Friday, June 19, 2009

Your bread and butter


Revisiting bread service in restaurants, I was thinking about how else you could do more than just the bread or the butter. A whole new area of opportunity if there ever was one, since many restaurants do not make their own bread (and that's OK), it is sometimes a hassle for the chef's to deal with. But what if you could make it so special that it could almost be a course of its own? (see my original posting on bread service in restaurants here: http://www.thequenelle.com/2009/05/re-thinking-bread-service-in.html).

The idea was to combine bread and butter in one. To do this, the obvious would be to spread butter on bread, but how could you fuse both? Brioche is one example, especially the recipe we use that contains 50% of the total weight of the dough in butter. But that is just and enriched dough, it is not bread-and-butter per se... it is bread-with-butter.

The resulting product of this idea, was to toast some milk solids with butter on a stove top to create a massive amount of toasted milk solids that would have the flavor of brown butter. The toasted milk solids are loose. To bind them, I blended them with water, which resulted in a very flavorful brown butter spread that was perfectly emulsified. From here, I needed to add the bread component, for which I toasted a loaf of our Francese bread (similar to ciabatta, but better, more flavorful and complex), and added it to the blender with the butter spread and pureed it until I obtained a homogeneous mass. Then I spread the, um, spread, very thin over a sheet of acetate and put it in the dehydrator overnight. The result was almost like a cracker: crisp butter and bread all in one.
Now, if I had a freeze drier, which I don't but God do I want one, I would freeze dry the butter, pulverize it, and make bread with it, and there it is, plain and simple. But since I don't have $100k to blow right now it will just have to wait.

One of the ideas that was thrown around was, can you spread bread on butter? We have yet to come up with a result that is good to eat, but we're working on it.

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