Breads and Brioche

Pain au Grain

 Hi everyone, Really great website. Thankyou very much indeed.

I've been making all sorts of breads and cakes for years. It is hugely addictive!


I am obsessed with old recipes, and I'm very lucky to have old books by Escoffier and Savarin etc

I try to make my Brioche Mousseline in ancient copper molds under the same conditions as Escoffier or Careme might have had to work in. 

Although technically, Brioche is classed as a bread, I always think of it more as a Genoese sponge really.

The history of baking breads and cakes and pastries throughout the ages is absolutetly fascinating and trying to recreate old recipes is my passion.


Having said that, I feel sure that if those Gods of early Haute Cuisine like Varenne, Bailly, Careme, and Escoffier, had met Ferran Adria and been introduced to what you can do with liquid nitrogen or aga aga etc, I think their collective brains would have exploded on the spot, just thinking about the possibilities.

I know that I am going to have a blast with these toys myself. 


Sponge cakes were made like today by beating eggs and adding a little baking soda. No yeast required.


So now, I am, starting my journey and exploration of Pain au Levain which seems to be very excting indeed.

As I write I have my two day old starter in a big glass jar slowly developing and hopefully maturing.

I thought that it should have a name, because, after all, it is alive! 

So it is called "Thing" like something out of the Adams Family.

A friend in Portugal has a starter which has been looked after and handed down through many generations of her family.

It was originally started by her Great Great Grandmother who apparently used to keep it in her husband's trousers.

I am not sure if her husband was in the trousers at the same time. I didn't like to ask.

Now I want to try and make bread using ancient recipes and using the old levain techniques.


Looking forward to exchanging ideas and information with you guys. 



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