06 November 2012

Toutché salé, or quiche with a bread crust

So day before yesterday I decided to make a toutché salé — a followup to the toutché sucré of last week. A toutché is a kind of tart that has a soft bready crust rather than a pie crust of crispy pâte brisée or flaky pâte feuilletée. It's a local speciality in the Franche-Comté area of eastern France.

My friend CHM did some research and told me that he thinks the toutché comes from the northern part of Franche-Comté, up near its border with the Lorraine region. I've read before, and just found again, French web sites where writers say that the savory tart known as a quiche lorraine was originally made with a bread crust. If so, all this makes sense. Nowadays, quiches are most often made with a thin pie crust (pâte brisée in French).

The toutché crust isn't exactly bread, or at least not pain in the French sense of the word. In France, pain — the kind that's baked into a baguette (wand) shape — contains only three ingredients: flour, yeast, and salt. Or four, if you count the little bit of water it takes to make the dough.

In the case of the toutché tart. the crust is more like a pâte à brioche (risen pastry dough) but with less butter and fewer eggs. For the savory tart (call it a quiche if you want to), I based my version on a recipe that makes only half as much dough as the one I followed for the sweet toutché last week. That one really was too big, and by the time we finished eating it, it was going a little stale.

Here's the recipe for the smaller amount of dough:

Toutché salé
Quiche with a bread crust
For the crust:
250 g  [2 U.S. cups] flour (plus more as needed)
60 ml [¼ U.S. cup] milk
60 ml [¼ U.S. cup] cream
1 tsp. salt
1 packet [5.5 g] dry baker's yeast
1 egg
50 g [3½ Tbsp.] softened butter
For the filling:
2 eggs
240 ml [1 U.S. cup] cream
salt and pepper
a grate or pinch of nutmeg
200 g [7 oz.] cooked bacon

Mix the yeast into lukewarm milk and wait a few minutes for it to proof (foam up).

Meanwhile, put the egg, cream, and salt into a big bowl (the bowl of a stand mixer, for example). Mix well and then pour in the flour. Finally add, the milk/yeast mixture.

Mix all the ingredients together to form a ball of soft dough. Add a little more flour very gradually as necessary to make sure the dough is not too sticky — you want it to stay soft. Then add in the softened butter and knead the dough on a floured surface for 5 to 10 minutes (it's easier to use a mixer with a dough hook, or a bread machine).

Let the ball of dough rise in a warm place for at least an hour, or even two hours, in a covered bowl.

While the dough is rising, cook the bacon in a skillet. Mix the cream and eggs together in a bowl. Season to taste with salt (remember that the bacon is salty), pepper, and the nutmeg. Let the mixture warm up to room temperature as the dough rises.

When the dough has nearly doubled in volume, lightly flour a big pie plate (11" or 28 cm). Punch the dough down and either roll it out into a round shape the size of the plate or just spread it in the plate using your hands. Use a pie plate with slanted sides so that you can form a border of dough all around the edge, making a shape that will hold in the liquid filling. Let the dough rise in the pie plate for another 20 to 30 minutes so that the edges puff up.

Finally, use your hands to  flatten or punch down the bottom of the crust, leaving the border high and puffy. Spread the bacon over the crust and pour on the cream and egg filling.

Cook the tart in a 180ºC / 350ºF oven for 25 minutes or until the filling is set and the crust is lightly browned. Serve warm or cold.

You might notice in my pictures that I added some cheese to the cream and egg filling. Yes I did. That's because I had some cheese I wanted to use up (Comté and Cantal) and also because I didn't have 200 grams of bacon, but just 150 grams. The toutché was going to be our lunch, with no bread and just a green salad alongside, so the cheese wasn't excessive.

Any quiche you like to make — spinach, broccoli, tomato — would be good with this bread-like — it can be called pain brioché — crust, and you don't need to serve bread with it. That would be overkill.


  1. My first thought, looking at the lead picture was how much the edge crust looked like deep pan pizza.

    Minus the egg, Ken, that is almost the same recipe that I use for pizza base... I substitute olive oil for the butter.

    I think I'll try this dough in the breadmaker... or dough machine as I call it now... I've done brioche dough in it very successfully... so I've no worries adding eggs in the machine.

  2. Well, olive oil changes the taste completely, and I wonder if you put as much olive oil in pizza dough as you put butter in this dough. Any bread or pizza dough would work, actually.

    I didn't say so in the post, but I substituted corn meal for about a third of the flour in my version. I like corn meal.

    Most of the recipes for toutché dough that I've found call for making it in an MAP (machine à pain).

  3. Interesting recipe, I have bookmarked this one as well as the toutché sucré from last week. All I have to do now is get my act together and spend a bit more time in the kitchen. With all this rain I have spent more time at the computer as it is the warmest room in the house!! Keep well you 2 Diane

  4. It looks mighty appetizing!

    I should wait after lunch to read your blog. Now I'm starved!

  5. Well, now, that looks mighty interesting. There are so many interesting French dishes out there :)

  6. Thinking about it, would you say it's a pizza à la Lorraine? Since the crust [dough] looks very much like that of a thick American pizza.

    Could use a filling of choucroute and slices of Morteau sausage. Will look like a pepperoni pizza! Joining three French provinces together: Alsace, Lorraine and Franche-Comté. Some sort of a Federal Pizza!

  7. I've been putting some corn meal in my pizza dough also. I make it in my bread machine and freeze a couple of doughs for later.

    I bet your touché salé was tasty!

    I've already voted. I hope we know the winner by my bedtime- I think Ohio will tell the tale this year.

  8. I thought just the same as Tim...deep dish pizza. Looks mighty delish!

  9. CHM... The Staff always feels hungry after reading Ken's recipe entries.
    Ken... I've watched the Staff using that breadmaker thingy... he puts 50ml of oil in instead of butter... when he's making bread he uses the 30% walnut oil from the Vigean oilery.

  10. Bonjour Cousin

    Speaking of food. I was reading that La Bergerie had planned a special dining event for tonight with a menu that would have cost $195 per person. However Sandy put a dent in that event - instead of serving Krug ( their warehouse is underwater in NJ) the owners will serve la Veuve instead and they have brought it down to $130.
    Just wondering who have reserved ! Les Bleus ou les Rouges LOL!!!!!

  11. The toutché dough might look like pizza crust, but remember that it has not only egg but milk and cream in it too. It's not the same thing at all, though a crust made of bread dough with, say, olive oil in it would be good too... just different.

    It is true however that French food is just another version of Italian or American food, n'est-ce pas?

  12. Ken, as usual, you’re so right! LOL

    Bonjour Cousine,

    If my memory serves me well, I used to go years ago to La Bergerie when it was located on Wilson Blvd. in Arlington, before it moved to Alexandria. I probably went once to that new location. French restaurants are very expensive, but even at a reduced price of $130 per person it is a little too much [since I don’t really like the bubbly]. To celebrate, I’m going to have lunch Thursday at Mon ami Gabi in Bethesda with friends. It will certainly be as good and , no doubt, much cheaper!

  13. Looks heavenly and perfect for a cold day. I will definitely be trying this out. Merci!


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