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eG Foodblog: Jackal10 - Bread and Apples


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Apples in torte blette don't seem right at all. To me, the whole point is that the blette is the star. I love torte blette!

Jack, I don't think I've ever seen golden raspberries before. They're beautiful! Do they taste just like red ones?

Michael aka "Pan"


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We have a better class of graffiti, according to today's news: BBC News item

There was a famous graffiti on the exit of the pure maths departmet "Beware: You are now entering reality!".

Also one night in the 1960's an ornamental lampost in the middle of one the the green spaces (Parker's Piece, originally a market garden) that had been painted corporation green, was revealed carefully and beautifully painted in full psychedelic colours with the words "Reality Checkpoint" stencilled on it. After much public outcry, the council relented and let the decoration (and name) stay.

If you look carefully at the statue of Henry VIII above the Great Gate of Trinity College you will see that holds an orb in one hand, and a chair leg in place of a sceptre in the other. Originally, of course, he held a sceptre, but some students climbed up and swapped it sometime last century; the authorities replaced it with another sceptre, but next night it was again a chair leg. Soon the College realised that chair legs were more plentiful than carved sceptres, and it has remained a chairl leg to this day.

Back to tonights supper, in which it will be seen that while my intentions are good, my presentation is awful

Golden Borscht (the gold beets were in an earlier entry)

Shred the beets, and simmer with onion in chicken (or duck) stock; add vinegar and sugar, correct seasoning.


Brisket tzimmes, with prunes and honey for a sweet year, and slices of carrot representing coins


I forgot to take the filo pastry out of the freezer in time, so strudel is postponed. We had berries and honey cake instead. The yellow raspberries taste just like the red ones. The variety is All Gold, which is a sport of the autumn fruiting Autumn Bliss. They are unusual in that they fruit on this years wood, around this time, while most raspberries fruit on last years wood, in early summer. I do like the visual contrast with the blackberries


We also had some "Mara du Bois", cultivated wood strawberries.gallery_7620_3_1095364656.jpg

Financiers, so called because they are meant to resemble gold bars. This is really just an excuse to show off my fancy flexible silicone silform mini-financier mould. Some with berries, but I was distracted and they are rather overcooked, and overfilled.


We drank an Orb Rose 2003 (Vin du Pays Haute Vallee de l'Orb; Cave de Roquerrun) since our guest dislikes red wines...

Edited by jackal10 (log)
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Hmmm. Was that a professorial tactic to say you had no recipe and to send me off to hunt one up?

It worked. Here's a recipe for Tourte aux Blettes....very very loosely phrased from a book on my shelves, Williams-Sonoma 'Savoring Provence'.

It is not exactly the one I used to make...that one had olive oil in the pastry dough and salt pork in the body of the pie. Not kosher.

Tourte aux Blettes: for one (11" round) tart Preheat oven to 400 F.


One (double) recipe rich shortcrust pastry made with butter, egg yolk, and sugar in the dough.

1/2 C brown sugar

2 eggs

2 T golden raisins, soaked in...3 T dark rum

1/4 C pine nuts

Black pepper to taste

2 T marc, brandy, or kirsch

1 T olive oil

8 leaves swiss chard, stems removed, leaves coarsely shredded

3 Granny Smith apples, peeled cored and sliced 1/4" thick

1 egg beaten with 1 T milk

1. Blend brown sugar and eggs together well in large bowl.

2. Drain raisins, reserve rum.

3. Add raisins, pine nuts, black pepper, marc and olive oil to egg/sugar mix in bowl and blend together well.

4. Add chard, stir well.

5. Line tart pan with removable bottom with half the pastry dough.

6. Fill with half the chard mixture then top with half the apples.

7. Repeat step 6.

8. Drizzle with reserved rum.

9. Top with remaining pastry, tuck up nicely, decorate with snippets if you like.

10. Brush with egg/milk mixture. Prick with fork to allow steam to escape.

11. Bake 45 to 50 minutes till golden brown.

12. Cool on rack, remove from pan. Serve warm or at room temperature, sliced into wedges.

There you have it!

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8 am Friday

Overclouded and grey. Looks like we will get some rain, but the forecast is OK for Sunday.

Need more coffee

Many thanks Carrot Top for the tourte recipe, just what I had in mind. I think that is on for tomorrow!

Raspberries come in two sorts. The summer fruiting varieties, which fruit on last years wood, so you remove the old canes that have fruited, leaving the new canes (grown this year) for next years crop.

Autun fruiting varieties fruit on new wood, so you cut them down to six inches above ground level in the winter when they are dormant.

Raspberries are fairly shallow rooted, greedy feeders, and need lots of water but dislike waterlogging.

The sourdough starter has woken up overnight


I'll feed it again, and probably make dough this afternoon. It has the consistency of a very thick cream. I can't remember if this is a "poolish" or a "biga", I'll just describe it as a sponge...

Lets see. Around 100 people. Say 10Kg (20lbs) of bread, or 12Kg/25lbs of dough.

or about 7.5Kg of flour at 66% hydration - two and a half bags.

I think mostly wholmeal boule or cut rolls (say two bags) and then some baguettes, some onion and rasin bread for cheese, and I want to try a sourdough version of Comfort Me's chocolate chocolate challa - thanks for the recipe!

I need to go to my office for a meeting this morning, so I'll pick up some flour and stuff then.

Edited by jackal10 (log)
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I still think apples are wrong for tourte blette, but maybe that's only because the example I liked to buy in Nice didn't have any. Pignoli and raisins, yes. Apples, no.

Michael aka "Pan"


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oy, why have i been so distracted that i didn't pay attention to your blog until today? its so gorge-eous! i feel very luck indeed to be coming to your apple pressing and as we have only recently been bitten by the gardening bug, husband wants to roll around and romp in your rainbow chard!

two questions: what time is it? if we don't hear from you soon--i'm leaving house this afternoon for weekend--we'll show up around 1pm and hope its the right time.......and......question two: do you eat trayf? (as i have a fabulous jar of lardo wrapped around chestnuts in a honeyed sauce from tuscany and it is divine, and would love to offer it up to you as gift. please tell me if you don't eat this sort of gift, or if you prefer this sort of gift stay far away from you and yours!).

can hardly wait to come to your apple pressing, so many different types of apples, and we'll tell you all about our apple forays to wisley, and to west dean, and we are becoming the soft of garden visitors who just munch our way though the acres, like eager rabbits, nibbling and nibbling. i hope people don't start putting up fences to keep US out though i would completely understand if they did.

see you sunday!

ps i can hardly wait to see what you have for dinner tonight!

x marlena

Marlena the spieler


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You know, following your blog this time around is eliciting the same sort of response in me as your first did, which goes sort of like "Hm, goodness, beautiful, lovely lovely, holy MOG, where does he find the time and energy...." and ending with "Bother. I should just give up this cooking and gardening business". My only consolation is in knowing (suspecting?) that had I not young children and a husband and a time-and-a-half job to look after, I might just measure up.

All of which is to say, simply: smashing.

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We kick off on Sunday officially at noon (BST), although people will be around all day. Yes I do eat trayf, and so fo I think all of the expected guests. This is not a kosher home..

(Od story: "Why do you have five refrigerators? Nu, that one is milchig, the other is fleishig, the two over there are pesachtika milchig and pesachtika fleishig, and this one we use most is treyf!")

Don't be discouraged GG, your time will come...

Lunch today was coporate sandwiches during a meeting. Indifferent bread cut too thick, and skinny fillings of indeterminate nature.


Mixed up two 3Kg batches of wholmeal, Decided not to do rye as well


and one of white. This will turn into onion and raisin bread, etc. They are currently autolysing, the pause to allow the enzymes in the yeast to degrade the starch into simple sugars. In half an hour I'll add the salt (2% or 60g per batch). I'll do the baguettes tomorrow, since they are better baked the same day, and also make the pizza doughs


Edited by jackal10 (log)
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Salt added. Now the dough ferments for four hours, being folded sides to midle (which stretches the gas cells gently) every hour or so. It alread feels much more like dough. The hydration of the gluten is time, not mechanical work.


Converted 1Kg of the white sourdough into Comfort Me's famous double chocolate, adding 1/2 cup of cocoa, an egg, some butter and 12oz/350g of dark chocolate (Green and Black 72% organic cooking chocolate). It was a bit sloppy as I added some more flour. Seems an awful lot of chocolate, and the chumks will make braiding it interesting...


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Corporate lunches are indeed the same, except perhaps in France. Depressingly so. Worse, at least in my field, its often the same people, or at least the same recognisable types that attend them...The French are more serious, and are rightly insulted if offered only sandwiches

Folded the dough, like making a turn when making flaky laminated pastry. Turn though 90 degrees and do the same, then back in the bowl to rest for another hour.


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Corporate lunches are indeed the same, except perhaps in France.

:huh: Ouch, guys. As a former Executive Chef for a major investment bank, I can assure you that there are many places that don't serve that sort of drek...if the person ordering the meal does not request that sort of drek on the table.

But on with the blog...I just had to spout that out. :wink:

Edited by Carrot Top (log)
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Hmm..maybe I need to discuss investments with your bank...although I must say my current (private) bank does give good lunches when it wants something from me...no such thing as a free lunch!

Mushroom omelettes for supper, with an avocado, which was about the only green thing to hand


The dough is rising nicely: it has now had three hours and three turns, an about doubled. In an hour or so I'll portion and shape it, then put it into bannetons overnight in the fridge


Edited to add we drank an Anjou Village, 1999, Domaine Des Forges. Claims it won a gold medal in Paris in 2001. £6.40 from Alex Riley Wines.

Edited by jackal10 (log)
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...although I must say my current (private) bank does give good lunches when it wants something from me...no such thing as a free lunch!

Um, hmm. Wise words.

You certainly have the capabilities to turn the tables on them and invite them to a lunch that you have prepared....tit for tat....wonder what they would/could do for you then. A good bottle of wine is always helpful, and have a contract ready for them to sign.

A pleasant fantasy, anyway.... :smile:

Soba, a banetton is a basket which bread dough is placed into during its final rise....traditionally made of rush...basket material...but now found also in ceramic and other materials. It helps create the final shape and 'look' of the loaf...

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I've made far too much bread.

7 large wholemeal loaves (although some of those may be divided and reshaped for rolls)

3 Onion and Raisin

1 Chocolate challa.

We will have to have five fishes...Not quite the feeding of the five thousand, and no Messiah, but close..

Might give the bagettes I'd planned a miss, unless there is an outcry from my readers..

Wholemeal sourdough: dividing and then shaping into boules. You do this by sort of rolling the dough along the pastry board with one hand on the side, so the friction of the board tightens the dough. We are working with very wet doughs, and you are trying to eliminate large internal air pockets ("the house where the baker sleeps") to give a uniform texture, and to stretch the surface gluten to get a tension to help hold the shape.


They then go upside down into bannetons, which as Carrot Top remarked are cloth, usually linen, lined wicker baskets, although you can get all sorts and I've improvised some. The basket supports the now fragile and wet dough during proof. The dough is an increasingly delicate sponge, and needs careful handling from here until baking. The banneton, like the cane basket here, can have a pattern, which imprints itself on the bread. The inside is lightly floured. The bread will about double in the oven. They are now all in the fridge, retarding (slowing the ferment) overnight. This allows me to bake at my leasure, and I think the stiffer cold dough is easier to handle and rises better. Of course, wholemeal, and bread with fruit or other bits in it never rise as well as plain white, since the bran or the additions puncture some of the gas cells


The red onion and raisin bread is also divided and shaped, and put into long bannetons.


The chocolate challa doesn't seem to have risen as much as I expected. I wonder if the high sugar content is inhibiting the sourdough. Turned out easier to shape than I feared.


The only difficulty is that clearing up us a major hassle. Anyone know any good ways? Dough is tenacious stuff and sticks to anything, and doesn't come off easily. It doesn't soak off. Best implement I've found is to scrape it off with a rubber spatula. If you get it on the dishcloth, it will never come out.

Nightcap and then bed..shooping and then baking tomorrow.

Edited by jackal10 (log)
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What an beautiful array of bread-in-potential. Just inspiring, it is.

Cleaning up bread dough is an endless task, there's always a bit more a bit more a bit more. Really one of the (many) tests of the baker's resolve, I think.

As you said, Jackal, a rubber spatula for smooth-inside bowls and such, and a bench scraper for flat surfaces.

Sometimes I think cool or only tepid water works better than truly warm, but this could be my imagination. And yes, get it on the dishcloth, and it, the dishcloth, is a goner.

Edited by Priscilla (log)


Writer, cook, & c. ● #TacoFriday observant ●  Twitter    Instagram


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I meant to add i was thinking of setting up a webcam, maybe pointed at the oven in the interests of exploring the medium.

a) Would anyone be interested in watching it?

b) Three ways to do it:

- Set up a private Yahoo IM room. Hs the limit of 30 people at any time, and you would need a Yahoo id., but it does support streaming video.

- Similar but using MSN and Windos messenger.

- Upload an image to a web page, refreshing say every 30 seconds. I can set this up fairly easily, but it s not streaming video.

Any interest, or would it be a waste of time? Any preferences as to method?

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Gorgeous blog Jackal,

I think the webcam would be excellent but being on the other side of the world will probably be asleep whilst it is on :sad: so can you post picture as well please?

That bread looks so good, I can't wait to see the finished product (all the products in fact). And I add to the comments on what a lovely garden you have. Puts mine to shame.

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The only difficulty is that clearing up us a major hassle. Anyone know any good ways? Dough is tenacious stuff and sticks to anything, and doesn't come off easily. It doesn't soak off.  Best implement I've found is to scrape it off with a rubber spatula. If you get it on the dishcloth, it will never come out.

Jack, great blog so far. Looking forward to the rest.

I have one bread cleaning-up tip. Soak bowls etc. in room temperature or cooler water and then use a plastic shopping bag, a wad of cling film or a loosely scrunched-up piece of foil to do the scrubbing. The dough comes right off and you've no worries of dish clothes, sponges etc. gummed up with dough bits. Counters are another matter. Have you tried the Roulpat (large silicon mat made by Silpat?)


"Tis no man. Tis a remorseless eating machine."

-Captain McAllister of The Frying Dutchmen, on Homer Simpson

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