briasoleil (briasoleil) wrote in vegancooking,

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How can I veganise these French recipes? Also, a question about agar agar.

A number of years ago, I lived in France. And while I don't necessarily crave French food often, there are certain things I miss. Like brioche (such a perfect Sunday breakfast/brunch food). And I really want to make a galette des rois this January. Now, to only be able to find a porcelain fèvre.

On Food Network Canada, there's a show called French Food at Home and I found the following recipes on their website. I would love to veganise them, but while hopeful over the galette, I'm dubious about the brioche.

Here's the website link for the brioche recipe

* 2 envelopes dry active yeast (about 16 g)
* 6 tbsp warm water or milk
* 1-1/2 tsps salt
* 2 tbsp sugar
* 4 cups flour
* 6 large eggs, lightly beaten
* 3/4 cup butter
* 1 x egg yolk
* Milk for wash


1. Stir the yeast into the warm water (or milk), with the salt and sugar. Set aside for five minutes to dissolve. Put the flour in a bowl and make a well in it. Put the eggs and the yeast mixture in the well. Mix it, drawing in the flour, to make a soft, sticky dough.
2. Work the dough, lifting and slapping, until it becomes soft and very smooth and elastic (this process is a long and difficult job by hand. A mixer with hook attachment is great if you have one). Knead the butter to soften it to the same texture as the dough. Now, work in the butter a piece at a time, again to create smooth, sticky dough (again, the mixer will make that easy). Let the dough rise at room temperature in a covered bowl for two hours.
3. Punch down the risen dough. Put it back in a bowl, cover, and refrigerate overnight to double. Shape the bread; let it rise 1 1/2 hours in the pan. Glaze with yolk and milk wash. Bake the loaves at 425ºF/220°C for 40 to 45 minutes.

And the link for the galette des rois recipe

Yield: 8

Galette Des Rois

* 2 sheets bought puff pastry, about 1/4-inch/5 mm thick, chilled
* 2 x eggs (1 egg, lightly beaten for sealing the pastry)
* Sifted icing sugar, for dusting (or a few spoonfuls of apricot jam, heated until runny)
* 1/3 cup butter, softened
* 1/2 cup icing sugar
* 1/2 cup ground almonds
* 1 x egg
* 1 tbsp dark rum
* 1/2 tsp vanilla
* 1 magic bean

Galette Des Rois

1. Make the almond filling: Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in the almonds, then the egg, rum, and vanilla. Beat smooth with a fork. Cover and chill until firm, at least an hour.
2. Prepare the rounds of puff pastry: Lay an 8-inch/20 cm-round plate on one sheet of cold pastry and go around it with a knife. Do the same for the top round, but then roll this one a little with a rolling pin to make it slightly larger than the bottom round.
3. Lay the smaller round of chilled dough on a dampened baking sheet. Spread the chilled cream over, leaving a good 1-inch/2.5 cm margin all around the edge. Hide a bean somewhere in the cream. Brush the border with egg wash. Lay on the top round and press the edges well to seal. Score the edge all around with the blunt side of a knife to seal. Make a cross in the centre for steam to escape and draw spirals out to the edges for decoration. Brush with egg wash all over the top, avoiding the edges, so that they’ll puff up easily. Chill in the freezer until very firm, about 20 minutes.
4. Heat the oven to 450°F/230°C. Bake the cake until puffed up high and dark golden in colour. Sprinkle with a thin coating of icing sugar and blast under the broiler or melt with a blowtorch. You can also brush with melted apricot jam for a glaze.

Is it even remotely possible to veganise these recipes? The brioche recipe calls for 6 eggs, which seems daunting at best.

As for the galette des rois, I'm mostly concerned about the egg wash used to seal and cover the pastry. (And I'm not wrong in that there is vegan puff pastry dough available commercially? I believe that Donna Klein made mention of it in Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen.)

In addition to the above, I want to make a recipe that calls for agar agar flakes, but I have agar agar powder. How does one relate to the other? I'm assuming they're not interchangeable.

Thank you all very much for any assistance you can provide me.
Tags: -adapting recipes, agar-agar, desserts-breads, desserts-pastry, ethnic food-french
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