Thursday, October 8, 2009

BBA Challenge #5 Brioche

These are amazingly, deliriously, fabulous.  Three minutes before the first batch emerged from the oven, the house was suffused with irresistible smells…my mouth actually watered and it was all I could do not to snatch them right off the baking sheet.


I lasted the three minutes until the timer went off but then all bets were off.  I thought the half pound of butter that went into this dough was sinfully decadent but somehow I got seduced but the thought of butter melting into a piping hot brioche and popped open a fresh jar of strawberry balsamic jam:



Better than any brioche I have ever eaten… in a bakery… in France…anywhere.  Really.  Truly .  Rich, buttery, flaky and light.  The recipe made 16 brioches a tête (that’s French for mini-brioches) and I’m just not sure that’s going to be enough.  I’ve already given away half of them ‘cause I’m so darn proud and such a show off.

It’s night and the kids are in bed.  I’m tempted to make another batch so I can have warm brioche in the morning.  Hold on there… Reality check.  I’ll have to get up at 4:30 to give them time to rise before breakfast…but still…

All right.  This is the fifth bread in the BBA Challenge.  We’re using Peter Reinhardt's wonderful book The Bread Baker's Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread as a text.  If you want the recipe you’ve got to buy the book.  If you’ve got the book and want some cliffs notes, read on:


First I made a sponge and let it sit for 45 minutes.  When it was ready, it looked like this:


I added five lightly beaten eggs and whirled them round in my Kitchen Aid until they blended:

IMG_3276 Then I added the flour.  Usually my mixer starts to whine about now but this is a sticky and light dough and my KA handled it easily.

IMG_3278 After adding butter the dough takes on a silky texture. 

IMG_3280The dough is so full of eggs and butter it has to be quite cold to form.  Refrigerate for four hours before shaping your brioche.

IMG_3287These brioche pans are so pretty I just had to add a gratuitous picture.  Mostly I was glad to find them after storing them for two years in anticipation of making brioche someday. The small print says MADE IN FRANCE which helps me pretend I’m Julia Child.


I recommend shaping the dough into balls then refrigerate again before the final forming.  Peter Reinhardt has a great picture tutorial in his book on shaping.  I used method number two to get this signature form.


Let rise for an hour and a half then brush with egg wash.  My dough had trouble keeping a perky ball on top.  I tried three different methods but the result was the same each time.  Still, it’s so pretty I could kiss it!




1 comment:

sandraj said...

Wow do they look good. I,m going to get that book and try some of the breads in it, I will not talk about them unless they look as good or better than Yours. lol