Our Tuesdays with Dorie baking group’s kitchens are emitting yeasty smells because this week we are baking Focaccia!
I imagined the warm bread coming out of the oven drizzled with olive oil and generously sprinkled with zaatar (Middle Eastern dried spice made from dried herbs, sesame seeds, sumac, and salt) and I was hoping that:
(a) testing the limits of my Kitchen Aid mixer when mixing the dough
(b) leaving the dough in the fridge for more than 24 hours
(c) in super glorious Ikea zip lock bags with stripes
would get me a fluffy focaccia, but alas this became my FFF – flat fail focaccia…Two questions remain:
(1) What do I do with the other two bags of dough that are still in the fridge?
(2) What went wrong with this bake?
After the scars from this baking experience heal a bit, I will be giving this recipe another try. Well, maybe…
A coincidence or not that happened on the last day of the Canadian Penny.
Please visit Sharmini of Wandering Through to see how actually the focaccia should look like!
French Apple Tart
I am so glad pies and tarts have their different nuances! Pies are flaky and crispy. Tarts are crumbly, tender, and buttery.
The French Apple Tart that our Tuesdays with Dorie baking group baked on January 22, 2013 was by the contributing baker Leslie Mackie. I did not have a chance to bake the tart earlier, so I am trying to catch up with this recipe today.
The French Apple Tart recipe uses a traditional pie dough that is filled with oven baked and pureed apples and topped with a stunning apple rosette.
Since I rather prefer crumbly to flaky crusts made with shortening, I used Pierre Hermé’s Sweet Tart Dough. I baked his Nutella Tart using this dough recently and it was indeed perfect! As a matter of fact, this is how he calls it – Perfect Tart Dough!
After the Pierre Hermé’s perfect tart crust was baked and chilled, I filled it with the apple compote. I used one generous teaspoon of cinnamon and substituted the bread crumbs in the filling with ½ a cup of quick cooking oats. Arranging the rosette on top of the tart was fun and challenging. There were some apple rosette shrinkage, but nothing a superior taste can’t fix!
If you would like to learn how to do an apple rosette, please visit Law of the Kitchen who was the host for the recipe.
Pierre Hermé’s Sweet Tart Dough
Adapted from Desserts by Pierre Hermé by Pierre Hermé and Dorie Greenspan
Note: These ingredients are sufficient for three 10-inch tarts or four 9-inch tarts.
10 oz (285 g), unsalted butter at room temperature
150 g (1 ½ cups) confectioner’s sugar, sifted
100 g (1/2 cup) finely ground blanched almonds
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean pulp or pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs at room temperature, lightly beaten
490 g (3 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on low speed until creamy.
- Add the sugar and mix.
- Add the ground almonds, salt, and vanilla pulp and mix.
- Add the eggs and mix.
- With the mixer still on low, add the flour in three additions.
- Mix until the ingredients form a soft and pliable dough that holds together. Do not overmix.
- Divide the dough into balls and wrap each ball in plastic, gently pressing each ball into a disk.
- Allow the dough to rest for at least 4 hours and for up to 2 days.
- If you are not planning on using all the dough, it freezes very well up to a month.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a circle.
- Butter a tart pan with a removable bottom and transfer the rolled dough to the tart pan.
- Prick the crust all over and chill for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
- To bake the crust, preheat the oven to 350F (180C) and position the rack in the middle. Line each crust with aluminum foil and fill with pie weights (I use rice). If your tart pan is dark-colored like mine, preheat your oven to 325F.
- To partially bake, bake the crust for 15 minutes. Carefully remove the pie weights and foil. Return the tart to the oven and bake for another 3 to 5 minutes, or until lightly golden.
- Transfer to a cooling rack and allow the crust to completely cool before you fill it in.