The resurgence of homesteading has many of us puttering around the kitchen canning, preserving, baking, and cooking many things from scratch. My parent’s generation rejoiced in the convenience of processed food and all the free time it afforded them to do so much more. It’s funny how things have come full circle and we’re now clamouring for all things homemade.
How far would you go to reach that elusive homemade label for what you put on the dining table? This week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe is Nutella Tartine. At its heart, we have a slice of butter toasted brioche topped with marmalade, Nutella, toasted hazelnut, and fleur de sel. It is so easy to put together that a kid can do it in less than five minutes for a quick afternoon snack. But we’re on the topic of making things from scratch, aren’t we? Do you bake your own loaf of bread? Grab a jar of marmalade from the larder that you lovingly canned at the height of citrus season? And that Nutella! Does it come from hazelnuts that you toasted and skinned and grinded with the best quality chocolate you can get your hands on? It’s amazing how a five-minute recipe can stretch into a multi-day cooking extravaganza.
I actually feel a little torn over the subject. Cooking brings me joy and a sense of satisfaction. As a computer programmer by trade, I long to make tangible things with my hands that I can see, smell, touch, and taste. I do not claim that the bread from my oven nor the marmalade that I canned are superior to the best examples that money can buy. You’ll never see me refuse a Poilâne miche or a jar of jam from Sarabeth! Having said that, bread baking and canning have weaved themselves into my daily life now. I don’t go out of my way to prepare my Nutella tartine from scratch. It just is. Much like someone who purchased bread, marmalade, and Nutella from a store, I simply grabbed my ingredients from the pantry because they’re there.
Brioche is obviously a tasty treat but it’s not the kind of bread I regularly bake. Was it Greenspan who called it an “elegant excuse to eat butter”? What I used instead is a hearty slice of Sour Cream Red Fife sandwich bread. It’s my latest favourite loaf bread because it slices like a dream. I adapted from Dan Lepard’s recipe using a mix of whole meal Red Fife flour and unbleached bread flour. There are numerous homemade Nutella recipes but I’m partial to this one David Lebovitz posted because of its use of milk chocolate. The milky mellow taste really appeals to me.
Greenspan’s recipe calls for brushing the bread with butter and broil to golden. We’re making toast, right? I’m sure it is delicious in its own right but a dry toast emerging from the toaster sounds perfectly fine to me. After all, I topped it with Meyer Lemon Lavender Marmalade in addition to all other goodies! I can’t say I missed the butter at all.
The verdict? This is really really good toast. It was my first taste of combining Nutella with bittersweet marmalade. I am also surprised how those thin drizzles can pack such a good punch. The crunchy hazelnuts and little hint of salt were nice touches but so integral to the enjoyment of this tartine. I am glad to find a new breakfast routine.
Since we coincided with Tuesdays With Dorie’s White Loaf this week and World Nutella Day last Sunday, I have a feeling there’ll be lots of reading for me to check out other blogger’s interpretation of this recipe. Come check it out!
In case you need ideas for what to do with that leftover bottle of Nutella, may I suggest these very seasonally appropriate Nutella Buckeyes? I bet your Valentine will be more than happy to get some!