(Thinking about trying to re-create) gorgeous pastries from France, plus, an even better way to do Dutch oven bread on the grill

The pastry above is layered with chocolate pastry cream, flan, and on top, a very whimsical patisserie (pastry shop) in the Marais district in Paris has placed jelly beans, candy blackberries, and a little pile of minced pistachio.  For some reason, I seem to find the need to put a baguette in every picture.

My family and I’ve been home from France for a month but I’m still not exactly “home.”

More photos if you click below; plus new tips on getting a perfect Dutch oven bread on the outdoor gas grill (we’re going to keep refining this).  I’d planned on trying to re-create this pastry—-baking up brioche, slicing it thinly, and layering it with pastry cream (recipe for the cream in our 1st book on page 225, the brioche on page 189, book available on Amazon).  But as I said, I always seem to end up with bread…

It seems like every Art Nouveau storefront has been converted into something else; this Paris boulangerie (bakery) has been turned into office space.  No matter, there are still plenty of incredible bakers.  Before we left Paris, we’d found some fantastic ones—-here’s a rustic apple tart and a millefeuille (Napoleon) from somewhere in the 2nd arrondissment (I should have paid more attention but then it would have been more like work than fun):

Jewish bakeries in Paris, especially in the Marais, bake up some fantastic challah too…

… and I hope it is lost on no one that this picture also captures a John Barrymore Pletzl, the savory onion flatbread from Eastern Europe (click here for our recipe).  I suppose the Parisians don’t call it that, and I continue to await Drew Barrymore’s response to my open question:  Why did my grandfather name this bread after your grandfather?

After a week in Paris we headed south, to a jewel box of a Renaissance-era hill town in the the Dordogne.  Beynac was heavenly, and our place was down the hill from Beynac Castle, where they shot the scene in Ever After, where Drew Barrymore, as the Cinderella character, confronts some evil miscreant (he backs down in the end because Drew turns out to be a stellar swordswoman):

We ended up in Brittany, on the northwest coast, and other than a few baguettes I shot…

… we mainly just ate in Dinan rather than photographing.  We loved it no less than Paris or Beynac.  A high point was when the Tour de France actually passed by our front door.  It only takes 90 seconds for the pack to pass at the beginning of a stage, and I somehow managed to miss it (I was getting a beer– this is their World Series after all).  Here is the caravan of spare bicycles that trails the pack:

That was all I saw.  Really.

OK, on to more mundane matters– I discovered a slick way to prevent scorching of the bottom crust when you do a loaf bread in a Dutch oven on the outdoor gas grill.  General instructions are in the post referenced below, but we’ve always told people to wad up aluminum foil and put it into the bottom of the pan if they’re getting scorching of the bottom crust on the outdoor grill.  That tempered the grill’s direct heat from below and prevented scorching.  I found that I could achieve the same thing by placing the Dutch oven on top of a baking stone, in this case the Emile Henry Flame Top Pizza Stone.  The manufacturer specifically markets this stone as being tolerant of the intensity of grill heat:

So if you like, skip the wadded-up aluminum foil, and as always, keep the pan covered for the first half to two-thirds of baking, then finish open (always with the grill lid closed).  I had trouble keeping my grill at 450F today, so I went with 350F and took a longer baking time (45 min), actually turning the loaf in the pan every ten minutes once it was opened (the bottom surface created this terrific browning, even at this low temp).  More on this method on our site, click here for a grill loaves in an iron pot, or click here for grill loaves in a clay cloche:

Have a great August!

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23 thoughts on “(Thinking about trying to re-create) gorgeous pastries from France, plus, an even better way to do Dutch oven bread on the grill

  1. I have a hard time keeping my grill below 450 so maybe mine is perfect for the bread? I’ve made fantastic loaves on there using your method. So fun!

  2. Diane: Careful if it goes much above 475 or you can get scorching; the extra layer may help but it depends on how hot we’re talking about. Jeff

  3. I had to laugh about the tour de france! We went over the France and followed the bike tour for 1 week several years ago. The first stage we saw, we were amazed by how quick they came and went. Fortunately the caravan comes before them, making the entertainment last longer. We got smart and stationed ourselves on hills or at the start for the following stages!

  4. Quite a bit OT…Have you made lard bread (aka prosciutto bread or ciccioli bread) from the 5 minute dough? This type of bread is probably Italian-American and seems to be specific to the NY/CT area. I’ve managed to get a good amount of prosciutto ends and want to give it a go but I would appreciate the benefit of experience, if you’ve made it. Which basic dough would you recommend, and at what point should I add the prosciutto and pepper? Thanks.

    • Rockycat: We have something inspired by lard bread (pane di lardo) in our first book, on Amazon at http://bit.ly/cNtfJI. Though we call it “Prosciutto and Olive Oil Flatbread.” That recipe doesn’t appear on the web, see our FAQs page for why (click on the FAQs tab above and then click on “Missing instructions and missing recipes…”). We didn’t add it, but cracked pepper would be a nice addition. Jeff

  5. We have both your books, just made our first loaf. THANKS. We keep some kids that are Gluten, wheat, dairy, and egg intolerant. How do We construct a receipe with say rice flour to meet their needs. Steve and VI

  6. I have that book and I assumed that I would use the olive oil dough, sans sugar. (Btw, is there any particular reason that dough has sugar? Otherwise it’s identical in liquid:dry proportions as the master recipe.) I’m going to do a couronne, so I’m guessing that I should add the pepper along with the flour, etc for even distribution and “knead” in the prosciutto after forming the dough into the ball. Make sense?

    • The sugar’s a tenderizer when this dough is used for pizza; sure you can leave it out. Usually doesn’t matter how you get additives into the initial mix, but as you say, I wouldn’t try to knead in the pepper. With the water or the flour is fine. I’d probably dump the meat in with the liquids, I’m guessing that it will distribute more evenly. But your way’s probably just as good. Jeff

  7. Your baguette pictures inspired me to finally get around to making them from the master whole wheat dough from HBIN5. They were easy to make and went great with chicken noodle soup for dinner. (we are all sick)
    Wife and kids devoured them. Thanks again!

  8. I just got the book Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a Day. Does the dough need to be stored in a plastic container or is glass okay also?

  9. Hi there,

    I am interested in purchasing your “Healthy bread in 5 minutes a day” book but I wanted to ascertain first if the recipes (or the bulk of them) are vegan. Can you let me know?

    Thanks,
    Marisa

  10. Lucky you to be there during the Tour…we spend three weeks in July watching daily. And about those pastries, yum…any recipes available for those on Zoebakes?? Just finished a batch of brioche made into buns, pecan caramel rolls, and a loaf…so good. I can hardly wait for the pizza book. We just got home from Ireland with a recipe for black bread. I wonder if that could be adapted to the Bread in Five?

  11. Zoe, My husband is from Europe. We’d like to make some good European style pastries. Do you have some suggestions of a good cookbook that would tutor me in making some of them?

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