Epi is the French word used to describe the flower of a wheat stalk. So the Pan d’Epi or Épis de Bléis the name given to bread that looks like a wheat stalk or the ears of wheat. The Pan d’Epi is a classic and commonly made French artisan bread. When made for special holidays and celebrations, this bread is often made more decorative by shaping it into a wreath.
The Pan d’Epi is easy enough to make and really just one step up from the French baguette. It is made the same way but then cut to resemble a wheat stalk. It is eaten just a baguette and can be served with soup, or used to make sandwiches.
This bread is best eaten fresh, the day it is made. It is best stores wrapped in paper until it is used. If the bread starts to go stale, revive it by sprinkling it with water and briefly baking it. Otherwise, use it to make croutons or breadcrumbs.
APF / maida ..... 2 and 1/2 cups
Oil .............. 1 tbsp
Salt .......... 1 tsp
Sugar ....... 1 tsp
Instant yeast ... 1 and 1/2 tsp
Warm water .... 3/4 to 1 cup
Before proceeding to make the epi watch the videos to have a clear idea of shaping and cutting the baguette.
How to shape the baguette :
How to cut the epi:
How to make a Holiday wreath:
Put all the ingredients, except the water, in a bowl (or processor bowl) and mix well. Add enough warm water and knead until you have a soft and elastic dough, almost sticky dough.
Shape into a smooth ball and place it in an oiled bowl, turning it to coat it well with oil. Cover loosely and let it rise for about an hour to an hour and a half till it has doubled in volume
Dust your working surface lightly with flour. If you’re going to shape it as a long wheat stalk (or two if your oven or baking sheets aren’t large enough to take one long one), then press out the dough into a rough rectangle.
Fold the long edge away from you towards the center and fold the long edge near you towards the centre.
Now fold over in half, like a letter fold and pinch the seam together neatly and tightly. Place the pinched side down.
Make cuts about 2 inches apart and move each portion on the alternate side.
Once the Epi has been shaped, loosely cover the dough and let it rise again for about 15 minutes.
Brush them with egg white or milk to give a glossy finish.
In the meanwhile, preheat your oven to 240C (470F) with a baking tray upside down on the rack and an empty pan at the bottom of the oven. When ready place the Epi in the oven and pour a cup of water into the pan at the bottom to create steam. These days modern ovens come with the steam option. If you have that you don't need to pour the water. Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes till the Pan d’Epi is done and golden brown in colour. Let it cool completely before cutting.
Event hosted by Aparna Balasubramanian :
We Knead to Bake # 42- @ My Diverse Kitchen