Patisserie Chezbonneau is a personal learning project entering into a second year. Last year, inspired by “Julie & Julia”, I decided to cultivate my culinary skills and knowledge by committing to a particular repertoire contained in the book, The Complete Magnolia Bakery Cookbook: Recipes from the World-Famous Bakery and Allysa Torey’s Home Kitchen (2009). I had hoped to bake all of the recipes in the Magnolia book in one school year – September to June. I only managed 89 of 140ish recipes by the end of the school year. I did manage to learn a lot.
This school year, I will continue to whittle away at the remaining recipes of the Magnolia cookbook. However, to make things a bit more interesting for me (and I hope for you), I will be exploring recipes that adapt well to an outdoor, wood fired bread oven. Expect recipes from northeastern France like the Gateau Breton and the Sables cookies of Normandy. Likewise, savories such as Alsatian quiches and pâtés from Gascony will find their place in my oven and on the table of family and friends. And, of course, I will need to practice making bread.
All this is in preparation for an anticipated, refurbishing and re-dedication of the 200 year old bread oven at Chezbonneau, France. The oven had lost a few bricks from the center of the vault this summer, so we cleaned but didn’t cook in it. A contractor has been hired to refurbish the oven as well as seek historical classification for it during the course of this school year. We hope that by July 26, the feast day of Saint Anne (patroness of children of teachers), we can have the oven blessed and host a community celebration.
Certainly this much I have learned this past year – If you feed them, they will come.
Avec tous mes sentiments les meilleurs,