French Substitutes

(Suzanne Fitzgerald) #1

I'm often trying to make something when I realise I can't find the same thing in France and I wondered if other people have this problem too. I'd appreciate your help with substitutes for the following:

Self Raising Flour - I've tried adding Baking Powder to plain supermarket flour (assume is T65) but what do you use? Is there a better flour Type? My cakes just don't rise properly.

White Wine Vinegar - I've been using White Wine - is the vinegar version just an english thing? Lots of English chefs writing french style recipes use it, but I can't find it here

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(Helen Aurelius-Haddock) #2

Just been to the super market.
The ham is called ROTI SAUMURÉ - So now you know!

(Suzanne Fitzgerald) #3

I’ve bought the flour but I confess not done any baking yet. Hubbie has been away & we’ve had a few large deliveries of stuff from the UK so I’ve been pretty occupied. I’m aiming to have a cook up session tomorrow as we’re fairly organised now & I’m sure he’ll be pleased to come home to some (hopefully not flat) cupcakes after his 2000 mile round trip in 2 days.

(Suzanne Fitzgerald) #4

Thanks - will ask next time I go shopping. I sometimes really fancy a bit of Gammon & pineapple plus the cold ham is great for leftovers!

Is it true that Bacon pigs are different to Pork pigs? I’m sure I read that somewhere like the Leiths Guide. Maybe that’s why you can’t get the same cuts in France as opposed to them simply butchering differently?

(Helen Aurelius-Haddock) #5

I find the butchers here very helpful - I asked them to do me a rolled brisket and they were only too happy to help - it caused a big stir amongst the butchery staff who were all watching it being prepared. I did a blog post about it here

(Vivien Barrow Clegnac) #6

No Helen, I haven’t been able to obtain the large gammon leg cuts either. However I have found a butcher who will leave the skin on pork for me so that I can once more savour the delights of crispy crackling! He obviously thinks I’m odd though.

(Helen Aurelius-Haddock) #7

I also would add that the traditional cuts of gammon,which come from the leg of the animal are not available - well, not in my area. The above cuts are very acceptable substitutes in my opinion.
We regularly have the loin and it is a real treat. I make a cheese and mustard sauce with it, or sometimes a traditional parsley sauce, as husband is a bit fan.

(Helen Aurelius-Haddock) #8

Sorry - that should read “looking in” It seems it’s not my week for spelling and grammar.

(Vivien Barrow Clegnac) #9

So tell us about your cakes Suzanne!

(Helen Aurelius-Haddock) #10

OK - You’re lookin gin the wrong place.
It will be on the boucherie counter. It may be called “porc samrué” but that could be a regional thing here.
It will look like a loin of pork, in a vacuum sealed bag and have the tell tale pink colour, which will set it apart from the other meat. Usually they have “palette” and “potrine” as well, but the loin is the best.
It needs light cooking - between 40-60 minutes, depending on weight.
One butchers tip: If you let it cool down in the cooking water, it gives a very moist tasting ham.
All of it comes “nature” or "fumé - unsmoked or smoked.
Hope that helps

(Suzanne Fitzgerald) #11

ok next question - can you buy a gammon style joint in France? In the UK there are loads in the supermarket but I’ve looked here & at the Chacuterie but I can’t seem to find it. What should I be asking for?
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(Suzanne Fitzgerald) #12

Thanks - will try out these ideas & let you know how I get on!

(Sarah Hague) #13

White wine vinegar usually comes with a sprig of tarragon I’ve found, which may or may not be to your taste.

(Vivien Barrow Clegnac) #14

Hi Suzanne,
I love baking and my middle daughter is currently filling the house with cupcakes! I use Francine brand ’ Farine pour gateaux ’ with success or if you dont have any in the cupboard, plain flour Farine de Ble with the little pink sachets of levure work very well.(alsa levure chimique alsacienne)

For the white wine vinegar, Carrefour, Intermarche and Geant all do it (own brand or posh) its often quite pungent so use a little less ‘to taste’ as they say, or you can substitute cider vinegar which is easily found.


(Helen Aurelius-Haddock) #15

For white wine vinegar, use cider vinegar
Use T45 flour, and add baking powder - T65 is bread flour.
You can get self raising in bigger supermarkets though
Hope this helps

(Catharine Higginson) #16

Excellent thread Suzanne!

Have no idea about SR flour but I too would love to know?