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September 15, 2010
I’ve been swamped with get-ready-for-book tour stuff – all very good stuff, but a lot for a one-woman-band, which would be me. But just because I can’t seem to find my desk (or even my keys for that matter) doesn’t mean that I haven’t taken breaks to cook and bake and have friends in. Not that making these nibblers gives you much of a break – they’re just about instant.
The recipe comes from my new book Around My French Table (get another look at it in Alan Richardson's terrific picture below) and it’s a favorite of mine for so many reasons:
- It’s startingly easy, almost embarrassingly easy, but chic and, of course, delicious;
- It requires only 3 ingredients – puff pastry, mustard and egg for the glaze – and you can keep them all on hand; in fact, you might already have them;
- It’s easily play-aroundable, so that you can make it your own;
- You can make the batons ahead and stick them in the freezer, so they’re ready to bake ‘on demand’ in small or large quantities; and
- It’s so very much in keeping with today’s style of French home cooking: it’s a dish that’s elegant but easy, unfussy but good looking, and one that’s fun to eat: it’s finger food of the kind that invites après-eating finger licking. And any time you can lick your fingers in polite company is a good time.
I use storebought puff pastry for these and so does every French person I know. And I use strong Dijon mustard, but you can use something milder. You can use grainy mustard or honey mustard or a mixture of mustards. You can even skip the mustard and brush the pastry with tapenade (olive puree) or pesto or grated cheese or pureed sun-dried tomatoes … or … or …
Oh, just a word on the batons in my picture. I sprinkled them with sesame seeds because there weren’t any poppyseeds (mentioned in the recipe) in the house. You can play around with the sprinkle as well. Once again, cheese is a possibility, as are finely chopped nuts, coarse salt, seaweed or … or …
I can’t wait to see what you come up with.
This gorgeous picture is by Alan Richardson and it comes from Around My French Table. The Mustard Batons (page 15) are in the glass, in the foreground are two Provencal Olive Fougasses (page 48), delicious and fun to make, and in the bowl are a selection of Herbed Olives (page 16). Every time I look at this picture, I want to be in it. I bet you understand.
From Around My French Table
Makes about 40 batons
Like Anne Leblanc’s startlingly simple avocado with pistachio oil (page 106), mustard batons are proof that it doesn’t take much to make something great tasting, and good looking too. I’m embarrassed to admit that I resisted this recipe for years. No less than three friends told me I had to try it, but looking at the ingredient list — puff pastry, Dijon mustard, and an egg for the glaze — I just couldn’t drum up the enthusiasm to bake a batch. It wasn’t until I was at a party in Paris and tasted the slender strips that I ran home and made them myself. They’re a terrific hors d’oeuvre and they’re make-aheadable.
The only caveat is to make sure your mustard packs some punch — these are best when the mustard is strong.
All-purpose flour, for rolling
2 sheets frozen puff pastry (each about 8½ ounces), thawed
½ cup Dijon mustard
1 large egg
Poppy seeds, for topping (optional)
Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper. Have a ruler and a pizza cutter (or sharp knife) at hand.
Working with 1 sheet of pastry at a time, roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface until you have a rectangle that’s about 12 x 16 inches. If necessary, turn the dough so that a short side of the rectangle is closest to you. Measure the length so that you can find the middle, and spread ¼ cup of the mustard over the lower half of the dough, stopping about 1/8 inch from the side and bottom edges. Fold the top portion of the dough over the bottom and, using the pizza cutter (or knife), with your ruler as a guide, cut the pastry from top to bottom into strips about 1 inch wide (I actually use the width of the ruler itself as my guide), then cut the strips crosswise in half. (If you prefer, you can leave the strips long.)
Carefully transfer the batons to one of the baking sheets and chill or freeze them while you work on the second batch. (You can make all the strips to this point and freeze them on the baking sheets, then pack them airtight and keep them frozen for up to 2 months.)
Lightly beat the egg with a splash of cold water and brush just the tops of the strips with this glaze. If you’d like, sprinkle them with poppy seeds.
Bake the batons for 8 minutes. Rotate the sheets from front to back and top to bottom and bake for another 7 or 8 minutes, or until the strips are puffed and golden brown. Remove the baking sheets from the oven and let the batons rest for a couple of minutes before serving.
These are especially good with white wine or kir, the official aperitif of Dijon.
Unbaked batons can be kept in the freezer for up to 2 months and baked while still frozen. Brush them with the egg wash and sprinkle them with the poppy seeds, if using them, just before baking.
Tapenade Batons. Spreading the puff pastry with tapenade, homemade or store-bought, will give you savory strips that are great on a summer’s evening with an iced rosé. Before folding over the puff pastry, I like to sprinkle the tapenade with grated lemon zest and/or grated Parmesan; other good add-ins are teensy slivers of roasted peppers or sun-dried tomatoes, paper-thin slices of onion, and toasted sliced almonds.
Tags: Alan Richardson
, Around My French Table
, hors d'oeuvre
, Mustard Batons
At Home in Paris
Soups & Starters
| September 15, 2010 2:10 PM
This is one of the many recipes that caught my eye when I was reading your new book. They look fantastic and I can't wait to give them a try! Good luck with your book tour!
| September 15, 2010 2:38 PM
How beautiful! Cannot wait to make these with my strong Dijon mustard.
| September 15, 2010 5:13 PM
Every treat on your "chair" looks fabulous!
Cannot wait to bake these Mustard Batons.
Please announce your book tour stops. With thanks!
| September 15, 2010 7:18 PM
The tapenade has really caught my attention. Question, do you still put the mustard with the tapenade?
| September 16, 2010 6:14 AM
Christine, Nicole and Linda, I hope you'll let me know when you make the batons.
Linda, I'm hoping to get my book tour information tomorrow and I'll post it as soon after as possible.
Becky, when I make it with tapenade, I don't use the mustard, but this recipe is yours to play with. If you wanted you could paint a very, very thin layer of mustard on the dough and then cover it with tapenade, or you could mix tapenade and sundried tomato. It's all yours.
| September 16, 2010 6:44 AM
It looks good and base on the recipe, I bet it taste good as well.
Foodie in Berlin
| September 16, 2010 7:17 AM
Your book looks great! Rushing over to Amazon after I type this to purchase! And high praise indeed from Julia Child!
| September 16, 2010 7:48 AM
I can't seem to find where the second 1/4 cup of mustard goes. In with the egg?
| September 16, 2010 8:02 AM
Bridgit -- you use 1/4 cup mustard for each sheet of puff pastry.
| September 16, 2010 10:38 AM
Thank you so much for this recipe, Dorie! I'm always looking for new ways to cook with mustard, and this is a new one for me!
| September 16, 2010 11:23 AM
What brand is your favorite (that I can buy in the States) for strong, Dijon mustard?
| September 16, 2010 11:30 AM
You are a genius! I'm thinking wasabi mustard, brush the top with seasoned rice vinegar and sprinkle w nori flakes...
Tom @ Tall Clover
| September 16, 2010 11:48 AM
This recipe fits the bill for the what-can-I-bring-last-minute potluck item. And it also bodes well for adapting to the whims and tastes of the baker. Thanks for another winner.
Barbara | VinoLuciStyle
| September 16, 2010 11:55 AM
I love that these are so simple and lend themselves to using our own creativity too. I am a nut for mustard and my fridge now has no less than a dozen; champagne, plum, horseradish and more so an appetizer that features it? Perfect!
Can't wait to get your new book!
Eileen @ Passions to Pastry
| September 16, 2010 12:45 PM
These sound fabulous. I just finished a 3-month long kitchen renovation and my friend|architect will be bringing her architectural firm and a visiting French intern over for a celebration. The menu will include cheeses, fruit, GruyÃ©re-Walnut crackers, savory tarts and buchons. The Mustard Batons will be a great addition to the menu!
| September 16, 2010 2:14 PM
I can't wait to make these. What a simply (and I mean that literally) delicious idea for something to serve with antipasti.
Make it an a French/Italian thing.....
| September 16, 2010 2:55 PM
For you southern California residents: of all places, Trader Joe's imported French Dijon under their own label packs a real PUNCH. I normally prefer Maille, but since mustard prices have skyrocketed in the past few years, I tried the Trader Joe's at half the price, and was very pleasantly (sharply!)surprised.
| September 16, 2010 4:53 PM
I made the puff pastry pizzas two weekends ago with big, beautiful heirloom tomatoes from the Downtown ABQ Farmers Market and fresh local goat cheese. Oh, yes, and Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry! My guests were thrilled! Thank you for another wonderful book - and I love the days when your email shows up while I'm at work. It's a secret little break for me!
Fariba in Austin
| September 16, 2010 5:44 PM
Another wonderful and inspiring recipe! I always want to run right to my kitchen and cook after reading your blog. Can't wait to try it. I have followed your blog for a while now and bake from your Baking cookbook regularly. Imagine my elation when I heard that one of your stops on the tour will be the very cooking school I volunteer at!! I am already signed up to help that night!! I am so excited to finally get to meet one of my culinary idols!
| September 16, 2010 7:46 PM
Oh my, this sounds grand! I love the idea for the tapenade variation. I just bought your book, and can't wait to try just about everything in it!
| September 16, 2010 8:22 PM
I'm seeing a lot of permutations on this one. First using homemade Blitz Puff Pastry, and cut thinner and twisted. Variants: Horseradish Mustard with Sesame Seed topping or Maldon; Basil Pesto with Pine Nut and Parmesan Topping; a slightly sweet version with Nutella and Chopped Hazelnut topping; Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto with Maldon. Not very French, but seems like fun!
Heena @ Tiffin Tales
| September 16, 2010 8:46 PM
Is Toronto a stop on your book tour? It would be so great to meet you!!
Gaia - the Cook
| September 17, 2010 5:55 AM
Look good! I'll sure try it!!!
| September 17, 2010 11:54 AM
Thanks for the great blog! I love it.
| September 17, 2010 2:44 PM
I love that these are called batons, it makes me want to twirl them in their air and land them in my mouth for the corresponding finish to the show.
I challenge anyone to conjure a more simple and awesome snack than pretzels and mustard.
| September 17, 2010 3:28 PM
I just purchased your new book on French Food.
It is Gorgeous!
It reminds me of our trips to France. My wife and I had the good fortune to live in the Netherlands for almost five years. We were only an hour or two away from belgium and Paris was about four more hours away. Remember the yellow headlights on the French cars?
My wife's favorite city is London, but mine is Paris where we have a favorite Bistro: http://www.polidor.com/
I also admit that after seeing this book it caused me to find another of yours in my collection: "Baking with Julia".
I make no claims of fluency in French, even though I did study it in undergraduate school. Unfortunately, my instructor was a young man who never had to speak French to a native speaker! As a result, my accent is terrible.
However, we found that if you at least made the effort and didn't assume that they HAD to speak English that we could get along quite well.
My wife was quite taken with the faux finshes on some of the doors and some of the paneling on the streets.
Can you imagine trying to find the necessary supplies for faux finishes on the lower level of Galeries Lafayette? The man in the paint department spoke no English and my French can only be described as atrocious! However, my wife happily walked out with the necessary supplies.
We found the French unfailingly polite and friendly. We had none of the problems in Paris that some of my friends complained about.
As usual, I wrote too much! I'm reminded of a quotation from Churchill: "Excuse the length. I didn't have the time to write a short one!"
Best wishes and good luck on your new book...
| September 17, 2010 9:43 PM
i love that you're okay with frozen puff pastry. i usually buy mine because i've never attempted making my own. these look so simple and delicious!
| September 18, 2010 2:57 AM
Delicious and gorgeous!
Oh, I am trying to beat the pounds I put on in Italy, but now I'm getting too hungry...
| September 18, 2010 9:46 PM
I LOVE frozen puff pastry! I love a simple recipe!
Can't wait to try it soon...
| September 19, 2010 11:53 AM
These look so delicious! And I appreciate you offering different options other than mustard. My husband has quite a severe mustard allergy. The olive tapenade and pesto sound fantastic.
| September 19, 2010 12:16 PM
Wonderful! I love that this recipe allows you the creativity to make it your own! I've already ordered the book and can't wait for it to get here!
Pinky replied to comment from Judith
| September 19, 2010 12:21 PM
Thank you, Judith, for posting about Trader Joe's french dijon. I was wondering what a good brand would be to try. I'm heading off to Trader Joe's now to pick up a jar!
| September 19, 2010 8:43 PM
What a great recipe! I made these this evening while waiting for a pizza to be delivered (yes, they're that fast) and ate most of them within a few minutes.
This would be a great recipe to keep close at hand for a last minute snack to make for unexpected company or to take to a party.
Thanks for a great recipe, Dorie!
| September 20, 2010 12:36 AM
Made these for a gathering today and they were a big hit! I used honey mustard and three different toppings from what I had on hand: kosher salt, dill + salt,and caraway seeds. Can't wait to try it with tapenade Thanks, Ms.D! K
Style Your Food
| September 30, 2010 6:25 PM
I would love to try making this myself. Wish me luck. LOL
| October 6, 2010 7:04 PM
I just got your book and LOVE it. I made these as btons the first time but changed it up a bit the second time. I spread mustard over the whole sheet of puff pastry, rolled it up and sliced it into palmiers. Topped with salt. I have served them to many people and everyone loves them! Thanks for the idea.
| December 24, 2010 8:22 PM
This is wonderful and easy recipe! Photos are fabulous..I just came on you website and I just love it. Fantastic!
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