Food ‘n Flix? What? You don’t know what this is? You’ve never heard of it?
If you don’t know about this cool little monthly foodie film club, you must check it out as soon as you are able. Every month a foodie film is picked, culinary inspiration is gleaned from it, and talented bloggers post their masterpieces. This month’s film is the quintessential foodie film, Julie & Julia.
Leslie at La Cocina de Leslie is hosting this round. Thank you, Leslie.
Now, on to the post.
Actually, I should have entitled this post “Baking Brioche with Julie & Julia & Chris.” Chris is the one woman show behind The Café Sucré Farine and her recipe saved my bacon for not only Thanksgiving, but also for this post.
I have always admired and found inspiration from Julie Powell to blog (as do a lot of people, I am sure) and I admire her resolve and dedication to the Julia/Julie Project. (And, I covet her success since then.)
Julia Child? What more needs to be said? Everyone who has ever set foot in the kitchen since her seminal Mastering the Art of French Cooking and her eccentric but educational PBS series has been inspired. I know that is a bold statement, but I challenge any cook to say he/she has not been influenced by Julia in some way—whether they like her or not.
That being said, both Julie and Julia have their idolizers and their haters. They both have my admiration.
(And, Julia would be 100 this year. If you missed the NPR Morning Edition Story on Thanksgiving Eve, click here.)
I needed bread for the Thanksgiving table, so I was inspired by Julia’s Pâte a Brioche recipe. I do not own The French Chef (in which this recipe first appeared) but I did find her recipe here on the WGBH site.
Julia, although she humorously accepted kitchen mishaps, was a purist. When I read through the recipe for Pâte a Brioche, I knew myself well enough to know it would be a disaster. I do not have the patience to mix this dough up. Julia instructs (and you must read this with the distinct Julia voice-over):
Begin lifting dough and throwing it roughly down on the board with one hand; it will be very soft and sticky. Continue lifting, throwing, and scraping dough back into a mass; when dough has enough body, begin kneading with the heel of your hand.
After a few minutes of vigorous work, dough should have enough elasticity and body so that it barely sticks to your hand; it is now ready to receive the butter. Soften the butter by beating it with a rolling pin, then smearing it out on your board with the heel of your hand until it is perfectly smooth and about the same consistency as the dough.
Where did the stand mixer come in? I hate to knead. Hate it, hate it, hate it. It all stems back to mom “forcing” us to knead dough by hand for baking contests for 4-H. I really dislike to knead.
Enter Chris of Café Sucré Farine fame. I had already pinned her Decoupaged & Sesame Seed Brioche Rolls to make for Thanksgiving. I eagerly (and thankfully) read her recipe. Waaaahhh! She used a stand mixer! Chris is the woman!
The check out my other Food ‘n Flix posts, click here.
Aside: My last Food ‘n Flix post was over It’s Complicated, another Streep film, and at the end of that post I discussed a little movie starring Streep that is filming in Oklahoma, August: Osage County. I am still fascinated by the filming around our part of the state. I still have not had a star sighting. If you are interested in the latest on the filming, click here.
I propose that when this film is out, we consider it for Food ‘n Flix. I know the play has a very dysfunctional meal in it! Green bean casserole anyone? (Anyone who has seen or read the play, that is.)