#donthatemebecauseitshomemade

foccacia1378

I have recently been on a bread kick, walking into aperos (the French after-hours exhale) craddling my homemade pretzel, bagel, Brasilian cheese puff or focaccia obsession.  My friends often roll their eyes as I unwrap my olive oil-scented focaccia of the moment. Hate if they will, but it is curiously the first thing to disappear off the table.

Buying a baguette is easy enough, but when I need a taste of home, my go-to source for spot-on recipes is King Arthur Flour.  Seduced by its hands-off 1-minute mix in a food processor, my trusty focaccia recipe has made a weekly appearance chez moi and has become my apero standby.  It’s cheap, impressive and quick enough to whip together before a soiree.  The most taxing part is waiting the hour or so it needs to rise.  But that time can be used for things like “freelancing” (a minute-to-minute recap of gmail accounts) and an Instagram documentation of the process.

A good recipe is like a good friend.  In this case, this recipe will always rise to the occasion.  I made this focaccia with a spoon in a country cabin in the rolling hills of Les Cévennes.  It still even worked out when I forgot to switch the oven from broiler to regular oven.  And it can be accessorized with just about anything left over in the fridge or pantry.  How about dressing one up in sesame seeds, poppy seeds, garlic powder and sea salt à la an everything bagel? If not, I borrowed a brilliant idea from cook Alix Lacloche while I was styling her book.  Inspired by the paper-thin lemon slices and fennel seeds in her crispy lemon pizzettes, it’s the perfect herbal addition to a focaccia evoking the sunshine of the South.

Haters are going to hate, but bakers are going to bake.

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Fool-proof foccacia adapted from King Arthur Flour

Yield: 1 loaf, 10 servings

1 ½ cups warm water

1 packet (5 g) dry, active yeast

2 teaspoons honey

3 ½ cups all-purpose flour

4 tablespoons olive oil + more for baking dish

1 teaspoon sea salt + more for sprinkling

 

For an “everything bagel” version:

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

1 tablespoon poppy seeds

½ teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon sea salt

 

For a lemon/fennel seed version:

1 lemon, thinly sliced on a mandoline or in a food processor

1 tablespoon fennel seeds

 

1. Mix water, yeast and honey in the bowl of a food processor.  Let sit for 5 minutes until frothy.  Add flour, olive oil and salt.  Mix in the food processor for 1 minute, until the dough is smooth.  If using a hand mixer with a dough hook or a spoon, mix dough at least 1 minute until a soft, sticky dough forms.

2. Heavily coat a 8″ × 11″ baking dish with olive oil.  Sprinkle dish lightly with sea salt.  Press the dough into the pan evenly using oiled hands.  Cover with plastic wrap.  Let rise in a warm, draft-free place for 1 hour.

3. Preheat oven to 350 F.  Unwrap the dough.  It should be puffy and doubled in size.  Poke fingers into the dough to create indentations.  Drizzle lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with desired flavorings.

4. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the top of the focaccia is golden brown and springy to the touch.  Let cool before serving.

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La Boqueria

Jessie Kanelos Weiner
Jessie Kanelos Weiner
Jessie Kanelos Weiner
Jessie Kanelos Weiner
Jessie Kanelos Weiner
Jessie Kanelos Weiner

A few explorations in pastel recreating Barcelona’s legendary market, La Boqueria.

Rambla, 91, 08002 Barcelona, Spain

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How to…

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Making a salad is easy!  All you need is a pair of scissors, an exacto knife…

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…some seasonal fruits and vegetables…

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…and a plate.

make a salad 8

Cut out your favorite fruit and veg, including their tabs.

make a salad 1

Fold over the tabs.

 

 

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Using an exacto knife, cut out the lines on the plate.

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Poke the tabs into the lines on the plate to attach the salad.

Toss accordingly and garnish to your taste.

Bon appetit!

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TOP-3 Most Beautiful Easter Eggs 2014

Jessie Kanelos Weiner
Jessie Kanelos Weiner

Moving to France for me was inspired by the heady culinary pursuits of chicken liver pâté and pomme frites.  But no other moment sparked as much gastronomic joy as the moment the patisseries dip a menagerie in chocolate and tie it all up in grosgrain.  I’m talking about Easter!  There is no greater testament to the French expression of art and culinary craft as the proud moment the big chocolatiers showcase their signature eggs of the year.  Behold, my very subjective top-3.

Jessie Kanelos Weiner-thefrancofly.com 2
Jessie Kanelos Weiner

3. For the lover of Easter fantasy and the eternal believer in the Easter bunny, gastronomic fairy tales fall in the trusty hands of Fachon, responsible for this 60cm masterpiece of 70% pure cocoa Venezuelan dark chocolate.

Peacock Egg 60cm – Fauchon,  €795,00

 

Jessie Kanelos Weiner-thefrancofly.com 4
Jessie Kanelos Weiner

2.  Don’t let its R2-D2 appearance fool you. The walls of this oeuf crack into flaky layers of dark chocolate, wafer and praline.

Oeuf de Pâques feuilleté – Le Chocolat Alain Ducasse, €60.00

Jessie Kanelos Weiner-thefrancofly.com 3
Jessie Kanelos Weiner

1. Swiss artist Beat Zoderer reinterprets the iconic symbol of springtime, encasing a secret drawer with colorful chocolate bands. 

ŒUF SUPRAMAT D’APRÈS BEAT ZODERER – Pierre Hermé €210.00

Happy Easter!

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Top 5: Paris in the Springtime

Jessie Kanelos Weiner
Jessie Kanelos Weiner

Insert song lyrics here.

Jessie Kanelos Weiner
Jessie Kanelos Weiner

1.  Jour du Macaron.  On March 20th, every cent donated towards cystic fibrosis gets a free macaron  at all participating bakeries, pâtisserie powerhouse Pierre Hermé included.  The joyous day happily falls on my birthday every year where I join the swarms of frantic gourmandes and Japanese tourists on a passionate mission for macarons and a cure for cystic fibrosis.

http://www.jourdumacaron.com/

Jessie Kanelos Weiner-terraces-thefrancofly.com 2
Jessie Kanelos Weiner

2. Competitive terraces.  When the cafés turn off their outdoor heat lamps, the competition for the best terraces begins. It’s anybody’s game for the most prime real estate in town for people watching and sporadic rays of sunshine.  A humble glass of Côtes du Rhône is certainly worth the price of admission.


Le Petit Fer à Cheval 30 rue Vieille du Temple 75004 Paris

Jessie Kanelos Weiner-daffodils
Jessie Kanelos Weiner

3.  Daffodil bouquets.  This is the earliest symbol of springtime, often peddled outside of every supermarket and Metro stop on the streets of Paris.

Tarte aux fraises
Jessie Kanelos Weiner

4.   The return of strawberries. With seasonal produce a prized staple in France, the first sign of anything sweet and fragile is reason enough to swear off root vegetables for as long as possible.

http://lwww.ladurée.com

Jessie Kanelos Weiner
Jessie Kanelos Weiner

5.  A city in bloom!  Every outdoor surface in Paris becomes an open invitation for picnicking and public drinking alike.

Viva la France!

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Veggie Burger giveaway

15: Burger Potimarron

In celebration of Veggie Burger by Clea and Esterelle Payany, Editions La Plage, I am giving away one copy of this lovely little reference to all things veggie burger along with a limited edition francofly postcard!

veggie-burger-748x1024

Rules to enter:

-Share why you like thefrancofly on Facebook, along with a link to the blog.

-Like thefrancofly on Facebook.

-Follow thefrancofly on Twitter.

-Write a comment below stating you have done all the above and where to get the best veggie burger.

One winner will be chosen at random on February 7th, 2014.  Book will be shipped internationally so it is anyone’s game.  The book is in French.  Bon chance!

photo: Charlotte Brunet

Food styling and illustration: Jessie Kanelos Weiner

***Congrats, Lindsey!  You are the winner!

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