Paris Picnic Club – Pain De Mie – Review

If you were in Paris on a Friday and were looking to have lunch near Versailles, then Friday Lunches, the Paris Picnic Club was your go-to option. In an attempt to capture the spirit of those picnic meals, and which later grew into dinner parties, the Paris Picnic Club book was created.

The idea is to create an easy casual fun meal you could eat anywhere. Using locally sourced ingredients and cooking to order they created packed baskets of delicious meals to share in parks or anywhere in the city. The food is all designed to be as welcome on a picnic blanket as they would be on a formal dinner table.

The introduction not only explains the concept of the Paris Picnic Club but also goes on to explain their concept of cooking, cooking in France, and the pantry essentials required.

The recipes themselves are separated into unique categories including:

  • Small Plates
  • Sharing Platters
  • Bread, etc.
  • Tartines
  • Desserts
  • Drinks
  • Le Pique-Nique
  • Basic Recipes

The first recipe chapter, Small Plates, features recipes which might be found in a wine bar in Paris. These are plates to share with others while enjoying a glass of wine.

The next chapter Sharing Platters, for sharing with larger crowds. Other recipe categories are fairly self-explanatory. Le Pique-Nique is a few picnic-style lunch ideas, supper menus and a list of favorite picnic spots around Paris.

The basic recipes category gives you several recipes you will need for things like stock and other ingredients for the recipes in the book.

Hits The Mark

If you want to create the French experience, this is the book you will want. The recipes may draw from other influences as well but they do maintain that French “je ne sais quoi”.

It was somewhat disappointing that there were no photos of any of the finished results but the hand-drawn ingredients sprinkled throughout were lovely. I also found it odd that the chapter with the menu suggestions is at the end, rather than the beginning, but that doesn’t detract from the joy of the book.

For the included recipe I have chosen Pain De Mie, a soft fluffy Franco-Japanese inspired classic white bread. There is nothing so French as bread with pretty much everything so you can’t go wrong if you have an excellent fluffy bread recipe on hand. Enjoy!

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Pain De Mie

This classic white bread is made using a Franco-Japanese technique and is as light and fluffy as a cloud. Tang Zhong Is a technique that originated in Japan and is used to create a gel that gives bread soft crumb by helping it retain moisture longer without the use of preservatives.
Prep Time3 hrs
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time3 hrs 45 mins
Makes: 1 Loaf

Ingredients

Tang Zhong

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, scant, (25 g)
  • 1/2 cup Water, 115 g

Dough

  • 1 teaspoon instant yeast, 6 g
  • 1/2 cup milk, 110 g
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, 350 g
  • 1/2 cup Tang Zhong, 115 g
  • 1/4 cup sugar, 50 g
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 7 g
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons powdered milk, 30 g
  • 2 tablespoons butter, 30 g
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, 350 g
  • 1/2 cup Tang Zhong, 115 g
  • 1/4 cup sugar, 50 g
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 7 g
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons powdered milk, 30 g
  • 2 tablespoons butter, 30 g

Instructions

Tang Zhong

  • Make the Tang Zhong the night before or at least six hours ahead of when you want to make you a loaf. In a pan, whisk together the flour and water and heat it gently, until it reaches 150°F (65°C) and thickens to form a glue-like paste. Make sure not to bring it to a simmer. Transfer the mixture to a small bowl, cover it, and refrigerate overnight. If you’re pressed for time let it cool at room temperature for at least 4 to 6 hours.

Dough

  • In a bowl, dissolve the yeast in warm milk (about 105°F, or 40°C).
  • Add the flour and the rest of the ingredients, as well as the Tang Zhong.
  • Knead the mixture to form a smooth, elastic dough.
  • Let the dough rise for at least 2 hours, or until it has doubled in volume.
  • Divide the dough into 4-5 equal portions and then shape each portion into a ball.
  • Tuck the balls of dough into a large loaf pan brushed with butter.
  • Let the rise one-and-a-half times in volume.
  • Place loaf pan in a preheated oven at 175°C (350°F) for 35-45 minutes, until the bread has big through and the internal temperature is 195°F (90°C). Remove from the pan when is cool enough to handle. Cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.

Notes

Reprinted with permission from Paris Picnic Club © 2018 Shaheen Peerbhai and Jennie Levitt. Published by Sterling Epicure.
About the Reviewer:

Chris Sadler is WebAdmin and Reviewer for RecipesNow.com
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