Monthly Archives: February 2014

Eric Kayser turmeric bread


Eric Kayser is a very popular chain of bakery in France and even abroad: in Japan, Singapore and NY too, if I’m not wrong. They have this hazelnut turmeric bread that I can’t stop eating when I do buy it. Always wondered how much turmeric goes into it so that the taste comes through yet isn’t overpowering or overwhelming for the yeast. Well, if the recipe in his latest Larousse du Pain is anything to go by (don’t you have a niggling doubt sometimes that chefs don’t reveal all in their recipes?), it’s quite an easy bread to make. The version sold in the bakery seems airier and less sweet, but I’ll have to buy it again to be sure. Also it contains hazelnuts, which is another reason I like it so much.

It’s actually a pain viennois type of bread (containing milk, sugar and butter) with a pinch of turmeric to jolt jaded tastebuds? There’s been a trend of star bakers here spicing things up in their buns/breads with anything from squid ink to curry. I’ve tried both and I can’t say I like them, but this turmeric one has got a piquant something that’s very pleasant.

I think it makes an excellent sandwich bread; a chicken filling springs to mind. But to be honest, each time that I’ve bought it, I’ve finished it before it could be converted to sandwiches!

Eric Kayser Pain au Curcuma
500g        T65 flour
250g        Water
100g        Leaven (i used a 100% wholewheat leaven)
   5g         Fresh yeast (I used 1g instant yeast)
 10g         Salt
 25g         Powdered milk
 35g         Sugar (I used between 25g–30g)
 75g         Softened butter (I used 70g)
  5g          Turmeric

The recipe has you mixing everything at high speed, then incorporating the turmeric and butter towards the end. Then it’s rather quick proofing and to the oven. I used less instant yeast because i was going for an overnight fermentation but on hindsight, the bread probably needed the yeast boost, what with the cold temperatures in the kitchen and all that sugar, butter and turmeric. Notes to myself for a future bake:
* keep yeast qty
* try reducing butter and sugar – it was too sweet for me.
* experiment with increasing turmeric
* keep aside some of the water in the recipe for dissolving the turmeric.  I guess the turmeric is not incorporated from the start in case it interferes with the yeast and gluten-forming, but it was hard trying to incorporate the powder evenly throughout the dough at the end.
* add the hazelnuts. I intended to use hazelnuts but since I was doing it by hand, I was staining sweater, counters and dishcloths and gave up on trying to reach the packet of nuts.
* Do this in the mixer!! Sticky dough and it’s turmeric DUH
* Aim for good gluten development by the end of mixing.
* what with sugars and milk, the crust browns fast so turn down oven temp and watch it.
I’ll see how the crumb turns out but i’ll like it airier. The blistered crust was great to eat though. My loaves were rather slightly deformed because I had to turn them upside down as water from the ice cubes had seeped underneath. And i really ought to do sideway slashes more often for practice!

Hazelnut and fig sourdough (adapted from Hamelman)



First bake after being away for weeks. If I were a better blogger I would show pictures of our trip, but since it was mostly to see family, I didn’t take many photos. Had a lot of awful bread during the three weeks and tested three banana cake recipes to use up all that banana lying around! And different varieties of bananas too. Over here, I can’t bring myself to buy those green plasticky looking things passing off as bananas…

Anyway, I wanted a straightforward bake after all this time away, although I did squirrel some leaven through customs to bake while on holiday. 

Hazelnut and fig sourdough (adapted from Hamelman)
145g          Stiff leaven
248g          T65 flour
113g          Whole-wheat flour
243g          Water
   7g           Salt
 60g           Hazelnuts
 60g           Figs, chopped

Original formula includes butter and a bit of yeast, so the rise is quite fast. I omitted both and went for a long first proof and overnight rise in the fridge. As I suspected, qty of nuts and figs can be upped. I now go by feel for these—if I’m not having trouble keeping the nuts and fruit bits within the dough while mixing by hand, there’s probably not enough :))