This is another item off my bucket list. My bucket list, in a nutshell, is baking breads and adventure sports – bungee, sky diving, para gliding and the like. This bread was the first one I finalized on my list of bakes for this month. While I was baking this bread, the husband and I had another conversation about our Europe vacation. We do this every three months or so when one of us decides we need a vacation to Europe and the other one plays it down. Finally, we would agree that the daughter is too young to enjoy or remember the trip if we went now and so we should wait till she is 5 and then plan the trip.
This time, the husband went off script and said that whenever the Europe trip worked out, we should eat at the local Saravana Bhavans (South Indian hotel chain) of the European cities. Now, I do not know if SB had restaurants in Europe but why take a chance. So I categorically told him, he could do exactly that but I would happily gorge on breads and cheese. He asks me -“How long can you survive on bread and cheese?” So I ask him, “How long have you been married to me?” Really! Asking me this in the middle of a bread marathon is hilarious!
Pain d’Epi is a type of artisan bread which is often made at French-style bakeries. epi is the word used to describe the flower of a wheat stalk and pain means “bread” in French. The bread consists of a series of yeast rolls which are interconnected to look like a stalk of wheat. Commonly, bakers use baguette dough to make epi loaves. A good quality baguette dough will create a bread with a thin, crackly crust and an airy, creamy crumb inside.
During the holiday season, epi bread is often available in the shape of a wreath, so that it is more decorative. Like many other varieties of French bread, pain epi tastes best when it is fresh. A loaf of epi bread can be used much like baguettes would be used. It may be set out with cheese and other spreads, packed into a picnic lunch.
Country – France
Makes one 12″ stalk bread
Recipe adapted from here
WHAT WE NEED
Lukewarm water 1/2 cup
Instant yeast 1/4 tsp heaped
All purpose flour 1 cup + 4 tbsp
Salt 1/2 salt
Oil for greasing
WHAT TO DO
- Mix all the ingredients, except oil, in a large bowl
- Knead well till the dough is smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes by hand
- Transfer the dough to a greased bowl and cover it with cling wrap and set is aside to rise to double its volume, around 1 hour
- Roll out the dough into an 8*6″ rectangle
- Fold the 8″ sides to the middle and fold the 6″ sides on top of that and set aside for 30 minutes
- Stretch the dough into a 12″ rope and place it on a greased baking tray
- Cover and set aside for 45 minutes
- Preheat the oven to 250C with a baking dish full of water at the bottom rack
- Take a pair of clean scissors and cut the dough from one end at 45 degrees angle, not fully through, resembling a leaf and place the cut leaf to one side
- Cut the next portion of the dough and place it on the other side and continue cutting the dough at same intervals and place them on alternate sides
- Bake for 30 minutes or till the top is nicely brown
- Cool and serve
- Enjoy with melted butter or any dip of your choice!
- While the bread looks complicated, it is actually very simple and makes a wonderful dinner centre piece. I could achieve this in my first attempt and so you know that is easy.
- Tear off a ‘leaf’ and dunk it in your favorite dip for a delicious snack
This is my post for the Mega Marathon under the letter ‘P’.