This week I got my hands on Chad Robertson’s Tartine Book 3. I’ve been getting excited about using alternative grains for bread and pastry not for the purpose of going gluten free, but for creativity in regards to flavor and texture. This sequel to his book Tartine Bread is the perfect baking companion for me on this little grain journey! Basic techniques and ratios for working with a wide variety of different grains, from bread to cakes, cookies, and even puff pastry. I’m really looking forward to baking my way through this one. Starting with the simplest. I’m already on a cookie kick, so why not start with sables. This recipe is my own and not from Tartine, but using the idea of the ’50/50 sables’ recipe from the book, and what I had laying around at the back of the cupboard: I’ve created something similar that held together quite well and tastes delicious.
I’ve read a few critiques of Tartine (the bakery) and the Tartine (the books), and it seems quite a few people aren’t buying into the fad of it, calling it the epitome of hipster. While the artisan take on cooking and baking combined with side swiped hair and tattoos does reek of bohemian, beatnik, or whatever else you want to dub it – Tartine’s recipes are tested and true, and of high quality. Many complaints I see are in regards to his methods not being the clearest. I have to say this book isn’t for beginner bakers. The way Chad writes about his process and methods isn’t likely to be absorbed the same way by all. If you’re a seasoned baker looking for something new and challenging, or an avid homebaker with the drive to do your research and practice, then this one’s for you. Solid knowledge of basic baking techniques is a prerequisite for much of this book with the exception of the cookie and tea cake section. But with that being said, the imagery and content is right up my alley whatever the hipster haters say, so I share a smidge with you today… (and you can check out the work of Chad Robertson and wife Elisabeth Prueitt @ Tartine, HERE.)
Toasted Sunflower Seed Sables: yields approx 2 dozen small cookies
65 g sunflower seeds, toasted, ground
75 g rye flour
45 g whole wheat flour
70 g sugar
70 g butter, room temperature
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp green cardamom, freshly ground
1+1/2 TB cold water
-Whisk together the flours, sugar, salt, and cardamom in a large bowl.
-Add the butter and blend well using a wooden spoon or spatula. The mixture will start to come together but remain a bit crumbly.
-Add the water, and using your hands work the dough into a smooth mass until there are no lumps and the dough holds together nicely.
-Roll the dough on a lightly floured work surface, into a log about 2 to 2.5 inches wide, and seal the log in plastic wrap twisting the ends tightly to hold the cookie dough together in an even shape. Place in the fridge or freezer for 10-20 mins, until firm enough to slice without squishing.
-Option 1) Slice the log into disks about 1/4 inch thick, place on a baking sheet prepared with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat, and sprinkle the tops with sugar.
-Option 2) Slice the logs into disks about 1/2 inch thick, and work each portion in your hands to soften and roll into smooth balls. Place each portion on a baking sheet prepared with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat, and press down carefully on each one to create thumbprint cookies.
-For either style of cookie: place in the oven and bake for a total of 10-12 minutes, rotating the tray once during the baking process. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 mins.
-Transfer the cookies from the tray to a wire cooling rack and allow to stand for an additional 15-20 mins. If you’ve made thumb prints: fill them with whatever jam you prefer!
Ciao for now guys!