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bripastryguy

Bread Basket

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I have been given the task of re-inventing the "Bistro's" bread basket, it know contains: Nice soft pesto foccacia rolls, sweet cornbread and jj flat crackers.

The chef wanst more, but doesnt know what.....

I was thinking possibly a biscuit of some kind: sweet potato, maybe herb?

A loaf of................

Please keep in mind that I am part time at this place and I need to produce in advance or teach someone how to make these items.

Please help...............

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Buttery baguette and a nice whole grain loaf.

Alternatively, you could serve raw cut up veggies, perhaps seasonal (i.e. asparagus spears) with dipping oil.

Cornbread--that's a nice change. Hmmm.... with butter.

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agree, a whole grain bread is often a treat in a basket. Or, cheese breadsticks

might also want to offer a compound butter choice as well as the flavored oils

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I like a good Parker House Roll....it tastes great on its own or with butter, yet its bland enough for those who must dip....

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Something with walnuts and raisins.

That's exactly what I thought too. Walnuts and raisins, maybe a roll instead of a loaf?

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I've added my Sourdough recipe to the archive

From a batch of sourdough you can make:

Raisin and Walnut

Sundried Tomato

Olive

Dill and Onion

5-Seed

etc, with some as rolls, and some as loaves, and sliced.

if anyone needs sourdough starter email me. I should be able to supply, providing the demand is not too great. Mine is fairly mild.


Edited by jackal10 (log)

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Maybe this is more for a cheese course bread but I still remember it from over a year ago. It was a fruited bread (I don't recall raisins but maybe golden ones in addition to cherries and maybe apricots). What really set this apart, however, was the addition of fennel seed. Really nice.

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Popovers. A dying art that needs to be revived. Maybe baby ones to not overwhelm the rest of the basket.

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I concur with the whole wheat opinions. As well, if you get rid of the flatbread, replace it with a bread stick or someother kind of crunchy cracker. You can nibble on a breadstick or flatbread slowly, and for those on a diet or watching the carbs, its psychologically "better" than bread. Plus, if its flavored, it does not need butter. Yes, there are slightly crazy people out there who actually compute things like " If I don't have bread or butter, just nibble on 1/2 a stick, and have a salad as the app, dressing onthe side, then I can get the rack of lamb instead of the snapper. And have anohter 1/2 glass of wine"

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Your bread basket already sounds more interesting than most places. I would always prefer to see breads in restaurants that I don't generally see in supermarkets or eat at home. How about black onion-seed rolls or some kind of rye bread, or another dark bread, for both flavour and to add to the look of the basket?

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Jackal,

As I do have some experience with sourdoughs, starters and such. My dilema is dealing with the fact that I am only at this restaurant 2-3 mornings a week, depending on product needs. The individual that will eventually be responsible for the bread production is not fully competent ( I dont have faith in him to produce an adequate bread product, let alone something as involved as starter feeding, etc...). He is unable to cut a cake (really nice guy but not the guy I wouldve chose for the job) , he works cheap and long hours.

Really what I'm looking for is doughs that can be made in the morning, some refrigeration, slow proof time in fridge and baked in a convection. These are the limitations of the staff (Chef has no prior bread or pastry experience, he doesnt believe in utilizing the freezer and such)

I may just have to force him into letting me make what canbe made or which I have suggested before: Purchase bread from a quality baker.

He complains about cost and waste, but the products they are producing lack the quality of a well executed bread product. I think to many chefs do not understand the logistics of quality bread making. I myself have had the opportunity to work with bakers from Amy's Breads and Balthazar Bakery (their consultant) and a skilled team of bakers from BR GUEST where Artisan breads took the center stage. These items can not be re=produced in a typical restaurant kitchen with inadequate equipment, which in the end will make a spongy product that barely resembles bread.

So the saga continues.

I may make some soft pretzel sticks, or rolls, Drop chive biscuits. I have an awesome pumpkin or sweet potato biscuit which is easy enough to make.

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I salute your experience and expertise! I'd appreciate your comments on my recipe.

If they can't match the quality, then buying in is the best option.

I guess what most resort to in your position is to use part-baked breads. Ther are some quite adequate ones available, although a good palate will always detect them. That or breadsticks!


Edited by jackal10 (log)

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Jackal,

There are so many sourdoughs......It seems to have the right proportions. Have you evr looked at Nancy Silverton's Breads or Amys Breads. The artisan bread bakers are getting away from mass produced yeasts and going with au-natural-grapes and the like. I am in no way an expert, but if you want to talk to some one who is, Dan Leader Bread Alone http://www.breadalone.com/ is a good authority.

Again, another dilema you bring up is the par-baked: The chef is aginst it and the freezer is not large enough to accomodate it. I used to purchase par-baked items from La Brea bakery and Ecce Panis through Dairyland when I was in a crunch, great products, but the chef insists on homemade.....

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Thanks. I have those books.

My expert is Ian Duffy, formerly of the San Franciso Baking Institute, now at Cook Naturally, the flour producers, I believe. I think he has some connection with Acme Bakery as well.

I still think a sourdough will serve your purpose. A sourdough loaf will stay fresh for some days, and just needs slicing. You can refresh the starter and make the dough one morning, and it will hold in the fridge either until that evening or the next day, or even the day after - it is not fussy when cold.

I assume your oven gets hot enough, but you may need some bricks or a pizza stone or a cloche to bake the breads. If your chef can slash it put it in the oven and spritz it, and leave it alone for an hour, then it can be cooked that day, otherwise when you get in next day or next time. The loaf will serve a couple of days.

Two, say one plain and one fancy, like walnut and raisin should be more than adequate

You could even make a show of it, slicing hunks off a big wheel of a loaf at table. A big loaf doesn't need so hot an oven, either, although longer to bake.


Edited by jackal10 (log)

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Oh my friend Jackal,

You have the love for bread that I do for pastry. The chef just wants it produced, he will not slash, spray or anything "Isn't that what I pay you for?" he says. I get no help, from peeling apples to re-wrapping pastry items, in a sense I am on my own. I would love to produce the sourdough but his ovens are a bit tempermental and I am time restricted. I work there from 5am-8am then I rush to my full-time job, no time to dilly dally. So, I guess I will pass on the sourdough unless I get a block of time to get the sour started. But thats all up to me, I cant expect any backup on it.

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How about a small challah loaf. They proof well in the fridge are fairly durable and pretty difficult to mess up.

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very good possibility, since I am looking to bring my heritage into my work and I am located in a predominately Jewish area.

It has be kick ass!

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Challah is a lot more work than sourdough - all that braiding.

Sourdough is about 5 minutes actual work, and a lot of waiting.

There is a festival tradition, for example for Rosh Hashonnah (New Year) of adding honey, and a little dired fruit and peel to the challah dough for a sweet year.

Matzohs might be an answer, though.

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In no way would I consider braiding, maybe rolls (twists)

The citrus is a great idea, maybe apple

Matzah!!!! hmmmm :rolleyes:

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You can do a braid in a simple way and it makes for such a cool looking little loaf. ANd Matza with seeds of some kind (sesame or poopy)...yum.


Edited by wannabake (log)

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definitely a nut and fruit bread, maybe varying the nuts and fruits week to week.

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by the way,

the most popular bread basket bread in Japan is the black sesame bread/roll, a basic hard roll filled with balck sesame seeds

this is incredible! the loaves make great sandwiches, and some bakeries fill the rolls with cheddar cheese. yum!!

picture of the hard roll type:

http://www.onsenpan.co.jp/web/ajikurabe/goma.html

edited for picture


Edited by torakris (log)

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Bri, what about a eastern european sour rye. Like the no yeast kind. Make it up, put it a bowl of loaf pan and set it in the fridge. Will do well in a convection too. I'll find a good recipe if you'd like. Do you know what I mean? The really thick dense bread that begins as batter? You can stick your nuts and seeds in it too for varitey.

Just realized how that sounds.... :huh:


Edited by elyse (log)

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