Pain a l’Ancienne and Croque Madame or Toasted Ham and Cheese Sandwich!

by Michelle on November 19, 2009

Pain a l’Ancienne is another fermented recipe that I thoroughly enjoyed making for Bread Baker’s Apprentice. It was an easy recipe with just mixing the dough, refrigerating over night and then forming the loaves in the morning. And it was a fantastic bread to eat!

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Since this is football season I do try and make something for us to snack on during the Sunday games. Being I just made Pain l’Ancienne I thought I try to find a sandwich or something similar in the only Julia Child cookbook I have, “From Julia Child’s Kitchen”. I was shocked to find just how much this book is worth! I got it years ago as one of the free books when I joined the Book of the Month Club! Who’d a thought! But I did find a sandwich that I thought we’d enjoy..well heck who doesn’t like toasted Ham and Cheese!

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Julia says, “Some say Croque Madame is cheese flavoring only, some make it like Monsieur but substitute chicken for ham. I like ham and cheese, myself, but you should feel free to do what you wish since there is no set recipe and the process is the same whatever you choose. Here is an amusing presentation–a giant sandwich made from a flat long-oval loaf of French or Italian bread cut lengthwise. Present it whole, and cut it in crosswise pieces. The beer and cheese topping, by the way, same from my colleague, Simca; she sent me the recipe years ago, and now may not even remember her genial conception.”

Croque Madame
Recipe adapted from “From Julia Child’s Kitchen”

For each slice:
1 TBL flour
1/3 c beer (a slight 1/4 c. is plenty)
1 TBL Cognac (I skipped)
1 egg
1 c coarsely grated Swiss Cheese
Salt, pepper and Cayenne pepper
2-3 TBL melted butter
3-4 thin slices cooked ham or use leftover turkey

Cut the bread lengthwise into slices about 3/4″ thick and lay on a baking sheet. Dry out for 20 minutes or so in a 350 degree oven, until quite hard and just beginning to color.

Place the flour in a small mixing bowl, gradually beat in the beer, then the Cognac and egg; stir in the cheese, and seasoning to taste, exaggerating a bit on the pepper. Brush the top of each slice of bread with melted butter, cover with slices of ham, then mask completely, out to the edges all around, with the cheese topping.

Bake in upper third of a preheated 450 degree oven 15-20 minutes, until cheese topping has puffed and browned.

To serve as a first course, cut in half lengthwise and crosswise, to make 4 pieces. To serve for cocktail appetizers, cut in half lengthwise, then crosswise into pieces of whatever size you wish.

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I did start a new Bread Making Group, HBinFive and we will be baking our way through the new book “Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day” by Jeff Hertzberg MD and Zoe Francois. It’s a fun, freewheeling group that I’m sure anyone would enjoy. And we’ve even started a new side feature, Camp Breads, which is baking 5-minute breads in an outdoor grill or on a campfire.

To see a demonstration of Jeff and Zoe’s bread making method, please watch the below video and if you are interested or have any questions, contact me at ms dot bigblackdog at gmail dot com. In any communication please include your full name and if you have a blog include the blog name and URL and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

All Rights Reserved 2008-9 © Big Black Dog

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Comments

  • girlichef November 19, 2009 at 11:30 am

    What a perfectly delicious little lunch this would be! Sounds and looks wonderful :)

  • Tracy November 19, 2009 at 3:10 pm

    Mmmm I’m feeling guilty just looking at those, LOL. I wish I could get a copy of that Julia Child book!

  • Kathy November 19, 2009 at 5:55 pm

    Wonderful…would be great anytime! xoxo~Kathy @ Sweet Up-North Mornings… Have a wonderful weekend!

  • Pam November 19, 2009 at 6:29 pm

    Now that is some serious football snacking food!

  • Fresh Local and Best November 19, 2009 at 6:31 pm

    This sandwich looks wonderful with that melted swiss cheese draped over the ham and bread! HBin5 sounds like a great club, I’m not proficient at all with baking, but I’ll join to see how I can get started!

  • TeaLady November 19, 2009 at 6:58 pm

    What a great sandwich. One of my favorites with a twist. ALove the cheese on this one. Wow!!

  • Catherine November 19, 2009 at 8:42 pm

    Those pictures look fantastic! I love Julia Child recipes, I will definately be trying this one! Have a great day!

  • Megan November 19, 2009 at 8:55 pm

    Wow – that looks amazing! I am loving the BBA book – in fact, I just finished making white rolls about 10 minutes ago.

  • Chow and Chatter November 20, 2009 at 12:26 am

    oh had one in Paris yum

  • Kim November 20, 2009 at 1:53 am

    I love it!! Sandwiches really come alive when you have fresh bread! Can you believe that I have no Julia Child books?

  • Danielle November 20, 2009 at 5:11 am

    omg…does that look good!! wow. yum. drool.

  • Kathleen November 20, 2009 at 5:28 am

    I wish I was watching football with you!!!

  • Joanne November 20, 2009 at 11:40 am

    Seeing your bread posts are making me increasingly excited about HBinFive. As if I could get more excited. I’m not sure its possible.

    This bread looks fabulous! So soft and fluffy. I love it with the croque madame. An ideal football sandwich.

  • The Quintessential Magpie November 20, 2009 at 10:23 pm

    Gosh, this looks wonderful! Michelle, you really are an amazing chef!

    xo,

    Sheila :-)

  • Cristie November 21, 2009 at 7:15 am

    Wow, that would gather a good crowd at my house. Delicious.

  • Natashya KitchenPuppies November 21, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    Mmm, these do look tasty! I have my pumpkin dough in the fridge. I think I am up to baking today. :)

  • Jamie November 22, 2009 at 4:34 pm

    That looks pretty awesome :) The bread doesn’t get to hard though, being backed twice?

  • Michelle November 22, 2009 at 5:13 pm

    Jamie,

    The bread is really baked twice. Just baked once and then toasted in the oven so it’s nice and crunchy when you bit into it.

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