A busy kitchen, a country hotel…Whites Whites centers around the bustling kitchen of a grand country estate turned boutique hotel in the English countryside. The hotel’s star chef, Roland White, a once driven and brilliant man about kitchen, now spends most of his time dreaming […]
Mysteries set in the French Countryside Food and Wine Mysteries… Love wine? Love food? Love a peaceful, yet deadly, small village in France? Then pack your magnifying glass, corkscrew, and baguette and head off to your favorite traveling armchair for a series of Food and […]
Father Brown is a BBC television mystery series based on books by GK Chesterton, starring Mark Williams.
It’s the 1950s, it’s in the English countryside, and it’s all about a progressive, mystery-solving Cathlic priest named Father Brown and his circle of parishioners, staff, and friends.
Father Brown…Murder, Mystery, and Strawberry Scones in the Cotswalds
Father Brown is set in the fictional Cotswolds village of Kembleford where, like most BBC cozy mysteries (Poirot, Marple, etc) there’s always a handful of colorful characters and a church at the heart of the community.
James Bond Breakfast according to Ian Fleming… “Then there were two thick slices of wholewheat toast, a large pat of deep yellow Jersey butter and three squat glass jars containing Tiptree ‘Little Scarlet’ strawberry jam…” – Ian Fleming on James Bond Breakfast Tiptree ‘Little Scarlet’ […]
The Perfect French Omelette according to Julia To go straight to Julia Child’s French Omelette recipe, proceed to end of post. If you’re of a certain age you may have watched Julia Child’s first television show, The French Chef when it originally aired back on […]
An indie movie that leaves a lovely taste…and a Pain de Mie recipe to accompany it
Toast is the memoir film about famous food writer and chef Nigel Slater’s beginnings in a household that was anything but gourmet. It stars Helena Bonham Carter and Freddie Highmore. I loved this movie and all it’s British-ness. It relays Nigel Slater’s journey from shy kid to the beginning of his awakened interest in food and baking, through to the start of his career in cuisine.
His young life is told through a series of vignettes in which food takes pride of place, especially when a certain housekeeper woos his father with her enticing baked goods.
The relationship between said housekeeper turned Step-Mother and Nigel becomes rocky and competitive (in cooking) with both of them vying for his father’s favor – this eventually leads him to set off on his own, and become what he is today.
I’m a big fan of Nigel Slater, I’ve tried many of his recipes and really enjoy them. The film is titled Toast but I found the Lemon Meringue Pie the most memorable in the movie. However, as the title is Toast, I’m including a recipe for a wonderful loaf of Pain de Mie, adapted from the King Arthur Website (a fantastic online resource and shop for any baker or cook, beginning or advanced).
This loaf produces such a wonderful crispy, thin crust, and a rectangular loaf with sqaure-ish slices; it's perfect for sandwiches - grilled cheese, afternoon tea finger sandwiches and of course, toast.
- 2/3 cup whole milk
- 1 cup warm water
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2" cubes cubes, at room temperature
- 2-1/4 teaspoons salt
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 cup non-fat dry milk
- 3 tablespoons potato flour OR instant mashed potato flakes
- 4-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons instant yeast
- Combine all ingredients in large bowl and knead (this can also be done in mixer or bread machine). Knead until you have a smooth ball.
- Lightly grease a large bowl and place dough ball to rest. Cover with towel or plastic wrap and let proof about 1-1/2 hours - it may be longer if your kitchen is cool. The dough should rise to a puffy state, though may not double in size as other doughs do.
- Lightly grease your pain de mie loaf pan (pullman pan)* and when your dough has finished with its first proof, gently deflate and roll into a log that fits the length of your 13" pan, and place it inside.
- Cover with lightly greased plastic wrap and let it rise until it comes to just under the lip of the pan. This can take anywhere from 45 minutes to quite a bit longer depending on how warm your kitchen is. My second rise took almost 2 hours. The longer proof will increase the flavor, so don't worry if it's taking its time.
- About a half hour before you think you're bread is going to finish proofing, pre-heat your oven to 350F.
- Remove the plastic wrap, and place the dough in your pan, and attach the pan cover.
- Bake for 25 minutes covered
- Remove the pan cover, being careful of heat, and continue to bake for about 20-25 minutes until the crust is golden and the internal temperature is 190F.
- Take the bread from the oven, remove from pan, and let cool completely on a rack.
- This loaf can be stored and wrapped at room temp for up to 4 days, or frozen for up to 3 months.
You will need a Pullman Loaf pan for this recipe - alternately you can try using a loaf pan and making a cover with tight-fitting aluminum foil (I have not tried this).
This recipe is adapted from the King Arthur Flour recipe.
King Arthur Flour also sells Pullman Loaf pans, but at the time of this writing, they were out of stock.
Delicious, a show for food lovers (sort of)… If you’re a British television lover as I am, you may also be a subscriber to Acorn TV. If you’re not and you’ve never heard of Acorn, then most likely you’ve missed Delicious, a British television series […]
Tennis Cake, a Victorian Charmer
Victorian Tennis Cake, anyone?
I have to admit, I’m a big Great British Baking (or Bake-Off) fan. And I especially like it when they do theme weeks. In the series that’s showing in the U.S. right now, they have a ‘Tudor’ segment airing tomorrow, and I can’t wait.
However, a season or two ago, they did a Victorian bake-off, and one of the things they made was Tennis Cake. This was something I’d never heard of before, but it’s pretty much exactly what it sounds like. That is, a cake made to look like a tennis court.
Charlotte Russe, A Very Victorian Dessert Charlotte Russe is an uncooked dessert which features an exterior and bottom of lady fingers (sponge), and an interior filled with a Bavarian Cream or Mousse. Often the latter is flavored with coffee, or fruit (as shown, Strawberry). Because […]