Swedish Breads and Pastries
Gateau de Savoie
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Jan Hedh believes that everyone should have the opportunity to enjoy freshly baked bread for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! More than just a collection of recipes,this guide contains vivid, full-color photographs of step-by-step methods to knead, roll, braid, cut, and bake dough into a variety of shapes and styles.
From dinner rolls and pudding to baguettes and waffles, Swedish Breads and Pastries is the ultimate guide to bread making that no chef, event coordinator, or home baker will want to be without. More...
Freshly baked bread for breakfast, lunch, and dinner ought to be a basic human right, but today we don't have bakeries on every corner like I did growing up in Malmo. Now most people buy their bread in supermarkets, where they heat up par-baked doughs for loaves, buns, and pastries.This is all done by staff with no training in the subject or knowledge of how the bread should taste, nor whether it should be baked darker light. Their Danish pastries (Wienerbrod/Viennoiserie) are usually fermented in baking cabinets so hot that half of the margarine runs out of the pastries instead of staying inside of them. French rolls are simply thrown in boxes, inflated by various baking products and always lack the crispy crust, beautiful crackle on the surface, and airy middle that they should have. When I was an apprentice, we used to compete to see who could make rolls and buns that would crackle the most. The buns were so round at the bottom that they would almost spin when you pulled them out of the oven with a baking rod.
At Olof Viktor's Bakery in Glemminge, the bakers are praised for their Danish pastries, which are made with real butter and vanilla cream from actual vanilla beans, not the cold-stirred muck full of modified starch, vanilla-flavored sugars, and other hocus-pocus ingredients that have nothing to do with properly cooked custard. However, one naturally cannot spend too much time only making French rolls when also trying to keep the cost down to a nickel apiece. When something is that cheap, there is almost always something wrong with it....
....When I got my baker's and pastry chef certificate, brick-oven baking was not mandatory, but rather a lost art in our country. Nowadays, more and more brick-oven bakeries are opening, and interest has increased tremendously among home bakers.
At Olof Viktor's, we retain old baking traditions and knowledge of the trade, and the only machines we use are kneading machines for heavy doughs. We use only butter; for us, margarine does not exist. We almost always start with pre-doughs, sourdoughs, and scaldings before we begin baking. We knead the dough the next day and let it rest, after which we shape the loaves and let them rise slowly overnight. Early the following morning, we bake the bread directly on a baking stone in the firewood brick oven, our pride. At 6 a.m., most of the breads are ready for sale in the store and on their way to customers in Malmo, Hollviken, and Helsingborg. This profession is for early risers...
In this second book of mine about bread, I have included many more whole wheat breads than in the previous, and a few more original flours like Emmer, Kamut, and spelt wholemeal. It also contains pastries and some savory dishes that come with the territory. Follow the recipes carefully and use scales for weight indications whenever possible--using deciliters or cups will yield less accurate results! Use a thermometer to ensure the temperatures' precision. Keep in mind that flour is perishable and does not improve with storage. Old and dry flour absorbs more water than fresh flour. Also, put a baking stone in the oven and you will discover what lovely breads you are able to make yourself.
I wish you the best of luck with the breads and pastries in this book, which I dedicate to the memory of my dear mother Kerstin, who taught me what bread and food should really taste like.
Malmo, August 2009
Apple Danish and
Gateau de Savoie
I usually include a soft cake in my books because it reminds me of grandmother and mother, and emits a certain sense of security. This one is a light, soft French sponge cake that is very dear to me. It is both tasty and easy to make. It freezes well too, which we often take advantage of at my house.
Madame Perlia at the Coba school in Basel, married to the principal Julius Perlia, often baked this cake on Fridays for our strong afternoon coffee to keep us awake during classes in writing and drawing. At Julius Perlia's house, it was often served with a cold crème anglaise and a little compote of, for example, strawberries.
For 8 portions
- a 2-liter (1/2-gallon) round pan, 20 centimeters (8 inches) in diameter (the classic model has ruffled edges)
- 25 grams (1 3/4 tablespoons) soft butter, to butter the pan
- wheat flour, to flour the pan
- 150 grams (1 cup) wheat flour (regular wheat flour, not enriched)
- 1 ripe yellow lemon
- 1 ripe orange
- 120 grams egg yolk (about 6 yolks)
- 110 grams 1/2 cup) granulated sugar
- 1 gram (2 or 3 dashes) fleur de sel
- 10 grams (2 1/2 teaspoons) real vanilla sugar
- 180 grams egg white (about 6 whites)
- 10 grams (2 teaspoons) pressed lemon juice
- 30 grams (2 1/2 tablespoons) granulated sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 100°C (374°F). Butter the pan with the soft butter using a brush. Flour it inside and shake out excess flour.
2. Sift the wheat flour through a fine sieve on a baking sheet. Wash and grate lemon and orange peel with a fine grater.
3. Pour the egg yolk, sugar, salt, and vanilla sugar into an absolutely clean metal bowl. Add the orange and lemon peel. Whisk with a mixer into a firm foam at medium speed or by hand with a strong balloon whisk. Put aside.4. Clean a metal bowl with vinegar and salt to get rid of any lingering fat, rinse it out with cold water, and let the water run off without drying the bowl. Pour the egg whites and lemon juice into it. Whisk at medium speed with a mixer or with manual force using a balloon whisk. When the egg white rises and the foam starts to get firm, add the sugar, increase the speed, and whisk into a firm foam.
5. Fold the egg yolk foam gently into the meringue with a spatula. Add the wheat flour and fold it in carefully so that the foam keeps its air.
6. Pour the batter into the pan and pull it toward the edge to straighten the cake.
7. Put the cake in the oven and bake it for 20-25 minutes, and check it by poking it with a stick to see if it is ready. If the stick is dry, the cake is done.
8. Take it out of the oven and let it sit for 5 minutes to set. Turn it onto an oven rack to cool.
Copyright © 2010 by Jan Hedh. Reprinted from Swedish Breads and Pastries with permission from Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
About Jan Hedh:
JAN HEDH is known throughout Sweden as a beloved baker and confectioner. He is also internationally recognized within the food industry, appearing as a guest chef in restaurants, on cruise ships, and in bakeries around the world. Additionally, he is part-owner of Olof Viktor's Bakery in Sweden and consultant to the bakery Peter's Yard in Edinburgh. Hedh is the author of several bestselling inspirational cookbooks, including Chocolate Passion, Jam and Marmalade, and Passion for Desserts. He lives in Sweden.