Category Archives: Bookshelf of Cookboks

Bookshelf of Cookbooks: Bouchon Bakery – Plain Scones

scones

This past weekend I went to my friend’s apartment for a lovely little brunch. I was in charge of bringing bread and cheese as we were having a spread of starters and some other food for the main. Since I wanted to bake something but did not feel like making bread I decided to make scones. While looking for recipes I found the recipe for Plain Scones in the Bouchon Bakery by Thomas Keller & Sebastien Rouxel cookbook. I love the book everything looks amazing but of course since it is such an elevated cookbook a lot of the recipes take more time and effort than I usually have for baking. But as everything is so lovely looking I always go back to the book which is why I found the scone recipe and while it was different than every other scone recipe I have seen it was not so complicated/ labor intensive that I decided to try it. I thought the method was very intriguing and now that I have tried it I am very happy with the results. You make a rather wet dough which you refrigerate until it it is hard enough to cut into scones and then you freeze them at least overnight and then cook from frozen.

Scones

I defiantly plan on making these again maybe with basil and sun-dried tomato… I am really interested in making more savory scones but I am sure I will make some traditional and my favorite cranberry orange scones too.
scones

I followed the recipe to almost a T but when I was at the grocery store buying supplies I did not buy enough Heavy Cream to make Creme Fraiche and use in the dough so I subbed buttermilk for Creme Fraiche. This made the scones a bit more tangy than I think they would have been otherwise but they were still good. I also think that since I used so much buttermilk I should have added a bit more baking soda to balance out the acid but otherwise they were the most moist and perfect scones I have ever made. The recipe takes longer to make than a regular scone recipe because you  freeze (as I talk about above) but is so worth it. Because you freeze it though it makes the scones great for making ahead of time and cooking right before eating and you can keep the dough frozen uncooked for up to a month.

Scones

If you want the recipe check out the book but for reference this is the ingredient list:

152 Grams All Purpose Flour

304 Grams Pastry Flour

12.5 Grams Baking Powder

2.5 Grams Baking Soda

91 Grams Sugar

227 Grams Cold Unsalted Butter (8oz)

135 Grams Heavy Cream

135 Grams Buttermilk

I think they are great just served plain or with butter, honey, and preserves.

Scones

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Bookshelf of Cookbooks: Jerusalem A Cookbook

Jerusalem Book_words

This post is the first in what will be an ongoing series called Bookshelf of Cookbooks. My goal for these posts is to actually cook recipes, as written, from the books that I own and continue to buy and not just use them as inspiration or a jumping place (all though there is nothing wrong with that either). Just as in art or photography or whatever else following what someone else did to make your own study helps you learn about the process and techniques involved to make that specific painting or in this case dish of food. While creating our own recipes are fun and exciting there is no point if one does not have a base of knowledge learned from other books and if you do want to write your own recipes it helps to cook from others because you then learn which recipe style works best for you. So please join me on this first adventure into my books featuring 2 recipes from from Jerusalem A Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi.

Jerusalem Book_18

First let me say that this book is beautiful, when I first opened it I was struck by all the lovely photos of Jerusalem and all the great pictures of the food. While I have a lot of books I have had longer I think this one got me to cook from it so quickly after purchasing was for 2 reasons. One of those reasons was I had some friends who were recently in Jerusalem and all their photos I kept seeing made me want to go there and eat some amazing food, which leads me to point #2 which is I love middle eastern food. Going to Istanbul last summer was great, I got to eat a lot of fantastic food and I just made me want to try even more things from the region. When I was looking through the book there was a number of things that I wanted to make right away but I settled on the Latkes and couscous thing because the ingredients were easy to get and the recipes were not too involved.

Unlike all my usual cooking forays I did not change anything about these recipes other than eyeballing most of the measurements to my taste/ the recipe. In doing this I realized a big reason why I never really cook the full recipe from my cookbooks is because I hate having to keep looking at the book to follow it correctly. I usually take the idea, what ingredients I actually have, and my intuition and make the recipe in whatever respect I remember/ want to do.

Jerusalem Book_17

The first thing I made was the Couscous with tomato and onion (pg 129). This recipe was easy to make and delicious to eat, the only change I made was to use canned plum tomatoes instead of very ripe fresh tomatoes since it is off season and there was no good ones at my grocery store. While I am not going to post the recipe, since I did not really change anything you can just reference the book, for your reference the ingredient list is as follows:

3 tbsp Olive Oil
1 Medium Onion chopped (1 cup)
1 Tbsp Tomato Paste
1/2 Tsp Sugar
2 Very Ripe Tomatoes ( I used canned)
1 Scant Cup Couscous
220ML Boiling Stock ( I used homemade Vegetable)
21/2 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper

Jerusalem Book_16

The second thing I made were the Latkes (pg92) which of course were pretty basic and came out great. For this recipe I really did not measure the potato, parsnip and chive, I eyeballed it based on what I know it should look like and how much I wanted to make. To make the Latkes you need:

5 1/2 Cups Grated Wax Potato
2 3/4 Cups Grated Parsnips
2/3 Cup Chopped Chives
4 Egg Whites
2 Tbsp Cornstarch
5 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
6 1/2 Tbsp Sunflower Oil (I used Peanut because it was what I had)
Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper
Sour Cream for serving

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