For any who might be interested, I've detailed my baking of pain Normand here:
Lovely looking bread.
But no fair moving on until the Pain de Beaucaire controversy is settled! :>)
I'm no big fans of add ins either, but I started to think about what I would be able to add in to bread if I went no more than 100 miles from home (fortunately I am in hard wheat growing country). I tried a version of whole wheat levain with flax seed and rosemary last week. It was pretty good. Toasted with house made cheese it was ultimately edible.
I wonder what you would find 100 miles from home other than apples at this time of year. You may be in a more agriculturally rich area...
Thanks Pat. I think the only way the pain de Beaucaire discussion will be resolved is when you get to see it made in person. So, when is your flight? :)
Besides the dried apples in pain Normand, so far the only other bread add-ins that I've enjoyed are garlic, onion and, of course, raisins (in cinnamon raisin bread). But as they say in the small print, this list is subject to change without notice!
I either have to go before spring planting (May, where I live) or after the harvest and I've been away from France too long so I'm pretty sure April will find me in the Luberon - if I make it that long...
Because I've done so many of the "tourist" things in that area, this will make a good quest - to drive around to various places and see the variations in the bread.
We'll get this resolved!
We're counting on you, so please bring back the "goods" on this Pain de Beaucaire puzzle. If possible, get some photos. If any of the boulangers in Luberon try to hold back information or refuse to cooperate with you just mention the Dunwoody Institute and threaten them with Norm's film of the "Rackers" in action. :>)
Howard, you crack me up! It's been a while since I laughed out loud at a TFL post.
Oh, I'd like to hitch ride, Pat! I'll disown my family for a week and come cruisin'
Years ago, as my time for living in France was drawing to an end, I took an extended trip through Normandy. I was there during apple harvest and seeing your Pain Normand reminded me of the many ways they use apples in Normandy. As I drove past the apple orchards the apples had been picked and piled onto large tarps on the ground throughout the orchards, awaiting pickup.
Normandy, like the rest of France, has great food, expecially seafood on and near the coast, where they serve it accompanied by cold bottles of apple cider that range from sweet to dry. The cider is bottled and aged in champagne style bottles. They use apples for so many things; wonderfully delicious calvados (a cognac style brandy made from apples), tartes, cider, and entrees made with apples and calvados.
With your pain Normand, you have brought back some special memories and shown yet another beautiful and delicous looking way they use apples in Normandy. Thanks for sharing.
Howard, thanks for the reminiscence of the time you spent in Normandy. It served to give me a much better feel for the people of Normandy and their culture. It's been a long while since the last time I've visited France but the next time I go back, I'll have to add Normandy to my list of places to visit.
Nice description, Howard!
I love the calvados. (So did Inspector Maigret.)
Am I remembering correctly, Normandy has awesome butter because the cows get to eat especially sweet grass?
Good to hear from you. Yep, best butter in Europe. The folks in Normandy believe what makes the milk, cream and butter soooo good is the cows eat the grasses that are near the sea and the sea imparts great things to the grasses, which in turn...
Great place, Normandy. Gotta get me a bottle of good calvados and make that Pain Normand tout de suite.
Beautiful bread, SteveB!
I love the look of your crust. Gorgeous color with rustic substance.
I agree with your general purist tendency (flavor from within). But an add-in now and then is nice for variety. (I like Flo's pear suggestion, I think the texture contrast might be nice with pears. Of course it wouldn't be Normand without the apples!)
(Great blog as well. I don't know why your video icons don't show up in my browser. Maybe I have my browser set too strictly, or MS doesn't like Quicktime? It's not a problem, I find the URL using ViewSource, but it's a puzzle.)
Keep up the great work!
Thanks, David. I wish you could taste a slice. It really has a nicely balanced apple flavor that doesn't overpower the flavor of the wheat. If you give it a go, I think you'll really enjoy it.
I'm not sure why the video icons aren't showing up in your browser. I use IE 7 and things appear to be fine. As you suggest, perhaps it is something local to your machine.
I will both try this bread, which I have looked at several times with interest in Hamelman, and also see if my browser settings aren't the cause of these missing icons. Keep up the great work!