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Delhiwale: A Julia Child in Nizamuddin East

After studying at a prestigious cooking school in Paris, artisanal baker Liter Basar has brought back some coveted pastry tricks and is willing to share

delhi Updated: Jul 17, 2017 11:02 IST
Mayank Austen Soofi
Artisanal baker Liter Basar was a scholar at Le Cordon Bleu, the prestigious cooking school in Paris where Julia Child learned French cuisine.
Artisanal baker Liter Basar was a scholar at Le Cordon Bleu, the prestigious cooking school in Paris where Julia Child learned French cuisine.(Mayank Austen Soofi / HT Photo)

This is the closest we could get to the legendary author of the classic book Mastering the Art of French Cooking. We are standing within a touching distance of a woman who walks the same stairs that the great Julia Child used to walk.

Artisanal baker Liter Basar was a scholar at Le Cordon Bleu, the prestigious cooking school in Paris where Julia Child learned French cuisine. We catch Ms Basar at her workplace — her home-kitchen in Delhi’s Hazrat Nizamuddin East. She lives with her husband, son, and dogs Whisky and Rufus.

“Paris is the world’s loveliest city,” Ms Basar swoons cheerily in the kitchen, telling us of her days in Paris. Her apartment there was very close to Eiffel Tower. “It was very rare for me to feel low in Paris but when I did,” she says, “I simply walked over to Eiffel Tower and felt better.” Ms Basar hums La Vie en rose, a song by Édith Piaf. A true romantic, she has ‘Love’ tattooed on her finger.

Now thousands of miles away, Ms Basar is wearing her Cordon Bleu white chef coat. Its arm pocket has all the necessary tools of her classroom: I-card, pen, fork, tea spoon, table spoon. But it is her scraper, she insists, that is the most important accessory of her working life.

Ms Basar’s big moment came on November 18 last year in Paris when she received Diplome de Patisserie, one of the most esteemed pastry-making qualifications in bakery.

Recipe of brioche, the French-style soft buttery pastry

12 DINNER ROLL-SIZE BRIOCHE BUNS

Ingredients:

* Flour: 250gm
* Butter: 125gm, softened at room temperature
* Salt: 5gm
* Milk: 18gm
* Eggs: 3
* 1 beaten egg for eggwash
* Castor Sugar: 30gm
* Instant dry yeast: 5gm

Procedure

Mix flour, castor sugar, yeast, salt and butter to make the dough. Let it proof till it is double in volume. Shape it according to what you want. Make balls for buns or rectangle for loaves.

Apply eggwash with a brush to the dough and cover it with a wet cotton cloth. Let it proof for one more hour. Before baking, apply eggwash again. Add extra butter on top, but this is optional. Bake at 180 degree in the over till brown.