In a world where so many lent books are
forever lost between the pages of life, mixed in with the gently worn moving boxes,
half-dead houseplants, and mismatched socks, it’s
amazing when a book comes back to you.
But this is how I came to be acquainted with Au Pied de Cochon: The Album. My boyfriend lent it to a
fellow cook a few years ago. And it recently, miraculously, found its way
back to him, this time making itself at home on my coffee table.
So I spent some time with the infamously
foie gras-driven cookbook, pawing its pages filled with liver and sausage alongside more
liver, cheese curds, and heaps of potatoes.
Foie gras poutine … page turn … boudin
maison … foie gras and boudin tart … page turn … chicken pie with foie gras
sauce and crispy chicken skin … page turn ….
Eventually, I came upon a bun recipe. “PDC
bread,” as titled in the book, with a picture of the bread in
gorgeous bun form at the bottom of the page. A bun with a shiny,
lacquered top the color of a chestnut. A top that very clearly yielded to
a tender brioche-like bottom.
I had been looking for a bread like
this. The universe does not present such recipes very often. So I
wasted little time getting to know it.
It’s the kind of bun that is quite good when
eaten on its own, but is also easy to imagine paired with some enthusiastically
sauced beef or drippy pig parts. It’s squishy and ever so slightly
buttery. Precisely the kind of bread you want when you are eating
something that might just get all over your face.
Life gets messy sometimes. It moves in
ways that you could never predict. But it’s nice to know there are people
out there that still return books. And still share cookbooks. And
are willing to part with amazing bread recipes. Recipes that actually
match up to the pictures taken of them.
- 2 cups whole milk
- 4 tsp dry yeast
- 5 cups flour (plus more for the kneading),
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 2 eggs, gently mixed together
- 7 tbsp butter, creamed
- 2 egg yolks