Memorable Quotes:

"A Bearnaise sauce is simply an egg yolk, a shallot, a little tarragon vinegar and butter, but it takes years of practice for the result to be perfect." Fernand Point

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Gluten-Free Brioche Rolls (Bouchon Bakery)

  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast (1 packet of rapid rise yeast)
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons granulated sugar (20 grams)
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons plus 1 3/4 teaspoons water, at 75 degrees (230 grams)
  • 3 3/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon Cup4Cup (or equivalent) (535 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons plus 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt (20 grams)
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons eggs (3 large eggs) (158 grams)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons egg yolks (2 yolks) (22 grams)
  • 1/4 cup honey (80 grams)
  • 3 1/2 ounces unsalted butter, melted and cooled (100 grams)
  • Cooking spray
  • Egg wash
  • 1 teaspoon Maldon salt


Combine the yeast and sugar in a small bowl. Stir in the warm water, and set in a warm spot to proof until the yeast mixture is foaming and bubbly, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine the Cup4Cup and salt in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Whisk together the eggs, yolks, honey, butter, and proofed yeast mixture in a medium-sized bowl.
Turn the mixer to low speed and slowly add the egg mixture. Increase the speed to medium and mix the dough for 10 minutes. (It will be very silky and not as stiff as regular bread dough.)
Scrape down the sides of the bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set the bowl in a warm spot until the dough has about doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Using a rubber spatula, deflate the dough, turning it over a few times in the bowl. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Spray a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray. Spoon 1/3 cup of the dough into each cup. Brush the tops of the rolls with egg wash, top with the Maldon salt, and set in a warm spot to proof uncovered until they rise (but are not doubled) and spread slightly, for about 40 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Bake the rolls until the tops are golden brown and a wooden skewer inserted in the center of a roll comes out clean, for 15-17 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Pommes Anna

Pommes Anna (final plating)

2 pounds Russet  potatoes (about 2 large)
6 tablespoons Clarified Butter (recipe follows)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 450

Peel the potatoes. Using a mandoline or sharp knife, cut the potatoes crosswise into 1/16-inch slices. Place the slices in a bowl of cold water for a minute to remove some of the starch, then drain and dry the slices on paper towels.

Put 2 tablespoons of the clarified butter in an 8-inch ovenproof nonstick skillet (I use a seasoned 8 inch cast iron skillet). Place a slice of potato in the center of the pan. Lay more potato slices around the edge of the pan, overlapping them by half, until you have completely circled the pan. Depending on the size of the potatoes, continue with another overlapping circle of potatoes inside the first. When the entire bottom of the pan is covered, sprinkle a little salt and pepper over the potatoes and repeat the process to form a second layer.  Make another two layers of potatoes, seasoning the first layer with salt and pepper. Make two more layers and season with salt and pepper.

Note: you can continue layering until you use all your potatoes.

Pour the remaining 1/4 cup clarified butter over the potatoes and place the skillet over medium-low heat. Once the butter begins to bubble, cool for 3 to 4 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally to be sure that the potatoes are not sticking. Use a spoon or heat proof spatula to gently shape the top and sides of the potato cake. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until the potatoes are well browned and crisp. Carefully drain excess clarified butter from your skillet using a spatula to hold the potato cake in the pan while pouring out excess butter. Invert the potato cake onto a board or serving platter.  Pommes Anna can be prepared 2-3 hours in advance of service. Place in a 450 degree oven for 10 minutes to reheat.

Pommes Anna after 30 minutes at 450 degrees.

Clarified Butter
Melt a stick of butter in a small saucepan. Do not stir. Once it is completely melted, use a spoon to carefully scrape off the top, frothy and white layer. What remains is clarified butter, which can be used to cook at very high temperatures without sticking or burning. Clarified butter can be prepared and stored refrigerated for long periods of time.