Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Brioche!

This recipe is in Rose's Heavenly Cakes, so I am including it in the bake-through, although it doesn't count as one of the cakes I have left to bake. This recipe is adjunct to the Caramelized Pineapple Pudding Cakes, as adventurous bakers can make their own brioche to use in the pineapple bread pudding cakes. I made one big cake and used store bought brioche, but vowed I'd come back and bake the brioche one day.

That day is now. (Or, it was that day on May 8th.)

brioche

May 8, 2011
Name of bread: Woah seriously?
Occasion: Carb loading
Constituents: one giant loaf of brioche

I have three of Rose's baking books; The Cake Bible, The Pie and Pastry Bible, and Rose's Heavenly Cakes. There's a brioche recipe in every book, in fact in The Pie and Pastry Bible there's a whole chapter on brioche. (The chapter may only contain three or four recipes, but brioche still got its own chapter, people.)

I have five other recipes for brioche in other cookbooks. I couldn't avoid brioche if I tried!

Now that I have a successful brioche under my belt (expanding my belt is more like it), I think it would be fun to have a brioche throwdown and test out all the other recipes I've got lying around. But...I would need a lot of bakers, judgers, and all-around eaters. Anybody up for the challenge?

The brioche is a two-day process, with most of the work being done on the first day.

DAY ONE
First, a sponge is made, which is just water, flour, yeast, and sugar mixed up. Technically, this is done in a small bowl and then transferred to the mixer bowl. I don't see why you can't just mix it up in the mixer bowl and leave it there.

Another mix of flour, yeast, salt, and sugar is whisked up and sprinkled over the top of the sponge in the mixer bowl. This gets left alone for an hour or so at room temperature.

Brioche

Last week when I made the dinner rolls, I read that an electric oven with the oven light on can serve as a warm place to rise bread. Considering my kitchen runs cold, I decided to use this method for all my rising needs, and it worked out great!

After letting the sponge and flour mix hang out for an hour, it gets kneaded in the KitchenAid for about five minutes. Somewhere in there an egg or two is added, and then a whole stick of butter is kneaded in one tablespoon at a time. After that, the dough is really pretty and shiny, but Rose warns it is seriously sticky and she's not kidding.

The dough needs an hour to rise, and the recipe says to scrape it into a 2 quart rising container or bowl, and again I wondered why it couldn't be left in the mixing bowl to rise. I decided to throw caution to the wind and leave it in the bowl.

Once the hour is up, the dough is refrigerated for another hour to keep the butter from falling out.

Once that hour is up, the dough is gently degassed and put back in the refrigerator for another hour to firm up. My dough fizzled down almost immediately, and looked like a very sad sack in the bottom of the bowl.

Once that hour is up (this is the fourth hour, if you're counting), the dough is scraped out onto a floured surface and patted out into a rectangle and folded into thirds like a letter. The dough is patted out one more, folded yet again, and then wrapped loosely in plastic wrap, placed inside a gallon ziploc bag, and put to bed in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours and up to two days.

End of day one. Go have a beer and put your feet up, or in my case as it was midnight: go to bed.

DAY TWO
I opted for about ten hours, and I'm glad I looked in on it because the dough was straining against the plastic shackles holding it down. I guess I didn't wrap it loosely enough!

At this point, the dough is released from bondage, patted out into a 7.5x5 inch rectangle, rolled up and placed, seam side down, in a greased loaf pan. One more rise, for about an hour, or until the dough reaches the top of the loaf pan.

I have a pizza stone so I set that on the bottom rack, which was set at the lowest level in the oven and preheated for about 30 minutes. The dough had puffed itself up to the top of the pan, so I sort of slashed the top (more like sawed), and gave the top a nice egg yolk/milk glaze. The loaf pan was set on top of the stone and left to bake for about 35 minutes.

My yeast must have been extra happy to be alive or something because the loaf rose like a monster above the rim of the pan and was finished at 30 minutes. Look that this thing!

Brioche

Hilarious.

Check out the crumb:

Brioche

This loaf has a thin, crispy crust and a soft, rich interior. It is a good loaf of bread. Good thing I still have lemon curd as I love lemon curd and butter on brioche. Good thing most people like brioche since I now have a monster loaf I need to share!

Has anyone ever tried Rose's Praline Brioche Cake in The Cake Bible? Now that I have gotten over my brioche fear, I wonder how that would be to make as well as eat.

15 comments:

  1. Wow, look at that loaf. Beautiful! And I love that crumb. Great job, ECL, or maybe I should call you EBL (Evil Brioche Lady) :o) Will have to mark this recipe for one of the upcoming Free Choice weeks (never made brioche before).

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  2. O.M.G. That looks absolutely amazing. I would love to toast a slice and slather on butter with a drizzle of honey. YUM.

    Nice job :)

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  3. Forgot to mention earlier that I like to use my microwave oven as a proofing box (aka warm place for dough to rise). Just boil water, put it in a cup, put this cup and your dough bowl in the microwave, and close the door. This way you get both heat and humidity in one place, which yeast loves.

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  4. Oooh, a brioche showdown...sounds like fun! I think I've made that praline brioche cake. I'm too lazy to get up and look at the recipe, but if it's the one that is drenched in alcohol, I didn't like it. Because I don't like my cake too boozy.

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  5. Hanaa, EBL, haha! Unfortunately I don't have a microwave (I had to get rid of something, and it sure wasn't going to be the KA). I didn't know about yeast liking moisture, maybe that's why the bread rose so crazy? (It is always moist in Oregon.) Good to know--I can stick a hot cup of water in the oven when I next work with yeast.

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  6. Inthekitchen, thanks! Butter and honey would be perfect with this bread.

    Amanda, you don't like boozy cake? You and Mrs Tran would not get along. I think it might be boozed up, I can't remember either (and I'm not at home to look). I'll keep you in mind if I ever get a brioche showdown organized.

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  7. ב''ה

    How did you like this brioche? I thought it was a great recipe!

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  8. That brioche is outstanding. I have never made one but chose it in one of my baking groups so I will be making it too. I think, I would be thrilled, if it looked half as good as yours.

    Could I convince you to link this masterpiece up with Bake With Bizzy?

    http://bizzybakesb.blogspot.com/2011/05/bake-with-bizzy-2-almond-blueberry.html

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  9. Vicki, thanks!

    Mendy, I liked it very much--it was way better than the brioche I bought for the carmelized pudding cake. The recipe was, as all of Rose's recipes, really easy once I got started.

    Bizzy, sure, I'll link it up. Good luck with your brioche!

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  10. God, I'm going to sleep in this bountiful loaf of my favorite thing.

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  11. Wow. Just catching up. That's a fantastic story and I feel so inspired to try a brioche recipe (or five). I could so love to make a brioche as beautiful as the one you made.

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  12. I am so way behind in your evil baking! Look at you...baker of a wonderful loaf of brioche. And it really looks a billowy puff of scrummy! I just love brioche. Rose's recipe has always turned out delicious.(even though my shaping isn't perfect!)
    Your La Bomba turned out with such a professional look. Dead impressive, girlie!
    And what can I say of the Barcelona
    brownies? They definitely have spoiled me for the use of any other recipe when I want to show off how a proper brownie is made to my British friends. Yours look perfect.
    I will be in Portland on October 3rd (Monday) and want to stop and have lunch with with you. Ian will be with me? Please say you are free!...or at least how much we will have to pay you!

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  13. oh my word it looks so good. i read somewhere that if you look at a photograph and literally want to eat it, you know its a good one. not only are the photographs beautiful, but the brioche seems like it would be fantastic.

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  14. pinknest, a brioche pillow would be heavenly.

    melissa, if you do as rose says, i bet you can!

    melinda, it's a date my friend! i can't wait to meet you and ian! thanks for cheering on all my bakeapades.

    jane, thanks! i assume you'll be baking the brioche for your challenge too?

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