New Orleans Cuisine

My Creole & Cajun Recipe Page

This is my blog dedicated to New Orleans & Louisiana cooking! I'll give links to great Creole & Cajun recipes and sites, as well as some of my own recipes. I love talkin' New Orleans, food and otherwise! Incidentally, I'm from Detroit. Go Figure. Lets just say I figured out "what it means, to miss New Orleans" and this site helps ease the pain.

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"Leaving New Orleans also frightened me considerably. Outside of the city limits the heart of darkness, the true wasteland begins."
-Ignatius J. Reilly from A Confederacy of Dunces
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Saturday, April 09, 2005

New Orleans French Bread

The Po-Boy is the staple sandwich of New Orleans Cuisine, along with The Muffuletta . There are a virtual ton of recipes on the net and in cookbooks for Po-Boy's, with every type of filling imaginable. That's great! However, there is one small problem. Unless you live in the Crescent City, you really can't find the Main ingredient: The Bread. Actually, this is a BIG problem. I've made a lot of Po-Boys here in Michigan, with a lot of different French Loaves from all over. The sandwiches have all been pretty good, but I always kinda' crinkle my nose thinking, This Bread is just not right. The French Bread or Long Bread in New Orleans, along with the Round Italian Muffuletta loaves, come from a number of different bakeries: Leidenheimer's (which is the biggest, on Simon Bolivar, Central City), Angelo Gendusa's (N. Rampart), Binder's, or United Bakery (St. Bernard in Gentilly). They sell the stuff in about 3' or longer lengths. The bread has a distinct balance of crust and body that is hard to match. If you use a bread that is too chewy with too much crust, it won't work. If you use a bread that is too soft, it won't work. New Orleans French Bread is a perfect balance of light body with crisp crust. It's also a little bigger than your average Baguette, perfect for holding fillings. My stomach is rumbling thinking about Po Boys! I've made a few versions from recipes I've found, but they're still, just not right. This is my new mission in life! To make my own Po-Boy bread! I'll keep you posted. Also more on Po-Boys later.

12 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

My uncle use to have bakery in larose(not sure if i spelled it right) and i have been begging my mom to try and find it and if i do i will share

5:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a Po-Boy Shop in Morehead, KY. The only option I found was to order the bread directly from Gambino's. Sysco has a food code if they would be willing to bring it in. http://gambinos.info/

goto food service tab and check out bread

2:28 PM  
Blogger Tom said...

Hi, my name is Tom and I have retired from Louisiana to Florida. Here is the best recipe for French bread that I have ever found. It is from a 1972 cookbook by Tony Chachere who later became famous for his Cajun seasoning. Tony is from Opelousas.

HARD CRUST FRENCH BREAD
2 1/2 cups warm water 2 teaspoons salt
1 package dry yeast or 7 cups flour
1 yeast cake 2 egg whites, well
2 tablespoons sugar beaten
In large bowl combine yeast, warm water, sugar and salt: stir until dissolved. Gradually add sifted flour and mix until well blended. Knead 10 minutes on well-floured surface un­til dough is smooth and satiny. Let rise in warm place until doubled in bulk. Punch down and place on floured surface. Knead 3 or 4 times to remove air and divide into 4 equal pieces.
Shape into loaves, place in well-greased pans. Slash tops and brush with egg whites. Let rise until double in bulk and bake 15 minutes in pre-heated 450-degree oven or 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove from pans and cool. (Makes 4 loaves)
NOTE: Wrap extra loaves in aluminum foil and freeze. To re­serve, warm in foil 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

BTW, I double the sugar

5:13 AM  
Blogger Rosko said...

It's the water in SE La. It's different. Grew up there and realized that REAL Po-Boy bread will never be made anywhere else.

11:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the St. Louis area, a grocery store called Dierberg's has bread that to my palate is indistinguishable from Leidenheimer's.

3:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom's bread recipe, unfortunately, is not the answer. I made bread with that exact recipe today. It produces a very nice loaf with a chewy crust and fine crumb texture, nothing at all like the hard crusty NO French bread with the open "custard" texture. I don't think any recipe that calls for a lot of kneading is likely to produce the right interior texture. Read NO French bread can't be that hard to make, but why can't we find the right recipe?

1:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you tried using a salt rising mix?

10:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom: Please rewrite your recipe, I'm having a hard time understanding it. Thanks, StrokerMcgurk.

7:40 PM  
Blogger Jonathan said...

growing up in New Orleans, I believe I was told that the bread is distinct because of the where it is prepared (below sea level) with very high humidity. I'm not physicist, but could this be the problem you are running into when it come to quality? I say this because I know that water boils in varying amounts of time depending on elevation.

2:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re-wrote Tom's post...

HARD CRUST FRENCH BREAD
2 1/2 cups warm water
2 teaspoons salt
1 package dry yeast or 1 yeast cake
7 cups flour
2 egg whites,
2 tablespoons sugar

In large bowl combine yeast, warm water, sugar and salt: stir until dissolved.
Gradually add sifted flour and mix until well blended.
Knead 10 minutes on well-floured surface until dough is smooth and satiny.
Let rise in warm place until doubled in bulk.
Punch down and place on floured surface.
Knead 3 or 4 times to remove air and divide into 4 equal pieces.
Shape into loaves, place in well-greased pans.
Slash tops and brush with egg whites.
Let rise until double in bulk and bake 15 minutes in pre-heated 450-degree oven or 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
Remove from pans and cool. (Makes 4 loaves)

NOTE: Wrap extra loaves in aluminum foil and freeze. To reheat: wrap in foil, place in 350 degree oven for 20 minutes.

BTW, I double the sugar

10:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Anonymous who said "I have a Po-Boy Shop in .... " Wrong! You have a sandwich shop, not a po-boy shop. I live here in Louisiana and I get annoyed at the number of places here that do the same. I have yet to find a real po-boy outside of the greater New Orleans area.

2:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

John Gendusa Bakery (not mentioned in this article) is the real thing. Never ever buy po-boy bread if it's not in an open (on one end) paper bag.

2:17 PM  

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