16 May 2012

16 May - St. Honoratus of Amiens; French Doughnuts

Honoratus (in French, Honoré) was the eighth Bishop of Amiens, known for his sanctity and very little else.  The Bakers Guild of Paris took him for their patron, and covered their banners with a representation of the bishop in his robes, with the crosier in his left hand and in his right an oven-peel bearing three loaves of bread.

His association with bakers may have come from the legend that his nursemaid (who obviously had graduated to the position of cook in the meantime), when told that Honoratus had been ordained a bishop, scoffed that he had as much chance of becoming a bishop as her bread peel had of taking root and becoming a tree.  Well, she was right in a way – the peel did become a tree.

oven peel before taking root
The proper dessert for celebrating his feast day would be a Gateau St. Honoré, but since it is composed of puff pastry, choux pastry, cream puffs, and other things which take an inordinate amount of time to make – order one from your nearest French bakery.

Since my culinary skills are on a much simpler order, I will enjoy FRENCH DOUGHNUTS for tea today.  These are baked, not fried like beignets.

Heat the oven to 350°.
Grease 12 muffin cups.
Beat 1 egg lightly.

In a large bowl, cream together 5 tablespoons of butter and ½ cup of sugar.  Add the egg and mix well.  Set aside.

In another bowl, mix together 1½ cups of flour, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1 teaspoon of nutmeg.

To the butter mixture, add the flour mixture alternately with ½ cup of milk.  Mix well.

Fill the muffin cups half full.  Bake for 20 minutes or until done.

While they are baking, melt 6 tablespoons of butter (and keep warm).  In a small bowl or on a sheet of waxed paper, mix together ¾ cup of sugar and 2 teaspoons of cinnamon.

When the muffins are finished baking, remove them from the pan, and while they are still hot, roll them first in the melted butter and then in the cinnamon-sugar.

I have never known them to get cold.

Artwork: Saint Honoratus, swiped from Wikipedia.  The little figures are bakers with loaves of fresh baked goods.

Baking bread, found on the Medieval Pastry page.