloria

Ingredients

500 gms blueberries

3 large eggs, at room temperature

70 gms all-purpose flour

a pinch of salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon almond extract

100 gms + extra 3 tablespoons (45g) sugar

300 ml whole or low-fat milk

Unsalted softened butter, for preparing the baking dish

Method

1. Preheat oven to 190ºC/375ºF. Grease the baking dish with softened butter; dust with sugar and keep aside.

2. Wash and drain blueberries; pat dry. Lay them in a single layer in the baking dish.

3. In a standard blender, mix the eggs, sugar, flour, salt, milk, vanilla and almond extracts together until smooth.

4. Pour batter over the blueberries and sprinkle the fruit and batter with the extra 3 tablespoons of sugar.

5. Bake in a pre-heated oven for 45 minutes or until the custard is just set; a knife poked in the centre should emerge relatively clean.

6. Serve plain warm or cold or topped with icing sugar or any topping of your choice.

Bon appétit!!