I recall, it seems ages ago, baking Brioche in cooking school but that was so fast paced and we were doing 7 other things at the same time which is a bit sad, not to give the Brioche the appreciation it truly deserves.
You really can not enjoy the “Art of Making Bread” in cooking school as you can at home.
This weeks assigned recipe from Rose Levy Beranbaum’s The Baking Bible was Brioche of which I choose the Classic Brioche Loaf option.
Each week we as Alpha Bakers, are assigned one of the recipes from Rose’s new baking book and we as a group all over the world bake the same recipe at the same time. Our objective is to share our successes, where we got stumped, what questions did we have along the way, our joys and in some cases our baking shortcomings.
I was commenting to a friend in the group just last night that, “If you just follow Rose’s recipes exactly, it is amazing at the outcome you will achieve!”
So it all started last Friday night with the Dough Starter or Sponge.
After mixing the starter, the flour blanket was made to cover the starter. Rose gave several options of how to let the starter ferment. I chose to cover and leave my flour mixture in a cozy, warm environment for about an hour then I tucked it away in the refrigerator, covered, for right under 22 hours. It was so exciting to watch the starter bubble through the flour blanket, beginning to grow and do it’s yeasty magic.
Now comes the fun part of the Brioche – the BUTTER
Of course we add more eggs, it’s Brioche after all, then the softened butter is added a tablespoon at a time until fully incorporated.
The dough is then placed in an oiled proofing container to let rise for 1.5 to 2 hours until doubled
As it was late, I began my sleep deprived evening getting up at 3 AM to baby sit and then again at 4 AM to begin the dough massaging –
HEY, wait a minute; this dough is treated better than I am …..
But I’m not complaining
The next morning…well afternoon…after coffee….
I was sure I had a Brioche pan, but I either lent it out, moved it or perhaps never bought it…. so I choose my trusty aluminum MIRRO pan 10 and 1/4 x 3 and 5/8 x 2 5/8 sprayed with butter cooking spray.
I first tried to use my pastry brush, as in the photograph above, to apply the cream egg wash but the dough was so light and airy that it was to course of a utensil to use for the delicate dough. The lighter silicon brush worked just fine
Rose mentioned placing the gashes at either end but I found it more uniform to begin the first gash in the center of the loaf at an angle and then work my way backwards on either side, but that’s just me…
The smell of the dough baking is worth the price of admission, believe me!
The TASTE! As half of the loaf has already disappeared, I keep trying to put my taste buds on what type of cheese would go well; I think I’ll pick up some Emmental, or a cave aged cheeses like Gruyere. I think the nuttiness of a rich, aged Parmigiano-Reggiano might really work here.
OMG now that I think about it, I’m wondering about a nice creamy Irish room temperature BUTTER would be amazing
Imaging that… more butter and Brioche!
HAPPY BAKING YA’LL!
© Tony Bridges and One Crumb at a Thyme, 2014