My friend Stacy Livingston Rushton lives, like I do, the expat life. But whereas I’ve spent the last 30 years between France and Italy, Stacy has lived in close to 15 countries spread out over 6 of the 7 continents. A great home cook such as Stacy can’t but be influenced by the different cuisines of the different cultures and countries she has lived in and been a part of, recipes—and stories—that she shares on her blog foodlustpeoplelove.com.
Her Orange and Rosemary Boule, a traditional French round country loaf, is a gorgeous, flawless, flavorful bread, just this side of a brioche, inspired by the marvelous, crusty-on-the-outside, tender-on-the-inside artisan breads she ate while living in Paris. Rosemary is a much-used herb in France for both savory and sweet foods, and it goes beautifully with orange.
– Jamie Schler, “Stacy’s Orange and Rosemary Boule”, Orange Appeal, p116
I made this lovely bread relatively early on, in 2016, when we were still in testing mode for Jamie’s cookbook. And I loved the bread. Even though I know I drove Jamie mad by altering the recipe by refusing to test it as is but immediately reducing the amount of yeast and using a mixture of whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour.
We loved the aroma of the just baked bread – the orange and rosemary are wonderful together. Also, the bread looked beautiful with the toasted and twisted rosemary and zest on the surface.
Then, early last November, armed with our wonderful natural starter, I wanted to see how the bread turned out when made without commercial yeast.
Oranges still weren’t in season. But I thought it would be wise to use the rosemary plant I had brought inside to rescue it from our winter – before it got powdery mildew….
Here’s how things went:
9 November 2017, 16:39 I’m just about to shape Stacy’s Orange Rosemary Boule. I made it using wild yeast instead of active dry yeast but otherwise, followed the recipe.
Errmm, mostly. I reduced the amount of honey…. I’m excited to see if it turns out as well as the commercial yeasted version that I made last spring.
10 November 2017, noon Sigh. the weather changes are really flummoxing me with our wild starter. Stacy’s Wild Orange Rosemary boule looks okay for family use but I really can’t take it to a party tomorrow night as planned.
I just mixed another batch of dough – actually following the recipe in the book (shhhh, don’t tell Jamie – she’ll faint – well, it’s my idea of how to actually follow a recipe. I still reduced the amount of honey and yeast a little). Fingers crossed that the old jar of yeast languishing in the fridge is still viable….
Test the yeast first?? I considered it. I really did. I even held off dumping the flour in. But then I decided to throw caution to the wind and just test it with all the ingredients. I also (just in case) threw in a little of the starter from the fridge (why not? ) The resulting dough was a little slow to get going (I put in only 1/2 tsp of yeast instead of the 2 tsp called for) but by mid-afternoon, it was ready to shape. It’s in the fridge now – I’ll bake it tomorrow morning.
Oh yes, I guess I should confess that I didn’t oil the rising bowl as per the instructions.
11 November 2017, 08:49 I just took it out of the fridge and it’s huge. The oven is preheating now.
We cut into the failed wild version – it’s not as terrible as I thought it was going to be. Still, I’m glad that I made another loaf to take to the party tonight…. We sliced the wild version to make morning toast with tea. It’s strange that the orange flavour is almost invisible on first bite. The most noticeable flavour is a gentle sourness from the starter.
And then suddenly the orange appears. So does the rosemary. They completely mask any sourness. Yup, even though this bread doesn’t pass the two resident critics’ harsh judgements for looks and weight, I actually quite like it! (I’m afraid to ask T if he agrees.)
And how did the yeasted version taste? Alas, I have no idea. I delivered it to the kitchen as soon as we arrived at the party and that’s the last I saw of it. The other guests scarfed it up.
I can only assume that they loved it as much as we do.
I really cannot say it enough times: Thank you again for writing such a lovely cookbook, Jamie!
Orange Appeal: Savory and Sweet
by Jamie Schler with photos by Ilva Beretta
Add a little sunshine to every meal with these sweet and savory recipes. – Gibbs Smith Publishing
- Amazon.com: Orange Appeal: Savory and Sweet by Jamie Schler (author) and Ilva Beretta (photographer)
- Jamie Schler, Life’s a Feast
- Ilva Beretta, Ilva Beretta Photography
Jamie Schler offers a collection of sophisticated and sunny recipes using the most versatile of citrus fruits, the orange, in this beautifully photographed [by Ilva Beretta] cookbook. She incorporates the juice, zest, and fruit from many varieties of oranges as well as flavorings, extracts, and liqueurs.
Schler’s sauces, soups, salads, sides, main dishes, breads, and sweets embody the essence of orange and empress diners with recipes such as Orange Fig Sauce, Orange Braised Belgian Endive with Caramelized Onions and Bacon, Beef in Bourbon Sauce, Glazed Apple and Orange Braid, and Chocolate Orange Marmalade Brownies.
Gibbs Smith Publishing