Oh, Happy Day! Dorie’s new cookbook has finally arrived! I picked up my copy of Around My French Table last week and was in love before I got past the dust cover. The book is filled with over three hundred of Dorie’s favorite recipes, culled from her time spent in Paris. It’s the kind of unfussy, homey food that you’d find in any French home cook’s kitchen. In true Dorie style, the recipes are very readable, with clear and detailed instructions accompanied by entertaining stories and suggestions for creative tweaks. And, the photographs are perfectly droolworthy – food porn at its best!
Of course, no new Dorie Greenspan cookbook would be complete without a large group of adoring fans waiting in the wings to cook their way through it. There probably aren’t many who haven’t heard of the wildly popular baking group Tuesdays with Dorie. For almost three years, this dedicated group of bloggers has been baking one recipe per week, in tandem, from Dorie’s classic tome, Baking: From My Home to Yours. And now, TWD’s fearless leader, Laurie Woodward has done it again by creating French Fridays with Dorie. That’s right. Each Friday, a new group of Dorie devotees will be cooking a new recipe à la française from Around My French Table.
The great part about FFwD is that the rules have been relaxed. All you need to do in order to join is buy a copy of the book and cook along whenever you can. Not having a participation requirement is kind of liberating, and will make it easier for more people to join in. I’m all for that! The group currently has over seven hundred members signed up. Seven Hundred!!! This is gonna be very interesting!
Dorie has always been a huge supporter of TWD, and she is doing no less for FFwD. In fact, she was kind enough to select all of the recipes for this inaugural month herself, including today’s pick, Gougères.
Think of gougères as a kind of savory cream puff without the filling. They’re made with the same kind of pastry dough, called pâte à choux . The difference between them is that gougères are not sweet. They typically contain cheese and sometimes, herbs. Gougères are meant to start a meal, while cream puffs usually finish it.
Dorie’s gougères recipe very easy and virtually foolproof. I whipped up these cheesy little puffs of deliciousness with three other dishes cooking, a house full of teenagers and a very curious puppy underfoot. And, they turned out perfectly! If I can do it – you can too.
I’m really excited about being a part of FFwD, and I plan to participate as often as I can. While, we’ve been asked not to publish the recipes, you can find them all in Around My French Table. And, don’t forget to stop by the FFwD site to see what the rest of the group has done with Dorie’s gougères.
adapted from Around My French Table
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup water
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 5 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups coarsely grated cheese, such as Gruyère or cheddar
- Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 425 F. Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.
- Bring the milk, water, butter, and salt to a rapid boil in a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan over high heat. Add the flour all at once, lower the heat to medium-low, and immediately start stirring energetically with a wooden spoon or heavy whisk. The dough will come together and a light crust will form on the bottom of the pan. Keep stirring, vigorously, for another minute or two to dry the dough. The dough should now be very smooth.
- Turn the dough into the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or into a bowl that you can use for mixing with a hand mixer or a wooden spoon and elbow grease. Let the dough sit for a minute, then add the eggs one by one and beat, beat, beat until the dough is thick and shiny. Make sure that each egg is completely incorporated before you add the next, and don’t be concerned if the dough separates—by the time the last egg goes in, the dough will come together again. Beat in the grated cheese. Once the dough is made, it should be spooned out immediately.
- Using about 1 tablespoon of dough for each gougère , drop the dough from a spoon onto the lined baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches of puff space between the mounds. Using about 1 tablespoon of dough for each gougère, drop the dough from a spoon onto the lined baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches of puff space between the mounds. Slide the baking sheets into the oven and immediately turn the oven temperature down to 375 degrees F. Bake for 12 minutes, then rotate the pans from front to back and top to bottom. Continue baking until the gougères are golden, firm, and, yes, puffed, another 12 to 15 minutes or so. Serve warm, or transfer the pans to racks to cool.
Serve either straight from the oven or at room temperature.
To make ahead: Shape the dough, freeze the mounds on a baking sheet. When frozen, lift them off the sheet and pack them airtight in plastic bags. You can bake them straight from the freezer—no need to defrost. Just give them a minute or two more in the oven.