Thursday, February 2, 2012


(I don't really need an aspirin...just practicing on you!)

Can you tell where my mind is these days? Mmmmhmmm.....France, and all things Frenchie. Like learning our way around the city of Paris, learning some basic French language, and maybe even trying out a little bit of French cooking.....speaking of, I picked up this FANTASTIC cookbook at Barnes and Noble the other day.........

(which, in hindsight was really pretty stupid, because B.A. just gave me my early Valentine's gift, a tablet/reader gizmo--TOTALLY could have saved myself about $15, buying the book online-duh!)

The secret reason I really purchased this book was for Ina's simple decorating tips AND the lists of her favorite chocolate shops/wine shops/restaurants/bakeries and specialty food stores in Paris. Where I guess she and her husband now own a fabulous apartment of their very own. Sigh.

As my mama always says, "It's tough to be poor"!


For the next 3 or 4 posts, I'm going to go all "Julia and Julia" on you, or, should I say, "Ina and Leslie"? I've picked out some of the recipes from the cookbook that I've watched Ina actually prepare on the tellie, and they seem totally do-able, in my book. If I had a book.

Hey, should I write a book?

First up, her Brioche Loaves. Because later on this week I'm trying out Ina's Boeuf Bourguignon (fancy talk for Beef Stew with Red Wine), and the recipe calls for some toasted "country bread" to serve the stew over. I'm assuming I can toast Brioche, unless I hear otherwise......

So here we go....recipe #1! Brioche! Egg bread! Gotta love that there's very little kneading involved, although the dough does require refrigerating overnight, so it's kind of a 2 day process. The recipe makes 2 nice-sized loaves of bread, so you can freeze one for later.......

First thing to do is to combine water, dried yeast and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer.....HEY--I can do that!.............

Wait until the sugar dissolves, then add the 6 eggs and beat until well mixed. Add some of the flour and salt and keep mixing (real recipe below). Add more flour, then soft butter chunks. Switch to a dough hook and mix some more...I do declare, this is one of the stickiest doughs I've EVER seen....check it out....almost broke my mixer!.....

Scrape the dough into a buttered bowl and refrigerate overnight. The next day, cut the dough in half.....

Pat each portion into a greased loaf pan, cover and let rise until doubled in volume, about 3 hours (I placed mine in the warmest spot in my kitchen, in my microwave above my stove). Brush the top with some egg wash............

Bake for about 45 minutes...your house is going to smell A-Freaking-May-Zing!!! Here's what my darling little darlings looked like, right out of the oven.......

And here they are, cooling on KNOW I had to slice myself off a hot little hunk, slather it in butter and snarf it right on up!

Wouldn't you?.......Hmmmm?......

Okay, one recipe down, a bunch more to follow! Please join me next time for The Barefoot Contessa's Goat Cheese Tart--simply To. Die. For. For reals.

Here's the Brioche recipe.....

Makes 2 loaves

1/2 cup warm water
1 package dried yeast
3 tablespoons sugar
6 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
4 1/4 cups unbleached flour
2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature (she suggests letting it sit out overnight)
1 egg mixed with 1 tblsp. milk, for egg wash

Combine the water, yeast and sugar in the bowl of an electic mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. (If the bowl is cold, start with warmer water so it's at least 110 degrees when you add the yeast). Mix with your hands and allow to stand for 5 minutes until the yeast and sugar dissolve. Add the eggs and beat on medium speed for 1 minute, until well mixed. With the mixer on low spped, add 2 cups of the flour and the salt and mix for 5 minutes. With the mixer still on low, add 2 more cups of flour and mix for 5 more minutes. Still on low speed, add the soft butter in chunks and mix for 2 minutes, scraping down the beater, until well blended. With the mixer still running, sprinkle in the remaining 1/4 cup of flour. Switch the paddle attachement to a dough hook and mix on low speed for 2 minutes. Scrape the dough into a large buttered bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight. The next day, allow the dough to sit at room temperature for 1 hour. Grease two 8 1/2 x4 1/2 x 2 1/2 inch loaf pans. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured board and cut in half. Pat each portion into a 6 x 8 inch rectangle, then roll up each rectangle into a cylindrical loaf. Place each loaf, seam side down, into a greased pan. Cover the pans with a damp towel and set aside to rise at room temperature until doubled in volume, 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. When the loaves have risen, brush the top of each with the egg wash and bake for 45 minutes, or until the top springs back and it sounds slightly hollow when tapped. Turn the loaves out onto a wire rack to cool.


***My friend Sharon over at I'm Sharon With You, (a fantastic blog to check out if you love to decorate your home!), for helping me with my blog's "new look"! I love my new banner, Sharon--thank you!

***Paul and Deb Mills of Old Forge, New York AND North Carolina, who lent B.A. and I all of those nice books about France. Because they know that Mr. and Mrs. Apple Pie America needs all of the help we can get!

***New Orleans, 23 days from today--Sweet!


  1. Your header looks great!! Thanks for the mention! You crack me up! Last but not least...What the heck...write a book!

  2. Love the new header and thanks for the recipe..

  3. I have that cookbook and love it! I'll have to look through it and tell you what I've made so far. Looking forward to what you make! We're heading through your neck of the woods in an hour...on our way to the most romantic Mirror Lake Inn ;o) You and BA would love it.

  4. Oh have fun at The Mirror Lake Inn, Debbie!! Think we had lunch there a long time ago....lovely! Cannot wait to hear about your "Barefoot" recommendations!