Sunday, March 17, 2013

Bread Baking Babes: Gâteau á la Crème !



As Lien says in her blogpost; we bake up a treat this time! Lien over at Notitie van Lien/Lien’s Notes invited us in her Kitchen of the Month and decided we would bake something different. Something with eggs, lots and lots of eggs and oh butter was involved as well! Not to fear though she said, this was truly Bread Baking Babes Business because the dough uses yeast.

I was a bit terrified when I read about the egss and the butter in the dough. Notoriously bad risers those doughs! I have this nemesis recipe with eggs and butter and whiskey to make rolls… and every time I try it the dough will stay as it is. (Like a terrified dog? “Down I said and don’t you move!” That’s how that whiskey dough behaves, and it doesn’t even whimper).

Anyway, back on track, not this dough Lien said. This dough, she said will behave and will rise. To make sure we were all duly convinced she baked the recipe up and showed us the tricks of the trade. Wow. That girl knows her dough. She figured out how much dough per gateau (say that out loud please? Just for fun? Aaaah.. that feels good right?) how much dough-per-gateau we needed and the amount of filling each gateau should have. Dedication my friends, sheer dedication!

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I am so happy Lien baked this before we all tried, because we’re both in the Netherlands, working with the same flours. I did change one small thing to the dough because someone mentioned the resulting bread a bit dry because all the liquid comprised of eggs. So I substituted 1 egg with 90 gr. milk. And the dough did rise! I was so surprised but it behaved very well. Then the risen dough went in the fridge for a cool-down period so it’s easier to shape. For shaping (and the rest of the recipe please check out this video here.  Mind you, Lien has rewritten the recipe to accommodate for 2 small ones, or if that's too much richness for you, you can make one round gâteau with a small brioche loaf on the side. They take about the same baking time, so just place the tin next to the gâteau when you bake it.


For the brioche dough
250 g strong plain flour
3,5 g sea salt
2 TBsp caster sugar
1 TBsp fresh yeast or 1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
3,5 free-range eggs, preferable organic (the other half egg will be used for the glaze)
150 g unsalted butter, cut into small cubes (cool room temperature)

For the crème filling (for two small gateaux, if you want to make 1 small gateau and 1 plain loaf, half it)
6 free-range egg yolks, preferably organic
60 g caster sugar
1 lemon, juice and zest
250 ml crème fraîche

For the glaze
1/2 egg, preferably organic
1/2 TBsp caster sugar
10 g (¾ oz) butter, cut into cubes (optional)
1/2 - 1 TBsp nibbed sugar, to decorate

Preparation method
1. For the brioche dough, place the flour, salt, sugar and yeast (keeping the yeast away from the salt as it will attack it and damage its ability to ferment), in an electric mixer bowl. Add the eggs and mix with a dough hook attachment for 5 minutes on low power until the eggs are completely incorporated (alternatively, place the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir together for 5 minutes).

2. Increase the speed of the machine or your stirring and mix for another 5 minutes until the dough comes away from the edge of the bowl. Then add the cubes of butter and continue to mix for 2-3 minutes until completely incorporated.

3. Remove the bowl from the machine, if using, then cover with clingfilm and set aside at room temperature for 1 hour to prove, then chill the dough for a further hour (it will be easier to work with).
4. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/360ºF.

5. Lightly flour a work surface and your hands. Take half of the brioche dough and bring it together with the palms of your hands to form a ball, then place it on a baking tray and flatten it slightly. Starting from the middle of the dough, gently press the dough flat and spread it out to form a circle to approx 24 cm ( 9,5 in) in diameter, but leave a 2 cm (1 in) gap from the edge as this will create the rim of the tart. Be careful not to stretch the dough and try to keep the base even in thickness. Use the second half of the dough for another gateau or make a small loaf from it.

6. Cover with lightly greased plastic and a clean tea towel and place the dough in the warm area for 25 minutes.

7. For the crème filling, mix the egg yolks, sugar, lemon zest and juice together in a large mixing bowl and gradually mix in the crème fraîche. Set aside.

8. For the glaze, brush the rim of the gateau with the egg yolk and sprinkle with the nibbed sugar and prick the base of the dough evenly with a fork to help the even cooking and rising of the dough. Pour 1/4 the crème mixture inside the rim of the dough of one gateau, sprinkle with the caster sugar and dot with the butter. Pour in the other 1/4 when the baking sheet is already in the oven, so you won't spill. (make the second one the same way)  and bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until the brioche has risen and the filling is set. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool, then serve.

NB: For this recipe you will need a food processor with a dough hook attachment. (Or work the dough in the bread machine like I did, take it out for rising)
(adapted from: Raymond Blanc "From Raymond Blanc's Kitchen Secrets")

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So why does it look so appetizing on all the other girls blogs and I am not completely blown away by mine? I found the dough rather dry, I think I baked it at a too high temperature too long? (And I completely completely forgot to let the dough rise for a second time!!
And I have to confess I did unmentionable stupid things to my filling; overdoing it on the vanilla is one thing, adding raspberry vanilla infused vodka instead of lemon, adding canned figs. Because they look cute. Yes. I should have stayed true to the recipe.
My filling behaved like the stock market these days, it rose and fell never to come up again. Can you tell I’m a little sad? I even contemplated to not post and make it again last night… but no. Instead I went out for a dinner date with the husband and had the most horrible bread ever with our wine. Pah! That’s heavenly punishment enough.



Buddies!! As always you're all very welcome to bake along as our Bread Baking Buddy. Bake, tell us what your thoughts are about it, blog and send it all to Lien (notitievanlien(at)gmail(dot)com), so she can return the favour by sending a Buddy Badge back ánd include you all in a round up of the Buddies. Deadline 29th of this month as usual. Have a great time baking and Happy easter!

Bread Baking Babe Bibliothécaire – Katie
blog from OUR kitchen – Elizabeth
Feeding my enthusiasms – Elle
girlichef – Heather
Life’s A Feast – Jamie
Living in the Kitchen with Puppies – Natashya
Lucullian Delights - Ilva
My Kitchen In Half Cups – Tanna
Notitie Van Lien – Lien
Paulchens Foodblog – Astrid
Provecho Peru – Gretchen





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  1. What a beautiful Gâteau à la crème, you've baked Karen. It looks so yummy and tasty and soft and and and...
    Thank you so much for sharing the video: it makes everything looks "a piece of cake".
    I'll try to make mine today...cannot wait to taste it!

  2. In spite of what you say, Karen I think your gateau looks lovely (although a little custardy for my taste - but then, I have a horror of custard). The figs add a beautiful touch. And your braided loaf is stunningly beautiful! It looks perfect. Are those poppy seeds on it?

    Ha! You and I are so alike. Except I think I was even more terrified of making flat as pancake doorstops than you. My reason for substituting 90gm of milk for 1.5 of the eggs was not scientific though. I didn't know that the eggs might make the bread dry (I guess I didn't manage to read that part). I substituted milk for eggs because eggs are more expensive than milk and I couldn't bear the idea of throwing away any more eggs than I already was.

    1. Ha! I thought it was you where I read the 90 grams of milk haha, and it was me filling in the dryness. Which is true btw but in this case this didn't help me.

  3. That's the one bad thing about baking your own bread. Store-bought and lots of restaurant bread invariably tastes really inferior. It drives me crazy too. There is no good reason to serve bad bread when it's so easy to make good bread. (I mean really. If I can make decent bread, anyone can!)

  4. Can't believe that you're not pleased with that gateau, it looks great. It reminds me of a 'vlaai'. Your braid is a beauty. Canned figs eh? never had those, before I read it I thought they were apple wedges.

    1. Yes it did remind me of vlaai indeed! I was tempted to fill with ricepudding ... this was an absolute gorgeous dough to work with, so the braiding went smooth.

  5. Oh dear, Oh dear, no Karen your gateau looks gorgeous and I love the figs! I'd say that's genius. Gateau with braid = picture perfect brioche in my book.
    The egg only liquid did give me serious pause but it never occurred to me to use milk or anything else instead and I even baked mine at 400° in convection and didn't find it dry. Maybe that's moisture in the flour?
    Now about that heavenly punishment, I'm with Elizabeth on the bad bread thing and take it even further saying I find it criminal to serve mediocre bread with a nice meal ... if I can bake it anybody can. I also think that when you bake your own, you really start identifying the good from evil.
    I'm going to chuckle all day with you forgetting the 2nd rise, the raspberry vanilla infused vodka and the stock market.

  6. I think your gateau looks lovely! And I hate it when I go out to dinner and it's less than perfect - or at least close,LOL


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