19 April 2012

Le « pain japonais » de CHM

My old friend (no pun intended) CHM might not recognize his bread recipe in this guise, but I have to say it makes a very good bread. I took the recipe that was written for use with a bread machine and made it "by hand" — using a KitchenAid stand mixer to do the kneading.

Sesame-seed buns for sandwiches

Walt shaped the dough into buns and let them rise while I was out running some errands and meeting some visiting Americans in Saint-Aignan. He stuck sesame seeds on the buns and baked them. We made sandwiches. Très américain, non ? These are the kinds of things we bake on days when we don't have a bread delivery.

Une belle mie — a nice crumb

Here's the recipe we were working with. It's succinct. CHM posted it in a comment on Susan and Simon's blog (Days on the Claise) a few days ago. He calls it his Japanese bread because he uses a Japanese-made bread machine to mix, knead, and cook it.

Here is what I do. I put in the pan, in this order:

½ tsp. salt
1½ cups whole milk or half milk and half water
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. instant yeast

French setting. 1.5 lb.
The machine does the rest in 3-1/2 hours.
CHM told me that the machine does an initial kneading and rising, then a second kneading and a second rising, over a period of a couple of hours. That's what we did — the ball of dough rose once in a big bowl, got punched down and divided into four smaller balls, and then rose again before it was baked.

When I mixed up the dough, I put in the salt, the milk, and half the flour, which I mixed up first. Then I added the rest of the flour and the yeast and let the mixer knead the dough for about 10 minutes. Then it was ready for that first rise.

What do you think of our buns?

The nice thing about this bread is that it's soft enough to make a good sandwich bun but it's not cake-like or spongy. It has good texture. I of course used the French equivalent of all-purpose flour, which is the least expensive flour sold at SuperU (farine ménagère, or "household flour"). And I used French instant yeast (Francine brand). CHM says he uses King Arthur flour in the U.S. and SAF or Red Star yeast.

A North Carolina-style pulled pork sandwich

For sandwiches, the first time we made them on these buns was on Monday. I had some "pulled pork" that I had made earlier. That's pork shoulder cooked very slowly and for a long time in the oven with a sauce composed of vinegar and hot red pepper, along with a little Worcestershire Sauce (which in France is sometimes called sauce anglaise) and some smoked paprika, salt, and pepper.

French-style hot dogs but on a round bun

Yesterday we had sandwiches again, this time with saucisses de Strasbourg (frankfurters), bacon, melted Gruyère cheese, and mustard. That's the recipe for what in France is called un hot-dog, but we used our round bun instead of the usual elongated bun. These were ingredients we happened to have in the refrigerator.

TMI, I guess. But the bread is good. When I used to visit CHM out in the Southern California desert, he would make his bread-machine loaf overnight and we'd have thick slices of it toasted, with butter and jam, for breakfast. It was always delicious, and now I know that the recipe also makes nice hamburger or hot dog buns. They're much better than the buns we can buy in the supermarket here in Saint-Aignan.


  1. This is a very good recipe. I can see the buns for Hamburgers. Soft and sturdy.

    Now, how to convince the master baker to attempt it GF...that's the question of the day for me.

  2. Hooray! These buns look terrific. and are reminiscent of Belgian “pistolets.”

    I am very glad you liked my recipe. The original recipe that I reworked called for 1-1/2 teaspoon of salt. It’s much too much. I reduced it to 1/2 tsp. and it is fine. Sometimes I put some sugar, not because I like it sweet, but to help the yeast if it is a little past its prime. Also, you can use only water or any combination of milk and water. Congratulations!

    I can’t wait to taste them, and have one or two for breakfast! I’ll be your side of the “great blue” in less than a month.

  3. How lovely!

    Yesterday, I went to our local café/salon de thé/pâtisserie here in St. Louis --La Bonne Bouchée. I was buying a gfit certificate, so I thought that I'd pick up some pastry treats for home. I bought two apple feuilleté (as they were called), and a ridiculously huge croissant amandine. The croissant was fine (rather bread-y), but the feuilletés were just worthless. They were like cardboard. And, this place isn't cheap! I was shocked. I know that this place is run by /owned by a French guy, but man oh man... he should be ashamed. I wish that Walt had been there to make something WONDERFUL! (Other items on their menu are okay, but I've twice ordered their seafood crepes, thinking that I'd get a nice creamy sauce on my crepes, but it was a nasty, gloopy, sticky mess inside the crepes. )

  4. No, not TMI. The pulled pork photo about made me swoon. I keep wanting to try your recipe but we keep running across new BBQ places to try. Pulled pork has made its way north and we are glad.

  5. A mouth-watering post for sure! I hope to try chm's recipe soon. Will use my bread machine for dough and then do the final rise in loaf pans to get the sort of bread to slice for toast.

    Judy, I have a long recipe for seafood crepes from the Maisonette restaurant in Cincinnati (gone now). You would love them.

  6. Evelyn,
    Tit for tat. Could we have that seafood crêpes recipe?

  7. Yes, seafood crêpes are one of my favorites! Please!
    Pulled Pork sandwiches or your mustard-topped hot dogs on those home-made buns do the trick, too!

    Mary in Oregon

  8. that pulled pork is slayin' me... wow!

  9. Will hunt down the recipe for you. It is on my other computer. It's time consuming, but worth it!

  10. Here's the recipe:
    Crepes of Seafood au Champagne


    3 scallops diced
    3 oz fresh lobster meat diced
    3 shrimps diced
    3 oz halibut diced
    3 oz red snapper diced
    3 oz filet of sole diced
    5 mushrooms diced
    2 shallots finely chopped
    4 oz butter
    2 tablespoons flour
    1 1/4 C champagne or, if need be, dry white wine
    1 bay leaf
    2 egg yolks
    1 C whipping cream
    1 1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon white pepper


    Place 1 oz melted butter in a casserole, then the shallots, bay leaf and mushrooms-then pour 1 cup champagne on the top of it. Boil all for a few minutes, then add the fish and seafood, salt and pepper. Cover and cook slowly in the oven for about 10 minutes or until fish is tender and flaky.

    During the cooking time place another casserole on the stove with 3 oz of butter, let melt, then blend in the flour and mix well. Now strain the liquid of the cooked seafood in second casserole, let boil, whipping vigorously to avoid lumps, let simmer for about 10 or 15 minutes. Check seasoning, then add 2/3 of a cup of whipping cream and reduce the sauce to about one-half and then strain the sauce. Whip the remaining cream and keep on the side.

    Make a sabayon. Place 2 egg yolks in a double boiler, add a pinch of salt and a pinch of white pepper, pour 1/4 cup of remaining champagne on top of egg yolks. Place double boiler on the fire and whip vigorously until sabayon is stiff but not scrambled. Now fold sabayon into sauce carefully. Do not let the sauce boil when adding sabayon. Mix 2/3 of the sauce withe the cooked seafood, place two heaping tablespoons of seafood on each pancake, then fold two sides over and roll up in a tubular shape. Place stuffed pancake on an oven-proof platter or a casserole. Now add whipped cream that you have saved previously to the 1/3 of the remaining sauce also previously saved. Pour sauce on top of pancake and glaze under the broiler until golden brown. Serve at once.

    Recipe for French Pancakes (crepes)
    1 cup sifted flour
    1 cup milk
    2 eggs, beaten
    2 tablespoons salad oil
    1 teaspoon salt
    4 tablespoons butter

    Sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Beat in the eggs, milk and oil until smooth. Chill 1 hour. Heat a little butter in a 7 inch skillet and pour just enough batter in it to cover the bottom thinly. Cook until delicately browned on both sides.

    This recipe was given to me by the Maisonette restaurant in Cincinnati in the 70s. It had a 5 star Mobil restaurant always but is no longer in business. My notes tell me that I tripled the recipe for 8 people and made 4 times as much for a main course for 12. I've typed the recipe just as it was given to me. The fish can be changed up since it's difficult to find some of them where I live. These fruit de mer crepes are well worth the effort!


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