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> Breton Cuisine, Recipes from Brittany
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Posted: 04-Jun-2004, 09:29 AM
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Wanderer and Vagabond

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Here are some recipes I found at various websites. I will try to add more as I find them.

Kouing-Aman from Douarnenez

(Recipe found at: http://gourmet.sympatico.ca/sweets/cakes/thorel.htm)

Glossary: "Kouing-aman" literally means "butter bread," and is a typical and centuries-old pastry specialty of Brittany, particularly from the port town of Douarnenez.

Ingredients for 20 people

850 g (2 lb.) yeast-raised bread dough, available from some bakers
400 g (14 oz.) half-salted butter, softened
400 g (2 cups) sugar


Roll out the dough with a rolling pin.
Roughly spread the butter over the centre, sprinkle with sugar, and fold the edges of the dough in towards the centre so that the butter and sugar are enclosed.
Roll out again into a rectangular shape.
Fold in thirds and let rest 30 minutes.
Rotate the dough a quarter turn and roll out again; let rest 30 minutes; repeat the process.
Roll out the dough one final time; place the dough into two buttered 30 cm (12") round cake pans; brush any excess flour off the top of the dough.
Spray some water over the kouing-aman, sprinkle with sugar and bake in a 220° C (450° F) oven for about 25 minutes; turn out of the pans. The kouing-aman should be caramelized and nicely browned.

Brittany Mixed Fish Soup

(Recipe found at:

Yield: 6 Servings

3 lb Mixed fish, cleaned *
2 Lge Onions, peeled **
Lge clove Garlic, crushed
3 tb Butter or margarine
6 Med potatoes, peeled, in 1/4s
10 c Water
2 Med. Bay Leaves
1 ts Dried Thyme
1/2 ts Dried Marjoram
4 Sprigs Parsley
2 ts Salt
1/2 ts Pepper
Slices of crusty French bread

Instructions * Flounder, mackerel, cod, or haddock ** Sliced thin

1. Cut fish into chunks of equal size. Saute onions and garlic in heated butter or margarine in a large kettle until tender. Add potatoes, water, bay leaves, thyme marjoram, parsley, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Add prepared fish and lower heat to moderate. Cook, covered, about 25 minutes, until fish and potatoes are tender. Remove and discard bay leaves. Put slices of bread in wide soup plates. Ladle broth over bread. Serve fish and potatoes separately on a platter.

2. Serves 6 to 8.

Breton Recipes

(Recipes found at: http://www.geocities.com/Vienna/1160/fairy.html)

This is not a book by an expert (it is barely a page by an amateur, if the truth be known). There are numerous cookbooks available for those who are serious about learning regional French cooking. There are also serious cooking educators all over the place (including on the Net). This is simply a taste for anyone who has not had the pleasure of eating galettes or sipping cider. My selection of recipes in no way typifies Breton cooking, largely because the Bretons eat a wide variety of food and because I, (the person making this list), do not eat some of the foods (eg fish and seafood) so they are notably absent. Besides, four recipes is hardly a fair sampling of any culture?s cooking! So take this as a very idiosyncratic, very vague, introduction to a really scrumptious cuisine. And go to serious chefs, teachers and cookbooks (or better still, to Brittany) if you want the real thing!!


The most famous (exported) Breton dish - if one ignores cider, of course.
If you want to be old-fashioned, use pure buckwheat flour - but it can be adulterated with wholemeal or white flour by the faint at heart. Add two large eggs and 600 ml milk to a half a kilogram of buckwheat flour. Mix in a bit over 100 g of melted butter. Fry in butter, preferably on griddle.

Breton Soup

Soak a cup and a half of dried haricot beans overnight, then add 1 litre water, one onion and two cloves of garlic. Also add several peeled and chopped potatoes, as well as parsley, thyme and bay leaf to taste (don?t be over-generous with the bay leaf). Bring to the boil and simmer for a nice long time - at least two hours (it helps to keep the pot covered while simmering, but uncovered while bringing to the boil). In another saucepan melt a knob of butter then add a bunch of finely chopped spinach. Once the spinach looks like a nice green puree, add it to the soup (towards the end of cooking). Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Herb Butter

Use it on almost anything, from vegetables to galettes.
Mix butter (preferably salted) with lots of chopped herbs (eg parsley, chervil, chives, mustard, cress) and a chopped shallots, garlic and some pepper. You can serve this green mixture moulded, in fancy shapes or pats, or in melting dollops on hot food.


Lightly boil your asparagus, then softly saute in butter. Season it, then serve it with crème fraîche and with fried croutons (fry the croutons in butter not oil).

Slàn agus beannachd,
Allen R. Alderman

'S i Alba tìr mo chridhe. 'S i Gàidhlig cànan m' anama.
Scotland is the land of my heart. Gaelic is the language of my soul.
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Posted: 13-Jun-2004, 10:45 AM
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The following is not a recipe but a discussion of breton cuisine.

It was found at:

The specialty of Brittany region is seafood, both fish and shellfish and it is probably the best in both quality and variety in the whole of France if not Europe. The cold platter of raw (cru) shellfish is a good starter, otherwise mussels or clams, farcies/gratines, or garlic -buttered , breadcrumbed and grilled in half-shells; or coquilles St. Jacques - scallops in white wine sauce with piped potato or, of course Bellon oysters.

For the main course there are lobsters, crayfish, crabs, spider crabs or scampi for the shellfish lover. Otherwise salmon, trout or cotriade - Breton fish stew. The most famous meat dish is lamb pre-sale, or reared on salt pastures, often served with white beans. Pork is eaten mainly in high flavored charcuterie. Game, particularly hare and partridge is tasty. Breton vegetables are renowned, particularly globe artichokes, cauliflowers, peas, onion and potatoes. Plougastel strawberries and other fruits are good.

Brittany is famous for its crepes, and there are more creperies per square kilometer here than anywhere else in France. The brown ones (sometimes called galettes) are made with buckwheat flour and are eaten salted, with savory fillings (cheese, eggs, ham, sausage). The white ones with ordinary flour are sugared, with ham or honey or liqueurs. Quimper lace pancakes are a speciality.

In Breton, a cake is a kouign, and the best known type is the kouign-aman, a sweet fried cake of wheat flour, eggs and honey. The gateau Breton is a cake made with butter and usually fruit. As in Normandy, Cider is the main drink. Though only fouesnant cider can equal the Norman in quality.

Dry white wines from the vineyards around Nantes - Muscadet and gros plant - are also widely drunk, especially with seafood.
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Posted: 13-Jun-2004, 10:48 AM
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Here are some alternative recipes for kouign amann and gallettes and a new recipe for Gateau Breton. The sites where the recipes are found are listed with each recipe.



Tomorrow is Mardi-Gras, the last day before Lent begins. The Mardi-Gras tradition in France, amongst other things, is to gorge on crepes, supposedly to use up the eggs and butter that you won't be allowed to eat until Easter. I am not religious and so I don't observe Lent (I scared you for a minute here, didn't I?), but I will gladly take any opportunity to eat crepes! And last Friday, when my friends Marie-Laure and Laurence came over for dinner, I decided to make us crepes, using farine de sarrasin (buckwheat flour) like they do in Brittany, a region in the West of France.
Brittany is a fantasy land of wonderful crepes. We would spend a week of vacation there every year (often in Carnac) with my parents when I was younger. We would eat crepes every single night, to the sparkly-eyed delight of my sister and myself, and over time we had built quite a little itinerary of favorite crêperies to visit. In Brittany, savory crepes are made with buckwheat flour and are called "galettes", whereas sweet crepes are made with wheat flour and are called "crêpes".
And so it is that I can share with you my recipe for galettes de sarrasin, just in time for Mardi-Gras! You can use whatever filling suits your fancy, but the most traditional galette is probably the "complète", filled with an egg ("mirroir", sunny-side-up, or "brouillé", scrambled) ham and cheese (usually gruyère or comté). But you can also use veggies, goat cheese, tuna, bacon... This past Friday, I made a batch of galettes filled with egg (mirroir), ham and cheese, and another of caramelized leeks and shallots with goat cheese.
The only downside of making galettes is that they're in fact a little more work than I had foreseen, as I had to juggle two skillets, the fillings, and the keeping warm of the galettes that were ready. But we all enjoyed them very much, the taste of buckwheat flour is really special, nice and nutty ; the dough was just the way we like it, soft in the middle and a little crunchy on the edges ; and the fillings were excellent.
Galettes de Sarrasin
For the dough :
- 200 g buckwheat flour
- 50 g all-purpose flour
- 2 eggs
- 50 cl milk
- 50 cl water
For the galettes :
- salted butter
- the fillings of your choice
(Makes 12 medium galettes.)
Step 1 : Prepare the dough.
If you have a food processor , break the eggs in the bowl of the food processor. Add the flours, and mix until well blended. Add as much of the milk as your food processor allows and mix again. Transfer to a large mixing bowl, and add the remaining milk and the water. Whisk until thoroughly blended.
If you don't have a food processor, put the flour in a large mixing bowl and dig a little well in the center. Break the eggs in the well, and whisk them progressively into the flour in a circular motion. Pour the milk in slowly, whisking all the while. Add the water, still whisking.
In both cases, cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap, and store in the fridge for at least two hours, overnight is best.
Step 2 : Make the galettes.
Take the bowl of dough out of the fridge and prepare all the fillings beforehand. Whisk the galette dough again, as some of the flour will have settled at the bottom of the bowl.
If you're making several galettes in a row, preheat the oven to 180°C (360°F). This is where you'll keep the galettes warm while you make the others.
Heat up a large non-stick skillet over high heat. When it is very hot, put in a sliver of salted butter. When it is melted, but before it browns, use a paper towel to (cautiously) spread the butter evenly on the surface of the skillet. Pour a ladleful of dough in the skillet, and swoop the skillet around so that the dough spreads out in a nice even circle. Let cook on medium-high heat for a few minutes, peeking underneath with a spatula from time to time to check on the cooking.
Flip the galette when it's nicely golden underneath, cautiously or brazenly depending on your self-assurance. Put the fillings of your choice in the center of the galette. If using an egg, break it cautiously and gently maintain the yolk in the center with the eggshell or your spatula until the white has set enough to hold it in place. When the other side of the galette is nice and golden too, fold it as best you can : the traditional way is to fold the four sides in and make a square galette, but when there's a lot of filling and the galette isn't very big that's a little difficult, so just fold two sides in.
Put the galette in a large baking dish or on a cookie sheet and into the oven to keep warm while you make the others. Serve with a green salad and liberal amounts of Cidre Brut, an alcoholic apple cider from Brittany.


The Kouign Amann

Here is a true anti-diet recipe. Some butter, some sugar and flour, plus a little more butter and sugar... Warning to turn and roll pastry requires to have a special knack which is not usually inborn even if your name is Kerrkekchose.
Ingredients: 150 g of flour, 300 g of butter, 200 g of sugar, a pinch of salt, 20 g of baker yeast, a yellow of an egg to give some colour (not mandatory).
Mix the baker yeast with three lukewarm water spoon then mix with the flour. Add the sugar, then the butter. Turn and roll the pastry 4 times. Let rest 15 minutes between each turn. Put in a dish covered with butter. Scratch the surface of the cake with a fork and put in the oven during 25 minutes. Sprinkle with sugar as soon as removed from the oven and served lukewarm with a glass of cider.


Gateau Breton
Yield: 1 Servings Preparation Time:
1/3 Cup Plus 2 tablespoons-hazelnuts, toasted, husked,
1 1/2 Cup All purpose flour
2 Tbl Cornstarch
1/2 Tsp Baking powder
1/2 Tsp cinnamon, Ground
1/4 Tsp Salt
1 Cup Unsalted butter, room-temperature (2 sticks)
1 Cup Sugar
6 Large Egg yolks, beaten to blend
2 Tsp lemon peel, Grated
1/2 Tsp Vanilla extract
2 Tsp Milk
Preheat oven to 350F. Butter 9-inch-diameter cake pan with 1 1/2-high
sides; dust with flour. Grind nuts finely in processor. Sift flour,
cornstarch, baking powder, cinnamon and salt into medium bowl. Add 1/3 cup
ground nuts; reserve remainder for garnish.

Using electric mixer, beat butter and sugar in large bowl until light and
fluffy. Set aside 1 teaspoon yolks for glaze; gradually add remainder to
butter mixture, beating until fluffy. Mix in peel and vanilla. Add dry
ingredients and mix until jut blended. Transfer to pan, smoothing top.

Mix milk into reserved 1 teaspoon yolk. Brush atop batter for glaze. Draw
tines of fork across top of cake in crisscross pattern. Top with reserved

Bake cake until just firm to touch, about 45 minutes. Transfer to rack;
cool. Turn out cake from pan; arrange top side up on platter. (Can be made
1 day ahead. Wrap tightly; store at room temperature.)

Serves 8.
Bon Appetit May 1994
Converted by MC_Buster.
Converted by MM_Buster v2.0l.

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Posted: 28-Sep-2004, 08:30 AM
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Hello there!

The following information is not recipes, but a description of Breton cuisine, I was found at:

Regional cuisine
Brittany is not a region traditionally associated with fine food. Surprisingly for a people with such individualistic tendencies, it doesn't even have its own distinctive style of cooking. The only true Breton specialities are pancakes (crêpes, which usually have a sweet filling, and galettes, which are thicker and tend to have a savoury filling) and cotriade, a fish stew traditionally made from conger eel and the remains of the catch. Generally, Breton cuisine is simple, with little use of sauces, and features much fish and seafood. Try palourdes farcies (baked clams stuffed with garlic, herbs and shallots) and pot au feu d'homard (lobster stew with shrimps, scallops, mussels and oysters). Brittany's young lambs, raised on the salt meadows, are also very good, and a wide variety of vegetables are produced locally. The region's few cheeses are all made from cow's milk and tend to be relatively mild. Mingaux is a soft cream cheese, often served with fruit or simply sprinkled with sugar. Strictly speaking, now that the vineyards around Nantes fall under the administration of the Loire, Brittany does not produce any wines, but Muscadet is still considered to be a Breton wine. Crisp and dry, it is excellent with seafood. Cider is the main drink associated with Brittany.
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