After writing “The Storm”, I was reminiscing about my favourite tuna sandwich and how it came to be. I used to treat myself to a pan bagnat, originally from Provence. A bakery in the centre of Rennes used to make a beautiful one, with sweet bread, mayo and a hardboiled egg. To recreate this lovely bohemian memory, I made brioche dough, and a homemade mayonnaise with tarragon mustard. The spinach was local and the eggs were a gift from friends in Galway. And this is pretty much how it went, as far away as possible as the tuna and sweetcorn we got in that floating pub…
For the brioche: you’ll need…
- 300g of organic white flour
- 100g of butter
- 2 eggs
- 30g of sugar
- 10cl of milk
- 1 sachet of dried yeast ( mix with the milk)
Mix the eggs and sugar together, then the flour and grate the butter on coarse straight from the fridge. If you are lucky enough to live in a warm country, leave the butter outside to soften it up. Pour the milk and yeast and by using a wooden spoon, I start mixing it all before finishing by hand. I let the dough rest and rise at room temperature with cling film on top of the bowl and proceed in making little dough balls that I brushed with a beaten egg. I bake them at 200c for 20 to 25 minutes.
And out they come, looking like that…
Don’t forget to boil the eggs and while it happens, you can start on the tarragon mayo.
You will need:
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tsp of tarragon mustard
- black pepper
- olive oil
Whisk the ingredients together and add gently the olive oil while you whisk. When it gets nice and thick you can stop pouring. A nice rich texture is what you want. As a tip, I use quite a large bowl, even for a small amount, it works very well and very quickly. Use a spatula to scoop the mayo from the edges.
All you need to do now, is the “mise en place”, which means to put it together… It’s a sandwich after all! One thing though, you can toast the brioche slightly if you wish, for extra crunch and nuttiness.
Keep Well and Eat Happy