Category Archives: whine

ranting, raving and generally complaining

Dreaming of Orange Blossoms – Fouace Nantaise (BBB January 2017)

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BBB: Let's Get Baking summary: recipe for Fouace Nantaise, based on a recipe by Jamie Schler; orange blossom; yeast in the dead of winter; failure to learn from past mistakes; a Bread Baking Babes (BBB) project; (click on images to see larger views and more photos)

Brrrrrr… it’s coooooold outside!!

Fouace Nantaise Bread Baking Babes’ Fouace Nantaise, January 2017

Adonc Marquet, grand bastonnier de la confrarie des fouaciers, lui dist : « Vraiment tu es bien acresté à ce matin, tu mangeas hersoir trop de mil. Vien ça, un ça, je te donnerai de ma fouace. »
– François Rabelais, Gargantua, 1534
As I learned in the course of my education in the kitchen, “the recipe is never the recipe.” It might look comprehensive and legally binding, but in fact these recipes should be treated as a set of sketches or notes.
– Michael Pollan, Appendix I: Four Recipes, Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation, p878

For January’s BBB project, I waffled like crazy about what to choose. Without actually considering waffles…

Savoring Italy Cover Initially, it was going to be Carta da Musica, after reading about them in “Savoring Italy” by photographer Robert Freson:

On the island of Sardinia, eligible men used to choose their wives, not for their beauty or their intelligence, but for their ability to bake bread. […] The reason so much importance is given to bread in Sardinian culture probably stems from the fact that […] sheep or goat herding is the principal profession, and bread, which keeps well, can be carried up into high pastures and needs no further preparation, is the perfect shepherd’s food. […] Sardinian women have developed pane carasau, a flatbread so light and thin that it has been nicknamed carta di musica, or sheet music bread.
– Louis Inturrisi, Sicily/Sardinia, Savoring Italy, p229,230

Then, I saw something about the gluten-free Pão de Queijo (Brazilian Cheese Bread), that is made with cassava flour. (We did make these – remind me to report!)

Of all the foods I fell in love with in Brazil, Pao de Queijo (literally translated to ‘bread of cheese’, how can that not be delicious?) is right up there at the top. […] [T]here are several different methods to making these little balls of heaven.
– Sarah Wells, Our Best Bites: Quick Brazilian Cheese Rolls {Pao de Queijo}
[P]ão de queijo is one of my family’s favorites. […] I use [half sweet and half] sour tapioca flour but the real trick is the cheese you use: queijo coalho.
-Danielle L, Brazilian Musician

At exactly the same time as we bought cassava flour, we saw that large bags of reasonably priced oranges were available. And suddenly, I remembered that I wanted to make Jamie’s (Life’s A Feast) Fouace Nantaise again.

So. After asking Jamie and making sure she didn’t mind, Fouace Nantaise is what January’s project is. Considering that oranges are at the height of their season in late December and January (or at least that’s the case in the northern hemisphere), it just seemed fitting to choose a bread made with oranges. Even though not much of the orange is used….

Fouace Nantaise Created in the 19th century by winegrowers in La Haie-Fouassière, a village near Nantes […] This treat in the shape of a six-pointed star consists of a sweet dough made from flour, butter, milk, sugar and sometimes local eau-de-vie. […] It is enjoyed on its own or with jam, for breakfast and tea. | Fouace nantaise

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