Monday, March 22, 2010

Navettes #2

I am much happier with tonight's results.  After watching high school-age son's baseball team beat a team 37-1 in rather chilly weather, I came home and decided to try my newest recipe for navettes.  Warming up the kitchen would warm me up, I hoped.  The un-ex really liked last night's navettes, so they will not go to waste, not to worry.  I was not thrilled since I like the crunchy texture of the ones I have eaten in Provence. 
So, Mildred the Mixer came back out of her hiding place in the cabinet, the oven started pre-heating and I gathered the necessary supplies.  Without the two hour resting period that last night's cookies required, these were done in a snap.  As you can see I decided to brush some with egg yolk and leave some plain before baking them.
and with.
I enjoyed one of each with a cup of tea while grading 7th grade tests on the passé composé.  These have a nice crunch and a subtle lavender taste.  The real test will come tomorrow when I ask Señor for his input.  He is my cochon d'Inde or guinea pig.  Do the French use that expression, I wonder?  And where on earth did it come from anyway?
I am beginning to feel like this santon boulangère with all this baking. She lives in the dining room of the Hôtel du Musée in Arles.  Hmmm... I wouldn't mind living there.  Wonder if Claude and Laurence would let me come bake for the breakfast guests?  I could dust off my brioche recipe, stir up some crêpe batter and make navettes to go with Claude's amazing coffee.
It was, quite possibly, the best coffee I've ever tasted.  I panicked one morning when I thought that I'd overslept (the time changed in the U.S. but not in France.  My watch had died and I was depending on my phone, still set to EST, to give me the hour.  Sadly, even that involved too much math for me.)  I threw on my sweats, pulled my hair up, grabbed my glasses so I could see to get down the stairs, and rushed into the dining room.  Some of my students were already there, leisurely having their croissants and sipping hot chocolate.  I managed to confuse them about the time.  I then asked Claude if the time had changed in France.  I am not sure he recognized me at first and then he just shook his head, probably thinking I was complètement folle, or off my rocker, as we say here in the South.  But I had time for at least three cups of his café, so all's well that ends well, n'est-ce pas?
Now that I've graded papers, had my tea and sampled my navettes, it is time to head to bed.  I am reading Peter Mayle's book, pictured above.  This is the French version, translated by Christophe Mercier, that I bought in a bookstore in Arles.  The English titles is Provence A-Z.  I like the French title better,  A Lover's Dictionary of Provence or maybe A Provence Lover's Dictionary would be more accurate.  I am still in the A's... accent, ail, aïoli, air, Alpes et Alpilles, amandes, amis, anchoïade, âne, anglais, antiquités et antiquaires, apothicaires (rose des), Apta Julia, artichauts à la barigoule and automne.  I am not sure what all of those are, but I will by the time I finish the chapter... if I can stay awake long enough to read it all, that is.

Lavender Navettes
(from La Ferme Gerbaud cookbook courtesy of Serious Eats website)

250 grams / 2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
125 grams / 1 cup sugar
1 egg
45 grams / 3 1/4 Tbsp. butter, melted
2 tsp. dried lavender flowers
1/4 cup water, plus a bit more, if needed
1 egg yolk, if desired, for brushing tops

Mix the baking powder into the flour.  Add the sugar, egg, melted butter, lavender and water.  Mix well.  Batter should be just past the point of sticky.  Divide the dough into 3 or 4 pieces.  Place on a floured surface.  Roll the pieces into sausages, about as thick as you want the navettes.  Cut the sausages into slices, rolling them with your hand to give each slice its oval shape, long and lean at both ends.  Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  With a knife, make a well-centered cut lengthwise.  Brush with an egg yolk, if desired.  Bake in a moderate oven (375F) for 15-20 minutes, depending on the size of the navette, until golden brown.
Makes about 24 cookes.

Bon appétit et bonne nuit!

P.S. As of today, almost two years after starting this blog, my profile has been checked 1,000 times.  I chose to believe that 1,000 people have read at least one of my entries.  Bravo!

1 comment:

david said...

Señor is SO happy to have been introduced to lavender navettes. Mercie, Teresa, merci!